New to Blu: TV & Tunes > November 6-12

Two series that have only been broadcast here in SD bow this week on Blu-ray.

Brian Cox’s Wonders of Life, which aired on BBC Knowledge, is for sale separately or as part of a Wonders box set with his previous series while the lunacy that saw American Horror Story consigned to SD on Four at last gets redressed with the release of American Horror Story: Asylum – The Complete Second Season.

“Grimy and effectively horrifying, the show looks quite good on Blu-ray, easily besting its broadcast quality while readily showing off the filmmakers’ inventive and terrifying cinematography.”

“The series’ directors take a patchwork approach to the imagery that embraces every in-camera trick in the book (along with a fair share of digital augmentations disguised to look like chemical and lens effects), including gels, weird focus, and distorted lens types.

“Yet, the entire season somehow has an eerie consistency to its image quality.”

“The DTS-HD 5.1 audio track delivers. Dialogue is perfectly audible throughout, and the surrounds really establish the atmosphere of the asylum, especially in the overly crowded dayroom.”

Extras include seven minutes of deleted scenes and insights into the production design and creature effects.

Arrow – The Complete First Season hits the mark with a “striking” 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation.

Razor sharp despite the series’ grittier disposition, revealing despite its domineering shadows, and packed with primary punch despite its bleak palette, The Complete First Season serves up every detail showcased in its digital photography, without exception.”

Arrow is certainly nice looking in terms of fine detail, contrast and depth, but it can also be something of a mixed-bag when it comes to colour – especially skin tones and saturation levels.”

“The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track features crisp, clear dialogue, balanced – if somewhat limited – surround channel effects, and a solid bottom end.”

“Included in the special features is a really solid Q&A with the Arrow: Cast and Creative Team at the 2013 Paleyfest (27:26, HD), moderated by DC’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns.”

Modern Family – The Complete Fourth Season’s “native HD presentation is sharp, colourful and nicely detailed, boasting solid contrast.”

“Fox has made sure that each of these episodes appear newly minted, and fans of the series won’t be disappointed at how good the transfers on each episode look.”

“This is a pretty good set as well, with a good amount of bonus material. A few commentary tracks, some nice featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel; it has a little bit for everyone.”

Other TV-on-Blu newcomers include Mrs. Brown’s Boys – Christmas Special, a 3D version of Planet Dinosaur and Planet Ocean while among the week’s concert titles are Hugh Laurie – Live on the Queen Mary, Morrissey – 25 Live and Springsteen & I.

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One Response to “New to Blu: TV & Tunes > November 6-12”

  1. Will definitely be picking up American Horror Story: Asylum. Loved the first series.

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