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Fox's The Young Master -- Misframed?


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#1 of 25 OFFLINE   PaulaJ

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Posted May 27 2004 - 02:24 PM

I just got through watching the new Fox release of Jackie Chan's The Young Master, and was rather dismayed by the transfer. For one thing, it's the grainiest of the Fox martial arts releases so far. (Plus there are various scratches and bits of dirt, including what looks like a hair during the big fight at the end.) I checked it against the Universe DVD and while that is a far from perfect transfer (it's non-anamorphic to start with and it's soft and indistinct), it doesn't have the grain issues of the Fox DVD. I wonder what shape the source print for the Fox DVD was in? The Fox DVD, despite the grain, has a lot more detail than the Universe DVD.

However, even more problematic is the issue of framing. I noticed right away that it looked too tight at the top -- heads were being cut off. One shot that looks really bad is at 66:49, when Lily Li, during her fight with Jackie, stands up and straightens her skirt. On the Fox DVD, at the top of the frame her head is cut off in the middle and at the bottom you can see a bit of floor below the edge of her skirt. On the Universe DVD, you can see her entire face with just a tiny smidgeon of the top of her head cut off (it looks fine). And at the bottom her skirt meets the edge of the frame, no floor showing.

Most of the time the misframing isn't that awful or even noticeable on the Fox DVD, although in some shots it is quite obvious. Maybe it's just certain shots, not all of them. I didn't do a scene by scene check (that would require me switching DVDs back and forth and I'm just too lazy). But maybe someone with a double set-up can do a more thorough comparison.

I don't suppose Fox would agree to a re-issue a la Universal with Back to the Future and Pillow Talk... Posted Image
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#2 of 25 OFFLINE   Jeff Jacobson

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Posted May 27 2004 - 02:36 PM

I don't suppose Fox would agree to a re-issue a la Universal with Back to the Future and Pillow Talk...


Only if a lot of people complained about it. (Or if Jackie Chan complained about it.)

#3 of 25 OFFLINE   PaulaJ

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Posted May 27 2004 - 02:39 PM

>Only if a lot of people complained about it.

Uh... I was being facetious. Posted Image I don't think we'll be seeing a replacement. Posted Image
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#4 of 25 OFFLINE   Matthew Brown

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Posted May 27 2004 - 03:28 PM

Paula -

This is the only Fox release I haven't watched yet. I think I also have the Universe DVD so I will compare the two.

Fortune Star provides the material for these DVD's so Fox is just distributing what they get. I doubt that they will reissue this title but it would also mean that other releases in different regions would have the same problem.

Matt
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#5 of 25 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted May 28 2004 - 03:34 AM

Paula

This is a little off topic, but how much did you pay for YOUNG MASTER. To date I've gotten all thte FOX releases in the Wal-Mart dump bins (Canada and U.S.) or at Super K (U.S.) for $5.00 - $5.50. Just wondering if this batch is still in that range as I'm dying to get my hands on the incredible OPERATION SCORPIO at a good price.

#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Geoff_D

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Posted May 28 2004 - 09:07 AM

Compared to the HKL version, the Fox DVD of Young Master is definitely cropped too tightly at the top of the frame. A few heads here and there are cut in half, and the multi-screen sequence at the end of the film suffers as well.

#7 of 25 OFFLINE   ChrisJefferys

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Posted May 28 2004 - 02:24 PM

I'm disappointed to hear this. I was looking forward to picking this up and was expecting it to look as great as their other releases. Posted Image

Anyone know how OPERATION SCORPIO looks?

#8 of 25 OFFLINE   Brian F

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Posted May 28 2004 - 07:39 PM

Has anyone been able to find the new batch of Fox/Fortune Star DVDs? I checked WM, Kmart, Target, BB, CC, and did not find any of them. I'm sure they have them at Suncoast or similar, but I'd like to get them at the $5-$6 range Posted Image Hopefully they'll show up soon....

#9 of 25 OFFLINE   Matthew Brown

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Posted May 29 2004 - 12:14 AM

Brian -

I let FOX know that a lot of places seem to not have the newest wave yet.

Chris -

Operation Scorpio looks really good. I should have the review for that up over the weekend.

I am going to e-mail my contact at Fortune Star to let them know about the misframing. I already sent one for FOX. Fortune Star should fix it before it releases the Jackie Chan Box set in December (Region 3 or 2, I don't remember).
Matt
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#10 of 25 OFFLINE   Matthew Brown

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Posted May 29 2004 - 11:43 AM

I got a response from Fortune Star already. They will look into the framing issue.

Matt
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#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Matthew Brown

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Posted June 01 2004 - 08:35 AM

I hate posting three times in a row but Fox is also now aware of the framing issue. I don't know what the course of action if any will be taken on the current DVD.

I also mentioned to Fox that a lot of people couldn't find the latest wave in their local stores like Best Buy, borders, and Circuit City on the release date.

When I find out anything I will be sure to let everybody know.

Matt
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#12 of 25 OFFLINE   Brian F

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Posted June 01 2004 - 06:46 PM

Matt, thanks for contacting Fox and Fortune Star about Young Master and the release availability. It is good to see that those studios actually listen to the input. I checked the stores again today (one week after release) and still did not find them. I'm sure they will show up soon!

#13 of 25 OFFLINE   ChrisJefferys

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Posted June 02 2004 - 11:20 AM

Yes, thanks for letting them know about the problems, Matt.
The discs are hard to find in my neck of the woods, too. Only found some of them at the local Futureshop, and that's all I've seen anywhere. Strange, considering the previous waves were widely available everywhere.

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   PaulaJ

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Posted June 03 2004 - 04:34 AM

Brian, I paid (I think) $6.99 from DVDEmpire... I think that's where I ordered it from. Posted Image

Matt, thanks for contacting the folks at Fox and Fortune Star. I really hold out no hopes for a Fox/R1 recall and replacement but who knows. At the very least Fox should stop production and shipment on the current pressing and announce when a corrected version is available. And since The Young Master is due out on Region 3 from IVL in December, this way they will have time to make sure that DVD is framed correctly.

The only other DVD from the latest Fox batch I've had time to watch yet is Royal Warriors, and it looks fine to me. However, the cover art say it's 2:35:1 and it's not, it's 1:85. Posted Image By the way, a very young Hiroyuki Sanada (billed as Henry Sanada) is in this one.Posted Image (For you Twilight Samurai fans out there...) It looked OK at 1:85 to me so I'm guessing the cover specs are a mistake...?
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#15 of 25 OFFLINE   LorenzoL

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Posted June 03 2004 - 05:07 AM

For all of the Canadian members interested in purchasing the latest wave, HMV (Downtown Toronto location) had a few copies of Prodigal Son, Young Master, Operation Scorpio, Game of Death and Royal Warriors at $11.99 when I went yesterday.

I'm hoping Wal-Mart will have them cheaper than that but if not, I guess Amazon.ca will be the place to order from.

Please let me know if anybody finds them anywhere else.

#16 of 25 OFFLINE   Matthew Brown

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Posted June 03 2004 - 11:59 PM

Paula -
I saw ROYAL WARRIORS a few months ago in a theater and the DVD is a very accurate representation of the movie. I would go so far to say that the theatrical print I saw and the DVD were from the same master because the exact same scenes showed excessive grain. The subtitles were also very similar.

I have to say I am very impressed with Fortune Star. I had e-mailed them on a weekend and I received a reply within a day. The person I correspond with to get to Fox has also been wonderful.

I don't know what type of action will be taken about the misframing but I would really expect it to be corrected for the box set if it is possible.

Matt
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#17 of 25 OFFLINE   PaulaJ

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Posted June 04 2004 - 12:51 AM

>I don't know what type of action will be taken about the misframing but I would really expect it to be corrected for the box set if it is possible.


I hope Fox makes a correct pressing for Region 1, too. I'd be willing to buy it again since the price is so low. BTW, The Young Master was literally the third Jackie Chan movie I ever saw. Posted Image In an English dubbed, but widescreen print on (I think) the Action Channel. Posted Image

Overall, I've been just as pleased as you are with Fortune Star, though I do wish the Fox DVDs had better subtitles and the original sound mixes!
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#18 of 25 OFFLINE   Matthew Brown

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Posted June 04 2004 - 04:03 AM

Overall, I've been just as pleased as you are with Fortune Star, though I do wish the Fox DVDs had better subtitles and the original sound mixes!


I really don't know why the Fox releases don't have the original sound mixes. I don't think it's a space issue. I did forward the comments about this to them. The same with Fortune Star. I don't know who makes the descisions on who gets what. For instance, while identical in almost every way, the IVL GAME OF DEATH 2 DVD that comes in the Bruce Lee box set has the mono track where as the Fox doesn't.

I don't think there will be much of a change in the subtitles. The big factor is that these titles are pretty much prepped for worldwide release through different distributors. The English speaking audience is only a fraction of the whole market.

Matt
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#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Matthew Brown

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Posted June 06 2004 - 03:34 PM

Here are some comparisons between the Fox, HKL, and Universe Young Master DVD's.
http://www.loveandbu....com/ymcomp.htm

I sent the link to Fortune Star and within 10 minutes I got a reply that they will look into it again.

I have to update the review of it to add a couple of things. I spent so much time on the framing issue I forgot some stuff.

Matt
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#20 of 25 OFFLINE   Chris_Marin

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Posted June 19 2004 - 11:49 AM

After his exceptional comparison review for The Prodigal Son (which can be seen here), Geoff De'arth has taken the trouble to offer us a highly detailed, indepth comparison review of the recent US release and the current UK release of Jackie Chan's The Young Master.

Click here to see if Fox's May 25th US budget release, is as good (or better) than Hong Kong Legends' 2002 release; and more importantly to see if the movie is actually any good.

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Snippet:
There’s only one winner here, and it’s the HKL DVD which has soundly beaten its American counterpart in every department. The HKL disc features a very satisfying video transfer, faithfully remixed sound and solid extras. In comparison the Fox version has a very rough looking video transfer, jarring remixed sound and nothing worthwhile in the extras department, so avoid it if you can.