DVD (SD) Vs. Blu-Ray (HD) Runtimes & Video Formats

The following was written by Amazon user Interzone_Records on January 22, 2011 in regards to a review that was posted for the Angelina Jolie film "Salt". I found the information so informative, that I thought it best to archive a copy here.

I rented the standard disc [of the Angelina Jolie film "Salt"] from Netflix. It contains all three versions, but the times are nowhere near what Senor Zoidbergo mentions in his review. This is probably due to the difference in the encoding speed of Blu-Ray, which runs at 24 frames per second, and NTSC format, which runs at 29.97 frames per second. The difference between the PAL and NTSC versions of films is 4%. So the speed difference between the US NTSC standard DVD format and the Blu-Ray is probably closer to 5%.

On the standard[-definition] U.S. [DVD], the actual times are:

Theatrical Version: 1:39:56
Unrated Extended Cut: 1:40:58
Unrated Director's Cut: 1:43:59

Senor Zoidbergo lists the following times for the three versions on the Blu-Ray disc

Theatrical: 1:35:54
Extended: 1:36:56
Director's Cut: 1:39:48

This is a difference of about 4 minutes on each version. Some time ago, I asked the owner of the Masters of Cinema label, in England (the UK equivalent of a Criterion specialty label), about the difference between NTSC and PAL and Blu-Ray. Here is his reply:

"The encoding format of HD material on Blu-ray has nothing to do with either PAL or NTSC. The 'problem' of these two competing DVD formats (NTSC and PAL) evaporates with Blu-ray, where the HD material is in 1080p resolution at 24 frames per second, not the standard definition 480p (NTSC 29.97fps) or 576p (PAL 25fps) resolution of "old TV".

In this respect, because of the increased resolution of 1080p HD Blu-rays *and* the fact that the material is now running at 24 frames per second (the exact same speed as film projected in a cinema) - Blu-ray is a stunning global format in which to view films as they should be seen.

Confusingly, a Blu-ray can also hold standard definition PAL or NTSC format encodes as well, but this will look exactly the same as it would on a DVD disc. It will remain standard definition. Thankfully, Blu-rays are being used to hold HD 1080p material, rather than as repositories for huge amounts of standard definition DVD footage."

TNA Lockdown 2005 & TNA Anthology: The Epic Set Box Set DVD Review


This review was originally written on September 23, 2010
An Analysis Of The Lockdown 2005 DVD Alterations

Included in the TNA Anthology: The Epic Set box set are the following three pay-per-views:

* Victory Road 2004 (November 7, 2004) [TNA's first three-hour PPV]
* Turning Point 2004 (December 5, 2004) [TNA's second three-hour PPV]
* Lockdown 2005 (April 24, 2005) [TNA's first all-steel cage PPV]

Each PPV is split across two single-layer discs, as this was before TNA started using dual-layer discs. I'm not very found of this, as I prefer for each event to be shown as one continuous three-hour program, but there's nothing us fans could do about it now. TNA isn't going to re-release new DVDs of these old PPVs. So we just have to live with the minor inconvenience of ejecting one disc and inserting another into the player to watch each event. Bonus features are on the second disc of each PPV, in case you were wondering.

You should be aware that if you buy this set online, the three Disc 1's MIGHT be loose in the cases. The first box set I ordered from Amazon had the first and third Disc 1's loose (Turning Point was the one that stayed put), while the second box set had all three Disc 1's loose. All of the loose discs were scratched as a result of being loose and moving around while being shipped. I had to return the first set because the scratches caused glitches when playing one of the discs. The scratches on the second set looked bad, but thankfully the discs played fine.

There are lots of reviews of the three PPV's that cover the matches and give you the reviewer's opinions on them. So I'm not going to say anything about that - though I did enjoy all of the matches, some a little more than others - rather I'm going to go into detail about the alterations that exist in the DVDs, when compared to the original live broadcasts.

I don't have the original live broadcasts of Victory Road 2004 and Turning Point 2004, so I don't know for sure if there are any alterations, but there *might* be in the Michael Shane (now Matt Bentley) matches. You see, all instances of the name "Michael Shane" in commentary and on-screen graphics had to be changed to "Matt Bentley" for legal reasons. This is because in July 2005, Matt Bentley was forced to refrain from using the "Michael Shane" alias, which he had used for his entire career, following threats of legal action from World Wrestling Entertainment, the employers of Mike Shane (one of the Gymini twins at the time), who had trademarked his name, something Bentley had neglected to do.

Bentley appears in the Victory Road 2004 PPV in the battle royale on Disc 1 (Chapter 2). He enters at 12:42 and is eliminated around 27:57. Bentley's match in the Turning Point 2004 PPV is on Disc 1 (Chapter 3) from 21:54 to 35:30. In all likelihood, he originally used the name Michael Shane at these two events, so the commentary was probably re-recorded on the DVDs.

Now, the Lockdown 2005 PPV is one I have on tape, so I can give you complete details as to what was altered. In fact, Lockdown 2005 was the first 3-hour TNA PPV I ever ordered, and the only one until Hardcore Justice 2010.

-- The 10-second long "This is TNA: The new face of professional wrestling" intro, which preceded the live program, has been removed from the DVD.

-- For legal reasons (the name was already copyrighted by another wrestler, then working for WWE), the wrestler known as "Michael Shane" had to have all instances of his name changed to "Matt Bentley". The first alteration is in the video package that precedes the match, where a screen that read "Shane", now reads "Bentley". When Michael/Matt comes out for the match, the graphic shown at the bottom of the screen was changed from "Michael Shane" to "Matt Bentley w/ Trinity". The biggest change is that the commentary from Don West and Mike Tenay has been completely changed (re-recorded) for the entire match. It's interesting to note that the name "Michael Shane" still appears on the entrance video playing in the background when he makes his entrance, and you can still hear the ring announcer announce him as "Michael Shane" behind the commentary at 40:17.

-- The Daniels/Skipper video package (which is the last footage on Disc 1) that precedes their match was much longer in the original live broadcast. It stayed on the shot of the team on the entrance ramp longer, then followed for a minute or two with more footage and narration, before showing the black & white Turning Point footage. The DVD cuts from a brief bit of the entrance ramp opening footage right to the Turning Point footage.

-- For legal reasons (WWE claimed copyright ownership), the wrestler known as "The Outlaw" had to have all instances of his name blurred or silenced out, with the name changed to "Kip James" on the DVD packaging and new commentary. The first alteration is in the backstage segment with Dusty Rhodes where he picks the name of the next Lethal Lottery combatant. He picks "The Outlaw", but the words are silenced out, thus leaving DVD viewers in the dark as to who just got picked (unless they could read Dusty's lips). In the video package that follows the Dusty segment, a few instances of "The Outlaw" are silenced out. The name "Outlaw" is blurred out on the pre-match line-up screen. Finally, the commentary from Don West and Mike Tenay has been completely changed (re-recorded) for the entire match.

-- The DVD cuts out the Hard Justice 2005 ad at the end, originally shown on the live broadcast in between the end of the Styles/Abyss match and the TNA copyright ending.

The Lockdown 2005 DVD is dedicated to Chris Candido, who broke his leg at the live event, which lead to the post-surgery blood clot that caused his death four days later on April 28, 2005. Since I did the research, I'd like to give you some information about the Chris Candido bonus features.

-- The first match - Chris Candido and The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) vs. Petey Williams (with Scott D'Amore), Elix Skipper, and Mikey Batts - was from the March 4, 2005 episode of Impact!

-- The second match - The Naturals (with Chris Candido) vs. America's Most Wanted (Lance Storm & Chris Harris) - was taped on April 26, 2005, and aired on the April 29, 2005 episode of Impact! on Fox Sports Net. This episode was filmed and completed just before he passed away, but was dedicated to Chris with a photographic "In Memory of Chris Candido" screen at the start, and a photographic "Chris Candido, 1972-2005" screen at the end. This was his final wrestling appearance.

-- The Xplosion outtakes were filmed about two weeks before he died, according to Jeremy Borash's exclusive comments on the Forever Hardcore DVD-R (which includes the same footage in chapter 42 of the main program - it's not on the retail DVD). According to Borash, he was bandaged up and in a wheelchair because he was working an angle where he was supposedly injured as a result of getting beat up by Kevin Nash.

Since I taped the April 29, 2005 episode of Impact!, in which the second Candido match originally appeared, here are some notes on the differences between the original broadcast and the DVD.

* The original broadcast had a "Tag Team Championship" graphic over the initial close-up of the lights.

* The original broadcast had an "Impact!" on-screen graphic at the bottom of the screen naming each competitor as they entered: "The Naturals, Chris Candido" and "America's Most Wanted".

* The original broadcast had a 30 minute countdown banner across the top of the screen (with "The Naturals vs AMW" on the left and the Fox Sport Net logo on the right) for the entire match duration. This is the "Fox Box" that Mike Tenay refers to at 9:27.

* In the original broadcast, 3 times during the match the Lockdown results would appear in a banner at the bottom of the screen.

* In the original broadcast from 17:10 to 17:17 there was a white banner at the top of the screen (right below the countdown banner) advertising the following month's Hard Justice pay-per-view. It was accompanied by a sound effect when it appeared and disappeared, which is still heard on the DVD!

* The original broadcast at 18:30 there was a quick shot of a crowd member holding a nice AMW sign, which is missing from the DVD as it remains on the shot of the action that preceded and followed this crowd shot.

* In the original broadcast from 19:21 to 19:29 there was a small Hard Justice logo in the bottom right corner of the screen advertising the following month's pay-per-view.

* In the original broadcast from 21:26 to 21:32 there was a white banner at the top of the screen (right below the countdown banner) advertising the Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles match on May 15th (at the Hard Justice PPV). It was accompanied by a sound effect when it appeared and disappeared, which is still heard on the DVD!

* In the original broadcast, after the post-match comments, there was a replay of a shot of Candido on the floor by the side of the ring holding the belts, while Tenay's voiceover mentioned the matches for next week's show. This was immediately followed by another Candido tribute screen which used a frame from that belt-holding shot.

And that concludes this analysis of the alterations between the original broadcasts and the DVDs. The two biggest alterations in the Lockdown 2005 event are the result of legal name changes, so while I don't like the changes, I can't blame TNA for them. Though I do think it's sad they let WWE claim copyright ownership of "The Outlaw" without fighting it. There's no reason TNA should have left out the "This is TNA" intro (it's on the other two PPVs), and shorten down the Daniels/Skipper video package, as there was PLENTY of room for those extra few minutes on the disc. So that's not forgivable. And I only mentioned the removal of the Hard Justice 2005 ad at the end just to be complete. That's definitely no great loss.

The changes to the Impact! match featuring The Naturals (with Chris Candido) vs. America's Most Wanted are, for the most part, completely welcome. Watching the original tape from 2005, it was really sad that Fox Sports Net (FSN) forced TNA to put up that stupid countdown banner across the top of the screen for the entirety of the match. Like anybody really cares about time limits anymore in wrestling. The constant banner ads for the next PPV and scrolling Lockdown results on the bottom just added to the screen clutter. So I'm happy that all of that crud is gone on the DVD. Though I do find it funny that the PPV banner ad sound effect is still there. I don't like that TNA removed the "Tag Team Championship" graphic and entrance name graphics as they added to the presentation. That initial close-up of the lights looks naked without the graphic over it. I still don't know what to make of the removal of the quick shot of the crowd member holding the AMW sign. The sign had a really nice drawing on it, and was certainly worth showing a quick shot of. It's not like there was any real action going on in the match for those 3 or 4 seconds, anyway.

That is all.

Sabrina The Teenage Witch - Season 7 (Final Season) DVD Review


This review was originally written on August 23, 2010
One-Third Of The Episodes Are Edited, Sabrina Goes To Rome TV Movie Seems Complete

Here we are at the seventh, and final, season of the Melissa Joan Hart series, Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Our fair Sabrina has left college and has now joined the workforce as a journalist for Scorch magazine. The first episode of the season, "Total Sabrina Live", provides the conclusion to the Season 6 finale ("I Fall To Pieces"); but with no "previously on" segment to explain what's happened before, it doesn't make any sense to new viewers.

Even though I've seen most of the episodes over the years, originally on ABC & The WB and in syndication, this is the first of the Sabrina season sets that I've purchased (not counting all of the animated series DVDs). Even though I like the series, it is not a show that I feel compelled to buy on DVD. However, the inclusion of the "Sabrina Goes To Rome" TV movie from 1998 is what enticed me to purchase this set. Sadly, I'm highly disappointed by how many of the episodes are edited. Here, take a look at the episode list with runtimes, and see if you can figure which episodes are edited.

01. Total Sabrina Live (September 20, 2002) (21:39)
02. The Big Head (September 27, 2002) (22:08)
03. Call Me Crazy (October 4, 2002) (21:13)
04. Shift Happens (October 11, 2002) (22:08)
05. Free Sabrina (October 18, 2002) (22:07)
06. Sabrina Unplugged (November 1, 2002) (22:05) [Scooby-Doo & Shaggy appearance retained]
07. Witch Way Out (November 8, 2002) (20:45)
08. Bada-Ping (November 15, 2002) (21:23)
09. It's A Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot Christmas (December 6, 2002) (21:58)
10. Ping, Ping A Song (January 10, 2003) (21:50)
11. The Lyin', The Witch And The Wardrobe (January 17, 2003) (21:08)
12. In Sabrina We Trust (January 24, 2003) (22:08)
13. Sabrina In Wonderland (January 31, 2003) (22:08)
14. Present Perfect (February 7, 2003) (22:08)
15. Cirque Du Sabrina (February 14, 2003) (22:08)
16. Getting To Nose You (February 21, 2003) (21:22)
17. Romance Looming (February 27, 2003) (22:08)
18. Spellmanian Slip (March 20, 2003) (22:08)
19. You Slay Me (March 27, 2003) (22:05)
20. Fish Tale (April 17, 2003) (22:07)
21&22. What A Witch Wants / Soul Mates (April 24, 2003) (44:00)

If you didn't figure it out, I think it's safe to say that any episodes under 22 minutes in length are edited, except for maybe the Christmas episode since it's only 2 seconds under. That's 7 out of 22 episodes (excluding the Christmas episode). I don't know if the previous season sets were this highly edited, but I think that it's shameful for Paramount to charge full price for a set that has one-third of its episodic content edited - and possible more with music replaced. Granted, Paramount at least makes note of this on the back of the case - "Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions" and "Music has been changed for this home entertainment version" - but that's the same standard text they put on the cases for all of their TV series releases, whether it's actually true or not.

Here's a quick, and likely incomplete, list of edits:

* Witch Way Out - VERY heavily edited, as noted by the runtime. About 1 minute 20 seconds removed, including a performance by The Goo Goo Dolls (at 8:47 and 10:55?). The group is referenced in what little remains of the episode, and some comments make no sense now that the performance has been removed.

* Bada-Ping - It seems that an Avril Lavigne performance was cut out at 2:25.

* Getting To Nose You - It seems that a Sixpence None The Richer performance was cut out, and the music replaced in the background of the fight scene.

* Soul Mates - From what multiple sources tell me, at the very end when Sabrina runs out of her wedding to meet Harvey, originally "Running" by No Doubt was playing in the background. That song has been replaced by either a different song, or a different artist performing the song.

You know, considering this was the season that Sabrina worked at MUSIC MAGAZINE, with many appearances by musical artists performing their hits, the series producers should have made darn sure that they got home video rights to the songs. TV shows getting released on DVD wasn't an entirely unknown phenomenon back in 2002-2003.

BONUS FEATURE: Sabrina Goes To Rome

This was the first of two Sabrina series TV movies that aired on ABC as part of "The Wonderful World of Disney". Sabrina Goes To Rome aired on October 4, 1998, during season 3, and is presented here in its original 4:3 aspect ratio with stereo audio and Enghlish subtitles. On this DVD, it has a runtime of 1:26:49.

• Edits - None.
• Music Replacements - None.

All of the music that I remember being there is still there on the DVD: "Sky Fits Heaven" by Madonna still opens the movie, while "Crush" by Jennifer Paige remains at 40:29, and Carl Orff's "Gassenhauer" is heard during the end credits. If music were to be replaced, these would have been the first to go. The runtime matches the length I wrote on the label of my original ABC recording, so that's a good sign, too. Perhaps the music licensing was done differently because it's technically a "movie" and not an "episode".

I am disappointed that Paramount didn't include the 1999 TV movie Sabrina Down Under as a second bonus feature, as I don't see it very likely that Paramount will put it out on DVD at a later date. There are no more seasons of the TV series in which to bundle it, and if they were going to put it out by itself, they would have done so already. I mean, the logical thing to do would have been to put out both TV movies - Rome & Down Under - in one "double feature" set. Instead of doing that, they chose to put Rome in this final season set. So where does that leave Down Under?

Before I conclude this review, I'd like to bring two things to the attention of the purists out there. (1) The Viacom logo at the end has been replaced with a new CBS Television Distribution logo on all episodes and the TV movie. (2) Even though the last two episodes were originally broadcast on The WB as one hour-long episode, they were produced as and meant to be shown as two separate episodes, and should have been included that way on this DVD set (which is how they're currently shown in syndication). I believe that the wishes of the filmmakers takes precedence over how they were originally broadcast.

All in all, it's an okay set. The last season certainly isn't as good as the first three - the series lost its charm when the gorgeous Jenna Leigh Green left the show and Sabrina left high school - but it's not as bad as the stuff on TV these days.


2017 UPDATE - Paramount finally released Sabrina Down Under (1999) on DVD, which I reviewed here. I wonder what prompted Paramount to release this last bit of Melissa Joan Hart Sabrina stuff nearly seven years after the rest. I really wish Paramount would have paired it with Rome as a "double feature" release.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Collection DVD Review


This review was originally written on July 7, 2010
Overpriced Old Content That Was Released Less Than A Year Later For Much Less

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Collection (alt listing) consists of the three original live-action Turtles films from the early-to-mid 1990s, and the computer-animated TMNT film from 2007, along with a sheet of temporary tattoos - all packaged in a standard plastic keepcase, with two double-sided pages inside, one disc per side. The tattoos are stored under the literature clips on the inside cover, and there's nothing on the inside back cover.


Each of the four discs is a bit-for-bit copy (a "disc image") of a previous DVD release. All four movies are 16:9 widescreen, with Turtles 2 & 3 also containing 4:3 fullscreen versions. (Full disc specs are below.) Apparently in the original releases, Turtles 1 & TMNT were dual-sided discs with widescreen on one side and fullscreen on the other - and they only used the widescreen sides for this re-release. That's fine with me.


These same four discs (with the same disc art) and temporary tattoos are also available in a "25th Anniversary Collector's Edition" box set, which adds in some cloth masks and puts the discs in what appears to be a round CD holder, which is then apparently stored in an outer cardboard box with the masks.

I bought the "Movie Collection" release for $25 at Walmart, which had a sticker on front proclaiming "Only At Wal*Mart - Includes Turtle Tattoos". Since the tattoos are available in the "25th Anniversary Collector's Edition" box set, it must be the standard packaging that's exclusive to Walmart.


I like that it's in standard packaging, and doesn't include the masks and CD holder that I have no desire to buy, but I wish the price were significantly cheaper. What hurts even more is that less than a year after I bought it, Warner Bros. put out the 4 Film Favorites - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles two-disc DVD set, which includes all of the same video content (one "disc image" per disc side), but usually sells in Target for $9.99 - two and a half times LESS than what I paid!

2017 UPDATE - The discs from the Blu-ray collectors set have been repackaged in the 4 Film Favorites - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Blu-Ray four-disc set, which retails for $20. That's a much better value than any of the DVD sets.

* Year: 1990
* Runtime: 1:33:23
* Video Format: 16:9 Widescreen
* DVD Production Date: February 27, 2003 (Nero InfoTool gives this date, but it should be 1998 or 1999)
* Region: 1
* Layers: 1
* Audio Languages: English, French
* Subtitle Languages: English, Spanish, French
* Extras: The T-Files (character biographies of Donatello, Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Splinter, The Shredder), Theatrical Trailer, "Sewer Maze" Game, "Monkey Trouble" Trailer, "The Adventures Of Pinocchio" Trailer, "Theodore Rex" Trailer.
* Notes: This is a live-action movie.

* Year: 1991
* Runtime: 1:28:19
* Video Format: 16:9 Widescreen, 4:3 Fullscreen
* DVD Production Date: July 2, 2002 (Nero InfoTool gives this date, but it should be 1998 or 1999)
* Region: 1
* Layers: 2
* Audio Languages: English
* Subtitle Languages: English
* Extras: Theatrical Trailer, "Pick That Flick" Game.
* Notes: This is a live-action movie.

* Year: 1993
* Runtime: 1:35:33
* Video Format: 16:9 Widescreen, 4:3 Fullscreen
* DVD Production Date: July 18, 2002 (Nero InfoTool gives this date, but it should be 1998 or 1999)
* Region: 1
* Layers: 2
* Audio Languages: English
* Subtitle Languages: English
* Extras: Theatrical Trailer, "Pick That Flick" Game.
* Notes: This is a live-action movie.

* Year: 2007
* Runtime: 1:26:45
* Video Format: 16:9 Widescreen
* DVD Production Date: May 18, 2007
* Region: 1
* Layers: 1
* Audio Languages: English, Spanish, French
* Subtitle Languages: English, Spanish, French
* Extras: Commentary with writer/director Kevin Munroe, Alternate Opening (with forced commentary by Kevin Munroe), Alternate Ending Temp/Scratch Test (with forced commentary by Kevin Munroe), "Mikey's Birthday Party" Full Sequence (with forced commentary by Kevin Munroe), "Raphael's Rough House Fight" Test (with forced commentary by Kevin Munroe), "Monsters Come Alive" Storyboard Comparison (with forced commentary by Kevin Munroe), "Donny's Digital Data Files" Featurette, "Rooftop Workout" Rough Scene (with forced commentary by Kevin Munroe), "Still Wanna Fight" Temp/Scratch Test (with forced commentary by Kevin Munroe), "Splinter Gets Cake" Additional Scene (with forced commentary by Kevin Munroe), Internet Reel, "Voice Talent First Look" Featurette
* Notes: This is a computer-animated movie. The back of the case incorrectly lists a Fullscreen copy, in addition to the Widescreen copy.

That is all.

WWF The Rock: The Peoples' Champion VHS Review


This review was originally written on July 7, 2010
A 30 Minute Sampler, No Complete Matches Or Promos

The Rock: The Peoples' Champion VHS (not to be confused with The Rock: The People's Champ VHS) is a short, 30 minute sampler of promo and match highlights from The Rock's feud with The Corporation, featuring Triple H and The Undertaker. Nothing is shown in its entirety, and all cuss words are bleeped. Here's the rundown of clips:

01. Raw Is War - April 26, 1999 (promo & match)
02. Raw Is War - May 3, 1999 (promo)
03. Sunday Night Heat - May 16, 1999 (promo)
04. Raw Is War - May 17, 1999 (match)
05. Sunday Night Heat - May 23, 1999 (promo) [the night Owen Hart died]
06. Raw Is War - June 7, 1999 (match)
07. King Of The Ring Match History Package
08. King Of The Ring - June 28, 1999 (promo & match)
09. Raw Is War - July 5, 1999 (match)
10. Sunday Night Heat - July 11, 1999 (promo)

Besides being short and incomplete, this tape was duplicated in the inferior EP/SLP speed. So you may have to adjust the tracking on your VCR to get an optimal picture.

The lack of bar code on the box, and "sampler" nature of the video, leads me to believe this was given out as a freebie with a Pay Per View purchase back in 1999. I have a Best of Wrestlemania tape I got around 1999/2000 as a PPV mail-in freebie, so I think this tape was originally obtained in that manner as well. (I picked it up from a church's tag sale for less than a buck.)

There's a WWF DVD entitled The Rock: The People's Champ that was released in 2000. I would think that that DVD would contain the complete promos and matches that are sampled on this tape, but after reading KlownArt's review - which states that "this DVD starts around WWE King Of The Ring 1999 and ends at The Rock's Royal Rumble win at WWE Royal Rumble 2000" - I'm thinking that this material won't be found on that DVD.

There are a bunch of other Rock DVDs out there - Know Your Role, Just Bring It, and the more-recent The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment - but I highly doubt that any of them would contain ALL of the complete promos and matches that are sampled on this tape. (At best you'd probably get a complete promo or match here or there.) So, short of finding a good tape trader, this tape, as sparse and edited as it might be, might be the only way to obtain some of these promos and matches.