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Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Old 07-12-09, 10:00 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Originally Posted by Chupper View Post
The BFI is doing a remarkable job in remastering classic and intelligent cinema while we are stuck with the latest Block(head)busters.
It should be noted that the majority of BFI's Blu-rays are region-free.
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Old 07-12-09, 11:57 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
It should be noted that the majority of BFI's Blu-rays are region-free.
Well, they're about 50% at this point. It's worth noting, too, that the ones that are region-free are more obscure films unlikely to be known outside of Britain (and often aren't well recognized even there), while their more significant releases (Salo, Red Desert, the Trilogy of Life, etc) remain locked.

I definitely appreciate that the BFI is releasing interesting things like the Arden/Bond films and their "Flipside" series, but there's never going to be much demand for those unless someone is blind-buying them on the institute's reputation alone.
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Old 07-12-09, 08:44 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

I believe all Studio Canal and Optimum releases are region locked, and even the code free discs sometimes have menus tht can't be read by a domestic player. I've purchased BDs from France, Germany, UK, and Russia and it's a relief not to have to research the compatibility with my PS3! I just watched ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL (region B) tonight and was touched, even though I'm no heavy metal fan...though in my long-haired youth I was a heavy metal drummer like in the Wilco song
I think the new Oppo player is the only player you will ever need, unlike my rack now which consists of different players for specific regions.
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Old 07-12-09, 09:13 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Originally Posted by Cosmic Bus View Post
Well, they're about 50% at this point.
The ratio is actually 15 to 9 in favor of region-free, but you're certainly right about the bigger names, i.e. the ones owned by major studios, being region-locked. Not much the BFI can do about that though. Criterion owns the rights to Trilogy of Life and Red Desert here in the U.S, so hopefully we'll get HD releases at some point.
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Old 08-03-09, 02:32 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

TF1 steelbooks Region B :




Jarmush boxset from BAC Films (Region Free but forced subtitles I guess, at least on Dead Man):
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Old 08-04-09, 10:53 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Damn. I'll take region locked and no forced subtitles.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:29 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Any reviews yet for the Blu-ray release of Fist of Fury and The Big Boss by Deltamac?
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Old 08-07-09, 04:08 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

August 31st (UK)

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Old 08-11-09, 09:12 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

UK release of 'Fame' for Sept. 28



http://www.play.com/DVD/Blu-ray/4-/9...e/Product.html
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Old 08-11-09, 09:16 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Angels & Demons streets in the UK, Sept 14 with both the theatrical cut and an extended cut (and DTS-HD MA sound)



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Old 08-11-09, 09:19 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post


Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935) has received a preliminary release date: October 12. Courtesy of ITV Granada.

Daniel Hooper:


Amazon pre-order

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Old 08-11-09, 09:22 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post


Street date: November 9

FilmFour:
Based on Henry James' 1897 novella 'The Turn Of The Screw', The Innocents stands among the best literary adaptations ever, thanks to a remarkably successful combining of talents.
The screenplay itself was written by Truman Capote and William Archibald, with additional input from John Mortimer, but credit must also go to director Jack Clayton (Room At The Top, The Great Gatsby) and the great cinematographer (and sometime director) Freddie Francis. Between them, and the aid of the production design team, they filled the Cinemascope widescreen with images of iconic beauty, precisely framing and ensnaring star Deborah Kerr.

Kerr plays Miss Giddens, the inexperienced and naive parson's daughter who is given her first governess role by the uncle (Redgrave) of two young orphans. He's entirely uninterested in their care. "I'm a very selfish fellow," he says frankly. "I have no room for them either mentally or emotionally." Giddens is given sole responsibility for the children, a challenge that fills her with pride. This is blended with joy when she arrives at the enormous house, Bly, and meets eight-year-old Flora (Franklin), the first of her two charges.

Flora is lively and charming. "She has her ways," says the amiable, straightforward housekeeper Mrs Grose (Jenkins), somewhat ambiguously. Ambiguity is entirely the order of the day here. If it was present in the book, it's enhanced enormously in the film.

Flora insists "Miles is coming", despite her brother being away at school. Then lo and behold, he's expelled and returns. Like Flora, 10-year-old Miles (Stephens) is smart, wilful and charismatic. Too much so perhaps, and he begins to demonstrate a worryingly precocious sexuality.

The film's title refers, with an element of irony, to the children. Walking in Bly's garden, Giddens stops to admire a statue of a putti, when a bug crawls from its mouth. The symbolism is clear: the children aren't all sweetness and light. They're potentially capable of unpleasantness and manipulation. But is their increasingly suspicious behaviour that of children traumatised and emotionally adrift due to the loss of their parents, or is it something darker? Are they in fact in the thrall of, or possibly even possessed by, the ghosts of their former guardian, valet Peter Quint (Wyngarde), and the previous governess, Miss Jessel (Jessop). Little by little, Grose reveals the story of the cruel, powerful Quint, and Jessel, who doted on him and was essentially his sexual slave.

Giddens begins seeing Quint and Jessel. The encounters leave her perturbed, but she's determined to be rational and work out "what these horrors want". All the while her hysteria is mounting. "I expect I'm tired. I haven't been sleeping well," she says. "Sometimes I can't help imagining things, Mrs Grose." Is she actually imaging the ghosts? She also hints towards her own dark childhood. Is this what's summoning forth "something seductive and whispery and indecent"? Is it her own sexual needs that are responsible for the presence of the "handsome and obscene" Quint?

The film is a masterpiece, and a highly influential one (watch it, and then see Alejandro Amenábar's The Others straight afterwards). With great sophistication, the story walks a line between the supernatural and the mental. Clayton, Francis, the writers, composer Georges Auric and the rest of the team do a remarkable job of creating an atmosphere of mystery and uncertainty, with Giddens adrift in the physical and psychological environments, where roses wilt and the edges of the screen are both hers and our peripheral vision, frequently dark and potentially home to fleeting presences.
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Visconti's The Leopard (from BFI) also has tentative release date of November 9 as well

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Old 08-11-09, 09:35 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post


Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker (2008) has received a preliminary release date: December 28th. Winner of four awards at last year's Venice Film Festival, including the Young Cinema Award (Best Film Venezia 65
for Kathryn Bigelow).


Official site and trailer:
http://www.thehurtlocker-movie.com/

Kenneth Turan

Amazon pre-order

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Old 08-11-09, 09:37 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post


Abbas Kiarostami's Shirin (2009) has received a preliminary release date: September 28th.

Noel Megahey:
One of the problems with being a relentlessly experimental filmmaker progressively pushing the boundaries of the medium as an artform is how far can you push it before it breaks. For Kiarostami the issue has even more relevance, the Iranian director increasingly striving over his films to reduce the contribution of the director, or at least reduce the visibility of his influence. From the use of a static camera in a car in 10 to five static scenes of a sea shore in Five, Dedicated to Ozu, despite concerns from an outline description that the concept is being pushed a little too far, in execution Kiarostami has always triumphed, the director allowing the power of the images themselves to find a means to speak more directly to the viewer, the experience always being profoundly cinematic.

The question of cinema speaking to an audience is very much to the fore in Kiarostami’s latest film, Shirin, the entire film consisting of head-and-shoulder shots of an audience in a movie theatre watching a film – an adaptation of a 12th century epic Persian poem – that we hear but never see. Not insignificantly, the faces we see reacting to the film are all those of women, with men being visible only occasionally in the background. In a theatre environment, this makes for a curious experience, being part of an audience watching another audience, with something invisible lying in-between. With nothing else to view over the course of the entire length of the feature, it can also be a sometimes frustrating experience, the viewer often wishing that they were watching the film they are hearing rather than the one they are watching. This prompts a range of emotions and reactions, forcing you to reflect on the experience of cinema itself, the absurdity of sitting in a darkened room, looking at clearly manufactured images - watching reactions of actors (the surprise appearance of Juliette Binoche bringing that realisation home to anyone who doesn’t recognise the faces of the Iranian actors on the screen), emoting to something intangible.

Although it is not revealed as such over the course of the 92 minutes of the film, the suspicion that it is all faked from the lack of any significant flickering or colouration changes of the light playing across the faces of the audience, could be seen as a negative point against the film – a fact confirmed by comments made by Kiarostami on the making of the film that the choice of soundtrack and subject for the film was only added after shooting. What could be seen as an exploration of the female face and their emotional responses is negated then by the fact that they are all actresses, performing to cues rather than genuine human stimulus – but in principle, this fits in with Kiarostami’s views on the nature of perception and reality. And despite the limitations of the setting and its evident fakery, the director taking his minimalist approach here to extremes even beyond the static shots of Five, Dedicated to Ozu, Shirin does manage to strike a chord and raise intriguing questions. Are our reactions in relation to what we are seeing or what we are listening to? What is the relationship between sound and image? And, more importantly, what is the personal relationship we forge with this combination of sound and image? Do the reactions come from within and are they more an expression of who we are?

The approach is not a new one - Victor Erice, while perhaps not being as strict as to not even show the film being viewed, used images of children viewing a showing of Frankenstein to similarly powerful effect in The Spirit of the Beehive and perhaps not coincidentally, Kiarostami and Erice have collaborated together in recent years, notably on an installation of cinematic correspondence between the two directors for the Centre Pompidou in Paris. While it appears closer to an art installation than traditional narrative cinema, what prevents Shirin from occupying a place in a modern art gallery rather than the cinema is the fact that it directly confronts the nature of cinema and can only do it by being shown in a cinema theatre. (Consequently, I’m not sure how effectively this will play when it transfers to DVD). As such however, for all the interesting questions it raises and the reaction it provokes, Shirin is nonetheless a minor incidental work from Kiarostami, one that pauses to consider the nature of what he does before he, more than any director working in cinema today, can capably and reliably be expected to take it to the next level.

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Old 08-11-09, 09:43 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post


Laurence Olivier's Henry V (1944) has received a preliminary released date October 12. Courtesy of ITV Granada.

Almar Haflidason:
The spirit that drove this production of "Henry V" to completion translates directly onto screen into an exciting epic.

1944: one of the darkest periods in British history, when the country was close to breaking point with the continued onslaught of Second World War. As part of a relentless propaganda effort to buoy the national spirit, the government commissioned Laurence Olivier to produce a film that would rally all that saw it.

"Henry V" was an ideal Shakespeare play for adaptation. In it, a young King Henry invades France, but despite amassing thousands of troops, progress is not easy against a well-equipped French army. Where the tide begins to turn is at the crucial Battle of Agincourt, where the superior skill of the English longbows and a better defensive position secures an important victory.

That the film should get made at all was an extraordinary achievement, but Olivier, in his directing debut, also gave us the first large-scale radical movie re-interpretation of Shakespeare long before others.

The action opens in the Globe Theatre, but as the camera closes in, this space expands into the infinite scope that the medium of film offers. Many of the sets are still painted backdrops, but these melt away entirely for the superb battle scenes that were shot in neutral Ireland, using thousands of Irish regular soldiers as extras.

Olivier pared down the play into a simpler script that could be enjoyed by the masses, but retained the all-important essence of the piece. As director, co-screenwriter, and lead actor, his responsibilities on this production were great but he answered his call to boost the war effort with flair and creativity, turning a limited budget and tough wartime conditions into a Technicolor epic that proved a massive hit.

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Old 08-11-09, 09:46 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post


Laurence Olivier's Hamlet has received a preliminary release date: October 12. Courtesy of ITV Granada. Winner of four Oscar awards - Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Laurence Olivier), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Roger K. Furse and Carmen Dillon), and Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (Roger K. Furse).

Variety (original review text from 1948):
This is picture-making at its best, and its showing must be done with the dignity it deserves. Exhibs should profit from the handling of "Henry V" and should be warned that Hamlet is rich in qualities that don't readily blend with the usual ballyhoo. At a cost of $2,000,000 it seems incredibly cheap compared with some of the ephemeral trash that is being turned out, and it will earn profit as well as prestige for its makers.

Star-producer-director Laurence Olivier was the driving force behind the whole venture. His confidence and energy infected those around him and resulted in the teamwork which has produced one of the most memorable films ever to come from a British studio. Minor characters and a good deal of verse have been thrown overboard, and a four-and-a-quarter hour play becomes a two-and-a-half hour film. But this speeding and tightening has in no way impaired the artistic integrity of the play.

Pundits may argue that Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Fortinbras shouldn't have been sacrificed, and that many familiar gems are missing. They will argue about the bewildering crossing and inter-crossing of motives. Scholars may complain that this isn't Hamlet as Shakespeare created him, but one that Olivier has made in his own image. The multitude of questions will remain unanswered, but that won't prevent audiences from getting maximum enjoyment and an appreciation of a story that hitherto may have been obscure to millions.

In his interpretation of Hamlet, Olivier thinks of him as nearly a great man, damned, as most people are, by lack of resolution. He announces it in a spoken foreword as "the tragedy of a man who couldn't make up his mind." Olivier's "Hamlet" isn't in a class apart. He's neither a petulant poppycock nor a moody Dane suffering from an Oedipus complex. His dreams, his thoughts, his eternal questioning to which he can find no answer, are a natural part of the sensitive, educated man Olivier makes him.

Stage performances of "Hamlet" invariably succeed or fail on the interpretation of the title part, but this film -- although naturally dominated by Olivier -- will also be judged as a whole, and not merely on the star's great performance. Every character has been cast with meticulous care and for the most part the company of trained dramatic stage actors, with a capacity for wearing costume to the manner born, gives a perfect performance

Special praise is due Eileen Herlie for her playing of the Queen. She has made the character really live. Her love for her son, the consciousness of evil-doing, her grief and agony, her death - made by Olivier to appear as sacrificing herself for Hamlet - make her a very memorable, pitiful figure. It was an experiment to cast Jean Simmons as Ophelia. This part, about which critics have wrangled for years, will still give cause for argument, but she does bring to the role a sensitive, impressionable innocence, perhaps too childlike.

Basil Sydney repeats his stage success as the King, of whom ambition and lust have taken possession, and rises to his greatest height in his soliloquy trying to pray and seeing himself accursed like Cain. Felix Aylmer is a tremendous Polonius, giving true value to his famous verses, and embodying the perfect busybody. As Laertes, Terence Morgan is the complete foil to Olivier's Hamlet; Norman Wooland is understandably Hamlet's best friend; Harcourt Williams represents the First Player as though in need of Hamlet's advice, and Stanley Holloway makes the Gravedigger human and humorous. Utterances of the Ghost are at times unintelligible.

Olivier conception of "Hamlet" as an engraving has been beautifully executed by Roger Furse and Carmen Dillon. Sets have been planned as abstractions and so serve to point the timelessness of the period. The story takes place anytime in the remote past. This conception has dominated the lighting and camera work and has made the deep-focus photography an outstanding feature of the film.

With no use for the static camera, Olivier has aimed for speed and action. The final duel scene is a masterpiece of production. The famous soliloquies -- most of the lines represented as thoughts, here and there a line actually spoken -- are spoken in movement. With bold use of crane shots Olivier moves the action about ancient Elsinore with technical skill. Everything was done in the Denham studios. Elsinore Castle was there, Ophelia died in the tiny stream of the studio grounds, yet the keynote is always grandeur and spaciousness.

Music of William Walton for his third Shakespearean film ("As You Like It," "Henry V") is inspired and dramatic, and always in sympathy with the story. He's made an integral contribution to the film.

Cane.

1948: Best Motion Picture (J. Arthur Rank-Two Cities Films), Best Actor (Laurence Olivier), Art Direction (Black-and-White) Art: Roger K. Furse; Set: Carmen Dillon, Costime Design (Black-and-White) Roger K. Furse
Nominations: Actress in a Supporting Role (Jean Simmons), Directing (Laurence Olivier), Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) William Walton

Editor, Helga Cranston; music, William Walton; camera, Desmond Dickinson. At Odeon, London, May 4, '48. Running time, 155 MINS.

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Old 08-11-09, 09:49 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post


Set to be released in the UK on October 5th. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 2008. Winner of Silver Berlin Bear Best Director - Joseph Cedar) at the Berlinale in 2007.

Variety:
Sparse but powerful, "Beaufort" recounts Israel's evacuation of the Southern Lebanese mountaintop fortress of the title in 2000. Although there's muted criticism here of military strategy, script endeavors to maintain a politically neutral stance, sticking to the ground soldiers' points of view, rendered convincingly here by cast and third-time helmer Joseph Cedar, himself a veteran of the first Lebanon war. Pic should conquer b.o. easily at home when it bows next March. However, offshore it may face more uncertain fortunes of war given its impartiality won't chime with frequently anti-Israeli sensibilities of arthouse auds, especially in Europe.

Opening crawl helpfully explains that a stone fortress known as Beaufort (or "Shqif Arnun" in Arabic) was built by the Crusaders in the 12th century. Next to the ancient castle, a modern outpost was built in the 20th century that was wrenched from the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1982 by the Israeli Defense Force, fortified further, and held right up until the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.

Plot here unfolds over the last couple weeks of the Israeli occupation. Mortars from the Hezbollah troops in the neighboring hills fall regularly on the camp. The few dozen soldiers at the fort are under the command of 22-year-old Liraz Liberti (Oshri Cohen, from helmer Cedar's previous, "Campfire"). Liraz is largely respected by the men, despite his youth and tendency to be a bit rulebound, demonstrated when he insists bomb-disposal expert Ziv (Ohad Knoller, from "Yossi and Jagger") follow headquarters' plan to disable and recover a landmine on the road, even though Ziv thinks the mission isn't safe. Tragically, it turns out Ziv was right.

As the evacuation day grows tantalizingly closer, Hezbollah increases the shelling in order to make it look like they chased the Israelis out. Liraz tells Oshri (Eli Eltonyo), his friend from civilian life, that he can go home early after he takes the newer men on a jaunt round the old castle (which both sides in the war endeavor to leave unharmed), a peaceful interlude that allows the supporting characters space to get more fleshed out.

Several will be dead by the end of the film.

Helmer Cedar demonstrates a cool hand, confidently building suspense and tension between the attacks that still comes as shocks when they arrive. (Sound design by Alex Claude is excellent.) Likewise, filmmakers reap more aud empathy by showing restraint in scenes where the characters grieve quietly for their fallen comrades.

By extension, script honors the complexity of the men's varied reactions and interpretations of the situation without taking any obvious sides. Medic Koris (Itay Tiran) is the most outspoken against the futility of staying on. Liraz concedes he's got a point but has become strangely attached to the fort, and finds himself hesitating when it's time to finally blow it to smithereens.

As if in sympathy with Liraz's point of view, camera lingers in quieter moments over the majestic mountain landscape. When the final conflagration comes, it's a doozy, a one-take wonder that involved the destruction of the custom-built set in Israel. Understated, mostly minimalist score by Ishai Adar, swelling to orchestral fullness at the climax, is outstanding.

Camera (color, widescreen), Ofer Inov; editor, Zohar M. Sela; music, Ishai Adar; production designer, Miguel Merkin; costume designer, Maya More; sound (Dolby Digital), Ashi Milo; sound designer, Alex Claude. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Competition), Feb. 14, 2007. Running time: 131 MIN.

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Old 08-11-09, 09:58 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Originally Posted by Overpar View Post
I assume this wont have English subs - right? I thought the first film was a riot, I gather this won't see a US theatrical/video release (of course I could be wrong)
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Old 08-11-09, 10:41 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post


I received a note from our agent that Lars Von Trier's latest film Antichrist (2009), set to be officially released at the Cannes Film Festival in May, is upcoming. Will update with more when Blu-ray info becomes available later in the summer.

Official site:
http://www.antichristthemovie.com/?language=en

Ciao,
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Amazon Preorder / Street date: November 23rd
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Old 08-12-09, 10:38 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
I assume this wont have English subs - right? I thought the first film was a riot, I gather this won't see a US theatrical/video release (of course I could be wrong)
The French Blu-ray release of the first OSS 117 movie is region-free and has English subtitles. I'd hope the same for the sequel.
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Old 08-12-09, 10:42 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
The French Blu-ray release of the first OSS 117 movie is region-free and has English subtitles. I'd hope the same for the sequel.


as for the first film, I thought the PQ from the DVD uprezzed to 1080i looked amazing.
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Old 08-26-09, 10:55 PM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)







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Old 08-27-09, 01:53 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
Amazon Preorder / Street date: November 23rd
Definitely need this film in Blu-Ray

Looking forward to finally seeing what the fuss is about.
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Old 08-27-09, 06:56 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

Originally Posted by LorenzoL View Post
Any reviews yet for the Blu-ray release of Fist of Fury and The Big Boss by Deltamac?
DVDBeaver has their review/comparison up for now for both titles.

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Old 08-27-09, 09:15 AM
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Re: Foreign Cinema in BLU (part 2)

I don't know if this is the right place to ask this question. I purchased a Vaio laptop with a blu-ray player. Can it be made region free for blu? dvd?

Thanks.
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