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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 17:21 
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Today I received my laserdisc holy grail in the mail!

Image

A user on here who has a lot of dealings with Hong Kong (I'll let him decide if he wants to stay anonymous) helped me track it down and I'm eternally grateful. I've been searching for this for so long that it's almost surreal holding it in my hands.

I've spent a lot of time during this year reconstructing the First European Cut of Highlander 2 in the best quality available, but the sticking point has always been the audio. This laserdisc is the only known home release to feature the original English audio, and I only had an awful 128 kbps mp3 to work with. So I'll have to look into the best ways of preserving both the analogue and digital audio on this disc.

I'm pretty impressed with the picture quality too. I mean it's rough, but it's watchable. I've seen DVDs of this film that look worse.

Oh, and I don't like to talk cost much but I payed A LOT less than the $999 a certain user above was asking for this :roll:
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 17:29 
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Very cool.
So can someone refresh me quick so I don't have to read the 2 pages of posts.

Laserking listed that this is the British cut of the film, but what would I have seen in the theaters that I can't remember anyway as it was such a classic :lol:
would it have been this version? or a mix of this and another to make a US version?
Thanks,
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 17:51 
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rein-o wrote:
Very cool.
So can someone refresh me quick so I don't have to read the 2 pages of posts.

Laserking listed that this is the British cut of the film, but what would I have seen in the theaters that I can't remember anyway as it was such a classic :lol:
would it have been this version? or a mix of this and another to make a US version?
Thanks,

Quick history of Highlander 2 versions:
USA Theatrical Cut - What everyone in North America and France would have seen. Possibly other places too. The insurance company took the film out of the film maker's hands when it went over budget. They re-edited it into a butchered mess that makes no sense.
First European Theatrical Cut - Often called the British version because British company Entertainment Film Distributors provided extra funding to allow the film makers to make this cut. What most of Europe saw when the film was first released.
Second European Theatrical Cut - Sometimes called the German version. What most of Europe saw when the film was nearing the end of it's theatrical run.
Renegade Version - Home Video cut that shows the film mostly as the film makers originally intended but removes Zeist.
Special Edition - Home Video cut that's mostly the same as the Renegade but with new CGI, one scene cut out, and a few audio changes.

Years ago I noticed that LaserKing had listed the running time on the LD as 101 minutes, which is unique to the run time of the First European Cut of the film. I got in touch with him and asked him a few details and we verified that it is indeed the First EU version.

Both EU cuts are actually easily obtainable on official VHS, LD and even DVD, but none of them have featured the original English language audio, all of them being dubbed into their respective languages. All of them except this Hong Kong laserdisc release.

The European Cuts are kind of a half way house between the US Theatrical Cut and the Renegade Version. It keeps all the Zeist references and adds a lot of the material that wasn't seen in the US until the Renegade Version, but it also loses a couple of good scenes from the US Cut. It's a much stronger version than the US Cut as it's structured more closely to the film maker's original intent. The First European Cut is also the only one to feature the infamous "fairytale ending" in which Connor and Louise return to Zeist.
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 18:17 
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Hi hippiedalek,

I can see from your post that you are to say the least very happy with your LD acquisition, it is great when you finally bag the "holy grail" that you have been waiting perhaps a long time for :thumbup: .

Thanks also for the info on the feature, very interesting.

Enjoy!

Cheers
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 18:32 
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je280 wrote:
Hi hippiedalek,

I can see from your post that you are to say the least very happy with your LD acquisition, it is great when you finally bag the "holy grail" that you have been waiting perhaps a long time for :thumbup: .

Thanks also for the info on the feature, very interesting.

Cheers, I'm really looking forward to curling up on the sofa and watching it.

As for the info; I've been working on a preservation of this version of the film for most of this year, as a result I think I've become a leading expert in Highlander 2...how did it come to this?
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 19:00 
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OK thanks for making that clearer now.
So whatever I saw would have never had that fairy tail ending.
I do remember the zeist scenes but its also amazing that they even filmed them to begin with.
I'll have to watch whatever I can get my hands on again, I had that copy from the library but never did watch it, returned it.
So I may try again if I have time in the house LOL
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 22:04 
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Yes, thanks for that info. I only knew that the movie sucked. A cut with the interplanetary stuff taken out would change everything but it seems more like retcon than clarity since they did indeed shoot all that stuff. At some point they thought it was awesome to make them aliens.

Nothing makes a movie live forever like having some money guy ruin it before release. It worked wonders for Brazil, a movie that’s actually good, and it obviously continues to work for Highlander II. Without all this confusing stuff part II would have just turfed out and nobody would ever care. Instead we got a third movie and a TV show and I assume a ratchet video game.

If Gilliam had waited a little longer to get a fixed version of Brazil out we could be playing nasty video games of that potential franchise. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 22:59 
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:lol: or he could have made Criterion release all the versions of his film one at a time over a 15 year span.
When I did own Brazil I had the first MGM? release which was a different cut than the two in the box set, I can't remember what was different but
it did have a different running time.

While it would be nice to own Highlander II on HK disc and watch it personally I couldn't see spending that much money on it.
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 23:05 
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I just have the Criterion one, the LD and the DVD versions which are both super nice. They pretty much are the same though so of course the LD is cooler just because it is huge beyond belief. Five discs for a single movie was completely bonkers even for LD, the director, Criterion, on any level.
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 01:18 
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hippiedalek wrote:
je280 wrote:
Hi hippiedalek,

I can see from your post that you are to say the least very happy with your LD acquisition, it is great when you finally bag the "holy grail" that you have been waiting perhaps a long time for :thumbup: .

Thanks also for the info on the feature, very interesting.

Cheers, I'm really looking forward to curling up on the sofa and watching it.

As for the info; I've been working on a preservation of this version of the film for most of this year, as a result I think I've become a leading expert in Highlander 2...how did it come to this?


As for the info; I've been working on a preservation of this version of the film for most of this year, as a result I think I've become a leading expert in Highlander 2...how did it come to this?

I do get that. Around 1978 (back in the days when TV here in the UK closed down for the night) THE PRISONER was repeated on the various regions on ITV for the first time since its original broadcast & I just loved the series. On our region (STV - Scottish Television) it was shown & around about episode 7 or 8 someone there decided to show the remaining episodes at very odd times. The screenings were often very late & by that I mean 11pm or later, usually the last program shown. The last few episodes were shown in quick succession two or three episodes per week - it was originally set to run as one episode weekly on the same night at around the same time. I did contact them as to why & I am not kidding here was told that they were obliged to show them & "wanted that rubbish out of the way as quickly as possible". The only way to be sure of catching them was to check the daily papers for the listings for the day as the weekly guide was printed early & had no time to amend the times as they were basically banged on whenever they could be fitted in.

I then was on a mission to find out as much as I could about the series & back then the only way was to phone or write to people but I did manage to gather quite a bit of info on the series in general. Not long after that SIX OF ONE was formed by other people who liked the series so more info was forthcoming but also quite a bit of Prisoner babble did the rounds. When channel 4 re-ran the series in 1984 even then a couple of episodes were messed with & the last episode - FALL OUT - had some idiot add the crashing gates at the end of the episode & it turned out that someone at channel 4 thought it a good idea as "all the other episodes ended that way"..... WTF!!!

If we had the internet back then it would have been much easier but it was fun when I think back though I am feeling a bit old now as I type this.

So I do understand & I wish you every success in the preservation project, good luck with it & enjoy!!!

Cheers :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 01:44 
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Ah the Prisoner, what a great show.
I know I posted this elsewhere but I just watched that series again about 3 or so months ago.
Really need to search that list of the important episodes and just watch those without the other filler ones.

Sad they made that reboot about 10 or so years ago that was total garbage.
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 03:02 
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rein-o wrote:
Ah the Prisoner, what a great show.
I know I posted this elsewhere but I just watched that series again about 3 or so months ago.
Really need to search that list of the important episodes and just watch those without the other filler ones.

Sad they made that reboot about 10 or so years ago that was total garbage.


Yes the 2009 reboot, that was really painful.

Mel Gibson was apparently wanting to make a feature film of The Prisoner, Ridley Scott was in talks with Universal in 2015/16 about making a feature film also but I really hope it does not happen. I do like quite a bit of the work from Ridley Scott but how on earth can anyone remake something that is truly unique. The episodes that matter from the original series still stand up today so best leave it as is IMO.

Some things are best left to stand alone but sadly......
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 04:10 
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I agree. Remakes of such stylish things are extremely off-putting regardless of quality.

The modern day version of “a spy” is totally different now. You don’t expect him know “every cog” of his Seven, more like every directory of his thumb drive or whatever. You could get the license to the show, modernize it completely, write a better script, etc but by then it would be unrecognizable as The Prisoner so what’s the point? Giving Tom Cruise another $50M?

Maybe if it was set in the 60s and it was directed by Wim Wenders for the first half and Michel Gondry for the second half...probably not even then because why not just make something new with all that talent and money?
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 04:29 
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signofzeta wrote:
Yes, thanks for that info. I only knew that the movie sucked. A cut with the interplanetary stuff taken out would change everything but it seems more like retcon than clarity since they did indeed shoot all that stuff. At some point they thought it was awesome to make them aliens.

See, this is kind of why I tend to see the European cut as being closer to the "true" director's cut than the later versions. I do think they fully intended for them to be aliens but retconned it in later versions solely because of the audience backlash rather than artistic intent.

Unfortunately the later versions are the ones with the properly finished special effects and more polished editing so there's really no winning here.
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 06:18 
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Yep, no winning. Because it’s Highlander II. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 07:36 
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That too :mrgreen:

Some enterprising fan could probably take the Special Edition and re-insert all the Zeist references back into the movie, but then they'd just be making an entirely new version of the movie instead of reconstructing an old one.
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 08:25 
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Insert Zeist references in the other movies.
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 08:36 
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Better yet, re-edit the first three Highlander movies into a single feature but arrange all the scenes in a chronological order.
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 10:06 
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I for one liked all three installments.
Granted the 2nd episode irritated me a bit, however ANYTHING Michael Ironside is in winds my clock.
Fantastic actor.... (Scanners has a special place in my heart)

The third installment of Highlander (the apology lmfao ! ! !) Made up for the irritated feeling from part 2.
Loved the casting of Mako as the sword Shamen......
Mario Van Peebles could have put a bit more grit into the "There can be only one" lines in my opinion.
Overall the third was enjoyable .....

Due to the garbage Hollywood was shoveling at the time, the Highlander series was on the radar.
( out of the country for several years so limited exposure to new releases during that time period for that reason..... )

Reino, Heavy Metal one hundred times..... that's devotion.
Gonna review Heavy Metal just cause I read your post... been at least 15 years for this guy.....
Loch Nar abuse !

Congrats on the Hong Kong score..... awesome !
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 Post subject: Re: Highlander 2
PostPosted: 14 Nov 2019, 12:38 
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signofzeta wrote:
I only knew that the movie sucked. A cut with the interplanetary stuff taken out would change everything but it seems more like retcon than clarity since they did indeed shoot all that stuff. At some point they thought it was awesome to make them aliens.

They actually did this in the Renegade and Special Editions. Now instead of being aliens they come from "A long time ago" and were exiled to the future...I guess they wanted to remove Zeist due to the intense negative reaction from fans but somehow this makes even less sense.

signofzeta wrote:
Nothing makes a movie live forever like having some money guy ruin it before release. It worked wonders for Brazil, a movie that’s actually good, and it obviously continues to work for Highlander II. Without all this confusing stuff part II would have just turfed out and nobody would ever care.

Disasterpiece films certainly have a charm to them. Especially when you can see that there was passion behind the film before it got screwed up along the way. The Keep is another good example.
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