review and R3 and R1 comp "bThe Others"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Elbert Lee, May 11, 2002.

  1. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    I finally had the chance to watch the R1 version of "The Others" last night with a Second audience. My first viewing of this film was 3 weeks ago on the R3 version that was released in January, 2002.

    First of all the R3 version is not anamorphically enhanced and contains absolutely no extras. There are added subtitles in Chinese and DTS 5.1 features. I only watched the R3 version in DTS and the R1 version on its available DD5.1. My Denon 5803 processor was very effective at translating the discrete tracks of both discs into a Matrixed rear soundstage.

    Let me say this - AUDIO appears to be very important in terms of enhancing the experience of this film. Sure, most people like to measure the worth of an HT audio set up based on its ability to perform during the loud action flicks. I tend to disagree. For me, the value of the audio portion of an HT set up is its ability to reproduce the subtle surround and atmostpheric effects available on the most detailed and carefully mastered soundtracks - the reference DVDs. Enveloping the audienced into the "world" of the film and removing itself from the audiences' senses and the material on the disc is what an Home Theater audio system should do.

    That aside, "The Others" is the type of movie that would benefit greatly from a truly worthy sound system.

    When watching the R3 DTS version, my audience was completely immersed into the story and the film. The panning and surround effects were there during the critical moments. I would have like to see an almost always prevalant "holonsonic" (WSR favorite word), sound effect in the sub and rear speakers. The surround were definitely utilized during those "key" moments. The music score and adrenalized camera moments really showed what a well set up system can do.

    Also, I would have like more "fullness" in the soundtrack, most notably in the dialogue, which sounded a bit thin.

    Video, on the otherhand, was definitely a step down compared to all of the recent R1 DVD releases.

    The R1 video was excellent and fills the entire screen of a 16x9 television. Impeccable, but I did encounter 3 "gliches" where a sharp, horizontal line of "noise" briefly flashed across the middle of the screne - not distracting, but definitely noticable. (Ron- did you experience this problem, too?)

    The R1 AUDIO, by comparison, was somewhat of a disappointment to me. It did feature much more in the LFE channel than the R3, but the sound felt more "compressed" than the R3 DTS track. Voices did sound more full, but I found that my volume had to be set much higher on my pre/pro/receiver: Denon 5803 (using ATI 2505 for mains, center and surrounds)

    THe LOUD moments almost became unbearably loud and somewhat harsh during the more "intense" moments in the movie, but I had to raise the volume again during the more quite scenes..It was not necessary to do this on the R3 DTS soundtrack. Therefore, the "boo!" moments (I counted 3 in the film), are slightly more effective on the R1 DD soundtrack. Howver there is more clear cut "panning" between the front and rear speakers in the R3 DTS track. By and large, the DTS soundtrack went further in enhancing the overall immersion into the film than the R1 DD soundtrack, and therefore is the more effective soundtrack between the two.

    Loved this movie. I hope that "The Others" gets the R1 DTS treatment that it deserves. I find it peculiar why Universal decided to pass on DTS for this release, yet still package it as a 2 disc set. "The Other's is a movie that would have truly benefitted from a DTS soundtrack and I have yet to hear of any studio issuing a second release of a film if the first release was already a 2 disc SE.

    Elbert
     
  2. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Messages:
    975
    Likes Received:
    0
    The R3 version looked like a disaster when I watched it on my 16:9 display a few weeks back. Cramming a 100 min movie, with DD5.1 and DTS tracks on to a single layer DVD will do this. There is little point in having a great soundtrack if watching the movie is itself painful. I'll be picking up the R1 version and whilst it may not sound as good it could hardly look worse.
     
  3. HenrikTull

    HenrikTull Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2000
    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  4. Mike Hutman

    Mike Hutman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    0
    what is R1 and R3? sorry never herd of it. I did pick up the two disk set at Wal-Mart two days ago. They put it out buy mistake .They didn't know some one had stock them out already, and pulled them all off the self. The lady was nice enough to sell it to me any way. [​IMG]
    Thank you nice Wal-Mart Lady
     
  5. Chris Xolotl

    Chris Xolotl Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    0
    R3 is the Hong Kong Release licensed by Universe. You cannot watch it on a typical US or Canadian DVD Player. You need a modified or hacked DVD Player to watch Region 3 movies (Hong Kong/Malaysia/Singapore)...

    I am perfectly satisfied with the R3 release, because it was released months ago and I don't have a huge screen to watch it on. The dts track is impressive and I am glad for your comparison on the audio. BTW R3 only cost $8-9
     
  6. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Henrik - I stand corrected on the studio.

    Mike - R3 I was referring to was the REGION. R3 discs were made for Hong Kong and was released earlier this year. I'm assuming that Disney allowed another party to master and press their R3 release, which did have both the DD and DTS soundtracks.

    Suffice to say, my review was based purely on my back to back comparisons as well as observing the reaction of the 2 dfferent audiences had to both the R1 and R3 versions.

    One note - the DTS track on the R3 version is, by no means, reference quality.

    I would probably go with the R1 overall, but based on the more "positive" reaction from my audience on the R3, I can't say which one makes the best presentation. VIDEO is much improved on the R1, but then again, I didn't feel as though video was a "disaster" on the non-anamorphic R3 disc.

    My point was that, in these 2 viewings, which by no means are 100% conclusive, the difference in the R3 DTS audio and R1 DD audio, has had more of an impact than the difference in video. It may turn out that my next R1 viewing will be every bit as satisfying as the DTS track was on the R3

    Elbert
     
  7. Mike Hutman

    Mike Hutman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, I should have known that. Thanks guys. I'm so silly:b
     

Share This Page