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Police Story IV: First Strike, Film Whisperer reconstruction
#1
Please check out my other projects, via the link in my signature! And PM me for link requests!

Okay, I'm finally ready to release this project publicly!

As I'm typing this, Police Story IV: First Strike, aka Jackie Chan's First Strike (henceforth I will just call "First Strike" or "PS4") has not yet been HD remastered on any PHYSICAL release. However, I can confirm that an HD-remastered version has been released in broadcast and is available via VOD in Southeast Asia, and Australia!

The only physically available HD version of this movie (that I know of) is, of course, the heavily cut US/international version by New Line Cinema. And in the "western world", it's the only version you'll find on VOD.

The New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. blu-ray was a bit disappointing, and it's not just because it didn't include the original Hong Kong version of the movie. Visually, it kinda sucked. The US version blu-ray was given a dark blue tint, and the picture was zoomed in, cropping the picture significantly (although still in the OAR of 2.35:1).

The new HD-VOD version, however, has a much better color palette, and it's brighter! A lot less ugly. And a lot less "zoomed in" (more information in the picture).

Some saints online managed to get me screen capped/recorded videos of the HD-VOD version! I had to do some mixing-matching because depending on the source, either some nudity was blurred, there were extra burnt-in subtitles, or frame rates weren't right.

Film Whisperer Modifications
Overlays
  • As you'll see here in these screenshots I made from a powerpoint presentation*, it would appear that original theatrical version of this movie** had bi-lingual Chinese/English overlays at various parts of the movie, explaining to the audience (in great detail!) the various settings
  • I made one slight change: the very last time we see "International waters near Australia". I felt like the timing was off here in the theatrical version, and random, for that very last overlay. So I changed it to a more appropriate time/place.

*(These slides are slightly outdated since they come from a much earlier version of the project I made, in which I combined the New Line Cinema blu-ray with the Japanese R2 Towa DVD).

**(As far as I'm aware, only the Hong Kong laserdisc and Taiwanese DVD had these overlays. The Japanese DVD had these place settings but only within their removable subtitle options).

Jackie vs. Big Mustache Guy
  • Jackie throws the first punch in this fight
  • The uncut version of this movie, however, has a "hit" sound effect, and the big mustache guy reacts as though he's been hit, even though Jackie CLEARLY doesn't hit him!  Big Grin
  • Also, the very next camera shot is inconsistent with this "hit" punch.
  • The US version did the right thing in cutting out those last few frames, so I did the same thing.

HILARIOUS GUNSHOT ERROR
  • In all audio tracks for the uncut version of this film (including the Japanese and Mandarin dubs), right around the 1:47:17 mark in my reconstruction, when one of the Russian mobsters points his gun into the ground, there is a loud gunshot, even though he's not firing his gun! Big Grin
  • In all audio tracks I made for my restoration, I managed to loop the tracks credibly enough to cover up that gunshot!
  • Hopefully, this link to my video demonstration works.

The "Epilogue"
You'll have to look at my "presentation slides" to know what I'm talking about here.
  • Both the Hong Kong laserdisc and the Taiwanese DVD contain a bi-lingual Chinese/English "Epilogue" at the end of the movie, which is shown on screen during the ending scene, as both Gregor and Tsui are being handed over to Russian police. 
  • In my opinion, the epilogue is kinda unnecessary lol Big Grin It literally just tells you exactly what you're seeing on screen.
  • The Hong Kong version has the epilogue being read line-by-line at the bottom-center of the screen. The Taiwanese version displays the whole Epilogue at once.
  • I recreated the Hong Kong version epilogue, which uses a "calligraphy style" print for the Chinese characters.

SPECS
File info
  • Type: MKV
  • Size: 23.72 GB

VIDEO
  • Codec: h.264
  • Frame rate: 23.976 fps

AUDIO OPTIONS

  1. 2.0 LPCM, sync-sound HK laserdisc (Mei Ah), stereo***
  2. 1.0 LPCM, sync-sound HK laserdisc (Mei Ah)****
  3. 2.0 LPCM, sync-sound Japanese DVD (Towa), stereo***** (actual track on DVD is 2.0 Dolby Digital)

"sync-sound"=original mix of Cantonese, Mandarin, English, and Russian

***(The Mei Ah LD track is probably the best quality with the least distortion. However, the LD track that was given to me leaned to heavily on one side, so I used a setting in Adobe Premiere Pro to make both sides equal volume, and then raised the volume a little bit)

****(This one is more of an experiment but it came out well! It was one of my solutions to the issues of the track leaning too heavily one side).

*****(The Towa DVD track is probably the most robust, but it does have slight distortion here & there).

SUBTITLE OPTIONS

All subtitles options are made only for the sync-sound track, mainly relying on the Mei Ah translations.

  1. English FPO (foreign parts only)
  2. English all-dialog, no SDH

The end credits feature a remix of the "Police Story theme". Translation of the lyrics are included. The translation is based on what Hong Kong Rescue's (HKR) released.
What else is included?
  • 2 extra audio tracks included separately
    I synchronized the Japanese dub (from the Towa DVD) and the Mandarin dub (from the Taiwanese DVD). And yes, I corrected the egregious gunshot error in each one. Wink The reason why I included these tracks separately is because I am not sure if the subtitles I made for the sync-sound tracks are adequate translations of the Japanese/Mandarin scripts. These dubs often change the script. Also, I don't think there is much demand for these dubs anyways, but you can always download them and mux them separately if you wish! However, keep in mind that the Mandarin dub actually features Jackie Chan's voice! Yep, Jackie did his own Mandarin dub. The Mandarin dub, however, has the Mandarin version of the "Police Story theme" song playing. And I do not have an adequate translation of it.Do any of YOU have an adequate translation of the Mandarin "Police Story theme"? And no, the version Jackie did for "Bleeding Steel" has different lyrics, I think. Am I wrong?
  • Subtitles for "all dialog" to download separately
    I'd like to "open source" my subtitle tracks, in case any native-speakers of the foreign languages would like to correct and add some nuances. And of course, a translation of the Mandarin version of the "Police Story theme"!  Cool

    ABOUT THIS FILM
It is often debated among Jackie Chan fans if this movie should even be considered part of the original Police Story franchise. It is tonally much different than the previous three films. There is no mention of any past events from the previous films either, and his girlfriend May is COMPLETELY out of the picture! Perhaps it's safe to assume she died after being THROWN OUT OF A HELICOPTER in the 3rd film? Or did she just realize that Ka-Kui never really gave a phuck about her?

Jackie's character is also a bit more of a goofball in this movie than the others. Although that trend started in Police Story III: Supercop.

However, one line of dialog, and one line from the film's (unnecessary) "epilogue" confirms that yes, "Jackie" actually is the same character from the original Police Story trilogy. After "Jackie" gives his slideshow presentation to the CIA, Uncle Bill and Jackie have a conversation a car. In that conversation, Uncle Bill calls Jackie's character "Ka-Kui"! And I can confirm that the Chinese subtitles use the characters associated with that name!

The Chinese subtitles in the film's epilogue also use the Chinese name for "Chan Kai-Kui"

In my own "head-cannon", Chan Kai-Kui has moved up the ranks since PS-3, learned English, adopted the name "Jackie" has his western name, and has become an international spy. And Uncle Bill is still his...boss? Handler? An agent who tries to get Jackie the best spy jobs?

Lol, anyways, enjoy! Tell me what you all think of my restoration!
Here are other projects I've posted on FanRestore (link is a text file with FanRestore links to each one).
Check back periodically for updates!
Reply
#2
Hello, it seemed to me that you were aware of the theme of this film and I also conveyed the final result to the author of the theme.

https://fanrestore.com/thread-4287.html

At the beginning of the project, we had several WEB and HDTV with a lot of censorship and various kinds of hardsubs, but after figuring it out, it turned out that all the sources overlapped each other and you could get a clean video sequence. As a result, my friend and I managed to make a hybrid of the full version of the film without any hardsubs or censored in HD quality, but it was very weak, but many times better than DVD. Later, another WEB was found with better video quality than the previous sources, but alas, it had missing frames that could not be restored using the previous hybrid, the flickering of the inserts was unpleasantly noticeable. I also made a version based on the hybrid using a neural network and an experimental algorithm, the result was quite decent. Also, in the process of research, I noticed that WEB from Australia had a remastered soundtrack and was well cleared of microphone noise, and perhaps some soundtracks were also restored, this sound would be synchronized by me as a hybrid and is located along with the rest of the roads.
Reply
Thanks given by: The Film Whisperer , Zaaacharias
#3
And so, now I have the best quality and without any problems, I recently came across the 4k source Police.Story.4.First.Strike.1996.2160p.HQ.WEB-DL.H265.AAC-DreamHD with very good quality , but there were hardsubs and several omissions in the scenes, the source itself was not originally 4k, it was apparently upgraded, my version is in honest 1080p and a clean picture without all the problems of the source, thanks to Yaut for the help. I also added international remastered audio from the Australian WEB. Regular participants can contact me for a link to the file.
Reply
Thanks given by: stwd4nder2 , ChanKongSang , Passman84
#4
Sounds like a great project! Looking forward to watch it, since ive only seen the US cut and own it on VHS (that has been played at least a hundred times)😃
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Thanks given by:
#5
I can't wait to see this! Thanks so much for putting the time in to make the proper cut accessible.
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