Warner Blu-ray releases

For some reason I fell out of contact with Warner Bros for a while, but have now reestablished contact. This evening they sent me a few press releases. First, they’ve got a two-for-$50 promotion on Blu-ray going from Wednesday until early September. This includes the five Harry Potter movies plus 25 others including several classics from the 60s and 70s (eg. Bullitt, The Dirty Dozen, Blazing Saddles, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey).

There are also several new releases:

Batman Begins Blu-ray Gift Set $49.95 13 August 2008
Magnum Force $34.95 13 August 2008
The Enforcer $34.95 13 August 2008
Sudden Impact $34.95 13 August 2008
Fool’s Gold $34.95 10 September 2008
10,000B.C. $49.95 10 September 2008
One Missed Call $49.95 10 September 2008

 The Clint Eastwood fans amongst you might notice something a little odd here. Magnum Force, The Enforcer and Sudden Impact might be equally well titled, respectively, Dirty Harry II, Dirty Harry III and Dirty Harry IV. So where’s the original Dirty Harry? This is one of the defining movies of the 1970s. This is the one with:

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

This movie has been released on Blu-ray in the US. Why not here?

UPDATE (Wednesday, 30 July 2008, 11:10 am): Just had a phone call from the PR people at Warner Bros Australia. First, I’ve added the last two titles to the list above that I previously overlooked. Actually, now that I think about it, it all comes back to me. I didn’t overlook them. I decided that they weren’t titles that I wanted to make a fuss over. No matter, they are there now. I certainly don’t intend this blog to become some kind of listing for Blu-ray releases. Having said that, perhaps I should think about maintaining such a list for Australian Blu-ray releases. Thoughts?

Second, there have been few WB Blu-ray releases in Australia lately simply because of supply issues. Third, they’d love to put out Dirty Harry with the rest of them, but securing stock has been difficult.

This will, I suspect, be an ongoing issue for a year or two. Not just for WB but for the others as well, but perhaps more so for WB. Warner Bros has not yet, I believe, released a Blu-ray title which is region coded. Consequently any WB Blu-ray will play anywhere in the world. I’m hoping to have a formal policy statement from Warner Bros on this within the next day or so. The result, though, is that all WB Blu-ray production has to be shared in all markets, so we may end up losing out from time to time.

That’s a small price to pay for the great benefit of no region coding. Because in a modern world, except for artificial barriers like region coding, if you really want something you can buy it from overseas. If you can’t wait for Dirty Harry to be released here, which it certainly will be eventually, then buy it at Amazon!

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