Staff - Help - Contact Search:
buy this title



Avatar






Scream 6






Evil Dead Rise






Needful Things






So I Married An Axe Murderer






To Live and Die in L.A




Heroes, The

original title: Siu Lam Ying Hung

Comparison:

  • Extended Version (German Blu-ray)
  • Hongkong Laserdisc
Release: Nov 15, 2020 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the cut "extended version" on the German Blu-ray and the uncut Hong Kong Laserdisc by Ocean Shores


- 9 cuts
- Runtime difference: 30,8 sec

A few additional master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each were not listed in the report.

A rare Eastern with a star line-up as German HD world premiere

The [Shaolin] Heroes is a highly recommended Eastern rarity: The Shaw Brothers veteran Ti Lung, who is also the patron of the title in Germany (Ti Lung - Die tödliche Kobra, which translates to "Ti Lung - The Deadly Cobra"), unexpectedly slips into a villain role under the direction of Wu Ma. Wang Chung, Dorian Tan & Danny Lee should be immediately recognizable by every genre fan, the story is more gripping than in similar productions of the past. But as so often, the poor availability of the film made it difficult for years to get halfway decent movie enjoyment. The worldwide Blu-ray premiere by the German label filmArt, available from November 13, 2020, finally remedies this.

You will get to see a new HD-scanning of the German theatrical version and this in two, or rather four versions. The difference, which is primarily exciting for us, is between the main version and the "extended version", where in the finale only 14 seconds of SD inserts of violent scenes from earlier scenes of violence missing in Germany were integrated. In spite of the declining quality, every interested party is advised to view this "extended version", since there are differences due to censorship and this only concerns very short moments in the final, so that the overall picture fluctuations are kept within limits. In addition, these two cuts can be selected in restored and unrestored form. Admittedly, the differences here are actually only marginal.

Extended version unfortunately not uncut

But then there is a downer: annoyingly, the "extended version" of filmArt offered with SD inserts is not complete, although it is advertised on the cover with "uncut for the first time worldwide". Similar to what TVP did with The New One-Armed Swordsman, selectively conspicuous violent cuts were re-inserted in the finale, but over the rest of the film, other flaws in the HD master were ignored. A large part of it should be bearable for the normal fan, for example if a small jumpcut without censorship relevance occurs or shots are only insignificantly shorter. However, some shots get lost completely.

The curious thing is that every single one of these passages would have been included on the German VHS, which otherwise has the same violence censorship in the finale as the main German theatrical version on the Blu-ray. Although the title was announced by filmArt as early as 2015, in these five years up to the final release, they probably relied entirely on 35mm scanning and probably did not even use the German VHS edition for comparison.

All in all, this circumstance should not deter the Eastern friend from buying. After decades of availability only in full screen or censored form, the rare film can now be seen in a surprisingly great HD quality. Nevertheless, there remains a bitter aftertaste that one has taken the trouble to create a presumably uncensored "extended version" with SD inserts in addition to the standard HD version, but has only added selected material and ignored other cuts. The cover imprint of the German Blu-ray is therefore deceptive, only the Laserdisc from Hong Kong (or the qualitatively inferior Hong Kong VCD) remains really uncut. Strictly speaking, two minimal flaws can also be found here, but at 1.5 sec in total, these are significantly less than what is missing in both versions on the German Blu-ray.

Runtimes are ordered as follows: Extended version on German Blu-ray / Hong Kong Laserdisc in PAL speed

While the German version shows the first shot normally (camera moves back), the Hong Kong Laserdisc shows the image frozen from a later moment of the shot.
Subsequently, only with the Laserdisc are there further credits.

Laserdisc 1 sec longer

German Blu-rayHongkong Laserdisc




02:05-02:06 / 02:00

The shield of the temple a bit longer for the Blu-ray.

+ 1.2 sec




13:15 / 12:42-12:45

Danny Lee says another sentence in the semi-total. The follow-up by Dorian Tan also starts a bit earlier, since he is still brooding over the commentary here (and you can hear the rest of the movement off-screen). Only 0.5 sec of this shot remained in the HD master, so this seems very choppy.



To illustrate this, here is the same passage from the German VHS:




20:39 / 19:51-19:54

As the camera moves along the letters, there is a jumpcut and so a part of the camera movement is missed.

2.8 sec




21:15-21:16 / 20:28-20:31

Ti Lung finishes his sentence on screen at the end of the shot.

Strangely enough, Dorian and Danny are then briefly looped in the follow-up shot for the German Blu-ray: the first half second is repeated immediately.


Hong Kong Laserdisc 1.8 sec longer



Also here for illustration the same position from the German VHS:




39:16 / 37:47-37:48

The camera movement from the chains to the head has a jumpcut and runs through in one shot.
Again, the Blu-ray seems very choppy here, because the rest of the shot is only 0.5 sec long and the picture jumps noticeably.

1.3 sec




41:50 / 40:16-40:18

Danny a bit longer and the follow-up shot of the brush a few frames earlier.

2.2 sec




50:19 / 48:26-48:27

Jumpcut at the shot of the prisoners, when one of them is just laughing a little.

1 sec




61:37 / 59:17-59:21

The total from above a moment longer. Then, in a completely absent shot, we drive past various people.

4,3 sec



Again for illustration here the same position from the German VHS:




82:54 / 79:46-79:48

The woman a little longer and Ti Lung outside earlier.

2 sec




93:50 / 90:16

Only a handful of frames, but worth mentioning at this prominent point: The yellow guy is hit by the spear a little bit earlier before his fall on the Blu-ray.

+ 0.2 sec




A few seconds later there is the first SD insert in Windowboxed (1.33:1 on the 2.35:1 picture) on the Blu-ray. Of course, due to the full-screen zoom of the uncut source, a lot of the image here is filled with black bars, so we included it here as a comparison screenshot to the HK Laserdisc. The coloring deviates clearly, whereby the identical contamination in the upper left corner of the picture is noticeable. For whatever reason, the filmArt image below is also slightly cropped compared to the Hong Kong Laserdisc.

German Blu-rayHongkong Laserdisc




105:28 / 101:26-101:38

The last shot is much longer on the Hong Kong Laserdisc: the two of them continue along the path until the bottom of the image.

12.1 sec




At least with the German Blu ray the song continues on black screen over half a minute to the end. The Hong Kong Laserdisc has only a short end fade-in of just 2 seconds and then adds a trailer.