New to Blu: July 28-August 3

After waiting months for the post-Oscars theatrical release of The Hurt Locker, New Zealand fans of this year’s best picture-winner now have to make do with a Blu-ray that’s second-best.

The Region B version Roadshow Entertainment is releasing on Wednesday lacks the Region A audio commentary by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and producer Mark Boal as well as a Q&A session with them that was recorded at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.

The only extras are two making-of promotions and 13 minutes of B-roll footage: scenes shot from alternate angles that weren’t used in the final cut.

For such a distinguished release, and one that’s landing here six months after the Region A edition went on sale in the US, this is shabby treatment indeed.

Yes, you can import the Region A version but because it’s region-locked, you’ll need a region-free player, like one of Oppo’s models, to play it.

As for the rest of the disc, it comes highly recommended. Although the visuals are deliberately washed out, critics called the transfer “a stunner”, “first rate”, “truly astounding” and “gritty, messy, and exactly as intended … reference-quality”.

The week’s only other Blu-ray release is Bran Nue Dae, a Bollywood musical shot across the Tasman that Australian DVD critics hailed for the vibrancy of its colour: “all scenes literally sparkle and shine with a rainbow of shades and tones”; and “positively luminous, with blues, reds and yellows leaping from the screen”.

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2 Responses to “New to Blu: July 28-August 3”

  1. So why do they do this? How much would it kill them to put the same extra features in the disks for every region?
    Monsters, they are monsters!!!

  2. If it’s any consolation, only North America gets the commentary. The rest of Europe and the UK got the same dud as us. Spare a thought for France, though — the extras on its version are even skimpier. Put it down to the vagaries of distribution and rights complications (although in France’s case it might have more to do with that fiendishly great line (one of many) from another new Blu-ray with an Iraq War theme (and a touch of the Jedis), The Men Who Stare at Goats: “What is the most common French expression?” — “I give up!”).

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