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Blu-ray Importing: November 2010 Buying Guide

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

| Australian Import Guides in HT & Movies | Posted: Nov 3, 2010 3:20 pm

Since the last time we last took a look at the 'Guide to Buying Blu-rays from Overseas' in August, the Australian dollar has surged in value and in the last month has achieved something that I've not seen in my lifetime; parity with the U.S. dollar. That is, one Australian dollar equals an American dollar.

 

As someone whom has been importing DVD and Blu-ray titles for years, this is quite an amazing time. Couple that news with the pre-Christmas price cuts that the likes of online retailers such as Amazon take part in, and this translates into quite the buying bonanza for Australian consumers.

 

So let's jump into the latest instalment of this epic series, covering some of the later titles released only to import, but safe from the horrors of region coding.

 


Mars Attacks!

 

TweakTown image content/3/6/3628_1.jpg

 

Studio: Warner Home Entertainment
Country of Origin: United States
Purchase: Amazon.com
Region: A, B, C

 

"Aaack aack!" With these two words, Tim Burton's crazy homage to 1950's pulp sci-fi sealed its place in my heart. 14 years later, it's still beyond me how exactly he managed to convince Warner executives to produce this film, but I'm sure as hell glad he did.

 

When Earth is visited by Alien marauders from Mars (grotesque creations from the controversial artwork of 1950's Topps collector cards), wonder soon turns to terror as they systematically destroy world leaders and landmarks. But Earth may actually have a secret weapon to stop them in their tracks, and in true Burton fashion it's as random and twisted as everything that comes before it.

 

The Blu-ray release is reasonably good, without blowing too many socks off. The video and audio transfer is decidedly improved over the DVD, released extremely early on in DVD's life in 1998. Those who have been there from the start might recall the old school cardboard case called the 'snapper'. It's unfortunate that despite the elapsed time, there have been no extra features added. In fact, it's completely bereft, without even a trailer, which I might add, the previous DVD release actually featured. Still with solid sales, there's hope that Warner might revisit the disc sometime in the future.

 


Forbidden Planet

 

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Studio: Warner Home Entertainment
Country of Origin: United States
Purchase: Amazon.com
Region: A, B, C

 

Continuing the pulp sci-fi theme, we have the 1950s classic Forbidden Planet. Released at a time when nuclear tensions were high, and the notion of travelling to the moon and beyond was just a pipe dream, but imaginations were rampant, Forbidden Planet showed audiences what the future could hold.

 

Younger audiences whom are only familiar with Leslie Nielsen in comedy roles will marvel at the much younger version of the man playing the straight role. But the standout actor is undoubtedly Robbie the Robot, who is just as technically useless as he always was.

 

Warner Brothers have gone overboard with attention to this release, bestowing it with not only an amazingly restored video transfer (which looks none of its 50 odd years), but a veritable treasure troth of extras. Whilst the film is rather camp and very tongue in cheek, modern sci-fi fans should definitely give this one a look.

 

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