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Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Old 08-28-09, 08:20 AM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Oh I absolutely have branched out from the DD line...lol....I think at this point I've imported probably twice as many Asian flicks as DD has released

I also 100% agree on the video/audio issues with some of their movies....the worst offence being My Father Is A Hero (I resorted to importing a better version of this after I sat through the poor dubbed DD release)....I still think they should keep releasing movies, if nothing to at least let the studios know that there is a viable consumer base there
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Old 08-28-09, 09:24 AM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by asianxcore View Post
It's more than just having lack of extras, which I honestly don't care about.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/9250820-post848.html

As I've mentioned so many times before in this thread, I own many of the good DD releases and was very excited about this division of the Weinsteins (even though I am Region-Free).

I've always felt that genre fans deserve better. Horror, Exploitation/Cult and Martial Arts film fans have always gotten the shaft, whether it be on VHS or DVD. We suffered through wrong audio tracks, incorrect soundtracks, wrong OAR, dubs, missing footage. Many of us went Region Free because other countries offered us full uncut status, OAR, or whichever (Martial Arts fans remember the HKL DVD line in the UK).

As with genre companies such as Blue Underground, Dark Sky Films, Unearthed Films, Cult Epics, Synapse Films and so on, DD could have been another savior to genre fans to keep churning out great/consistent products on DVD.

We are too far into the DVD age where companies would still be lazy in putting out the best product. By the best product we are talking about (if possible) gathering all the materials for the film which shows it the way it was meant to be.

I don't think you'll find anyone in here that hates DD, more so we are disappointed with their inconsistent releases. Again, if you check the post link I put up, it's more than just extras with them.
Part of the criticism directed at the Weinsteins, it should be noted, is that not only do they release poor releases at times, but their stranglehold on the right often means a good import can be mighty hard to access. Admittedly, we fanboys sitting at computers might be overestimating their "resources," but maybe not. Companies like Anchor Bay, BU, etc. are all aimed strictly at a small sector of the audience. Were DD to take this tact, then likely their releases may improve, but they also, for understandable albeit unfortunate reasons, want to appeal to the average customer. The reason is obvious: Chan, Li, etc. have mainstream appeal. Extras are cool, but a proper presentation of the film is far more important.

Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Much of the criticism is deserved. As is much of the praise. They do their best, I guess, but many of us know they could have done better (whether you know it or not ), especially back when the did have the funding. Instead, they blew it on "celebrity" endorsements from the likes of Brett Ratner, Elvis Mitchell, RZA and Quentin Tarantino. That may have been lucrative for Bey Logan's rolodex, but it didn't exactly enrich the experience for the rest of us. The interviews and travelogues, on the other hand, were usually quite interesting. Those will be missed, especially in this age where it seems no one in the English speaking world is seeking out Hong Kong industry veterans for print or online interviews, let alone DVD supplements. So much history going unchronicled.





Hopefully that means you've started to move beyond what "these DVDs" have offered you. If the love for and knowledge of Asian cinema is there, you have to go region-free and import, otherwise you're barely scratching the surface. It's just that simple.
It's more an issue of finding stuff now. Even scouring eBay, some old Detamac discs range from difficult to virtually impossible to find. Obviously, were the Weinsteins to go under, the fans could vainly hope that the rights to many of these films would fall into the hands of a company like the now defunct BCI that knows how to release them properly. But it's just a pipe dream, I think.
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Old 08-29-09, 03:11 AM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by hanshotfirst113 View Post
Part of the criticism directed at the Weinsteins, it should be noted, is that not only do they release poor releases at times, but their stranglehold on the right often means a good import can be mighty hard to access. Admittedly, we fanboys sitting at computers might be overestimating their "resources," but maybe not. Companies like Anchor Bay, BU, etc. are all aimed strictly at a small sector of the audience. Were DD to take this tact, then likely their releases may improve, but they also, for understandable albeit unfortunate reasons, want to appeal to the average customer. The reason is obvious: Chan, Li, etc. have mainstream appeal. Extras are cool, but a proper presentation of the film is far more important.
As critical as I am of Dragon Dynasty's releases (when they deserve it, of course), I do agree that they, along with a handful of other niche companies, have at the very least kept Asian cinema in the public eye in the west, even if it's an admittedly small part of the public they're catering to. For that alone, they all deserve some praise. I'm sure there will still be "issues" with various releases, and they'll deserve to be called on them just like any other company, even if it is from fanboys sitting at computers--and let's face it, a lot of the people who support their efforts financially probably fall into that category.



Originally Posted by hanshotfirst113 View Post
It's more an issue of finding stuff now. Even scouring eBay, some old Detamac discs range from difficult to virtually impossible to find. Obviously, were the Weinsteins to go under, the fans could vainly hope that the rights to many of these films would fall into the hands of a company like the now defunct BCI that knows how to release them properly. But it's just a pipe dream, I think.
Granted, many older HK DVDs have become scarce, or gone out of print altogether, but a lot of these films are being rereleased on other labels, such as the constantly growing Joy Sales line of DVDs and VCDs. Like the Dragon Dynasty stuff, most Hong Kong releases are not without their flaws (even some of those highly sought after Deltamacs), but if you're truly interested in simply seeing as much of this cinema as is humanly possible--and in particular venturing into genres that the western distributors can't really afford to release because the market is that much smaller for them--then you probably already know you've got to make sacrifices. Can't find the Deltamacs? Get the newer Joy Sales editions. Can't find the DVD? Get the VCD. In fact, there are hundreds of titles that, to this day, can only be found on VCD and not DVD. The wait for many of those to arrive on DVD anywhere in the west, let alone the east, could be a long one, and when the VCD can be had for as little as $2 - $4 U.S., it's easily justified.

Also, if Dragon Dynasty is cutting back on supplements with the exception of commentaries (which are often dodgy despite their earnestness), then that puts their releases on an almost level playing field with the Hong Kong versions, and then it's only a matter of comparing prices to decide which version is ultimately the better deal, and in my experience, that often ends up being the Hong Kong release, largely because it comes out far sooner, is much cheaper, and on par, has about the same amount of "flaws" as most of the Dragon Dynasty releases (and sometimes less).

I've probably mentioned this before, but for those who can make it to Toronto, there are a handful of places here that have plenty of Deltamacs just lining the shelves because few people are buying them anymore because a) they've already bought the ones they wanted (Chinese folks and gwailos alike) or b) the bootleggers offered a sadly more-affordable and disposable alternative. Still, the goods are there. I pick away at these shops every time I'm in their neighborhoods, but I've still got a long ways to go, and there's a lot of stuff I've simply already got.
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Old 08-29-09, 12:14 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Very pleased with the transfer and Logan commentary on Five Venoms (probably his best to date). Some pretty questionable subtitling interpretations which, I'm sure, will be discussed on this thread in the future. Baffled at the lack of trailer, in fact, why not a Venoms trailer compilation reel?
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Old 08-30-09, 09:17 AM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

I actually had a copy of The Enforcer in my cart at Walmart yesterday - it was only $9 - but circumstances forced me to walk away without buying it. Now after reading this thread, I consider myself lucky that I did - especially after picking up Five Deadly Venoms as a consolation prize later in the day.

I've imported dozens of titles from HK, and quite a few Hong Kong Legends discs from the UK, and for the most part I've really enjoyed the Dragon Dynasty line. Believe me, you kids today are spoiled with clear subtitles and beautiful transfers. Back in the late 80's, we had to make due with grainy VHS and crappy subs that were washed out or cropped out of the frame half the time. And we had to take our horse and carriages all the way to Chinatown to rent them. Even the first few waves of DVD's from Hong Kong were little better, with transfers that were often no better than VCD quality.

It doesn't excuse things like The Enforcer having no Cantonese track, however. I've come to trust DD for putting out some of the best versions of these films available in North America, and it really hurts whenever they drop the ball. Money is really tight for me right now, and it would have been doubly frustrating for me if I had spent what little disposable income I have on such a disappointing release.

The news of the edits on Fong Sai Yuk are also unwelcome but not necessarily a deal killer for me. (I really enjoyed the DD release of Shanghai Express despite the international cut being used, and I still have the brothel scenes available in the much-inferior Universe Laser DVD). What's the general consensus as to the best release of Fong out there?
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Old 08-30-09, 02:24 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by Preterite View Post
What's the general consensus as to the best release of Fong out there?
Though I'm not sure where to get copies nor have I seen any myself, DVDCompare mentions that the Japanese releases of Fong Sai Yuk 1/2 are both Uncut and Anamorphic.

If that is not an option, the HK Universe releases of 1 and 2 (now OOP if I recall) are Uncut but NOT Anamorphic. These are the releases of the films that I own.

Someone please correct me if I am mistaken.
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Old 09-04-09, 01:16 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

I've bought DD's products steadily since the beginning, only skipping out on about 10 releases (which were titles I either didn't care for--"Fatal Contact", "The Enforcer"--or didn't feel the need to upgrade--"Robin-B-Hood"). My personal collection has ballooned over the past 3 years with more DD products than anything else. I consider myself a hardcore fan and I'm used to importing or ebay-ing. But I find with DD that instead of importing or ordering a bootleg off ebay, I can simply stroll down to Walmart and pick up something for under $15. No lame ass shipping charges or nothing.

Like most of you have said, much of the criticism--especially as of late--is rightfully deserved. I myself am quite disappointed that such anticipated releases like Supercop, Fong Sai Yuk and The Enforcer were given such poor releases. Whether it was issues with red tape or availability of materials or scheduling or whatever...thats another discussion in itself. With that said, I actually think that overall, their DVDs are typically very high quality and are worth the $15-$20. If I'm gonna buy something I already own via a previously imported version or what not, it might as well be packed with exclusive bonus materials, sport a kick-ass transfer and be less the $20. Their "Ultimate Editions" usally better their Asian counterparts anyway. Not perfect but judging the product as a whole, the positives often outweigh the negatives. Atleast for me.

BTW, there's a recent French DVD of Fong Sai Yuk 1 & 2, uncut, anamorphic but no english subs.

Last edited by Dragon Lee; 09-04-09 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 09-04-09, 03:49 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by Dragon Lee View Post
But I find with DD that instead of importing or ordering a bootleg off ebay, I can simply stroll down to Walmart and pick up something for under $15. No lame ass shipping charges or nothing.
Still, you can't possibly top the selection available to you from overseas, although if your personal collection has more Dragon Dynasty releases than anything else, I have to question just how much importing you really do.

I myself am quite disappointed that such anticipated releases like Supercop, Fong Sai Yuk and The Enforcer were given such poor releases. Whether it was issues with red tape or availability of materials or scheduling or whatever...thats another discussion in itself.
. . . and a discussion that's been fueling this thread for quite a while now. It was probably inevitable from the day Dragon Dynasty was founded that they'd run into technical or legal concerns on at least some of their titles. I've moaned about enough of them, but considering 98% of my Hong Kong movie collection is imported (or bought in the various Chinatowns here), cheaply, and all the various flaws those releases have as well, it's not a huge issue to me. Tracking down the flawless version of just about any Hong Kong movie pre-1997 is an uphill battle (especially when one considers how frequently they were altered for the various Asian markets alone!), and I just want to see as much of the city's varied cinema as I can get my hands on, which impossible to do by relying solely on American (or even European) distributors and a smattering of importing on the side.

Last edited by Brian T; 09-04-09 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 09-04-09, 04:56 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Still, you can't possibly top the selection available to you from overseas, although if your personal collection has more Dragon Dynasty releases than anything else, I have to question just how much importing you really do.
I import quite a bit. Just not as much anymore. And often times DD is releasing something I already own and I just feel the need to compare and contrast. Which is kinda strange because I hate buying multiple versions of the same movie.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:32 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by Dragon Lee View Post
I import quite a bit. Just not as much anymore. And often times DD is releasing something I already own and I just feel the need to compare and contrast. Which is kinda strange because I hate buying multiple versions of the same movie.
I see. The only reason I brought it up was because Dragon Dynasty has less than 40 titles in their catalogue, so it should be pretty easy to have more imports of Hong Kong movies than DD releases, considering the broad availability and lower price points of the former.
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Old 09-12-09, 07:25 AM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

It's not a DD release but want to give you guys a heads up that Fortune Star has released a Blu-ray version for Police Story 1. I'm just waiting for reviews/screencaps before purchasing this.
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Old 09-12-09, 11:00 AM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

I've enjoyed both of DD's recent releases, 5 Deadly Venoms, An Empress and the Warriors, and Battle of Warriors.

I'm eager to see future releases, and all of your appropriate criticisms noted. I did hold off of buying Enforcer for the lack of Cantonese track, but I found Fong Sai-Yuk to be an enjoyable release.
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Old 09-12-09, 04:33 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

I checked the website and these titles have been removed:
Police Story
Police Story 2
Above the Law
Shanghai Express
Last Hurrah for Chivalry
Crime Story

Not only that but sites like dvdempire.com and wherehouse.com are no longer selling them.
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Old 09-20-09, 10:05 AM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by Dragon Lee View Post
I checked the website and these titles have been removed:
Police Story
Police Story 2
Above the Law
Shanghai Express
Last Hurrah for Chivalry
Crime Story

Not only that but sites like dvdempire.com and wherehouse.com are no longer selling them.
They are all OOP since Bey Logan has indicated that DD contract with Fortune Star has expired.
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Old 09-20-09, 12:39 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by LorenzoL View Post
It's not a DD release but want to give you guys a heads up that Fortune Star has released a Blu-ray version for Police Story 1. I'm just waiting for reviews/screencaps before purchasing this.
In America or Canada?
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Old 09-20-09, 02:24 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

In America or Canada?
Hong Kong bluray. Somebody posted screens at asiandvdguide and the transfer seems to be a direct upconversion of DD's.

Last edited by Dragon Lee; 09-20-09 at 02:25 PM. Reason: mispelling
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Old 09-25-09, 02:19 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by LorenzoL View Post
They are all OOP since Bey Logan has indicated that DD contract with Fortune Star has expired.
And off they go again . . .

At least in Hong Kong, titles like those are almost never out of print.
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Old 09-25-09, 07:18 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

From what I understand, the Fortune Star titles were a tough sell. Even Jackie Chan titles like Police Story 1 & 2 didn't meet expectations. Aside from the Shaws and Miramax hand-me-downs, DD is starting to shy away from the older flicks (many of which were licensed from FS). Much like the UK's Cine-Asia label, DD seems to be more focused on acquiring more recent and current flicks.
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Old 09-26-09, 06:38 PM
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Re: have I ever told you how SICK I am of seeing Tarantino's name on this thread?

Originally Posted by Dragon Lee View Post
From what I understand, the Fortune Star titles were a tough sell. Even Jackie Chan titles like Police Story 1 & 2 didn't meet expectations. Aside from the Shaws and Miramax hand-me-downs, DD is starting to shy away from the older flicks (many of which were licensed from FS). Much like the UK's Cine-Asia label, DD seems to be more focused on acquiring more recent and current flicks.
Which is possibly what they should've focused on from nearly the beginning. Niche DVD sales were small when they started, and even smaller now. Of course, because they branded themselves as an "action" and especially "martial arts" label, furthering the ridiculous preconception that those are all that Hong Kong produces, they weren't likely to have a large catalogue unless they did raid the back catalogues for the same old popular titles that have been seen to death by aficionados, because Hong Kong isn't cranking out the action pictures like they used to. Of course, if you just go by Dragon Dynasty releases, you'd think the only people doing it at all were Donnie Yen, Wu Jing and the makers of this week's Legend of the Period Epic™. As such, I have to wonder how long any label could last with just sporadic releases of new Hong Kong titles, either. Perhaps if they broadened their scope more than they have in the past, to include more crime/triad dramas, more thrillers (CONNECTED, perhaps, or ACCIDENT?), more Japanese films, more Korean films (like the ones that repeatedly, and curiously, got shunted over to their Genius DVD ghetto), and lost that tiresome hard-on for martial arts, they might just survive as a boutique label for Asian gems. Then again, as I keep moaning, everything they release can be had much sooner, and generally cheaper, from overseas. More of it, too. So maybe it's a lose-lose situation . . .
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Old 09-27-09, 10:26 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Doesn't look too good for DD series. I've checked their website and there are no COMING SOON titles on the page.

Well, they should start thinking to transfer some of those movies to BLU-RAY.
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Old 09-28-09, 12:20 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

the last one I heard about was Shaolin Temple (1982) coming out in the second half of october. didn't they have a long wait in between The Rebel and Supercop last fall/winter?

edit: just checked dvdaf and Shaolin Temple has been delayed. Maybe nothing until after new year?

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Old 09-28-09, 04:32 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

DD is more than likely done for the year. The Holiday season is when the big studios unleash their big summer blockbusters onto DVD and DD simply can't compete. The coming soon section of their site is completely blank.
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Old 09-28-09, 06:25 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by Dragon Lee View Post
DD is more than likely done for the year. The Holiday season is when the big studios unleash their big summer blockbusters onto DVD and DD simply can't compete. The coming soon section of their site is completely blank.
So what happened with THE KILLER and LADY KUNG-FU?
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Old 09-29-09, 02:07 AM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

Originally Posted by wm lopez View Post
So what happened with THE KILLER and LADY KUNG-FU?
The Killer, along with Hard Boiled, should have been premier titles when DD released their first wave of DVDs years ago. Yeah, they released Hard Boiled already but where the hell is The Killer?? The rights aren't going anywhere so what's the holdup?
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Old 09-29-09, 11:59 PM
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Re: Weinsteins (w/ Tarantino) announce new asian line: "Dragon Dynasty"

The Killer should be out in the next few months. Lady Kung Fu is unknown at the moment. It was to be from fortune Star so if their contract with FS did indeed expire, we'll likely see no more FS releases and no Lady kung Fu.
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