Notes on my reviews: I do not offer plot summaries in most cases, as these can be found on a million other sites, but rather focus instead on what people who shop for overseas Blu-rays want to know: the image and sound presentation, default playback settings, subtitles, audio choices, etc. My equipment: Panasonic TC-P55UT50 Plasma monitor (3-D capable); Panasonic DMP-BDT220 3-D Blu-ray player; LG BD-360 all-region Blu-ray player; Denon AVE-E200 5.1 Surround receiver. All aspect ratios are physically measured on the Panasonic screen, which has been set to eliminate overscan.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: France
REGION: Region B, Locked
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
SOUND: English or French 2.0 Stereo
BONUS MATERIAL: See below.
This is the endless-entertaining Joe Dante film from 1993 released in the U..S. as MATINEE, but which somehow was renamed as PANIC ON FLORIDA BEACH for French release. For anyone who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis and the theatrical releases of William Castle is going to have a great time with this film. John Goodman (a Castle stand-in) and Cathy Moriarty are worth the price of admission. Image released this briefly as a letterbox DVD, and many years later Universal followed it up with an anamorphic edition. But there is no Blu-ray in sight on the U.S. domestic front.
The French Blu-ray in question is difficult to find, even on Amazon. It's not cheap (cost me close to $40.00 with shipping). But it is so damn nice!!
The aspect ratio is (measured) 1.85:1. The color, black levels, contrast, sharpness, proper grain structure -- it's all here. Makes you wish all of Universal's catalog looked as good as this. A wonderfully theater-like experience. The stereo sound has frontal separation during music underscore passages. Dialog is centered. Surround channels are essentially silent. The disc itself defaults on playback to French subtitles, which of course can be removed using your remote. Extras are better than any prior DVD release. The full (16 min) MANT short is included in HD, as is a trailer for that bogus film. There is a theatrical trailer for MATINEE. There is a 31-minute documentary about the Cuban Missile Crisis. There is a photo Gallery.
If you can find this, grab it!
The disc comes packaged in a black Blu-ray case, as did MONOLITH MONSTERS and MOLE PEOPLE. There is a cardboard outer sleeve included (at least, with my copy).