A quick Region 4 roundup

I haven't done one of these for a little while, but a quick glance around the Region 4 DVD retailers such as EzyDVD has revealed a number of big new releases are now available which we have yet to get a glimpse of in Region 2...

First up, Planet of the Apes is presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 - so it's far superior to the non-anamorphic NTSC Region 1 release. It also features an English DD5.1 soundtrack, trailers for the five 'Planet of the Apes' movies, a photo gallery and cast biographies.

The Abyss is available uncut in Region 4. Current reports suggest that it's non-anamorphic, but given the extra resolution of the PAL format it still offers more than the Region 1 disc. Extras look fairly impressive and include a featuretted, original theatrical trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, time lapse segment, visual effects reel, documentary - "Under Pressure: Making the Abyss", multi-angled pseudopad sequence, still photo gallery and cast biographies. This is all spread over two discs much like the US release.

Another two-disc special edition is Independence Day. Once again, this looks as though it matches the Region 1 disc and features a whole host of extras along with an anamorphic transfer and DD5.1 sound.

Braveheart is also on the way soon - it's due for release on 21 November. Yet another two-disc special edition, this release features an anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer, DD5.1 sound, a commentary, documentary and trailers.

Region 4 is still an untapped gold-mine. There are many discs available on the other side of the world with perfect PAL transfers which we probably wont be seeing for a while - on top of that they often beat Region 1 for overall content and the price of some of these discs has to be seen to be believed!

We've considered setting up a more regular supply of Region 4 DVD news - would there be interest in this? Let us know your views by commenting or e-mailing me.

Colin Polonowski

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