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post #1 of 21 Old 12-14-2009, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=160828&d=1260818809
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

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

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: Warner - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 153 minutes
Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton,
Directed by: David Yates
Music by: Nicholas Hooper
Written by: Steve Kloves based on the novel by J.K. Rowling
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 8, 2009







"Once again I must ask too much of you Harry.."



Film Synopsis:

Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort's defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Even as the decisive showdown looms, romance blossoms for Harry, Ron, Hermione and their classmates. Love is in the air, but danger lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same.





My Take:

I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books, although my children have. My experience with the stories have all been through the films which date back to 2001's Sorcerer's Stone. Currently I am the only one in my house that still enjoys the Potter films. I have seen each of them during their respective theatrical runs and while I haven't found them all to be equally entertaining I can't say that there is one that I haven't liked. The earlier films undeniably brought these delightful characters to life and endeared them to us while fundamentally establishing with each subsequent installment, the books theme of good versus evil. With each film we see Lord Voldemort becoming stronger and the tone shifting from seemingly brief (sometime humorous) moments of recoverable peril to mortality invoking danger that has serious/permanent consequences. Half-Blood Prince is ostensibly the darkest story yet and finds Hogwarts heavily guarded in order to stave off the impending threat from Deatheaters and Dementors. Harry and Dumbledore come together on the idea of using new (actually old and purposefully recruited) Professor Slughorn in an effort to uncover information buried in his memory that can be used to defeat Voldemort and his minions. Professor Snape is now the defense against the dark arts teacher and has mysteriously aligned himself with Voldemort and his latest plan for infiltrating Hogwarts which involves Draco Malfoy. Meanwhile Ron has joined the Quidditch team and found romance with Lavender. Hermione continues to be the trio's voice of reason and struggles with her feelings for Ron in the face of his budding relationship with Lavender. Ginny Weasley matures and takes on a position of prominence within the fold, Harry takes notice. Harry comes into possession of a school text book which contains a series of complicated spells that have been hand written among its text. It clearly was once the property of a student who signed it The Half-Blood Prince. Lastly, Dumbledore and Harry learn of a powerful device called a Horcrux, which can be used to store the soul or portion thereof making the wizard using it immortal. They uncover that a Horcrux may have been used by Voldemort and that there are a number of them hidden away. In order to stop him all of them must be located and destroyed. The question of who can be trusted looms....

I enjoyed this film more the second time around. As with all the Potter films preceding it there is plenty of depth to the story. As it escalates toward what is to come things are falling into place one important piece at a time. It was good to see Malfoy with more of a compelling role. While the overall tone is a dark and serious one it did take time to draw out some of the interpersonal relationships among the principles as well as throwing in a couple of lighter moments here and there. The foreshadowing of events is clearly presented but through it all the connection among these characters remains true. This is the essence of what makes these films special and why the remaining installments hold the potential of the best this series has yet to offer.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.






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: 90



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 90


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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince comes to Blu-ray from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 17 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.5 mbps.

The look of this film does not lend itself to frequent use of eye popping colors, bold contrast or definitive sharpness. The world where most of the film takes place is made up of large amounts of CGI which is interwoven with both real objects and people. It has a typically distinctive visual design that often gives it the appearance and feel of a dream. The film intentionally uses muted colors and drab lighting which provides a noticeable contrast to the story's fantasy world. Blacks are deep, noise free and dynamic. Shadow delineation is excellent which gives the film's multitude of low lit sequences and darker elements plenty of depth and dimension. The color palette isn't particularly extensive as sepia tones, grays and other neutral colors are heavily utilized. Red is used in various shades and when coupled along with well saturated blues and golden highlights gives images ample tonal warmth. Contrast is spot on so that whites appear dynamic and punchy when appropriate without being overcooked and washed out. Fine detail is readily perceivable in close ups while backgrounds during long range shots tend to appear less definitive. This appears to be innate to the photography and reminiscent of how the film looked during its theatrical presentation. The result is great looking high definition video that appears faithful to the director's vision.

The lossless audio presentation, like the video, was used like a canvas to paint a picture that brought the fantasy world of Harry Potter to life. The soundtrack capably blends the music and intricate details associated with the divergent mix of sound effects to create an involving aural soundscape. The track is a bit deceiving as it can go from blissfully laid back to becoming fully engulfed in spatial dimension and room shaking bass. The mix doesn't make constant use of the low frequency effects channel however it was used often enough to make an impression. There are several sequences where bass extension reaches down deep to pressurize the room with conspicuous and dynamic low frequency energy. The entire surround platform is used to overlay the film's discretely placed directional and venue replicating ambient effects. Superlative detail and clarity bring forth every nuance within the recording so that each was discernibly distinguishable. Voices are noticeably textured and sibilant free throughout. This is a superb sounding audio presentation that truly compliments this engaging film.



Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:


  • Maximum Movie Mode - PiP BonusView pop-up feature

  • (HD) Focus Points (33 minutes) :

    1. The Millennium Bridge
    2. Shooting on location
    3. Professor Slughorn
    4. Building relationships
    5. Director David Yates returns
    6. Wool's Orphanage
    7. Ron and Lavender's kiss
    8. The Burrow
    9. Harry & Ginny's kiss
    10. Aragog returns
    11. Creating the cave
    12. Designing the virtual cave environment
    13. The Inferni
    14. The underwater sequence

  • BD-Live access: December 12th live screening of The Half-Blood Prince with Daniel Radcliff

  • Disc 2:


  • (HD) Close up with the cast of Harry Potter - 29 minute featurette

  • (HD) One minute drills featuring the cast - 7 minutes

  • (HD) First footage from The Deathly Hallows - 2 minutes

  • (HD) J.K. Rowling: A year in the life - 50 minutes

  • (HD) What's on your mind - 7 minute feature

  • (HD) The wizarding world of Harry Potter - 12 minute featurette

  • 8 deleted scenes

  • Digital Copy Download Code

  • Disc 3:


  • Bonus Standard Definition DVD of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
attachment.php?attachmentid=160829&d=1260818809



Final Thoughts:

Admittedly I am a fan of the Harry Potter film series and always look forward to each installment. The Half-Blood Prince is a well executed film that sees the evolution of both the story and characters as each takes on more of a decisive and mature theme that is clearly a precursor of what awaits us in the final installments. Warner has done a marvelous job with its debut in high definition on Blu-ray Disc. Audio/video quality is top notch and I found the comprehensive set of bonus supplements to be a fan's delight. Definitely a must have for fans and a worthy addition to any collection.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 21 Old 12-14-2009, 04:32 PM
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I was disappointed to see that they didn't include the large number of subtitle choices that they had in previous BD releases. Guess they were trying to save money but since blu-ray has a large storage capacity I don't see the harm of making subtitles available in multiple languages.
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post #3 of 21 Old 12-14-2009, 05:12 PM
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The UK Blu-Ray release has a pretty good choice of subtitles:

English, Brazilian, Portuguese, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish

...so why weren't they included for the even more polyglot US customers ?
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post #4 of 21 Old 12-14-2009, 06:21 PM
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Good to read they sent you the reviewers/retail copy rather than the rental copy with no extras but a few forced SD trailers. I share your opinion of the audio, as well.

Thanks, Ralph.
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post #5 of 21 Old 12-15-2009, 06:29 AM
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sorry to burst any bubbles, but too much of the book have been left out or not explored in the movie. They should've made 2 movie out oh this book. All the intrigue about the half-blood prince potion book are not in the movie: It's the title of the movie!!!!

my 2 cents
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post #6 of 21 Old 12-15-2009, 06:49 AM
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I thoroughly enjoyed this film as well as the previous installments. My only gripe is since i saw this in IMAX 3D is i wished they've included that effect like they did in The Dark Knight which had the camera give that IMAX effect.

Also kind of left me hanging on the end but i guess that was to be expected. Haven't read the book but looking forward to the next chapter.

This is definitely a collect...however! Since this movie is a series of stories my suggestion is to wait. Because in the end i'm pretty sure the movie company will release a complete chapter/story of all the HP from one til the end.

Great write up Ralph.

Cheers
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post #7 of 21 Old 12-16-2009, 01:39 PM
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Nice review Ralph! To me the sound was much better than the pq though... PQ was ok but certainly not reference

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post #8 of 21 Old 12-16-2009, 03:56 PM
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Liked the movie. LIked the fact that the disc allowed for Resume Play (i.e. - hit stop, and then play and it goes to the spot where you left off; not all BR discs allow for this).

Really disliked the fact that you cannot hit skip or the menu button to skip ANY of the commercials for harry potter video games, etc, etc, etc. Very annoying. Good movie.
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post #9 of 21 Old 12-20-2009, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by internet seeker View Post

Really disliked the fact that you cannot hit skip or the menu button to skip ANY of the commercials for harry potter video games, etc, etc, etc. Very annoying. Good movie.

I had no problem skipping past the FBI warning, Warner Bros. logo, or trailers. I did so on both the Blu-ray and DVD discs.

Mark
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post #10 of 21 Old 12-20-2009, 11:43 AM
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I'm not a big Potter fan and though I'm a huge scifi/fantasy reader, I've never read the books. Largely, that's due to the movies since I've read that the early movies captured the tone of the books very well...even if some content had to be excised. Meaning I find the kids too cutesy. I might be short changing myself...maybe I'll one day take the plunge. Anyway, what I find wrong with the Harry Potter character is that he hasn't developed. Sure he's still a kid, but with all the talk of his being a prodigy, a "chosen one", I find that his skillset is lacking. He overcomes obstacles by being gifted, in a timely fashion, with a object, potion or spell, that's handed to him by a plot device or dumb luck not by inherent gifts. In fact, he seems to be fairly even with or behind many of his classmates. He faces danger showing plucky courage, but little else. After 6 films and 6 years of training, I'd expect more progress. As a late teenager he should be close to masterclass by power alone. Because he's not, the character just tumbles along, exhibiting no control over surroundings...just a normal kid involved in complex events he doesn't understand. This doesn't compell me into identifying with our protagonist. I'm all over stories that develop the character from potential to greatness. This series hasn't done it. I find the HP character weak.

Enough about that...Half Blood Prince seemed like an outline of a story to me. It's apparent that the script left out a ton of plot, just a barbones of the overall story sprinkled with some character interaction. I felt it was disjointed with many unresolved plot ends...maybe they'll be addressed in the next installment.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Why hide the book? Too dangerous? Why? What's with the cabinets? To bring in the deatheaters? They didn't do a thing. The deatheaters draw out Harry and the Weezilys then destroy their house...why? What were the consequences? It didn't seem to effect the rest of the story. Next scene was Ron, Ginny, Hermione and Harry back in school...never mentioned again. Dumbledore's death , Snape being the Half Blood Prince...that was a big reveal , both were handled with little exposition or explanation...Oh well...I'm pretty sure the Phoenix was fairly significant.


I'll watch the rest. I've come too far to give up now. I'm just totally luke warm on these films.

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 #11 of 21 Old 12-21-2009, 09:52 AM
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Ron,

Read the books...they're better than the movies, hands down (although I do enjoy the movies too). There is so much left out from books 3-6 in the movies that the meat of the story has been trimmed out.

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post #12 of 21 Old 12-21-2009, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

I'm not a big Potter fan and though I'm a huge scifi/fantasy reader, I've never read the books. Largely, that's due to the movies since I've read that the early movies captured the tone of the books very well...even if some content had to be excised. Meaning I find the kids too cutesy. I might be short changing myself...maybe I'll one day take the plunge. Anyway, what I find wrong with the Harry Potter character is that he hasn't developed. Sure he's still a kid, but with all the talk of his being a prodigy, a "chosen one", I find that his skillset is lacking. He overcomes obstacles by being gifted, in a timely fashion, with a object, potion or spell, that's handed to him by a plot device or dumb luck not by inherent gifts. In fact, he seems to be fairly even with or behind many of his classmates. He faces danger showing plucky courage, but little else. After 6 films and 6 years of training, I'd expect more progress. As a late teenager he should be close to masterclass by power alone. Because he's not, the character just tumbles along, exhibiting no control over surroundings...just a normal kid involved in complex events he doesn't understand. This doesn't compell me into identifying with our protagonist. I'm all over stories that develop the character from potential to greatness. This series hasn't done it. I find the HP character weak.

Enough about that...Half Blood Prince seemed like an outline of a story to me. It's apparent that the script left out a ton of plot, just a barebones of the overall story sprinkled with some character interaction. I felt it was disjointed with many unresolved plot ends...maybe they'll be addressed in the next installment.

I'll watch the rest. I've come too far to give up now. I'm just totally luke warm on these films.

Well said, exactly the way I feel about the series so far. Both my daughters have read the books and have a better understanding of what is taking place in the movies while I feel more and more disconnected from each successive film. But then again this is how I feel about the Dan Brown books and their adaptation to the screen, my wife who has read both books and is working on the third (no, please not another Ron Howard movie) tries to fill me in on what was left out the movie.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Movies

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post #13 of 21 Old 12-21-2009, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Well said, exactly the way I feel about the series so far. Both my daughters have read the books and have a better understanding of what is taking place in the movies while I feel more and more disconnected from each successive film. But then again this is how I feel about the Dan Brown books and their adaptation to the screen, my wife who has read both books and is working on the third (no, please not another Ron Howard movie) tries to fill me in on what was left out the movie.

I read the first 2 Dan Brown books and was underwhelmed. The first movie was even worse. I've got Angels and Demons sitting here from NF. Haven't spun it yet...watched HP instead...I think I'm going to be disappointed again .

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 #14 of 21 Old 12-21-2009, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

Ron,

Read the books...they're better than the movies, hands down (although I do enjoy the movies too). There is so much left out from books 3-6 in the movies that the meat of the story has been trimmed out.

Dave, I'm sure they're well written and somewhat charming, but I'm still concerned about the character. Harry's portrayed in the movies as just a young wanker with a wand after 6 books. I can't see investing the time, if I don't like the main character.

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 #15 of 21 Old 01-25-2010, 03:50 PM
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Ron, most of your concerns would be addressed in the books. Harry isn't supposed to be extremely gifted, a great fighter, or anything but an average kids. His strength lays in his ability to love. I don't care for the movie version Harry, actually there are lots of things I can't stand in the movies. I still love them, but because I love to see certain places/characters brought to life on the big screen.

I totally get your reasoning behind the cutesy remark. I only read the first two books once because they are not anywhere as developed or a dark as the following books. I am an avid reader of fantasy and have read many, many books/series and Harry Potter remains to be in my top 5. I would really suggest reading them before the 7th Potter film. At least read book 3 and see what you think. I think they get better and better. Deathly Hallows is my favorite in the series. I also always wonder how anybody can understand what is going on if they only watch the movies. There is so much left out and not explained in the films.

I was thinking of getting the blu-ray boxed set of HP movies. I hope they would be the same in A/V quality.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-25-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazmina View Post

Ron, most of your concerns would be addressed in the books. Harry isn't supposed to be extremely gifted, a great fighter, or anything but an average kids. His strength lays in his ability to love. I don't care for the movie version Harry, actually there are lots of things I can't stand in the movies. I still love them, but because I love to see certain places/characters brought to life on the big screen.

I totally get your reasoning behind the cutesy remark. I only read the first two books once because they are not anywhere as developed or a dark as the following books. I am an avid reader of fantasy and have read many, many books/series and Harry Potter remains to be in my top 5. I would really suggest reading them before the 7th Potter film. At least read book 3 and see what you think. I think they get better and better. Deathly Hallows is my favorite in the series. I also always wonder how anybody can understand what is going on if they only watch the movies. There is so much left out and not explained in the films.

I was thinking of getting the blu-ray boxed set of HP movies. I hope they would be the same in A/V quality.

My personal favorite was the 6th book, sadly the movie doesn't come close to measuring up. The movie is good in a vacuum, but compared to the book it not even close to as entertaining or informative about the characters and the story.

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post #17 of 21 Old 01-30-2010, 02:25 PM
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Did anyone have issues with the black levels on this?

In a lot of dark scenes, particularly towards the end, the blacks were bluish, almost posterized at certain times.
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post #18 of 21 Old 02-27-2010, 05:44 PM
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I am trying to watch the movie but I keep getting popup boxes the first being of Ron near the beginning of the movie. I cannot figure out what is causing the popups. I tried to setting the max movie mode to off but it the boxes are ruining the movie. Thanks for any help.
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-29-2011, 06:58 PM
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Ralph:

I noticed you are using the Oppo BDP-83.

I tried to play this Blu-ray tonight (yes, I know, I'm slow!) and even with the latest firmware, it failed to run--did you notice any problems with this blu-ray?
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post #20 of 21 Old 12-30-2011, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvp2005fan View Post

Ralph:

I noticed you are using the Oppo BDP-83.

I tried to play this Blu-ray tonight (yes, I know, I'm slow!) and even with the latest firmware, it failed to run--did you notice any problems with this blu-ray?

Greetings,

I am currently using the Oppo BDP-93 and can't verify but I don't recall there being any problems.

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post #21 of 21 Old 01-18-2012, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvp2005fan View Post

Ralph:

I noticed you are using the Oppo BDP-83.

I tried to play this Blu-ray tonight (yes, I know, I'm slow!) and even with the latest firmware, it failed to run--did you notice any problems with this blu-ray?

I discovered if you want to play this on the Oppo BDP-83, you have to upgrade to the newest firmware (Jan, 2012), reset to all default settings, and clear any saved blu-ray data. Without the last two steps, I couldn't get this to play.

After doing that, things worked fine. Hope this helps!
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