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Old 03-27-02, 04:46 PM   #1
Matt Stevens
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new HIGHLANDER dvd is surprisingly good

I now have the DVD and while I am not happy with the exclusion of the original soundtrack, the Edge Enhancement on the transfer is nowhere near as bad as feared. There are a few shots with obvious and annoying "force-field" like halos, but they are very few (most are during the beginning of the training sequence). I hate hate HATE Edge Enhancement, so you can be confident that I am not going easy on the transfer.

Compared with the horrendous Artisan DVD and the exceptional THX 10th Anniversary Laserdisc, this new transfer is the clear winner. There is more detail, more vibrant colors AND, most importantly, an absence of artificial noise and compression artifacts. The video bit rate is always above 7 mbps, giving the grainy film enough bandwidth to playback without falling apart, as the old DVD did (just compare the opening scene where the wrestlers walk down the aisle into the auditorium. The old DVD broke up into massive macro-blocking, similar to a VCD!).

HIGHLANDER is a grainy film. It was both an intentional look and a limitation of the film stock used. Thankfully, Anchor Bay did not pull a HEATHERS SE on us and use DVNR to smooth the picture out to nothingness. That would have resulted in LESS detail.

So when you watch this DVD, be aware of the fact that the picture looks exactly like it was shot: Grainy.

Extras on the single DVD are sparse. Anchor Bay pulled a real cheapo on us by releasing the extra music segments in the limited edition. That's a shame. But we do get two of the three U.S. theatrical trailers in anamorphic widescreen. The second of the two is noteworthy for only showing three scenes from the film, almost without cutting. It's interesting, but would have been more effective if it was Connery/Ramirez narrating.

So, since we are not going to get any other version of this great film for years to come, go ahead and place your order. I am a picky bastard, as many of you know, and while I am heartbroken that the soundtrack changes/screw-ups remain, I will take this version over the similarly flawed laserdisc any day of the week. And of course, to hell with the old VHS version. It was unwatchable.

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Old 03-27-02, 05:59 PM   #2
BuddyRevell
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can you give me an example of how the soundtrack changes. do you mean in the movie itself? is it added music or did they change a scene with a different song. give us one example of what part in the movie changed. if this is fact, then this sucks big time.
thx for your review.
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Old 03-28-02, 03:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by BuddyRevell
can you give me an example of how the soundtrack changes. do you mean in the movie itself? is it added music or did they change a scene with a different song. give us one example of what part in the movie changed. if this is fact, then this sucks big time.
thx for your review.
I believe what he means is that they didn't include the original stereo track. The DD 2.0 track is a mixed down version of the DD 5.1 track. This was because there was apparently massive damage done to the original soundtrack and so they decided not to use it. A minor detail in my opinion.

I just watched the UK R2 DVD of Highlander yesterday and the sound on that version does sound a bit tinny at times. Hopefully this version won't.

I'm buying the light US version for the commentary alone. There's really nothing else to recommend it if you have either the UK or the Australian DVDs. I don't think the video will be much better. And the Immortal Edition is a hoax since the extras isn't about the movie at all. Sure Queen's music is important to the movie but to make ALL extras about them is going too far.

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Old 03-28-02, 04:47 PM   #4
Matt Stevens
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Quote:
The DD 2.0 track is a mixed down version of the DD 5.1 track. This was because there was apparently massive damage done to the original soundtrack and so they decided not to use it. A minor detail in my opinion.
That is absolutely, categorically 100% FALSE! How these rumors get started is beyond me.

Fact: The original soundtrack is not in any way damaged. It had been preserved in a vault in Europe and was used for some recent DVD and VHS versions overseas.

Fact: The soundtrack was remixed, using all the original elements, in 1994 for the 10th Anniversary laserdisc. Certain sound effects were replaced (gun shots, booms, thunder) to give the soundtrack heavier bass. Certain sound effects from the TV SHOW were added, by the Producers (Davis & Panzer) to give the film “more continuity.”

Fact: Anchor Bay has excluded original soundtracks on some releases for fear of people finding mistakes.

This is most likely what happened with HIGHLANDER. Anchor Bay was flooded with requests for the original soundtrack and they have long refused to comment on it. Insiders say they made the decision to just use a downmix from the 5.1 remix, in order to avoid the above mentioned fact.

Listen to the commentary track. The soundtrack the participants are listening to is the original and has the missing line “MacLeod! This is the Quickening!” when they jump off the cliff!

95% of the soundtrack changes were fine. They simply split the surrounds, brought up certain sound effects or music cues where appropriate, gave the sound more weight and bass, but the problem areas are two fold: Two missing lines of dialogue that are among fan’s favorites, plus the addition of those stupid, loud “WHOOSHing” sounds whenever an immortal is about to appear.

If they had just put the damn lines of dialogue back in, I’d be mostly happy.

Anyway, nothing we can do. It’s the best we have and will likely remain that way for a long time.
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Old 03-29-02, 12:18 PM   #5
Adam Tyner
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Quote:
Fact: Anchor Bay has excluded original soundtracks on some releases for fear of people finding mistakes.
Well, it's a fact that Anchor Bay has excluded original soundtracks on some releases, anyway. What makes you think that the original soundtracks aren't included because of a fear of people finding any mistakes that may or may not be present? I'm not saying you're wrong (I have no idea either way), but that seems a little far-fetched. The number of people who would intensely scrutinize multiple soundtracks would seem to be so small as to be insignificant in the scheme of things, and anyone that determined could easily turn to other releases for a point of reference.
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Old 04-02-02, 11:34 PM   #6
jomalley2001
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I grabbed the Immortal Edition today and I am very happy. I saw this movie several times in the theater 15 or 16 years ago and I think that this DVD is the best this film has ever looked and sounded.

Now when do I get my DVD of Razorback?
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Old 04-03-02, 10:19 AM   #7
Matt Stevens
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What makes you think that the original soundtracks aren't included because of a fear of people finding any mistakes that may or may not be present?
Inside information, confirmed by multiple sources.
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Old 04-07-02, 08:43 PM   #8
d2cheer
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matt Stevens
Inside information, confirmed by multiple sources.
So what are the lines of dialogue missing?? I have not noticed any and have seen this film at least 10 times in various editions...
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Old 04-07-02, 10:21 PM   #9
Adam Tyner
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Can you elaborate, Matt?
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Old 04-08-02, 05:57 PM   #10
Matt Stevens
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Off the top of my head...

"MacLeod. This is the Quickening!!" was removed from the scene where Ramirez and MacLeod jump off the cliff into the ocean (training sequence). This is my favorite scene and favorite line. Same goes for many others.

"I want to go home" was removed from when MacLeod won the prize.
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Old 04-10-02, 12:55 AM   #11
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Just bought the Immortal Edition today. I have not yet had time to watch the movie, though I have watched a couple of the Queen Videos.

I was surprised that the plastic keep case seemed fairly “cheap” (that is to say, of poor quality). It is very similar to the double-Alpha cases, but it is obvious that it is not exactly the same. The middle section “pops out” rather easily and there is some flash around some of the box edges. I wonder why Anchor Bay chose not to use the “standard” double-alpha keep case. (They did, in fact, use the standard” double-alpha for the Limited Edition Supergirl release).

In previous posts in other threads, I have asked just how “limited” these Highlander Immortal Editions are. After I ripped the shrink-wrap off of mine and removed the keep case from the metal case, I noticed that a bar code is still printed on the back cover. This got me thinking: I wonder if the Immortal Edition is only “limited” insofar as the metal case is concerned? Perhaps they will continue to produce the Immortal Edition in the future (at a cheaper price?), but without the metal case.
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Old 04-14-02, 08:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
I was surprised that the plastic keep case seemed fairly “cheap” (that is to say, of poor quality). It is very similar to the double-Alpha cases, but it is obvious that it is not exactly the same. The middle section “pops out” rather easily and there is some flash around some of the box edges.
I'm glad you mentioned that - my case snapped and I thought I caused it! (Of course, technically I DID - if I hadn't opened it, the thing wouldn't have broken!
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Old 04-16-02, 03:24 AM   #13
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I picked the base DVD up today. This is one *funky* transfer. There are portions that look absolutely gorgeous, as in the sequence after Nash comes out of the parking garage and the cops are taking him down. There are also 3-4 sections that are as grainy as anything in my collection, ala the MacLeod/Mona Lisa image fade that pans to Nash walking up the sidewalk. Gawd what grain. Bizarre. For $9.99 though, it's a great buy, especially for a fan of the film. This is about as good as it gets, as I understand the previous DVD editions were suck. BTW, I hadn't seen the non US release footage before. The shot of MacLeod's first opponent doing backward somersaults in the garage caused me to rewind the DVD a time or two to see if my coffee had been drugged or something
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Old 04-16-02, 10:42 PM   #14
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The shot of MacLeod's first opponent doing backward somersaults in the garage caused me to rewind the DVD a time or two to see if my coffee had been drugged or something
That seen cracks me up. It looks like the stuntman ran out of steam on the last few back handsprings, which of course served no purpose since MacLeod was far away.
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Old 04-17-02, 02:02 AM   #15
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I noticed some nude scenes were taken out.

I also noticed the added in the backstory of MacLeod's secretary. That was interesting. Although maybe they should have put it in chronological order with the other flashbacks.

I think this is one of the greatest non-linear movies ever.

And Queen rocks!

I'd say if you don't care for Queen, then buy the one-disc version which is really cheap. I realize I'm spending more for a metal sheath.
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Old 04-17-02, 08:56 AM   #16
Matt Stevens
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There are also 3-4 sections that are as grainy as anything in my collection, ala the MacLeod/Mona Lisa image fade that pans to Nash walking up the sidewalk. Gawd what grain. Bizarre.
The grain is IN the 35mm film stock. It's a defect of the era's optical effects, as well as low budget filmmaking. This transfer is very accurate in how the film looks (I have the 35mm trailer and have projected it and the grain is there).

And no nudity is missing from the film.
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Old 04-17-02, 09:56 AM   #17
Adam Tyner
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The IMDb states that the two lines mentioned earlier -- "MacLeod! This is the Quickening!" and "I want to go home." -- are exclusive to the original U.S. theatrical release. Admittedly, the IMDb is not the most reliable source of information, but I received an e-mail from a reader earlier today who said:

Quote:
The IMDB is right about those specific missing lines. Before a director's cut was available in the US, those lines were missing on import bootlegs as well. They are also missing on the 1996 DVD. The interesting note is that you CAN hear the lines when the audio commentary is playing on the 1996 DVD. Since the same commentary was used for the Anchor Bay version, I assume that the case is the same for this release as well...
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Old 04-17-02, 03:26 PM   #18
mtkach
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Highlander DVD

Im a huge fan of Highlander, but will all these new releases is the Immortal Edition really worth to get? dont get me wrong im sure it has some new features included, but does everyone think
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Old 04-17-02, 04:36 PM   #19
Matt Stevens
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those lines were missing on import bootlegs as well
Bullsh*t. I owned both a PAL import and the Japanese laserdisc and the lines were absolutely in the extended cut. IMDB strikes again.
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