How to get a replacement for the laser-rotted French Silent Hill Blu-ray

This is really inside baseball, I apologize, but what is a blog, if not an instrument for bringing the truth to the masses? Right? Right!

Obviously this only applies to you if you've purchased the original French 2-disc Blu-ray version of the movie Silent Hill (2006) from director Christophe Gans.

It's this one we're talking about:

Exact title: Silent Hill: √ądition Collector 2 Disques
UPC code: 3512391144524
Serial number: EDV 518
Original release date: October 13th, 2009

Why why why why?

To those who haven't bought that and are wondering why one would do such a thing, here's the low-down, real quick. There are two reasons:

1) The extras

The French version contains some fascinating extras: For one, you get an alternate version of the entire film, as it appeared before the images were color-graded and the visual effects added. That alone would be reason enough to get it. You also get an audio commentary (subtitled in English), and a whole extras disc with special features. Frankly it's more than any of us deserve.

2) The transfer

Both the English and the American Blu-rays (the only ones I've been able to check) suffer from a flat, dull image that lacks contrast. The black areas, and if you've seen the film, you know there are many, are not black-black, they're often black-grey-ish.

Here are some images to illustrate the problem. In still pictures it looks like the contrast has just been tampered with, but I promise you the experience of watching the French version is like day and night, compared to the other versions.

But what's the problem?

Unfortunately this glorious version of the film has been stricken by laser rot.

Laser rot is when the adhesive between the two sides of the disc reacts in a bad way with the content layer, causing the data to be corrupted, rendering the disc unplayable.

It rarely occurs these days, but when it does it can be quite devastating, turning whole batches of a title into coasters. The worst thing is that the flaw doesn't show up immediately, so you can watch a film several times, put it on the shelf, and take it down a few years later, only to realize it no longer works.

So what do I do?

Luckily a disc-replacement program has been put into effect. You have to send the rotted disc to a company in France and after a while you'll get a new fresh disc back. If all goes well, mind you. Mine took almost 2 months to arrive, though.

The address you need to send the disc to is:

Service Retour Mlink
ZI de la Boorie
Boulevard de l’Europe
53700 Villaines la Juhel

Include a letter explaining the situation, with your name and return-address clearly written. I wrote my letter in English, which didn't appear to be a problem.

I also taped a note with my details to the actual disc, so that if it got lost from the letter, they would still be able to confirm that I personally had returned a disc.

That's it. Go ahead and get that disc sent. The quicker you send it, the quicker you can take that trip into hell again.

A final word

If you don't want to mess with all these problems you can simply buy the new 1-disc version. That disc is identical with the first disc from the 2-disc set, but then obviously you'll be missing the special features from disc 2.

In that case this is the version you'll want:

UPC code: 3512391180850
Serial number: DIV 713
Original release date: January 2nd, 2014


That's it. Hope that helps!

Special thanks to Nuka Woelk, who originally alerted me to the replacement program!


Upgrade This? Wonderful Days

So, I just got the Blu-ray version of the Korean animated movie Wonderful Days (2003), which raises the question: Is it worth upgrading?

Well, I think so.

Even thought the high-def transfer is plagued by compression artifacts and severe banding issues, there's no denying that the higher resolution is a vast improvement on the original DVD. Here are some comparisons between the DVD and the Blu-ray.

Just two random screenshots to demonstrate how awesome this film looks.

A closer look at the problems with the transfer or the encoding.

So yeah, not perfect. Not even great. But far better than my old DVD. In short: Get it!


Short posts

I should start writing some short posts. That way I could actually add some content to this blog. Just a thought.