Region 4 Winners and Losers

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Explanatory Notes
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Title Best
Blue Lagoon, TheR1

The Region 1 version of this movie was released some time ago (the packaging is copyright 1999). It is a double-sided, single layer disc, with a full-frame (open-matte) version on one side, and the widescreen version on the other.

The Region 1 disc is missing:

  • English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 4.0 at 448kbps (has only Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192kbps)
  • subtitles for the commentaries
  • lots of subtitles for the dialogue
  • time-coding for the featurette and trailer (the Menu button is locked out, too)
  • layer change (both sides are single layer)

The Region 4 disc is missing:

  • open-matte full-frame version

In the first commentary, they make mention of being able to see the tape on Brooke Shields' chest in one scene on the open-matte version, and they are right: at 65:54 on the R1 it is quite clear. Other than for that one bit of trivia, the full-frame version is of limited value. However, the R1 transfer is quite noticeably sharper than the R4, even though it is crammed onto a single layer. There are also slightly fewer film artefacts. Shadow detail is no better, but the increased sharpness (not edge enhancement!) makes the shadow detail look better.

I feel compelled to judge the R1 the better disc, but it is not by a huge amount the R4 disc is still quite decent.