Video: (level 4.0) 1920x824 @ 12Mbps
Audio: English -HD MA 5.1 (derived from DD 5.1)
Framerate: 23.976 (CBR)
The purpose of this version is to present the superior Special Edition version of the film in the best possible quality using all currently available sources. Up until now, I’ve really hated having to choose between the better cut of the film and the better presentation. I wanted to be able to watch the Special Edition and still enjoy all of that gloriously remastered footage as well, using as much truly HD material as possible. So that’s what you have here – with one notable exception that honestly just comes down to my own personal preference*. This edit uses the following three sources:
1. The fantastic 1080i HDTV capture of the Theatrical Cut shared here on the spleen. This was utilized for as much footage as possible. This is the best-looking rip of the film anywhere, and I wanted most of the experience to be from this copy.
2. The open-matte Special Edition version, also from here on the spleen. This version, while certainly the best copy of the Special Edition available, still has some issues. First of all, the aspect ratio obviously needed to be corrected to match the theatrical footage. Next, each scene’s framing was cross-referenced with my (OAR) DVD copy of the Special Edition to ensure that the head room was correct. The position stayed more or less consistent throughout the film, but there were a few exceptions here and there, so this was re-checked on a scene-by-scene basis. Some of the extra footage also required some subtle (to not-so-subtle) color and contrast correction to more seamlessly integrate with the remastered (and newly-graded) theatrical footage.
3. The original Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track from the Special Edition DVD. This is the primary audio source for this edition, with the aforementioned exception.** Initially, my plan was to just edit the two HDTV rips together and smooth over any audio issues between them, but this quickly proved to be more trouble than it was worth. Due to the various editing discrepancies between the Theatrical Cut and the Special Edition, the audio would have required editing almost as an entirely different animal – and, at times, at totally different locations – from the video. There were also significant volume and pitch variances between the two audio tracks. It just wasn’t worth the trouble to do, and actually would have made the final edits far more obvious. Once I chose to edit all of the video exclusively to the DVD audio track, things went much more smoothly.
*I've always disliked the Special Edition version of Lindsey’s line “It says Virgil Brigman back on the air”. Before I saw the Special Edition, I watched the Theatrical Cut countless times, and this is the only place in the entire film where something is not simply added, but removed and changed. I don’t know why this was done in the first place, but I’ve always preferred the original delivery of the line. In the original, Lindsey says the line almost flippantly, like she can’t believe it, and she’s half-mocking Bud’s playful tone because she’s been so grief-stricken up to that point. It’s a soul-crushing weight coming off of her in a moment of relief. I LOVE that. In the Special Edition, she says the line in this gee-whiz kind of way that seems to say “well now, isn’t that something?” It’s just always felt wrong to me, so I’ve reinstated the original delivery. This is the ONE thing I’ve altered myself, keeping this from being a true 1:1 copy of the Special Edition. Call it creative license, editor’s privilege or whatever. I did the work, so I’m using the take I prefer. To be fair, I also sort of dislike the lines “I’d say that’s a big 10-4, Jack” and “Of course, it’s just a suggestion”, both of which strike me as hammy and forced humor, but I didn’t want this to turn into a fan edit. I figure choosing one of two possible takes is one thing (as I actually do have a preference for one over the other, and it doesn’t alter the flow of the film), while flat-out removing lines that I don’t personally like is another.
**The original Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track from the Theatrical Cut DVD was utilized for the take I chose to include as detailed above, as it was exclusive to that cut of the film.
I hope you guys enjoy this version until the folks at Fox get off their collective a**es and give us the real deal on Blu-ray and/or 4K UHD. Please leave some feedback below if you like what you see. It's the only thanks I get.
A few people have asked for a disc-based alternative to the , so here it is. This is a movie-only, bare-bones ISO. No menu, no frills. Just the movie itself, maxed out as much as I could for a BD-25 (and I do mean maxed out, I exported the video three times to get it just under the line). I've added English subs this time per request (credit to ghosthost for creating them). Just burn the ISO and it should load up just fine. Technically, the quality here *should* be just a HAIR better than the , though probably imperceptibly so.