Madman launches Blu-ray

Unexpectedly, I received in the mail today the first Blu-ray released by Madman Entertainment Pty Ltd. This company releases lots of Anime titles here, plus lots of independent movies. The Blu-ray was for the 1986 animated movie: The Transformers: The Movie. There has previously been a barebones Blu-ray release in the UK, but this one gets a ton of extras, including deleted scenes, two TV episodes, interviews, a music video, about twenty trailers, old TV advertisements for Transformers toys, a slideshow, and ‘animated’ storyboard sequence, plus three sets of comparison scenes between the US and international versions of the movies. That’s a total of 176 minutes!

The disc is region free, but beware foreigners: while the movie itself is in 1080p24 format (MPEG2 encoded, average video bitrate 24.75Mbps), all those extras are presented in 576i50, some in MPEG2 at usual bitrates, some in MPEG4 AVC, ranging between 15 and 27Mbps! Some US players will not play 50 hertz material.

Also, the original script is provided as a PDF on the disc, so you will need a Blu-ray drive in your computer to read it.

Madman also has forthcoming on Blu-ray: Stephen Fry in America (available 19 August 2009), ‘Afro Samurai‘: Directors Cut, and Afro Samurai Resurrection (both available 9 September 2009). The latter two should please Anime fans.

What I most want to see from Madman is Donnie Darko, preferably in a combined theatrical/director’s cut. The US version is apparently region coded.

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