The Right Stuff 30th Anniversary (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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Ralph Potts's Avatar Ralph Potts
08:05 AM Liked: 825
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10-30-2013 | Posts: 9,757
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700
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

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

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
83





Studio and Year: Warner - 1983
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 193 minutes
Genre: Drama/thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward, Scott Glenn, Scott Paulin, Sam Shepard, Barbara Hershey, Pamela Reed, Kim Stanley, Veronica Cartwright, Lance Henriksen, Charles Frank
Written & Directed by: Philip Kaufman
Music by: Bill Conti
Based on the book by: Tom Wolfe
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 5, 2013







"How the future began"


Film Synopsis:

Epic and glorious were America's dreams to master the sky and journey into space. Also epic and glorious is this landmark movie about one adventurous test pilot, seven brave astronauts and the colorful era that forged their heroism. The Right Stuff Chronicles the story of the pioneering Mercury astronauts: the first Americans to ride a primitive spacecraft solo into a mew frontier. Preceding them in the history books was the legendary Chuck Yeager, who far removed from the awesome media spotlight that would focus on the "spacemen" a decade later, became the first man to break the sound barrier piloting the fabled X-1.

My Take:

The time was the late 1940s. World War II had just ended and the United States was entering into a new kind of war, a Cold War. New technology and the development of high-speed aircraft became one of the centerpieces of this new kind of conflict. The race to space between the United States and the Soviet Union had just begun. Adapted from Tom Wolfe’s best-selling book, The Right Stuff tells the heroic story of Chuck Yeager (the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound), the Flying Fraternity and the Mercury Astronauts – the first Americans in space. The bravery and daring exploits of these men captured the imagination of the American public during the 1940s and 1950s,and The Right Stuff re-creates these breathtaking events in emotionally riveting and suspenseful detail.


As a kid (I was 4 or 5) I remember watching Neil Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon and later hearing about but don’t specifically recall the plight of Apollo 13. After that in the mid 70’s and early 80’s I remember watching the Apollo mission launches on TV and like most followed the stories with interest. I loved reading about the space program, its history and the men who bravely paved the way into space travel. When The Right Stuff was released I went with some friends to see it and it was a memorable experience. Based on Tom Wolfe’s book of the same name it’s an epic and evocative biographical film with a rousing sense of adventure that at 19 years old touched me leaving me feeling extremely proud to be an American.

Screenwriter/director Philip Kaufman did a marvelous job preserving the innate spirit of Wolfe’s narrative as he carefully framed its sweeping elements. I love the Chuck Yeager storyline, its integral importance and how it is portrayed both before and after the space race. By today’s standards the special effects are pretty dated but pre CGI the use of miniatures, integrated archival footage and well crafted cinematography were top notch and in that regard it holds up well. The cast consisted of at that time a group of relatively unknown young actors. As we know many have gone on to distinguished careers in Hollywood. It’s hard to believe it has been 30 years since The Right Stuff came out. Three decades later it remains relevant, stirring and classic American filmmaking that generations can enjoy.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and thematic content.



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.**


Audio: 80

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


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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

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

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



Video: 86

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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

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

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


The Right Stuff comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 1.4 Mbps.

This high definition presentation renders good overall image quality that appears faithful to the film’s original elements. Its high definition video delivers appreciable levels of detail during close up and select wide angle camera shots. The exterior shots of the wide open filming locations look vivid with naturally rendered colors and estimable but limited depth. The majority of the time the visuals didn’t have a high level of image penetration. Sharpness is consistent but the video innately never attains what I would call lucid clarity. The variety of period colors and earth toned hues were reproduced cleanly and appeared gradationally satisfying. Blacks are punchy and contrast is stable which aids depth perception in low lit sequences. Grain is preserved naturally and is noticeable throughout. While this presentation lacks the polish of today’s new movie releases coming to Blu-ray Disc, this encoding appears faithful to the film’s original elements and looks decent in high definition.

The high resolution Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel mix does a terrific job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has appreciable vocal character and above average room penetration. This is a more or less front oriented presentation that makes use of the entire system to deliver a rewarding audio experience. The surrounds are utilized for atmospheric extension and directional pans while appropriately applied dynamics and mid to upper level bass combine to provide solidity that enhances both the music and effects without sounding distractingly unnatural. I was pleased with the outcome of this audio presentation. It highlights the strengths of the source material without ostentatious display and sounds great.

NOTE:

I received this announcement on November 7th regarding The Right Stuff 30th anniversary edition on Blu-ray:

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has become aware of and confirmed that The Right Stuff 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Book released on Nov. 5, 2013 went to market without the 96K upsampling feature enabled. Steps are being taken to resolve the issue at the current time.


I will update this review with any new information going forward.


Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:


  • The Right Stuff Blu-ray (BD-50)

  • Disc 2: (DVD)


  • Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary: The journey and the mission featuring scene specific discussion with the cast and filmmakers

  • Realizing The Right Stuff – 21 minute documentary

  • T-20 years and counting – 11 minute featurette

  • The real men with the right stuff – 15 minute documentary

  • Interactive timeline to space

  • John Glenn: American Hero – 86 minute PBS documentary

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Comes packaged in a an attractive Blu-ray book with photos, talent files, production background, a letter from director Philip Kaufman and more




Final Thoughts:

Based on Tom Wolfe’s book of the same name The Right Stuff is an epic and evocative biographical film that 30 years after its premiere remains relevant, stirring and classic American filmmaking that generations can enjoy. It makes it debut on Blu-ray featuring faithful audio/video quality, vintage bonus features and a wonderful commemorative Blu-ray Book keep case. As a fan of the film I am pleased to add this Blu-ray release from Warner Home video to my video library. If you have never seen this award winning piece of American Cinema I can’t think of a better introduction than this. Recommended.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Kimeran's Avatar Kimeran
08:38 AM Liked: 117
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10-30-2013 | Posts: 1,212
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Funny, I actually just saw this movie for the first time last weekend as I recorded it when it was on HBO or some premium channel for a free weekend....

I really enjoyed it. When I was younger I was fascinated with all of the early space program missions and super sonic flight to the point where I did a paper on Chuck Yeager and his accomplishments.

I really enjoyed this movie and will consider buying it on bluray.

Thanks for the review!
robnix's Avatar robnix
09:14 AM Liked: 317
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Thanks Ralph! I love this movie and will definitely be picking it up. I can't wait to show my 10 year old the iconic scene of the astronauts 'ready to go' so he can finally understand why I always laugh when I see that mimicked in movies. biggrin.gif
Reddig's Avatar Reddig
10:47 AM Liked: 182
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Aww man I havnt seen this movie in years! I remeber liking it alot when I saw it. Im a big fan of space history so I might have to pick this one up. Thanks Ralph!
Kascnef82's Avatar Kascnef82
11:18 AM Liked: 40
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10-30-2013 | Posts: 838
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My dad taped it off tv years ago in the late 1980s. I remember seeing it on vhs in the 90s and enjoyed it. Might buy this one soon. The movies title was the inspiration for nkotbs hit song of the samename.
dropzone7's Avatar dropzone7
12:36 PM Liked: 76
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10-30-2013 | Posts: 4,188
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In my top 5 favorite movies ever. Too bad the quality of this release is only "decent". I so wish this had been a scope format film as well.
JKR1963's Avatar JKR1963
02:10 PM Liked: 39
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10-30-2013 | Posts: 747
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Thanks for the review Ralph....a couple of questions though. I owned the original flipper dvd and the last double disc special edition (R.1) and was not too impressed with either one. Although it was watchable the newest dvd version had a lot of print damage and white speck's (which I hate watching).

How does the new print look.....does it still have all the white speck's etc?
repete66211's Avatar repete66211
04:16 PM Liked: 229
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Great movie. Just epic. On scale with Lawrence of Arabia, The Ten Commandments, etc. One of the best ensemble casts in the history of movies. And a well executed adaptation of a wonderful book. I'm sad to see it's not perfect in every way but I'd buy it even if it had a score in the 60s.
Dave Vaughn's Avatar Dave Vaughn
06:39 PM Liked: 144
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10-30-2013 | Posts: 4,404
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This movie made me dream of being an astronaut. Unfortunately, I discovered I had a severe motion sickness issue about two years later. The two don't mix well smile.gif

Great review Ralph. This is one of my favorites as well.
dfergie's Avatar dfergie
09:57 PM Liked: 28
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10-30-2013 | Posts: 1,367
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Ralph, the specs say Dolby TrueHD 5.1, your review DTS-HD MA 5.1, which does it have?
Ralph Potts's Avatar Ralph Potts
03:12 AM Liked: 825
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10-31-2013 | Posts: 9,757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfergie View Post

Ralph, the specs say Dolby TrueHD 5.1, your review DTS-HD MA 5.1, which does it have?

Greetings,

Thanks for catching that dfergie. The specs are correct, the soundtrack is Dolby TrueHD 5.1.


Regards,
Ralph Potts's Avatar Ralph Potts
03:14 AM Liked: 825
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10-31-2013 | Posts: 9,757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKR1963 View Post

Thanks for the review Ralph....a couple of questions though. I owned the original flipper dvd and the last double disc special edition (R.1) and was not too impressed with either one. Although it was watchable the newest dvd version had a lot of print damage and white speck's (which I hate watching).

How does the new print look.....does it still have all the white speck's etc?

Greetings,

The print is in very good shape. You'll be happy with it. smile.gif


Regards,
dfergie's Avatar dfergie
04:04 AM Liked: 28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Thanks for catching that dfergie. The specs are correct, the soundtrack is Dolby TrueHD 5.1.


Regards,
Thanks
Cyrano's Avatar Cyrano
06:25 PM Liked: 90
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Thanks for the review Ralph. This is one of my favorite movies. A smart movie about Mankind. It has great humor and realistic portrayals of interesting people. It captures an era we should remember, and be glad it happened.
So many strong moments in the film. And Bill Conti's fantastic and stirring score.
I gotta get this disc.
fitbrit's Avatar fitbrit
09:33 PM Liked: 29
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I remember seeing the last half of this movie on TV when I was a lot younger. I always wondered what it was called until I managed to identify it years later. I saw the whole thing twice since then. Even at 10 years old I was an aviation afficianado, and I knew the specs of almost every 60s and 70s military plane. I will be getting this BluRay as soon as I can.
One thing that bugged me is that in one of the very first scenes a pilot is shown to have fatally crashed the Bell X-1. An Air Force guy goes to the wife's house to break the news. As far as I recall there was no such incident, so was it just put in to illustrate how dangerous the job of a test pilot could be?

Thanks for the review!
Cyrano's Avatar Cyrano
02:10 AM Liked: 90
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11-01-2013 | Posts: 5,738
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

One thing that bugged me is that in one of the very first scenes a pilot is shown to have fatally crashed the Bell X-1. An Air Force guy goes to the wife's house to break the news. As far as I recall there was no such incident, so was it just put in to illustrate how dangerous the job of a test pilot could be?

Thanks for the review!
I never thought of that until you mentioned it. It seems it was some dramatic license. Here's a Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_X-1
The first X-1 pilot did die in another flying accident. I think the point being made was that test pilots were dying during this period.
JMCurtis's Avatar JMCurtis
10:44 PM Liked: 11
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11-02-2013 | Posts: 222
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Will be picking this up for sure!
dropzone7's Avatar dropzone7
02:20 PM Liked: 76
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11-04-2013 | Posts: 4,188
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I love the F-104 Starfigher. The coolest looking jet ever built IMO. Love watching that scene over and over.


fitbrit's Avatar fitbrit
11:08 PM Liked: 29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

I love the F-104 Starfigher. The coolest looking jet ever built IMO. Love watching that scene over and over.


I've been researching the actual incident since this review by Ralph. The actual Starfighter was a specially modified NF-104 - with an additional rocket engine to allow the sorts of altitudes it was reaching for astronaut training (several flights over 100k ft). In the movie they just used a regular F-104, of course. A website claimed, at the time of writing, that you can still see remnants of the crashed plane after several decades at the site. A fellow test pilot had taken the NF-104 to over 120,000 ft before Yeager's crash, and Yeager made it to just over 100k ft when the plane lost control due to inertia coupling.
moovtune's Avatar moovtune
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11-05-2013 | Posts: 341
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The ad at the top of the page says it has 96K upsampled audio. You don't mention that in your review. Does it?
smudge981's Avatar smudge981
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I was just a young pup when Alan Shepard went up in Freedom 7. Like many young children, I was glued to the TV whenever there was a Mercury launch and fueled my interest in the space sciences. Although I gave it up my senior year in college, I've been an amateur space enthuthist ever since and "The Right Stuff" has been a "go to" movie whenever I want to relive my youth and attitude of the 50's and 60's. Time to upgrade.

Fast forward to this last summer. I was back stage at an Oak Ridge Boys concert and had a pleasant conversation with a little old man wearing a Navy flight hat. It wasn't until he was brought up on stage did I realize I had been talking to...Chuck Yeager.


Cyrano's Avatar Cyrano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smudge981 View Post


Fast forward to this last summer. I was back stage at an Oak Ridge Boys concert and had a pleasant conversation with a little old man wearing a Navy flight hat. It wasn't until he was brought up on stage did I realize I had been talking to...Chuck Yeager.

Wow, that is pretty great.
Ralph Potts's Avatar Ralph Potts
10:02 AM Liked: 825
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moovtune View Post

The ad at the top of the page says it has 96K upsampled audio. You don't mention that in your review. Does it?

Greetings,

The soundtrack is a 48k TrueHD encoding. The original may have been upsampled to 96k but the track is 48k. Here is what Dolby says in its press release:

The Right Stuff 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Book will boast Dolby TrueHD with advanced 96k upsampling to deliver a full-range high-definition surround sound experience with remarkable clarity, detail and spaciousness. Dolby TrueHD delivers an out-of-this-world sound experience that will transport listeners right into the middle of the cockpit, the height of flight and the depths of space.

There is no further explanation...


Regards,
moovtune's Avatar moovtune
02:52 PM Liked: 15
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11-05-2013 | Posts: 341
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There makes little sense to me, that the end result is still 48K. According to Dolby's own White paper explanation, the idea is to upsample to 96K to take advantage of an apodizing filter to remove preringing in the original recording and end up with 96K audio for your processor/receiver to decode. Did Warner's take that filtered 96K and then resample it back to 48K? Silly. Just an advertising sales ploy. It always bothered me they were taking 48K audio and upsampling it and calling it 96k audio, but to now take that 96K and reduce it back to 48K and make a big deal out of the upsampling process is ridiculous.

http://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/Assets/US/Doc/Professional/Dolby_TrueHD_Encoder_WhitePaper_web.pdf
Cyrano's Avatar Cyrano
09:52 AM Liked: 90
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11-06-2013 | Posts: 5,738
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Well, yesterday I bought the new Blu ray version of The Right Stuff and I watched some of the moments that I like so much in the movie and it looks great.
I have watched this movie on one of our High Definition channels on our cable and I am glad to see that the Blu ray looks a lot better than what I was seeing there. The contrast, the color and the definition are really very good; the sound is pretty good as well. I was very happy to hear how clear the sound was.
For me this is one of those movies that offers a higher than average number of "body rushes" in moments and in music. What a great movie.
I wish they had done more updating in extras and maybe I missed something but I didn't find anything new from the older double disc DVD release.

Now I just have to get the Blu ray issue of Apollo 13 and then I will have the perfect double feature for a night of great cinema. (edit - just picked it up - cool. $ 9.99 :^) - ...2nd edit: (at home) Checked out the lift-off on Apollo 13. Just WOW.)
Ralph Potts's Avatar Ralph Potts
08:50 PM Liked: 825
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11-08-2013 | Posts: 9,757
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Greetings,

I received this announcement yesterday regarding The Right Stuff 30th anniversary edition on Blu-ray:

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has become aware of and confirmed that The Right Stuff 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Book released on Nov. 5, 2013 went to market without the 96K upsampling feature enabled. Steps are being taken to resolve the issue at the current time.


I will update this thread with any new information going forward.


Regards,
Cyrano's Avatar Cyrano
11:35 PM Liked: 90
post #27 of 55
11-08-2013 | Posts: 5,738
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

I received this announcement yesterday regarding The Right Stuff 30th anniversary edition on Blu-ray:

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has become aware of and confirmed that The Right Stuff 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Book released on Nov. 5, 2013 went to market without the 96K upsampling feature enabled. Steps are being taken to resolve the issue at the current time.


I will update this thread with any new information going forward.


Regards,
Thanks Ralph. I hope we'll be able to exchange our 48k versions if the newer versions come out.
NorthJersey's Avatar NorthJersey
09:41 AM Liked: 21
post #28 of 55
11-18-2013 | Posts: 2,740
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I assume the 30th anniversary has been pulled from the shelves due to this issue? I haven't been able to find this in any local stores
Kascnef82's Avatar Kascnef82
11:18 AM Liked: 40
post #29 of 55
11-18-2013 | Posts: 838
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Looks like netflix has the DVD version only and not the bluray...I know something was wrong....
Cyrano's Avatar Cyrano
11:34 AM Liked: 90
post #30 of 55
11-18-2013 | Posts: 5,738
Joined: Jul 2003
Amazon is still selling the Blu ray version.
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