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Writings > DVD Image Comparisons > The Card Player/Il Cartaio/Karetní Hrác


The Card Player/Il Cartaio/Karetní Hrác

Region 1 (USA) - Anchor Bay
vs. Region 2 (Italy) - Medusa
vs. Region 2 (Czech Republic) - Hollywood Classic Entertainment
vs. Region 2 (UK) - Arrow Films

 

Details

 

 

DVD

R1 USA
 

 

DVD

R2 Italy
 

 

DVD

R2 Czech
 

Disc(s)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)

Running Time

 

104 mins (NTSC)

 

99 mins (PAL) (packaging: 100 mins)

 

99 mins (PAL) (packaging: 96 mins)

Video

 

1.85:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 7.3 Mbps
NTSC 720x480 at 29.97 fps (interlaced)

 

1.85:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 7.21 Mbps
PAL 720x576 at 25 fps

 

1.85:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 7.39 Mbps
PAL 720x576 at 25 fps

Audio

 

English:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps
Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kbps

 

Italian:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps (not original language)

 

Czech, English:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps

English:
DTS 5.1, 1536 Kbps

Subtitles

 

None

 

Italian

 

Czech

Extras

 

- Playing With Death - interview with Dario Argento
- Maestro of Fear - interview with Claudio Simonetti
- Audio commentary by Alan Jones
- Export trailer
- International promo
- Behind the scenes
- Dario Argento bio
- Bonus trailers for Suspiria, Opera, Trauma, Deep Red and Dawn of the Dead

 

- Gli Occhi, le Mani, il Cinema Ascoltando Dario Argento - interview
- International promo
- Italian promo
- Theatrical trailer
- Cast and crew

 

- International promo
- Photo gallery
- Beyond Re-animator trailer

 

 

 

DVD

R2 UK
 

 

 

 

 

 

Disc(s)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)

 

 

 

 

Running Time

 

99 mins (PAL)

 

 

 

 

Video

 

1.85:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 5.52 Mbps
PAL 720x576 at 25 fps

 

 

 

 

Audio

 

English:
Dolby Digital 2.0, 224 Kbps
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps

 

 

 

 

Subtitles

 

None

 

 

 

 

Extras

 

- Export trailer
- Behind the scenes
- International promo

 

 

 

 

 

Bit Rate

R1 USA

DVD Image Comparison


R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison


R2 Czech

DVD Image Comparison


R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison

 

Screen Captures

Example 1

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R1 USA | R2 Italy | R2 Czech | R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 2

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R1 USA | R2 Italy | R2 Czech | R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 3

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R1 USA | R2 Italy | R2 Czech | R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 4

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R1 USA | R2 Italy | R2 Czech | R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 5

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R1 USA | R2 Italy | R2 Czech | R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 6

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R1 USA | R2 Italy | R2 Czech | R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison

 

Update, July 8, 2006: The UK release by Arrow Films can essentially be considered a PAL version of the Anchor Bay release: the print is the same and the colour levels seems to be identical; it is, however, progressive and, as a result, looks much better. It's nothing to write home about in terms of audio and extras, but overall it's a serviceable enough package with no real problems.

 

Comments

In terms of transfers, the winner is an extremely close call between the Italian and Czech releases. I lean slightly towards the Czech transfer, since the Italian one exhibits marginal cropping on either side of the frame, and at times obscures some of the shadow detail due to being slightly darker, but there's not enough difference between them to affect the rating. The US DVD, meanwhile, has been incorrectly flagged, causing interlacing artefacts on progressive scan displays and resulting in messier compression.

For audio, the Czech release is the clear winner, with a superb full bit rate DTS track. The Dolby track, however, which is duplicated on the US release, is very good as well. Despite the fact that the film was shot in English (with a number of the secondary roles post-dubbed, but with the two leads, Stefania Rocca and Liam Cunningham, retaining the original "production" dialogue), the Italian DVD features only an Italian dub. This release is not English-friendly and constitutes a heavily compromised way of viewing the film, so I don't recommend it.

The US disc is out in the lead with the extras by a significant margin. If only it had a better transfer...

 

Summary

 

 

USA

 

Italy

 

Czech

 

UK

Video

 

7/10

 

9/10

 

9/10

 

9/10

Audio

 

9/10

 

0/10

 

10/10

 

9/10

Extras

 

7/10

 

4/10

 

3/10

 

4/10