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Discussion Starter #1
 http://www.bulletsnbabesdvds.com/


The following titles are coming from HONG KONG LEGENDS, the Criterion Collection of Europe and easily my favorite DVD studio:


The Killer!

Bullet In The Head (probably the version John Woo wants)

A Better Tomorrow 2

A Better Tomorrow 3

Once A Thief

City On Fire

Prison on Fire

Prison on Fire 2

A Chinese Ghost Story

A Chinese Ghost Story 2

A Chinese Ghost Story 3

The Swordsman

City Wars

Peking Opera Blues

Triads: The Inside Story

The Big Heat

Tiger on Beat


Basically, they want us all to go broke! :) Remember, these are Region 2 PAL.
 

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I have many copies of The Killer. VHS, the Criterion Laserdisk, and the dvd. None of these formats presented a decent picture and crisp sound. The Criterion LD had the best PQ but a lot was left to be desired ( The LD even states that they were using a print from the original distributor but with the least amount of flaws ) . SAme with A Better Tommorrow and others. These LD's I own have consistantly beat out the dvds. I am tired of spending on Upgrading my Hong Kong cinema movies anymore unless there is a dramatic PQ improvement. I have yet to see any Hong Kong movie look better yet on dvd.
 

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coug7669, have you ever seen a Hong Kong Legends dvd? They are fully restored and anamorphic widescreen. They are far better quality than the typical dvds that you usually see released from Hong Kong. I am confident that these new releases will continue their trend of high quality dvds.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Quote:
. I have yet to see any Hong Kong movie look better yet on dvd.
As Pham said, have you seen any Hong Kong Legends releases? They are not the crap that is on DVD in Hong Kong or on laserdisc or VHS. HKL takes great care to restore the films in the digital domain, just like the company that did the masters for BEN-HUR, CITIZEN KANE and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO on DVD.


By the way, the French DVD release of THE KILLER is a marked improvement over any other version. See my review HERE. Since HKL has better restoration techniques than Gans' company, I expect their DVD will be even better.
 

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Matt you say that HKL have better restoration than Gans, but didn't someone said, I think it was on the Asian DVD Forum, that the Snake in the Eagle's Shadow DVD released by Gans is much better image wise than the one from HKL?


BTW I recently ordered the following:


Game of Death


Iron Fisted Monk


In the Line of Duty


and Police Story.


Also I can't wait to see Chinese Ghost Story, The Killer, Bullet in the Head, Swordsman and Peking Opera Blues fully restored to the Glory they deserve
 

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Discussion Starter #8
SNAKE was the first title HKL secured and restored and Seasonal Films was petrified of giving them their best source, so they didn't, even though they said they did. Gans, a guy who had a relationship with Seasonal from past projects, was given the very best source Seasonal had and it shows. It's much more vibrant and detailed.


HKL was not happy when they saw how good Gans' print looked. But, it is inferior to HKL's as far as scratches and spots go. HKL uses a digital restoration process, while Gans has standard DVNR, which is used sparingly. That's why Gans' THE KILLER, despite looking very good, still has scratches throughout.


Also, HKL made a breakthough with their restoration process a few titles in and it has improved their ability to create good looking masters. If they had the print Gans used for SNAKE, HKL could make a superior transfer that is free of spots.
 

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No I have not seen a Legends dvd but I have seen the Anchor Bay dvd which was supposed to be superior to the Media Asia dvd which it was. But it was still below the LD in picture quality. As for restorastion, if these dvds are given the treatment given to those films mentioned I might be tempted to buy one copy to see for myself. I just dont want to get burned again as with the anchor bay dvd( which made four copies of this movie in different formats that I have at one time owned.) These movies cost a premium until just very recently( LD cost over 120$ when I bought it in the mid 90's.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote:
. But it was still below the LD in picture quality.
Coug, wow. I am amazed at that comment. The Hong Kong laserdisc is murky, cropped, from a print that is just battered and suffering from constant gate weave. The Anchor Bay DVD isn't perfect (it should have been duel layered for a higher bit rate) and it suffers from the dreaded cut bob (all versions of this film do), but I feel it is the highest quality version available. Unlike the LD, subtitles can be read with ease and they actually make sense.


I do think it will be a cold day in hell before we get the perfect version of this film. As long as Media Evil has their grip on it, the film will rot in a vault and not be treated with respect.


Note: "Cut Bob" is a problem where the frame bumps slightly every time there is a cut in the film. Freeze frame the DVD and go frame by frame and watch how this happens. It's G** D*** annoying and expensive to fix, which is why it isn't. HKL titles have not suffered from this.
 

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hong kong legends takes alot of time in resotring these movies, thats why its always takes a little time for these movies to be released, but when they are they are worth it, and i was gonna buy that french the killer, because i dont need the subtitles because i have seen it so many times, but i trust hkl will come threw, because their latest dvds have been very impressive, out of the list ill probly just get the killer since none of the others get alot of replay from me and i own the hk version
 

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Wierd, to say the least...


I got this from the HKL website:

Quote:
R2 European releases by HKL are encoded using the PAL TV format. R2 PAL runs 4% faster than NTSC R2, NTSC R0 or NTSC R1 formats. This is a difference in the TV standards rather than the actual films themselves. As an example the release of our Once Upon A Time In China runs to 128mins 27secs on PAL. Adding 4% takes this to 134mins which is the same as the actual longest print available on film and NTSC. No footage is missing. It just runs faster due to the TV Standard.
I thought this only applied when converting an NTSC format transfer to Pal, NOT when making a direct transfer from a celluloid master or film print. I had not noticed that the French Region 2 Pal DVDs of French films never transfered to NTSC format had such a speedup problem... :confused:


Am I dreaming, or does this mean it is a "Bluff" that they don't just transfer to Pal from a NTSC master, cleaning up in the digital part of the conversion?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Quote:
Am I dreaming, or does this mean it is a "Bluff" that they don't just transfer to Pal from a NTSC master, cleaning up in the digital part of the conversion?
Brett, forgive me, but I honestly do not understand your question or premise.


PAL is a format that is 25 fps. NTSC is 30 fps. 35mm film is 24 fps.


For PAL transfers, the film is sped up to 25 fps, rather than the 3:2 pulldown of NTSC. This causes a 4% speedup. It's inherent in all PAL transfers.


HONG KONG LEGENDS transfers all of their titles in PAL. They do not do anything in NTSC. The D1 PAL master is color corrected and then digitally cleaned up using their process, which is a trade secret.


I hope this explains the process will enough for you.
 

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Thanks Matt, I needed that!



Obviously, math has never been my strong point and your limpid illustration dissipated the smokescreen. It was clear when comparing Pal to NTSC, I just hadn't bothered comparing Pal to film...


Then all those French movies I've watched in Pal or Secam have the actors speaking in falsetto voices? Pal producers should remix voices at a lower pitch prior to making the transfer, and have the directors ask actors to move slowly during filming so that it comes off properly when broadcast?


So, NO movie ever transfered to Pal has been done at its correct speed, unless its 24 frames were digitally interpolated to 25 per second - likely never yet attempted and not necessarily a desirable thing if not operated properly.


One could only hope for a forthcoming demise of such obsolete, by virtue of today's technologies, video standards such as Pal and Secam. These grant precedence to a display's arbitrarily established scan rate rather than respect for the original film's pacing and harmonic spectrum. Maybe Europe's HDTV attempt will help us enter into a Pal-free world with 24 or 48 frames-per-second transfers?


In a Pal/Secam world, one really can lay no claim to having a true home theater, but only to a glorified home TV - the problem lays with the source standard more than with the technology we plunk it into.


Now I see why people get into 16mm and 35mm projection booths. Not the same budget maybe, but true Home Theater.


Cheers,


---------------------------

24fps Brett
 

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This is great news. The Killer is one of my all time favorite films and definitely my favorite Woo film. I never even heard of HKL before this thread. I am really looking forward to this release. I hope it's soon. Any idea when we should expect it?


All films are run theatrically at 24 fps, but I had read that some material shot on film specifically for PAL broadcast TV, was shot at 25 fps.
 

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Thanks for reasuring me Larry. At least some aren't utterly out of rythme and squeeky voiced. I read that animations made in Europe (or in Asia for broadcast in Europe) are assembled at 25fps too. I guess I'm a purist, but I have noticed that when an actor is interviewed for TV, his voice is often deeper pitched than on film transfer to Pal, making it not quite wimpy but still less buoyant. Sometimes the critical pause times between actor's repliques is shifted - the dramatic impact of real life interplay often occurs within fractions of a second, giving a different read of a situation, becoming precipitated rather than suspenseful. If you've enjoyed the film at the movie theater, it can be flagrant.


However, as all here are in applause of the beauteous transfers of the HKL Pal releases, and I have never seen them on film and don't know the actors' voices, could anyone suggest a few "classics" among the genre?


I guess the consensus is that "The Killer" should be at the top of the list - although it did receive a release in Criterion DVD...

As a note I enjoyed Police Story (on NTSC LD) and will be buying it from HKL to see it in its proper aspect ratio - so I prefer comedic action as opposed to raw brutal fighting or savvy stylized filming techniques. Thanks for helping me sort out the fun action with cool storylines from the hard-hitting battlebrawls!

:)


Here's my initial shortlist of the HKL releases with a more comedic style:


Police Story

Drunken Master

Snake In The Eagles Shadow

Armour Of God

Miracles

City Hunter

Once A Thief (original 1991)

Peking Opera Blues

Tiger on Beat



I just ordered a few of these from: http://www.play.com/play247.asp

They cost about half the price of Amazon UK with free shipping within Europe.



Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #17
>Once A Thief (original 1991)

>Peking Opera Blues

>Tiger on Beat


Just remember that these were just announced and will not be out for some time.
 

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Brett,


I have the Disney Drunken Master and I enjoyed it. Apparently it is chopped up quite a bit. The HK version of Once A Thief was a lot of fun, particularly the ending. It would be nice to see all the Woo films get quality treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Disney Drunken Master 2 isn't cut up. Only on scene was removed. It's the new (inferior) music score and the new (vastly inferior) soundtrack that ruin the film, along with the damn dubbing. All Disney had to do for this DVD was release it with the original soundtrack. I could live with the one small deletion! But NOOOO!!!!


B*st*rds.
 

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Wasn't Drunken Master recently brought back into theaters? I would guess the prints had the dubbed soundtrack and new music and that's why we have this version. If not, it wouldn't make any sense. I would prefer the original soundtrack in any case, but I suspect Disney (or Buena Vista, which is for all intents the same company) thought they could maximize box office and home video sales with the dub.
 
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