New to Blu: June 26-July 3

Cloud Atlas will have Blu-ray buffs on Cloud Nine.

The movie that polarised critics and bombed so badly at the US box office that it’s going direct to disc here boasts “startling clarity and detail …

“The transfer features exceptional black levels, an uncompromised range of contrast, and impeccable colour depth.”

“This is a dazzling presentation for a bold film … with reference-quality video and an excellent audio presentation.”

Another flop also impresses on disc.

Beautiful Creatures doesn’t quite ‘wow’ in the same way that some similar contemporary efforts do, but the transfer is technically proficient and offers a few impressive moments here and there.”

“The movie is filmed with style, making the most of its Southern gothic trappings, and that all translates nicely onto the Blu-ray.

“The deep, rich greens of outdoors South Carolina (or wherever it was filmed) really jump off the screen.”

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away was made for 3D viewing, but for those who want to soak in the sights on a 2D television, Paramount has released a non-3D transfer and the results are technically marvellous.”

“The film’s strongest assets – its striking visuals and varied palette – are beautifully captured on the 1080p transfer with dazzling results.”

In other release news:

❑ “The Guilt Trip’s 1080p transfer isn’t the most stunning … but it’s a good, stable, clean high definition release that suits the movie well”

Sparkle lives up to its name on Blu-ray: “a top-notch transfer all around, hindered by a little bit of banding in a few spots”.

❑ “The Last Stand storms Blu-ray with a fantastic 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that expands the theatrical 2.35:1 aspect ratio to 2.40:1”

❑ “Playing for Keeps arrives with a 2.40:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, one that is the exact opposite of the film at hand (read – excellent)”

❑ “Side Effects is presented in a 1080p AVC 1.85:1 transfer at an average 34mbps that provides a wonderful range of colours and textures throughout the movie”

Direct-to-disc sequels include Tai Chi Hero (“colour was very good but was obviously intentionally colour graded”) and Hamilton: Not If It Concerns Your Daughter while new on the back catalogue front are:

  • Westworld (“consistently strong black levels and colour depth, but things like contrast and sharpness are more variable”)
  •  Sommersby (“detail is excellent, blacks are deep”)
  • The Public Enemy (“nicely film-like transfer”)
  • Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition (“remastered for the film’s 40th anniversary, the image shows some significant improvements”).

TV newcomers include season two of Falling Skies (“a major improvement over the 1080i cable and satellite broadcasts”) and the first two seasons of Friends while making their animated debuts are Superman Unbound, Lego Batman: The Movie and Sammy’s Great Escape.

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6 Responses to “New to Blu: June 26-July 3”

  1. The local release of The Last Stand only comes with a DTS HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Glad I bought the US release which comes with a DTS HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. There is an increasing number of movies released locally on Blu-ray that come with inferior audio tracks, when compared to the US releases in particular. I would prefer to buy locally but will not buy an inferior release.

  2. Maybe it’s got something to do with being in Region B where they accommodate all the European languages as well, whereas in Region A it’s mostly English. This was certainly the case with DVDs when they made then Region 2 /4 compatible, hence you hardly saw a DTS sound tracks on movies released here but it was the norm on US Region 1 releases.

  3. Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy, Mark. Here’s the official response from Roadshow Distributors in Australia: “Unfortunately the US did not let us know that there was a 7.1 audio stream available. Had we known we would have definitely ordered it and used it on our release. We always ask the licensor to confirm what elements are available. However we’re not always told the finer details sometimes.” They advised that they will contact the US studio and request more detailed information in the future.

  4. Wow! That is a pretty lame excuse from Roadshow. It was widely known well before the Blu-ray release of The Last Stand in the US that it would come with a 7.1 soundtrack.

  5. That’s typical from Roadshow, they don’t care.

  6. Just noticed on Amazon USA website, Boy is being released in the US on 9th of July. Pretty sad really that there is no sign of a Blu-ray release of this movie in New Zealand or Australia. Looks like another import for me, although I will wait a little while for the price to drop a bit.

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