The Criterion edition of Hard Boiled was the very first dvd I ever bought, it quickly went out of print and shot up in value on the second hand market. Where money can be made, unfortunately bootleggers will take advantage and with the Criterion versions of The Killer and Hard Boiled some excellent quality fakes have surfaced. Can you tell which is the real deal from the pictures above? The top photo is the real one.
I picked up my bootleg version today as part of a lot of dvds purchased from ebay, and I have to say it's very hard to tell the difference between them. If you were choosing between them in a store, from the outside the differences are absolutely minimal. The Criterion collection ribbon across the top of the front cover is slightly taller on the bootleg version compared to the real one.
It barely shows up in the photos above but you can just see a difference, that is how hard they are to tell apart. The top one is the real version. Aside from this the only difference I can see is the red and black speckles on the back cover are slightly different, I didn't take a photo of this as I'm not sure it would even show up.
Inside the case the disc comes with the same insert that looks like a perfect replica. The real differences are with the dvd itself. If you look at the photos below the top disc is the real one, they look closer than the photos suggest (problems with lighting when taking the picture!) notice how you can see a little more detail in the picture printed on the top disc compared to the bottom one.
Again though they are so close as to be very difficult to tell apart, the easiest thing is the inner ring which on the real disc is mirrored (which doesn't show up very well in the photo) whereas the ring is clear on the bootleg version.
If you flip the discs around, the information printed onto the ring is quite different. Again the top photo is the real disc. Notice the barcode is missing from the bootleg version.
Another difference between them is the paper the cover is printed on is much thinner on the real version, which seems odd really as i would have expected it to be the other way around.
Whoever was responsible for the bootleg did an amazing job of it, I guess they made a lot of money from them as the original dvds were apparently selling for up to $300 at one time, so I guess it was worth them putting the effort in!
I will be contacting the seller to report this, but to be fair the seller may have been completely oblivious to the fact it was a bootleg he was selling.
Does anyone else have this dvd and is it real or have you been ripped off too?