New to Blu: July 7-13

Spearheading Thursday’s theatrical release of Predators are repackaged Blu-rays of the first two movies in the sci-fi franchise.

US critics have slammed Predator: The Ultimate Hunter Edition for having been scrubbed free of its film grain through “an ungodly amount of digital noise reduction”, although Home Theater Forum acknowledged the colour is “nicely saturated and black levels are good”.

So if you already own the first Blu-ray edition, and shun movies with an HD video sheen, you may be wise not to upgrade — although Ultimate does include a commentary by director John McTiernan, a text commentary by film historian Eric Lichtensfeld, an HD retrospective short and all of the extras from the previous special edition DVD.

As of Wednesday, you can buy the original Blu-ray release in a “dual package” with Predator 2, along with the four sequels to another ’80s icon, Rocky, and a slew of arthouse titles making their HD debuts: Atlantis, The Big Blue, In the Loop, Death Defying Acts, Strange Bedfellows, Suburban Mayhem, Volver and Y Tu Tambien.

Graduating at last from the multiplex are the Oscar-winning Precious, Mao’s Last Dancer, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and Stan Helsing while bypassing cinemas altogether are Love Happens and Double Identity.

Although Doctor Who specials have been released on Blu-ray, Wednesday sees the first batch of episodes from a series in HD, Doctor Who: Series 5 – Volume 1.

The first two seasons of a sci-fi series that hasn’t screened here, Sanctuary, are out on Blu-ray this week (exclusive to JB Hi-Fi), as are seasons four of Supernatural and two of the long since buried Pushing Daisies, and animated collections of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Claymore and Iron Man Armored Adventures.

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