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Review of Miramax's DVD for SHAOLIN SOCCER.

 
 
Jay G
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      08-21-2004
This release has kinda snuck up on me, as it's being released
next week and it seems nobody is mentioning it.

Well, IGN has done a review of the new DVD, and there's
some good news and bad news.
http://dvd.ign.com/articles/539/539602p1.html

The Good: The DVD contains the complete uncut Extended
Version of the film in Cantonese with English subtitles. It
looks like Miramax has done a decent transfer, with more
image than the cropped Universe DVD (see comparison
in article). The Cantonese track is also in 5.1 sound, and
the subtitles are probably score better than on the Universe
disc.

The Bad: The review complains about some grain and
flickering of the image, as well as a lackluster 5.1 mix.
It'd be interesting to compare with the Universe 5.1 mix
to see if it's the same. No DTS track or extras.

The Ugly: The US Theatrical cut-n-dub hatchet job on
the disc. At least this might offer a good A-B comparison
for people arguing the superiority of the original versions of
films over the Miramax bastardizations of them.

-Jay


 
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Stephen Cooke
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      08-21-2004

On Fri, 20 Aug 2004, Jay G wrote:

> The Ugly: The US Theatrical cut-n-dub hatchet job on
> the disc. At least this might offer a good A-B comparison
> for people arguing the superiority of the original versions of
> films over the Miramax bastardizations of them.


This played in theatres?

swac
I just saw the trailer for a year.

 
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Derek Janssen
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      08-21-2004
Stephen Cooke wrote:

>>The Ugly: The US Theatrical cut-n-dub hatchet job on
>>the disc. At least this might offer a good A-B comparison
>>for people arguing the superiority of the original versions of
>>films over the Miramax bastardizations of them.


Which means, basically, I have to watch the HK version, and then switch
over to the US version if I want to see the street-dance scene?

> This played in theatres?
>
> swac
> I just saw the trailer for a year.


Three. Count'em. Arthouses. For a week.

Derek Janssen (think they *pretty* much had the DVD in mind at this point)
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)

 
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Mischa van Dinter
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      08-21-2004
On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 23:53:20 -0700, Derek Janssen <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>Stephen Cooke wrote:
>
>>>The Ugly: The US Theatrical cut-n-dub hatchet job on
>>>the disc. At least this might offer a good A-B comparison
>>>for people arguing the superiority of the original versions of
>>>films over the Miramax bastardizations of them.

>
>Which means, basically, I have to watch the HK version, and then switch
>over to the US version if I want to see the street-dance scene?
>


Or, you could buy the region-free DVD from www.dddhouse.com, from hong
kong. Don't worry, this is the legitimate one, not a pirate. It's
cheap, has DTS, and gives you the option to see the original or the
special version. I've had it for well over a year now.

Actually, why doesn't everybody in the US buy the Hong Kong version if
they want Cantonese? It's cheaper than the US version, it's got
English subs (the translations are a little clumsy sometimes but not
distractingly so and it adds to the charm), it's got DTS, it has the
original theatrical version (not the US one of course) as well as the
extended cut and you're not supporting Miramax and their butchering.

Mischa
 
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Black Locust
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      08-21-2004
In article <4126c580$0$21738$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Derek Janssen <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Which means, basically, I have to watch the HK version, and then switch
> over to the US version if I want to see the street-dance scene?


The street dance is in the Chinese version. This is one example where I
think including the alternate version of the movie was a waste of disc
space. The spaced used for the US version would have been better suited
to some bonus features.

BTW, I think this movie ranks as one of the single most ridiculous
pieces of celluloid that I have ever laid my eyes upon. But I suppose
that's part of it's charm.
--
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we.
They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people,
and neither do we." - George Dubya Bush

Vote Kerry 2004
 
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Jay G
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      08-21-2004
Stephen Cooke <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Aug 2004, Jay G wrote:
>
>> The Ugly: The US Theatrical cut-n-dub hatchet job on
>> the disc. At least this might offer a good A-B comparison
>> for people arguing the superiority of the original versions of
>> films over the Miramax bastardizations of them.

>
> This played in theatres?
>
> I just saw the trailer for a year.


If you saw the first trailer Miramax run, in front of Spy Kids 2,
then you would've been waiting for longer than a year.

It did have a very limited run in theatres, in Cantonse with
English subtitles. However, Miramax decided to use the
same print as from their dubbed version, which was cut
by 25 minutes and had signs and such in the film digitally
altered to English.

Miramax had pretty much bungled their handling of the film
from day one, and it's only finally with the DVD release did
they actually listen to what the fans wanted.

-Jay


 
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Jay G
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      08-21-2004
Derek Janssen <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Stephen Cooke wrote:
>
>>> The Ugly: The US Theatrical cut-n-dub hatchet job on
>>> the disc. At least this might offer a good A-B comparison
>>> for people arguing the superiority of the original versions of
>>> films over the Miramax bastardizations of them.

>
> Which means, basically, I have to watch the HK version, and then
> switch over to the US version if I want to see the street-dance
> scene?


No, the longer version is the Hong Kong Extended Cut, which
contains the dance sequence and other scenes that weren't
in the US theatrical or original HK cut.

>> This played in theatres?

>
> Three. Count'em. Arthouses. For a week.


Actually, it capped out at 14 theaters:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/...olinsoccer.htm

> (think they *pretty* much had the DVD in mind at this point)


The theatrical release did seem like a token guesture, at best.

-Jay


 
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Jay G
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      08-21-2004
Mischa van Dinter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> Or, you could buy the region-free DVD from www.dddhouse.com, from
> hong kong. Don't worry, this is the legitimate one, not a pirate.
> It's cheap, has DTS, and gives you the option to see the original
> or the special version. I've had it for well over a year now.


I've had it since August of 2001. So, 3 years now? Wow Miramax
is slow.

> Actually, why doesn't everybody in the US buy the Hong Kong version
> if they want Cantonese? It's cheaper than the US version,


Actually, the US DVD will be on sale for around $12.99 at some
stores when it's released, which, after you pay for shipping, is
close to what the HK DVD would cost.

> it's got English subs (the translations are a little clumsy
> sometimes but not distractingly so and it adds to the charm),


I've heard that the subtitles on the US DVD for the Extended Cut
aren't that great either. One person from another group said
that they're the worst he's seen from a major US studio.

> it's got DTS


The DTS track is great.

> it has the original theatrical version (not the US one of course)
> as well as the extended cut


One thing on the HK DVD that a lot of people complained about
was that you had activate the extended scenes while watching
the film. A logo pops up in the top-right while watching the original
cut, and if you press play, the film skips to an extended scene that
fits in there. The logos were non-removable if you wanted to watch
with subs, and there was no automatic way to watch the extended
version of the film.

> and you're not supporting Miramax and their butchering.


Well, one thing Miramax said is that they've included the original
Cantonese Extended Cut on the DVD due to fan demand. So if
enough people buy the DVD, it could convince Miramax that
there's enough demand to release *other* films in their original
language and length, at least on DVD as an option.

Of course, that's probably wishful thinking on my part.

Mischa, I believe you were at one point going to review the
Dutch DVD release of this film. How did that version turn
out?

-Jay


 
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Mischa van Dinter
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      08-21-2004
On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 07:07:56 -0500, "Jay G" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I've had it since August of 2001. So, 3 years now? Wow Miramax
>is slow.
>

Yeah, I think one year was a conservative estimate on my part, it's
probably closer to two. I know it was out a while before I bought it.


>Mischa, I believe you were at one point going to review the
>Dutch DVD release of this film. How did that version turn
>out?


I think you're mistaken, I remember mentioning the DVD when I first
saw it about a year ago but I also remember not wanting to touch it to
save my life... The cover image on that DVD looks the same as some
Miramax material I've seen (also probably the US DVD cover but I am
not sure). There are two versions, the regular DVD with JUST the US
cut/dub with DD and DTS sound, and one on two discs which also
contained the cantonese version (in DD and DTS, but the video is
apparently an NTSC-to-PAL conversion of the Hong Kong transfer,
resulting in degraded quality and artifacts. And, even though the
Dutch version does not feature the special version of the movie, the
logos that indicate a special scene in the original DVD do pop up).
The movie now sells for €9.99 single disc and €14.99 double disc. The
two disc is marketed as a special edition, like watching the movie in
its original cut and language is something special.

The company that released it is notorious for recycling US and British
transfers of asian films, meaning that if the company that did the
transfer only has an English dub, we only get the english dub with
Dutch subtitles. And, when the original transfer does have the
original language, the Dutch subtitles are created by running the
English ones through a very early béta version of Babelfish. It's
embarassing, women get referred to as "he", plural and singular "you"s
get mixed up, and even when the language is the original one, the
amercan habit of filling in silent parts of a movie with off-screen
dialogue to "explain" what is happening leads to Dutch subtitling of
silence (Metropolis, for example, but also Mad Max).

Man, do I HATE Dutch DVDs of Asian movies... they can't seem to get a
single one right.

Mischa
 
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Mark Spatny
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      08-22-2004
Jay G,(E-Mail Removed) says...
> Miramax had pretty much bungled their handling of the film
> from day one, and it's only finally with the DVD release did
> they actually listen to what the fans wanted.


Do you happen to know if Hero is similarly bungled? I've seen the movie
on a Hong Kong import DVD, and would love to see it in a real theater,
but not if it is all screwed up like Shaolin Soccer.
 
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