Comprehensive "POLICE STORY" DVD review. BIG!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-01-2001, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Matt at Love&Bullets has kindly printed my review. It IS large. I will be taking an even more anal look at the HKL DVD's picture quality later this week, as there are some concerns of a slight distortion in the aspect ratio, which I did not notice.

Review is here: www.loveandbullets.com/policestory.htm

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post #2 of 8 Old 10-01-2001, 08:40 PM
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Matt thanks for the very comprehensive and honest review. That is the way I would like to see all HKL disc reviewed. No offense to Neal of Bullets and Babes but his reviews always sound like a commercial and I don't like it. He is always apologizing for HKL.

Yes they produce the best HK films DVDs. I own most of them with exception of two or three but I still think they could do better for example the original mono sound should be included no matter what. I just don't believe that soundtrack is really gone. I mean the sound from the taiseng VHS is not that bad...

Anyway thanks and I hope you more HKL reviews.

Dennis
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-02-2001, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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You're welcome. Some have been saying the aspect ratio is a bit off, due to too much squeeze and the aspect ratio did look wider than 2.35:1, so I am going to take a closer look at that tonight or tomorrow (I'll need time to compare it to the other versions, take measurements, etc.).

By the way, I watched 2000 A.D. last night and the presentation was as good as could be hoped for. Since it's a newer film, sound and picture quality was top notch across the board. The DD5.1 was outstanding for a Hong Kong film. The movie was uneven and somewhat confusing at first, but there were some great sequences. Too bad the finale just peters out. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif

Here is a POLICE STORY screen grab. Hopefully my server will stop crashing on me...

http://www.deceptions.net/policestorycap1.jpg

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post #4 of 8 Old 10-02-2001, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Yup. The aspect ratio is not correct and is distorted on my system. Just note that I am in the U.S. with a NTSC setup and a MALATA N996, so this DVD might be giving the player a hiccup.

While watching this DVD, I found the aspect ratio to be wider than normal for a 2.35:1 film and now I know why. The image has been vertically squished, making everything a little too short and fat. After comparing this DVD to the Media Asia transfer, the Japanese transfer and the U.S. transfer, I was 90% positive of this. But I thought maybe it was my Malata N996’s PAL to NTSC conversion. So I put the DVD into my DVD Rom drive and low and behold, the distortion is there.

2nd UPDATE: HOWEVER, some in Europe say they are not seeing this distortion, so we have a case here of pure PAL equipment showing the film properly, but NTSC DVD decks or DVD ROM drives having a conversion problem. So HKL may not be to blame here.

Those of you with the MALATA N996 or other DVD players with X-Y scaling capabilities will be OK. I was able to correct the aspect ratio with the XY feature by raising the vertical height by just 3 clicks (hit “Feature†on the remote, go to X-Y Scaling and then hit the UP Arrow 3 times).

For the record, this is the second Hong Kong Legend DVD to have a problem like this. MAGNIFICENT BUTCHER has the opposite distortion, with the image too tall, causing me to use the X-Y scaling to lower the vertical height by 3 or 4 clicks. Again, those reporting this do not have pue PAL equipment, so HKL may not be to blame.

None of their other DVD's show this problem.

[This message has been edited by Matt_Stevens (edited 10-02-2001).]

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post #5 of 8 Old 10-02-2001, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matt_Stevens:
Those of you with the MALATA N996 or other DVD players with X-Y scaling capabilities will be OK. I was able to correct the aspect ratio with the XY feature by raising the vertical height by just 3 clicks (hit “Feature†on the remote, go to X-Y Scaling and then hit the UP Arrow 3 times). Of course, those of you with Home Theater PC’s or PAL DVD decks that have no X-Y scaling are out of luck, so I think Hong Kong Legends has to address this issue.
Huh? Scaling the image to different aspect ratios is easier on Home Theater PCs than on any other playback method I know. Download YXY and you can scale to your heart's content.

Did you find a particular frame that we can use for reference that will allow us to scale it? Like a shot of an object that should be round that appears oval?

Thanks for the review. I'm sure we will be getting this set.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-02-2001, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Chris,

I have updated my update. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif I have talked with BulletsnBabes about this and just minutes ago, the folks at Hong Kong Legends. The problem may be due to the PAL to NTSC conversion, as some in Europe who have this say the film is not distorted. It's a tough call to know just what is going on. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif

Go to 87:33 and check out the left side of the frame. The tennis stickers on the glass should not be square. They should be rectangular. Taller than they are wide. On my setup, they are square (squished). Looking at the Media Asia DVD and the Japanese LD, it's clear that the HKL DVD on my Malata is not right.

Since my Malata lets me scale to whatever I want, this is really big deal for me.

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[This message has been edited by Matt_Stevens (edited 10-02-2001).]

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post #7 of 8 Old 10-03-2001, 09:23 PM
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Matt thanks for the update. I don't have Police Story yet but I do have Magnificent Butcher and I have to agree with the European people I do not see any distortion on it.

I am using an RKR Cassini, Mpact based HTPC from Digital Connection and my display is a ViewSonic PJL 830 DLP projector ( Davis DL 450 clone) It can display native PAL images and that DVD looks fine. No aspect ratio distortion at all.

So Matt what is your final recommendation on 2000 AD. That DVD is one of the few HKL that I do not yet own. I have never seen the movie therefore I have been hesitant to get it. Is the film worth buying? Another one I have never seen is Purple Storm. I've not bought it because I don't know if the film will be worth owning. After my disappointment with Tokyo Raiders I am very cautious of these new Hong Kong Movies...

Dennis
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-03-2001, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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2000 A.D. is a very uneven film. Some of the acting is bad, since the actors are speaking English instead of their native tongue in some scenes (they always seem to be rushing through their dialogue when speaking English). Most of the dialogue is Cantonese & Mandarin. The DVD defaults to a horid Ebnglish dub, which you won't want to hear. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif

The first 20 or so minutes is somewhat confusing and meandering. The film then picks up and is a lot of fun, but sort of dies out at the end. There are some action sequences, one terrific ambush and also a well staged car chase. But the finale fails to engage. This is a common problem with Hong Kong films (Big Bullet being a prime example)

Most consider PURPLE STORM the superior film, so I may pick it up. I didn't care for TOKYO RAIDERS at all.

By the way, when putting the Malata into 4:3 letterbox mode, the distortion on POLICE STORY is decreased a bit. You'd never notice it, as it only takes 1 click of the XY scaling to adjust to perfection. This leads me to believe their is something in the encoding of the disc that is slightly different than other HKL releases,therefore giving the Malata a bit of a hard time. The XY scaling keeps the annoyance out of mind and out of sight.

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[This message has been edited by Matt_Stevens (edited 10-03-2001).]

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