New to Blu: September 25 – October 1


Apocalypse Now: Final Cut

➢ “I’ve seen some damn fine examples on this format: Unforgiven, Blade Runner and 2001 to name just a few, and this new scan deserves to sit alongside as one of the best pictures UHD has produced. Detail is outstanding, from the finest skin texture to the widest tree covered landscape, nothing is lost; indeed the finite detail is incredible right down to the creases in the paper of the dossier. The only softness is from the original source, otherwise there are keen edges throughout.” — AVForums.

➢ “I can’t quite give this a perfect score, but please know it’s absolutely gorgeous, better than all previous releases, and as close as most of us will ever come to having our own 35mm print … Reviewing a remixed Dolby Atmos track for a 40-year-old movie isn’t cut-n-dry. On one hand, I adore the way this movie sounds, with helicopters buzzing overhead and true jungle immersion atmospherics. On the other hand, there’s no lossless original theatrical mix for purists and some of the audio effects aren’t quite as dynamic as you’ll hear from modern recordings.” — High-Def Digest.

➢ “This film has quite simply never looked better. In fact, it would be hard to imagine that Apocalypse Now could ever look better than it does here in 4K. Except for optical titles/transitions and the occasional shot with slightly soft focus, there’s a level of refined detail here that you’ve never seen before. Texturing is exquisite.” — The Digital Bits.

The 4K-UHD of Apocalypse Now: Final Cut has been released internationally as a six-disc set but here is being offered as only a three-disc set. Missing are 4K-UHD and Blu-ray discs of the theatrical and redux cuts, and a Blu-ray of previously released extras.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

➢ “Universal’s Blu-ray edition of The Secret Life of Pets 2 is stunning. The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer presents the film in its theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with vivid colours with no evidence of banding or blooming. Detail is excellent, from the individual strands of fur, textures of skin on the dogs’ noses, blades of grass, to random leaves and cracks in the sidewalk. Contrast is superb with deep blacks and strong shadow detail with no evidence of crushing as well as bright whites that never clip.” — Home Theatre Forum.

➢ “Universal’s 1080p picture is abundantly, richly, and fully colourful. Every colour absolutely leaps off the screen with remarkable punch and intensity. Seemingly every colour known to man (and animal, as the case may be) appears in the film with bold, brilliant depth: blues, reds, greens, purples, yellows … name it, and the Blu-ray nails it. It’s an impressively diverse but also nuanced colour explosion.” —

➢ “Illumination once again provides a universally bright and colourful look that harkens back to old Disney cartoons. The 1080p transfer captures that look perfectly with a bright and detailed presentation … The Dolby Atmos track keeps busy with a heavy inclusion of all the surround tracks during action heavy sequences, and the affable score pans around the channels to give us an immersive experience. The dialogue from the center channels is clear and vibrant.” — DVD Talk.


Men in Black: International

➢ “The London branch saves the Ultra HD world with nothing but their wits and a spectacularly eye-catching, reference-quality HEVC H.265 encode, painlessly De-Atomizing an already sensational Blu-ray and sure to neuralyze any memory of its day-and-date HD partner.  Shot on a combination of Arri Alexa cameras, ranging from 3.4K and 6.5K resolution levels but later mastered to a 2K digital intermediate, the upscaled transfer lands to home theaters with a near-flawless 2160p picture.” — High-Def Digest.

➢ “When compared to the included Blu-ray, the differences, at first, are negligible. The UHD has a slight uptick in fine detail, giving a small improvement in definition to things like beard stubble. The more noticeable difference is the much wider array and grades of colours that are visible as well as improved contrast. Many of the aliens are much more colourful on the UHD disc, and black levels are much deeper providing stronger shadow detail.” — Home Theatre Forum.

➢ “Men in Black: International‘s 1080p transfer sits at the format’s pinnacle … It’s boringly exceptional, translating the digitally sourced imagery with the type of high yield clarity, textural richness, and colour rendition that Blu-ray was made for. Facial textures are standouts even beyond close-ups.” —

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

➢ “I was pleasantly surprised throughout virtually all of this presentation with its manifest upticks in detail levels, colour saturation and (perhaps especially) improved shadow detail. Yes, grain is still rather thick and swarm like … Most fans of this film will be generally very well pleased with the improvements the 4K UHD presentation offers.” —

➢ “While there are a few spots where grain swarms a bit and looks a little clumpy, this is otherwise quite a nice upgrade. Detail is very strong throughout and while the enhanced resolution doesn’t do some of the optical effects any favours, you can’t really hold that against the presentation. Colours look fantastic here, they pop without looking artificially boosted, and are frequently very impressive.” — Rock! Shock! Pop!

Shaun of the Dead

➢ “Shaun of the Dead ambles onto UHD with a pleasing 2160p/HDR transfer. The presentation is quite nice from a textural perspective. It’s very filmic and natural in appearance. Sharpness is terrific across every critical visual element … All of them are substantially textured and all a very solid improvement over the Blu-ray … The DTS:X Master Audio soundtrack offers a nice little upgrade over the Blu-ray’s aged DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack.” —

Hot Fuzz

➢ “A somewhat disappointing image, this. The increased resolution barely brings out any more detail, some of the very finer points show marginal improvements, pore marks and hair lines in skin texture during close-ups for example, but you really have to be looking. Wider shots are even more marginal. Even more disappointingly, the WCG and HDR fail to really give the image any significant boost.” — AVForums.

The World’s End

➢ “The World’s End looks a tad bit better than its Blu-ray predecessor and thanks to the 4K, the HDR offers some more depth and colour …  Black levels remain strong and consistent throughout, flesh tones look warm and natural, well natural for pale-skinned Brits anyway.  Detail is amazing … Universal has done a bang up job with this and it shows.” — Blu-ray Authority.


➢ “Universal rolls a lucky seven over and over and over again with this utterly spectacular, incredibly film-like 2160p/HEVC H.265 transfer presented in HDR. Never have I seen such an impressive 4K UHD presentation of a catalogue title. Not only is almost every frame jaw-droppingly gorgeous and bursting with brilliant colour, no other Ultra High-Def movie – in my experience – more closely replicates the luxurious look and feel of good old-fashioned acetate film than Casino.” — High-Def Digest.

➢ “Right from the opening credits sequence – indeed right from the menu! – the WCG and HDR implementation is going to blow your mind, bringing such a rich and vibrant Vegas to life that you’re immediately transported right back into this glamorous world, as if the entire movie has a new lease of life and you’re watching it for the very first time.” — AVForums.

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