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A Better Tomorrow: Tai Seng vs. Anchor Bay

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron Silverman, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    So, which is the one to get? Or is there an HK release that's superior to them both?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Both have problems, but the Anchor Bay is the better bet. The original Tai Seng release had completely different music (recognizable themes borrowed from other films), and was appalling. There was a later Tai Seng release, but I seem to recall problems with that one too (I never saw it). The Anchor Bay was originally sourced from the same soundtrack, but was withdrawn and replaced with a mono soundtrack using the original cues. It has some notable defects, though (e.g., the initial music cue is missing).

    Perhaps someone else knows of another release. After the Anchor Bay mess several years ago, I pretty much gave up on this title.

    M.
     
  3. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Think I'll check my HK sources for that one then. [​IMG]
     
  4. Matthew Brown

    Matthew Brown Supporting Actor

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    http://www.loveandbullets.com/abt.htm

    At the moment, the corrected Anchor bay DVD is the best there is anywhere in the world. It's not perfect, but it is better than the Tai Seng which is just the import of the old Mega Star version. It is also better than the new Deltamac version and the recent 2 DVD release out of the UK. Unless a miracle happens, we won't be seeing a truly decent version of this one for a while. ABT II will get a release from Hong Kong Legends in the future but they do not have the rights to ABT I.
    Matt
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    The Tai Seng version (actually the Megastar version with a Tai Seng sticker on the shrinkwrap) is no longer in print and the new Deltamac version is coded for Regions 3 and 6 only. So if you're restricted to Region 1, you need to get either the Anchor Bay or find a used copy of the Megastar version.

    The Anchor Bay version has an annoying 10-second dropout which drives me insane. The Deltamac isn't bad (no dropout) but the UK version looks awful!

    Jeff
     
  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    10-second dropout? You mean complete silence? Jeez! Sounds like the Anchor Bay release is the closest to the actual film though.
     
  7. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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  8. MikeSilver

    MikeSilver Stunt Coordinator

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  9. Edward Schatz

    Edward Schatz Second Unit

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    Seriously, I do not know what Mr. Lustig was talking about. There are no other sounds. I love ABT 1 and want a "perfect" version. The 10-second drop out is annoying, but I find the burned in white dots far more irritating. Every time I see them they are the only things I can focus on. It drives me nuts.
     
  10. James D

    James D Second Unit

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    I was fortunate enough to get this one for only $7 at K-Mart. The 10 second drop out is distracting, but it occurs at the very beginning of the movie. Make sure that you get the Anchor Bay version that states that the Cantonese track is mono, not the one that states the Cantonese track as 5.1. The 5.1 track is the one with the screwed up music lifted from Forrest Gump.
     
  11. Edward Schatz

    Edward Schatz Second Unit

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    Yeah, I know. I have the mono one. I just wish we could get a 100% release.
     
  12. Matthew Brown

    Matthew Brown Supporting Actor

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    The official Anchor Bay story about the soundtrack makes them look bad. It really makes it look like they have poor quality control. I can understand them not knowing about the different music in the first release. I can't understand how they can deny a 10 second dropout in the second one.

    It will be years before we see a perfect version of this movie unless somehow Hong Kong Legends gets it or Anchor Bay's rights expire. Even if Anchor Bay's rights expire I am sure Miramax would outbid Criterion on it like they did with other Woo movies.

    The only truly decent release of this movie on DVD was a Japanese one that is long out of print and doesn't have English subtitles. It was put out by Culture Publishers. I have never seen this one for sale even though I have tried very hard to get it.

    Matt
     
  13. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    Matthew,

    Is the film currently unavailable in Japan or is there a new version that is inferior to the Culture Publishers release?

    Is there any possibility of a good release in Germany or Italy?

    Jeff
     
  14. Matthew Brown

    Matthew Brown Supporting Actor

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    There isn't one currently available in Japan to replace the Culture Publisher's one. I'm not aware of any on the way from Germany or Italy. There is a Korean version which I would bet is identical to the Mega Star version.

    The Deltamac also supposedly have soundtrck problem although not too severe. There is supposed to be clicking noises heard in one scene. This does have the original Cantonese soundtrack, though.

    It is always possible of a new version coming out but I don't think there will be one for a while. I had high hopes for the recent MIA UK version but I have seen nothing remotely positive about it.


    Matt
     
  15. ChrisJefferys

    ChrisJefferys Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Matthew Brown

    Matthew Brown Supporting Actor

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    This is due to damaged source material. This is also very noticable in HARD BOILED. Companies like Hong Kong Legends lesson this effect by slightly cropping the image by 3%. These movies are notorious for not being kept in the best condition. A movie like Chow Yun Fat's GOD OF GAMBLERS may never be released correctly because the proper materials may not exist anymore.

    It is too expensive to due total restorations to these movies. This is why we sometimes have to settle for "the best at the moment" instead of the perfect release.

    Matt
     
  17. ChrisJefferys

    ChrisJefferys Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Matt, I was thinking that might be the reason. Its a real shame that many HK studios have not been taking better care of their films. Hard Boiled was another example I was thinking of.
    DVD has a way of spoiling people. When I first saw these films on video years ago, I never noticed such things (I was just happy to be able to see the films at all), but now that I've gotten used to watching DVDs with "perfect" video and audio, I notice any small imperfections right away. But the movies themselves are most important, so like you said, we shouldn't wait for perfect releases that may never happen for many films.
     

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