New to Blu: May 9 – 15


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri signposts a strong week for 4K-UHD releases, with The Commuter and Fifty Shades Freed also being released on the higher resolution format.

Three Billboards was shot digitally in the ARRIRAW codec (2.8K) using ARRI Alexa XT cameras and finished to a 2K Digital Intermediate,” The Digital Bits reports.

It was given an HDR10 colour grade and is presented here on 4K Ultra HD in the 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio. Detail is surprisingly good for a 2K upsample, with nicely-refined texturing. Contrast is good too, with deep and detailed blacks and naturally-bright whites. It’s the colours here that really shine, however, with remarkable nuance and variety.

“Admittedly, Three Billboards isn’t the most beautiful movie ever shot,” DVD Authority said.

Still, the Ultra HD 2.39:1 HEVC 4K transfer does sparkle and resonate with anything and everything that’s great about how films appear on screen. What’s that mean, exactly? It looks good. Colours are rich and saturated, detail is sharp and the HDR does offer a bit more colour depth than the Blu-ray counterpart.

As for the 1080p transfer, “The palette pops quite winningly, with elements like the almost candy red-pink billboards looking extremely vivid,” said.

Fine detail on close-ups is routinely excellent, and is even quite good on some of the wider vistas employed in outdoor shots. There are no issues with compression anomalies.

The Commuter was shot with the Alexa mini and completed as a 4K digital intermediate,” Home Theatre Forum said.

This 4K-UHD Blu-Ray contains the film in a 2160p with HDR10 and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. I did not expect this movie to look at as good as it did. Compare to the regular 1080p Blu-Ray there are noticeable differences.

“You’ll get some deeper blacks, some more defined facial features, and perhaps a tad better detail, but it’s not quite the visual ‘jump’ I’ve seen on many of my other 4K releases,” High-Def Digest said.

The Commuter makes a surprisingly spectacular debut on Blu-ray, at least considering the confined, often shadow laden, interior spaces,” said.

“Flesh tones and textures on skin and clothing are all well-defined here,” DVD Authority said of Fifty Shades Freed on 4K-UHD.

I think both versions looked good, but I definitely noticed a strong improvement with this UHD.

“This upscaled 4K release builds on the Blu-ray’s exemplary image, offering a solid upgrade in overall clarity, sharpness, and colour,” said.

Andy Serkis’ directorial debut Breathe lands on Blu-ray with a “very good” 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation framed in the movie’s “rather surprisingly broad and unquestionably rare” aspect ratio of 2.76:1 widescreen, AV Forums said.

It’s an unusual style which doesn’t necessarily suit the material – notwithstanding some of the more exotic settings, it’s quite an intimate affair – but does offer it some manner of visual distinction, and certainly never distracts from your enjoyment, perhaps even going some way to further convince you of the period setting.

Mr. Robot: Season 3.0‘s image is frequently home to mild noise, particularly right out of the gate early on in episode one and throughout in mostly lower light scenes, which come regularly throughout the programme,” said.

Macroblocking also creeps into lower light scenes. Fortunately, other maladies like banding and aliasing aren’t really much of a concern, and even the noise isn’t super intensive beyond a scene here and there. Beyond that, the image is very tight, firm, and accurate.

May’s anime newcomers on Blu-ray include:

  • Sailor Moon R – Complete Series
  • Fairy Tail Guild – Collection 1 (eps 1-48)
  • Fairy Tail Guild – Collection 2 (eps 49-96)
  • Food Wars! The Second Plate – Complete Series 2
  • Fairy Tail Zero – Complete Series
  • Sailor Moon R: The Movie.
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