Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Foreign > Malena (Miramax R1 vs. Spectrum R0)

Malena (Miramax Region 1 vs. Spectrum Region 0 Special Edition)


Picture:†††† Sound:†††† Extras:†††† Film: A-

Spectrum††††††††† B†††††††††††† B+†††††††††† B

Miramax†††††††††† B+††††††††††† B†††††††††††† D


Director Giuseppe Tornatoreís 2000 film Malena, was one of my favorite films from that year and among one of his finest pictures.The film also went on to gain 2 Oscar nominations that year, although it did not win either.This is a great coming-of-age film that is just beautiful throughout and also showcases Monica Bellucci before she became as well known as she is now, especially after appearing in The Passion of the Christ, Tears of the Sun, The Matrix Sequels, and a few other hot spots.


While I would love to go on about how great this film is, the purpose of this review is to compare the Miramax edition released in the United States with that of the Special Edition released in Korea through Spectrum.Even those without a Region Free player can play this disc because it is a Region 0 disc, despite having a Region 3 listing on its packaging.


First the Miramax edition, which was a bit of a downer since it had no extras and a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 audio option and 16 X 9 enhanced 2.35 X 1 scope transfer, which looked sharp and detailed.The audio was a bit sparse and didnít give off the dynamics as it should have, but overall that edition was suitable for the time.However, the Spectrum Special Edition is just awesome in almost every aspect.This is a 2-disc version, with the movie being all on disc one, and is also about 11-minutes longer as this is more like a directors cut of the film, versus an edited down U.S. release.


Also, the Spectrum features three audio options, which include a stereo mix, 5.1 Dolby Digital, and a preferred 5.1 DTS mix.The DTS mix is quite magnificent giving depth and clarity to Ennio Morriconeís beautiful and sophisticated score.Finally, the sequences towards the end with planes bombing the town actually sound realistic and involved, versus flat and limited.


While I gave the score for the picture on the Miramax disc more than the Spectrum this is really a preference.If you prefer a more saturated look with your films, than you wonít mind the Spectrum, but if you like a sharper and more neutral color scheme than you might prefer the Miramax.Personally, I love the look on the Spectrum, despite it being a bit softer from time to time, but the fact that there is better sound going on helps take my worries away.


Now for the extras, which is hardly a comparison as the Miramax disc only contains trailers for other films from Miramax.The entire second disc on the Spectrum release is loaded with behind the scenes material, interviews, and other little goodies that any fan will appreciate.Beware though that there are no English subtitles for the extras, but in most cases they are speaking English, so it doesnít matter.


Letís just face the simple fact that the U.S. never gets some of the goodies that circulate elsewhere and even the case for the Special Edition is quite nifty making this a must-have for any true fan of the film.If you are really picky with the picture than you might want to just go for the U.S. issue from Miramax or keep your copy you have, but Iíll be dumping mine off next chance I get.


To purchase the Spectrum disc go to www.dvdasian.com.



-†† Nate Goss


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com