Slumdog Millionaire (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=138320&d=1238445974
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 121 Minutes
Genre: Drama/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/Hindi DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Dey Patel, Frieda Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Music by: A.R. Rahman
Written by: Simon Beaufoy based on the novel “Q&A” by Vikas Swarup
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 31, 2009







"It is written"



Film Synopsis:

Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is just one question away from winning a fortune on India's version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But how has this uneducated young man from the slums succeeded in providing correct responses to questions that have stumped countless scholars before him? And will he ultimately win it all or lose everything, including his true love?




My Take:

Jamal Malik (Patel), an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika (Pinto), the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Each chapter of Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible questions. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show? Jamal returns to answer the final question, and the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out why. At the heart of its exuberant storytelling lies the intriguing question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love.

Adapted from the novel “Q&A” by Vikas Swarup, I thought that the way in which this story is told holds the key to its appeal. The depiction of life on the streets in Mumbai is no secret. Seeing it here was not a revelation but the nature of the telling had a visceral quality that was jarring at times. I think that at its heart Slumdog millionaire is a love story. The struggle for survival and how it shaped Jamal, Salim, and Latika was interesting to watch over the course of the movie. They were well drawn characters/people that you cared about regardless of their shortcomings. The film’s music and visual style played a large role in its telling. I can almost guarantee that you won’t be able to sit and watch this movie without unconsciously tapping your toes to its catchy music. While there were moments of suspense and a little action this is a character driven film that benefited from the strong performances of its young cast and the intelligent direction of Danny Boyle. I am not so sure about its Oscar win for Best Picture but I can vouch for its entertainment value. I thought it was well executed, thought provoking, and at times captivating to watch.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for some violence, disturbing images, including a scene of torture, thematic material and language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 88



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 88


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Slumdog millionaire comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.4 mbps.

This film has two distinct visual styles that both offer excellent high definition video quality. The story is told through a series of flashbacks that appear to have been shot on film. The sequences shot in the present appear to have been shot on high definition video. The film based flashbacks are sprinkled lightly with grain, have a dynamic visual aesthetic, stark contrast, and razor sharp clarity. Colors are bold, vibrant and deeply saturated. The video based sequences are smoother looking, with better contrast/brightness balance, crisp lines, and toned down colors that give it a cooler visual aesthetic. Fleshtones are on the bronze side but don’t appear unnatural. Images are highly detailed with transparent depth and fine articulation regardless of the camera’s perspective. Blacks are respectable but don’t have the rich, ink like depth that makes them appear infinite. Shadow detail is revealing and gives dark scenes and low lit sequences excellent dimension. The video has a pristine, high gloss finish that is enriching and at times visually arresting.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack was equally impressive. Its wide dynamic range can go from subtle, intricate control to full on blow you out of your seat dynamism. The film’s superlative music is center stage as it is broadcast over the entire system with high level detail, smooth, strident free treble, and an authoritative, pulsating low end that fills the room with deep bass. Dialogue is reproduced with supreme intelligence and prominent focus. Surround use is abundant as the mix generates a 360 degree soundfield that encapsulates the listening position. Panning sequences are seamless as the sounds of helicopters, airplanes or thumping instrumentation move throughout the soundstage. The music score is amazing as it is integrated into the sound design and helps drive the storyline. My kids were so impressed with the film’s music that they downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes. I felt that at times the presence of the music in the rear channels was too prominent and threw off the front/rear balance. This isn’t an overly aggressive mix but it makes excellent use of entire surround platform as it delivers an invigorating home theater experience. Be sure to turn this one up, sit back, and enjoy.

**CIH users should take note that the subtitles are in the picture area.**



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary by Director Danny Boyle and Actor Dev Patel

  • Commentary by Producer Christian Colson and Writer Simon Beaufoy

  • 12 Deleted scenes

  • Slumdog dreams: Danny Boyle and the making of Slumdog millionaire – 23 minute featurette

  • (HD) Slumdog cut down – 5 minute feature

  • From script to screen: The toilet scene – 5 minutes

  • Indian short film: Manjha – 41 minutes

  • Bombay liquid dance – video captures set to music ( 3 minutes)

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • European theatrical trailer

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc – Standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable playback device




Final Thoughts:

Slumdog millionaire is a well crafted independent film that features a great young cast, incredible cinematography, and steadfast direction by Danny Boyle. It dominated this years Academy Awards which is a testament to its strength as a cinematic work. It tells a poignant and engaging story that is accompanied by a superb original music score that lingers long after the movie has ended. It comes to Blu-ray Disc day and date with the DVD release and features exemplary audio/video quality as well as a decent set of bonus features that includes Blu-ray exclusive content. If you haven’t seen it I can’t think of a better way to experience it. Recommended.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 05:23 AM
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Receiving this from Netflix today. Look forward to watching it.

"The powerful will be ripped from their decadent nests. And cast out into the cold world that we know and endure. Courts will be convened. Spoils will be enjoyed!"

 

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post #3 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 06:25 AM
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wish this one had REFERENCE level PQ, but I guess i can't complain about an 88.
Loved the movie in the theaters (sooo glad I saw it before the Hype Train came rolling in), can't wait til amazon delivers it to me so i can watch again.
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post #4 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 06:52 AM
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I thought this film which I saw in the theater,was not better than Changeling and Milk,just my opinion.
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post #5 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

Loved the movie in the theaters (sooo glad I saw it before the Hype Train came rolling in)

Is this an expectations thing that you're talking about, or do you like being first in line? ^_^ (I have no beef with neither...)
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post #6 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 08:22 AM
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Definitely not a "date night with the GF/Wife" kind of movie. There are some lite, tender moments, but man, the dark moments are very dark. Make you squirm in your chair dark.

Overall, excellent, but I don't know that I want to see it again...

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post #7 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 08:49 AM
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And to think that this film was saved from a 'straight-to-video' fate by a film festival. I love Danny Boyle's films but this one is more of a 'like' for me. Perhaps it had suffered from too much hype before I saw it in a theater but I was somewhat underwhelmed by it even though I did enjoy it on a certain level. I felt I was watching the Indian version of 'City of God' but as Ralph points out it is a love story at its core...and as Boyle has said it is a fantasy story. Whatever goodwill this film built up in the dramatic and moving finale left me scratching my head as I viewed the credits with the MTV-style group hug that deflated any of the emotion I may have felt at the end. I actually enjoyed 'Benjamin Button' much more possibly because it had more of an 'Americana' feel. But both films should definitely be seen.

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post #8 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirpie View Post

Is this an expectations thing that you're talking about, or do you like being first in line? ^_^ (I have no beef with neither...)

It's an expectations thing. I enjoy just seeing a movie and letting the experience speak for itself.
I saw the movie before any awards talk, before it was a wide release.... I just went to see a movie at our county theater and left very happy about this wonderful surprise of a movie.

I'd imagine seeing it TODAY for the first time would be a difference experience. With countless oscars, constant media attention... that's a lot of hype(baggage) for a movie to overcome.

Of course it's only a problem if you buy into the hype of course...and I've fallen for it before. You go into a movie expecting your socks blown off, and when the movie is "merely" good, it's a disappointment.
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post #9 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

I love Danny Boyle's films but this one is more of a 'like' for me. Perhaps it had suffered from too much hype before I saw it in a theater but I was somewhat underwhelmed by it even though I did enjoy it on a certain level.

see
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post #10 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 09:16 AM
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How can this be ... Blockbuster Online doesn't have this in BD. It's listed for sale ... but if you add it to your queue, it appears only as DVD ... even if your preferences are setup for BD.

Maybe I'm missing something technically ... but I don't think so. Unbelievable.

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post #11 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hconwell View Post

How can this be ... Blockbuster Online doesn't have this in BD. It's listed for sale ... but if you add it to your queue, it appears only as DVD ... even if your preferences are setup for BD.

Maybe I'm missing something technically ... but I don't think so. Unbelievable.

Just added it to my queue to check.... it's the same for me. It's probably a mixup on their end. Benjamin Button is currently only listed as DVD too.
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post #12 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 09:58 AM
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I only saw this film because of Frieda Pinto. LOL

On a serious note i thought this movie delivered on majority of the category. Awsome group of young and upcoming actors, plot, storyline, location, etc.

Getting a copy soon.
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post #13 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 02:22 PM
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Good review......& the score is also very good. I guess the movie..the way it was shot could probably couldnt achive 90+ rating. Although bit disappointed in the audio rating....considering that it is probably one those movies that use the speakers more rather then just plain heavy bass from action movies.

All in all......a buy for me now
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post #14 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 07:09 PM
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Great Review, I got it yesterday.

Thanks! [IMG]http://nopollution.info/hosted/img/3044************************[/IMG]
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post #15 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 10:28 PM
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anyone else having sound/mastering issues?

PS3 as BD player- and in the first 15 minutes (paused to try and find a solution) I have to crank it WAY up to hear the voices/dialogue and then it cuts to a new scene and my ears start bleeding as an airplane or whatever flies over.

Is something off on my end?! (can't imagine- just watched American Idol and it's fine) or is this extremely up/down/up/down in sound levels?!
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post #16 of 55 Old 03-31-2009, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviators View Post

anyone else having sound/mastering issues?

PS3 as BD player- and in the first 15 minutes (paused to try and find a solution) I have to crank it WAY up to hear the voices/dialogue and then it cuts to a new scene and my ears start bleeding as an airplane or whatever flies over.

Is something off on my end?! (can't imagine- just watched American Idol and it's fine) or is this extremely up/down/up/down in sound levels?!

oops I'm obviously an idiot given the Oscar for mixing- must be something on my end- installers were here today and must have dropped the center level.
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post #17 of 55 Old 04-01-2009, 01:05 AM
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I got my BD today. The digital copy is a huge bonus for PC/IPods. The DTS encoded movie score is just plain stellar, spectacular.
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post #18 of 55 Old 04-01-2009, 07:17 PM
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Just finished watching this. A great movie with an excellant soundtrack. I thought my sub was going to vibrate across my living room.

"The powerful will be ripped from their decadent nests. And cast out into the cold world that we know and endure. Courts will be convened. Spoils will be enjoyed!"

 

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post #19 of 55 Old 04-01-2009, 08:10 PM
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Watched this BD and I thought this one worth renting.
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post #20 of 55 Old 04-01-2009, 08:13 PM
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I got this from Netflix on release day (yesterday). I never saw it in theaters. It was really good, but not quite excellent. I had a few "that would NEVER happen" moments, but it was a rewarding watch overall. I thought the audio was REALLY good. I really enjoyed hearing MIA in a soundtrack. When you boil it all down, it was a well written and interesting love story (I'm not trying to cheapen it however).
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post #21 of 55 Old 04-02-2009, 11:31 PM
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Wow, I've seen Benjamin Button, Milk, Frozen River...I'll watch Doubt next week. What was Hollywood and the rest of the world smoking. It was a good movie, interesting, but totally predictable. The storytelling was well done, but this is a case of a bunch of folks jumping on a PC bandwagon. Of the ones, I mentioned, BB was by far my favorite and Frozen River was a disappointment. SM was a runnerup and I'm sure many films were just as award worthy. I'm not even that enthused about the soundtrack. The movie was mixed incredibly hot, maybe too hot in the bass and nothing really stood out to me. I enjoyed Peter Gabriel's song from Wall E much more.

I enjoyed this film about as much as Australia. Another well done film that take away the scmaltz factor, got a solid B from me...but that's it.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #22 of 55 Old 04-04-2009, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviators View Post

anyone else having sound/mastering issues?

PS3 as BD player- and in the first 15 minutes (paused to try and find a solution) I have to crank it WAY up to hear the voices/dialogue and then it cuts to a new scene and my ears start bleeding as an airplane or whatever flies over.

Is something off on my end?! (can't imagine- just watched American Idol and it's fine) or is this extremely up/down/up/down in sound levels?!

I watched this on my DTS-MA HT and it had hints of what you describe, but definitely not as terrible. When I moved my PS3 out to my living room with the Sony Bravia, and played it on the internal speakers (vomit) - we were constantly adjusting volume for these terribly inconsistent sound levels. (even with dynamic range control on)
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post #23 of 55 Old 04-04-2009, 06:48 PM
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I saw Slumdog Millionaire in the theater twice and loved it. I got the BD from my neighborhood BB the day it was released and loved it again. The cast was outstanding, particularly its two young stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, and Anil Kapur who played the smarmy game show host.

I agree with Ralph's assessment that the audio and video are both excellent but neither is quite reference quality. Unlike some others, I noticed no fluctuation in sound levels.

Highly recommended, 9 out of 10 stars.
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post #24 of 55 Old 04-04-2009, 09:21 PM
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Slumdog wasn't great for me but very good. I did not see it in the theater and did not know much about it, except for the hype. Although very predictable, it kept me engrossed throughout. My wife, on the other hand, did see it in the theater and loved it. She couldn't wait to see it again on BD.

I also watched this on DVD and thought the BD PQ was just ok comparatively. The AQ was very good.


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post #25 of 55 Old 04-05-2009, 07:22 AM
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I don't know if anybody else had this issue. In the main menu,in the audio setting it does not give you the option of DD5.1 , although the cover says both formats are available (it defaults to DTS-MA).Same for the subtitle option. It does not navigate through the english, french or spanish options.I am using the PS3 as my blu ray player.
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post #26 of 55 Old 04-05-2009, 12:17 PM
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after watching the bluray. The flashback sequences are just nicer looking to my eye, with all the gameshow portions looking a bit flat (when compared). Overall, an above average transfer, I'm not disappointed.
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post #27 of 55 Old 04-05-2009, 07:53 PM
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Just watched this and enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. I thought it was a great film.

AQ was fantastic with some pounding LFE and fantastic use of the surround speakers. VERY dynamic track, but I did not think it was unbalanced....just very dynamic which is a very good thing Pretty much agree with Ralph's audio score, but thought the surround use was a bit better than he did. Overall great track, but short of reference.

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post #28 of 55 Old 04-06-2009, 03:11 AM
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Just finished watching it...it blew me away. Even being fully aware of all the critical acclaim and the way it kicked butt at the Oscars, I still loved it. It was a much darker film than I had expected, and I found myself very involved with the characters. I also thought the structure of the film was very artistic and well executed.

Awesome movie!
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post #29 of 55 Old 04-06-2009, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshter View Post

I don't know if anybody else had this issue. In the main menu,in the audio setting it does not give you the option of DD5.1 , although the cover says both formats are available (it defaults to DTS-MA).Same for the subtitle option. It does not navigate through the english, french or spanish options.I am using the PS3 as my blu ray player.

Greetings,

Yoshter, I just checked and in addition to the English/Hindi DTS-HD MA there is a French DD 5.1 option. There is no English DD 5.1 option but the cover doesn't indicate one is available.

The subs are available in English SDH and Spanish options (There was no French). You navigate them by highlighting the arrows (left or right) and pressing the enter button to scroll to the next selection.

Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
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post #30 of 55 Old 04-06-2009, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

Just added it to my queue to check.... it's the same for me. It's probably a mixup on their end. Benjamin Button is currently only listed as DVD too.

I wonder if Blockbuster's financial problems are at the root of it. They seem a little slow in getting some of the new releases in the BD format. I just added Slum Dog and Bolt to my queue yesterday and both were available in BD. I've had this same experience with our local store for some new releases back in March. Back when Beverly Hills Chihuahau and a few others I can't remember first came out, our store did not have any copies on BD - just DVD. A week or so later, they did have some in-store copies on BD for rental.

Sorry for going off topic. Looking forward to seeing the movie later this week. I'll find out for myself if it lives up to all the accolades and Oscars it won. For those who think there were other movies more deserving in some Oscar categories, all I can say is I've felt many times that the Academy appears to get obsessed with a particular movie and turns a blind eye to other contenders, leading to a sweep. Oh well, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a movie just because it did or didn't win Oscars.

Bill
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