Bathed in nostalgia, and filled with sadness for the irrevocability of the past, for "a strange, inconceivable England" as Ballard says in his novel Empire of the Sun (New Windmills)
(ch. 2) - albeit an England surreally transposed to the far east - Spielberg perfectly captures the spirit of the book with his gorgeous cinematography and a superb soundtrack courtesy of John Williams, including the hauntingly beautiful Suo Gan
- a song which I don't think has ever been sung more beautifully (the soloist in this performance was James Rainbird). Complemented by a stellar cast, Christian Bale deserves a great deal of credit for his outstanding performance as Jim.
Blu-ray releases are often a case of hit-and-miss, but I'm glad to say that this blu-ray is excellent. Fans of the film will find that the cinematography is *enormously* enhanced by its being presented in glorious HD - the pin-sharp picture is just a complete joy to watch from beginning to end.
Making-of documentary, 'The China Odyssey'
(Both these were formerly available on DVD. Neither are in HD.)
The film can be listened to in its original (English language) soundtrack, or dubbed into French, German, Italian, Spanish (both Castilian and Latin), and Portuguese.
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish (again, both kinds), Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Chinese.
Comparison with US release:
The US release of this movie: Empire of the Sun [Blu-ray]  [US Import
] - which is multi-region, so can be viewed on any UK blu-ray player - is a special digibook version with a second disc. The second disc is a documentary about Warner Bros' WWII propaganda department, entitled "Warner at War". This 2008 documentary (which is narrated by Spielberg, and lasts about three-quarters of an hour) has really nothing to do with the movie (the Intro to the documentary can be viewed on YouTube). But the digibook itself is very nice. It has some well chosen photos from the movie and is quite a handsome product. However, at the time of writing, it does cost considerably more than the UK release. So if you're not much bothered with the packaging and are only interested in the disc content, then I'd probably go with the UK release since it is significantly cheaper, and the bonus feature on the second disc of the US release is not really an "extra" related to this movie.