New to Blu: November 8 – 14


War for the Planet of the Apes and Westworld are out on 4K-UHD and Blu-ray but Cars 3 misses out on the 4K-UHD release it’s won in the US. called the Apes sequel “another stunner of a presentation” on Blu-ray.

While a lot of this film is ominously dark and shadowed, detail levels are often jaw droppingly precise, especially in some potentially problematic areas like fur and hair rendering on the CGI characters …

War for the Planet of the Apes is presented on 4K UHD with a 2160p transfer in 2.40:1. This 4K UHD version shows the same kind of sometimes subtle but still noticeable uptick in detail and fine detail levels that have been seen in other outings sourced from 2K DIs.

High-Def Digest dubbed the Blu-ray “absolutely gorgeous, reference-quality” and the 4K-UHD, “a lovely and overall satisfying HEVC H.265 encode in HDR10 … that ultimately defeats the Blu-ray“.

There’s also a 3D Blu-ray edition that said “offers consistent if only occasionally totally impressive depth, with a certain lack of ‘wow’ factor that is probably due at least in part to the film’s overarching darkness”.

“From the opening title sequence, which looks almost other-worldly in 4K to the magnificent exteriors, shot in Utah, Westworld is a treat for the senses, and an exercise for the brain,” raved Home Theater Forum.

For a fascinating analysis of why the 35mm production looks so good, see this article in which cinematographer Paul Cameron discusses his unusual approach for a TV series:

“It needed a big cinematic look, and by far the best way to achieve all of that is by shooting on film. From daytime exteriors to low light interiors, film is elegant, stylish and just fabulous at capturing and holding a look. There was never any discussion; this was a film production from the get-go.”

Cars 3 features a typically excellent Disney/Pixar/animated 1080p Blu-ray presentation,” said. “The movie’s highlight is unquestionably its wide spectrum colours.

“Cars of every hue imaginable and of varying quality of paint — including flat, metallic, glossy and much more in between — are a showcase for high definition colour saturation.”


Annabelle: Creation scares its way to Blu-ray with a beautifully moody and atmospheric 2.40:1 1080p transfer,” High-Def Digest said.

I love a horror movie that understands the importance of what to show and what to leave to the imagination. This film is bathed in creepy shadows and they look wonderful here.  There is a great sense of depth as there’s just enough shadow separation going on to make you feel like that little speck of evil could be hiding anywhere in any of the rooms

“The included Dolby Atmos soundtrack is also tough to top,” Blu-ray Authority said.

Being a horror movie, we can expect plenty of jump scares and the sound mix plays an important part in the film itself. A wide and expansive track makes use of plenty of directional effects, the LFE get involved and dialogue is crystal clear. It’s a strong mix that’s sure to please and certainly worthy of the Atmos moniker.

A Monster Calls matches its protagonists’ dark and depressed state of mind with a beautifully subdued, almost grayscale color scheme, with occasional pops of colour during the inventive animated sequences,” DVD Talk said.

“The 1080p transfer succinctly captures the film’s look with a healthy amount of contrast and stunning black levels.”

Sharpness is stunning, and colour design is quite alluring, especially the animation sequences with their unusual hues and brushstroke techniques,” Home Theater Forum said.

“Contrast has been consistently applied for the best possible image harvest, and black levels are superb with outstanding details in the shadows.”

Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas has been dusted off for a 4K-UHD re-issue while the two seasons of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century at last blast off here as separate Blu-ray box sets.

“These episodes look way better in 1080p HD (at the correct original 1.33:1 TV aspect ratio) than I ever expected them too,” The Digital Bits said.

I’ve watched four of this set’s discs in their entirety now, and sampled the rest of the episodes. I can tell you that the colours are vibrant (especially once you get into the series proper), there’s abundant detail visible, and contrast is excellent with nicely-detailed shadows

Also new are:

  • A Family Man
  • The Fly (Digitally Remastered Special Edition)
  • The Fly II (Digitally Remastered Special Edition)
  • Urban Legends Trilogy Ultimate Edition
  • Your Name – Limited Edition
  • Psycho-Pass – Complete Collection
  • Adventure Time – The Complete Seventh Season
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