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Black Mask

original title: Hak hap

Comparison:

  • US Version
  • International Version
Release: Jul 03, 2018 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the censored US Version (US Blu-ray by Lions Gate) and the uncensored International Version (German Blu-ray by T.V.P. - The Vengeance Pack)


- 8 cuts in the US Version
- Length difference: 21 sec

Additional lengt difference in favor of the US Version results from longer/alternate opening and end credits sequences.


Recap


In 2008, the hugely altered Export Version of the classic Black Mask starring Jet Li was released (comparison) on Blu-ray for the very first time in the US. In 2011, a Blu-ray based on an HD master of the Uncut Hong Kong Version was released in Hong Kong. In April 2018, a German Blu-ray was released. And in addition to the Export Version and the Uncut Hong Kong Version, there is an "Extended Version" based on the Uncut Hong Kong Version. Last but not least, the German 4-disc set contains a so-called Extended Export Version. Basically, this is the regular Export Version to which the violence from other versions has been added.

As already stated in the comparison with the Extended Cut (click), the Extended Cut is incomplete resp. the added violence in the hospital scene lacks the very last shot which is still available exclusively on the Taiwanese DVD and the close-up right before that, which is in other version by the way, is missing as well. Well, the Extended Export Version adds a further chapter to the story: The very last shot is still missing, the close-up is now in the movie though. On the other hand, a longer shot (without any dialog) of the mercenaries getting closer is missing for some reason.
(comparison with the Extended Export Version).



International Export Version vs. Censored US Version


Even the International Export Version was edited for the German Blu-ray release because even though said version is based on the US Blu-ray release from 2008, a few alterations have been made to said HD master. The English audio still contains these dreadful (hip hop) scratching sounds and particularly dull lines. Other than that, the primary target was probably to reconstruct the original Export Version.

For starters, that means the additional opening and end credits are missing again. On the other hand, it turns out that the US Version was slightly censored. As often with violence edits to secure the R rating, those are minor frame cuts so it is quite easy to miss. But the Uncensored Version is still the superior one, no doubt. To reconstruct these bits and pieces for the International Version on the German Blu-ray the uncensored footage was added to the American HD master from the Uncut Hong Kong Version - different coloring included.



Time index refers to
US Version (US Blu-ray) / International Version (German Blu-ray)
The US Blu-ray contains an additional Lionsgate logo at the very beginning.

+ 22.2 sec




00:38-01:10 / 00:16

Accompanied by some (hip hop) scratching sounds, the US Version here contains a little introductory sequence which describes the origins of Tsui's task force via voice-over. In addition to that, there are scenes from the actual movie - altered with color filters.

+ 31.7 sec



Further scratching sounds and further comments by Tsui - the black and white shot itself is identically equal though.


25:40 / 24:47

The shot guy with a disc stuck in his head is slightly longer in the International Version.

As already stated, it is pretty insignificant. For that reason (and also to illustrate the alternate color filters), there are screenshots for the identically equal part prior to the additional footage.

0.4 sec

US Blu-rayInternational Version




25:47 / 24:53

At the end of the shot, the baddie turns his head aside.

0.4 sec

US Blu-rayInternational Version




26:32 / 25:39-25:40

King Kau with his hands around his neck longer because breathing keeps getting harder.

In order to make it look better, both the previous and subsequent originate from the other source as well.

0.8 sec

US Blu-rayInternational Version




26:38 / 25:46-25:47

After all the identically equal shots in between all originated from the other source (as already mentioned), there is a further cut when Tsui intervenes: More blood is dripping on the light.

1 sec




26:41 / 25:50

King Kau gasps longer.

0.7 sec




36:01 / 35:11-35:12

Tsui gets surprised by his co-workers and when he is looking down, there is actually a shot of a cake for him. This small shot is missing in the US Version.

This is in both the Uncut Hong Kong Version and Taiwanese Version. In fact, this is actually a US DVD cut adapted to the Extended Export Version

1.2 sec




36:28 / 35:38-35:40

When Tsui walks away, the US Version lacks a further shot of the cake.

2.2 sec




Alternate
85:31-90:04 / 84:44-86:19

Alternate ending (and also different end credits which explains the additional length of the US Version).

The International Version pans to the guy taking pictures, followed by Tsui, Rock and Tracy looking at the picture. Due to the coloring of the sky, this shot reaveals that the footage once again originates from the Uncut Hong Kong Version. The picture looks pretty fuzzy for some reason and the half-Chinese end credits start rolling over a freeze frame.


The US Version on the other hand shows them longer. Freeze frame, the picture moves a little sideways and turns black and white. Then English end credits on black background (accompaniedd by more hip hop).


US Version 178.2 sec (= 2:58 min) longer




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