(click for full size, not zoomed or resized)
Thanks goes to my buddy Christian for the quick work with these screenshots comparing all three versions across four Blu-ray editions (US/UK/JP/FR). Tentatively based off these few captures, it looks like Happinet Japan has stepped up and surpassed the previous Theatrical Version Blu-ray offerings (JP marks the first-ever Extended Version Blu-ray). Here's my impressions based off these shots:
- Theatrical Cut: Both Anchor Bay US and Arrow Video UK (darker contrast levels) are from the same master, probably originally made for Anchor Bay's 2003 DVD.
- Theatrical Cut: Both the US and UK suffer from excessive digital noise reduction (AB more so), automatic scratch correction, and digital artifacts from weak encoding.
- Theatrical Cut: The Happinet JP doesn't have these problems and exhibits damage (perfectly fine trade-off in my opinion), but is zoomed-in a little on all sides while bumping out the widescreen aspect ratio to 1.78:1. It also might suffer from some blown out contrast, note the intensity of the light above the biting zombie. However; color, overall contrast, tonality, and detail look clearly improved. Finally!
- Extended Cut (Japanese): Based off the one capture provided, it appears to be virtually identical to the Japanese Theatrical (at least with regards to framing).
- Argento Cut: Both the French and Japanese sadly appear to be identical with grid-like mosquito noise (not grain). The Japanese is a bit more detailed with the noise level and has better contrast.