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“Play Time” on BLU RAY - UK and European Fans Should Check Before Buying For The Right Issue...,
This review is from: Criterion Collection: Playtime [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of the 1967 Jacques Tati classic “Play Time”. And at present (February 2014) this movie is available on BLU RAY in the States and elsewhere. But which issue do you buy in you live in the UK or Europe?
Unfortunately the desirable USA Criterion issue is REGION-A LOCKED.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.
Luckily the superbly presented and restored British Film Institute issue is REGION FREE – so will play on UK/EUROPEAN machines – and offers the bonus of both DVD and BLU in the same package.
Check you’re purchasing the right issue ‘before’ you buy...
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Initial post: 23 Jun 2014 00:53:16 BDT
Mark (or anyone else reading this who knows) - you appear to be someone who knows what they're talking about - so I have a question. The running time for this is a little over 2 hours. Is that correct? Back in the 1980s the ABC (in Australia) used to screen this reasonably often and it was 2 and half hours long. I used to have a VHS copy that was 153 minutes. Has half an hour disappeared, or should someone be scouring the ABC vaults?
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2014 10:55:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jun 2014 10:56:12 BDT
Mark Barry says:
You're right - there were in fact two versions - the one on the Criterion release is apparently the only surviving version at 124 minutes. But there was a 152-minute version issued in his native France. Tati was asked to edit it - and the remaining footage 'appears' lost.
As you say - perhaps the 'long version' is now only available on old VHS tapes that used the long cut for their releases (various regions in the world?)
Criterion has a hard won reputation for accuracy and 'completeness' - if there had been two versions available to them to present to the public - they would have used both. As it is - their BLU RAY offers fully restored elements - with all available supplementary material - and has received unanimous praise for it. Disappointing I know - but I hope that helps.
PS: If I'm wrong on this - would someone out there please advise
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2014 21:11:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jun 2014 21:21:59 BDT
Thanks Mark - I appreciate both the quick response and the information. I was thinking my memory was playing tricks. I have a few Criterion titles so I knew they were, more often than not, the best around - hence my confusion.
Of course, now I'm kicking myself for getting rid of that tape....!
P.S. The new Tati box would appear to supercede both Criterion and BFI (this can become a costly hobby!) - for now. That 'lost' footage was still being broadcast into the late 1980s, so is probably still out there somewhere. Which means.....
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2014 21:48:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jun 2014 21:49:04 BDT
Mark Barry says:
I'm still vying with the thought of buying the Sony BLU RAY player on Amazon for £200 (all regions both DVD and BLU RAY) because I can't stand this region Coding crap. It's denying me titles I want. Besides so many of the US titles are cheap - say as little as five dollars - even with trans P&P they still way in cheaper than Euro options.
I'd love to get my hands on that David Lean Criterion box - and The Night Of The Hunter...
Too bleeding costly all this!
Regards - Mark
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2014 23:02:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jun 2014 23:07:13 BDT
Didn't know about that all region Sony....hmmmmm. Criterion Seven Samurai.....hmmmm..... :)
Of course a lot of this depends on how wedded we are (I am) to physical copies. And something else to consider (but do the maths first) is that there's copying software for blurays that removes region coding (so you can buy from anywhere) and, depending how big your collection is, buying blanks + cheaper US discs may be the way to go....
...I mean, you'd only be backing up a copy of something you've bought!
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