Hard-Boiled: DVD Comparison!

Film Reviews and Release Comparisons
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captainjoe
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Hard-Boiled: DVD Comparison!

Unread post by captainjoe » 14 Jan 2008, 06:14

Hard-Boiled



Part One: Scanning through the various transfers


Video Quality (Dragon Dynasty):


Hard-Boiled has never had a very good DVD in Region One. Even the now out-of-print Criterion Collection DVD was extremely poor. Well, we have now been granted
a new release from Dragon Dynasty and the results are quite good. It practically is the transfer from the Scanbox disc (see below) and looks pretty nice in this
16X9 enhanced transfer. I think it's the most consistent of all the transfers. Some look better in other scenes but then worse in others. Colours look generally
more accurate than the other editions and dirt and specks never were an issue. Edge enhancement is non-existent like the awful Criterion which looks a lot like the
Fox Lorbor disc. Only concern I have is the softness. I presume it could be due to some sort of softening to hide grain. I'm sure it could look a tad sharper, even in 480P.

R0 Tartan:
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R0 MeiAh Remastered:
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R2 Scanbox Norway:
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R1 Dragon Dynasty:
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R2 e-m-s Germany:
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R2 HK Vidéo France:
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R1 Fox Lorbor:
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R0 Tartan:
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R0 MeiAh Remastered:
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R2 Scanbox Norway:
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R1 Dragon Dynasty:
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R2 e-m-s Germany:
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R2 HK Vidéo France:
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R1 Fox Lorbor:
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R0 Tartan:
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R0 MeiAh Remastered:
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R2 Scanbox Norway:
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R1 Dragon Dynasty:
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R2 e-m-s Germany:
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R2 HK Vidéo France:
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R1 Fox Lorbor:
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R0 Tartan:
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R0 MeiAh Remastered:
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R2 Scanbox Norway:
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R1 Dragon Dynasty:
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R2 e-m-s Germany:
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R2 HK Vidéo France:
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R1 Fox Lorbor:
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R0 Tartan:
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R0 MeiAh Remastered:
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R2 Scanbox Norway:
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R1 Dragon Dynasty:
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R2 e-m-s Germany:
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R2 HK Vidéo France:
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R1 Fox Lorbor:
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R0 Tartan:
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R0 MeiAh Remastered:
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R2 Scanbox Norway:
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R1 Dragon Dynasty:
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R2 e-m-s Germany:
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R2 HK Vidéo France:
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R1 Fox Lorbor:
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R0 Tartan:
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R0 MeiAh Remastered:
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R2 Scanbox Norway:



R2 e-m-s Germany:
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R2 HK Vidéo France:
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R1 Fox Lorbor:
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R0 Tartan:
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R0 MeiAh Remastered:
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R2 Scanbox Norway:
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R1 Dragon Dynasty:
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R2 e-m-s Germany:
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R2 HK Vidéo France:
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R1 Fox Lorbor:
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Last edited by captainjoe on 14 Jan 2008, 22:26, edited 4 times in total.
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captainjoe
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Unread post by captainjoe » 14 Jan 2008, 06:14

Part Two: Audio and Extras



Audio Quality (Dragon Dynasty):


I cannot comment on any other DVDs audio wise so my main focus here will be the R1 Dragon Dynasty DVD. In short, I was very impressed! Remastered in both 5.1 Cantonese Dolby
Digital and DTS, Hard-Boiled sounds brand-new, literally. What was done here was impressive with wide use of all 5 channels and the sub. I've never really seen an older film jump
to 5.1 from a mono source with such perfect quality. The DTS track sounds more realistic, naturally due to the large bit-rate, but both tracks were spot on for a film this age. For the
purists, the original Cantonese Mono track is included. There's also a 5.1 Dolby digital English dub that I only sampled. I didn't really like the sound of it, best to stick with the Cantonese tracks.





Special Features (Dragon Dynasty):


Hard-boiled is presented in a two-disc package with the film in 1.85:1 widescreen on disc one with a new optional commentary track and the remaining special features on disc two


Disc One:

Audio Commentary by Hong Kong Cinema Expert Bey Logan:

I have yet to listen to this track but I hope to one day get around to it, lately I've been going crazy with commentaries so I'm sure I'll get to it one day. I did sample a segment
it did sound promising enough.


DVD trailers:


A whole bunch of trailers for Dragon Dynasty releases.


Disc Two:


Coming Soon
Last edited by captainjoe on 15 Jan 2008, 03:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Markgway
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Unread post by Markgway » 14 Jan 2008, 18:15

The quality varies between caps... but from what I can see the best edition would be narrowed down to between three choices: Tartan, Scanbox and Dragon Dynasty (the last two being virtually identical). The others' flaws are too great to take into consideration, and at times look downright awful.
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Unread post by HungFist » 14 Jan 2008, 18:45

I don't know about other dvds, but Tartan does break into pixels during some action scenes. But I wouldn't be surprised to see this happen on other dvds, too. Hard Boiled isn't exactly a compression friendly film...

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bradavon
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Unread post by bradavon » 14 Jan 2008, 19:36

It's a hard one to call between the Tartan and DD. I didn't pay much attention to the rest.

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Unread post by tom2681 » 14 Jan 2008, 20:20

I think the Tartan is the best compromise.

-DD is downright blurry.
-HKV is a tad too blue.
-EMS is oversaturated.
-Mei Ah is soft, interlaced and yellow.
I used to be "the man who loves the movies you hate".
Now I'm just "that weird french guy with a cat avatar who comes to BnB once a year for no reason and then disappears again".

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Unread post by romerojpg » 14 Jan 2008, 20:38

HD version wins.

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captainjoe
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Unread post by captainjoe » 15 Jan 2008, 03:51

Updated with a few audio/video reviews.

I'll be watching the special features on disc two by next week so I'll probably have reviews for those up by the 23rd or so. :)
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Unread post by RickyTheDragonSteamboat » 16 Jan 2008, 00:52

Man, some people are so picky. Here's a sampling of things I heard bitter internet geeks say about this particular release:
"OMG! It's stretcho-vision!"
"DD's offer dubtitles while Tartan's are dumbed-down! Death to Harvey!"
"Yeah the stretching is painfully noticeable!"

Yeah, pretty ridicualous.

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Unread post by DangerousLeeHandsome » 16 Jan 2008, 01:24

In the months since its release, I've been reading nothing but endless bashing of the DD. In all honesty, it doesn't look that bad. My issue is the dubtitling.

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Unread post by captainjoe » 16 Jan 2008, 02:39

That's ridiculous. The dubtitling is the only real downside to this release.
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Markgway
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Unread post by Markgway » 16 Jan 2008, 02:49

The only time the Tartan doesn't look the best is in the last cap -- where for some reason the French has the most pleasing image. Factor in the subtitles I would go with the Tartan everytime.
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Unread post by dvdvision » 16 Jan 2008, 08:49

The french made their own HD transfert, that is on the HK video DVD.
They used as reference the japanese HB laserdisc, which to this day remains the best release of this film anywhere (once you upscale it and past the analog image, the sound is astonishing).

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Unread post by HungFist » 16 Jan 2008, 09:48

dvdvision wrote: They used as reference the japanese HB laserdisc
Apparently they've been using that as reference to all their jp releases as well, unfortunately. I've yet to see a HK Video release of a japanese film without a blue tint...

But back to HB, has anyone seen the Japanese dvd?

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Unread post by bradavon » 16 Jan 2008, 20:34

captainjoe wrote:That's ridiculous. The dubtitling is the only real downside to this release.
Are they dubtiles are we know them or new subtitles that happen to be based on the dub? If it's the latter then it's fine.

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Unread post by DangerousLeeHandsome » 17 Jan 2008, 00:42

bradavon wrote:
captainjoe wrote:That's ridiculous. The dubtitling is the only real downside to this release.
Are they dubtiles are we know them or new subtitles that happen to be based on the dub? If it's the latter then it's fine.
Actually, they are word for word dubtitles. "Drop your f-ing guns!"

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Unread post by RickyTheDragonSteamboat » 17 Jan 2008, 01:07

For some reason, the English dub on DD's sounds like it was recorded yesterday. The music and sound fx sound brand new. The mono is also the best I've listened to.

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Unread post by Markgway » 17 Jan 2008, 01:26

bradavon wrote:Are they dubtiles are we know them or new subtitles that happen to be based on the dub? If it's the latter then it's fine.
Neither is acceptable.
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Unread post by Ivan Drago » 17 Jan 2008, 18:42

The stretching on the DD is, well, hard to spot compared to some of the HKL's releases. I think I read though that the DD is an English print rather than a Chinese one.

I think I'll stick with the Tartan since I have it - and that's the heavily windowboed title sequence

I have seen cases where the dub resembles the subtitles because they are from the same translation but if this is the original dub then they're dubtitles. Columbia is the worst at that practice and HKL used to indulge in it too
bradavon wrote:
but I guess you're more intelligence than me.

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Markgway
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Unread post by Markgway » 18 Jan 2008, 00:10

The windowboxed credits is the only noteable flaw on the Tartan disc. I hope they can fix that for an impending BD release.
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Unread post by Lourdes » 18 Jan 2008, 00:17

I thought the R2FR was supposed to be better than the Tartan. A case of :DVDBeaver: I guess. :roll:
I have the Tartan in any case.

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Unread post by RickyTheDragonSteamboat » 18 Jan 2008, 00:21

Ivan Drago wrote:I think I read though that the DD is an English print rather than a Chinese one.
Dragon Dynasty's version has Chinese opening and closing credits if that's what you mean. But it does lose the Barry Wong dediaction found on the Tartan and Mei Ah.

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Unread post by bradavon » 18 Jan 2008, 12:58

DangerousLeeHandsome wrote:Actually, they are word for word dubtitles. "Drop your f-ing guns!"
Thanks.
Markgway wrote:Neither is acceptable.
Of course they are. Dubtitles based on a new literal translated English dub will be identical to proper subtitles. It's rare for this to be the case though. I seem to remember there was talk of HKL's Bichunmo DVD having dubtitles but it turned out they were new proper subtitles and HKL based their dub on this.

Understand?
Markgway wrote:The windowboxed credits is the only noteable flaw on the Tartan disc. I hope they can fix that for an impending BD release.
Are there any plans for this? I've not heard of one.

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Unread post by Markgway » 18 Jan 2008, 16:08

bradavon wrote:Of course they are. Dubtitles based on a new literal translated English dub will be identical to proper subtitles. Understand?
I understand what you're trying to say... but they wouldn't be dubtitles if they're translated from the original Cantonese. You would be talking about the same translation in both written and spoken forms. If the text is based on the Cantonese audio then it's subtitled.
Are there any plans for this? I've not heard of one.
No plans that I know of. But one would assume at some point.
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Unread post by bradavon » 18 Jan 2008, 23:57

Markgway wrote:I understand what you're trying to say... but they wouldn't be dubtitles if they're translated from the original Cantonese.
Agreed. It's worth clarifying though as I can see many getting confused and referring to them as dubtitles just because they happened to match the dub. I asked as HKL have done this before.

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