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TERRIBLE news about Jackie Chan's POLICE STORY - footage of extended scenes destroyed

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#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Matt_Stevens


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Posted September 04 2001 - 04:57 PM

This is horrible. The extended Japanese cut of Jackie Chan's POLICE STORY has long been the Holy Grail for Jackie Chan fans. The ultra rare widescreen Japanese laserdisc is a major collector's item, as most have rotted away (mine hasn't, thank God). Sadly, the footage for the extended scenes has been destroyed.

This includes an entire opening credit sequence and comical birthday party surprise that explains the birthday cake stuff later in the film. There is also a meaningful epilogue outside the shopping mall, with the characters going their separate ways. No dialogue is exchanged and the scene is pushed forward simply by the actor's expressions. It's a great scene and a terrible loss.

The upcoming Region 2 Hong Kong Legends DVD will include the alternate (and superior) Japanese outtakes, which still exist, as an extra.

New Line Cinema owns the rights to the badly cut down, rescored and dubbed version, with Miramax/Disney owning the rights to the 96 minute Hong Kong version. They do NOT own the rights to the original soundtrack, so when it is released, it will be dubbed.

I have the HKL R2 edition on order from www.blackstar.co.uk This will be the Hong Kong version, running 96 minutes.

BULLETSnBABES broke the story: http://www.bulletsnbabesdvds.com/


[Edited last by Matt_Stevens on September 04, 2001 at 08:02 PM]

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   TonyD


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Posted September 04 2001 - 05:52 PM

as soon as i saw the header i knew this was going to be your writing. thanks for these type of update posts. that is bad news. does this mean there are no copies of that, even on laser disc, that could have been used to put the long /full version from?

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted September 04 2001 - 08:29 PM

They could pop the laserdisc in a japanese HLD-X9 player and make a very good composite NTSC master. A component master could be separated from the composite master, and cleaned up using noise reduction circuitry. The resulting master could be up-converted to anamorphic if desired. The color would need re-timing to match the existing footage. The 'saved' footage would be soft and still a little noisy, but would be good enough to use as the source for a special version accessed via seamless branching.

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   JimChan


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Posted September 05 2001 - 02:22 AM

I'm definitely upset about the news, as I really look forward to this HKL release. Looks like I've to retain my old VHS taped from the Japanese LD.

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Matt_Stevens


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Posted September 05 2001 - 05:05 AM

Michael, exactly my thoughts! A seamless branching version is certainly an option, IF the LD master exists. Right now I am trying to find out if that is the case.

Those Japanese laserdiscs are the cat's meow right now, that's for sure.


#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Jeff Adkins

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Posted September 05 2001 - 05:10 AM

How did Buena Vista get the U.S. rights away from New Line? Jeff

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Matt_Stevens


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Posted September 05 2001 - 05:37 AM

New Line never had the rights to the Hong Kong cut. They only had rights to the 89 minute dubbed & re-scored version, which they then re-dubbed and re-scored for VHS and laserdisc.

Don't expect a proper release in the U.S. because it cannot happen. It will only be dubbed, with a new (inferior) music score. Posted Image


#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Ben_S



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Posted September 05 2001 - 01:03 PM

It looks like R1 will never get a descent HK release. So is blackstar the absolute best place to buy HKL discs?

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   MilesH


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Posted September 05 2001 - 05:26 PM

Nice try Plourde. As it has been mentioned on other boards where you spammed this topic, the extended scenes are not destroyed and have turned up on SBS in Australia. HKL don't give a damn about the fans and are releasing the cut version. You can continue spreading false rumors that the footage is destroyed but real Jackie fans know that the footage still exists.

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Chris Maynard

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Posted September 05 2001 - 07:50 PM

MilesH - Maybe you should re-read our rules that you agreed to when you signed up? We do not tolerate Usenet type responses on this forum.
I did nothing...I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be..

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Garry I

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Posted September 06 2001 - 01:08 AM

I heard that the footage was destroyed. It's not HKL's fault. So stop blaming HKL. They are IMO the best studio i have seen to date

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Matt_Stevens


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Posted September 06 2001 - 04:30 AM

MilesH has a PERSONAL problem with me and therefore, decided to make issue of it here. That is wrong. His assertion that I "spammed" groups is a flat out lie. I posted this topic in 3 newsgroups. HTF, the asiandvdguide's forum and the International forum at dvdtalk.com and other than MilesH, everybody has been maturely talking about this sad turn of events.

The only person who has mentioned SBC footage in another forum is a 1st time poster named "Riddler" (which many suspect isn't who he claims), who's "theory" (which is EXACTLY what MilesH's stated here), has been corrected.

Let me explain.

#1. The Australian version was transferred a decade ago. So was the Japanese laserdisc. Both are 4:3 transfers, not 16x9.

#2. HKL contacted me in February of this year about the Police Story extended scenes, asking for information on the laserdisc so that they could contact the manufacturer and trace the title back to the studio that owned the longer print. (anyone who wants a copy of the email, just ask and I'll forward it to you for proof)

#3. HKL traced the title and that is how they learned of the footage being destroyed. It sucks, but it's true.

#4. HKL was able to secure a low quality copy of the alternate Japanese outtakes for their DVD release.

#5. It would be illegal for HKL to use the laserdisc as a source, due to copyright restrictions.

#6. BulletsnBabesdvds.com is one of the most respected online mags in Europe and they would not print this story unless they knew it to be true.

#7. "Real Jackie fans do not post such rude comments in forums.

#.8 The name is STEVENS! Click on my signature below.


[Edited last by Matt_Stevens on September 06, 2001 at 08:08 AM]

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Lannie Lorence

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Posted September 06 2001 - 09:18 AM

What about the Australian version? Was it a different transfer? Maybe the company responsible there knows of print. Just curious. Is the laserdisc under discussion the one that was available in the Jackie Chan vol. 1 box set, or is that one the shorter cut?

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Matt_Stevens


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Posted September 06 2001 - 11:12 AM

Lannie, as I mentioned above, the Australian version was transferred years ago. The source materials have since been destroyed. It IS possible that someone somewhere owns a print, but they have not come forward, so for now, it looks like those scenes are lost. Posted Image

I'm not sure about the boxed set laserdisc. I bought mine from a collector years ago, but have not seen the boxed set LD. I have heard they are the same from some, and different from others, so who knows?


[Edited last by Matt_Stevens on September 06, 2001 at 02:14 PM]

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Mark E J

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Posted September 06 2001 - 11:39 AM

Matt, You stated above that both the Australian and Japanese versions were 4:3 transfers and not 16:9. I was wondering is there any way that a 4:3 transfer can be converted to 16:9? Or is that when you alter a film to fit 4:3 it's permanent?

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted September 06 2001 - 12:02 PM

Assuming it is a letterbox transfer, you can resize the picture to anamorphic. While this technically adds no further resolution, it removes many of the artifacts created when 16x9 TV's "zoom" the non-anamorphic frame themselves. However, if it's a P&S transfer, you can't make it 16x9 without losing further film image.

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#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Matt_Stevens


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Posted September 06 2001 - 12:42 PM

The problem with "upconverting" a 4:3 letterbox transfer is that you lose quality. Check out Columbia's 16x9 DVD editions of MIRACLES and the ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA films. These are vastly inferior to the Media Asia releases, because Columbia took the not very impressive 4:3 transfers and faked them to 16x9, resulting in artifacts, jaggies and a much softer picture.

Even worse, when you watch them on a normal TV, the DVD player's down-conversion removes scan lines, so the final result is an image with about HALF of the resolution of the original master. Posted Image

The only time this process should be used is if it for a seamless branched version, where upconverted cut scenes can be viewed in the film. It would have been nice if HKL could do that with the Japanese laserdisc, but they were not allowed to for some reason.

Again, at least they were able to secure the alternate outtakes as an extra.


#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Jon Robertson

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Posted September 06 2001 - 01:17 PM

Matt - I'm no HK buff like yourself, but is it not important for your laserdisc to be transferred to a D1 tape master or similar semi-permanent source ASAP, in case laserdisc rot sets in? I would hate for footage of ANY film to be lost for all time. Would HKL not be at all interested in doing this (though I'm sure they've tried their hardest), even if they can't release it? The resulting transfer of the extended scenes might not be outstanding, but if the film really needs the extra footage, I'm prepared to accept the shift in quality to maintain the picture's artistic integrity. Just look at the extended cut of The Wicker Man, which I would take over the technically superior theatrical cut any day!

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Matt_Stevens


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Posted September 06 2001 - 04:17 PM

The master for the LD still exists (and from what I understand, was not turned over at any price, but I am still trying tofind out about that). But that's nothing compared to the 35mm negative ir IP's being lost. That's what we need, but don't have.

I'm having my LD burned to DVD, just in case rot ever sets in. It's too precious to me to risk losing forever.


[Edited last by Matt_Stevens on September 06, 2001 at 07:23 PM]

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