New to Blu: July 17-23

The Guardian dubbed the 2K remastering of Jon Pertwee’s first adventure as Doctor Who, Spearhead From Space, the “perfect way to celebrate the Doc’s 50th anniversary”.

“Due to industrial action in the BBC studios, this one was filmed largely on location and, unique for old Who, shot entirely on glorious 16mm film.

“It sounds like a small thing but it made an incredible difference; this is the only one of the vintage stories to have the picture quality worthy of a HD transfer.

“The Blu-ray looks superb, as if they shot a (very) low-budget Doctor Who movie late in 1969, which is pretty much what they did.

“The sets look sturdier, more colourful and far better than their usual overlit, studio-bound video camerawork.”

“The prime extras include a 22-minute behind-the-scenes piece and not one, but two audio commentary tracks, one with cast and the other with crew members.

“You’ll also find a look at the show’s switch to colour visuals, a short spoof film about UNIT, and a selection of still photos.”

Another blast from the past that shapes up better than expected is the 1990 Tom Selleck western, Quigley Down Under, which was praised for its sharpness, colour saturation and detail.

“This is an often ruggedly gorgeous looking film, and the palette here is filled with sun drenched burnt umbers, siennas and rusts, all of which are splendidly saturated and brilliantly reproduced.”

“Black levels are only moderately well rendered, however, and there are occasional dust specks here and there but which never distract greatly from the superb picture quality.”

“The DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio works well enough, though the score comes through a bit loud at times and drowns out the dialogue. The same mini-documentary is ported over from the standard def release, as well as the television and theatrical trailers.”

More than two years after its US release comes the “latest” Woody Allen movie on Blu-ray.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger debuts on Blu-ray with a fine 1080p Blu-ray transfer that’s only as good as Allen’s photography allows it to be.

“Technically, the transfer is just about perfect; there’s no evidence of banding, print damage, blocking, noise reduction, or other troublesome no-no’s, but Allen’s overly warm palette and generally bland façade don’t make for an eye-candy sort of Blu-ray.”

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is given a 1080p 1.78:1 framed AVC MPEG-4 encode that is actually quite good and lifelike, though it has a few hang ups.”

And graduating on to Blu-ray 34 years after its theatrical release is Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.

“Much of the picture shows its age and is riddled with scratches and dirt. However, considering its low-budget origins, the presentation isn’t horrible to look at.”

Also new are Inseparable and the direct to disc Goddess, Coming and Going and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (“often razzle-dazzles and amazes, but mostly fizzles out and generally pleases”).

Three 3D episodes of The Universe’s sixth season are out for $15 each, along with season collections of Shakugan no Shana and the two-disc jazz concert set, Experience Montreux.

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