New to Blu: July 22-28

There’s nothing second best about the Blu-ray transfers of this week’s newcomers.

“Unlike The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which was shot on film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was shot digitally with the Sony CineAlta 65 (hey, it’s expensive to get a cast and crew to India).

“The image here is often wonderfully sharp and precise, bringing the panoply of colors which seem to be an almost genetic component of Indian life fully to life.

“Close-ups offer abundant fine detail, mapping out the cross hatched wrinkles and creases in many of the elderly aces.

“The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix offers a lively audio presentation with the dialogue beautifully recorded and placed in the center channel.

“Thomas Newman’s background score gets an immersive presentation through the fronts and rears and really delivers the goods during the two dance sequences (at the engagement and wedding parties).”

X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut is a re-issue of the 2014 movie with new extras and Anna Paquin’s missing footage.

The Rogue Cut could in fact just as easily have been labeled The Beast and Mystique Cut, since one of the two ‘all new scenes’ does in fact deal with them rather than Anna Paquin’s Marie (aka Rogue).

“Diehard fans will no doubt want to check out this slightly longer take on the story, but even they may end up being more entertained by trying to figure out what has changed than by the changes themselves …

“All of that said, at least this new version sweetens the deal with some appealing new supplements, including two excellent commentaries and a whole second disc of new material.”

“As the title suggests, Run All Night takes place during one night in the seediest parts of New York City and therefore is awash in deep blacks and industrial colours.

The digital cinematography has a late era Michael Mann feel to it, with lots of contrast and details that pop, accompanied by a slight motion blur. The 1080p transfer perfectly captures the film’s gritty feel without any particular video noise.”

Run All Night offers a rather impressive 2.40:1 1080p HD transfer. Detail levels are strong and rarely falter offering fantastic glimpses at facial features, costumes, and background scenery.”

“Vocals come across clear and clean and that’s saying something with the grizzled voices of Liam Neeson and Ed Harris in the mix (so to speak).

“Dynamic range is robust, with certain scenes creating a soundstage that is all encompassing. LFE find themselves useful as well and while the room wasn’t shaken, they did add some extra ‘oomph’ to a few key sequences.”

Also new is series two of The Musketeers, which showcases the BBC production here not only in HD for the first time but also with 5.1 audio and six extras, while going direct to disc are:

  • Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence (“the warm colour schemes are accurately conveyed, the bold palette impressing vividly throughout”)
  • Beyond the Reach (“a really sharp, appealing and problem free presentation”)
  • Top Five (“clean and nicely detailed“)
  • Goodbye World (“a print with good detail and warm, natural yet glossy digital colours”)
  • Late Phases (“detail is strong throughout and black levels are strong”)
  • Enter the Dangerous Mind (“many scenes are bathed in a kind of murk“)
  • Manny Lewis
  • Bring Me the Horizon: Live at Wembley Arena.

Being dusted off for the first time on Blu-ray are Flowers in the Attic (“a relatively high average bitrate of 28.95 Mbps is essential for an image with such a heavy grain pattern”) and Turkey Shoot.

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