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Will the region 0 release of Hero hurt the new DVD sales?

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Will the region 0 release of Hero hurt the new DVD sales?

Old 11-29-04, 02:11 PM
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Will the region 0 release of Hero hurt the new DVD sales?

All my friends that wanted to see this film owned the Region 0 release of Hero months before the theatrical release. Do you think that will hurt sales? Obviously I'm not buying it, but I'm wondering how many are.
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Old 11-29-04, 02:28 PM
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It certainly doesn't HELP, but as for how much of a dent it will make, probably not much... maybe several thousand or so ...out of hundreds of thousands.
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Old 11-29-04, 02:29 PM
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I don't think it will hurt the sales that much. I mean it didn't hurt the Theatrical Release (#1 for 2 weeks). I won't be buying it though, I want the extended edition DVD
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Old 11-29-04, 02:31 PM
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No. I'm fairly sure 99% of DVD buyers in North America know nothing about what the hell "Region 0" is.
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Old 11-29-04, 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by JJE-187
I don't think it will hurt the sales that much. I mean it didn't hurt the Theatrical Release (#1 for 2 weeks). I won't be buying it though, I want the extended edition DVD
What extended edition?
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Old 11-29-04, 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by Matt Millheiser
No. I'm fairly sure 99% of DVD buyers in North America know nothing about what the hell "Region 0" is.
Totally agree, we at DVD talk are not the average buyer & the average buyer has never heard of Region 0 let alone even Hero. Hell, if you look at the "what are you getting this week" thread, the average DVDTalk buyer doesn't even buy Region 0 or other region DVDs, almost everyone here seems to be getting Hero on Tues.
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Old 11-29-04, 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by Sessa17
... the average DVDTalk buyer doesn't even buy Region 0 or other region DVDs
This makes me sad.
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Old 11-29-04, 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by eau
What extended edition?
The longer cut that has so far only been released on the EVD format in China.
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Old 11-29-04, 02:50 PM
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I don't think so. Some distributors have stopped selling the region free version due to licensing.

From HKFlix.com's website link

URGENT NOTE: According to Disney*, who claims exclusive North American distribution rights to this film, it is a violation of United States law for any North America-based company to sell this title. Any such competitors of ours selling this title are doing so in violation of U.S. law. We are as unhappy about this as you, and we thank you in advance for your continued support of HKFlix.com.
So I don't imagine it will be a damaging spike in sales.
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Old 11-29-04, 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Matt Millheiser
No. I'm fairly sure 99% of DVD buyers in North America know nothing about what the hell "Region 0" is.
yep
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Old 11-29-04, 03:04 PM
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miramax had no legal right to stop people either selling or linking to sellers. its perfectly legal to import or link to exporters of foreign product : FACT. so, you could have bought HERO on dvd a couple of years ago, officially, in HK and so on... if anything hurt miramax sales of the R1 disc its the late release (theyve had it licensed for a long times, years infact) and their heavy-handed tactics with websites.

miramax own the rights to distribute and sell the product in certain countries, and this does not allow them to stop others in the USA selling products produced in other countries.
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Old 11-29-04, 03:06 PM
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Originally posted by jrobinson
I don't think so. Some distributors have stopped selling the region free version due to licensing.

From HKFlix.com's website link




That only applies to U.S. based retailers, as far as I know.
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Old 11-29-04, 03:10 PM
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If their sales have taken a hit (and god do I hope so), then it's because of two things: (1) those of us who really, really care about this movie on DVD have owned it for a year or more, and (2) the crappy quality of Miramax's DVD gives us no reason to buy it, as we already have far better transfers sitting on our shelves.
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Old 11-29-04, 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by logboy
miramax had no legal right to stop people either selling or linking to sellers. its perfectly legal to import or link to exporters of foreign product : FACT.
It's a beautiful thing...
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Old 11-29-04, 03:38 PM
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hell id be willing to put down good money that teh average U.S. Joe doesnt even realize that there is even such a thing as Region coding - they buy/rent the disc, they put the disc in the player, it plays - thats all he/she wants to know, and will scream bloody murder if it doesnt
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Old 11-29-04, 03:46 PM
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Originally posted by Richard Malloy
..... the crappy quality of Miramax's DVD gives us no reason to buy it, as we already have far better transfers sitting on our shelves.

Here's a quote from the DVDTalk review:

"Miramax's transfer of Hero looks superb. It's presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, and is anamorphically enhanced. The film's stylized color palette is faithfully reproduced here, with the rich red, blue, and green dominant tones presented in a visually arresting manner. Blacks are deep and dark, while still showing detail, and whites are crisp and subtly textured. The print is in pristine condition, with no flaws as far as I could see; the image is sharp and nicely detailed, with close-ups in particular looking stunning.


Perhaps you could explain what you have found wrong with this release - or are you simply venting without actually having seen it?
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Old 11-29-04, 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by marty888
Here's a quote from the DVDTalk review:

"Miramax's transfer of Hero looks superb. It's presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, and is anamorphically enhanced. The film's stylized color palette is faithfully reproduced here, with the rich red, blue, and green dominant tones presented in a visually arresting manner. Blacks are deep and dark, while still showing detail, and whites are crisp and subtly textured. The print is in pristine condition, with no flaws as far as I could see; the image is sharp and nicely detailed, with close-ups in particular looking stunning.
This is merely one review. The other 4 reviews i've read were quite disappointed with the release. I am more willing to believe them, considering Miramax's penchant for shoddy transfers.
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Old 11-29-04, 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by marty888
Here's a quote from the DVDTalk review:

"Miramax's transfer of Hero looks superb. It's presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, and is anamorphically enhanced. The film's stylized color palette is faithfully reproduced here, with the rich red, blue, and green dominant tones presented in a visually arresting manner. Blacks are deep and dark, while still showing detail, and whites are crisp and subtly textured. The print is in pristine condition, with no flaws as far as I could see; the image is sharp and nicely detailed, with close-ups in particular looking stunning.


Perhaps you could explain what you have found wrong with this release - or are you simply venting without actually having seen it?
Perhaps you should also read here http://dvdtalk.com/forum/showthread....hreadid=397758
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Old 11-29-04, 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by marty888
Perhaps you could explain what you have found wrong with this release - or are you simply venting without actually having seen it?
I haven't seen it so I can't speak personally on it, but I have read a few reviews...

IGN's Review:
Mr. Magoo is alive and well and supervising the transfers at Miramax. Seriously, this has to stop. Miramax is consistently producing the worst DVDs from a major studio, and this one is no exception. The video quality of this DVD is even lower than that of the import DVD, which is saying something.

The grain is hideous in places. There was a good amount in the import version but the Miramax release is worse. The film was overfiltered, like Miramax usually does (Cold Mountain, Kill Bill, The Station Agent) and overcompressed as well. This is probably due to the presence of a DTS soundtrack.

The end result is some nasty compression errors, like when dust is kicked up or during the fight between Snow and Moon (Zhang Ziyi) with all the leaves. On a big screen TV, you will notice these problems.
Digital Bit's Review:
Sadly, HERO does not sparkle. The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen. Color is generally excellent. Contrast is also very good, and while there's notable film grain visible, it's appropriate to the original theatrical presentation. The problem here is that, like so many of Miramax's recent DVD releases, the video has a slightly too soft and slightly too "digital" look about it. It just isn't as clean and vibrant as it should be. It's very strange - it almost looks like a high-frequency filtering pass was done after the transfer to reduce film grain, then edge-enhancement was added to increase detail and the whole mess was then over compressed - Robert Harris has noted similar problems on Miramax DVDs in a recent column). There's visible MPEG-2 compression artifacting in chapter 6 for example, during the battle in the leaves, and in other places as well. When there's little in the way of onscreen movement, the image looks just fine. But when you start to have a lot of complex movement, the image is average at best. In fact, average is probably the best way to describe this DVD in a lot of ways. Don't get me wrong - there's a whole bunch of you who watch movies on a 32-inch TV, and you're going to look at this DVD and go, "What the hell is he talking about? It looks fine!" But for those of you who demand more performance from your DVDs, and who watch them on large front or rear projection systems, you're going to be disappointed with the quality here. I can't tell you how much I wish this film was a Columbia TriStar title so it could get the Superbit treatment.
DVD Town's Review:
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture is a disgrace. Widely hailed as one of the most beautiful movies of the past ten years (and possibly of all time), the image is excessively grainy on DVD. I saw "Ying Xiong" in a movie theatre with a large screen, and I sat fairly close to the screen. If I did not see a lot of grain sitting close to a blown-up version of the image, then I should not see as much grain as I do with the DVD. The grain is so bad that it could actually be video noise arising from poor authoring rather than actual film grain. There were times when it felt like I was watching the movie through a mosquito net.

Moreover, the transfer is also dull and lacking in contrast. Zhang Yimou and his team used strong primary colors. On DVD, the reds are not red enough, and the blacks are not black enough. Therefore, you get red-orange and very dark grey, which makes the movie rather ugly.
DVD Review's Review:
The transfer is a bit of a mixed bag, unfortunately. It is mostly clean, though a few blemishes and speckles are evident in the print. The image detail is also good throughout, though it could be better. The black levels in the transfer are the presentationís biggest problem. They are weak, rendering even the darkest blacks as mere grays. As a result the image oftentimes lacks proper contrast and image detail in the shadows has a tendency to break up and wash out completely.
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Old 11-29-04, 04:07 PM
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Marty, it seems that your question to me has been answered, but let me add one more to the mix:

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=218395

It's time for Miramax to shut down their DVD production facilities and turn their film library over to a mastering house that knows what they're doing.

I had hoped that some of the recent high-profile travesties like English Patient and Cold Mountain might help start to turn things around. Well, for whatever reason, HERO suffers from all the ills that plagued both of those titles (especially Cold Mountain).

It appears to my eyes that all high-frequency detail has been SEVERELY filtered...completely ridding HERO of any "filmlike" quality on a large screen. My assumption is that this is an (inappropriate) attempt to mitigate the appearance of excessive film-grain for the "home video" market. Allow me to take a brief aside and suggest that if whatever inherent film-grain was present in the film-source material was good enough for a 50 foot+ commercial theater, that it should also be good enough for the proportionately much smaller screen of the current home-video market. But I digress. In any event, despite the copious degree of "filtering" there *still* appears to be quite a bit of noise associated with film-grain in the final image. This is because in an (ineffective) attempt to compensate for the lack of image detail in the filtered image, the image has been electronically/digitally manipulated to "boost" whatever high-frequency information survived. In the common HTF tongue this is what we refer to as "edge enhancement"...however...in the case of HERO which is so devoid of sharp edge-transitions due to the soft-focus nature of the filtered imagery, there are not very many traditional "edge halos" to be seen. So in that sense, one might attest that the image appears "free from EE" if they are looking for edge-halos only. The objective reality is that much electronic HF boosting appears to be taking place...as witnessed in the "digital noise" of what ought-to-appear as natural film-grain, despite the (thankful) lack of obvious haloing.

The image has a distinctly "digital" look to it on a wide-angle viewing display (one that attempt to approximate the viewing angle you might experience from the mid-to-back row of a movie theater) and it appears that compression is also heavily taxed...likely as a consequence of the pre-existing digital noise from electronic manipulation. In some scenes where the MPEG noise became bothersome (often in backgrounds) I was tempted to still-step frame by frame to see exactly what had been encoded into the video bitstream and it wasn't pretty. Before one is tempted to blame the inclusion of DTS as the culprit, please consider that many near reference-DVDs exist with DTS and multiple 5.1 DD soundtrack options (The Two Towers, and super-bit Fifth Element as examples).

Contrast also seems wanting, and I found the black-level unsatisfyingly "gray" and the image never seemed to get a solid footing that images with strong contrast/dynamic range seem to command. Colors were marginally drab though at times were more vivid and this is one area (colors) where I'm tempted to presume that what I'm seeing is a faithful replication of the source film elements.

Now, like all of you I get despondent thinking about substandard video encoding especially with a DVD of a title as meritable as the film HERO. Thus, I try to start from a "maybe it's just being true to the source" standpoint and look for evidence to prove this position otherwise. Sadly, With the HERO DVD, there was evidence ready and waiting for me. Remember all the hullabaloo with the ringing on the Phantom Menace DVD with some folks desperately suggesting that maybe the ringing was "in the film" when sadly the trailers on the DVD revealed absolutely no ringing and looked substantially better than the feature-length film? Well, we get a similar "peep hole" to see how much better HERO could have really looked on this DVD as well. There is a 4x3 encoded special feature on the disc titled "Inside the Action: A Conversation with Quentin Tarantino and Jet Li" and in it you'll see some clips from the movie which are shown 1.85:1...apparently cropped on the left/right down from the original 2.35:1 image (didn't check this last point too carefully so don't quote that as scripture). Bottom line: These 4x3 encoded clips "fix" just about everything *WRONG* with the image quality of the feature film!!! GONE is the "noisy" film-grain-garble and in its place is a cleaner looking image with some natural-looking fine-film grain. GONE is the Vaseline-like blur and in its place is a visibly more satisfying increase in natural picture detail. GONE is the "flat" and "digital" look to the image and in its place is an image that looks more real, more natural, with an improved sense of 3-dimensional depth. And PRESENT is a solid black level and gray-scale that looks almost Matrix-quality. In fact, the movie clips in this special feature look almost "Warner Brothers-like" in their presentation.

Don't even THINK about suggesting that the digital noise on the running feature of this DVD is "in the source" when clearly it is NOT. Now, I'm not proposing that HERO should look as razor-sharp as live-cam sports programs on HDTV...just won't be lulled into falsely assuming that this DVD is really delivering the true-to-the-source goods.

BOO Miramax for taking such a stunningly beautiful work of art such as this film and for turning it into a substandard digital mess. EVERY OTHER MAJOR STUDIO HAS FIGURED OUT HOW TO PROPERLY MASTER A DVD to look good on a large-screen, wide-angle display presentation. When will you???
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Old 11-29-04, 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by Richard Malloy
(1) those of us who really, really care about this movie on DVD have owned it for a year or more
That's a pretty arrogant statement. Some of us didn't have an opportunity to see the movie until it was released domestically this summer (other than buying the import DVD sight unseen). So some of us who really, really care about "Hero" only saw it for the first time recently.

Which begs the question, for those of us who want to buy the Region 0 import, what is the best online source now that HK Flix is not carrying it?
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Old 11-29-04, 05:09 PM
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That's a pretty arrogant statement. Some of us didn't have an opportunity to see the movie until it was released domestically this summer (other than buying the import DVD sight unseen). So some of us who really, really care about "Hero" only saw it for the first time recently.
I'm sorry if it came off as arrogance, but those of us who really, really cared to see this movie have been purchasing and comparing the DVDs for at least two years now. And we bought the DVD sight-unseen just as you bought your ticket to the theater sight-unseen. We all had to divvy up some small amount of clams for the opportunity to see this flick for the first time.

Why has this been an issue for so long? "Hero" was only the biggest-ever release in Asia from a world-renowned director, and as the reviews and accolades came pouring in from around the world, many of us weren't prepared to wait for the Weinsteins to eventually (if ever) release it to US theaters. It isn't arrogance to seek out a chance to see a film that domestic distributors were holding back. I'm glad that now, two years after the rest of the world was able to view this film in theater and on DVD, that the Weinsteins have deigned to provide North Americans with that same privilege. But many of us were not prepared to wait on his open-ended time-frame.

So, perhaps Harvey Weinstein considers my comments to be arrogant, but he can go fuck himself. They were aimed at him and his company in the context of whether other-region/regionless DVDs would hurt his sales... I hope so, and I provided some reasons why. I'm sorry if you felt that you were in the crossfire, but I promise that was not my intention.

As for whether you can still find the RO/NTSC release (I presume it's the first Guang Dong Face DVD you're looking for), I don't know. I've heard that Miramax has tried to prevent them from being sold within the US, and perhaps they've succeeded. But don't let that stop you. Region-free, PAL>NTSC converting machines are easily available for little money, and you can get an even better transfer of "Hero" (and many other films) if you make a tiny investment in one.

Last edited by Richard Malloy; 11-29-04 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 11-29-04, 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by Richard Malloy
I'm sorry if it came off as arrogance, but those of us who really, really cared to see this movie have been purchasing and comparing the DVDs for at least two years now. And we bought the DVD sight-unseen just as you bought your ticket to the theater sight-unseen.
I'm with yah man, I know exactly what you mean & I agree if you really cared about the movie, or are a fan of the director, genre or whatever you would own this movie already, ESPECIALLY for people that post in this forum & not have waited for Quentin Tarantino to approve of the film so it finally get's a US release. All of us are NOT the average movie goer, we are freaks who love film & DVD & take time out of our day to post here. Any fan of this type of film & genre especially those that belong here purchased this already it's a modern classic that has been available on DVD for 2 years even if you don't have a Region free DVD player.

What TomOpus said, if you look at the "what are you getting thread, it shows that a vast majority of the people here don't buy a movie unless it has mainstream Region 1 release or someone are MiramAXE are producing it.

It's not an arrogant statement, just an observation.
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Old 11-29-04, 06:39 PM
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DDDHouse has the R3 Edko version for roughly $18 shipped. The Korean 2-disk is [email protected] MrKwang.com for $30.00. Both versions are thought of highly as an alternative to the more expensive R2 Japanese disc.

I believe the R3 Edko is actually R0. Can someone confirm this???

Last edited by taxidriver6; 11-29-04 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 11-29-04, 07:50 PM
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I kind of figured that Miramax would botch this DVD, and the reviews that I have read so far confirm this. I'm anxious to see some screen comparisons so I can see exactly how badly they botched it. I'm sure DVDBeaver will be updating their comparison soon enough.
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