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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Which version of Hard Boiled should I get? « previous next »
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Author Topic: Which version of Hard Boiled should I get?  (Read 934 times)
BTM
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« on: May 27, 2009, 06:29:07 PM »

Wanting to buy this for my collection, but I've heard several of the DVD versions kind of suck.  I'm told for instance a few of them, instead of being wide screen, it looks like they took the pan and scan, chopped off the top and bottom and then stretch, giving the characters what one reviewer calls "Plump O Vision".

Tried going by the reviews on Amazon, but most of them are just about the Ultimate Edition...

From what I understand, we've got the 2 Disc Ultimate Edition from Dragon Dynasty http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Boiled-Two-Disc-Ultimate-Yun-Fat/dp/B000N4SHNK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1243466123&sr=1-1

The Criterion Collection
(1992)
http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Boiled-Collection-Yun-Fat-Chow/dp/1559408677/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1243466123&sr=1-2

Fox Lurber studio edition (whoever they are) http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Boiled-John-Woo/dp/B00004W458/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1243466604&sr=1-3

And one labeled, I kid you not, Import [Generic] http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Boiled-Yun-Fat-Chow/dp/B0000WN1KY/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1243466604&sr=1-5

Anyone just thought someone who keeps up films with multiple DVD versions might be able to tell me which one they good for on this title.

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 08:09:35 PM »

I bought this many years ago.  I have the Fox Lorber version.  It has a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  I'm happy with it, but I haven't seen any of the other versions, so I can't make a comparison.
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Neville
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 05:42:12 AM »

A visit to the external reviews of the IMDB could have saved you some trouble:

Fox Lurber version: "Hard Boiled is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. I do wish this film were given a new anamorphic transfer, but even as it stands this is a nice visual presentation. I compared this to the Criterion release for this review and both are decent transfer, but this one reflects lighter contrast than the Criterion disc. This isn't an extreme difference, but some of the darker sequences come off as a little too light on this version. But I would consider them on the same level quality, just a little different in that respects. Colors seem natural, though some bright shades emerge and flesh tones look warm and consistent. I found only minimal compression hiccups, certainly no more than the Criterion disc displayed to be sure. It isn't what I wanted (16X9 enhanced), but it stands up well against previous editions." DVD Authority

Ultimate Edition version: "This new Dragon Dynasty DVD crops the film slightly from 1.85:1 to around 1.66:1, though itís thankfully anamorphic compared to prior releases. Itís also far cleaner, sharper, and the compression is under control. Grain varies dependent on the scene. Odd instances of yellow lines running through the print are noticeable early. It shows almost no damage otherwise, and the lines disappear past the first shootout." DVD Review

According to this, I'd pick the Ultimate Edition. Yeah, it's a bit cropped from the original 1x1'85 ratio, but the transfer seems the best of the bunch, and being anamorphic you won't be missing much.
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BTM
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2009, 01:30:15 AM »

A visit to the external reviews of the IMDB could have saved you some trouble:

Doh!  Not sure why I didn't think of that...


According to this, I'd pick the Ultimate Edition. Yeah, it's a bit cropped from the original 1x1'85 ratio, but the transfer seems the best of the bunch, and being anamorphic you won't be missing much.

Cool, thanks for the tip!
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Jim H
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2009, 12:33:15 PM »

One huge thing the Fox version has that that Dragon Dynasty release doesn't have is the John Woo/Terence Chang commentary.  HK film director commentaries are so incredibly rare to begin with it seems a shame to not listen to the Hard-Boiled one.  I have, and it is solid and informative.  Sometimes Woo is held back a bit by his English, but Chang's better grasp provides a good balance and keeps it going forward.

The video quality of the DD release is the best, but that's a pretty huge extra to miss out on in my book.  I also don't like the cropping, though that is a pretty minor amount of it...
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Torgo
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 03:22:12 AM »

I own the Fox Lorber one solely for the John Woo commentary track and the Ultimate Edition for the excellent anamorphic picture  quality.  Some people complain that the UE is stretched a bit vertically but  I've never noticed anything.
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