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Anybody here import "The Illusionist"?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
This has to be one of my favorite movies and I was wondering if any of you imported it. If so, how is the video/audio quality? Is it region free? Thanks
post #2 of 25
I haven't imported it, so can't comment on the PQ, but at Xploited they list the specs as DD 5.1 for English for audio, although the Italian language track is DD EX. It also says the extras are in PAL format so they are unplayable in U.S. machines.

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/il...y-p-13447.html
post #3 of 25
I have it. It's a BD25. The PQ is quite good, and the audio, even if only DD5.1 at 640kbps, is just fine. The way I see it, this is the best home video version available now, and I love this film.
post #4 of 25
Ya the PQ is good, and the audio is fine. Its mostly dialog so the lack of lossless sound isn't so bad.
post #5 of 25
I would like to see them release this here in the US. Very much preferred this over the competing the Prestige.
post #6 of 25
Has there been any news whatsoever on a US release? I'd gladly pick this one up.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by john*d View Post

I would like to see them release this here in the US. Very much preferred this over the competing the Prestige.

I really want this movie in blu!! I got the prestige in the "five free blu ray movie promotion" and promptly sold it.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviation View Post

Has there been any news whatsoever on a US release? I'd gladly pick this one up.

I havent heard anything. I dont mind importing but $40 bucks shipped is pretty steep. Its a solid flick.... but I dunno about $40 bucks!
post #9 of 25
I imported. Very good movie. Good PQ. Average sound but mostly dialog.
post #10 of 25
Im still holding off on buying the standard release in hopes of getting a blu version
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikey View Post

I havent heard anything. I dont mind importing but $40 bucks shipped is pretty steep. Its a solid flick.... but I dunno about $40 bucks!

Yeah, $40 is a bit overboard, especially for a 25gb disc with no HD audio. I'll stick with my DVD until there's a domestic release.
post #12 of 25
The German BD has DTS sound at 1.5 Mbit/s and is VC-1 at HD-DVD bit rates. Looks and sounds good.
It plays on region A players.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by john*d View Post

I would like to see them release this here in the US. Very much preferred this over the competing the Prestige.

I agree. I really liked "The Illusionist", and prefer it to "The Prestige". I have this one on DVD and would love to upgrade to the Blu-Ray copy.
post #14 of 25
Does it still run $40 to get it?
post #15 of 25
post #16 of 25
The Digital Bits is reporting that Fox will release The Illusionist on BD (+Digital Copy) here in the US on 6/8/10 (SRP $24.99).
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Patterson View Post

The Digital Bits is reporting that Fox will release The Illusionist on BD (+Digital Copy) here in the US on 6/8/10 (SRP $24.99).

About damn time.



post #18 of 25
I got the Canadian version (1080p, dts-HD MA) for CDN 4.99 (on sale with other Alliance titles last week) and for that price I can live without the Fox price, digital copy and ?extras.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

I got the Canadian version (1080p, dts-HD MA) for CDN 4.99 (on sale with other Alliance titles last week) and for that price I can live without the Fox price, digital copy and ?extras.

I have that too, and it seems only a modest improvement over the DVD. I'm curious if the US version will be different.

-Bill
post #20 of 25
Josh Z,

You compared the Fox domestic blu to the Italian disc in your review. As most people who didn't want to wait for the eventual domestic release imported the Canadian disc, would you be able to compare the 3?
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul nyc View Post

Josh Z,

You compared the Fox domestic blu to the Italian disc in your review. As most people who didn't want to wait for the eventual domestic release imported the Canadian disc, would you be able to compare the 3?

I don't have the Canadian disc. I've heard that the new disc is the same encode, but can't confirm that.
post #22 of 25
I reviewed the Canadian BD for the PQ Tiers. Here were my thoughts on it from last year (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post16436575).

recommendation: Tier 2.0

I have been eagerly anticipating this title on Blu-ray. An Italian Blu-ray does exist already of this movie, but I had refrained from purchasing it since it had no lossless audio soundtrack. This Canadian version was just released on May 5, 2009 by Alliance Films with a DTS-HD MA soundtrack. The 108-minute film is encoded in AVC on a BD-25 with absolutely no extras of any kind. I will estimate the average video bitrate to be 21.9 Mbps. The authoring and compression encode was performed by Juice Productions, which can be found on the web at http://www.juiceproductionsinc.com/.

Most of the feature shows no major compression-related problems. But in a few moments the encode does falter. While the video encode reaches momentary peaks over 40 Mbps, most of the time it remains in the twenties. A couple of the darker scenes with point-sources of light exhibit some obvious banding and false contouring. The darkest moments also show a minor amount of macroblocking and even chroma noise. Thankfully the encode handles the grain structure of the film with ease, reproducing it without any artifacting. I will proffer a guess that using a BD-50 would have eliminated the infrequent but obvious banding on this disc. These are relatively small problems that I still felt needed to be pointed out.

The transfer of the master looks wonderful and very faithful to the original cinematic presentation of the movie. Grain looks very pleasing and natural, with absolutely zero signs that digital noise reduction or other digital tools have been used to process the master. There are no halos and the image is completely free of ringing. Even though the film is from 2006, the master appears flawless with no print damage or apparent degradation. It looks like it could have come from a new theatrical release, considering the stark cleanliness of the image. All together this is a very film-like and accurate transfer that looks even better than what I originally saw in the theater.

In my consideration the only thing keeping this Blu-ray out of tier one is the original photography and look that the director used. Certain scenes go for a stylized aesthetic that recall a period movie. Flesh tones are frequently bathed in a golden hue that reflect the lamp and candle lights of the particular setting. Flashback scenes employ a somewhat diffuse photography, with the edges of the frame appearing very soft.

Contrast is reasonably strong and the well-lit scenes are sharp. There is a remarkable sense of depth that conveys a solid sense of space, which my domestic dvd completely misses. Objects in the foreground have excellent pop and dimensionality. Watch Eisenheim as he performs his illusions to get an idea of this phenomenon. Black levels are just a bit too strong, obscuring just a small amount of the finest shadow detail and resolution. Resolution is great and excellent high-frequency information is on regular display in the various close-ups.

My placement for this title is in tier two. Some moments probably are closer in caliber and merit to tier one, but the intended look of a few scenes should drop its ranking. But this is good picture quality considering a domestic U.S. release does not appear to be coming anytime soon. Fans of the movie should be pleased with it.

Watching on a 60 Pioneer Kuro plasma at 1080p/24 fed by a PS3 (firmware 2.70) at a viewing distance of six feet.

In retrospect I was probably too easy on the compression encode, which does manifest some problems in the darker scenes. I imagine my grade now would be closer to the lower half of tier two, though that is going off memory as I sold the BD as soon as the Fox version was announced. Little did I know they would use an exact duplicate of Alliance's disc.

Here were some followup comments I made that are funny now, looking back.

A higher video bitrate, or re-encoding the problematic sections, probably would have eliminated the banding problems I noted. The authoring company for The Illusionist is the same company that handled the Canadian Sin City release. I suspect the same level of improvement we saw when Disney authored their own version of Sin City over the Canadian release would be similar to the improvement one will see when Fox finally decides to release this movie in the U.S. on Blu-ray.

I do not want anyone confused though, I am completely recommending this Canadian version to fans and interested consumers right now. As long as special features are not a criterion, this is an excellent purchase. The transfer looks well-done with none of the digital manipulation that has become very common on catalog titles.
post #23 of 25
Definitely sounds like the same encode. If the Canadian disc has only pop-up menus and no main menu, I'd say it's exactly the same disc.
post #24 of 25
I thought the PQ was pretty exceptional. I look for fine detail more than anything alse in a HD release and this title had it in spades.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Definitely sounds like the same encode. If the Canadian disc has only pop-up menus and no main menu, I'd say it's exactly the same disc.

Good to know. Thanks Josh/Phantom Stranger
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