New to Blu: March 7 – 13


The 4K gods deliver not only Thor: Ragnarok on UHD Blu-ray but also Murder On The Orient Express, Daddy’s Home 2 and re-issues of Groundhog DayThe Dark Crystal and Straight Outta Compton.

Thor: Ragnarok was shot digitally using ARRI Alexa 65 and Phantom Flex4K cameras in the ARRIRAW (6.5K) and Phantom RAW (4K) codecs and was finished to a 2K digital intermediate at the 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio,” The Digital Bits reports.

That higher-resolution capture makes a big difference in the visual quality here, lending the upscaled 4K image a clean, crisp, and highly-refined quality, with no unwanted artifacting or noise.

Check out the varied texturing of Sam Neill’s golden robes at about 11:30 into the film – it’s impressive. That detail is a little less apparent in the film’s CG visual effects, but the live action elements, especially close-ups, are superb.

“The boost over the Blu-ray is clear upon re-watching the film closely after viewing the Blu-ray,” said. “Details are firm and colours are more dense. Textural efficiency and clarity receive a boost even beyond the incredibly revealing Blu-ray.”

High-Def Digest dubbed the Blu-ray “a marvellous, jaw-dropping 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that’s consistently razor-sharp in practically every scene … Pure reference-quality with one demo-worthy scene after another.”

The 4K-UHD comes with a Dolby Atmos track and the Blu-ray with DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1.

Murder on the Orient Express was shot largely on 65mm photochemical film using Panavision cameras (some of the same cameras used on Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, as it happens), with a bit of additional photography accomplished digitally in the ARRIRAW codec (6.5K) using ARRI Alexa 65 cameras,” The Digital Bits said.

It was finished as a native 4K Digital Intermediate, given an HDR10 color grade, and the result is presented here in the 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio. This image is, in a word, spectacular, quite simply gorgeous in every respect.

“If you can watch the film on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray – do it!” High-Def Digest urged.

Even if you’re not 4K ready yet, buy this set as you’re going to want this disc in your collection. I was already impressed with the Blu-ray, but when I popped in the 4K disc I immediately had to start the film over and soak it all in. Details were already impressive in 1080p, but at 2160p, you can virtually count each and every hair on any given character’s face and/or head!

Daddy’s Home 2 was captured primarily on the Arri Alexa (which has a maximum resolution of 2.8K) with some sequences captured on the RED Weapon at up to 8K, and was likely completed as a 2K digital intermediate,” Home Theater Forum said.

Paramount’s 4K UHD Blu-ray presents the film in an upscaled 2160p transfer which opens up the image to 1.78:1 (the theatrical aspect ratio is listed as 1.85:1) and has been processed with high dynamic range using Dolby Vision. The disc played back in HDR10 on my non-DV equipment. There is a slight uptick in fine detail, revealing more intricate textures such as in the knitted sweaters and caps worn throughout much of the film.

“The image is clear and mostly sharp throughout,” DVD Talk said of the 1080p transfer. “I noticed minor softness in some wide shots, but close-ups reveal abundant fine-object details in fabrics, natural environments and on-set objects.”

Said DVD Authority of the re-issue of the first Daddy’s Home movie on 4K-UHD: “A few of the scenes were a bit on the overcooked side, but by and large the image oozes clarity, detail and colour.”


Groundhog Day was shot and completed on 35mm film back in 1993, and Sony has gone back and created a new 4K scan from those 35mm elements and regraded using HDR10,” Home Theater Forum reports.

The results are like night and day when compared to the 2008 Blu-ray release. Textures and other fine details are much more refined, film grain is more evident but natural and not obtrusive. Colours are more robust. Groundhog Day was never a beautiful film, as it was shot and takes place in the cold bleak of winter with often overcast skies and near-snowing conditions, but the movie has never looked better than it does here.

It was equally laudatory of Sony’s 4K scan of The Dark Crystal, with additional clean-up and HDR10 colour grading under the supervision of Jim Henson’s son, Brian.

The results are simply breathtaking! From the very first frames colours are much more vibrant, with varying shades of deep purples in the crystal, lush green grasses, deep oranges in the sand paintings, yet never appearing artificially enhanced.

Straight Outta Compton includes the director’s cut but is an upscaled 2K image.

Also new on Blu-ray are 6 Below, seasons three of Outlander and two of The Shannara Chronicles, Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time, and:

  • Sword Art Online: The Movie – Ordinal Scale
  • Sailor Moon: Crystal – Set 3 (Eps 27-39)
  • Spirited Away – 15th Anniversary
  • Laputa: Castle In The Sky – 30th Anniversary 
  • Berserk – The Complete Series
  • Digimon Adventure Tri. Part 2 – Determination
  • Love Live! Sunshine!! – Complete Season 1
  • Tales Of Zestiria: The X – Complete Season 1.
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