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Blu-ray Importing: December 2010 Buying Guide

By Ben Gourlay from Dec 9, 2010 @ 11:27 CST

American Beauty




Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment


Country of Origin: United States




Region: A, B, C


Sam Mendes rose to quick prominence in 1999 with this modern classic starring Kevin Spacey as a hard luck husband stuck in a loveless marriage, whilst raising a teenage daughter with her own issues. The performances by all involved are spectacular and entirely convincing and it's really no wonder that it won a slew of awards including an Oscar for Best Picture.


Paramount have sourced an imperfect, yet nonetheless, very decent transfer for the film, and showered it with a few nice features, headlined by a great commentary by Director Mendes and Screenwriter Alan Hall.


If you've never seen the film (and there are many of you out there), there's never been a better time to do so.


Fantasia + Fantasia 2000 Double Pack




Studio: Disney Home Entertainment


Country of Origin: United Kingdom




Region: A, B, C


Disney are finally starting to get some real traction behind releasing their animated classics on Blu-ray. This year alone we've seen the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast, the Toy Story Trilogy and now two of my all time favourite Disney films (and two of the more curious additions to the Disney library); Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.


Both films have been given new video and audio transfers; the original Fantasia in particular has benefited from a complete visual overhaul, free of the noise and grain that was rather off-putting in the last DVD release of the film released a decade ago. Despite the positives, it's still annoying to see that it's still been mildly censored even if the care taken to get around the issue is improved. Do a quick Google search and you'll see the history behind the cuts here.


Overall however, it's pretty amazing stuff, and I'm genuinely surprised that Fantastia looks and sounds as good as it does, and it's great to see its newer companion Fantasia 2000 again.


So until next time folks, that's all from me. Get your orders in fast for the Christmas rush.


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