Close the Shutters, Turn Out the Lights

Finally, Joe Wright can claim he accomplished somethingParamount signed off with “Into the Wild” and “Things We Lost in the Fire” two weeks ago, and tomorrow Universal releases its final HD DVD title with “Atonement“.

While Warner is committed to releasing HD DVD editions of its high-def titles for another two months, “Atonement” is special: It’s the format’s very last exclusive release.

And, on another level, it’s not special at all; as far as Universal’s home-video publicity operation is concerned, it doesn’t even exist. The studio isn’t making review copies available to the press.

Barely a month ago, when “American Gangster” was coming out, Universal sent the HD DVD edition out weeks ahead of its street date in a splashy promotional package, complete with the electronic press kit on a branded USB drive.

And now, nothing. Just a sad little shrug, and the unspoken admission that the Blu-ray version will be along soon enough.

That’s fine. I’m much more interested in Paramount’s as-yet-unannounced BD titles, like “Sweeney Todd” and “There Will Be Blood”. With the standard DVD editions set for April 1st and 8th, respectively, those Blu-ray announcements should be coming down any minute now …

2 thoughts on “Close the Shutters, Turn Out the Lights”

  1. I have a feeling that Paramount is going to take its time making a transition back to Blu-ray. The fact that there’s apparently now a BD50 production shortage isn’t going to help either Paramount or Universal ramp up their Blu-ray efforts.

    For what it’s worth, Sweeney Todd is distributed by Warner in the UK, and their Blu-ray discs usually aren’t region coded. Blood is distributed by Disney in Europe, but unfortunately they do sometimes region code their day-and-date titles (this one isn’t confirmed either way yet).

  2. I dunno … I’m kind of expecting we’ll hear something sooner rather than later, though I’ll admit I don’t know _what_ we’ll be hearing.

    On the other hand, today’s “Cloverfield” DVD announcement made absolutely no mention of any high-def release, and that’s a title that absolutely screams for a 1080i/p transfer.


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