Top Picks for non-Region 1 DVDs?
May 24, 2006 12:53 PM   Subscribe

We were recently given a region free DVD player. What great DVDs should we get to play in it that we could not otherwise see in the US? A couple of other notes are the

We're not into Anime. He likes action movies, Star Wars, Sci Fi, movies where things blow up. I like BBC drama. We both like things that are well written and funny. Subtitles don't scare us. We're trying to build a collection of high quality child-appropriate films. I often buy DVDs only for the high-quality extras and never watch the film.

What can we now watch that we couldn't otherwise?
posted by anastasiav to Technology (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Just to confirm: Region free and able to handle both PAL and NTSC video signals?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:04 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: If you like BBC television and he likes sci-fi, the television show Spaced kind of covers both. A friend passed it on and I found it pretty amusing. Features actors you may recognize from Shaun of the Dead.
posted by mikeh at 1:06 PM on May 24, 2006

Depending on what you mean by BBC Drama, I would highly recommend Life on Mars (series one box set here). It's a police drama with a Quantum Leap-style twist. Just brilliant, and I think you would both enjoy it.
posted by featherboa at 1:16 PM on May 24, 2006

Response by poster: Region free and able to handle both PAL and NTSC video signals?

Yes, seems to be. Or so the instructions indicate, anyhow.
posted by anastasiav at 1:16 PM on May 24, 2006

This is not exactly child-appropriate but he might like it: Pusher (IMDB) is available in the U.S. but as far as I can tell the complete Pusher trilogy (IMDB: 2, 3) will only be available as region 2 dvd's.
posted by sveskemus at 1:19 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: A Bit of Fry and Laurie has started being released on region 2 DVDs and it's quite good and funny: lots of wordplay and such like.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:26 PM on May 24, 2006

Lots of JHorror.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 1:28 PM on May 24, 2006

I like BBC drama.

The Crow Road, from the Iain Banks book.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:34 PM on May 24, 2006

The long edition of Until the End of The World; Black Cat, White Cat
posted by edgeways at 1:47 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: The Tomorrow People is the first thing I bought to use with my region-free DVD player, and it sounds like something you both would like...or would have liked, when it aired in the 70s, anyway.
posted by bingo at 2:08 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: Ooh, avidly seconding "Spaced." I love it.
posted by GaelFC at 2:26 PM on May 24, 2006

posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 2:31 PM on May 24, 2006

Mrs. Jones is partial to Jonathan Creek.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:59 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: Why do people always manage to get to recommending Spaced before I do?
posted by Orange Goblin at 3:08 PM on May 24, 2006

I think what you want is to regularly check some DVD sites that specialize in this. I had a few bookmarked, but my computer's in the shop. Check out Masters of Cinema and also Jonathan Rosenbaum has a foreign DVD column.
posted by kensanway at 3:09 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: You can learn a lot from this site, where the information flows fast and the opnion free.
posted by Wristle at 3:42 PM on May 24, 2006

A really good Australian comedy duo is "Lano and Woodley". They are currently on their goodbye tour, but their series, "Lano and Woodley" is really funny, side-splittingly funny.
posted by jonathanstrange at 5:49 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: Second Spaced. It's in widescreen, has a commentary, a bunch of features, is a hilarious show, and is only available in R2.
posted by neckro23 at 9:17 PM on May 24, 2006

Dellamorte Dellamore. I got my copy from these guys (they were SLLLLLLOOOOOOOWWW shipping).

If you have a computer and a DVD writer - region coding isn't a problem (well, an unsolveable problem). I second/third/n the PAL/NTSC capable set-top DVD unit; hai, tres bueno mate.

The thing with "unwatchable" DVDs is that... well, they're going to be expensive. Given that, a list of HK Asian cinema movies that I've liked that fit your description:

Hong Kong 1941
A Better Tomorrow II
Ichi the Killer
God of Gamblers

Oh.. suitable for children... the last one (GoG) might fit, but the rest are mostly for adults. HK1941, though, more for the complexity of the situation rather than sex/violence.

I would highly recommend 1941 for you and the husband, though - the ending didn't "make sense" for me, but it's a very well put-togather movie.
posted by porpoise at 11:13 PM on May 24, 2006

The UK DVD of They Live has a commentary track by director John Carpenter and star Roddy Piper that is, I believe, absent from the US release. has it for pretty cheap, I think.
posted by jtron at 11:17 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: Dvd Compare is your friend. You put in a title, and it compares region 1 and 2 versions of the same film and lists the pros and cons...

I would also second the recommendation for Descent and Spaced. Plenty of BBC series as well. Nature documentaries and the likes.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:58 AM on May 25, 2006

Nousukausi, if you can find it. It's Finnish, not Japanese.

Also, Spaced is an excellent suggestion.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 6:36 AM on May 25, 2006

The Comic Strip Presents.
I cannot get to AmazonUK for for some reason. (so no link). But if you like british comedy like the Young Ones... it has: Peter Richardson, Adrian Edmondson, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Rik Mayall, Robbie Coltrane, Keith Allen, Nigel Planer, etc.
posted by nimsey lou at 7:08 AM on May 25, 2006

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