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Australian Blu-ray Importing: January 2013 Buying Guide

Australian Blu-ray Importing: January 2013 Buying Guide

Ben takes a look at the latest and greatest overseas titles on Blu-ray to import into Australia and work fine on your disc player for January 2013.

By Ben Gourlay from Jan 27, 2013 @ 21:31 CST

Since last time we looked at the 'Guide to Buying Blu-rays from Overseas', the Australian dollar has continued to dance around parity with the US dollar based on strong commodity markets and soft U.S. economy. With studios starting to open their catalogues to much anticipated titles, coupled with deep discounting in overseas markets, it's still a really great time to import some rarer Blu-ray titles.

Let's jump into the latest instalment of the series and cover some recently released overseas titles that are wholly safe for Australian Blu-ray players.

Lawrence of Arabia: Collector's Edition


Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Country of Origin: United States


Region: A, B, C

What's this you say? Lawrence of Arabia has just been released on Blu-ray in Australia? Well, no. At least, not like this it hasn't.

Fans of the classic David Lean epic will be most pleased with this lavish and beautifully oversized boxed set, reminiscent of Laserdisc boxsets of old. Under the hood is a beautifully printed coffee table book on the production of the film, a unique and numbered 70mm film cel, the Maurice Jarre CD score and the Blu-ray itself, including an exclusive third disc of extra features, including additional documentaries, an in-depth discussion on the restoration of the film, and a never before seen deleted scene, introduced by editor Anne Coates.

The new restoration of Lawrence of Arabia is a sight to behold, and Sony pictures should be congratulated for embarking on such a massive restoration, and going the extra mile for fans. The boxset is a limited edition and only available in the United States and United Kingdom, however it's slightly cheaper imported from Amazon in the US.

Watchmen: Ultimate Cut: Collectors Box


Studio: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment

Country of Origin: United States


Region: A, B, C

I wasn't initially a vocal fan of the 2009 comic adaptation, but a recent repeat viewing made me significantly re-evaluate the film. Whilst the film has previously been available in its original theatrical cut, and later directors cut, this third edition of the film adds in a 30 minute animated sequence "Tales of the Black Freighter" along with some live action book end sequences to merge it into the film, blowing the run time out to three and a half hours.

The collector's box also includes a hardcover edition of the original Watchmen graphic novel, included in a classy lenticular box, along with a Blu-ray disc of extra features, and a Blu-ray disc of the Watchmen motion comic feature. A beautiful set for fans, to be sure.

Peter Pan


Studio: Disney Home Entertainment

Country of Origin: United Kingdom


Region: A, B, C

Disney has continued pumping out its animated classics throughout the last year, even though in some instances it's a case of quantity rather than quality. Whilst it's not perfect, the Blu-ray debut of the 1953 animated feature is a quality disc with a great transfer and all the DVD features ported over.

Whilst the film isn't slated for release in Australia and the United States until March 2013, the region free Blu-ray can be imported from the United Kingdom... now.

London 2012 Olympic Games


Studio: BBC Home Entertainment

Country of Origin: United Kingdom


Region: A, B, C

Whilst the 2012 Olympic Games wasn't a memorable one for many Australian athletes (probably why it hasn't received a local release), BBC's five disc Blu-ray is a great set which includes the amazing opening and closing ceremony in 1080i.

Whilst the other two discs of highlights might only appeal to British ex-pats, it makes for a nice collection of human feats, including Hussein Bolt's amazing performance.

It's quite astounding to think that only 12 years ago at the Sydney 2000 Olympics was filmed in a 4x3 aspect ratio at a maximum of 576i standard definition. Fast forward to today where the 2012 Olympics was filmed in 3D and super high-vision 8K resolution. What a glorious time we live in.

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