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Blu-ray Importing: Aug 2009 Buying Guide

Ben takes a look at the latest and best overseas titles.

| Australian Import Guides in HT & Movies | Posted: Aug 15, 2009 6:43 am

TweakTown Blu-ray Import Buying Guide Update

 

Long time readers may recall the 'Guide to Buying Blu-rays from Overseas' from late last year. Whilst I originally intended the articles to become a regular series, the spectacular crash of the Australian dollar compared to the greenback meant imports were no longer as financially feasible as they were. Well, the good news is that the dollar has recovered somewhat and we have a massive amount of titles to catch up on!

 

So welcome to the next instalment, covering some of the best import titles to have been released over the last few months. Pending some other financial meltdown, I'll endeavour to do a few more as the release schedule heats up in the final two quarters of 2009.

 

Coraline

 

Coraline Blu-ray

 

Studio: Universal

 

Country of Origin: United States

 

Purchase: DVDPacific.com

 

Region: A, B, C

 

Released to Australian cinemas a matter of less than a fortnight ago, director Henry Selick and author Neil Gaiman unleash their first collaboration, the dark fairytale Coraline. Utilising the craft of stop motion, which Selick used to great effect with the classic Nightmare Before Christmas, the 2002 novella comes to life, with every frame bursting with the highest quality of craftsmanship. Whilst the film may not be suitable for the youngest of audiences, older children and above will enjoy. The technical quality of the film's presentation and audio track is second to none.

 

The Blu-ray release also comes with a wealth of high quality extra features, including picture-in-picture video tracks featuring artists recording the voice tracks and storyboard comparisons. However, the best feature is the 3D version of the film (also included in the package are four pairs of 3D glasses). Unlike most 3D features that use anaglyphic 3D (red and blue glasses), Coraline uses pink and green glasses which is far more suited to the colour scheme of the film and makes for the best 3D experience in the home that I've yet seen.

 

Audiences that enjoyed the aforementioned The Nightmare Before Christmas should definitely apply.

 

Watchmen: Directors Cut

 

Watchmen Blu-ray

 

Studio: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment

 

Country of Origin: United States

 

Purchase: DVDPacific.com

 

Region: A, B, C

 

When I recently took a look at the Australian Blu-ray release of the theatrical cut of the film, I made reference to the fact that the import version featured a 24 minute longer 'Directors Cut' version, which Australian audiences are being made to wait for. Well, not if you have a credit card.

 

Overall, I found the directors cut to be a slightly more satisfying film, despite an objectionable (at least to me) length of just over 3 hours. Character motivation is somewhat elaborated upon and the film is allowed to breathe a little more, even though I found that it exacerbated a film that already slumped somewhere in the middle. One of the major boons for this version of the Blu-ray is the beefed up extras package, including the technically stunning picture-in-picture commentary track hosted by Director Zach Snyder, missing off the Australian version.

 

Watchmen fans owe it to themselves to pickup this version of the film, probably in combination with the local release.

 

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