Archive for January, 2011

Blu-ray Monday Giveaway: Léon

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With the Oscars fast approaching, for this week’s Blu-ray Monday we’ll be giving away a copy of ‘Léon’, featuring Best Actress Nominee Natalie Portman.

Léon (Jean Reno) is a ruthless hit man who forms a close friendship with his orphaned neighbour Matilda (Portman). Featuring an outstanding portrayal by Portman at the tender age of 12, this touching film combines action and remarkable emotion culminating in one of her finest performances to date. 

As usual with Blu-ray Monday, you have two chances to win. For your first entry, simply retweet the following post on Twitter: Tweet this

Then for a second entry, leave a comment on this post to the following question:

Henry VIII’s wife, assassin’s side-kick, psychotic ballerina and Darth Vader’s girlfriend. If variety is the spice of life, it’s safe to say Natalie Portman is hot property given the huge array of roles she’s tackled in her career so far. If you could choose her next starring role, what would you pick for her to take on and why?

To make it easier for us to contact you, leave your Twitter details with your comment. We look forward to your suggestions!

2010’s Bestselling Blu-ray Discs

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The nostalgic old timers amongst us are already reminiscing about what a fantastic year for Blu-ray 2010 was. With millions of Blu-ray Discs from horror to romance flying off shelves around the world, you might be wondering what the top selling titles were.

Well, Home-entertainment.co.uk has listed the Top 5 Best Selling BD titles in the UK for 2010 so sit back and enjoy as we count them down!

Drum roll please…..

5. Beauty and the Beast

Back in June, we brought you exciting news that Walt Disney Studios were to release a Diamond Edition BD of classic love-story, ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Coinciding with its 20 year anniversary in November, this BD pleased critics and fans alike with reviews describing it as entrancing from beginning to end.

With Disney set to release a whole host of its celebrated animation titles on Blu-ray and BD 3D this year, we’re sure 2011 will bring more success.

4. Lost: The Complete Series

It may have left many of you scratching your heads, but Lost was actually one of the most watched television series of the past decade. Voting with their feet, fans of the series jumped at the chance to own the entire adventure on BD, and the box set went on to become a monster hit in the UK since it’s release in August.

3. Mad Men Series 3


The critically acclaimed third series of Man Men comes in at number three and, given its ever growing fan base, we’re not surprised it ranked so high. The award winning drama chartering the loves and losses of 50s ad man Don Draper oozed style and chemistry in equal measure, making it a sure fire winner amongst audiences both young and old. The fourth season is due on BD in March, so watch this space for more details.

2. Batman: The Dark Knight

Just pipped to the post, Christopher Nolan’s brilliant re-imagining of the caped crusader’s clash with the Joker was always going to be a popular choice amongst film lovers. Alongside Heath Ledger’s fantastic turn as Batman’s nemesis, this BD offered a whole host of special features which won universal praise upon its release.

1. Avatar

Finally, and perhaps unsurprisingly, James Cameron’s Avatar was officially the number one best selling BD in 2010. This fantasy adventure seems to have broken every record going, including Best Selling BD of all time, shifting 2.7 million BD units worldwide within its first four days on sale, and selling 222,824 BD copies in the UK alone on the day of its release.

Telling the story of a marine exploring a new planet in outer space, Avatar helped bring new developments in 3D animation to audiences around the globe and will be making its BD3D debut later this year.

Head over to Home-entertainment.co.uk for the full story.

The Incredibles set to blast onto Blu-ray

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Why settle for just one superhero when a whole family can help save the day?

The wizards at Pixar Animation Studios have announced that Oscar-winning animated comedy, ‘The Incredibles’ will land on Blu-ray Disc on 18th April. Sure to be a winner amongst die-hard superhero fans young and old, this witty BD packs a highly entertaining punch.

Dubbed the Watchmen for kids, ‘The Incredibles’ follows Bob Paar (Craig T. Nelson) a retired superhero, desperate to re-live his glory days as one of the world’s best known crime-fighters ‘Mr. Incredible’. Forced into adopting civilian identities, Bob’s wife (Holly Hunter) and three super-powered children try to maintain a typical suburban lifestyle, albeit rather unsuccessfully. Itching to get back into action, Bob takes a risk and accepts a mysterious mission on a remote island, but all may not be as it seems.

Set to be released in a Double Play pack including BD and Digital copy of the movie, fans can look forward to range of special features. Exclusive to the BD are a filmmaker’s roundtable, an interactive ‘New Nomanison Island’ game, and featurettes offering insiders access to the animation process from start to finish with, ‘Paths to Pixar’ and ‘Ending With a Bang!’

See below for a peek at the Blu-ray trailer…

Blu-ray Monday Giveaway: Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps

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For this week’s Blu-ray Monday we are giving away a copy of Oliver Stone’s ‘Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps’.

23 years on and as flashy, engaging and slippery as ever, greedy banker Gordon Gekko is back as Michael Douglas reprises his career defining role and resurrects one of cinema’s most glorious villains. Gekko finds himself released from prison and on the outside looking in at the financial world he once commanded. Hoping to repair his relationship with estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan), Gekko forges an alliance with her fledgling banker boyfriend Jake (Shia LaBeouf). However, the couple soon learns that Gekko’s thirst for greed and control stops at nothing.

As usual with Blu-ray Monday, you have two chances to win. For your first entry, simply retweet the following post on Twitter: Tweet this

Then for a second entry, leave a comment on this post to the following question:

Recent releases like, ‘Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps’, ‘Tron: Legacy’ and ‘The Karate Kid’ prove the demand for 80s films is as high as ever. Maybe it’s time to bring back ‘Top Gun’, ‘The Goonies’ or even ‘Beetlejuice’? Which 80s films would you like to see a second installment of and why?

To make it easier for us to contact you, leave your Twitter details with your comment. We look forward to your suggestions!

The Town debuts on Blu-ray

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Ben Affleck is back as Doug MacRay, the conflicted criminal who thinks he might finally taste life without looking over his shoulder.

Landing on Blu-ray Disc on 31st January, The Town is a hard-edged heist thriller packed with style, action, entertainment and romance – the ideal combination for a Blu-ray release.

The critically acclaimed, astutely observed story is finely told by both cast and crew and continues to solidify Affleck’s talents in front of, and behind the camera.

Obsessed With Film have the full story here, including an exclusive clip of the Blu-ray release.

CES Round-up – Part two

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Welcome back to this week’s second slot dedicated to the latest Blu-ray offerings from the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Panasonic

Panasonic showcased a range of Blu-ray players this year, the pinnacle of which was an impressive 3D Blu-ray player, the DMP-BDT210, which went onto win not one but two CES awards for innovation in design and engineering. Its ground-breaking features include a 2D-to-3D up-conversion which can convert 2D images from DVDs and Blu-ray discs into 3D. For information on all the features visit Panasonic.com

Alongside this, Panasonic and Skype announced a partnership to offer Skype’s video-calling facilities on Panasonic’s new Blu-ray players.

For more information visit Lcdtv.net.

LG

LG Electronics introduced its 2011 line-up of Network Blu-ray players, and leading the way was its BD690 model. A 3D-capable player with LG SmartTV and an integrated 250-gigabyte (GB) hard drive, it promises to provide consumers with a simple-to-use interface and access to thousands of movies, customisable apps and videos at the touch of a button.

With Wi-Fi becoming less of a premium feature on Blu-ray players, LG also unveiled its BD640 and BD630 Blu-ray players, offering entry-level functions for buyers on a tighter budget.

For details of all LG’s models visit Cnet.com.

Philips

Philips announced on-demand Web content and Internet apps will be available on its 2011 Blu-ray players and home theater systems. All devices will allow access to services like Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter, and its new 3D models, the BDP7506 and BDP5506, will also feature touch-screen controls.

Philips also announced the launch of a dual screen portable Blu-ray player for those who want to enjoy BD’s from the comfort of their car. The PB9011 features two nine-inch 16:9 widescreens, 1080p playback and the ability to output to a TV when you’re not in the car.

For more info visit Pocket-lint.com.

We’ll be sure to bring you further news regarding all these new devices throughout the year so stay tuned for more details.

Blu-ray Emmy® Winners Honoured at CES 2011

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Back in November we brought you fantastic news that the Panasonic Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics, Sony Corporation and TDK Corporation were soon to be presented with an Emmy® Award on behalf of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas hosted an exclusive ceremony and each of the aforementioned manufacturers was individually honoured with this prestigious accolade for their outstanding work on development of the Blu-ray Disc format.

‘Winning an Emmy is a real milestone,’ said Wiebo Vaartjes, General Manager of the Philips Audio Video Multimedia Business Group, who picked up the award on their behalf. ‘It’s nice to see the efforts not only of Philips, but of so many other companies who contributed to the development of the format also rewarded. All of these combined industry efforts have allowed us to offer consumers a real breakthrough in picture and sound quality.’

Development of Blu-ray Disc technology started in 1997, with the first prototypes from Panasonic, Philips and Sony being unveiled in 2000. The Blu-ray project was formally announced in 2002, and the Blu-ray Disc Association founded in 2004. Now, over six years later, over 1.4 billion Blu-ray pre-recorded discs, 188 million Blu-ray recordable/rewritable discs, 50 million Blu-ray players, 41 million PlayStation 3s and 25 million Blu-ray PC optical units have been produced.

Visit Philips.com for more information

Hollywood’s directors get together to talk about Blu-ray

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At a special directors’ panel held at the 20th Century Fox booth during the recent CES conference, award-winning directors Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo & Juliet) Michael Mann (Miami Vice; The Last of the Mohicans) and Oliver Stone (JFK; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) shared their views on the strengths of the Blu-ray format and its importance to the filmmaking process.

Check out the video below, we hope you enjoy it…

CES Round-up – Part one

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2011 looks set to take Blu-ray technology to new heights if the recent Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas is anything to go by. Manufacturers from across the globe gathered to unveil their latest innovations, set to hit the shelves this year.

There was a plethora of Blu-ray delights on show at the expo, so much so in fact that we couldn’t cram them all into one post! So here’s our first batch. Watch out for the rest later on this week.

Sony

Sony launched its 2011 line of Blu-ray players which featured four stand alone models. The most impressive of the range, the BDP-S780, can play 3D and 2D Blu-ray Discs, offers up-conversion from 2D to 3D and video up-scaling for other sources. Every model in the 2011 range offers internet access to over 40 services too, such as YouTube and Sony’s ‘Video on Demand’.

Sony’s first portable Blu-ray player, the BDP-SX1000, was also announced. Comprising a 10.1-inch screen the unit plays Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and USB media. A 180 degree swiveling display, five-hour rechargeable battery, built-in speakers and headphones are all sure to make any long journeys pass more easily.

For more details visit Iewy.com

Samsung

At just 28mm tall, Samsung’s BD-D7500 is the world’s slimmest 3D Blu-ray player. It may look small but the BD-D7500 offers 2D-to-3D conversion, HD up-scaling, Wi-Fi connectivity and a super fast three second start-up time.

Also a big hit was Samsung’s BD-D7000 model, named Best New Gadget in the Home Theater Category by Cnet.com for its stylish finish and fun pop-up lid. Featuring all the 3D functionality of the BD-D7500, both players look set to be a roaring success this year.

Samsung also announced plans to offer a networked Blu-ray player model to integrate Google TV. TechRadar.com has the full story and details of Samsung’s full CES line up.

Sharp

Sharp launched their range of 2011 3D Blu-ray players which included the BD-HP75U, BD-HP35U and BD-HP25U. In addition to playing 3D Blu-ray discs the line up enable consumers to take advantage of the latest surround sound formats such as Dolby TrueHD. Additionally the models play standard-definition DVDs, content stored on USB drives and MP3 files.

For full details see Ecoustics.com.

Blu-ray Monday Giveaway: The Other Guys

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With ‘Blue Monday’ officially being the most depressing day of the year, we think its only fitting to offer up a fantastic ‘Blu-ray Monday’ prize to help lighten the mood.

This week we are giving away a copy of action comedy, ‘The Other Guys’ starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.

Nerdy detective Gamble (Ferrell) is more interested in pushing pencils than busting bad guys. Alongside hot-headed, trigger happy cop Hoitz (Wahlberg) the pair are forced to bask in the glory of their crime-fighting colleagues, Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson). However when the time comes for Gamble and Hoitz to untangle a web of corporate greed, it turns out the other guys are the only guys for the job.

As usual with Blu-ray Monday, you have two chances to win. For your first entry, simply retweet the following post on Twitter: Tweet this

Then for a second entry, leave a comment on this post to the following question:

The Other Guys features an unlikely professional double act. Until now Wahlberg has typically tackled dramatic roles in films such as ‘The Departed’, ‘Three Kings’ and ‘Planet of the Apes’. Ferrell on the other hand is one of the worlds best loved comic actors taking on lead parts in ‘Elf’, ‘Old School’ and ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’. If you could choose two actors from different backgrounds to make an unlikely but interesting crime-fighting duo, who would you pick and why?

To make it easier for us to contact you, leave your Twitter details with your comment. We look forward to your suggestions!


Blu-ray Disc Reporter


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