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Bullet in the Head Comparison (Tai Seng vs. Hong Kong Legends) 
Written by: on October 3rd, 2005

Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1990
Director:
John Woo
Writers:
Janet Chun, Patrick Leung, John Woo
Cast:
Tony Leung, Jacky Cheung, Waise Lee, Simon Yam

DVD released: 1998 2005
Approximate running time: 125m45s 126m18s
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR 18
Sound: Mandarin and Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 with English subtitles Mandarin and Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 with English subtitles
DVD Release: Tai Seng Hong Kong Legends
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: $49.95 £19.99
Tai Seng‘s Region 1 DVD
Hong Kong Legends Region 2 DVD
 

Tai Seng‘s Region 1 DVD

854

Hong Kong Legends Region 2 DVD

854


The Film :

Three friends flee Hong Kong after one of them murders a street punk. They go to Vietnam to wait things out. Upon their arrival they get caught in the crossfire between the war protestors and military causing them to lose the merchandise they were transporting from Hong Kong. Down on their luck and out of money they form a friendship with Ah Lok a professional hit man who offers to help them get out of Vietnam. While in Vietnam they get caught up in a war that pushes their friendships to the brink.

Video:

The Tai Seng release is presented in a non anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The color look muted and details look to soft at times.
This interlaced transfer has some minor blurring. The Hong Kong Legends release is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors look solid and flesh tones look healthy. The black levels remain strong and details look sharp through out. Overall this progressive scan transfer is in exceptional shape and this is best I have seen Bullet in the Head ever look.

Audio:

The Tai Seng release comes with two audio options Mandarin and Cantonese both of these audio mixes are presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 that are free of hiss and the dialog is easy to understand. The music and effects sound balanced. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included. The Hong Kong Legends release comes with two audio options English and Cantonese both of these audio mixes are presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 and these two tracks offer clean, clear dialog that is easy to understand. The music and effects sound evenly mixed as they never distort the other. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included. Overall the Hong Kong Legends audio mixes sound fuller and not as harsh.

Extras:

Extras for the Tai Seng release include the films original trailer and bios and filmographies. Extras for the Hong Kong Legends release are broken down into four sections. The first section “The Players” includes interviews with Jacky Cheung, Waise Lee and Simon Yam. The second section “The Artists” includes interviews with Patrick Leung, Lau Chi-Ho and David Wu. The third section “The Archive” includes the following extras the original and UK trailers for Bullet in the head as well as trailers for Once a Thief and The Killer. Other extras include interviews with John Woo and Bey Logan and an alternate ending. The final section “Information Library” which includes the following extras liner notes about the film and biographies for John Woo, Tony Leung, Jacky Cheung, Waise Lee and Simon Yam.

Overall:

Both releases are virtually the same time length with the difference in time due to opening logo credits. What is not to like about the Hong Kong Legends Bullet in the Head DVD as it excels in every area and has enough extras to keep even the most devoted John Woo fan occupied for a while. Hong Kong Legends release gives John Woo’s masterpiece Bullet in the Head the four star treatment this film richly deserves.

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