DTS edition of WHO AM I? in JAPAN. Reviews?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt_Stevens, Mar 6, 2001.

  1. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    So now there is a 16x9 DTS edition of "WHO AM I?" in Japan (catalogue #PIBF-1221). Any reviews?
    www.asiandvdguide.com has it listed, but with no reviews. It has English DTS & DD5.1, plus a Japanese 5.1 track.
    I am wondering if it is the uncut 2 hour version, or the cut 105 minute version. Also if it is RSDL for a better bit rate.
    Front cover link: www.asiandvdguide.com/images6/pibf-1221f.jpg
    Back cover link: www.asiandvdguide.com/images6/pibf-1221b.jpg
    There is also a 16x9 DD5.1 edition with the same cover.
    Any RETAILERS around that have this? It's not at HiViZone or dvdasian.com.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Matt, I have a copy in my hand. It is listed as 120 minute version. I have not watched it yet, but I will do some checks on it this weekend and post. It is very expensive, even by Japan standards, with a list price of 6800 yen. As I recall, it is 1509 bit rate dts as all Japan dts DVDs are I have seen except for Gladiator.
     
  3. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    That IS expensive (about $57 U.S. if I calculated correctly). Well, please check it out when you can and let me know if it is, in fact, the English soundtrack in DTS, and real 2.35:1 16x9 encoded.
    I'll also be curious if the segment with the tribe is in English. All current versions are dubbed into Cantonese for that segment, even though it was shot and recorded in English!
    I have looked at over two dozen online places and not one stocks it (or any other Japanese DVD for that matter).
    I hear CDJapan.com is good, but the link isn't working for some reason. Unless I have the address wrong, of course.
     
  4. David Sams

    David Sams Auditioning

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    Matt
    CD Japan is an excellent company which I have used often. The web address is www.cdjapan.co.jp not.com
    However Roger is right the Jackie Chan disc is a very expensive one like virtually all Japanese DTS titles.
    Regards
    David
     
  5. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    I can't find that title listed through them at all. I just sent a request using one of their request forms. I am very curious about this release.
    If the DTS track is no better than the DD5.1 track, then the earlier, cheaper 5.1 release will make a lot more sense.
    The 5.1 track on the HK DVD has almost no use of the surrounds. It's aggressive only in the front sound stage. The non-anamorphic transfer is OK, but on my 36" Sony it looks like crap compared to newer HK DVDs like SHIRI and any anamorphic title in the U.S.
    So, I await Roger's assessment of the DTS release. [​IMG]
     
  6. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Matt, approximately where in the film would I find the scene with the tribe? I may try to check it out sooner than this weekend. I also have the Hong Kong DVD of Who Am I?
     
  7. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    That starts about 10 minutes in and goes on for about 20 minutes. The natives speak their language and Jackie speaks dubbed Cantonese (even though he spoke English when filming).
     
  8. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Althought I will not be able to compare untill the weekend, I did give it a test drive and can answer some of the questions. First of all, the default sound track is dts and as soon as you pop the disc in the dts trailer plays. The dts track exhibits deep base and, in places, agressive surrounds. It is very dynamic and not the usual tinny sound of Hong Kong films. I did not compate the DD5.1 track yet. Yes, it is 2.25 anamorphic and seems better than any Hong Kong film I have seen on DVD once the studio logo passes. Picture is very sharp and color rendition is right on. It looks like U.S. studio production quality.There is no English in the three chapters with the tribe. Also, no English subtitles.
    Again, this is initial reaction to the disc without direct comparison.
     
  9. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the initial comments. I look forward to your full review. No rush. I can wait to order it. It's not like it's going out of style. [​IMG]
    Besides, right now I am in the middle of trying to decide what region hacked player to buy! I am either getting the Toshiba SD-1600 from Mindlogic.com or dvdcity.com. The price is about the same and both companies claim their player will play RCE titles, so how to decide?
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Not a full review, but I did do some brief comparisons. On the Japan DVD, the DD5.1 and dts tracks are nearly identical with a slight edge to dts for tighter bass and slightly improved clarity. Both are far superior to the Universe DVD from Hong Kong. The anamorphic picture on the Japan release is also noticably superior but the letterbox picture on the Hong Kong DVD from Universe is better than average for older Hong Kong DVDs. For those not familiar with the film, the major drawback (inaddition to price) is the lack of English support for the several chapters with the tribe. The Japanese release has 50 chapter stops.
     
  11. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like the DD5.1 edition is the best bang for the buck. It's not worth paying double for a very slight improvement in sound quality that may or may not be heard.
    Thanks for the review of this title, Roger. I am ordering the DD5.1 version ASAP.
     
  12. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Matt, do you mean the Universe disc or Japanese disc with only DD5.1? There may have been a new audio mix for the Pioneer with dts. That could affect the DD5.1 as well. The Japan releases of Hong Kong movies, except for this special dts version, have been identical to the Hong Kong discs.
     
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    6800 yen is nothing for a Japanese DTS release. You're Under Arrest Movie DTS and Escaflowne Movie DTS were both in the neighborhood of 12000 yen!
    Jeff Kleist
     
  14. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Those prices are crazy, but near $80 American (with shipping) for WHO AM I? is a tough nut to crack if the earlier DD5.1 edition has the same 5.1 track as the 5.1 track on the DTS release.
    Both releases have the same 16x9 transfer, so I'd imagien they would share the same 5.1 track.
    Of course, if I buy the cheaper one and find it has the crappy HK 5.1 track, then that's money wasted. [​IMG]
     
  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Let us thank Japan's ever-so-efficant distribution system for the prices. They are also fixed by the government. Basically Japan has more middlemen than Madacy has bad discs
    Jeff Kleist
     
  16. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Well, their economy is sure taking some heat for their government controlled pricing, etc.
     
  17. Chad B.

    Chad B. Second Unit

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    So the earlier DD version and the newer DD/DTS version are both missing English language and English subs during the tribe scene?
    If so, that's quite a disappointment and I don't see why this purchase would be worthwhile. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    CDs : DVDs : VGs
     
  18. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    No English subtitles. It IS worth the purchase tough. The difference in both sound and picture quality is like night and day.
    Even when downconverted to 4:3 widescreen, the Japanese transfer is far and away superior to the HK release. Same for the sound. So if I watch this, I'll only watch the HK DVD for the tribe scene, which is what I did Sunday night.
    The friends I had over were blown away by the difference.
     
  19. Chad B.

    Chad B. Second Unit

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    I hear where you are coming from about the improved quality of the audio and video on the R2-Japan versions but still with no English of any kind during the tribe scene it seems bizarre to watch only that scene on the HK version. So much for the convenience for having multiple languages, soudntracks on one DVD. [​IMG]
     
  20. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Very few Japanese DVD's have English subtitles.
    Do not forget that Media Asia and other Hong Kong companies frequently preclude Japanese companies from putting English subtitles on their DVDs, because they know they will be imported to the U.S. because of the high quality.
    WHO AM I? is an example of this. What's really odd is that Jackie spoke English during those scenes, but then dubbed himself into Cantonese. This was done specifically to screw up imports to the U.S. (even though the HK Universe DVD has English subtitles throughout the film, so they can be turned on for that scene).
    Funny thing is, with the tribe sequence, you could watch it without knowing what is being said and still have no problem understanding what is going on.
    ------------------
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