New to Blu: May 9-15
War Horse romps into contention as one of the year’s finest Blu-ray transfers.
“Janusz Kaminski’s Oscar-nominated cinematography shines in this 1080p release of the movie …
“There are many times in the movie – whether it be gazing over the lush rolling hills of the English countryside or taking in the bleak but somehow beautiful war-scapes – that you could pause and print out that screenshot as a still photo and hang it on your wall.
“This is a beautifully photographed film, made all the better by being presented in high definition … demo-quality viewing.”
“The Blu-ray’s 2.40:1 picture is just about flawless, treating us to Kaminski’s deservedly celebrated cinematography with remarkable sharpness, vibrance, and clarity.
“The default 7.1 DTS-HD master audio is even better … Full of directionality and impact, the soundtrack is demo material almost all the way through and a perfect way to showcase the power of lossless HD audio.”
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows lands in this part of the world a week ahead of the UK and a month ahead of the US, and whatever the movie’s shortcomings, the Blu-ray boasts one of Warner Bros’ Maximum Movie Mode picture-in-picture tracks.
Eco-thriller The Hunter is “sharp and clear, with the scenery very nicely presented — even though basically stark and uninviting — while close-ups are searingly detailed”.
Similarly, detail in the World War II drama Shanghai is “generally very good, with clarity throughout, but there is a slight soft-focus sheen to the whole production”.
Also going direct to disc are Foster and The Terror Experiment (“an acceptable transfer for the material at hand”) while new on the back-catalogue front are repackaged editions of the Men in Black movies.
The week’s only new-to-Blu TV series is season three of Being Human, which may not look much better than its SD broadcast on Prime if you can believe the US reviews: “a proficient but fairly routine 1080i Blu-ray transfer” and “looks fairly good, but given the limitations of its HD source material the show’s look seems rather limited”.
Three other HD series are out this week but only on DVD: The Shadow Line, and seasons four of Go Girls and three of The Big C.
The rest of the week’s releases are limited to Rob Thomas – Live at Red Rocks, Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Volume 1 (plus limited collectors edition), Fairy Tail – Collection 3 and Yamada’s First Time: B Gata H Kei.