New to Blu: Movies > May 23-29

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is another indelible Blu-ray release from director David Fincher (The Social Network, Zodiac).

“Shot with a combination of HD cameras (Red One MX and Red Epic), Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo debuts on Blu-ray with a spectacular and practically flawless 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode (2.40:1) that will undoubtedly leave fans very happy.”

“The Sony Blu-ray looks magnificent due to the entire film being put to one dual-layered BD disc – almost filling it at over 49 Gig.

“The only supplement sharing the feature disc is the Fincher commentary. So the 2.5-hour film has a very high bit rate and none of the weaknesses (flaring) of production format are prevalent.”

“The audio is presented in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, bringing the attentive sound design to the fore.

“Music swirls around the sound stage with menacing portent, as do various scene-setting effects. Who would’ve thought that a patio door could sound so darned scary?”

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Dolphin Tale are both out on Blu-ray 3D but the former looks just as fabulous in 2D.

“The movie may offer little in terms of adventure, but at least the journey to Mysterious Island isn’t a complete loss, offering a stunning reference-quality video presentation.

“The movie was obviously shot with a 3D design in mind, so many sequences come with visual gimmicks meant to take advantage of the technology.

“Nonetheless, the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode looks practically flawless in its current 2D incarnation and is sure to impress viewers even without the added third dimension.”

Similarly, “Dolphin Tale darts through crystal clear Blu waters with a sleek 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer sure to delight fans of all ages.

“Contrast is a bit hot to the touch, but colours are strong and striking, skin tones are summery and well-saturated, and black levels are nice and deep.”

“The 3D does an amazing job of making the viewer feel part of the action without resorting to a barrage of gimmickry.

“In fact, I am going to be placing this film somewhere on my list of the best 3D titles currently available.”

The Bang Bang Club is “impressive in both colour fidelity and the detail” while Staten Island/Brooklyn Rules is a single-disc double-pack of two low-budget, low-bit rate gangster movies.

“The advantage of having a double pack of movies is that those films which are lesser releases, and may not otherwise get to our shores, are able to see the light of day.

“The disadvantage is that the films are presented each on one layer of a BD 50. Therefore the maximum file size is 25 GB. As it happens, both Staten Island and Brooklyn Rules are just over 20 GB.

“Given that both are short (roughly 90 minutes) films and without extras it means that all the disk space allocated can be provided for the film. It is no different from having films individually on BD 25 …

Staten Island is quite good without ever being exceptional … [but Brooklyn Rules] is soft and features some unsightly artefacts.”

New on the back catalogue front are Three Colours Trilogy (but without the extras of the UK and US releases), The Killing Fields and Highlander 2 (“Renegade Version”).

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