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Blu-ray Importing: Aug 2008 Buying Guide #1 - Blu-ray Importing: Aug 2008 Buying Guide #1 - Cont.

In the first of an on-going series, Ben takes a look at the best and latest overseas titles now available.

| Australian Import Guides in HT & Movies | Posted: Aug 22, 2008 4:00 am

Cliffhanger

 

Cliffhanger Blu-ray

 

Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment

 

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

 

Purchase: Amazon.co.uk

 

Region: A, B

 

Sylvester Stallone, the original Italian stallion himself, is currently on the receiving end of what could be termed a career resurgence, albeit one that has probably rode the crest of, unless he can reinvent himself behind the camera, ala Clint Eastwood. That said, he does leave some pretty good films in his catalogue, and 1993's Cliffhanger is one of the most fun. 15 years on, the film looks a little hammy but it's still a rollicking good ride.

 

The 1080p video encode is certainly not the best seen on the format, but a nice upgrade nonetheless. The lossless DTS HD Master Audio track (at seemingly 20 bits), is very nice and far more consistent.

 

No new extras have been struck for this, the first time that the film has been released on Blu-ray, but Optimum have ported over all the extras from the DVD release, which is a nice touch.

 

Terminator 2: Special Edition

 

Terminator 2 Blu-ray

 

Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment

 

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

 

Purchase: Amazon.co.uk

 

Region: A, B

 

Sigh. Terminator 2. How many times have I purchased you? Let's see:

 

VHS: 1 time

 

DVD: 3 times

 

HD-DVD: 2 times

 

Blu-ray: 2 times.

 

So, now we are at the eighth iteration of the film, most definitely the best presentation to be seen in the home environment, of the better version of the film (the Special Edition moniker applies to the longer cut of the movie). Still, this definitely won't be the last time it's re-released. There are no extra features on this disc at all. Not even a trailer. Disappointing, but it's all about the movie, and Terminator 2 holds up well, surprisingly, even when you consider that the cutting edge 1991 special effects still look good, where say, 2002's Star Wars: Episode II looks rubbish.

 

Interest in the Terminator franchise is as strong as ever, with the Sarah Connor Chronicles currently filming a second season and Terminator Salvation (number 4 in the franchise) also currently lensing, with Christian Bale in the role of John Connor. Of course, had it not been for such a good base created by James Cameron, none of this would exist today.

 

Filmed with super 35, the film will always look a little grainy, and far from the grainless, shot on video that many Blu-ray fans expect and demand. It's also not helped by the use of layered optical effects in scenes where CG was not possible. But it looks pretty much as good as it can ever look, and the lossless DTS HD Master Audio is a revelation.

 

So, that's a look at some of my recent recommendations. I've got some big orders on the way, so we will be sure to do this again in September! Until then...

 

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