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Comparing Versions of HERO

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Comparing Versions of HERO

Old 07-26-04, 11:54 PM
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Comparing Versions of HERO

I posted most of this in the extended thread, but I am adding pictures of all versions, so I figured I would start a new thread - benedict, feel free to merge if you don't think this is helpful as a thread on its own. Oh - and pardon me dial-up folks, there's about a mb of image data here.

My cardboard box elite edition came today.

The box is cardboard with a magnetic closure lid. It's huge and won't fit on a DVD shelf. It's also ugly (IMO), but you can decide that for yourself as it looks like the pictures. Inside is a booklet, but it's nothing special. The disc rests inside a DVD condom - some cheap thin plastic bag material and a cd shaped cloth protecting the data side. There is a velvet covered piece of thick cardboard inside the box with a circle cut out the middle in the shape of a cd where the DVD is supposed to sit - there's even a stiff strap to hold it secure. I would've rather had a regular DVD case as this is impractical and not made of wood. I'm kinda pissed. If you're gonna give me this rediculous sized cardboard box - at least put a regular amaray case inside, cheap-asses.

The film is 1hr 47m long (1.46.53) or 107minutes
It has AC3 2.0, AC3 5.1, and DTS 5.1
It has English subs as well as Chinese simp. and trad.
The opening and closing scrolling words aren't subtitled... and the logo of the release company appears in the upper left in blue and red during the opening text that scrolls up and disappears right before the text finishes and the movie begins.
It is indeed ALL Region.
It is indeed Anamorphic and apparently OAR.

The Transfer is clean and sharp. I only checked it out on my laptop, so I don't know for sure - but the colors looked good to me. The source was really clean - I don't think they used a workprint unless they spent alot of time cleaning it up because it was in quite good shape. They did use old crappy equipment to transfer it though. Overscan on your tv would usually hide this, but in the upper right corner the machine is showing its age. It's not distracting at all, but the edges of the screen show what appears to be darkening and the bottom edge shows a little bit of machine. You can hardly tell though unless you're looking for it.

Overall, the transfer is really nice and only the truly picky should have any problems with it. The 2.0 audio is crisp as it should be... I'll have to check the DTS and 5.1 on my home theater and come back and report. The box is a huge let-down. Especially since they advertised it as a wooden box. Perhaps that was a translation mistake. Even knowing it's a cardboard box, it may disappoint someone. After getting a bunch of the Korean special editions with elaborate packaging, this one is slightly under par in the style department (but construction is solid).

It was only 18 bucks though, so I suppose it wasn't too big a deal. I may keep the disc and sell the case.

I should add dimensions for the box since I said it was "huge"

7 inces wide
9 1/2 inches tall
1 1/4 inch thick

For comparison, a standard dvd case is 5 1/3 wide, 7 2/3 tall, and a little over half an inch thick. I would say the "wooden box" only weighs about as much as 2 standard dvd cases with discs inside. The shipping costs were grossly exaggerated.

Here's some screens for comparison. There are 3 sets of 3. The new GDFace version (extended) screen is on top, followed by the Korean Bitwin Ultimate Edition shot and then finally the original Edko release.





As for sound, they all appear to have solid DTS and DD5.1 tracks. I'm not set up to test bit rates and whatnot, so the screens will have to speak for themselves.
Old 07-26-04, 11:56 PM
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Remember, gdface first, bitwin second, and edko third.



Old 07-26-04, 11:56 PM
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Old 07-27-04, 12:49 AM
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*(shameless self-promotion)*

Oh - and by the way - if any of you would be so good as to head over to this thread and vote for who you want to be president of DVDTalk. It's all for fun. I could use some support. Voting is only open for another 23 hours.

Old 07-27-04, 01:34 AM
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The transfer on the extended cut looks even worse than the initial releases. r2j is still the king of the hill.

Rentrak r2j (captured with PowerDVD XP 4.0 at "Original" settings):


Old 07-27-04, 02:02 AM
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Thanks for those... see, to my eye, they look a little over-saturated. The new version looks better on a home theater set actually than what is represented here. Thankfully, all versions have relatively good and comparable transfers and are all anamorphic.
Old 07-27-04, 01:00 PM
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Hmmm. Judging from the screen caps the new extended looks washed out the colors on the other two look so vibrant. I have never seen the movie yet and was too slow to cancel my DVDAsian order for the "woodboard" box version so I hope it looks ok, I may be trading it soon if I'm not too impressed.
Old 07-27-04, 05:47 PM
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Great review Trigger. Can we see pics of the "woodboard" box?

-JR
Old 07-27-04, 06:28 PM
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So, I still don't know which one to buy! To my eye the Bitwin one looks best.
Old 07-27-04, 06:55 PM
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I'll try to get a few pics of the "woodboard" box tomorrow...

Here's how I would compare them I think upon just a cursory investigation:

Packaging:
1. Bitwin - excellent gatefold with beautiful book and magnetic closure box.
2. Edko - standard amaray
3. gdface - ugly oversized box with magnetic closure, poor storage system.

Image quality:
1. Edko - looks sharp even to the edge... perhaps just a tiny bit oversaturated
2. Bitwin - close second, looks nearly identical - same oversaturation.
3. gdface - clean transfer, natural colors, bad edges and corners. Looks better on TV than in the screens. All 3 are good looking - close call.

Sound quality:
I'm assuming a 3-way tie for not since I haven't checked on my HT, just my PC (it has 5.1, but not dts)

Presentation/Menus:
1. Edko - in english and chinese, somewhat animated and look good.
2. gdface - in english and chinese, look almost as good.
3. Bitwin - menu isn't in english, but it looks pretty. korean menu only

Extras:
No edition has subtitled extras, but Bitwin has the most spanning 3 discs while the other two editions have only 1 disc.

Subtitles:
I didn't do a close inspection, but...
1. Bitwin/Edko = tie...
2. gdface - no subs on opening text... boo
Old 07-28-04, 01:31 AM
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Well Done Trigger , I cancelled my box set when two people confirmed on various web sites on the weekend regarding the logo. I rather wait and get a version with no water marks on the picture and a better transfer going by your pictures and others

...BMatt
Old 07-28-04, 02:26 AM
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Could someone please put a link up where you can purchase each one?

I will probably cancel my gdface order.

Would most recommend the bitwin edition?
Old 07-28-04, 04:41 AM
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The Bitwin is the second worst-looking transfer on DVD I've seen. Its highlights are far too hot due to excessive contrast, a problem in nearly all other releases save the r2j. The new Guangdong Face release suffers from a different flaw - too high a black level, which causes the picture to look washed-out. I would rank the Asian releases of HERO that I've seen in the following order as far as PQ is concerned:

r2j Rentrak > r3hk Edko = r3k EnterOne (Edko clone) = r0china Guangdong Face DVD-9 > r0china Guangdong Face DVD-5 > r3k Bitwin > r0china Guangdong Face DVD-9 EXTENDED

The r2j is in a class of its own compared to the rest. Deep blacks, relative lack of compression artifacts, vibrant and accurate colors, correct 3:2 pulldown flags, less-cropped. A while ago for another forum I did screencaps to compare/contrast the r2j versus its r3hk/k counterparts.

http://www.wuken.com/screencaps/hero/hero.html

No contest. And colors are supposed to be highly saturated. The cinematographer for HERO is Christopher Doyle who is notorious for using bold, striking color (see HAPPY TOGETHER).

Also check DVDBeaver's comparisons:

http://207.136.67.23/film/DVDCompare2/hero.htm

Might I also add that I prefer the r2j's crisper [full bitrate] DTS 5.1 track over the DTS-ES track in the r3hk Edko/r3k EnterONE?

You can buy the r2j here:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/...299204-4708215

Last edited by wuken; 07-28-04 at 04:52 AM.
Old 07-28-04, 08:05 AM
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^thanks... I figured someone more qualified in grading picture quality would challenge what I've said here. For me, I watch these things on a Sony 61" Rear Projection HD set... I darken the set a bit on all movies and use the "vivid" setting for television. I had no problems at all with either the Edko nor the bitwin versions as far as image quality was concerned - they both looked more or less the same to me. The gdface version (didn't watch it all the way through) looked great on my set though... better than the screenshots show anyway. Then again, perhaps it is my eyes, because I sometimes disagree with what alot of these professional comparisons come up with.
Old 07-28-04, 02:53 PM
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Trigger or wukin, can one of you confirm whether the new Director's Cut disc is PAL or NTSC?
Old 07-28-04, 05:26 PM
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NTSC
Old 07-28-04, 06:22 PM
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I wonder if this 108mins version is as long as it gets? I recall the proprietary DVD format of some extended edition being given away with purchases of a Chinese DVD player last year...and that was rumoured to be 118mins
Old 07-28-04, 11:55 PM
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Took some pictures of the box for those of you who were curious.



Old 07-29-04, 04:48 AM
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Is the "wood" version really worth the premium in price?
Old 07-29-04, 05:49 AM
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I don't know - I paid under 20 bucks for it and I feel a bit ripped off actually. However, it's probably worth about 20 bucks. Don't pay 30 or more as some people seem to be.
Old 07-29-04, 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by monto888
I wonder if this 108mins version is as long as it gets? I recall the proprietary DVD format of some extended edition being given away with purchases of a Chinese DVD player last year...and that was rumoured to be 118mins
I have that disc. When I watched it I wasn't paying attention to the running time. I'll check it when I get a chance. It did seem like the number of changes didn't add up to 20 minutes, though, and the transfer looks similar to the screen caps from this new DVD. So I expect that it is probably also 108 minutes.

So the question is, is the Director's Cut really only 108 minutes, or is there an even longer 118 minute cut somewhere out there that we haven't seen yet?
Old 07-29-04, 12:17 PM
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This year's version is Hero PEE (Partially Extended Edition).
Next year, we get the other ten minutes with Hero FEE (Fully? Extended Edition)
Also in the works Hero YAHEE (Yet Another Hero Extended Edition)
Old 07-29-04, 01:59 PM
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Comparison up now at www.dvdbeaver.com
Old 07-29-04, 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by dleedlee
This year's version is Hero PEE (Partially Extended Edition).
Next year, we get the other ten minutes with Hero FEE (Fully? Extended Edition)
Also in the works Hero YAHEE (Yet Another Hero Extended Edition)
and ultimately, the 'Good Grief', Enough! Give it a Rest Ultimate Edition (Hi-Def DVD)'
Old 07-30-04, 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
I have that disc. When I watched it I wasn't paying attention to the running time. I'll check it when I get a chance. It did seem like the number of changes didn't add up to 20 minutes, though, and the transfer looks similar to the screen caps from this new DVD. So I expect that it is probably also 108 minutes.
FYI, I double-checked and the EVD's running time is also 108 minutes. The warning screen at the beginning of the disc states that the movie was licensed from the same Chinese studio (Guandong Face) that the new DVD comes from, so I expect they are the exact same video transfer.

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