New to Blu: September 24-30

The week’s only theatrical release on disc, A Million Ways to Die in the West, lands here ahead of the rest of the world, where one advance review says it “looks excellent“, but is dwarfed by the number of direct-to-disc newcomers, including the late Paul Walker’s penultimate movie.

“Shot digitally utilising the Red Epic, Brick Mansions boasts a sharp and stable image that offers excellent clarity even in some of the manic action sequences when both characters within the frame as well as the frame itself are highly mobile due to filming techniques.”

“This is a glorious looking presentation that’s hard to fault. It’s bright, warm, rich in colour and a fine example of a modern HD presentation, despite the rather obvious middling budget the film is playing with.”

“The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix is one the film’s real selling points since it definitely gives action fans a tremendous bang for their bucks. There are plenty of panning split surround effects as people and vehicles whiz around various locations.”

“Shot digitally with the Arri Alexa, They Came Together is bright, colourful and a lot of fun to watch. The palette here is wonderfully varied.”

“The level of detail is very high, showing off nice textures in the New York settings, though sometimes things soften out a touch, which may be part of the film’s visual spoofing of the genre.”

“It certainly doesn’t look like it was shot on a ‘microbudget’ (the film’s actual studio designation). The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio doesn’t skimp either, combining pastiche Hollywood pop songs and a peppy movie score with crisp dialogue in a warm hug of a mix that keeps the jokes front and centre.”

Other direct-to-disc debuts include:

  • The Outsider (“a clear, noiseless image with the kind of muted, brown-tinted palette that has become common in contemporary features where the director and DP are seeking an urban, noirish look”)
  • Bad Words (“looks terrific in this 2.40:1 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer, which translates the film’s warm palette beautifully”)
  • Reasonable Doubt (“detail is sharp throughout, colours skew a bit blue but are appropriately saturated, and black levels are deep and consistent“)
  • Brawler (“looks dingy and dirty”).

Also new are Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets and Breaking the Fourth Wall: Live From the Boston Opera House.

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