New to Blu: TV & ‘Toons > May 7-13

Season one of House of Cards is being released on Blu-ray nearly two weeks ahead of its season finale on May 18 — but nearly a year after it went on sale in the US and Australia.

However, at least season two, which TV3 will premiere on May 25, should be out much quicker, hopefully around mid-August (it releases next month in the US and Oz).

cards “As expected, the 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer on this Blu-ray set is positively gorgeous.

“David Fincher set the bar high when he directed the first two episodes, and the subsequent directors did a fantastic job in maintaining that style and level of visual clarity.

“The series looks very much like a Fincher film – which you may or may not find appealing – and, visually speaking at least, House of Cards justifies its reported $100 million dollar budget.”

“The aural accompaniment, although it’s a hard achievement, is even better, presenting the series with a stunning DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that thrums throughout the 13-episode run, crafting a heady atmosphere which will get under your skin almost as well as the drama itself does.”

Surprisingly, given the talent involved and the ground this drama broke for Netflix, there aren’t any extras.

Veronica Mars, the reunion movie spun off the TV series, goes direct to disc with a swag of extras, including an hour-long documentary on how the long-in-gestation project was finally realised.

“Overall, the image looks very good, but it has a certain flatness to it. The image never really pops off screen, which may be attributed to most of the scenes being shot at night or in low lit scenes.”

“Vocals are rich and pure, surrounds are playful and ambient and the LFE even make their presence known in a few scenes.”

Also new are Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – The Complete Series 2 and Islands On the Edge while Batman: Son of Batman heads a big ‘toon slate for the week dominated by anime newcomers Blue Exorcist – The MovieDragon Ball Z – Season OneFairy Tail – Collection 8K’ – Series CollectionKamisama Kiss – Series CollectionNaruto Shippuden – Movie 5: Blood Prison and Pom Poko.

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2 Responses to “New to Blu: TV & ‘Toons > May 7-13”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    May 7, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    It must really piss off local retailers that they are held to ransom by NZ TV networks. They also lose out to piracy and Internet sales due to the ridiculous programming schedules.

  2. @Mike, I wouldn’t limit it to just the retailers, as I’d say it impacts the distributors even more. NZ is a (to put it bluntly) small fry market, but there is a demand to be met, unless there is enough of a buzz around a show to justify a reasonable PR effort to promo a DVD/BR release, most seem to be low key (the notable exceptions appear to be the likes of Mrs Brown’s Boys). But a lot of the NZ broadcasts of series seem to be sufficiently behind Australia that would prevent the NZ distributor sub-offices from piggy backing on the Australian release dates and promo materials to a) further the audience (which is a win-win for all) b) reduce costs. Really, the NZ TV networks dragging their heels seem to impact everyone (including themselves – in that they risk lost audience to ‘piracy’/’questionable legality in NZ streaming services’ (such as Netflix), with a fair amount of Blu-Rays coming out as region ABC (including some major studios), the UK included in our Blu-Ray region (B), and for the non HD inclined, Australia just over the ditch having compatible DVDs, it’s pretty easy to avoid the complexities of NZ distribution.

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