New to Blu: May 30 – June 5


Black Panther will account for the lion’s share of Blu-ray sales in a week where superheroes rule.

The Marvel character’s movie debut is being released on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and 4K-UHD.

Black Panther was shot digitally in the ARRIRAW codec (at 3.4K) using ARRI Alexa XT cameras and was finished to a native 4K Digital Intermediate,” The Digital Bits reports.

That source has been graded for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision and it’s presented here on Ultra HD at the proper 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio. Detail is crisp and texturing is refined, especially noticeable in skin and facial features, as well as costume fabrics.

Those viewing this 4K image via HDR10 will definitely benefit from watching it on a truly bright and capable display, while those with Dolby Vision compatibility will be glad they have it. Overall, it’s a strong image, but it lacks a bit of the pop of… say… Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in 4K.

But Home Theater Forum was more effusive.

Colours are natural and often pop with a much wider range of hues than found on the included 1080p Blu-ray, particularly in the setting skylines and costumes. Fine detail is exceptional, with fabric textures so realistic you can almost feel them.

Where this transfer really puts the Blu-ray to shame is in contrast, with blacks so deep that you can still make out the textures in Black Panther’s uniform during the early rescue sequence in Nigeria, while the same scene on the Blu-ray is much brighter and milky grey.

High-Def Digest also thought the 4K-UHD transfer “often stunning” and said the “highly-satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtrack greatly improves over its somewhat lacklustre DTS-HD MA counterpart”. said the movie “looks great” on Blu-ray.

The image sees precious few stumbles — trace amounts of macroblocking, less than ideal black levels in an early nighttime scene, a sprinkling of noise here and there — and what shortcomings there are are always overmatched by the otherwise first-class presentation.

Also new are the Netflix series Iron Fist: The Complete First Season and the animated Batman: Ninja.

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