New to Blu: September 16 – 22

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

“In both its 2D and 3D guises Age of Ultron makes for demo material. Unsurprisingly the 2D looks slightly better than the 3D conversion, but both are generally very impressive. The former boasts superb clarity, outstanding detail and some genuinely picture-perfect moments, allowing you to arguably better appreciate the visual feast more than even at the cinema.”

“Now the film has made its way onto Blu-Ray, and we can finally see some of scenes that ultimately didn’t make the final cut of the movie … With the film already running well past the two-and-a-half hour mark the need to trim it down is understandable, but some of these really should’ve been included, as they help clear up what was at times a rather messy and confusing film.”

A Most Violent Year 

“This is an unusual looking print. It has deliberately drab colours, reflecting one of the worst winters in New York’s history, but the Alexa cameras and digital manipulation results in a film with a yellowish, sepia look perhaps intending to suggest a period film. Much of the film looks as if it was shot through a gauze or filter, so is quite soft and murky with indistinct shadow detail.”

“The digital source is mostly clean but retains a relatively gritty atmosphere even without the aid of natural film grain. Clarity and depth are pleasing though the picture veers toward a softer style. The colour palette features a predominantly yellow hue, further evoking the period piece nature of the story. Though this style doesn’t lend itself to much pop, the aesthetic works well with the tone of the film. Contrast during bright scenes is fine, but dark sequences can be quite problematic.”

Big Game

“Presented in 2.39:1 1080p AVC and armed with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, Big Game is granted an excellent presentation on home video. At times, Big Game has a distinctly artificial look, what with simple sets and the high gloss, grain-free appearance of digital photography, but they’re certainly rendered with the razor-sharp clarity that one would expect from a good high-definition transfer.”

Big Game features an absolutely stunning 1080p 2.40:1 transfer. The impressive detail levels offer so much to see and appreciate the stunning Bavarian landscape (substituting for Finland) as well as fine facial features and the intricate costuming. Colouring is also spot on as the movie is a feast of cool earth tones letting primaries have a lot of pop while keeping flesh tones accurate. Black levels are also rich and inky offering a pleasant sense of three-dimensional depth.”

Also new are Entourage, season eight of The Big Bang Theory, Charlie’s FarmInherent ViceExpectingPound of Flesh and To Sir With Love (with none of the extras on the US release from a specialist distributor). Three releases that are DVD-only but which are for sale on Blu-ray internationally: The JinxLeviathan and The Hollow Crown.

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3 Responses to “New to Blu: September 16 – 22”

  1. It’s annoying we missed out on the extras for To Sir, With Love they sound really interesting :(

  2. Companies are still doing DVD-only releases ???

  3. Bizarre but true. Given the bargain price of BD players, the collapse of DVD sales, and the frustrations/compression compromises of streaming, you’d think studios/distributors would be pushing the HD format for all it was worth. Easily still the best way to watch movies and TV shows.

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