New to Blu: May 4 -10

Fargo: Year Two carries a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encoding that’s even stronger than that of the first season, yet completely different in visual style.

“Although shot digitally like season one, vintage lenses were used to give Year Two that classic ’70s look. Filled with pale oranges and browns, the colour palette matches the traditional look for the period – but combined with the period visual style is sharpness and texture that didn’t exist back then.

“The amount of detail is so strong that the high quality of the costuming is abundantly evident.”

“The dialogue is crisp, yet natural and blends nicely with the ambient effects (the cold of the area is perpetually represented by wind noise, which is actually pretty accurate).

“The track includes some aggressive shootouts and car action, but the sound designers tend to favour short bursts of sound, which creates a more poppy effect.”

Spotlight‘s 1080p transfer never disappoints. The movie’s bright white and light colour-dominant office segments don’t see significant color saturation, but details are fantastic. The offices are a playground of visual richness.”

“The film’s darker lit moments are served well, and in the numerous moments of blacks in clothing like jackets or jeans, the black levels are sharp and present a nice contrast, and when the film does have some moments of vivid expression, they’re handled adequately. Image detail is consistent but not razor sharp.”

Spotlight is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix (avg 3.3 mbps, going up to 4.0 mbps in the big scenes). As one would expect, this is a dialogue-centric mix. The movie is a fairly quiet one, tending to avoid sweeping vistas of sound in favor of quieter atmospherics.”

Krampus features a consistently well defined and accurate 1080p transfer. The digital source photography results in a picture that’s a little flat and smooth but never inorganic or lacking texture.”

“Recorded digitally, the image on show is sharp, clean and bright. Detail is pin sharp throughout with staples like skin texture and clothing weaves being easily discernible.”

“The sound design is in every way phenomenal … Krampus does a brilliant job establishing a sense of directionality, making viewers feel as if they’re squarely in the middle of the havoc rather than just passively looking on.”

Carol‘s 1080p transfer, sourced from a 16mm shoot, is gorgeous. The movie is inherently grainy and soft, but details are refined within the image’s constraints and context. Period attire, whether a rich fur coat, heavy suit fabrics, or more delicate garments are finely revealing.”

“It is a gorgeously shot picture but the 16mm format does not lend itself to the power of Blu-ray very well. I was surprised by how similar the image on this disc was to the DVD award screener I received.”

“The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtrack envelops with that enchanting score, while keeping dialogue, the infrequent needle drops, and ambient noises crisp and intelligible.”

Brooklyn is a beautifully-shot film that really does look gorgeous on screen. Yes, there are some stylised effects that perhaps give a bit of bloom to the whites (almost like a dream sequence) and some of the pastel-candy colored scenes are something that Hollywood loves, but by and large it epitomises what Blu-ray is all about.”

“Brooklyn is a stunning transfer … it must be admitted that few movies actually look bad now, but we were especially impressed with the taste and discretion of this picture.”

“For a character-driven effort, Brooklyn boasted a surprisingly active soundscape. Not that it threatens to dazzle the viewer, but the mix added more pizzazz than anticipated. The soundfield opened up on a number of occasions, mainly during street scenes.”

Also new are Joy (“detail is impressive beneath the rich, textured pervasive grain, highlighting the intricacies of the faces”), The Night Manager, Human Universe, Cabin FeverSisters and Daughter of God.

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