New to Blu: January 6 – 12

Blinkin’ heck! The animated Blinky Bill – The Movie is the only theatrical release that’s new this week on Blu-ray.

The other newcomers — American Ultra, Bloodsucking Bastards, Demonic, Z for Zachariah — are direct to disc.

American Ultra is given an AVC-encoded 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, with the results being mildly disappointing for a recent release. The film does get opportunities to be vibrant … But most of the film occurs in darker moments, and the night shots aren’t as black or inky as they perhaps should.”

“This recently filmed movie looks crisp, clear, and natural. It was shot digitally, and may at times suffer from a lack of depth, but on the whole the entire presentation looks quite good. There’s a stunning amount of detail in close-ups and long-range shots.”

Bloodsucking Bastards is presented on Blu-raywith an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.24:1. This is perhaps appropriately if unattractively a kind of bloodless transfer, one that suffers from anemic contrast and some ugly colour grading, often toward a sickly green tint, all of which tends to deplete detail levels.”

“This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and does the job, however the score tends to take over everything in certain scenes. This overly excessive score sounds good, but is turned up too loud and sometimes drowns out the sound effects and dialogue.”

Z for Zachariah is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.38:1.

“Shot with the Arri Alexa Plus (according to the IMDb), this is nevertheless just a slightly soft looking enterprise quite a bit of the time, a proclivity fostered both by the handheld, quasi-jiggly cam sensibility on display quite a bit of the time, as well as tendency on the part of cinematographer Tim Orr to shoot into light, a choice which often bathes the image in elements like lens flares and effulgent halos, as well as what appears to be boosted brightness and contrast.”

“Three people isolated on farmland that’s intentionally surrounded by vast, dead silence naturally doesn’t explore a lot of vigorous sonic fidelity, but there’s still plenty of complexity to savour in this capable 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, hinged on bucolic ambiance.”

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