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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.