The 2 transfers are different in just about every
possible area: color timing, horizontal and vertical detail, compression
artefacts, framing..... Yet most of the differences are rather subtle
for the non-videophile. Actually, i cannot think of any other comparison
i ever made with this many subtle 'differences'.
- in a lot of shots, the framing is identical
- in most of the other shots, the CC has slightly more picture
at the bottom, but a little less at the top
- in some of the Mexican shots, the picture is 'tilted' by about
2-3 degree! I have never seen something like this before
- in some other Mexican shots, the CC has more picture on the
right, but less on the left
- the 'Mexican' shots are consideralby improved in color tone,
color saturation, contrast, delineation in the CC version. This
is probably the biggest difference between the 2 versions. The
CC is CONSIDERABLE better, IMO.
- the 'Normal', colorful shots are basically identical
- the cool 'Blue-ish' colored scenes of Douglas' world are also
just about identical
- throughout the WHOLE movie, the normal edition has 'slightly'
more vertical detail than the CC version, which appears to be
more filtered (vertically)
- in most shots, the CC version on the other hand, has more horizontal
detail (think non-SB to SB here, only much more subtle)
- in other shots, the horizontal detail is identical
- overall, subjectively, the slightly higher vertical detail makes
the normal edition appear a tad more detailed overall.
- thankfully, both editions have basically zero EE/ringing. Very
- the CC version does have less compression artefacts (mosquito
noise, blocking). Both play at a very high, satisfying level,
- the CC version has the original burned-in subtitles, while
the regular release uses player generated ones. Being properly
anti-aliased by definition and being in the type font that was
originally intended, they burned-in subs look much more pleasing.
The differences in detail and framing are so subtle, that showing
them in screenshots is kinda pointless. So i will focus on 2 shots
which highlight the only really significant difference between the
2 version, the contrast and color timing in the 'Mexico' shots.
The Criterion version is always the one at the TOP or the LEFT of
In this shot, most differences are already apparent:
- On the CC (top), delineation appears appropriate. In the original
release, the white point is choose so high, that bright objects
like the white hood are blown out and clipped. Since the highlight
detail (opposite of shadow detail) that is clipped by this choice
is readily apparent in the CC edition, it cannot be director's
- In addition to the increased contrast, the original edition
also appears to have a different gamma chosen, which makes midtones
look too bright. This results in better shadow delineation (e.g.
Manolo's shirt) , but washes out everything else.
- Saturation is also higher on the CC. The darker gamma also helps
- Color balance is difference. Too much green and not enough red
in the regular release.
- The original burned-in subtitles can be seen in the shot of
the Criterion edition. On the regular release, i chose not to
include my player generated subs for comparison, since they differ
from player to player anyway. Just imagine whatever blocky subs
your current player generates.
- In this shot, you can also see that the frame is tilted by a
few degree. I recon its the original release that got manipulated.
On the CC, the car front looks much more hanging to the right,
than on the regular. Probably done in post on the transfer of
the original DVD, along with the contrast and color corrections,
to compensate the tilt.
Here, the situation is similar:
- In this case, the white point in the regular release is choosen
too low, resulting in decreased contrast. The white point of the
CC appears to be slightly too high, with the window highlights
clipping, but its actually just barely not.
- The higher saturation and different color balance is also readily