The One (Superbit) (2001)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 2-Dec-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 83:44 (Case: 87)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (23:35) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By James Wong
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Jet Li
Delroy Lindo
Carla Gugino
Jason Statham
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Trevor Rabin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Dutch
Hindi
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"What if you discovered the most dangerous man in the universe was you?"

   
So, this is Superbit. I've been very interested in this new format (or more accurately, transfer method) since its inception and I'm glad that I've got a chance to revisit a title that I first reviewed in May, 2002. This is also an interesting title to revisit as the first release was quite good and featured not only a very clean and artefact free transfer, but a host of extra material as well.

    This film tells the tale of Gabe Law (Jet Li), a Los Angeles police officer who's just confronted his most powerful adversary...himself. Renegade dimensional traveller Yu-Law has been traversing various parallel universes, killing his counterpart in each in a quest to gain their strength and become 'The One'; a being of unparalleled power. When there is only one version of himself left in all the universes, Yu-Law comes gunning for Gabe Law, but he hasn't counted on the fact that the power of each killed Law from each universe has divided equally between each of the survivors, and Yu-Law's last opponent is as powerful as himself!

    This is a good fun film that plays as an interesting showcase for some of the fantastic martial arts talent of Jet Li. While some of his pure Hong Kong action features are probably a better indication of his ability (Fong Sai-Yuk and Ying xiong aka Hero come to mind), this is good pure Hollywood fun with heaps of shoot-em-up action on a big budget.

    The main issue I'd have with this release is the fact that the initial release was quite good and featured a quality video transfer with few notable flaws. If it's the film and the film only you might be interested in, then this disc would have to be the way to go, but if you are interested in the film and its production then you might want to check out the initial release. The one distinct advantage of the Superbit titles is that if you are a major fan of a particular title and if that title is released in both normal style and Superbit, then this might be the one case where it might be advantageous to get both. I've found this to be the case with Das Boot and will probably feel the same when Lawrence of Arabia comes out later this year. This is the choice left to you, the viewer and potential buyer: Own the original release, go for the Superbit version with its enhanced video transfer and dts mix or go for both. Superbit Deluxe is a feature available on some discs in Region 1 U.S. where the film comes in a package where you get a Superbit disc with the film only and a second extras disc that features all the additional material that might have been available on the original release. As the Superbit Deluxe feature is unavailable as yet here in Region 4, you have to make some choices. Below is a link to my original review of The One where you can see which version might suit you. In any case, happy viewing whichever way you go.

    Original review for The One .

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This Superbit release features a very clean video transfer that is free of most artefacts and is almost pristine in quality.

    This disc features the film in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 with the appropriate 16x9 enhancement.

    As was the case with the initial release, this disc is very clear and sharp with no focus or clarity issues to report. Shadow detail is very good with clearly defined details to be seen in the darker portions of the film. I found no low level noise in this feature.

    The colour used in this feature is quite good and surprisingly reasonably natural. In the director's commentary on the initial release of this DVD, there is mention of the attention to detail in regards to the colour transfer from film to video. This attention to detail is all the more important with the DVD format and definitely important with a transfer method such as Superbit, where everything is being made as accurate as possible. As was the case with the original release, there is a good use of colour here and its transfer to disc has gone well with no problems of note.

    If there is anything that you shouldn't see on a Superbit title, it's MPEG artefacts. As expected, there are none here, as there were none on the original release. There is a very good compression level with the video on this disc running at an average of 7.39 Mb/s with some peaks in the 8.76 Mb/s range. For the most part, the bitrate is fairly constant with only the occasional peak. This compares to the average bitrate of 6.15 Mb/s on the original release. There are few film to video issues here. Aliasing is mild and only a distraction if looked for. As was the case with the first release, multi-dimensional renegade edge enhancement is not a huge problem and is only mildly detectable from time to time. The print used to transfer this film is very clean and only the most minute instances of nicks and flecks are visible. Grain is slightly detectable, but not any problematic level.

    The subtitles on this disc are a bit different to those on the initial release. The subtitle streams on this Superbit disc are done in a block fashion where the words appear in a black box that blocks out the rest of the image behind them. This is in contrast to the subtitles on the original disc where the titles were superimposed onto the image on screen. As a subtitle style, I much prefer the more unobtrusive style of the initial release but for anyone who might be either hard of hearing or not proficient in English, this more prominent presentation might be to their advantage. I found the English subtitles to be reasonably accurate, conveying the meaning of the dialogue well without being word for word.

    This disc is formatted RSDL with the layer change at 23:35 in Chapter 10. Superbit has the ability to render layer changes mostly invisible and I had to perform some fairly interesting tricks to find out where it was (like fast forwarding the disc while I had my ear against the player, which always works), but in the end I found it. My player (Panasonic RP-82) doesn't render layer changes invisibly, but I'm amazed that this one is so smooth. You will be hard-pressed to pick this one.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This disc features 2 audio options, both of which serve the film well. Although the dts track had a bit more weight (as expected), there was a very noticeable dropout in the sound on the dts track at 13:26. This only lasts for a fraction of a second, but it does stand out here. This surprising dropout is only evident on the dts track and is completely absent on the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on both this disc as well as the initial release.

    This disc features both an English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix as well as a dts 5.1 mix. I listened to both tracks.

    I found the dialogue quality to be quite good and I had no issues with intelligibility of the programme material. I also found the audio sync to be quite good with no issues of note.

    Music for this film comes from popular film composer Trevor Rabin, who has worked on such films as Armageddon, Enemy of the State, Remember the Titans and Bad Boys II. Trevor was a member of the popular band Yes and wrote their classic hit Owner of a Lonely Heart. Other contributors to the film's soundtrack are Disturbed, Papa Roach, Drowning Pool and Jesse Dayton.

    The surrounds take a fairly active role on this disc, as they did on the original release. From the gunfire to the explosions, your rear channels will be busy

    The subwoofer is quite active with this film and the musical soundtrack as well as the on-screen action get the rear channels going.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This is Superbit and as such, there are no extras.

Menu

    This disc features a very basic menu system that is consistent across the Superbit format. After the distributor's logos and the Superbit logo, we are taken to the disc's Main Menu which offers the following:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc was released in Region 1 U.S. on August 5, 2003. In comparison to the Region 1 disc, ours in Region 4 is quite good and very much on par with the U.S. disc.

    The Region 1 U.S. version misses out on:

    The Region 4 version misses out on:

    As the main difference between the discs is subtitles, I would have to pick the Region 4 Australian disc as the one to have. The Region 1 disc is fine, but with local affordability and availability taken into account, the Region 4 disc would have to be 'The One' to have.

Summary

    If you are a fan of this film, then the choice is yours: this Superbit version or the original release. While you get the better transfer on this disc, the original has a stack of extras as well as a very competent video transfer which is only slightly more compressed than this Superbit version. As with the entire Superbit range, you as the viewer must weigh the advantages and disadvantages when deciding which version you end up getting. As there is not a huge difference in the bitrate between the two discs (7.39 Mb/s plays 6.15 Mb/s), there isn't much in it.

    The video is quite good with a very clean and clear video transfer available.

    The audio is very good with both dts and Dolby Digital on offer.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Sean Bradford (There is no bio.)
Friday, October 24, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD RP-82 with DVD-Audio on board, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko TRW 325 / 32 SFT 10 76cm (32") 16x9. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderYamaha RX-V2300 Dolby Digital and dts.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V2300 110w X 6 connected via optical cable and shielded RCA (gold plated) connects for DVD-Audio
SpeakersVAF DC-X Fronts (bi-wired), VAF DC-6 Center, VAF DC-2 Rears, VAF LFE-07 Dub (Dual Amp. 80w x 2)

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C
The DVD Bits - Mark M

Comments (Add)
Extras? - Anonymous REPLY POSTED
re: Extras - Anonymous REPLY POSTED