New to Blu: May 18-24

Kiwis can get a taste of True Blood: The Complete Third Season two weeks earlier than American fans of the flamboyant vampire saga – and for a recommended retail price that’s much lower.

The five-disc set goes on sale today for $72 whereas the US RRP is $US80.

Only one advance review so far has been posted in the US, where said it “earns yet another striking high definition presentation”.

Extras include a picture-in-picture track and “post mortem” short for each episode, six commentaries, character perspectives, anatomy of a werewolf attack scene, and an interactive guide to the creatures of Bon Temps.

Also new is a TV series that hasn’t screened here (and again is selling for much less than in the US: $51 versus $US80).

Treme: The Complete First Season is from the creator of The Wire, David Simon, and dramatises life in New Orleans six months after Hurricane Katrina. (HBO has just renewed it for a third season, even though ratings for season two are down sharply on the first.)

The cast includes John Goodman and Oscar-winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter, which is due on Blu next week).

But as the New York Post warned in its five-star review of the premiere: “Treme is like Cajun food — it’s spicy, it’s weird and it’s good, but it takes a while to appreciate.”

Blu-ray reviewers were keenly appreciative of the HD video and audio. DVD Verdict awarded the latter a top score of 100 and rated the former 95.

It called Treme’s music “tremendously important” and described the lossless audio as “powerful, immersive … The show’s sound design is actually more complex than the HD television broadcasts indicated; further drawing the viewer into this carefully-detailed world.”

Blu-rayDefinition praised the transfer for its “excellent, film-like quality … There’s also no sign of the artifacts typical of the broadcasts of this series (or any series, for that matter).”

Warner Bros Video completes its high-end HD hat-trick this week with the acclaimed US re-make of the Swedish vampire thriller, Let Me In, starring The Road’s Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kick-Ass’ Chloë Grace Moretz.

High-Def Digest said it boasts “a stylish, outstanding transfer that vampire fans everywhere will devour” while AVForums thought it accurate if not perfect: “Whilst it may not quite make for demo-quality showcasing, it’s still pretty damn good.”

The week’s only other Blu-ray newcomers are the 1988 high school black comedy, Heathers, and four-time Oscar-nominee Winter’s Bone, which was filmed with digital cameras.

DVD Beaver called the transfer “a solid presentation of this excellent film” while Home Theater Forum hailed it as “superb

“This Blu-ray was clearly taken from the DI without an intervening analogue stage, and the key word is ‘clearly’. There isn’t a hint of noise or interference, and the image is stunningly detailed throughout the frame.”


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