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Dragon Lord

original title: Long xiao ye

Comparison:

  • Original Version
  • Alternate Asian Version (German Blu-ray)
Release: Nov 10, 2014 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the uncut Original Version (= "International Version" in the bonus features of the German Blu-ray by Splendid) and the Alternate Asian Version (= Main Movie aka "New Extended Version" on the German Blu-ray by Splendid)


67 differences, including
* 3 scenes longer in the Original Version
* 9x alternate courseof events
* 5 recuts
* 2 scenes with speed difference

Additional Footage in the Original Version: 475.2 sec (= 7:55 min)
Additional Footage in the Alternate Asian Version: 895.1 sec (= 14:55 min)

Furthermore, there are a few minor and insignificant differences below 0.5 seconds. Probably resulting from the bad quality of the master and not considered in the following comparison.



Background / The Versions


The overview of the version of this Jackie Chan classic is quite confusing as well but with rather little effort, it is not that hard to see through. Thanks to inconsistent names, not least because of several home theater releases (please see the following segment of the intro for more information), it is not as easy as it coud be for the average potential buyer.

Basically, there are two different versions:

"Version 1" is most likely the Original Version which is why it has been called just that in the following, its running time is ~ 96 minutes.*
Available e.g. on the old German DVD, the UK DVD, the US DVD by Tai Seng, early Laserdiscs and Video CDs from Hong Kong and as bonus feature on the new German Blu-ray where it is called "International Version".

"Version 2" can be considered as Alternate Asian Version, running time ~ 103 minutes. Available on any newer Asian DVD (e.g. Hong Kong and South Korea) released after 2007, on the Japanese Blu-ray and the new German Blu-ray. Annoyingly, this version usually doesn't have a specific name which is why it can be easliy confused with the uncut Original Version.

The following comparison lists the differences of these two versions. Let me just point out that both version contain footage that is not available in the other version which is why "Version 2" has not been called Extended Version on purpose because despite its running time, several scenes are missing. More detailed information about the differences below.

* Running times are in movie theater or NTSC/Blu-ray speed. For the corresponding PAL DVD running times, ~ 4% need to be deducted. Further differences by alternate logos at the beginning are possible as well.


Exclusively based on the Original Version, there are two more versions worth mentioning:

"Version 1a" or considering its chain of distribution, it could aso be called European Export Version which approx. 5 minutes cut.
Available e.g. on the old German VHS, the UK VHS and probably on the old French releases.

"Version 1b" aka Dimension US Version with approx. 2 minutes cut, compared to the Original Version.
Available on the US DVDs and Blu-rays by Dimension/Buena Vista/Miramax. Not to be confused with the above mentioned release by Tai Seng.



The German Blu-ray


Basically, one can only applaud. As often, the Blu-ray by Splendid is exemplary even though the above mentioned "European Export Version" (Version 1a) is unavailabe. But this is where it gets a little confusing: the uncut Original Version is only available in the bonus features of the Blu-ray and it is called "International Version". But when one inserts in the disc in the player, this version is named "Export Version" for some reason... which can be deceiving because it implies that this is the "European Export Version" (Version 1a) which is not true.

The main movie of the Blu-ray is the Alternate Asian Version. Easily comprehensible on the back cover and yet less than ideal named "New Extended Version" and without any further explanation. As a consequent, one might assume that this is the uncut Original Version.
As the following comparison shows, the Alternate Asian Version lacks footage that was in the Original Version. A version that contains the entire footage is not available.



The Alternate Asian Version


One can devide the differences in three huge sections.

a) Recuts
The Original Version starts with the Rugby match resp. the pyramid game. This scene represents the finale in the Alternate Asian Version which means it follows the fight against the supervillain. This also means the Alternate Asian Version starts calmer and the Rugby scene at the end of the movie seems misplaced.
During this course of events, there are further smaller recuts but that is of minor significance.

b) Small Scene Extensions
The Alternate Asian Version also contains a few additional scenes such as Jackie's dad reveals that he intended to hook him up with his love interest. All in all, the additional footage consists of smaller plot extensions and stunt scenes that are also in the Original Version and do the trick.
There are positiveand negative aspects about it: on the one hand, it is quite nice for fans of the movie - especially the Rugby pyramid scene or the footminton match have a length of several minutes each. The elaborately choreographed mass scene is simply nice to look at plus it is positive to see more of the hard work behind it. But then again, one cannot deny that the pace of the Original Version is almost perfect. In spite of some rare moments that make the pace look a bit better (e.g. when Jackie throws a huge book to his two buddies while quoting poems), the cuts in the Original Version are reasonable. Sometimes, the action scenes seem drawn out in the Alternate Asian Version. Escpecially when Jackie is quoting poems, one gets easily tired of the punchlines.

c) Cut Scenes
In addition to the negative connotation of some redundant extensions, the most critical issue: annoyingly, three longer scenes from the Original Version (written cursively in the comparison, screenshots of the Original Version can be recognized by the missing black bars) have been removed for the Alternate Asian Version.
It makes kind of scene for the barrel scene at the end because it doesn't fit in anymore with the rugby paramid match.
In the middle of the movie, Dragon and the others pay the girl a visit and they are being welcomed with tomatoes, water and eggs. Admittedly rather irrelevant for the course of events and yet it is a bummer that this nice little comedy performance is gone.
Finally, Tiger's leaving the pack of thieves violently is missing. This is totally odd, especially since there is an alternate explanation in another additional scene. A small fight goes by the board, too.
Putting that aside, the Original Version contains a few seconds of exclusive footage during the alternate scenes.

Bottom line: having the Alternate Asian Version is nice but there are a few downsides as well plus it is not the longest version with the all the available footage in it.



Time index refers to
Original Version (German Blu-ray) / Alternate Asian Version (German Blu-ray)
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Recut
01:10-09:01 / 01:10 bzw 90:47-102:07

After several production logos, the Original Version starts with the fight for the pyramid. In the Alternate Asian Version, this is comes after the regular final fight. Since this comparison is based on the Original Version, the differences have already been listed in a colored frame because the scene is 209 seconds (=3:29 minutes) longer in the Alternate Asian Version.


01:20 / 90:58-91:06

Extended shot of Cowboy approaching the guys plus Dragon asks for uncle Wang's whereabouts. Cowboy explains he was with the officers and they were going to meet later.

8.5 sec




Alternate
01:32-01:38 / 91:18-92:11

In the Original Version, the guys get going and a distance shot of the pyramid follows.


The Alternate Asian Version on the other hand contains an alternate take of the guys in which they intone a song. That is how theykee marching around in the following shots. Subsequently, more shots of the event from a less further distance.


Alternate Asian Version 46.9 sec longer



Shortly afterwards the opening credits in the Original Version. The shots with the actual credits have been taken from a different master with worse quality.

Other than that, the masters of the two versions are very much alike, including little contamination etc. Only the colors have been slightly altered. An uncompressed frame comparison can be found here.


Original Version (German Blu-ray)Alternate Asian Version (German Blu-ray)




05:06 / 95:39-95:54

Several further shots of the fight on top of the pyramid.

15.1 sec




05:12 / 96:00-96:02

Tracking back through the pyramid.

1.9 sec




05:19 / 96:09-96:27

Again, several falls from the pyramid and little scraps.

18.4 sec




05:20 / 96:28-96:29

Before the shot from below, a guy is being brought down by punches.

0.8 sec




05:25 / 96:34-96:42

Further fighting for the top of the pyramid before the first guys reach the golden ball on the top.

8.2 sec




Alternate
06:11-06:21 / 97:29-97:46

In the meantime, two kids sneak on the field in the Alternate Asian Version but Dragon manages to save them from the madding crowd. Some ball play follows.


The Original Version contains alternate footage. With the shot of the guy from Team Yellow who gets burried under a pile of people, the versions are back in sync.


Alternate Asian Version 7.5 sec longer



06:34 / 97:59-98:09

After one of the fighters snatched the ball and managed to get out of the pile of humans, one also gets to see him running (same shot).

9.7 sec




07:04 / 98:39-98:41

A medium long shot of the action starts earlier.

2.5 sec




07:29 / 99:06-99:43

More fighting plus a crowd after Dragon yelled at one of his team members for forgetting the rest of the team. Last but not least, Dragon defends the ball for a while.

37.2 sec




07:33 / 99:47-100:03

And again, more fighting on the playing field.

16.3 sec




Recut
07:38-07:41 / 100:08

Before a Lilan catches the ball and immediately loses it to Dragon, the Original Version contains a distance shot that has already been used in Alternate Asian Version in one of the previous extensions.

+ 3 sec




07:55 / 100:22-100:55

A few passes in slow motion.

32.7 sec




Alternate / Recut
07:59-08:07 / 100:59-101:10

After throwing the ball headfirst, the ball goes around a few more times (same shot) in the Alternate Asian Version.


The Original Version on the other hand cuts to a different take - already used in the Alternate Asian Version, please see 07:29 / 99:06-99:43.


Alternate Asian Version 2.7 sec longer



Alternate / Recut
08:12-08:36 / 101:15-101:41

After Dragon's buddy snatched the ball from an oppenent via jump kick, the versions continue differently until Dragon makes his final sprint. The Original Version rather recycles spectacular shots from previous extensions of the Alternate Asian Version while the fighters simply run against each other unspectacularly and this is how the ball goes around here.

Original Version:


Alternate Asian Version:


Alternate Asian Version 1.8 sec longer



Different Speed
08:40-08:41 / 101:45-101:46

When Dragon brought the ball to the cloth, the Original Version switches to slow motion for a moment while the Alternate Asian Version keeps the regular speed.

Original Version 0.5 sec longer




09:01 / 01:10-01:16

The first shot of the Alternate Asian Version is longer resp. there is a tracking shot of the rooftops on the right.

6.7 sec




09:07 / 01:22-01:28

Shot of Dragon's buddy standing guard during which the title pops up in the Alternate Asian Version plus further credits during the footage which is also in the Original Version. After that, Dragon a brief moment earlier.

6.5 sec




16:11 / 08:32-08:57

The baddies' conversation is longer. Cowboy's dad says they were going to be rich a month after shipping the antiques.

24.5 sec

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