New to Blu: May 11-17

In a week swarming with new Blu-ray releases, one title stands out: Life.

David Attenborough’s ‘latest’ natural history sensation ended its SD run on Prime on Sunday and bows on Blu-ray up to 18 months after its release elsewhere because of how the free-to-air broadcast deal was done here.

Unlike most BBC Blu-rays, all but one of the 10 episodes is in 1080p, prompting High-Def Digest to lament the lack adjectives to describe the “breathtaking 1080p video presentation …

“Like Planet Earth, Life provides a consistently stunning image of nature in high definition. The clarity of some of the tracking shots – through forests, over waterfalls, and above swarms of butterflies – are some of the most amazing bits of photography put onto a Blu-ray disc.”

(High-Def Digest rated the UK version, with Attenborough’s narration, higher than the US, which was narrated by Oprah Winfrey, presented every episode in 1080i and excluded each ep’s video diary.)

Other reviewers were just as effusive, with DVD Beaver calling the UK edition “a must-own package with an image that continuously encourages your eyes to be riveted to the screen”.

Just as eye-popping, especially on Blu-ray 3D, should be Tangled.

Home Theater Forum rated its 3D presentation 5/5: “Though the animation is greatly enhanced by the technology the effects are more subtle than being ‘In Yo’ Face’.”

Echoed the Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD about the 2D Blu-ray: “I can think of no way to describe the picture quality on the 1.78:1 Blu-ray beyond ‘perfect’ … Truly a visual feast with its stunningly sharp, bright, detailed imagery.”

Also new this week are the low-budget sci-fi adventure, Monsters; the Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie bomb, The Tourist; the relationships comedy, The Dilemma; the family comedy that showcases The Good Wife’s Julianna Marguiles in an unusually gritty light, City Island; and the direct-to-DVD actioner, Hunt to Kill.

It’s a big week for back-catalogue must-haves, with Mongol, Pan’s Labyrinth, Boogie Nights, Million Dollar Baby and Traffic being re-issued in HD, while anime fans can choose between My Neighbours the Yamadas and Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

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