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Tone’s “50 blu-rays you must own” - UPDATED

By August 22, 2010March 17th, 20203 Comments

Tone Magazine - September coverOf Tone Magazine’s 50 “must own” blu-rays 13 are not actually available in New Zealand legally, or won’t play on NZ purchased players due to region coding. Which is a bit of a waste of time, don’t you think? They also manage to spell Criterion incorrectly right the way through article which adds insult to injury.

After the jump, the list (the article itself is not online):

So, of the 50 blu-rays that Tone Magazine say you must own, one doesn’t exist yet, two haven’t been released yet, ten you can only watch if you have a very expensive region-free blu-ray player and one more you can’t get through normal retail channels.

I’m saving up for the Oppo universal player as I certainly do want to take advantage of all those Criterion discs at least but the article demonstrates a) the paucity of local releases so far and b) a very poor effort on the part of Tone.

And anyone who rates Ratatouille over WALL•E must be some kind of moron.

Update 24 Aug 2010: Reader BrynG points out in the comments that the European region coded blu-rays are compatible with New Zealand but the discs themselves still require importing. My wider point remains, though. No one should be recommending Criterion blu-rays to unsuspecting New Zealand consumers.

Update 26 Aug 2010: Gary Steel at (“New Zealand’s technology authority”) has kindly linked to this blog with some comments of his own. I wonder if he is the same Gary Steel who used to edit Tone Magazine.


  • Bryn says:

    Thankfully, NZ is the same region as Europe for Blu Rays (Region B) so anything imported from will work. Re the above that includes Old Boy, A Prophet, The Fly, and Old School at least. But it’s very true — so many films are slow to release here, if they come out at all. 

    (And if region is no object, it takes a moron to leave out The Princess Bride, too).

  • Tim Grey says:

    Hi Dan,

    Just wanted to respond to your criticism of the ’50 Blu-Rays You Must Own’ article in the latest issue of Tone. I reckon your objection to our including titles not available in New Zealand is an entirely valid one, and we did some of our own bickering about whether or not to leave out movies that weren’t currently on sale locally. Although we made sure that the great majority of the titles were available locally, there were a number of films we felt deserved to be on the list, regardless of whether they were currently on sale. In the end, we decided the list of must-haves would be the lesser for dropping the non-NZ titles than it is by suggesting movies that might have to picked up online or overseas. As you mentioned, a couple of those titles are due for release in the uncertain future, and I’d hope distributors would be encouraged to ship in the weirder flicks.

    In any case, I’d be happy to publish your post in Tone if you’d like. 

    Editor — Tone Magazine

    PS — Compared to Ratatouille, Wall‑E was as flabby and directionless as its chorus of rudderless humans. Misspelling Criterion, however, was moronic.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Tim

      Thanks for getting in touch. I don’t mind the choice you made so much — understandable when there’s so little to choose from still. I just wished you’d made it clear what a rort the region situation is on blu-ray — even to the point that you can’t play non-Region 4 DVDs on most players. I have to keep an old DVD player around just in case, which is inconvenient to say the least.

      Don’t feel obliged to print the post. It’s not the best written thing ever. But I would like the chance to do some writing for the Mag. I pitched to Gary a year ago but didn’t hear anything. Please feel free to contact me if you think there’s anything I can do for you.