New to Blu: June 10-16

Fifty Shades of Grey may be the week’s — if not the year’s — biggest seller on Blu-ray but the Oscar-winning Birdman soars higher with its HD specs.

“Fox’s Blu-ray presentation of Birdman is one of near perfection.

“Shot digitally, the film uses a variety of different lighting and colour schemes, due to the very nature of free-flowing camera movement.

“There are many different environments and filming conditions here: inside, outside, day, night, dawn, dusk, bright light, low light, and a variety of different colour temperatures.

“Luckily, the filmmakers planned ahead for this, so every shot is pulsating with a massive amount of foreground and background detail.”

“While  lot of the film takes place in very dimly lit backstage environments, shadow detail remains strong and in close-ups fine detail is often astonishing.”

“The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is almost as impressive, and is headlined by a percussion-based score which was shamefully disqualified from the Academy Awards.”

Fifty Shades of Grey was shot digitally, primarily on the Arri Alexa XT, and the image here is pretty impressive, with plenty of depth, detail, and the kind of ‘pop’ on Blu-ray that viewers love to see.”

“It’s an excellent video quality that captures both the stunning set and the sexy skin with equal clarity.

“There was definitely a certain colour palette used during filming, but it comes across well, and the picture quality supports the story.”

“The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is exceptional, even if it is mostly a dialogue-driven film.

“All five channels, plus LFE, are well-utilised, providing a 360-degree soundfield throughout.”

A Thousand Times Good Night misses out on the US extras but “looks spectacular in high-definition.

“Excluding some minor fluctuations in terms of contrast and brightness, which are part of the film’s original cinematography, everything else is as solid as one would expect it to be. Detail and sharpness are outstanding.”

“The film looks excellent throughout. The slightly gloomy interiors contrast well with the bright exteriors in the battle zones. The colours are crisp and clear and bright throughout.

“The image quality is very good and the flesh tones are accurate.”

Going direct to disc are The Salvation (“detail, both close-up and distant, is crisp and clean while the colours are fabulous; they are glossy, deep and rich, showing off the yellow grass landscapes, the costumes and the town sets”), At the Devil’s Door (“colours are well saturated, with a strong palette despite the film’s overall darkness”) and Skin Trade.

“The US Region A Blu-ray of At the Devil’s Door has the same technical specifications but has a different, and superior, set of extras.

“The deleted scenes are the same but the Region A adds a director’s commentary, a making of (18:04) and a film trailer (2:32) instead of the very short extras we get.”

The Salvation’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is excellent. “Depth is outstanding, clarity very good, and the wide range of nuanced dynamics open up the action sequences very well.”

Season two of Orange is the New Black (“looks stunning“) is the only new TV-on-disc release while re-issues include the TV spin-off Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight and the 1940 classic The Thief of Bagdad.

Also new are the latest batch of anime titles (009 Re:cyborgUnbreakable Machine Doll Series CollectionRurouni Kenshin: The Legend EndsFairy Tale – Collection 15), music releases Megadeath – Rust in Peace Live and Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding, and WWE Ultimate Warrior – Always Believe.

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