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High-def happenings

Blu-ray

I’ve got a whole parade of high definition updates for today. First of all, after being postponed from its original June 5th release date, High-Def Digest has revealed that Cars will now see the light of day on Blu-ray in North American territories on November 6th. The reason for the delay, it would seem, is “additional involvement from Pixar”, which comes in the form of two BD-exclusive bonus features: a new deleted scene and a BD-Java “Car Finder”. Woo. How about some worthwhile bonus materials, Disney - like, I don’t know, a visual commentary? Cars is currently the only Pixar film not to have been released on DVD as a fully-loaded 2-disc special edition, and I was somewhat hopeful that the Blu-ray release would feature all the usual bells and whistles… but it would seem not. Oh, well - even so, it’s still a must-have.

Meanwhile, New Line would appear to have tired of waiting for Warner’s TotalHD dual format discs to appear, and have decided to get cracking with HD releases of their films, beginning with Hairspray (the remake, not the John Waters original), coming to both HD DVD and Blu-ray at some point in the fourth quarter of 2007. Hairspray is currently the only title to have been announced, but I’m crossing my fingers for some of the rumoured titles before too long, especially Blade, Final Destination and Se7en… oh, and Peter Jackson’s version of The Lord of the Rings, provided it’s the Extended Editions and not the theatrical cuts. (I’d still rather have Ralph Bakshi’s version, though.)

Oh, and, after many delays, Entertainment In Video have finally confirmed their intention to release on Blu-ray in the UK, with a roster of eight titles to come out on August 13th: Gangs of New York, The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Million Dollar Baby, Brokeback Mountain, The Departed, The Crow and Lucky Number Slevin. Several of these titles are already available on HD DVD (or HD DVD and Blu-ray) in the US, and the only title to take my fancy from that list is Gangs of New York. Unfortunately, EIV have decided to punish people like myself who own Region A Blu-ray players by encoding these discs for Region B only, so it looks like I’ll have to wait for Disney to release it in North American territories, or for the proposed HD DVD releases to materialise in Spain or France. Way to lose business, EIV.

 
Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2007 at 7:57 PM | Comments: 3
Categories: Animation | Blu-ray | Cinema | DVD | HD DVD

 
Comments

1.

"Peter Jackson's version of The Lord of the Rings, provided it's the Extended Editions and not the theatrical cuts."

The theatrical FOTR is far superior to the EE, which has way too much fat, redundant scenes, kills the Shire opening which is perfect in the theatrical cut, etc. IMHO. :)

Posted by: Anon, July 20, 2007 6:53 AM

2.

To some extent I think you’re right about FOTR, although there are a couple of scenes from the extended cut that I don’t think I’d be able to do without. However, I think ROTK and, to a lesser extent, TTT, require the extended cuts in order to flow properly. In particular, the removal of the demise of Saruman and Gandalf’s encounter with the Mouth of Sauron hurt the theatrical cut of ROTK considerably.

Posted by: Whiggles, July 20, 2007 7:28 AM

3.

>To some extent I think you're right about FOTR,
>although there are a couple of scenes from the
>extended cut that I don't think I'd be able to
>do without.

The Moria and Rivendell stuff definitely, but there are some points of irritation. TTT benefited the most from the EEs, the theatrical cut felt very truncated.

But the FOTR: EE...

* The opening has an extra moment of Isildur when they're attacked, which ruins the perfect, elegant rhythm of the prologue and sports one of the worst VFX as he puts on the Ring.

* The intro to Hobbiton. Ian Holm's narration is fantastic, and very funny, but I much preferred the original opening. The way Gandalf and Frodo rode into the village and the music soared, it just seemed a much better way to introduce The Shire.

* Bilbo's "freak out" scene is pretty poor. Believe Fran Walsh on the commentary is like: "Why is this back in the film, it doesn't work."

* Bilbo's Trolls. In the theatrical, it was really nice to see these, and it was one of those things where people often didn't notice it until the second or third time they saw it. But in the extended, it's like 'HERE'S BILBO'S TROLLS!', and Sam even says a similar line. It reminds me, in a way, of Lucas's use of cameos in the PT. Like 'LOOK, IT'S ET!', and just seems to stand out ever more.

Etc.

But then, there are just as many "good" additions...

Posted by: Anon, July 21, 2007 7:53 AM

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