New to Blu: November 24-30

HD diehards need not fear the bit rate of Avatar has been compromised to squeeze three versions of the movie onto a single disc for the Extended Collector’s Edition that goes on sale today.

Moreover, though it’s still only in 2D, “you’ll notice a depth of field that’s as close to 3D as it’s possible to achieve,” Home Theater Forum says. “Prepare to be dazzled with the colour, sharpness, and detail.”

The Digital Bits agrees: “The 1080p video looks just as good here as it did on the previous disc. In fact, it almost seems a little more natural looking, with just a hair less compression artifacting in the most detailed scenes …

“It’s quite an achievement considering that this new cut has 16 additional minutes of footage to contend with.”

The three-disc set also has earned five-star raves for its extras, which are spread across two Blu-ray discs and include a movie-length making-of documentary, interactive deconstruction of 17 scenes, the 499-page “Pandorapedia”, writer/director James Cameron’s 300-page screenplay, 15 art galleries, and the five-minute short, The Haka: The Spirit of New Zealand.

Says “Watching the behind-the-scenes materials has given me a new appreciation for the sheer innovation that went into the film’s workflow and when Avatar confines itself to all-digital characters and environments, the detail is breathtaking.”

Also out today are The Karate Kid, Knight and Day, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and the straight-to-Blu-ray comedy/drama, Greenberg.

The bleakly funny Greenberg, from writer/director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale), was too polarising to succeed at the US box office and has a hazy, diffuse look that’s meant to mimic ‘70s movies.

But Hi-Def Digest reckons that “technically, the disc is peerless: skin tones look great, blacks are deep and inky, and most shockingly, while there isn’t any grain present the movie retains a decidedly filmic look and feel.”

New on the back-catalogue front are Shallow Grave, The (original) Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Bad Boy Bubby while Blu-ray music collectors can choose from pop (Beyonce – I Am… World Tour), rock (The Rolling Stones: Ladies and Gentlemen) or classical: Abbado Conducts Mahler and Prokofiev,Tchaikovsky: Cherevichki (The Tsarina’s Slippers) – Royal Opera House, Puccini: La Fanciulla Del West, Kenneth Macmillan – Three Ballets,Opera, Ballet & Theatre: The Blu-ray Experience II, Zemlinsky: Der Zwerg (The Dwarf) and Haydn: Mondo Della Luna.

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