Canadian DVDs Suck

As I’m sure many of the UK residents who have ordered region 1 DVDs from PlayUSA have found out, for some time now they’ve only stocked Canadian DVDs. You’d imagine that there wouldn’t be any difference, but because of laws giving the English and French languages equal rights it means that many of them have French titles and synopses plastered over them, ruining the cover art.

I’ve never been too bothered because they just have to sit on my shelf (although a reversible cover that was completely English on one side and completely French on the other would seem like a simple solution), but now that I’ve seen first-hand that they drop features from the DVDs to make room for the French language I’m hunting for a source that sells US R1 DVDs.

It all happened when I decided that as I didn’t have Sin City in my collection I needed the new Sin City: Recut and Extended package. I ordered it from Play for the great price of £17.99 and sat back and waited for it to arrive. Then, as I was waiting, I was browsing IGN’s DVD General Board and saw a topic entitled “Canadian version of Sin City recut replaces DTS with french 5.1 track???” (requires IGN Insider), containing the following post:

It’s true… no DTS track. Not a *huge* deal for me, but CURSE YOU UNE HISTOIRE DE SIN CITY – VERSION LONGUE ET NOUVEAU MONTAGE!!!

It’s not a huge deal for me neither (my current 5.1 system can’t even handle DTS) but when I buy a DVD I want all of the features, and now I have to go to the trouble of sending this one back and getting a refund and find somewhere else to buy it.

My problem is the principle of it – I have foreign language DVDs and most of them have the original language in Dolby Digital 5.1 and/or DTS and, if they even include a dub, English in 2.0. Why then do English-language movies have versions of the original language dropped to include a 5.1 French track? Can’t they cram in a French 2.0 track and leave the original languages intact, or even just add French subtitles? I know plenty of film buffs who wouldn’t dream of watching a dubbed movie so are French people philistines or something? In my experience definitely not – they have more appreciation for art than most.

This has really annoyed me and I’m not risking Canadian DVDs again. From now on I’m going to have to risk customs charges through DVD Pacific or hope that a UK retailer like DVD Concept are selling the unbastardised version.

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