Wednesday, May 18

Rebellion (Equilibrium) (2002) - 2006 Toshiba Entertainment Japan HD DVD

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Since the premature death of Toshiba's format, there's been several Blu-ray releases of Kurt Wimmer's Carpenter-esqe dystopian gun-fetish action extravaganza. However, this HD DVD remains one of the best options. The Canadian and British BDs are improperly framed at 1.85:1 while the new Echo Bridge BD is 1.78:1 (along with only stereo audio!?). There's also a Dutch BD in the correct aspect ratio with lossless DTS audio that lacks any extras.

This Japanese Toshiba HD DVD and Sony's subsequent Blu-ray are in the original 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Both retain the supplements of Buena Vista's DVD along with several Japanese trailers for the film. The Blu-ray has the advantages of lossless Dolby TrueHD and a higher bitrate, but both are from the same master with very little visible difference.

Like Shochiku's Fragile: A Ghost Story HD DVD (see here), this disc is encoded in MPEG-4 AVC at 1080i with Dolby Plus 5.1. I still have no idea why so many Japanese HD DVDs were handicapped this way despite the format's full 1080p/lossless audio capability. Yet another reason to clutch onto my HD DVD players...

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