'Mask of Zorro' SE - 5 star ratings by BigPictureDVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brajesh Upadhyay, Sep 25, 2001.

  1. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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  2. Luis A

    Luis A Second Unit

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    That review is dead on. I had a chance to view the SE about a week ago, and the picture and sound on the SE is by far better than the original. I'll be selling my original copy today and get the SE tomorrow. [​IMG] L
     
  3. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Is this movie out yet?
    ------------------
    "I'm your Huckelberry"
     
  4. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    It streeted today, 9/25.
    My copy from Amazon won't arrive till next month since I included it with some other stuff and chose to save on the shipping. No matter; too much else to watch/too little time anyway.
    I never bought the first release, just rented it and then put it on my "buy someday" list. So when the SE was announced I jumped on it.
     
  5. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Before dumping the original version of Mask of Zorro I would suggest a side-by-side comparison. I've looked at both and I will not be getting rid of the originla version. In fact, I find the video slightly better on the first disc compared to the new "special edition". One need only look at the specs to get an idea what to expect...
    Original disc:
    Single DVD-9
    137 minute film
    One Dolby Digital 5.1 track (384 kb/s)
    One Dolby Digital 2.0 track (192 kb/s)
    One subtitle track
    Theatrical trailer
    Featurette (8 min.)
    A handful of still frame photos
    Special Edition:
    Single DVD-9 (second disc contains fullscreen transfer)
    137 minute fil
    One English Dolby Digital 5.1 track (448 kb/s)
    One English DTS track (768 kb/s)
    One French Dolby Digital 5.1 track (448 kb/s)
    One commentary track (192 kb/s)
    Three subtitle tracks
    Documentary (45 min.)
    Deleted scenes (5 min.)
    Two trailers (5 min.)
    Twelve TV spots (5 1/2 min.)
    Music video (5 min.)
    Full motion menus
    Various and sundry still frame sections
    You do the math. A DVD-9 holds the same amount of data today as it did three years ago. The DVD format still has a maximum data transfer rate of about 10 mb/s. Sony is still using what is essentially the same proprietary MPEG encoder as they were three years ago. This does not appear to be a new film transfer.
    If one is truly interested in a better looking version of this film, I suggest waiting for the inevitable Superbits version (maybe). On the other hand, the supplements on the new disc are okay.
    [Edited last by Robert George on September 25, 2001 at 05:31 PM]
     
  6. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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  7. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Dmitry. I had the SE disc in the drive when I checked the audio stream data. I corrected my post.
     
  8. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    Correcting the great Obi -- that just made my day! [​IMG]
    But lower bitrate on the audio only means that they had even more space available for the video -- of course, the question is whether they've used it (on the original).
     
  9. DanR

    DanR Supporting Actor

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    Robert,
    Aren't you inherently assuming the first release used the maximum bitrate and also used the entire space on the disc? It might have, I just don't know for sure.
    Also, I'm not totally sure, but I thought Sony was claiming a "more efficient" proprietary video encoding scheme in mid-1999.
    Regards,
    Dan
     
  10. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Dan:
    Sony does claim greater efficiency with their encoder, and in my experience their claims are more than just hype. However, I decided to take out both discs again and turn on the bit rate meter in my player (the RP91 bit rate meter carries the reading out to three decimal places).
    Sampling the opening 5 minutes on each disc, I estimate the average bit rate on the original disc runs somewhere between 5 and 10% above the SE overall with peaks over 9 mb/s on the first disc and nothing over about 8.1 on the SE (and that only once that I saw). Also, don't forget that on top of the SE having a lower average bit rate, less of the stream is given over to video. Well over a meg/sec less than the original disc.
    Looking at these two discs again, I see less fine detail, weaker color, and a darker look to the new disc.
     
  11. Bjoern Roy

    Bjoern Roy Second Unit

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  12. DanR

    DanR Supporting Actor

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    Robert,
    Thanks for the bit-rate "test". The results you saw with your own eyes are interesting. Still, as I'm sure you would agree, I'm going to purchase this disc and check it out. It's one of my favorite movies of the past 3-4 years; so the SE is most welcome.
    Regards,
    Dan
     
  13. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    Obi,
    Which disk would you recommend to someone who doesn't have the original? Price being equal, would you buy the original or the SE if they were side by side on the shelf?
    I hope the differences are "slight" as you say, since I eagerly awaited this SE! I didn't purchase the original because I had heard of the impending SE, I hope I didn't make the wrong decision!
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Bjoern Roy

    Bjoern Roy Second Unit

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    I also hope the differences Obi noted are only slight. I was looking forward to replacing my non-SE [​IMG]
     
  15. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Jason:
    That's a difficult question to answer for someone else. Certainly the SE does not look "bad". Actually, it looks quite good. However, my first priority is the film presentation. If I were given the choice now between the two discs I have that I could only keep one, I would probably choose the original disc. YMMV, of course.
     
  16. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    What a pity they couldn't have used that second disc for all the extras and made disc 1 a "superbits"-like disc.
    Having a P&S version on disc 2 is a waste of plastic.
     
  17. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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    I already sold my original DVD; now I wish I'd waited a while. My SE DVD is still on its way.
    DVDFile's review is more reassuring. I'd be happy if picture & audio quality were as good as the original.
    Re: Video...
     
  18. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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  19. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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  20. Matt Wallace

    Matt Wallace Second Unit

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    (snicker, snicker) Ulitimate Edition - ha!
    Matt
    ------------------
    "And I say I'm dead, and I move"....
    [Edited last by Matt Wallace on September 27, 2001 at 12:22 AM]
     

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