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Exotic treats from foreign lands

DVD/Blu-ray/HD DVD

Although the vast majority of sites specialising in Blu-ray Disc news seem only to report on titles being released in America, a veritable treasure trove of titles lies beyond the borders of the US of A. It pays to keep an eye on what’s being released further afield - something which, in my laziness, I must admit I don’t always do. Imagine what a pleasant surprise I had, then, when, browsing the AV Science Forum today, I discovered that Alliance Atlantis in Canada are planning to release a whole host of titles unavailable on BD anywhere else, including Se7en, The Butterfly Effect and 21 Grams (thread here). Additionally, Sony’s UK wing will be releasing several titles on April 6th, including David Fincher’s Panic Room (thread here). Call me crazy, but I actually find myself revisiting it more than any of Fincher’s other films. Sure, you can argue that Se7en, Fight Club and Zodiac have more meat to them, but in terms of sheer entertainment I just love this unashamed piece of B-movie fun.

In any event, these four titles are must-buys for me. I actually had a hankering to watch Panic Room again recently, but I’m glad I held off, knowing that an HD release isn’t too far off. I mean, the bare-bones UK DVD is pretty nice as far as standard definition goes, but still…

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2009 at 7:53 PM | Comments: 8
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | DVD



Although I like the idea of these movies being released on Blu-ray, consumers have been screwed over more than once by Alliance Atlantis. Living in Canada, I've had to deal with their junk more times than I care for. They messed up the release of Y Tu Mama Tambien and, more importantly, Atanarjuat, to name a couple, and especially the latter is unforgiveable. Hopefully they'll do things right, at the very least with Seven... I suppose we'll see... Thanks for the news, though, I didn't even know they were planning these releases. :)

Posted by: Pat Pilon, January 8, 2009 9:03 PM


I also think Panic Room is a great thriller. The camera work alone is spectacular. Will be interesting to see how the PQ is as the DI was heavily tweaked. Look out for DNR artifacts.

Posted by: Kram Sacul, January 8, 2009 10:04 PM



What went wrong with Y Tu Mama Tambien and Atanarjuat?


That’s true. There’s actually a great featurette on the 3-disc DVD release going into considerable detail as regards the DI process.

Posted by: Michael Mackenzie, January 8, 2009 10:07 PM


Love TAMBIÉN, don't think it's available on BD yet though, so I imagine he refers to the DVD from Alliance which had zero of the extras available on the US version, and only a stereo soundtrack.

So far the Blu-ray titles I've seen from them have all been decent (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET - DNRed, but not by them, and SIN CITY).

PANIC ROOM is a hollow pre-viz demo reel that was a major step back for Fincher at the time, but I've come to appreciate it a bit more. He actually goes off on the film in one of the latest issues of Empire. Good interview...

Posted by: Erik, January 9, 2009 11:48 AM


AA cut all the wonderful extras from the releases available elsewhere and made it simply a bare-bones release, as the previous poster mentioned. They also didn't include any DTS tracks on the Sin City Recut+Extended and Born to Fight DVDs.

There are a few exceptions, like with Ginger Snaps and eXistenZ, but by and large, I try to avoid them if I can. I could go on but I believe you get the picture.

As for Atanarjuat, they messed up the transfer, big time. Head over to DVD Beaver for an explanation. Basically, the movie was shot at 30 fps, and transfered to 24fps on film for theatre distribution. Instead of using the original 30fps master (which is what Columbia used for the US release), they used the film master, making the transfer exceptionally soft and overall quite poor.

Anyway, I do look forward to the Panic Room BD. Here's hoping for a region free release. :)

Posted by: Pat, January 10, 2009 1:51 AM


Panic Room was good for about three quarters of it's running time then it copped out with the ending. Jodie Fosters onscreen husband was a major cop out just to deliver a typical Hollywood ending and i would have liked to have seen a more hard hitting ending.

Posted by: FoxyMulder, January 15, 2009 4:57 PM


I never saw the husband as a cop-out. He was beaten to a bloody pulp (even more so than in the actor’s role in Dario Argento’s Phenomena, which is quite an achievement if you ask me!), failed to do anything in the climax except fail to shoot Dwight Yoakam’s character, and there was no indication at the end of the film that he and Jodie Foster would get back together to play happy families. Oh, and the “nice” bad guy didn’t get away. It didn’t really feel typically “Hollywood” to me. I know some people feel the film should have stopped before the “epilogue” on the park bench, and I can see their point, but I think it needed to have that to wind down after the tension of the climax.

Posted by: Michael Mackenzie, January 15, 2009 7:35 PM


My only point about the husband character was that i feel giving the circumstances in the film it would have been far more emotionally involving to have his character die and more realistic and gut wrenching for the audience. I really felt by saving him it became more traditional Hollywood territory.

I think the film would have been more rewarding for me if they had done that.

Posted by: FoxyMulder, January 16, 2009 7:27 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:


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