WE WERE SOLDIERS: R1 vs R3 COLLECTOR's EDITION comparative review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by YANG, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. YANG

    YANG Second Unit

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    Here is a comparative review between the R1 release and the local R3 COLLECTOR's EDITION release.
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    Equipment used:
    PHILIPS FR755 5.1CH READY DPL RECEIVER
    PHILIPS DVD951 DVDplayer with on-board DD decoding
    AUDIOQUEST TURQOISE INTERCONNECTS 3pair for connection between DVDplayer to receiver
    VAN DER HUL SNOWLINE speaker cables for front 3ch,2m each
    POLKAUDIO S6 FRONTS
    POLKAUDIO CS150 CENTER
    WHARFEDALE DIAMOND3 as surround
    NO SUBWOOFER
    SOUNDSTREAM VIDEO1 video cables for all connections
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    Releasing studio: ICON INTERNATIONAL/SHAW BROTHERS via ALLIANCE ENTERTAINMENT SINGAPORE
    DVD release rating: SINGAPORE-PG
    Film running time: 138mins approx.(uncut U.S version)
    Picture ratio: ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN 2.35:1
    Audio: ENGLISH DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SURROUND
    Subtitles: ENGLISH & SIMPLIFIED CHINESE
    DVD format: Disc1-DVD9, Disc2-DVD5
    Color: NTSC
    Extra features: DD RAIN stereo trailer on both disc 1&2.Disc1 extras- BEHIND THE SCENES* featurette(11mins approx),DELETED SCENES*(same as R1 release),trailers and teasers.Disc2 extras-THE MAKING OF WE WERE SOLDIERS*(same as GETTING IT RIGHT-R1 featurette),CAST and CREW* interviews,PHOTO GALLERY
    *Note that all special features do not come with subtitles which is present in R1 release.
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    Transfer view
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    First on the movie itself.The local DVD have super-imposed subtitles only on the first few minutes of the film,during the fight between the french and vietcon dialogue.Then the rest of the film is subtitle less until the end of film.Location superimposed subtitles are absent from the main film,have to be generated by the player itself(by default).
    Picture presentation of the local edition is slightly brighter than the R1 release.The whole presentation quality is acceptable,the brightness is not so disturbing probably originate from the original film negative.The most obvious scene falls on the hangar breifing,the walls looks greyish,not as bluish as shown in the R1 transfer.The U.S version looks like have been remastered for video release.
    Audio quality of the local version is slightly uncomparable to the R1 release.The impacts of napalm explosion and GPMG firing is slightly lighter than the imported counterpart.But this does not mean that the U.S sounds good totally,on the dialogue part,clarity of R1 release looses out slightly to the local version.
    Overall,the U.S release is 1 level higher in presentation quality over the local version.
    Local version quality is acceptable in both areas.
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    Disc n packaging view
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    Disc1 art appears to be ripped off image from the black and white poster.While the disc2 art carries the partial red colored poster image.
    Packed in a dual disc slim OLIVE GREEN keepcase.This is just as creative as the LOTR.
    Creativity view
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    In both discs' special features,the background musics are excerpts from "MANSIONS OF THE LORD",while the main menu's of disc1 background music is a excerpt from NICK GLENNE SMITH's "WE WERE SOLDIERS" theme.When the menus loaded up,you did not do anything(assume that you are enjoying the music),the disc will play by itself(with my player).For disc1,the playback of the disc will goes to the movie itself.For disc2,the autoplay will bring you to the making-of("GETTING IT RIGHT") featurette.
    Extras view
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    Compare to the R1 release,this COLLECTOR's EDITION do not have DIRECTOR's COMMENTARIES on the main feature and DELETED SCENES.
    The R1 release do not have BEHIND THE SCENES featurette,3 theatrical trailers(U.S,UK,FRENCH),2 TEASERS,PHOTO GALLERY(still shots from the film),CAST and CREW INTERVIEW(with MEL GIBSON,GREG KINNEAR,MADELINE STOWE&JULIE MOORE,KERI RUSSELL,RANDALL WALLACE,HAL MOORE,CHRIS KLINE,SAM ELLIOT,BARRY PEPPER,JOE GALLOWAY)
    The common extra features between the two release are the deleted scenes and GETTING IT RIGHT-Making of featurette.
    The absence of BEHIND THE SCENES,theatrical trailers/teasers and cast and crew interviews in R1 release make it a plus point for R3 release.At a retail price of S$40,these extras are really worth every single bucks.
    BEHIND THE SCENES-FULLSCREEN (11mins approx.)
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    The are two chapters in this featurette,the first chapter show the actors going through boot camp training,and the film photography of VIETCONs side shootout,the CALVARIES shootout,explosives planting and stunt choreography,HUEY flybys,deployment and landing choreography and photography.
    Chapter2 of the BEHIND THE SCENES featurette shows RANDALL WALLACE giving a speech celebrating the completion of the film shooting/production.After he give his thanks to the cast and crew,he gets emotional when he give his thanks to the war vetarans contributions,especially to GALLOWAY,HAL and JULIE MOORE.
    After the speech,there is a memorial service held at the WAR VETERANS plaque(WASHINGTON D.C is it?) where COL.HAL MOORE breaks into tears while looking at the plaque.
    THEATRICAL TRAILERS n TEASERS
    ==============================
    There are 3 theatrical trailers in this release.A U.S version presented in WS1.85,stereo.A low quality UK version presented in WS2.35,mono.A FRENCH version presented in WS1.85,stereo. The most emotional one goes to the french version where there is no dialogue,but light emotional music.
    There are two teasers,both presented in stereo and WS1.85.
    The photo gallery is not worth to talk about,as those are screen captures from the main film.
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    OVERALL SCORES:
    EXTRAS(R1 vs R3)- R1 3/10,R3 4/5
    VIDEO quality(R1 vs R3)- R1 4/5 R3 7/10
    AUDIO quality(R1 vs R3)- R1 5/5 R3 4/5
    VALUE(R1 vs R3)- R1 3/5 R3 9/10
    FINAL VERDICT:
    Both R1 n R3 SINGAPORE release have their good and less desirable points.I can't say which is more better than another.
    For audio/visual purist,R1 release is a much better choice for a professional tranfer in both fields.
    For those who wants to know more about the making of the film,in depth detail of the production with cast and crew interviews,our local R3 release is a much more better choice.
     
  2. Mark H

    Mark H Stunt Coordinator

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    Real Name:
    Mark Hyland
    YANG,
    Any chance of posting an image of the R3 packing?
     
  3. YANG

    YANG Second Unit

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    Sorry MARK,
    Unfortunately i can't post any image of the release as i had been using public PC in my company,which do not have any scanning device.
    If i do have a chance to do it else where,i will not forget about giving others a chance to take a peek at the local release...

    By the way,if you have any colleagues or friends in singapore or coming to singapore,you may wanna ask them to bring a copy of local release for you...which i think is equivalent to AUD$45...or so...
    (looking at the announced specs released by WARNER AUSTRALIA,the coming R4 release seems to be identical to the R1 release)
     
  4. YANG

    YANG Second Unit

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    HONGKONG and TAIWAN had both released DTS version of "WE WERE SOLDIERS" due to international distribution by ICON INTERNATIONAL.

    The HK release is by UNIVERSE LASER,a single disc edition as confirmed by DEAN WALSH.
    The TAIWANESE release is a 2disc S.E by a unknown studio.

    Will post a comparative review,if i receive the HONGKONG release...soon...
     

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