PictureThe transfer here was compared against the R2 UK disc as well as the US R1 edition and they are all exactly the same in terms of quality.
The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and the print is flawless with no signs of grain or dirt, and the colours are vibrant and natural. There are copious amounts of detail in the image and the contrast range is brilliant with solid blacks. The breathtaking cinematography is captured in all its glory and looks amazing when seen on a large screen, such as our review system. There are no problems with digital artefacts or edge enhancement and overall this looks like a reference quality transfer. Brilliant.
SoundMoulin Rouge is presented here, like the R2 UK and R1 editions with both Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks. The sheer dynamics of both soundtracks are amazing, but the DTS runs away with the crown. The LFE channel has bass well under 20hz and this transforms the musical numbers into something expected at a real "live" event. There is so much going on in the sound mix that your speakers are never quiet for more than a minute or so. Another gem regarding this movie is trying name all the different musical numbers coming at you thick and fast from Fatboy Slim's reworking of the can-can, to a chilling rendition of the Polices' "Roxanne". The best moment for sheer quality in this sound-mix is a version of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" played out in the style of a 50's MGM musical, sheer class!
But all is not as it seems however and like the R1 edition of the film, this Japanese disc suffers from drop outs and loss of lip sync on the DTS track, this really is a shame as the DTS mix is by far the more interesting track with a wider feel and more dominant bottom end. I find it a little strange that Fox must have known about the problems with the R1 disc and to a smaller degree the R2 UK disc (which has no drop outs but sync goes at least twice during playback), so why have they still released this Japanese edition with the same soundtrack problems. As for the Dolby Digital track, although not as good as the DTS variant for sheer dynamics, it does the film justice and will be the track of choice for future playback of this disc.
ExtrasThe extras here are the exactly the same as those on the R1 and R2 UK sets, however things like cast and crew bios and any text are in Japanese. The main featurettes are all in English with forced Japanese subtitles which can be removed.
If I were to list every extra and what it contains, this review would be 6 pages long. This set is even more decedent than the source material it is based on. The main attractions being two commentaries on disc one along with a white rabbit type feature. Instead of a white rabbit a green fairy (a cameo role for a well known pop star) appears every now and again, and by pressing enter you are taken to behind the scenes material.
Disc two is packed with a huge number of features (see the list to the top of this review) including behind the scenes featurettes, interviews with cast and crew. Musical interviews with the composer and Fatboy Slim. Trailers, deleted scenes with commentary and an introduction, and so much more that you will need to put aside a good few hours to get through them all.
VerdictWhile the packaging is great and a collector's piece in itself, the presentation across two discs is identical to that already available on both R1 and R2 UK editions and the lipsync problems including drop outs are present on the DTS track just like the R1 disc and to a lesser extent the R2 UK disc.
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