New to Blu: October 3-9

The Blu-ray of The Dictator includes a “banned and unrated cut” that’s about 15 minutes longer but isn’t as technically polished.

The Dictator’s 1080p, 2.40:1-framed transfer isn’t necessarily a dazzler, but it’s proficient and stable from beginning to end.

“The digital photography never looks too flat, lifeless, or glossy, but it’s not amongst the finest of its kind, either, failing to reach that current pinnacle where digital almost looks as good as film.”

“It should be noted that the unrated cut of the film is more problematic. The additional scenes tend to stick out with different colour timing and a slightly unfinished look (chroma key work is much more apparent).

“To make matters worse, the majority of the extended material comes right in the middle of existing scenes, which causes the unrated cut to look pretty inconsistent, even within individual sequences.”

What To Expect When You’re Expecting is “remarkably sharp and well defined … with consistently solid contrast and incredibly pleasing fine object detail. Colours are very nicely saturated and very robust … If only the film itself were this good.”

Going direct-to-disc is The Raven. “This 2.35:1 image, which is encoded via AVC, looks soft, diffuse and hazy … and not in the least the way that you would expect a hi-def release of a very recent movie to look.”

Moreover, fans of this Edgar Allen Poe variation may wish to import the US disc when it releases next week, as the NZ version’s wings have been clipped.

It includes the filmmakers’ commentary and deleted/extended scenes but not the five making-of shorts.

And don’t dump previous DVD incarnations of The Terminator, as the long-awaited NZ Blu-ray lacks most of the extras on those discs and the “underwhelming transfer” is the same as the 2006 US release.

“While the audio is solid, the video transfer is outdated and weak, and supplements are pretty slim and offer nothing new.”

Also new on the back-catalogue front are The Ring, Pet Sematary, The Outsiders, Annie (30th Anniversary Sing-Along Edition) and Cinderella (“don’t expect any problems from this excellent transfer”).

Music titles include a restoration of The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour, One Direction: All for One, Motorhead: The World Is Ours – Vol. 2 and Gary Moore: Blues For Jimi.

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