Screen captures thisaway
My guess that these reused the Japanese transfers was correct for the first two films. Good Men, Good Women
and Goodbye South, Goodbye
are indistinguishable from the R2Js, right down to individual bits of print damage and some totally unnecessary windowboxing on GMGW. Flowers of Shanghai
looks different and is also the worst of the lot -- it's not as overly bright as the R2J (although I think the slightly darker R2F looks better still), but it adds combing and major compression issues in dark areas. The others are soft and murky in places, but on balance they destroy the previous English-subbed editions. Flowers
is better too, but it's still weak enough to knock the entire set down a letter grade or so in my book. I don't really care much about Millennium Mambo
in view of the R2F and Australian releases, which is a good thing, since this version is PAL-to-NTSC. Best I can say is that it looks better than the existing NTSC releases. (Cap #4
looks particularly bad since it's from the middle of a tilt.)
All discs only have 2.0 tracks, which I don't think is an issue for the first three films (I doubt they had 5.1 mixes theatrically) but is probably wrong for Millennium Mambo
. Subtitles are basically identical to the existing English-friendly versions, but there are occasional formatting issues (words are sometimes run together) and I hate that font. I see now that the Fox Lorber subs for Goodbye South, Goodbye
"fixed" some grammatical errors; these probably weren't really errors but attempts at rendering colloquial speech.
There are no extras, but you get a nice-looking bilingual booklet. Unfortunately the only texts are plot synopses and some pithy "director's statements" -- no production details or anything like that. The whole thing is in a big foldout case, sorta like a tall digipack. One caveat: the discs are held in individual plastic trays, attached to the case with tiny dollops of glue -- and all but one of the trays came loose during shipping. The design keeps the trays don't slide around when the package is closed, and the discs all remained on their spindles. But if I don't hold the case firmly shut when I remove it from the shelf, the trays will slide out through the bottom. I could just re-glue them, of course.