SteelBook Alert: Welcome to Earth!

Among the movie titles recently announced for preorder with Blu-ray SteelBook editions are a new sequel that’s not really a sequel, a cheeseball sci-fi film that’s about to get a sequel, and a quirky French romance that requires no sequel.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’

Available at: Best Buy
Release date: TBD
Price: $26.99
Region Coding: Paramount Blu-rays are almost always region-free

This is a strange choice of SteelBook case art for the ‘Cloverfield’ follow-up that doesn’t actually have much to do with ‘Cloverfield’. I haven’t seen the movie (which is set almost entirely inside an underground bunker), but it’s my understanding that it has something of a Hitchcockian thriller vibe. Perhaps that’s why the artwork seems to channel old Saul Bass posters. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure whether I like it for this particular movie or not.

10 Cloverfield Lane SteelBook

‘Independence Day’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: May 30th, 2016
Price: £15.99
Region Coding: Unconfirmed, possibly locked to Region B

As a tie-in with this summer’s belated sequel, Fox will reissue Roland Emmerich’s 1996 alien invasion explosion-palooza with a brand new 4k remaster. Over in the UK, Zavvi will put the disc in a SteelBook. I’ve never been much of a fan of the film, but I have to admit that this is one damn fine-looking package.

It is not presently known whether the UK Blu-ray will be region-locked or not. (The Zavvi listing says “Region 2,” which isn’t even a Blu-ray specification.) Fox is erratic about region coding, so there’s a chance this may wind up locked to Region B.

Independence Day SteelBook

Independence Day SteelBook back

Independence Day SteelBook inside


Available at: Zavvi
Release date: May 9th, 2016
Price: £14.99
Region Coding: Locked to Region B

As much as I love Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s marvelous surreal love story – and as much as an argument can be made that this cartoonish case art is appropriate for the whimsical tone of the movie – this SteelBook doesn’t work for me. It crosses the line into being just a bit too goofy-looking. Frankly, that drawing of the title character on the back is downright creepy.

I would have much preferred that the images currently stuck in the interior of the case were used on the exterior front and back instead.

Amelie SteelBook

Amelie SteelBook back

Amelie SteelBook inside


  1. StaksOnStaks

    Hi Josh,

    As always, thanks for all you do! I have learned much from you on this site.

    Question: what does it mean for a movie to be locked into region B? Why would that be good/bad?


    • Josh Zyber

      Like DVDs, Blu-rays are often locked to playback in specified regions based on the country where they were released. For Blu-ray, North America is Region A and Europe is Region B. A disc imported from the UK may not play in an American Blu-ray player unless either:

      1) The disc is authored to be region-free.
      2) You own a Blu-ray player that has been hacked to remove region restrictions.

      • Deaditelord

        Wait, I thought Oppo blu-ray players like the bdp-93 could play blu-rays from other regions. I can’t imagine Oppo hacking their own blu-ray players so am I wrong about them being region free?

          • Shannon Nutt

            You can also drop an extra $100 and have them do it for you. I had my Oppo 103-D done before it arrived…my fellow tech-heads assured me it was easy enough to do on my own, but I didn’t want to “operate” on a player that expensive and worry about screwing it up. 🙂

          • William Henley

            I was looking at the Oppo for that very reason, but in the end, I settled for an Orei 3D Region-Free Player. On the Orei, you just have to punch in a 4 digit key code to get into a settings menu, but its easy enough to do.

            Granted, the Oppo LOOKS considerably better in the A/V rack than the Orei does, and some of the models (like the 103) has a built in image processor. The Oppo looks like a good quality build product. The Orei, on the other hand, looks like a $30 Walmart discount unit – all plastic and everything.

            I would say that if you can afford it, opt for the Oppo and get it pre-hacked. The quality of the product is significantly better. If you just want something that will pass bits onto your receiver and display (bits are bits) and don’t mind punching in a four digit code to get to a menu, and if your player is going to be tucked away in a cabinet like mine is and you don’t mind how pretty the player is, you can save yourself a few hundred dollars and go with the Orei BDP-M1, which is a bargain (under $150) if you want a multi-region player – I have had mine for three years and still love it.

      • Chris B

        Which is what happened to me last night as I tried to play a DVD I ordered off of amazon only to find out it was region locked to “b” GODDAMMIT. And nothing on the Amazon posting led me to believe it wouldn’t play in North America…I’m pissed.

  2. CC

    I can’t believe they went with some faux Saul Bass wannabe crap art for the Cloverfield steelbook when they had that AWESOME Kevin Wilson “Mailbox” one sheet art!
    Are they stupid??!!!!

  3. “I’ve never been much of a fan of the film, but I have to admit that this is one damn fine-looking package.”

    Am I alone in thinking that all the good artwork goes to SteelBooks I have no intention of buying due to my desire to own the movie?

  4. William Henley

    I just hate that, for the most part, Steelbooks come out so much later than the conventional release. I buy Steelbooks when they are day one releases, but I am not going to double dip just to get a Steelbook. That ID4 Steelbook looks amazing, though – if I didn’t already own the movie, I would be jumping on that.

    BTW, if you get on Zaavi’s mailing list, they e-mail you every time a new Steelbook is released. Half of their discs are still region B locked, but at least you now have the option of displaying prices in US Currency (I think they added that within the past year)

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