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The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

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The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Old 10-21-22, 02:38 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Welp, better than just singles. At least for part of the series. Dare we hope for a set of 5-7? I'm sure they'll have their excuses why the later films don't count, or aren't as worthy of inclusion -- even though they do and they are. If nothing else, I'm betting this set will undoubtedly be an introduction to Cynthia Khan for a majority of the people that buy it, so perhaps sales will dictate whether 88 milks us for the other three in a separate set or as singles. Now to wait and see how much the UK editions (Eureka?) differ from these.
Old 10-21-22, 02:49 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

It’s beautiful. Looking forward to it.
Old 10-21-22, 04:11 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by Brian T
Welp, better than just singles. At least for part of the series. Dare we hope for a set of 5-7? I'm sure they'll have their excuses why the later films don't count, or aren't as worthy of inclusion -- even though they do and they are. If nothing else, I'm betting this set will undoubtedly be an introduction to Cynthia Khan for a majority of the people that buy it, so perhaps sales will dictate whether 88 milks us for the other three in a separate set or as singles. Now to wait and see how much the UK editions (Eureka?) differ from these.
I'm not trying to be a brat and am genuinely interested in your answer, but what of these releases from Eureka or 88 have you been happy with? As best I can tell, your preference would be for the two companies to work together to provide the most complete release possible even though you don't actually like the extras and don't care about av quality. And you wish they'd price them like a $9 Hong Kong budget dvd.

Old 10-22-22, 10:09 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

ITLOD III deserves to be more widely recognized as it was a great introduction for Cynthia Khan.
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Old 10-24-22, 08:21 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by rocket1312
...your preference would be for the two companies to work together to provide the most complete release possible even though you don't actually like the extras and don't care about av quality. And you wish they'd price them like a $9 Hong Kong budget dvd.
Wow. Where did I ever specifically say any of that? (and yes, I'm aware that quotes are imminent) If any of it were personally true, I wouldn't own nearly all of these editions. But I suppose any kind of dissenting opinion about duelling releases is no longer tolerated here, only fawning praise because of their efforts.

Last edited by Brian T; 10-24-22 at 10:37 AM.
Old 10-24-22, 01:16 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by Brian T
Wow. Where did I ever specifically say any of that? (and yes, I'm aware that quotes are imminent) If any of it were personally true, I wouldn't own nearly all of these editions. But I suppose any kind of dissenting opinion about duelling releases is no longer tolerated here, only fawning praise because of their efforts.
I'm not going to parse your posts for quotes. Criticism is fine. I've shared my issues with some of these before, with the oftentimes overly literal subtitles being my biggest complaint. Most recently I was disappointed with the Police Story trilogy UHD set from Eureka, but I won't elaborate here since this is the 88 thread.

I just know that you love and know more about these films than probably anyone else here. I enjoy your insight, but your comments on every announcement jump out to me as almost exclusively negative. Maybe I'm seeing, but that's why I asked about which ones you actually like. I'm genuinely interested. Not so I can poke holes in your comments, but because I want to better understand your expectations. For me, the presentation of the film is the most important thing. So in that regard, I'm usually pretty happy, but there's always room for improvement. That's probably why I'm not bothered by multiple labels taking a crack at these. I'll buy whichever one has the better presentation.
Old 10-26-22, 05:06 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by rocket1312
I'm not going to parse your posts for quotes. Criticism is fine. I've shared my issues with some of these before, with the oftentimes overly literal subtitles being my biggest complaint. Most recently I was disappointed with the Police Story trilogy UHD set from Eureka, but I won't elaborate here since this is the 88 thread.

I just know that you love and know more about these films than probably anyone else here. I enjoy your insight, but your comments on every announcement jump out to me as almost exclusively negative. Maybe I'm seeing, but that's why I asked about which ones you actually like. I'm genuinely interested. Not so I can poke holes in your comments, but because I want to better understand your expectations. For me, the presentation of the film is the most important thing. So in that regard, I'm usually pretty happy, but there's always room for improvement. That's probably why I'm not bothered by multiple labels taking a crack at these. I'll buy whichever one has the better presentation.
I appreciate the measured response. I honestly wasn't expecting it. I won't change my views about the duelling nature of these releases, though. The majority of my 'gripes' are just extensions of that, really. And in spite of my griping I'm in a position, now, to afford to throw money at pretty much every HK release that comes down the line. This hasn't always the case (which is why, sometimes, a $9.00 budget Hong Kong DVD often got, and gets, the job done in terms of just seeing the movie, especially when there were/are no better options). I know there are plenty of other fans -- newcomers and veterans alike -- who likewise maybe don't have the funds to get two relatively expensive editions (even on sale!), or even wait to get two less-expensive standard editions just to have a truly well-rounded package for movies they really cherish. For them as much as for myself, I just wish there was less of this choice-splitting going on, that's all. I just don't think it's necessary, although I won't argue with the inevitable feedback along the lines of "but it's every company's right to make money on these old titles as they see fit" or whatever. That's true enough. They have their wishes. I have mine. . And I know full well nothing will change, anyway. If I don't comment exclusively and positively on all the good aspects of these releases, as most seem to do here, it's because I'm likewise pretty stoked but don't need to join the choir.

This wouldn't have been much of a thing until RIGHTING WRONGS (and other upcoming titles, I suspect), and how one company very clearly kept mum on their release and it's supplements until the other company had nearly sold theirs out (well, the non-slipcover edition, anyway). We couldn't have compared if we'd wanted to choose one over the other (and yes, I know, now we can). While I appreciate what goes into restoring, preserving and presenting the movie itself, I also appreciate the educational value of the new(er) supplements being produced and would just prefer, personally, to see one release, both regions (different labels if need be), that is as comprehensive as possible. One and done, for posterity, not two of nearly everything. I was a little disheartened to discover that 88's version of WRONGS would feature participation from the same people (mainly Rothrock and Cunningham), albeit in markedly different capacities from their inclusion on the VS edition, along with the more obvious splitting of their now-practically-standard double commentaries with VS. While you and many folks may justifiably go for the presentation of the film itself above all else, I go for that plus the other content (less so the pointlessly overblown packaging, but not much choice there, either). Thus when both editions seem to be nearly equal in terms of their appeal, yet differently so – and deliberately so seemingly by way of collusion – as a reasonably hardcore fan of this stuff, I just feel a little ... forced, that's all. Same thinking applies to my thoughts on how they've taken an admittedly unofficial but generally accepted seven-film series (ITLOD), reduced it to a four-pack for the US market, while another company has announced one film from that series (maybe two?) for the UK market, undoubtedly with a different scan, different extras, and so on, which presumably means at least three (or five?) more single editions from them down the road. Or something – the mind boggles. But hey, I'll probably keep buying 'em anyway. I'm used to this routine after this many decades.

As for the editions I like, well, I could just as well just post lists of every HK title so far from 88, Eureka, Arrow, Vinegar, Error 4444, etc., because I've picked up virtually all of them (with the exception of a few Shaws that I've owned too many times already). I even splurge for the overstuffed 'Limited' versions because I enjoy seeing all the posters and lobbies and ephemera reprinted in the booklets, even though I firmly believe that stuff should be included in galleries on the discs so people who do wait for the standard editions can get the same well-rounded picture of how these films were marketed and enjoyed back in the day. Again, I just wish we could have truly 'ultimate editions' for all of these films that crossed borders, and not (increasingly) two 'semi-ultimate' editions for so many of them (such as RIGHTING WRONGS, presumably YES MADAM, likely UNTOLD STORY and others to follow). I just don't see the problem with wishing for something better, for a company like 88 Films, for example -- which apparently can release titles in both the UK and US now -- to start doing so more often and with higher profile titles, instead of (conveniently?) letting the UK rights go to a different company that will then cherry-pick supplements to make its own release unique, but likewise not comprehensive.
Old 10-26-22, 06:32 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

All very fair. I'm at the point where I can barely keep up with all the new releases coming out, so I find myself skipping the extras more and more. I do like the alternate cuts though. As long as they're legitimate cuts. I don't care about the fan made hybrid stuff. I'm also starting to question whether or not I need to get all the limited editions. The packaging is usually nice, and I like flipping through the booklets and seeing all of the posters and such, but they take up a lot more shelf space and the writing is pretty hit or miss. I read the essay on Hero the other night and it's really just a couple thousand words slagging the film. Not everything is a masterpiece (I had never seen Hero and was underwhelmed myself), and sometimes these essays try to make something out of a movie that it's not, but surely there's enough interesting context around Hero that 88 could have included something a little less derogatory.

And just to throw a little more fuel on the fire regarding Righting Wrongs getting multiple releases, screenshots have been shared at that other place that show the VS and 88 have drastically different color timings. Based on the shared comparisons, the 88 is a closer match to the old Universe dvd, but it's lacking contrast and looks kind of flat. At first glance VS looks nicer and they clearly regraded the master given to them by Fortune Star, but I have to question whether they used any sort of reference or if they just did what they thought looked good. I certainly have no idea.
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Old 10-27-22, 11:51 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

I just watched my copy of On The Run. I had never seen it before. Holy hell what a movie. I had seen Patricia Ha before, but probably only in the Lucky Stars movies. She's a revelation. And I like Yuen Biao, but I don't think he's always reliable as a lead. However, he's pretty good here. He has one moment in particular that I won't forget anytime soon.

Spoiler:
I can't believe they killed the kid. Ever since I had kids of my own, I've become super sensitive to child endangerment in movies. It touches a nerve that I just didn't have before. I'm not even sure if the movie really earned the moment or if it was just cheap melodrama. Either way, it certainly left an impact. That silent moment of Yuen screaming ripped my heart out.

I think I would have preferred if Yuen and Ha had died in the end. If you're going to be a pitch black noir, then close the deal. At least then I would have felt better knowing that the kid was probably better off given everyone in her life was also dead. As sad as that is to say. I'll have to watch the interview with Alfred Cheung to see if he had anything to say about the ending.


Old 10-27-22, 12:22 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by rocket1312
All very fair. I'm at the point where I can barely keep up with all the new releases coming out, so I find myself skipping the extras more and more. I do like the alternate cuts though. As long as they're legitimate cuts. I don't care about the fan made hybrid stuff. I'm also starting to question whether or not I need to get all the limited editions. The packaging is usually nice, and I like flipping through the booklets and seeing all of the posters and such, but they take up a lot more shelf space and the writing is pretty hit or miss. I read the essay on Hero the other night and it's really just a couple thousand words slagging the film. Not everything is a masterpiece (I had never seen Hero and was underwhelmed myself), and sometimes these essays try to make something out of a movie that it's not, but surely there's enough interesting context around Hero that 88 could have included something a little less derogatory.

And just to throw a little more fuel on the fire regarding Righting Wrongs getting multiple releases, screenshots have been shared at that other place that show the VS and 88 have drastically different color timings. Based on the shared comparisons, the 88 is a closer match to the old Universe dvd, but it's lacking contrast and looks kind of flat. At first glance VS looks nicer and they clearly regraded the master given to them by Fortune Star, but I have to question whether they used any sort of reference or if they just did what they thought looked good. I certainly have no idea.
See? Now you're starting to sound like me.

Two of your points could easily apply to the home video 'racket' at large, but I do find them a bit disappointing in relation to Hong Kong cinema:

Originally Posted by rocket1312
I read the essay on Hero the other night and it's really just a couple thousand words slagging the film. Not everything is a masterpiece (I had never seen Hero and was underwhelmed myself), and sometimes these essays try to make something out of a movie that it's not, but surely there's enough interesting context around Hero that 88 could have included something a little less derogatory.
This kind of thing – along with several HK film essays I've read appearing not to have been vetted by an actual, professional editor of any kind – is what makes me complain about all of the great imagery featured in those books only being featured in those books, when it should (and could, easily) be included on the discs in the form of still galleries. It's not fair to folks who prefer to wait for standard editions that they be denied material so closely associated with the original promotion of the films. That stuff is excellent context that shouldn't just be limited to over-priced, under-written booklets. Just look at the galleries on many of Shout's Collector's Edition releases (for horror films and the like): to me, those are the gold standard because they don't just include them in booklets with limited print runs. As for the essays, I do agree that far too often the authors work overtime trying to convince their readers that an unimportant, forgettable movie is somehow an overlooked classic (same deal with a lot of commentaries). But yeah, to expend that many words dumping on a film seems just as counterintuitive. HERO was never a favourite of mine -- the whole purposefully anachronistic feel of the picture never worked for me -- but that essay sounds like they just sourced something quick and easy to justify producing the book and boosting the price.

Mind you, I find that a lot of these boutique labels, now that they're often scraping pretty close to the bottom of the barrel for content to release (especially Vinegar Syndrome and it's partner labels), are going overboard trying to convince us that movies once widely and rightly derided for being crap made by lazy, greedy opportunists, are now worthy of 'serious' scholarly reevaluation via multiple commentaries, featurettes and over-produced packaging featuring new poster 'interpretations' that really run the gamut. It's gotten to be a bit much, frankly. I've often thought of starting a thread here devoted to it, but thought better of it when I realized I'd be blown off as a Negative Nelly who just doesn't appreciate the effort being made. Oh, I appreciate the effort; it's the necessity that I question, especially for some shot-on-a-camcorder, borderline home movie from people who never actually escaped obscurity to fade back into it. "But hey", says the boutique, "they made something, and we must celebrate it!"

Originally Posted by rocket1312
screenshots have been shared at that other place that show the VS and 88 have drastically different color timings. Based on the shared comparisons, the 88 is a closer match to the old Universe dvd, but it's lacking contrast and looks kind of flat. At first glance VS looks nicer and they clearly regraded the master given to them by Fortune Star, but I have to question whether they used any sort of reference or if they just did what they thought looked good. I certainly have no idea.
Hadn't heard about the differences in visuals on RIGHTING WRONGS. Typical. Can't wait to see how 88's YES MADAM diverges from Eureka's now, or how 88's UNTOLD STORY deviates from Vinegar Syndrome's. Mind you, it's amusing to look at reviews at comparison sites where they include screencaps from multiple previous video editions to compare with the latest and supposedly greatest super-duper-HD-Blu-ray-maybe-even-4K edition, and there's no two alike! So what does it even matter? This is the primary reason why I say I consider the whole package rather than just the treatment of the film itself, because at this point I know I'm likely getting what some colour-timer or boutique label executive "feels" the film should look like, rather than how it should actually look. Hell, even when the original directors or cinematographers approve transfers, there's every likelihood that a subsequent edition on another label will simply do whatever they "feel" looks right. In that sense, I've learned to be happy if the films are simply intact, especially Hong Kong films. And if they include alternate cuts, I'm even happier, because Hong Kong movies above most others have some of the most interesting alternate cuts of all (even though their existence only reinforces how little respect people had for Hong Kong movies back in the day). Agree wholly on the 'hybrid' cuts. That kind of revisionist tinkering, even if just for fun, is the kind of thing I will avoid on 88's edition of RIGHTING WRONGS. I mean, really, how many times would someone, anyone, sit through that to see god-knows-how many versions?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In terms of extras, I likewise find it hard to consume all of them at times, especially when companies are seemingly producing duelling releases as a rule now, with the same participants turning up on both in different ways. But I'm still glad they're there, and I largely enjoy them, more so when they rustle up actual cast and crew people rather than the usual white-guy 'experts' (not that they don't add value as well).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Originally Posted by rocket1312
I just watched my copy of On The Run. I had never seen it before. Holy hell what a movie. I had seen Patricia Ha before, but probably only in the Lucky Stars movies. She's a revelation. And I like Yuen Biao, but I don't think he's always reliable as a lead. However, he's pretty good here. He has one moment in particular that I won't forget anytime soon.
Spoiler:
I can't believe they killed the kid. Ever since I had kids of my own, I've become super sensitive to child endangerment in movies. It touches a nerve that I just didn't have before. I'm not even sure if the movie really earned the moment or if it was just cheap melodrama. Either way, it certainly left an impact. That silent moment of Yuen screaming ripped my heart out.

I think I would have preferred if Yuen and Ha had died in the end. If you're going to be a pitch black noir, then close the deal. At least then I would have felt better knowing that the kid was probably better off given everyone in her life was also dead. As sad as that is to say. I'll have to watch the interview with Alfred Cheung to see if he had anything to say about the ending.








Parenthood does seem to effect people's views on stuff like this. I'm not a parent, so it usually gets a pass from me even though it's no less impactful (even when American horror movies go there, for example). Not sure what Alfred Cheung says, but in the context of Hong Kong's socio-political climate at the time, such scenes were rarely done cavalierly, or without a point being made about the loss of the future, surviving but not living, etc. All stuff that has, in a way, proven prescient if you've followed Hong Kong's sad decline over the last 30 years, but especially over the last decade. There are a lot of films from that era where the endings are actually quite painful to think about in context, especially for Hong Kongers of that period. And that was the whole point. Personally I think it reached its zenith (or nadir, some would argue) with the Johnnie To-produced INTRUDER, which will probably never see the light of day again. Bleak stuff, but so absolutely right in what it "says" about China.

Someone else hereabouts (maybe a different thread) mentioned wanting to seek out more Pat Ha movies after having watched this one, but she never really capitalized on it and pretty much continued the remainder of her career in the kinds of lighter roles she had previously been known for. Not that those movies aren't worth seeking out, but few of them really showcased her range, something true of a lot of HK 'ingenues'.

Last edited by Brian T; 10-27-22 at 12:45 PM.
Old 12-05-22, 06:59 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread


Old 12-05-22, 09:45 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

If you're going to discover Hong Kong gambling cinema this is a great one to start with. It's a genre in its own right that predates this film, but this one spawned a cottage industry throughout the next decade or more. But as with recent UK vs US situations with these companies, I'll hesitate to grab this until I know if a Region A will be forthcoming (presumably with differing supplements, of course ). Would love to see a box set that includes the five related entries, but I'd imagine there are various rights issues involved. They're all a lot of fun.
Old 12-05-22, 10:07 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by Brian T
If you're going to discover Hong Kong gambling cinema this is a great one to start with. It's a genre in its own right that predates this film, but this one spawned a cottage industry throughout the next decade or more. But as with recent UK vs US situations with these companies, I'll hesitate to grab this until I know if a Region A will be forthcoming (presumably with differing supplements, of course ). Would love to see a box set that includes the five related entries, but I'd imagine there are various rights issues involved. They're all a lot of fun.
The French label Spectrum is doing a pretty loaded set with multiple films in the series. Not English friendly though. Too bad they didn't do that here considering how well something like Tiger Cage sold for them. Not sure if they have the others though.

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Old 12-05-22, 10:51 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by dex14
The French label Spectrum is doing a pretty loaded set with multiple films in the series. Not English friendly though. Too bad they didn't do that here considering how well something like Tiger Cage sold for them. Not sure if they have the others though.
That's a big issue with these things. The companies releasing them, and the fans working on them, know full well that there are often sequels, spinoffs (and ripoffs) to a lot of popular Hong Kong classics. Yet they just give us the first ones time and again, either because of rights complications (understandable) or because they know they can string us along with individual releases (less understandable). I'm at least grateful they came close to something ideal with the IN THE LINE OF DUTY boxed set being released over here.

I spotted that French GAMBLERS edition a while back, but wrote it off for two reasons: not being English-friendly, of course, and it's actually missing one of the five key titles I referred to, a crucial one really, and substitutes an older Shaw Brothers picture instead. I don't know why I bother checking the Spectrum site anymore; it just bums me out that the French seem to have a much broader conception of what's 'important' in Hong Kong cinema, more in line with my own understanding of and experience with it. Thus their releases of SPACKED OUT, ON THE EDGE + WALK IN, LONELY 15, SAVIOUR, the upcoming LEE ROCK films (infinitely better than the more recent CHASING THE DRAGON movies, even though all of them are just exercises in turd polishing), and countless others we'll never see from the UK or US labels because there's never been any groundwork laid for them in English-speaking markets. And it's not like Spectrum will ever have English-friendly editions . Unfortunately, for those of us who don't speak French, the HK originals for most of these titles will have to suffice in whatever (usually inferior) form they exist.

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Old 12-05-22, 06:02 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

I’m really interested which films the French label will include because the God of Gamblers films are all over the place and is not as linear as the Tiger Cage films.
Old 12-05-22, 06:15 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by LorenzoL
Iím really interested which films the French label will include because the God of Gamblers films are all over the place and is not as linear as the Tiger Cage films.
God of Gamblers, God of Gamblers 2, God of Gamblers 3: Back to Shanghai, God of Gamblers' Return, God of Gamblers 3: The Early Stage, Challenge of the Gamesters.
Old 12-05-22, 06:28 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by dex14
God of Gamblers, God of Gamblers 2, God of Gamblers 3: Back to Shanghai, God of Gamblers' Return, God of Gamblers 3: The Early Stage, Challenge of the Gamesters.
Thank you!

The biggest omission is All For The Winner (1990) which introduces Stephen Chow and Ng Man Tat characters before God of Gamblers 2.
Old 12-05-22, 06:38 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

All For The Winner is a Seasonal title… so it is difficult, I believe. Not even an HK Blu of that one. Only the Korean Nova release.
Old 12-05-22, 06:51 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Originally Posted by LorenzoL
Thank you!

The biggest omission is All For The Winner (1990) which introduces Stephen Chow and Ng Man Tat characters before God of Gamblers 2.
This was the one I suggested in my earlier post. Had a feeling rights were the reason the Shaw film was included instead. I suppose they can note it as an early gambling effort from Wong Jing that . . . maybe . . . inspired him in making GOG, although I think the general propensity of HK people to gambling was probably a bigger factor.
Old 12-05-22, 06:51 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

They posted that preorders will be up for this soon. I know the discs have been getting QCed. Can’t wait.



Old 12-05-22, 06:55 PM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Great to see the original poster artworks showcased in the marketing materials for a change. The every-single-person-who-ever-appeared-in-the-movie collages are a little overwhelming sometimes. I mean, am I right in counting 29 actors on that friggin' thing?
Old 12-13-22, 08:14 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

In The Line Of Duty: I - IV Deluxe set is up on Amazon. MSRP is $99.99. Release date May 16th.
Amazon Amazon
Old 12-13-22, 08:29 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Looks like Amazon (or possibly 88 Films?) has the plot outlines for YES MADAM and ROYAL WARRIORS reversed in the product description.
Old 12-13-22, 08:37 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Yea, that's an Amazon error. MVD Shop has it correct: https://mvdb2b.com/s/InTheLineOfDuty...tion/US88FB017
Old 12-13-22, 10:17 AM
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Re: The Official 88 Films Blu-ray Thread

Update From 88's FB:
IN THE LINE OF DUTY Limited Edition BOXSET featuring rigid slipcase, posters and a 100-page booklet with brand new writing and interviews is now finally available to pre-order on Amazon USA! Release Date Feb/March despite currently being listed for May and the price will drop from its current listing so get your preorders in now and don't miss out.

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