Region 4 Winners and Losers

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Explanatory Notes
Additions or corrections (Please refer to the Explanatory Notes before emailing an addition or correction to this listing)
Title Best
HeavenR2E
    This disc is due for release in Region 1 and Region 2 this month and from the scant details posted so far both would appear to be the same bare-bones release.

    I did hunt down specs on one site for a separate German release of this film in Region 2 that includes director audio commentary, a making of featurette, interviews featurette and a trailer, however it is unclear whether the commentary and extras are provided in English audio or even with English subtitles (note that many German DVD releases do not come with English subtitles). Until we find out for sure whether either the Region 1 or Region 2 releases contain any extras, I will put this one down as equal across regions for now.

Additional note added 5 November 2003:

Heaven is now available as sell-through releases in both Region 1 and Region 2. Both are identical, featuring 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced video (although the aspect ratio of the Region 2 DVD, as I measured it, was actually slightly less than that - around 1.81). Both discs come with the following extras:

  • Audio commentary by director Tom Tykwer (yes, the commentary is in English!)
  • Featurette "The Story Of Heaven" (6:18)
  • Deleted scenes (5) with director commentary (12:08)
  • Featurette "Space Cam Fly-By" (4:16)

Note also that the Region 2 video transfer appears even sharper than the (already very good) Region 4 video transfer. The Region 2 transfer  is indeed less compressed, boasting an average data bit rate of a high 8.9 Mb/s (wow!), compared to the Region 4 rental disc's average bit rate of only 5.7 Mb/s.

There is still no word on any release date yet for a sell-through of Heaven here in Region 4. A very good sign though is the fact that the Region 2 disc has been dual-zoned Region 2/4, indicating that when (if?) we ever do get a sell-through here it will be identical to the Region 2. But until any such release is confirmed, then the Region 2 disc is the clear winner. My recommendation would be to buy the excellent Region 2 release now, rather than keep waiting for the Region 4 sell-through that might not ever come.