Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blue Underground Vs. Arrow Video - Which Argento Blu is for you?

It's a great time to be a Dario Argento fan with a Blu-ray player. Blue Underground have announced that a Blu of INFERNO (1980) is on the way this March and a Blu of DEEP RED (1975) is to follow in April. That's antastic news through and through no matter how y slice it. To you make an informed purchase though you realize that there are other options out there for the 1080p Argento connoisseur. The UK label  Arrow Video have their own Blu-rays of DEEP RED and INFERNO available in region free deluxe editions. So what's an Argento nut to do? That is the question we all ask ourselves when confronted with different editions of the same titles. I say snag 'em both but that's no always an option either. So for you dear reader I have hastily thrown together a quick side by side comparison of the different editions. I should disclose that Arrow Video have sent me screeners for both releases and they look fantastic. I have not yet  seen the Blue Underground Blu's but their MANIAC: 30th Anniversary Edition looks stunning. What I've got for you here is not a comparison of image quality but of the supplemental materials and technical specifications for each release to help you make an informed purchase with your hard earned cash.

Blue Underground Catlog No: (BD-50)
Release Date: April 26th 2011

- Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Bernardino Zapponi and - Goblin (Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli & Agostino Marangolo)
- U.S. Trailer
- Italian Trailer
- Goblin Music Video - "Profondo Rosso" (2010)
- Daemonia Music Video - "Profondo Rosso" (Directed by Sergio Stivaletti)

- 7.1 DTS-HD; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX; Original Mono
- English, Italian
- Optional Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, English for Italian Version
- 2.35:1
- English: 105 Mins / Italian: 126 Mins
- Not Rated
- Region Code: ALL

Arrow Video Cat No: FCD443
Release Date: Available Now

- Introduction by composer Claudio Simonetti16:9 HD
- Audio Commentary with Argento expert Thomas Rostock (2:06:34)
- Rosso Recollections – Dario’s Deep Genius (13:59) 16:9 HD
- Lady in Red: Daria Nicolodi remembers Profondo Rosso (20:39) 16:9 HD
- Music to Murder For! Claudio Simonetti on Deep Red (15:26) 16:9 HD
- Original Italian Trailer (1:52) 16:9 GD
- Original Trailer (2:47) 16:9 HD

- Brand new transfer of the International Theatrical Cut in High Definition (1080p)

- A Tour of the Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) shop in Rome with long time Argento collaborator Luigi Cozzi (14:46) 16:9 HD
- Easter Egg (0:39)

Blue Underground Cat. No. (BLU-BD-7025)
Release Date: March 29th 2009

- Art and Alchemy - Interview with Star Leigh McCloskey
- Reflections of Rose - Interview with Star Irene Miracle
- Interview with Writer/Director Dario Argento and Assistant Director Lamberto Bava
- Theatrical Trailer
- Dario Argento Intro

- 7.1 DTS-HD; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX; Dolby Surround 2.0

Arrow Video Cat. No. Cat No: FCD454
Release Date: available Now

- Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned art work
- Double-sided fold-out poster
- Collector’s Booklet featuring brand new writing on Inferno by Alan Jones, author of Profondo Argento

- Brand new restoration of the film, available fully uncut for the first time in the UK
- High Definition Presentation of the film (1080p)
- Optional 5.1 DTS / Stereo / Mono audio
- Choice of original Italian and English audio

- Introduction by star Daria Nicolodi (1080p)
- Dario’s Inferno (1080p)
- Acting in Hot Water: An Interview with Daria Nicolodi (1080p)
- The Other Mother: Making the Black Cat - Director Luigi Cozzi goes behind the scenes of The Black Cat, his rarely seen, totally unofficial, 1989 sequel to Inferno (1080p)
- Inferno Q&A with Irene Miracle, Keith Emerson and Tim Lucas [Blu-ray exclusive] (1080p)
- X marks the spot (1080p)

- Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava on Inferno
- 'Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror' Mark Kermode narrates this documentary on Argento’s career including interviews with George A. Romero and John Carpenter
- The Complete Dario Argento Trailer Gallery [18 films]

And here is our review for the INFERNO 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION 2-Disc DVD. The DVD has the same special features as the the Blu-ray, enjoy the review. Well, I hope this quick comparison helps guide to you to the edition that best suits your needs. Blue Underground and Arrow Video are both distributors that I cherish. These folks know their genre films and treat 'em with the love and respect really makes for great home viewing. They both deserve your support so have at it!

I just found out there's a Region 2 Blu of SUSPIRIA from newly created label called Nouveaux/Cine-Excess so let's hope for a Region 1 or Region Free Blu-ray sometime in the near future. Like I said, it's a great time to be an Argento fan with a Blu-ray player.