New to Blu: January 13 – 19

“Presented in 1.78:1 1080p AVC, True Detective Season Two looks exceptional on Blu-ray.

“The influence of film noir on this season is obvious, and as a result, quite a bit of it takes place in moody lighting or darkness.

“The subtlety of shadow crossing into the light, the detail in skin and clothing texture, and the addition of colorful orange and aqua green florescent lighting are all handled with ease by this high definition transfer.”

“As has been discussed in some online interviews, while the first season of the series was shot on film, the second year was digitally captured with Arri Alexa cameras, albeit with some vintage Panavision lenses that [Kiwi] cinematographer Nigel Bluck utilised to give the series a relatively retro, quasi-noir appearance.

“The results are largely commendable, if not exceptionally impressive, most of the time.”

“As for the series’ DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, it showed reasonable involvement. Given the episodes’ general chattiness, the soundscape often stayed restrained and emphasised music/dialogue, but good ambient effects bolstered the experience.”

Conquest of the Skies was released on 3D Blu-ray in the UK and US but is 2D only here (although it does include a making-of hour).

“The video here is very obviously shot digitally giving it a harsh and possibly too sharp look which may also be to do with the mixture of live action and effects.

“The colour is very good and the picture sharp, however there is some shimmer and digital noise. Technically it is 1.78:1 and 1080i.”

Other TV-on-BD newcomers include Doctor Who Series 9 Part 2Downton Abbey Christmas 2015 – The Finale (which goes on sale Friday, the day after its Prime premiere) and the Thunderbirds documentaryFilmed in Supermarionation (“image quality is top notch“).

Only the single-disc version of Supermarionation is being released here but it includes deleted scenes,  a special effects reel and the shorts Filming in Supermarionation, Gerry & Sylvia in America, Tomorrow’s WorldSomething for the Children, Parade – Behind the Scenes, Lord Mayor and Thunderbird 3 (silent reel).

The only theatrical releases on disc are Straight Outta Compton, which lands here a week ahead of the US, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Straight Outta Compton arrives on Blu-ray with a fundamentally solid 1080p transfer. Image clarity is consistently strong.

“Faces reveal intimate little details. Clothing — particularly ball caps with raised lettering — shows the finest details of its heavy texturing.”

“The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range and detail, [a] rich clarity that enables the detection of low level and subtle background sounds within the recording.

“There is much to discern during the musical set pieces that take place both in the studio and live environments.”

“Even though Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is lower budget film that premiered at film festivals, it’s still got all the hallmarks of a cinematic-looking film …

“Detail is top-notch. Close-ups show everything from facial hair, to freckles, to teenage acne. Colours are striking. Primaries are bold and nearly jump off the screen.”

“The DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless track is good, which Brian Eno’s music getting due justice on Blu-ray. In lesser dynamic/non-music moments, sound is well-balanced in the channels, with directional effects and channel panning present and effective, a touch scarce.”

Also out are Bus 657The Big BossThe Rolling Stones in the Park – Special EditionWWE – Owen: Hart of GoldGhost in the Shell: Arise Part 2 and Space Dandy Part 2 (eps 14-26).

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