New to Blu: Westerns > June 5-11

Django is unchained on Blu-ray this week “with a stylised yet highly-detailed 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode.

“There are several photographic styles at play here, but this high-def presentation remains true to the intentions of [director Quentin] Tarantino and cinematographer Robert Richardson.”

“If you can get past the rather copious bloodshed (whoever provided the squibs for this film must be a newly minted multimillionaire), this is easily one of Tarantino’s most scenic enterprises, reminiscent in its own glamorously decrepit way of Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

“With wonderfully evocative production and costume design, as well as brilliantly chosen locations, Django Unchained is often visually sumptuous despite its somewhat gritty subject matter, and that helps this high definition presentation to pop rather splendidly.”

“The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is more than the equal of the superb video presentation, and similarly mirrors the US release, providing an expertly-crafted soundscape which all-but pulls you into Tarantino’s own skewed version of the Old West and makes you feel right at home there.”

Django Unchained’s release coincides with Universal rounding up four of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood’s lesser but still entertaining westerns from around the same era as the original Django movies.

Retailing for only $15 each are Joe KiddTwo Mules for Sister SaraThe War Wagon and Rooster Cogburn.

Reviews online are hard to find but according to a Home Theater Forum thread, “any fan of Westerns or John Wayne (for two of the films) would be very happy with these releases …

“The only thing I saw to criticise was a very small bit of gate weave on The War Wagon and Two Mules For Sister Sara, but it’s quite minor.

“Other than that, colour, sharpness, and contrast are excellent on each Blu-ray.”

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