New to Blu: July 26 – August 1


Two movies bearing Weta Workshop’s signature have earned contrasting reviews for their 4K-UHD Blu-ray transfers: Ghost in the Shell and King Kong.

“The Ultra HD [of Ghost in the Shell] … arrives with a gorgeous 4K presentation that offers several demo-worthy moments and an awesome but subtle Dolby Atmos soundtrack that enthusiasts will gladly gush over,” High-Def Digest said.

But thought the 4K only a “modest” boost over the Blu-ray that “doesn’t offer a convincing reason to upgrade beyond the basics, namely mildly shaper details and slightly firmer colours”. recommended the 3D version over both the 4K-UHD and Blu-ray: “Despite a few little drawbacks, this is a fine 3D watch and, in this reviewer’s opinion, the best of the three options.

“It compliments [sic] the movie — the style, the world, and even the story and themes — very well.”

Peter Jackson’s King Kong is being re-released as the Ultimate Edition on Blu-ray with 13 hours of extras that, frustratingly, are missing from the two-disc 4K-UHD (but are on the three-disc US edition).

The extras have been released previously but it’s still disappointing that buyers wanting to upgrade to the 4K-UHD can’t have the complete package.

High-Def Digest thought it “a strong H.265 encode in HDR10.

“The overall quality doesn’t offer a significant upgrade over the Blu-ray — in fact, it’s somewhat hit or miss in many areas — but several moments come with visually pleasing improvements.”

But again disagreed over the 4K transfer’s merits, calling it “a substantial upgrade over the previously released VC-1 encoded Blu-ray, even as the UHD is not perfect and has likely been sourced from a 2K digital intermediate”.

Split, which was released last month on Blu-ray, can now be enjoyed with “a better cinematic quality” on 4K-UHD but Resident Evil – Vendetta, despite a 4K-UHD release elsewhere, is Blu-ray only (albeit with “solid 1080p video, excellent DTS-HD Master Audio”).

Also new are:

  • Prison Break: Event Series (“technical merits are strong“)
  • USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (“struggles with myriad effects limitations and some outright flaws in the source visuals”)
  • The Eagle Huntress (“generally strong and proficient“)
  • Brimstone
  • Dance Academy: The Movie.
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3 Responses to “New to Blu: July 26 – August 1”

  1. It’s exciting to hear Amazon may be coming to New Zealand, hope they will include region B Blu-rays from the UK which don’t get released here :)

  2. Yes, it would be great not to have to pay costly postage for product that continues to miss out on a local release. Will also be fascinating to see if the Forsyth Barr report predicting sports rights problems for Sky because of Amazon’s entry here bears out.

  3. It’s going to be very interesting, it will be good to get the full benefit of Prime, including free delivery. I just noticed on Amazon I have been a customer since 1998 so WOW 20 years next year :)

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