New to Blu: March 23-29

Such are the vagaries of film and DVD distribution that Kiwis are getting the inferior Region A Blu-ray of The Ghost Writer instead of the Region B edition with more extras – even though NZ is a Region B territory.

How so?

The Roman Polanski thriller was distributed on Blu-ray by Summit in the US and Optimum in the UK.

In NZ, it’s a Hoyts release through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Hoyts has rights to the Summit package.

It comes with three HD shorts with a combined running time of about half-an-hour: an interview with Polanski, an analysis of the conspiracy thriller’s real-life parallels and cast interviews.

The Optimum edition adds footage of the movie’s world premiere in Berlin, a half-hour press conference, brief interviews with four of the cast, and a photo gallery.

In its comparison of the two, DVDBeaver recommends the Optimum release over Summit’s but still complains: “The Ghost Writer is so good that I thought it deserved much more in terms of extras.”

As for the Blu-ray’s image quality, High-Def Digest thought it “just perfect” while hailed it as “an immaculately clean, crisp, clear, and perfectly-defined image that boasts exceptional depth, detailing, and colour”.

The Digital Bits acclaimed another political thriller, The American, for a Blu-ray presentation “as effective as the film … very crisp with exceptional details”, and Film Freak Central dubbed it “digitally immaculate but sufficiently filmic”.

Also new this week is the road comedy, Due Date, which High-Def Digest says “truly shines” in HD while Home Theater Forum applauded its “very textured film-like presentation”.

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