New to Blu: October 11 – 17


Spider-man: Homecoming comes home here ahead of most of the world, on 4K-UHD, Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray, along with a 4K-UHD re-issue of Close Encounters of the Third Kind to mark its 40th anniversary.

The latest Spidey has more than an hour of extras on the Blu-ray disc, including a pop-up factoid track, while the stellar Close Encounters commemorative edition has two new extras as well as those from previous home video releases.

The Digital Bits reckons the latest Encounters “recaptures the theatrical experience perfectly”.

Close Encounters was shot on 35mm photochemical film (and 65mm for the visual effects). Those original elements have been scanned in full native 4K (2160p), digitally restored, and have been given an HDR color grade (HDR 10). The result is presented here on 4K Ultra HD at the proper 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio.

All three versions of the film are included in full 4K (Theatrical, Special Edition, and Director’s Cut) and you can activate the same A View from Above viewing mode that was present on the previous Blu-ray edition, which allows you to see onscreen indicators of the various version differences as you watch.

“This is how classic films should look in 4K,” concurred Home Theater Forum.

The movie has never looked better … The included 1080p Blu-ray was struck from the same 4K digital intermediate, but the improvements over the previous 30th Anniversary Edition are more subtle.

My Cousin Rachel was captured with Arri cameras and finished at a 2K DI, reports.

The film’s rather lustrous visual qualities are one of its strongest assets, and they are presented in high definition with generally consistent clarity, sharpness and detail levels. While there are quite a few dimly lit sequences (many that seem to be “naturally” lit by candles), shadow definition is pretty commendable most of the time, and detail levels remain surprisingly high.

“The audio in English DTS-HD mix is the expected level of studio perfection, dialogue is a bit low due to whispering, so turn it up loud,” Rewind recommended. “The soundtrack is non-evasive and fills the backdrop perfectly.”


Churchill gets a gorgeous AVC 1080p encodement framed a 2.39:1,” TheaterByte said.

The image is clean and detailed with no compression noise or motion artifacts. The colour palette is somewhat washed out due to artistic intent, so this is a not an image that will ‘pop’ and flesh tones are even a bit pallid, but this transfer is about as good as it gets.

Churchill offers a somewhat subtle DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that delivers some intermittent surround activity that at times is kind of reminiscent of the sound design of Patton, when the general ‘hears’ the echoes of long ago battles,” noted.

The bulk of the film plays out in much more cloistered dialogue moments, and as such immersion is typically limited to either the score or occasional ambient environmental sounds. Fidelity is fine throughout, and dialogue always sounds clear.

Wakefield’s 2.35:1 1080p AVC video presentation is generally pretty good, DVD Talk said.

Colours appear accurate, and detail is as sharp as one would expect from a modern movie. However, most of the film takes place in a darkened attic, and those really scouring the shadows will find a mild, generally controlled amount of compression artifacts in the darkest areas. That said, one really has to be looking for them.

“It’s pretty crisp and sharp with plenty of good details abound and some really strong colours when they show,” Why So Blu said.

Blacks are deep and provide some really good sharpening and shadows. Not much detail is lost in the darkness in the picture. No crushing was witnessed during this review.

Also new are:

  • House of Cards: The Complete Fifth Season (“disappointingly absent any extra content. Video and audio are fine”)
  • Last Days in Vietnam (“manages the challenge of merging multiple film and video sources quite well”)
  • Arsenal (“a bit of a mixed bag“)
  • The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki
  • Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters – Part 3 (eps 48-71).
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