New to Blu: October 10-16

Two classic movies and two top-rating sitcoms make a big bang on Blu-ray this week.

“Warner Home Video’s Blu-ray of A Streetcar Named Desire pretty much matches a special edition from a few years ago, but with a terrific HD transfer that increases the film’s physical impact.”

“This is yet another excellent high definition presentation culled from largely damage free elements that offers lustrous contrast that really shows off the deep chiaroscuro ambience that [director Elia] Kazan and legendary cinematographer Harry Stradling were exploiting.”

Not quite as stellar but still highly recommended is Dangerous Liaisons.

“Cinematographer Philippe Rousselot’s supple and very skillfully-lit shots (with many nuances of shading and light and cool and warm colors, as necessitated by the pre-electric-lighting period of the film) are faithfully rendered, with no noise/over-noise-reduction, aliasing, or edge enhancement to be seen.

“A superb transfer of a superb-looking film.”

“But viewers expecting that Blu-ray treatment will instantly convert this stylised period piece into a glossy Downton Abbey-like production will be disappointed.

“This was an analogue creation from the photochemical world, and that’s what the Blu-ray supplies.”

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season is “brightly lit and wonderfully colourful …

“The lighting maximizes what the photography can capture, so the episodes are rendered fairly terrific visual qualities.”

“The picture is clean, but possibly due to the nature of how it is filmed, mostly free of fine detail on both the characters and their surroundings.”

The Big Bang Theory – Seasons 1-5 also is out this week, along with Mrs. Brown’s Boys – Series 2 and David Attenborough Presents Flying Monsters in 3D.

Bypassing multiplexes for disc are 96 MinutesI Am Bruce Lee (“there’s a lot of different source material here but even the worst of it looks good in this HD presentation”), ATM (“the image retains a nice filmic look without any imperfections”) and Rampart (“the video presentation is consistently impressive, and easily demo quality”).

Oscar-nominated documentary Hell and Back Again “is a gorgeous hi-def film. Details are sharp, shots are beautifully composed, with natural colours, even in low-light.”

“Overall this is a perhaps surprisingly sharp looking transfer.”

New on the back catalogue front are Finding Nemo (in 2D and 3D editions), American History X/Falling Down double-feature, and Battle Royale (“the transfer is very clear and clean. It suits the material very well and may indeed be the closest to what was originally presented. It has never looked better and was a blast to see in such good shape”).

Ahead of next month’s The Dark Knight Rises comes the animated The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1, along with three anime titles: K-On! Season 1 and 2 Collections, and Tales of Vesperia:The First Strike.

The only new music release is Korn: Live at the Hollywood Paladium.

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