Madman & Luc Besson

It looks like Madman Entertainment has taken over pretty much the entire rights to Australian distribution of the Luc Besson oeuvre. The documentary Atlantis: A World Beyond Words and the drama Le grand bleu will both be out on Blu-ray soon, to be followed by La Femme Nikita and Leon: The Professional, both excellent movies. And I’ve just looked at the company’s August catalogue to find that coming out in that month is Subway, Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) and — at last! — The Fifth Element.

That last one has been a very controversial title in the Blu-ray community. Sony released a very poor quality version back in 2006. It was heavily criticised, so Sony released a remastered version of much higher quality, and subsequently released a version in Australia. Some claimed that the picture qualityof the Australian version was inferior to the remastered US version (eg. here), but I did detailed examinations of both versions (here and here) and established, almost conclusively I believe, that they were the same.

And then Sony discontinued it.

So of course it will be extremely interesting to see what Madman does with this movie. I shall do my very best to report on this title: the seventh version of The Fifth Element I have played with (VHS, standard Australian DVD release, Australian Superbit DVD release, US Sony Blu-ray release Mk1, Australian Sony Blu-ray release and US Sony Blu-ray release Mk2).

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