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A few words about...™ Top of the Lake (UK Release)-- in Blu-ray

Blu-ray A Few Words About BBC

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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted December 15 2013 - 03:59 PM

Top of the Lake is a 342 minute, six-part mini-series that was broadcast in 2012.A New Zealand production, Directed by Jane Campion and Garth Davis, TotL is a perfect example of what one can achieve by going beyond the feature film length.TotL unwinds easily at first, with bits of information giving way to layers of character development.Leading the cast, along with other brilliant players is Elizabeth Moss, and while most know her from her work on Mad Men, if anyone ever doubted her abilities, take a look at her here.Apparently shot in HD, with magnificent and raw locations, by Adam Arkapaw, the series shines on Blu-ray. But here's the rub. Like some other series, BBC only releases them here in The Colonies on DVD, and the unruly exteriors in this film really need Blu-ray.Having run at both the Berlin Film Festival, as well as Sundance, TotL is a series worthy of the time investment.My take, while viewing was that it was very much in the color noir arena.Another major achievement in the series comes from Peter Mullan, who plays a character in a very chameleon-like manner. That alone is part of the fun here. Figuring out what's actually going on, until the final revelations during the last half hour.Great programming.Recommended on Blu-ray, which I would grab as opposed to the U.S. standard def version.I have huge respect for BBC video, but I cannot understand why their programming isn't released in the U.S. on Blu-ray, why later than the UK release, and why $27 for a DVD vs. $20 for the UK Blu-ray.RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 12 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted December 15 2013 - 04:07 PM

Maybe we could start a recurring thread over who bought what from where...(not necessarily via whom...)

 

As in add titles in the main body(add a sub category for UK vs Spain etc)...and maybe somebody from "somewhere important" will see the data and go..."Hey, we are missing something..."



#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Ignatius

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Posted December 16 2013 - 01:47 AM

Still need to get around to seeing this, ridiculous that I haven't yet. I wasn't lucky enough to get a part but plenty of talented friends and peers are involved and I'm always glad to see Kiwi actors getting more exposure.

 

Though I should probably clarify that while this is technically a New Zealand production (since it was entirely shot here) all the funding comes from American, British, and Australian companies. Our current TV industry is so anaemic that something as interesting and unique as Top of the Lake wouldn't stand a chance of getting any funding.



#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Yorkshire

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Posted December 16 2013 - 01:48 AM

Thanks for the review.  We missed this on t'telly, so I'll be picking it up on disc after your strong recommendation.

 

I hesitate to correct, but I think the correct spelling is Mullan.

 

Have you seen him in Tyrannosaur?  One of the most difficult flims I've watched, but powerful, compelling, and superb.

 

Steve W


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#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted December 16 2013 - 05:47 AM

Thanks for the review.  We missed this on t'telly, so I'll be picking it up on disc after your strong recommendation. I hesitate to correct, but I think the correct spelling is Mullan. Have you seen him in Tyrannosaur?  One of the most difficult flims I've watched, but powerful, compelling, and superb. Steve W

Typo. Corrected. What an incredibly multi-faceted performance!

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#6 of 12 OFFLINE   mikeyhitchfan

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Posted December 16 2013 - 12:51 PM

This is in HD on Netflix streaming. Haven't watched it yet but plan to.



#7 of 12 OFFLINE   McCrutchy

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Posted December 16 2013 - 07:07 PM

Hi Mr. Harris,

 

I noted you have recently gone multi-region: Congratualtions! It would now also appear that you can display 1080/50i video signals as well, because Top of the Lake, like 98% of 2entertain's releases, appears to be 1080/50i.

 

If this is the case, you owe it to yourself to get the following (if I may so humbly suggest):

 

Wallander (BBC): BBC Warner only released the second series in the USA, but all three series are available in the UK, as a two series box and the third series standalone.

 

Africa (2013): The BBC Warner presentation is 1080p23.976, but compressed to two discs. I have also not been able to find out if any video manipulation/ pitch shifting was done. I would really like to know if the series was shot at 25 fps and slowed down, or shot at 23.976 and sped up.

 

Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild (2012): appears to be an extended version of what the US got as Attenborough: Life Stories (2012). Attenborough even says in this one that "...a film camera runs at 25 frames per second..." which makes me feel that all these BBC programs are intended to be viewed at 25 fps (i.e. 1080/50i) if possible.

 

These last three are the real treasures, though:

 

Trials of Life (1993): Remastered from the original film elements--looks and sounds incredible.

 

Life on Earth (1979): Ditto, and I like this one even better. Perhaps it's down to the older film stock being more impressive?

 

Civilisation (1967): If I recall, this was the BBCs first classic remastering to hit Blu-ray, and it remains enormously impressive. The series is obviously legendary, and now it looks and sounds the part, as well. 

 

Once you've finished the BBC output, then you have to get started on the Nordic Noir DVDs and BDs, like this one;)



#8 of 12 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted December 16 2013 - 07:17 PM

Speaking of The Killing...

 

Our version is an ad-hoc travesty compared to the purposely done Danish version...

 

And Borgen(which thank God, has yet to be slaughtered as an American goof-up) is even better.



#9 of 12 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 16 2013 - 07:35 PM

Speaking of The Killing...

 

Our version is an ad-hoc travesty compared to the purposely done Danish version...

The third season was an absolute masterpiece in terms of acting. Mirielle Enos, Joel Kinnaman and especially Peter Sarsgaard turned in amazing performances this year. Of course, they will all be completely ignored by the Emmys and that should rank as the worst snub since back when the academy didn't know what The Wire was.



#10 of 12 OFFLINE   McCrutchy

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Posted December 16 2013 - 07:59 PM

Speaking of The Killing...

 

Our version is an ad-hoc travesty compared to the purposely done Danish version...

 

And Borgen (which thank God, has yet to be slaughtered as an American goof-up) is even better.

 

Oh, don't count on that, my friend:

 

http://uk.tv.yahoo.c...-102635195.html

 

Granted, that is HBO, but NBC already tried and failed to remake it in 2011.

 

Now, I have the Series 1-2 boxset, but have yet to fully indulge, only screening two episodes. I am kicking myself for not asking for Series 3 as a present this year.



#11 of 12 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted December 16 2013 - 08:16 PM

Somehow I missed this Borgen remake. Seriously? Why?

 

I get it is De Rigueur to copy/paste Scandinavian TV/Movies...but geesh.



#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted December 25 2013 - 06:58 PM

I have huge respect for BBC video, but I cannot understand why their programming isn't released in the U.S. on Blu-ray, why later than the UK release, and why $27 for a DVD vs. $20 for the UK Blu-ray.RAH

 

IIUC many of the BBC films are licensed in the US via PBS, who is known to be very slow in releasing certain titles.  Also some are released via "Ambrose Video" which is an overpriced distributor to universities and other non-profits. 

 

As an example, James Burke's Connections (1) was tied up in copyright hell for over a decade.  You had to buy the DVDs from Ambrose for $500 US for 5 discs.  I paid $250 when they went "on sale".  Only recently has there been a cheaper US release but still over $100 last I looked.


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