High definition hootenanny
A handful of discs have landed on my doormat over the last couple of days. First up, on Tuesday, was a check disc for Optimum’s UK HD DVD release of Wolf Creek, replacing the Blu-ray release which wouldn’t play in my Japanese Playstation 3 thanks to a strange bug called region coding. I’ve taken a quick look at it in advance of putting together a full review for DVD Times, and I can report quite categorically that those who already own the Weinstein Company’s US release should stick with it. Optimum have inexplicably decided to encode their version using MPEG2, and the result is a heck of a lot of artefacting. You still get a nicely detailed picture, and some shots do look flawless, but the number of shots that show excessive macro-blocking make this a less than immersive experience.
Oh, and the menus appear to be bugged, at least for Xbox 360 users: the scene selection screen won’t load. The on-screen overlay disappears, leaving the background footage to play in an infinite loop, requiring the disc to be ejected and reinserted.
Then, on Wednesday, while I was out at work, the Blu-ray release of Masters of Horror: Season 1, Volume 3, containing Don Coscarelli’s Incident On and Off a Mountain Road, Tobe Hooper’s Dance of the Dead and Larry Cohen’s Pick Me Up, arrived. Then, today, this was supplemented by the fourth and final volume of Masters of Horror’s first season, containing Takeshi Miike’s Imprint (the episode which so horrified the executives that they refused to air it in the US), Joe Dante’s Homecoming and Mick Garris’ Chocolate. Given that the only episode I’ve watched so far is Sick Girl in Volume 2 (having previously seen Jenifer one and a half times, which was more than enough), it looks like I’ve got quite a bit of viewing ahead of me.