New to Blu > Movies: December 7-13
It looks like 20th Century Fox has risen to the occasion with its worldwide release of the latest in the Planet of the Apes saga.
According to an early online review from authoritative site DVD Beaver, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is “one of the best looking Blu-rays of the year”.
There’s another King Kong connection in Andy Serkis ‘playing’ a chimpanzee who gains human intelligence from an experimental drug
DVD Beaver was “immensely impressed” with the effects — “Wow. They come through realistically and seamlessly in 1080p” — as well as the HD extras, which include two commentaries, deleted scenes, numerous making-of shorts and a concept art gallery.
Critics were less glowing about another sci-fi newcomer, Green Lantern, which also is being offered on Blu-ray 3D.
“This transfer isn’t a complete mess, with a majority of the presentation being more than satisfactory, but it does show some problematic concerns that keep it from being comparable to other freshly-minted releases.”
But while the video “occasionally stumbles over the dark cinematography, resulting in crushed blacks and a few instances of noise in shadowy areas of the image … the lossless DTS-HD MA sound is near reference quality surround sound demo material”.
Oranges and Sunshine’s image is “extremely sharp, with wonderful detail in every frame” while “the reason to purchase Senna on Blu-ray isn’t so much the visual quality as it is the sound quality …
“Indeed, the soundtrack is the real jewel in this release and copes ably with the combination of years-old footage, expressive score and the newly recorded interview voices.”
Moreover, “it’s virtually impossible to critique a documentary made from stock film and intertwined footage, so on this occasion I can only suggest that you watch Senna with an open mind and enjoy the drama minus the typical HD visuals”.
Hopefully, Warner Bros has sourced the US Blu-ray of Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale and not the apparently inferior UK transfer [update: alas, it hasn't] while also new are Billy T: Te Movie (with extended interviews), Larry Crowne and the direct-to-disc The Reunion – Official Review, along with a raft of back-catalogue mediocrities (Eureka, Futureworld, Tales From the Crypt, Wizards).