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Review wanted: Once upon a time in China 1, 2, and 3

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Review wanted: Once upon a time in China 1, 2, and 3

Old 07-17-01, 06:31 PM
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Review wanted: Once upon a time in China 1, 2, and 3

I think I remember reading the other day that the transfers on these were terrible, but the backs of the discs say they are remastered and anamorphic so are they really that bad? Are they worth getting or maybe wait for re-releases? Thanks...
Old 07-17-01, 06:55 PM
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I enjoyed them, not everything can be the best, and some films are damaged. That said, I don't know if there's a problem with the print, but the movie is very watchable.
Old 07-18-01, 02:01 AM
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OUATIC

I own the Columbia/Tristar versions of OUATIC 1 & 2.

I personally don't think the pic quality is as bad as some may say.

The issue with the "anamorphic" print deal is as follows:
For the "Original Theatrical Release" versions on both discs, from what I have read, they were just electronically upconverted to 16x9 anamorphic. They weren't originally mastered to be 16x9. So, from the accounts I have read, this makes them into a "psuedo-anamorphic" print. Don't ask me why/how this happened.

Now, the "Bonus English Dubbed" (bleargh!) versions on both discs actually have VERY clean picture quality and true anamorphic mastering.

I have heard some critical things said about the pic quality of the Hong Kong DVDs too. If you really want top notch quality and are able to play R2 AND PAL, your best bet is to get these ( at least the first one so far) from Hong Kong Legends.


If anybody has any corrections to make to teh above info, let me know.
Old 07-18-01, 12:54 PM
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The first one was awesome, good story, good message, nice fighting, beautiful cinematography. I lreally liked the opening to this one.
Old 07-19-01, 02:20 PM
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I'd say that both the HK release and the Columbia releases, as far as picture and sound are middle ot the road DVDs, not great but not horrible especially if you are fans of the films. A lot of peopel thought the Columbia would be superior, which it isnt, and thats why I think it got a bad reputation. But it is by no means horrible, especially when you consider how hard it is to get good sources from HK.

Anyway, Part 1 is a HK action/Jet Li/Tsui Hark classic.
Part 2 is a great sequel with a fine bad guy role for Donnie Yen
Part 3 has waaayyyy too much Lion Dancing, and if not for the character of Club Foot I would say its weak...its fair, and a must if you are a fan of the first two.
Old 07-19-01, 04:51 PM
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I watched Parts 1 and 2 (Columbia version) and thought the print looked pretty good for a HK film. A few misspelled words here and there in the subtitles is my only complaint.

Other than that, I thought Columbia did a good job as opposed to the Jet Li films from Dimension which had pretty bad dubbing. Having a choice of Cantonese or English soundtrack is a big plus. Wish they had more extras though.
Old 07-21-01, 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by iaido
I'd say that both the HK release and the Columbia releases, as far as picture and sound are middle ot the road DVDs, not great but not horrible especially if you are fans of the films. A lot of peopel thought the Columbia would be superior, which it isnt, and thats why I think it got a bad reputation. But it is by no means horrible, especially when you consider how hard it is to get good sources from HK.

Of course, what pisses us off is that they obviously had a better source then what they gave us on the disc, because the stinking, forty-minute shorter dubbed version of the disc is REMASTERED and looks very good compared to the one any fan would want to watch. Why couldn't they have given us the same thing on the original version that's on the disc?
Old 07-22-01, 11:02 AM
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Well, I have parts 1&2, and I saw part 3 years ago (the Tai Seng VHS a friend had). 1&2 are awesome movies, I think 2 is actually my favorite. Part 3 was very weak (as already stated), and I have not really even condiered buying it on DVD.
Old 07-25-01, 02:08 PM
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i was wondering if the columbia has mandarin audio for all three of these movies OUATIC 1,2,3.
Old 07-25-01, 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by tangno
i was wondering if the columbia has mandarin audio for all three of these movies OUATIC 1,2,3.
Yes- Mandarin and Cantonese options on the HK cut, and English only on the special feature US cut.
Old 07-25-01, 02:35 PM
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thx aiado
Old 07-29-01, 10:49 PM
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I have OUATIC 1 from Tai Seng. How does the picture and sound from the Columbia version compare to the HK disc? I hate to buy the Columbia version and not have a matching set (Hi, I'm anal and how are you) but if the picture quality and sound surpasses that of Tai Seng's I'll learn to cope with non-matching cases.
Old 07-30-01, 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by jdpatri
I have OUATIC 1 from Tai Seng. How does the picture and sound from the Columbia version compare to the HK disc? I hate to buy the Columbia version and not have a matching set (Hi, I'm anal and how are you) but if the picture quality and sound surpasses that of Tai Seng's I'll learn to cope with non-matching cases.
I sort of already answered this, but... they both arent great. Each has its own problems, the Columbia has better sound but a grainier picture, the HK(Tai Seng) has a sharper picture but echoey sound, and so forth. Both versions are faily mediocre, each with thier own set of ticks.
Old 07-30-01, 08:23 PM
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Thanks... Looks like I'll be finishing my collection next time I make an order with dddhouse. I like the Tai Seng cover art much better anyway.
Old 07-31-01, 12:32 AM
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If i could ask a question:

what's the original language, cantonese or mandarin? because i switched between both and still the lipsycning is off.

TIA!

--HN
Old 08-01-01, 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by HN
If i could ask a question:

what's the original language, cantonese or mandarin? because i switched between both and still the lipsycning is off.

TIA!

--HN
Until recently, to save time and $money$, the HK film industry didnt use a lot of sound redording in their films, so the films were always dubbed. I think Jet doesnt even do his own Cantonese dubbing, which is what he speaks. Most HK films are done in Cantonese, thats what the stars are speaking, and then dubbed over later into Mandarin for the mainland, and so forth.

Last edited by Slumbering Fist; 08-01-01 at 01:03 PM.
Old 08-03-01, 12:36 AM
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thanks for the info

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Old 08-03-01, 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by iaido

Until recently, to save time and $money$, the HK film industry didnt use a lot of sound redording in their films, so the films were always dubbed. I think Jet doesnt even do his own Cantonese dubbing, which is what he speaks. Most HK films are done in Cantonese, thats what the stars are speaking, and then dubbed over later into Mandarin for the mainland, and so forth.
Still, some people use this as a reason to go for the English dubs. But there's a HUGE difference in dubbing in the same langauge(which all American films do, too - much of the dialogue is often looped here for many reasons) and dubbing into a different language. Especially any film with any drama - the dub just ruins it. And of course, the dubs on these Once Upon a Time in China films not only ruin them with a dub, but ruin them with all that editing - forty minutes out of the first one!!! What the heck?
Old 08-06-01, 11:58 AM
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I do believe jet li speaks only madarin, not cantonese.
Old 08-06-01, 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by tangno
I do believe jet li speaks only madarin, not cantonese.
Yeah I meant to put a little question mark next to my comment, or say that Cantonese is usually the main lang for HK films. Pretty sure he knows some conversational Cantonese though, but just not enough to run around dubbing himself.
Old 08-06-01, 03:45 PM
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yes he probably knows alittle cantonese, i guess you'd have to be able to speak alittle if you re gonna be in the hong kong movie industry. but he is from mainland china where they speak mainly mandarin, but hey i m more into his kung fu.
Old 08-10-01, 03:09 PM
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if you watch Jet's last HK made movie - can't remember the name of the title, but it was a contemporary film set in HK with Eric Tsang and Simon Yam. Jet spoke Cantonese all the way through the film, although heavily accented. I think this was the first sync-sound film for Jet.

Jet never spoke Cantonese in his earlier films, especially the OUATIC series. He always spoke Mandarin (his first language). Someone dubbed for him in Cantonese - the same person in most of Jet's HK films.

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