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Big Boss: Comparison (Spectrum vs. Ultimate Edition) 
Written by: on December 14th, 2005

Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, October 3rd, 1971
Director: Wei Lo
Writers: Bruce Lee, Wei Lo
Cast: Bruce Lee, Maria Yi, James Tien, Yin-Chieh Han, Nora Miao

DVD released: 2004 2005
Approximate running time: 99m27s 99m30s
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR R
Sound: DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese with English subtitles DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles
DVD Release: Spectrum Fox
Region Coding: Region 3 NTSC (Korea) Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: OOP $49.98
Spectrum’s Region 3 DVD

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Fox’s Region 1 DVD

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Spectrum’s Region 3 DVD

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Fox’s Region 1 DVD

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Spectrum’s Region 3 DVD

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Fox’s Region 1 DVD

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The Film :

Cheng Chao-An (Bruce Lee) has recently arrived Thailand to live with relatives. He has also promised his mother not to fight anyone under any circumstances while staying with his relatives. Cheng Chao-An quickly finds a job at an ice-production factory and when two of his co-workers go missing after finding cocaine hidden in one of the ice blocks he decides to investigate this matter further.

Video:

Both DVD releases present Big Boss in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Image wise there really isn’t much difference between the two and I suspect that they came from the same source. Fox who had previously released the Big Boss under the title of Fists of Fury drastically improves upon their previous releases image quality. Both releases are dual layer and unfortunately both are also interlaced instead of being set for progressive scan. Overall you really can’t go wrong with either one image wise.

Audio:

Spectrum’s release comes with the following audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks that both are in the films original Cantonese language. The Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks are pretty much the same with the DTS offer a slightly fuller audio experience. There is no sign of distortion or hiss through these audio mixes. The dialog is always easy to follow with the action and music adding some extra kick to the mix with their throbbing pulsing. English subtitles that are easy o read and follow have been included. Korean subtitles have also been included. Fox’s release comes with the following audio options DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin and Cantonese. English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow. The audio is clean and the music and effects sound evenly balanced and never distorted. Fox’s audio mixes are on par quality wise with Spectrum’s audio mixes. Overall both offer a wide range of audio options with the slight edge going to Fox for including the English dubbed audio track.

Extras:

Spectrum’s release comes with the following extras trailers for Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon and Game of Death as well as the Big Boss’s original trailer and a newly created trailer for this release. Other extras include Bruce Lee stills photo album and Bruce Lee photo slide show each DVD includes still and slideshow gallery. Rounding out the extras is a featurette titled “Celebrity interviews” which is a brief collection of interviews with Sammo Hung, Simon Yam, Wong Jing and Tung Wai. All the participants speak in English expect for Tung Wai and no English subtitles have been provided for this extra. Fox’s release comes with the following extras Big Boss’s original trailer and a newly created trailer for this release. Other extras include Bruce Lee stills photo album and Bruce Lee photo slide show. Other extras include trailers for some of Fox other marital arts releases. Rounding out the extras is an interview with Tung Wai and his interview comes with English subtitles this time.

Overall:

Overall both releases despite being interlaced are very good with the slight edge going to the Fox region 1 release for including the English dubbed audio mixes and also because the Korean box set which included the Big Boss is now OOP.

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