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DVD review: Perversion Story

DVD
Given that more than ten minutes of important material are missing from this release, it’s difficult to call Severin’s DVD of Perversion Story definitive. It is, however, a legitimate cut of the film, and as such it still gets my recommendation, albeit with the warning that, if you are already familiar with the film in its more widely available English form, you are likely to find some of the instances of missing footage rather distracting. Until a more complete edition comes along, though, Severin’s package is probably the best way to view this long-lost giallo gem.

Better known as One on Top of the Other, Lucio Fulci’s long-lost first giallo finally arrives on DVD from Severin Films as Perversion Story. I’ve reviewed their 2-disc release, courtesy of DVD Pacific.

I’ve also made my comparison available in HTML form here, with some handy screen captures to illustrate some of the differences.

 
Posted: Friday, March 02, 2007 at 12:31 PM
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli | Reviews
 

Universal - HD DVDs suitable for all!

HD DVD/Blu-ray

Source: The Digital Bits

Universal, after much silence on the HD DVD front, seems finally to be getting into gear with a reasonable-looking schedule of releases for the next few months. Most of their April and May titles have already been announced elsewhere, but there are a few additional nuggets of information here and there, and the material pertaining to June onwards is all new. I’ve listed the titles below, with the ones I’m personally interested in asterisked.

April - The Good Shepherd, Smokin’ Aces, The Game*, The Jerk, The Hitcher, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind*, The Nutty Professor

May - Alpha Dog, The 40-Year-Old Virgin: Unrated, Smokey and the Bandit, Hurricane, Skeleton Key, The River, Midnight Run, The Frighteners, The Big Lebowski, Dragonheart, Lost in Translation*

June - Breach, Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, Sneakers, Born on the 4th of July, Scent of a Woman, Daylight, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, Meet Joe Black, Mallrats, Being John Malkovich*, Mystery Men, American Me, The Watcher, Bulletproof

July - Billy Madison, The War, The Wedding Date, Dante’s Peak, Cat in the Hat, Dead Silence, The Bourne Identity*, The Nutty Professor 2, In Good Company, Streets of Fire, Hot Fuzz, Sea of Love, Darkman, Shaun of the Dead, Deliver Us from Eva

August - Heroes: Season One

September - The Last Starfighter, Legend, Battlestar Galactica: Season One, For the Love of the Game, Knocked Up, Evening, The Getaway: Unrated, Patch Adams, Cat People*

Okay, so I can’t exactly say I’m thrilled about every single title on that list, and I’m a little confused by how sparse August’s schedule is (presumably they’ll announce more titles at a later point, because I find it hard to imagine them only releasing a single title during the course of that month), but I have to say that, on the whole, things are looking up. By the looks of it, Universal will manage to fulfil their pledge of 100 HD DVD titles in 2007 after all.

 
Posted: Thursday, March 01, 2007 at 11:05 PM | Comments: 2 (view)
Categories: Cinema | HD DVD
 

Blu-ray 13

Blu-ray

My copy of the Blu-ray release of Luc Besson’s District B13 (Banlieue 13 in its native France) arrived today from Amazon.com. This is one of my few high definition blind buys so far, and I’m glad I picked it up, because, while it’s hardly a masterpiece, it really is very entertaining stuff - the sort of fast, fun, unpretentious action film Hollywood wishes it could make but can’t. I continue to be impressed with the way that Besson manages to take a Hollywoodish sense of entertainment and distil it into something decidedly European. This isn’t quite as good as the earlier Unleashed, which had more appealing characters, or Léon, which remains my favourite Besson film and the closest I’ve ever seen to an action film that is a genuine masterpiece, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and, at 84 minutes, it’s about as unbloated as you can get.

Magnolia Home Entertainment’s transfer, meanwhile, is another matter. It’s an MPEG2 encode, and the source seems to have been a 1080i master. Like Lethal Weapon, Full Metal Jacket and a handful of other Warner releases, it’s “bobbed”, resulting in jagged diagonal lines and some noticeable moiré. There’s also a fair amount of edge enhancement on display, and the level of detail is decidedly inconsistent. Some shots are razor-sharp, others look like upconverted standard definition. It’s nice to see one of the smaller players getting involved with HD, but I hope they’re able to step up their game, because transfers like this go some way towards negating the whole point of a format that’s supposed to be all about delivering optimal image quality in the first place.

Of course, the less said about the cover art, the better.

 
Posted: Thursday, March 01, 2007 at 8:08 PM | Comments: 9 (view)
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | Technology
 

DVDs I bought or received in the month of February

  • American Psycho (RA USA, Blu-ray)
  • Babel (R0 USA, HD DVD)
  • Beatrice Cenci (R2 France, SD DVD)
  • The Descent (RA USA, Blu-ray)
  • Enemy of the State (RA USA, Blu-ray)
  • Kingdom of Heaven (RA USA, Blu-ray)
  • Masters of Horror: Pelts (R1 USA, SD DVD)
  • Perversion Story (R0 USA, SD DVD)
  • This Film is Not Yet Rated (R1 USA, SD DVD)

As you can see, a rather blue month for me - put that down to the giddy thrills of a new format to play around with. I suspect that, in future months, as the HD DVD side continues to ramp up production, there will be a more even split between the two formats as far as purchases are concerned.

 
Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 11:00 PM
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | DVD | Dario Argento | Gialli | HD DVD | TV
 

Mulholland Dr. MIA?

HD DVD

Source: DVD Times

UK DVD distributor Optimum Releasing recently added three HD DVD titles to the catalogue on their web site: The Deer Hunter, Brotherhood of the Wolf and Mulholland Dr., the latter of which was a shoe-in for me and one that I immediately pre-ordered. However, DVD Times recently contacted Optimum for confirmation and was told that, while the first two titles will indeed by coming out, Mulholland Dr. has been “postponed indefinitely”.

This is a kick in the teeth for me, given how much I was looking forward to seeing one of my favourite films in high definition. It’s still scheduled to come out in France from Studio Canal on March 5th, but my fear is that it will have forced French subtitles when English audio is selected. The technical specs for the disc list only French subtitles, which should have warning signs going off already. Indeed, tonight I checked out my copy of Studio Canal’s Basic Instinct HD DVD, and sure enough, if you select French in the country selection screen when you pop in the disc, the only audio options available to you are French or English with French subtitles, despite the fact that the disc is crammed full of an array of audio and subtitle languages. If the French edition of Mulholland Dr. is only intended to be sold in France, then chances are we will be unable to select anything other than these two language options.

All is not lost, though. Just today, ChoicesUK updated their listing for the UK release by adding the final cover art, complete with English text and BBFC certificate. This does give me an admittedly slim hope that the UK release has actually not been cancelled after all, and that the Optimum representative DVD Times spoke to simply got their wires crossed. I admit that I’m probably just clutching at straws, though, and, if it does turn out to be cancelled, I’m just going to have to pick up the French release after all, forced subs or not.

Update, March 1st, 2007 11:23 PM: According to DVD Times poster ShawnDuhast, who contacted Optimum, Mulholland Dr. will be coming “sooner rather than later”, but there is no confirmed release date yet.

 
Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 9:01 PM
Categories: Cinema | HD DVD
 

Warner talks HD

HD DVD/Blu-ray

Source: Home Theater Forum

On Monday night, in a live chat with Home Theater Forum, Warner Home Video unveiled some of its plans for the next year, including a considerable amount of material pertaining to HD DVD and Blu-ray. I’ve selected a few of what I consider the most important announcements:

  • Warner’s intention, wherever possible, seems to be to keep bonus content the same across the board for DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray (although, obviously, DVD releases won’t be able to have In-Movie Experience features).
     
  • Warner isn’t commenting on New Line’s releases, as they only handle distribution, not content.
     
  • North by Northwest will not be released until 2009, its 50th anniversary. A new master will be created, since the one used for the DVD release is 1080i only. (Hopefully they won’t go overboard with the DVNR this time, then.)
     
  • Michael Mann’s Heat is due to be released in 2008.
     
  • A deluxe Blade Runner box set will be coming out later this year, with comparable extras to the standard definition release (presumably this also means that it will feature an extravaganza of different cuts of the film).
     
  • Deliverance, Poltergeist and LA Confidential will all be coming out this year, the former as a 35th anniversary edition and the latter as a 10th anniversary edition.
     
  • Many Kubrick titles, originally expected in 2006, will see the light of day this year.
     
  • The studio is considering new high definition masters of Hammer films for DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray.
     
  • There will be many further high definition announcements in the next few weeks.

By the very nature of these web chats, it’s all still a little sketchy at this stage. Most glaring is the fact that the ongoing Blu-ray interactivity issues (which apparently are causing Warner to hold back a lot of titles with the In-Movie Experience, on both Blu-ray and HD DVD, in order to avoid accusations of “favouritism”) are not discussed, so we’re still no closer to knowing when the big guns like the Matrix trilogy will be seeing the light of day (although a tentative schedule does exist for France, where the local Warner division presumably couldn’t give two hoots about the people whining about “favouritism”). Still, some good titles have been confirmed, and I for one look forward to seeing what else gets announced in the coming weeks.

 
Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 9:38 AM
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | DVD | HD DVD
 

A comprehensive catalogue of perversions

DVD

My full comparison between the Severin Films DVD release of Perversion Story, culled from a French print, and my VHS dupe, sourced from a US print, is now available to be viewed here. I suppose it goes without saying that this document is riddled with SPOILERS. The results are, as they say, quite eye-opening. In total, the Severin DVD includes 4 minutes and 29 seconds of footage not found on the VHS dupe, but at the same time is missing 10 minutes and 11 seconds that can be found on the VHS dupe (give or take a few seconds here and there due to missing frames, slightly more abrupt scene transitions, and my own fallibility).

Again, I must reiterate that I’m somewhat disappointed that Severin elected to go with this sexed-up French cut rather than the more narrative-driven English variant. Both cuts are, I suppose, legitimate, and without access to the 99-minute Italian version (which may, in fact, contain yet more material not found in either English or French prints), it’s really difficult to get an overall impression of Fulci’s intentions. That said, I really struggle to imagine him intending to throw away the material between Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli, the dogged investigation of Inspector Wald (John Ireland), the growing despair of the crucial character of Benjamin (Riccardo Cucciolla), or Arthur’s (George Rigaud) summation of the truth behind the supposed death of Susan Dumurrier. The French cut has its merits, but few if any of the additional scenes and scene extensions that it includes are particularly relevant to the narrative. In comparison, the narrative moments lost in the French cut give it a more fractured feel, at times making it more difficult to follow the mystery.

Personally, I’d like to hear from someone at Severin Films to get some idea of why the French cut was selected for release. Was it the only version available to them? Or did they purposefully elect to discard narrative coherence in favour of sex?

 
Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 11:43 AM | Comments: 1 (view)
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli
 

Mother of all delays

Apparently even the film actually being in the can isn’t going to prevent further delays, because the latest news is that the Italian theatrical release of The Third Mother may be postponed until September, from the previously estimated April or May. On the plus side, we may get to see an official trailer soon.

 
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2007 at 12:45 PM | Comments: 1 (view)
Categories: Cinema | Dario Argento
 

Oscar the Grouch strikes again

Source: BBC News

And the results are in! I’ve seen so few of the nominees that there’s not much point in my commenting in too much depth, but, at a cursory glance, Ennio Morricone picked up a long-overdue Oscar in the form of an “Honorary Award”, Martin Scorsese has finally been granted the Oscar for which he has been snubbed so many times in the past (too bad it had to be for a remake of a Hong Kong film, created for idiots who can’t read subtitles), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest can actually claim to have won the same number of Academy Awards as Babel, and a film that isn’t actually animated won Best Animated Feature (what a crock!).

 
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2007 at 9:47 AM | Comments: 9 (view)
Categories: Animation | Cinema
 

Of mice and men

Disney/Pixar

Variety has posted an interesting article on the current changes taking place at Disney Animation Studios following the appointment of new bosses Ed Catmull and John Lasseter. No radically revealing information is conveyed that wasn’t already known (or guessed), but it’s a good read nonetheless.

Execs note repeatedly that they’re trying to make the Mouse “a director-driven studio,” a mantra that has served Pixar well with a braintrust of talented helmers that includes Lasseter, Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”), Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”) and Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo”). Catmull repeatedly states that the days of studio exec interference are over.

Reassuring though this is, it still somewhat contradicts the news that Chris Sanders recently left the studio, handing his pet project American Dog over to Chris Williams (although whether he was ousted or left of his own accord remains unclear). Clearly, despite the mantra that Disney is going to be “director-driven”, the buck ultimately stops with Lasseter. Since he’s given us an uninterrupted string of hits since 1995, this probably isn’t a bad thing, but it is slightly worrying when the director of what is surely Disney’s best film in the last decade (Lilo & Stitch) ends up leaving over “irresolvable creative differences” with Big John.

 
Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 6:10 PM
Categories: Animation | Cinema
 

A comparative study of perversions

DVD

I’m around 25 minutes into my shot-by-shot comparison of the two different cuts of Perversion Story/One on Top of the Other, and the differences are pretty interesting. Of the material missing from the Severin DVD/French print, a considerable amount of it seems to be scenes which give away the film’s geographical locations of San Francisco, Reno, etc. My guess would be that the French distributors chose to remove these in an attempt to pass it off as a film set in France, but, not having access to the French audio track, I’m unable to confirm this. It’s not just geographical material, though: someone seems to have been intent on cutting the role of Alberto de Mendoza’s character down to the bare minimum - most of his scenes with Jean Sorel are cut or shortened, unless absolutely necessary to the plot. There are, however, a number of moments on the Severin DVD that don’t appear in the English print dupe - in addition to an extended sex scene between Sorel and Elsa Martinelli, there are a few minor shots of Sorel driving around, a brief close-up of an undertaker, a shot of him entering a strip club, and so on.

Essentially, what we seem to have here is a French cut of the film with English and Italian dialogue slapped over it. As such, it is, in my view, essentially a rogue version of the film created specially for this DVD by Severin Films, and as such it’s difficult to consider the disc definitive. I’m not sure why we ended up getting the French cut, unless Severin Films simply thought: “To hell with plot and character development – people want to see Elsa Martinelli’s breasts!” I’m not really sure how to feel about the situation, because, with films like these, it’s difficult to really claim there to be one “correct” cut, since so many of them are co-productions aimed at different markets, each with their own concerns and tastes. Still, I’m not best pleased that so much dialogue and character building seems to be missing from this version. Personally, given the choice between that and more explicit sex scenes, I’d take the dialogue any day of the week. Of course, in an ideal situation, an “integral” version would have been assembled, similar to what Anchor Bay did with Deep Red and Media Blasters recently did with A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, but it looks as if Severin have opted for a less labour-intensive solution. I can’t say I’m not disappointed, but I understand that projects like these aren’t cheap, especially when you consider that they are aimed at a niche market. As such, they probably couldn’t afford to pick up multiple prints - but I do wish they’d chosen a more complete one than this French version. I’m not about to rake them over the coals, though.

If anyone wants to read my work-in-progress comparison, check out this Word document.

 
Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 4:21 PM | Comments: 1 (view)
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli
 

Perverted cuts

DVD

Bad news, folks: it would appear that Severin Films’ release of Perversion Story is in fact cut after all. I came across a post at the Latarnia Forums in which user operaman35 points out the bad news:

I’m so disappointed. I thought we could trust Severin to release an uncut version of this classic Fulci giallo. But I immediately noticed that a sequence filmed in Reno, Nevada has been abbreviated (after Jean Sorel meets Elsa Martinelli at the train station - the scene where they’re talking in the car while driving from California to Reno, the scene where they drive into downtown Reno, and part of their scene in a casino has been cut). In short, the Severin DVD is 5 minutes shorter (97 minutes) than the fullscreen English language Greek version (which runs 102 minutes).

I’ve checked the running time myself, and he is indeed correct: although the back of the DVD cover lists a running time of 103 minutes, the DVD in fact only runs for 97 minutes and 10 seconds (and it’s not a standards conversion, in case anyone’s wondering, so PAL speed-up doesn’t enter the equation). My VHS dupe of the English print, meanwhile, runs for 98 minutes and 40 seconds, although, judging by the higher pitch of the dialogue and music, this is because it is a PAL to NTSC standards conversion (which would give it an original running time of just under 103 minutes). I’ve also checked the material cut from the DVD, and it’s not exactly what you’d call unimportant stuff: George and Jane discuss the future of their relationship as they drive along a snowy hilltop motorway, before driving through Reno at night, and arrive at a casino, where a clerk hands George a telegram. At this point, the Severin DVD’s print kicks in again, with a noticeable splice, making it fairly clear, even to the untrained eye, that something has been lopped off.

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Now, this only accounts for around a minute of the running time discrepancy, and the added sexual material in the French cut accounts for a lot of additional running time, with this version still shorter than the English version, so there is obviously considerably more material missing somewhere else - at a rough estimate, I would say a good 7 minutes, at least. Clearly, I’m going to have to go through the whole thing shot by shot and catalogue the differences between the two versions.

What really galls me, ultimately, is that Severin had to conform their French print to the English and Italian audio tracks, so they must have known that material was missing! Now I understand why they list this title on their web site as the “French theatrical version” rather than the “uncut version”, while their decision to release it under its French title of Perversion Story rather than the English One on Top of the Other now makes a lot more sense. As such, it’s a little difficult to attack them for false advertising, but I really am rather disappointed that they didn’t make an effort to release a less truncated version of the film. Essentially, we gain a bunch of raunchier sex scenes but lose elements of the plot - not exactly the sort of trade-off I’m happy about making, although at least one member of the Latarnia seems to have other ideas. (“Isn’t [the sexy footage] the kind of stuff that matters? Unless it effects the narrative, isn’t decrying the lack of a few minutes of dialog being a bit nit-picky?”)

 
Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 11:44 AM | Comments: 3 (view)
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli
 

A delivery of perversion

DVD

My review copy of the long-awaited DVD release of Lucio Fulci’s first giallo, Perversion Story (although I still prefer the more literal translation from the Italian Una Sull’Altra, One on Top of the Other), arrived this morning. First impressions suggest that it’s a very good release. Extras are minimal, with nothing more than a theatrical trailer on the first disc, while the second disc is a CD of Riz Ortolani’s score - a very welcome inclusion to be sure, but not as welcome as an insightful commentary and/or documentary would have been. The transfer, however, looks to be solid, with minimum filtering and noise reduction (although there does seem to be a little going on here and there). This version of the film, meanwhile, is not the slightly trimmed version released in Italy and English-speaking territories, but rather the raunchier French edition (and yet, on this DVD, the on-screen logo before the film is in German, while the opening credits are in Italian - confused yet?). As far as I’m aware, there are no real changes to the narrative, but the the sex scene between Jean Sorel and Marisa Mell now goes on for what seems like forever. Yowza!

Hopefully a full review will be ready for DVD Times within the next week or so.

 
Posted: Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Comments: 5 (view)
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli
 

HD DVD extravaganza

HD DVD/Blu-ray

After a slow start in 2007, the HD DVD ball seems finally to be starting to roll with the announcement of some of highly anticipated titles being added to the schedule. First of all, Warner has finally broken their silence and added A Scanner Darkly and Dog Day Afternoon to their slate, both announced for both HD DVD and Blu-ray with a street date of April 10th. The former is one that I purposefully held off buying in standard definition because I suspected that an HD release couldn’t be too far off. The latter… well, I must confess I’ve never seen it, but Sidney Lumet and Al Pacino sounds like a solid combination, and I’m aware of how highly it’s regarded.

Perhaps even more significant, however, is the appearance on the HD DVD Promotion Group’s site, www.thelookandsoundofperfect.com, of a banner announcing the song and dance razzmatazz extravaganza Dreamgirls as “coming soon to HD DVD”. Why is this big news? Why, because this would be the first DreamWorks title to appear on either high definition format. Because DreamWorks is owned by the format-neutral Paramount, a Blu-ray release is presumably on the cards too, with a March 20th release date being rumoured but not confirmed.

It’s all good news as far as I’m concerned. It’s always great to see a new studio jumping into the HD arena, especially a heavyweight like DreamWorks (sign me up for HD American Beauty and Gladiator).

Update, February 21st, 2007 11:24 PM: Better add Clint Eastwood’s Flags of our Fathers to the DreamWorks list too.

 
Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 11:11 PM
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | HD DVD
 

Rank your gialli

Here’s a really cool idea from Sylvain, creator of the Killing in Style giallo blog: head over to Rankopedia and vote for your favourite gialli (anywhere between three and ten titles), to add your personal choices to the ongoing “Best Italian Giallo Movie” list. Deep Red is currently leading the pack by a wide margin, a situation that I approve of wholeheartedly, but let’s see if we can get those errant Sergio Martino titles bumped off! Only kidding, only kidding - it’s all good, and it’s certainly interesting to get a flavour of the general consensus regarding the most popular titles in the genre. The more votes the merrier, so get cracking!

 
Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 11:06 PM
Categories: Cinema | Gialli
 

Mulholland Definition

HD DVD/Blu-ray

(Thanks to ShawnDuHast)

A while back, I reported that I’d cancelled my pre-order of the French HD DVD release of Mulholland Dr. due to a worry that it would have forced French subtitles when English audio was selected. A post at the AV Science Forum suggested that Optimum was planning on releasing it in the UK at around the same time, and it would appear that this was correct, because ChoicesUK now have it up for pre-order for a very reasonable £14.99, with a release date of March 26th. Of course, I’ve placed my order - this will be the first title in my personal Top 20 list of films (Top 5, actually) that I’ll own in high definition.

 
Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 10:59 PM
Categories: Cinema | HD DVD
 

Comedy hanging in Simpsons movie

The Simpsons Movie

The first full (i.e. non-teaser) trailer for the upcoming The Simpsons Movie has arrived online. It does indeed look truly awful - just as bad, if not worse than, the most recent seasons of the TV show - but what really caught my attention is the fact that the film seems to have a comedy strangulation scene in it. What’s wrong with a hilarious hanging, you might ask? Well, I would have thought nothing, but apparently the British Board of Film Censors have other ideas. Back in March, I reported that they had vandalised Out West, an episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show, removing the closing “Hanging Song” and the entire narrative justification for the episode. A little later, they practiced similar butchery on an episode of Satoshi Kon’s anime series Paranoia Agent, presenting the Video Recordings Act 1984 as flimsy justification for their mangling (despite plenty of hanging scenes, both hilarious and otherwise, being allowed in films in the past).

Now, both Ren & Stimpy and Paranoia Agent are obscure enough, at least in the UK, for any backlash against their destruction to be muted at best… but I wonder if the BBFC will be so cavalier with something as well-known and popular as The Simpsons? We will be watching them closely, and we will be checking to see whether or not they take the scissors to this beloved franchise and risk incurring the wrath of thousands of spotty-faced fanatics. Now we’ll see whether the BBFC are completely unbiased and only censor when they absolutely have to.

If you want to discuss this matter with the BBFC, who deface art for a living, I suggest you send them an email.

 
Posted: Monday, February 19, 2007 at 12:14 PM | Comments: 7 (view)
Categories: Animation | Cinema | TV
 

District Blu-ray

Blu-ray

I’ve ordered a copy of the US Blu-ray release of Luc Besson’s District B13 (also known as District 13 and Banlieue 13, depending on where you live in the world) from Amazon.com. You may remember me mentioning back in August that it was coming to HD DVD in September courtesy of Magnolia Home Entertainment. Well, surprise surprise, it failed to materialise, despite Magnolia having released other titles on the format. It did, however, show up out of the blue on Blu-ray that same month, without even a press announcement, as far as I’m aware (they seem to have done the same with their release of The World’s Fastest Indian on both formats last Tuesday). Anyway, Amazon was the only store I could find that was stocking it, so it seems that this disc is in short supply. I’ve not seen the film myself, and, not owning any other Magnolia titles, I’ve no idea what to expect from them in terms of quality or even technical specs. Given that not a single review exists for it, this is going to be very much a case of stepping into the deep end.

 
Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 11:52 PM
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | HD DVD | Technology
 

Blu-ray review: Enemy of the State

Blu-ray
Disney’s Blu-ray release of Enemy of the State screams “catalogue title”. With no additional extras and a transfer based on an old master that really isn’t of an acceptable standard in 2007, this is yet another release that’s difficult to recommend to all but the most ardent fans of the film. While it’s undoubtedly better than the standard definition DVD, it could, and should, have been so much better than this.

Continuing DVD Times’ high definition coverage, I’ve reviewed the Blu-ray release of Enemy of the State, a rather underwhelming disc with paltry extras and a disappointing transfer.

 
Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 3:45 PM
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | Reviews
 

Gangs of New York coming to HD DVD after all!

HD DVD/Blu-ray

Source: Zona DVD

Remember how back in September I posted that UK distributor Entertainment In Video was planning on releasing Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York on HD DVD? If so, you’ll probably also remember that in October I posted that bad news that EIV was backing Blu-ray exclusively. In any event, their slate of titles ended up being put back to March 2007 (presumably to coincide with the upcoming European launch of the Playstation 3), and I can now report that, thankfully, we don’t have to wait for EIV to put out their version, only to discover that it’s region-coded, because the good folks at Manga Films in Spain are putting out an HD DVD version in March too. No specifications are currently available, and the release date isn’t any more specific than “March”, but I’ll update you with details as they emerge. With this, plus other interesting titles such as Asterix and the Vikings, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, not to mention Blu-ray “exclusives” like Underworld: Evolution and Saw, Spain is turning out to be an unexpectedly good source of titles for HD DVD owners.

 
Posted: Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 10:12 PM | Comments: 1 (view)
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | HD DVD
 
 

 
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