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Blu-ray Importing: June 2010 Buying Guide

It's Spielberg month as Ben takes a look at the latest and best overseas titles.

By: | Australian Import Guides in HT & Movies | Posted: Jun 3, 2010 3:22 pm

TweakTown Blu-ray Import Buying Guide Update


Since the last time we last took a look at the 'Guide to Buying Blu-rays from Overseas' in May, the Australian dollar has taken a hammering; caused by concerns from the European market and the mining resource tax. Despite this, some competitive overseas pricing coupled with Amazon's newly lowered international shipping fees and some must-have overseas titles still make importation a viable option.


So let's jump into the latest instalment of this epic series for 2010, covering some of the later titles released only to import, but safe from the horrors of region coding. This month is almost entirely Steven Spielberg month, with not one, not two, but three titles released.


Saving Private Ryan




Studio: Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment
Country of Origin: United States
Region: A, B, C


A slightly delayed release, the first printing found its way to retail but was recalled soon after, due to an audio sync issue. Amazon is now shipping the re-issue thankfully free of said issue. The second version can be identified by a bright yellow UPC label on the back cover.


One of the most realistic and gruesomely detailed depictions of World War II, Saving Private Ryan comes to Blu-ray with all guns blazing (no pun intended). Featuring a newly struck transfer, which thankfully retains all the grain and shadowy cinematography of DP Janusz Kaminski, the image is light years away from the DVD version. Despite the lack of any newly produced supplements, the disc does feature all the original DVD extras. Fans of the movie whom bought the DVD would do well to upgrade.


War of the Worlds




Studio: Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment
Country of Origin: United States
Region: A, B, C


Spielbergs 2005 contemporary re-telling of H.G. Well's literary classic divided the critics upon release (I must admit, I was personally baffled by elements of the film, including the seemingly rushed ending), but it's definitely time to revisit the title with the benefit of lapsed time and divorced from the media and advertising hype which originally trumpeted its arrival.


Whilst I am unsure whether War of the Worlds has benefited from a new transfer (its recent vintage makes me suspect not), the image we have is spectacularly detailed, free of the low resolution haze which permeated the DVD release. The sound too, upgraded from lossy Dolby Digital to uncompressed DTS HD Master Audio is a revelation, with some of the deepest bass effects that I can recall hearing (and feeling in a movie).


Whilst again there are no new extra features (a picture in picture making of track would have been well received), Paramount has included all the DVD supplements.


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