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Once Upon a time in China-which dvd to get?

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Once Upon a time in China-which dvd to get?

Old 09-22-01, 10:36 AM
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Once Upon a time in China-which dvd to get?

I just saw this movie in a theater last night,and I thought it was pretty amazing,overall. I
am interested in buying it on dvd,but I heard the the Columbia-Tri Star release has terrrible
picture and sound quality. I'm sure the MegaStar HK dvd isn't much better,and the subtitles
would be mangled. I don't have a region free player,so scratch getting a R2 disc. Any
recommendations? Does anyone have the domestic version of this,just how bad is it?
Old 09-22-01, 10:46 AM
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Personally I think terrible is an overstatement. It's not the best looking picture I've seen but it is certainly passible. To bad the dubbed version is the one they cleaned up though. Personally I would go w/ the CTHV one since it also has an audio commentary. JMO
Old 09-22-01, 12:48 PM
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Well I disagree with you 100%. It is among the worst DVD's I have ever seen. Easily inferior to the Media Asia version, which used the same master.

Columbia took that master, upconverted it electronically to anamorphic (that's one gen loss in quality) and then put it on DVD. If you do not have a widescreen TV or a TV than can do the anamorphic squeeze, your TV must down-convert that anamorphic image, resulting in the removal of scan lines and another loss in resolution (this one 33%).

This puts the DVD into VHS territory and side by side, will look ghastly compared to the Media Asia version. What truly pisses me off is that Columbia provides us with a very nice looking dubbed version, because that is all Media Asia would give them. Media EVIL refused to allow Columbia access to the uncut version's negative, so Columbia decided to pull a fast and cheap one by just using the non-anamorphic master. They should have just kept it non-anamorphic instead of trying to pass it off to their customers as 16x9. As if we would not figure out what they did!

If your TV is 20", it's passable. But on any large screen this DVD looks positively disgusting.

ESPECIALLY when you see how outstanding the Region 2 HONG KONG LEGENDS version is by comparison. Fully restored with vibrant colors, amazing detail and a clean image. Simply astonishing.

If you cannot play PAL material, then you had best pass on this title, or settle for the Media Asia version.
Old 09-22-01, 01:48 PM
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Wel, I own both, and I think its pretty apples and oranges. Neither is of perfect quality, but both are still acceptable, just not all that great. You make sacrifices of pic quality either way. I say go for the cheapest with the most extras, the Columbia.

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