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Discussion Starter #1
I am curious about something. DVD reviews tend to focus on what comes out first, which nowadays is usually the 2-disc Special Edition or whatever name they use (it varies by company). Later, a cheaper 1-disc edition appears, minus the extras that were on the second disc of course.


I find it difficult or impossible to find reviews of the video quality of these 1-disc editions. For 1-disc versions of movies like Minority Report, Gladiator, Blade II, Big Trouble in Little China, Repo Man, Black Hawk Down etc. I would really like to know if it is the same transfer used in the 2-disc edition. I am not a big "extras" guy and if I can get the same picture (and hopefully audio, but that's less important to me) quality on the 1-disc edition, I would generally rather get that and use the extra money to get another 1-disc edition of something else.


Anyone know if there is a pattern to these things? Do the 1-disc versions that come out later tend to have the same video transfer as the 2-disc editions?


The only example I can think of where someone said the later 1-disc edition was worse in PQ was Bride of Re-Animator, but I have also read it uses the same transfer as the 2-disc out of print version, so I am confused.
 

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I know in many cases theses single disc versions are just Disc 1 of the two disc set. This is the case for "Cast Away" and "Fight Club". In fact, I own the single disc version of "Cast Away", and the disc still says "Disc One" on the front. They didn't even bother to change the labels.


But I don't think this is always the case. I know on Disney's "A Bug's Life", the original two disc collector's version had an anamorphic widescreen transfer, while the single disc version released at the same time was letterboxed.


My guess (although unfortunately I don't know for sure) is that the discs you mentioned have the exact same transfer or maybe even just the first disc like I mentioned above, especially "Minority Report" and "Gladiator". I would just check the back of the box. Both the MR and Gladiator two disc sets had anamorphic transfers and DTS soundtracks. If the back of the single disc version lists those features as well, I think it would be a pretty safe bet that they're the same transfer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The single disc versions of two-disc earlier releases I have seen typically don't have DTS on the single disc version - they have extras instead.


The online listings for many of these discs just say "widescreen" and don't specify anamorphic. I am amazed that the single disc version of "A Bug's Life" was not anamorphic yet the two-disc version was. Hearing that kind of thing makes me very cautious, unfortunately local stores often don't have the single disc version, and the online places are often vague about whether it is anamorphic.
 

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Online at DeepDiscountDVD on the 1-disc versions of both Gladiator and MR it mentions that they're anamorphic widescreen- 2.35. I was also able to look at a picture of the back of the single disc Minority Report and BTILC on DVD Profiler, and they both show on the DVD a 2.39 :1 and 2.35 : 1 anamorphic transfer respectively. All versions of "Repo Man" were released on the same day, show as anamorphic 1.85 : 1, and are all THX certified, so I would bet they are all the same also. Again I don't know for sure, but I'd be very surprised if they weren't the same video transfers as the original two disc versions. I wouldn't think the studios would pay to create a new transfer just for a later singe disc version.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chuft
The single disc versions of two-disc earlier releases I have seen typically don't have DTS on the single disc version - they have extras instead.
This is actually pretty uncommon. As mentioned previously, when a 2-disc set is downgraded to 1-disc, the studio usually just puts the first disc in its own packaging. The only exception I can think of off the top of my head is Lawrence of Arabia, which previously had the movie split between two discs and later crammed it all onto one (with compression problems).

Quote:
The online listings for many of these discs just say "widescreen" and don't specify anamorphic.
It is extremely rare for a major studio release to not be anamorphically enhanced these days. If you're looking at some $2 Wellspring title, be wary. But if the disc comes from Fox or Columbia TriStar, it's a safe bet that the disc will be anamorphic (unless the previous 2-disc set was not, such as The Abyss).

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I am amazed that the single disc version of "A Bug's Life" was not anamorphic yet the two-disc version was.
The original non-anamorphic A Bug's Life was released much earlier than the 2-disc set. Disney remastered the movie for the SE. Later, they reissued the single-disc edition in new packaging (called the Gold Collection), but it was still the original non-anamorphic disc. This is a weird case, and is not representative of what usually happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, to take a few examples I am interested in, the one-disc "Gladiator" and "Big Trouble in Little China" discs, both released in 2003 some time after the 2-disc DTS sets, do not have DTS on the single disc editions.
 
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