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Textless/subfree masters... or so
#1
As spoRv suggested, here's a thread where we could share our discoveries regarding Blu-rays, HDTV broadcasting or DVDs, for lack of better sources, that use textless and free of burnt-in subtitles masters which would help for international localization projects.

As it happens, Braveheart was released by Paramount in the US and by Fox in Europe. So, while there are burnt-in subs for foreign parts on the US master, there are none on the French Blu-ray for example:

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The same thing happens between Lionsgate in the US and Metropolitan in France. Here's the example of Rambo/John Rambo:

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Or even with The Expendables (screen is from the Poland open matte):

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Expendables 2, Lionsgate. On the French Blu-ray, no burnt-ins:

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Live Free or Die Hard (screen not taken from US Blu-ray as it is the HD Unrated version I have here) uses a different master in Europe, subfree that's even entitled Die Hard 4.0.

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Now there's the case of many Universal catalogue titles that use US masters with texts and burnt-in subs that are fully free of those on the master used in Europe.
Such as Carlito's Way :

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Or Scarface :

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Or the Jason Bourne original trilogy. Here's The Bourne Identity:

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Yes, in Europe, they even have used a master free of those fancy inscriptions.

Here's The Bourne Supremacy:

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The Bourne Ultimatum:

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Speaking of fancy insciptions, John Wick has a very fancy use of subtitles on top of regular ones. In the US, Lionsgate uses them in English obviously. In France, Metropolitan uses a French master that have them in French. However, in Scandinavia, they have a fully subtitle free master.

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There's also the case of MGM that has used on DVDs textless and subfree masters in Europe, but has returned to US masters for Blu-ray.
The Terminator, The Silence of the Lambs and The Usual Suspects are good examples.

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The same goes with Universal's Schindler's List. The European DVD is textfree.

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In the same vein, Die Hard with a Vengeance, not a Fox title in Europe, but a Disney/Buena Vista one, has used in France a subfree master but has returned to the US master (minus the Fox intro) on blu-ray. However, the Web UHD remaster is subfree.

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Stargate (Studio Canal in France) has used a subfree master on DVD, but has returned to a US master on Blu-ray, and I wish it was subfree 'cause they're probably the most hideous burnt-in subs I've ever seen, with that thick black border...

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Men in Black on DVD used a subfree master (in France at least) but has returned to a US master in both Blu-ray releases (original and mastered in 4K). However, the UHD is subfree.

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There is obviously the missed opportunity on The Force Awakens Blu-ray, while Rogue One did it properly using seemless branching...

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And finally, there's the case of foreign HDTV broadcastings that can have their own burnt-in subs with different placement on the frame, that can be used to erase the original ones to create a subfree master.

Batman Begins :

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Independence Day:

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I wish there was a way to get rid of those in The Dark Knight, but the French broadcast uses a French master that has the French subs with the same placement and done as poorly as the original English ones.

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There's also the case of The Incredible Hulk, a Universal title in the US that's a M6 release in France. I'd have to check the status on the French disc, as M6 may have burned the French ones on their own master as they did with Lord of War. The same could go with Iron Man, from Paramount to M6...


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Feel free to add your own discoveries.
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Thanks given by: Colek , spoRv
#2
Yeah, European BDs often lack the burnt-in subtitles that are present on NA BDs: they favor player-generated ones that facilitate the inclusion of multiple language options.  You can add the LotR and Hobbit trilogies if you like, but if we documented every instance, the thread would be huge.
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#3
Actually, for LOTR, you are right, but not for The Hobbit, sadly. But we can add the Star Wars hexalogy.
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#4
Do you mean that there are no releases of The Hobbit without burnt-in subtitles or no releases with them? Is the situation the same for the extended editions and the theatrical cuts?
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#5
As far as I know, US and European Blu-rays of The Hobbit, both theatrical and extended, whether 2D or 3D, have English burnt-in subtitles. So foreign subtitles selected are added, which makes up to 4 lines of subtitles at the same time on screen. The LOTR use subfree masters.
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#6
The Hobbit HDTV broadcastings have their own language hardsubs, that replace the English one - it is true for Russian (at least two versions) and Czech; so, a sub-free master should exist.
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#7
(2018-02-06, 07:09 PM)spoRv Wrote: The Hobbit HDTV broadcastings have their own language hardsubs, that replace the English one - it is true for Russian (at least two versions) and Czech; so, a sub-free master should exist.

Sure, in French also. I made screen caps of that in the French localized thread. Not commercially available on Blu-ray, though.
https://forum.fanres.com/thread-1618-pos...l#pid35883
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#8
Maybe combining different sources, it would be possible to have a sub-free version...
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#9
Regarding Cliffhanger, I noticed that on the Studio Canal UHD, we have a clean slate regarding time and space information on screen. The cards below are nowhere to be seen, except in the subtitles. The Sony UHD does have the cards:

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Another oddity is the ongoing broadcasting of The Hunt for Red October on Paramount Channel in France: I don't know what the status of the US Blu-ray is, but in Europe, we have a subfree master, just like the remastered UHD. However, Paramount Channel is broadcasting it with English burnt-in subtitles for foreign parts, and it's the same unidentified font that'll be later used in Die Hard 3, also a McTiernan film!

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They're doing the same with Clear and Present Danger: English burnt-in subs for foreign parts instead of using a subfree master, which is weird, cause in both of this cases, there are no French subs at all for the foreign parts for people watching them dubbed...

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