New to Blu: May 14-20
The week’s biggest release, Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie, coincides with other blasts from the past getting dusted off on Blu-ray.
The pick of them are the black-and-white classics Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg and 12 Angry Men.
It’s fantastic to see vintage movies of this calibre surfacing on Blu-ray, even if their appeal isn’t maximised with the extras their legacies deserve.
Like the DVD, Inherit doesn’t have any extras, I suspect 12 Angry Men’s will be the same as the UK release, and Nuremberg includes a 20-minute conversation between screenwriter Abby Mann and star Maximilian Schell, and a 14-minute tribute to director Stanley Kramer.
Said Blu-ray.com of the Region B 12 Angry Men: “The basic characteristics of the high-definition transfer used for this European release appear virtually identical to those of the high-definition transfer Criterion used for their Blu-ray release of Sidney Lumet’s classic film in the United States.
“Only compression is marginally better on the Criterion release.”
But the region-locked Criterion edition does boast much better extras.
Other relics spruced up in 1080p include The Abominable Dr Phibes and its sequel, and The Fury, the transfer of which is “quite simply, a triumph.
“It’s a full restoration from the original camera negative supervised by James White, while the Blu-Ray is authored by David Mackenzie – technical wizards both, with a passion for cinema and a reliable gut feeling for how a film should look. The result is quite beautiful.”
“The video quality is superb, featuring a great blend of real-world nature landscapes and top-notch dino CG, but the lossless audio track under performs.”
“Detail has so much texture and ‘pop’ to it that you find yourself marveling constantly at what the animators were able to accomplish.
“Gradations of color within dinosaur skins really give them a believable complexity, and representations of fire and water are every bit as accomplished as what we get from Disney.”
“The 3D presentation here is often surprisingly subtle, but often quite effective.
“While there are occasional showy ‘in your face’ effects, like a dinosaur tumbling straight at the viewer in one sequence, what tends to be exploited more often is a beast passing in the foreground while the main action is taking place further back in the frame, instantly creating a sense of depth and dimensionality.”
Also new are the direct-to-disc Virginia and Blue Caprice, WWE Wrestlemania 30 and Toto: 35th Anniversary Tour Live in Poland.