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PAL AND OTHER-REGION DVD ANNOUNCEMENTS & REVIEWS


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#1 of 586 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted March 11 2010 - 02:34 PM

I am finding that a wealth of the stuff we've been clammoring for here in the States is available from UK, FRANCE, ITALY, etc.
The missing Hammer titles are all available through Amazon UK: Twins Of Evil, Vampire Circus, Quatermass Experiment, an anamorphic DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, etc. Also available over there are NIGHT OF THE EAGLE (aka BURN WITCH BURN), BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW, THE INNOCENTS (1961 -- new release, this one a Blu-ray!), FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO, TIGER BAY, WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND, DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS......

I think it would be a great service to those of us who are considering purchasing from outside the country to have reviews and member dialog.

Just a thought.



#2 of 586 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted March 11 2010 - 04:32 PM

I agree Dick.

I just picked up the 21 disc Hammer Ultimate collection from amazonUK for $50 USD SHIPPED. I believe it's presently 75% off!

Some examples of the titles I've recently picked up for under $10 USD from Amazon UK include:

Odd Man Out (destroys the out of print Image disc. Nice James Mason doc onboard), Room At the Top, A Man Escaped (includes a hour-long doc on Bresson), Don't Look Now (includes a few docs and a Nick Roeg Commentary), Viva Zapata (released by Fox in the Studio classics line in the UK but not the US), Caught, The Reckless Moment & Letter from an Unknown Woman.

With deals like this, It's no wonder so few Warner Archive discs have found a place in my collection.


More Harlow on DVD Now! - Red Dust, Bombshell, Hold Your Man, Saratoga, The Iron Man, Goldie, The Secret Six, Beast of the City, Three Wise Girls, Reckless, Personal Property, Riff-raff, Suzy & Girl from Missouri

#3 of 586 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted March 11 2010 - 05:31 PM

In June Sammy Going South (A Boy Is Ten Feet Tall) is being released on DVD in UK. Some of us have been waiting a long time for this.

#4 of 586 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted March 12 2010 - 11:01 AM

Reggie...not to hijack my own thread, but can you report back on whether the DON'T LOOK NOW special edition from the UK still has the awful sound quality it had a few years ago? I am hoping they re-issued a corrected version. Thanks!

#5 of 586 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted March 16 2010 - 07:09 AM

Oh, how long I have waited to acquire this incredible adventure. The news of a (2007) remake had me in hopes that this Lapp-language film would get a region 1 PAL release, but that never happened. Finally, I found a Kinowelt release that has a ratio of about 2.20:1, and now that I have my Sherwood 5400, I can play it without problems. It looks better than I could have hoped. It is, of course, a DVD, not a Blu-ray, so it hasn't the clarity of HD, but considering I don't think there has been another DVD release of this in widescreen anywhere in the world, I'm perfectly happy with it. The color is a bit oversaturated and tends toward red, but hue and color controls can easily correct this. The Norwegian track is listed on the box as being Stereo, but without headphones I cannot verify. In any case, the sound is fine. An English language track is also provided, as are English subtitles. If you have an all-region, PAL/NTSC player, by all means check this out as opposed to the rather lame remake. This is a fairly costly disc, though. I paid $36.00 for it shipped. The only extra is a trailer.

#6 of 586 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 20 2010 - 04:32 PM

OK.  There is now a link to this thread in the blue "sticky" box at the top of the DVD section. The link is right above the first thread: http://www.hometheat...m/forum/list/18  I have also renamed the thread, moved some related posts in and some unrelated posts out.

#7 of 586 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted March 21 2010 - 05:00 AM

Many thanks, Adam. I will be posting short reviews of some two dozen PAL and Region 2 Blu-rays shortly.

#8 of 586 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted March 21 2010 - 09:11 AM

Some recent acquisitions just shipped:

The Hell Drivers (1957) with Stanley Baker, Sean Connery & Patrick McGoohan. This two-disc set from network was purchased from Amazon UK last week for 3.95 sterling ($5.85!). I'm really looking forward to this one. Beaver review:
www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews30/hell_drivers.htm

The Savage Innocents (1959) by Nicholas Ray with Anthony Quinn & Peter O'Toole. This disc in now OOP, but Eureka MOC sent an e-mail out to customers offering them to purchase 1 copy only during the March sale. The disc is 2.35:1/16x9 wih an audio commentary. The cost was 12.99 sterling ($19.56) which included free shipping.
Beaver review: www.dvdbeaver.com/FILM/.../savage_innocents_dvd_review.htm

I also purchased Rocco & His Brothers (1960) ($14.56 ) during the Eureka sale. A full blown 2-disc supplement heavy edition from Eureka MOC. Beaver review: www.dvdbeaver.com/FILM/Reviews/rocco.htm

Lastly, The Blu-ray edition of Double Life of Veronique which is REGION-FREE with all supplements rendered in 720p. It has nearly all of the criterion supplements except for the commentary and one or two smaller features. This disc presently can be had for 7.65 sterling ($12.00!) after VAT is subtracted. Given the region-free nature of the disc, I wouldn't hold my breath in anticipation of a Criterion edition. I've noticed that discs that criterion still retains the rights to are usually locked overseas (Salo, Red Shoes, Brief Encounter, M, etc,). Reviews: http://www.blu-ray.c...ay-Review/8567/

The British sterling is very weak now, so it has been cheaper for me to buy titles easily available domestically from Amazon UK much cheaper. For example, The Blu-ray of Clash of the Titans can be had for around $13.50 after VAT is subtracted - some $10.00 less than Amazon US.

Now is certainly the time for film fans to be region free.
More Harlow on DVD Now! - Red Dust, Bombshell, Hold Your Man, Saratoga, The Iron Man, Goldie, The Secret Six, Beast of the City, Three Wise Girls, Reckless, Personal Property, Riff-raff, Suzy & Girl from Missouri

#9 of 586 OFFLINE   Jon Hertzberg

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Posted March 22 2010 - 02:19 AM

HELL DRIVERS is excellent.  Enjoy, ReggieW.  I will have to pick up that disc myself.  Note that the film also stars the great Peggy Cummins (of GUN CRAZY) and Herbert Lom, both of whom are still with us.  Baker who could have been 007 was a classic tough guy and McGoohan has a lot of fun playing a psychopath.  Connery's part is actually quite small.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReggieW View Post

Some recent acquisitions just shipped:

The Hell Drivers (1957) with Stanley Baker, Sean Connery & Patrick McGoohan. This two-disc set from network was purchased from Amazon UK last week for 3.95 sterling ($5.85!). I'm really looking forward to this one. Beaver review:
www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews30/hell_drivers.htm

Now is certainly the time for film fans to be region free.



#10 of 586 OFFLINE   bgart13

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Posted March 22 2010 - 07:05 AM

The Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western trilogy is due out on blu-ray in June over at Amazon UK. Perhaps a good sign for it here in the States soon.

#11 of 586 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 23 2010 - 03:05 AM

I watched the following UK titles over the weekend.  Except for no subtitles, I'm satisfied with the PQ of these releases.

Viva Zapata
Body and Soul
Force of Evil
5 Fingers
Odd Man Out
Scarlet Street

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#12 of 586 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted March 23 2010 - 05:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford 

I watched . . . UK titles over the weekend.  Except for no subtitles, I'm satisfied with the PQ of these releases.
 
If you want perfect picture quality on a Region 2 DVD, your main contender is Meet Danny Wilson. Phenomenal! You won't believe your eyes!



#13 of 586 OFFLINE   Livius

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Posted March 23 2010 - 08:47 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford View Post

I watched the following UK titles over the weekend.  Except for no subtitles, I'm satisfied with the PQ of these releases.

Viva Zapata
Body and Soul
Force of Evil
5 Fingers
Odd Man Out
Scarlet Street
Those are generally fine to excellent transfers, especially Odd Man Out which is simply beautiful. If you watched the Odeon edition of Scarlet Street then that's the best version of the film available at the moment.
5 Fingers is a bit weak but it's the only game in town right now, and I'd say the old R1 of Force of Evil is superior (looked a lot less heavily compressed to my eyes).

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#14 of 586 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 24 2010 - 10:14 AM

I just received the Region 4 DVD releases of the following and they all appear to be in their OAR.

Man Without a Star
The Horse Soldiers
Cowboy

So far "Man Without a Star" appears to be the best looking one video-wise.  I'll watch all three in their entirety over the next several days and post my thoughts about them PQ-wise.






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#15 of 586 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 24 2010 - 10:16 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Livius 




Those are generally fine to excellent transfers, especially Odd Man Out which is simply beautiful. If you watched the Odeon edition of Scarlet Street then that's the best version of the film available at the moment.
5 Fingers is a bit weak but it's the only game in town right now, and I'd say the old R1 of Force of Evil is superior (looked a lot less heavily compressed to my eyes).
 
When I ordered the UK release of Force of Evil, I forgot I had the Lionsgate release of it.  After watching the UK release, I sampled the R1 disc and found them to be very similar in my opinion.





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#16 of 586 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted March 26 2010 - 05:21 AM

A WARNING ABOUT ORDERING DVD'S FROM EUROPE:

I've had generally great luck with the PAL films I've purchased, but, as is true in the U.S., there are crap products also. Case in point:


JU-DOU, from Razor Digital. The Amazon desciption and the actual case state an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Not so! This is a 1.66:1 ratio, and looks exactly like the now OOP U.S.A. counterpart, that is: faded, lackluster color, lack of depth and detail. I thought I had a decent DVD coming, as the front of the box states, "Zhang Yimou Collection." It is a terrible transfer. I am to this day unsure what the true proper OAR is, but even if it's 1.66:1, this is an unacceptable product.

Then, there is...

AT PLAY IN THE FIELDS OF THE LORD, a DVD from Spain that is titled, JUGANDO EN LOS CAMPOS SENOR, from a company called Miramar. Avoid this at all costs. It is, unfortunately, the only DVD available anywhere of this title (unless one of you out there knows better - if so, please share!), and it actually looks worse than the DVD-R I made from my Universal laser disc. It is heavily pixilated, lacking detail, and is 1.33:1.

A number of versions of VAMPIRE CIRCUS are out there (everywhere but in the U.S., apparently, thanks to MGM's losing the Midnight Movies line). I purchased a Spanish edition titled O VAMPIRO EA GIGANA from Fabricado hoping to hit a good one (comparitive reviews of such films are extremely hard to find, and this title is not covered by the delightful Mr. Tooze over at Beaver). This particular transfer is loaded with aliasing and is lacking sharpness when played back on my Sherwood 5400, which has had no trouble playing back good-quality PAL and region 2 discs. And this one isn't even PAL - it's NTSC! I have since ordered the Carlton disc, and will report back on how that looks.


Bottom line: it's a crap shoot. The Amazon reviews from any country can be confusing because they tend to lump reviews of every edition of a given film into their feedback, and one can often not tell which edition is being talked about. Just like in the U.S., there are outfits like Madacy and Alpha that churn out lousy discs. It's just that, when ordering from Europe or Asia, we have fewer resources for information about relative quality. I just paid (and I already have buyer's remorse before the disc even arrives) sixty bucks (!) for a copy of THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT, which is supremely difficult to find for anything less, though Anchor Bay appears to have a VOD program, and I was able to purchase QUATERMASS II for significantly less on DVD-R (it looks fine).

So, you takes your chances. Hopefully my risk-taking and reporting back to you will save you some bucks, but also lead you to good quality other-region DVD's.



#17 of 586 OFFLINE   DeWilson

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Posted March 26 2010 - 07:20 PM

Has anyone put together a quick reference list of all R2/R4 releases of classic titles (lets say to 1975) not available in R1? 

#18 of 586 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted March 26 2010 - 10:13 PM

http://forum.blu-ray...-international/ - Here is a country-by-country forum in which members announce and discuss DVD's and Blu-rays.

http://bluray.liesin...ex.php?region=b  - This is a reasonably inclusive list and identifies whether the Blu-ray titles are region-locked or not.

and, of course...

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/

Ultimate Disney also has an other-region forum:

http://www.ultimated...ernational.html

Between these, not very much isn't talked about or reviewed. But anything that is missing, these four sites would want to hear about.


#19 of 586 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 27 2010 - 07:14 AM

Today, I just received the UK release of the following titles"

Backlash
Western Union
Run for the Sun


I'll be watching Backlash and Western Union between now and tomorrow. 

I'm very happy with Man Without a Star.  I thought Cowboy was okay while The Horse Soldiers needs some work, but its good to have this title in its OAR.  I'll probably keep my DVR copy of the HD presentation of The Horse Soldiers as it has a much better picture than this SD DVD.





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#20 of 586 OFFLINE   DeWilson

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Posted March 27 2010 - 01:32 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick View Post

http://forum.blu-ray...-international/ - Here is a country-by-country forum in which members announce and discuss DVD's and Blu-rays.

http://bluray.liesin...ex.php?region=b  - This is a reasonably inclusive list and identifies whether the Blu-ray titles are region-locked or not.

and, of course...

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/

Between these, not very much isn't talked about or reviewed. But anything that is missing, these three sites would want to hear about.
 
Thank you :)






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