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Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Old 03-24-22, 08:23 AM
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Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Intentional Talk is dead, so I'll put this year. There are folks on this forum who would be into this new label.

We're very excited to share that our new premium Blu-ray label focused on Asian cinema is almost ready to launch.

Our web store is not quite ready to open for pre-orders, but in the meantime we'll soon be able to reveal the first 3 titles that will be released.

The films are all new to Blu-ray in Australia/NZ and complemented with exclusive new special features, archival extras, expert audio commentaries and collector's booklets. Each is designed to catch the eye and look awesome on your shelf, with numbered spines and reversible sleeves in high quality clear cases.

We're really looking forward to hearing from you about our Blu-ray editions and discovering what you'd like to see from us in the future. Your thoughts and feedback are forever welcome and appreciated.

https://shop.chameleonfilms.com.au/password
Frank Djeng said he will be doing commentaries for 4 of their first releases... all Johnnie To films.





Title Announcement Spine - 01
BREAKING NEWS 大事件
Johnnie To 2004 Hong Kong 90 mins
The premiere of Johnnie To’s Breaking News at Cannes marks the moment when art cinema finally embraced the Hong Kong action genre. Here is a film as intelligent as it is tense as it is well-made. From the breathtaking intricacy of its seven-minute opening take, shot on location in a grungy side street in the New Territories, the complex oppositions that form Hong Kong society are subjected to ruthless scrutiny. The familiar opposition of cops and robbers (led by pop-star Richie Jen) is complicated by a further division between no-nonsense street cops (led by Nick Cheung) and the media-savvy inspector (Kelly Chen).
A stake-out goes wrong and a very public shoot-out leads to an official panic. When the violent, though quietly decent bandits are run to ground in a typically cramped apartment building, it sparks a media circus. Inspector Rebecca Fong (Chen) sees the whole thing as a show, as imagery to be manipulated to her advantage, but the outlaws armed with mobile phones and an internet connection, show that two can play that game. Hong Kong may be a city where media spin is king, but To delves beneath the imagery to the gritty realities that make HK truly unique.
EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL FEATURES:
• Limited first-pressing collector's booklet featuring new essays by film writer Hayley Scanlon and film historian Mike Walsh
• New audio commentary by Hong Kong cinema expert Frank Djeng
• "A Propaganda Duel" - a newly extended video essay on Breaking News
• Newly translated and improved optional English subtitles
Archival Extras:
• Melbourne International Film Festival 2004 Q&A with Johnnie To
• Behind the scenes
• Deleted scene
• Photo gallery
• Theatrical trailer
Technical Specifications:
• 2.35:1
• 1080p colour
• Cantonese DTS-HD MA 5.1 LPCM 2.0
• English subtitles
• Region B
• BD-50
Packaged in a Scanavo full sleeved 14mm clear case with a reversible, numbered sleeve that is clean of classification markings and barcode on the alternative side.
Released June/July [TBC] and available to pre-order soon from the Chameleon Films web store: https://shop.chameleonfilms.com.au/password
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E Unit (03-24-22)
Old 03-24-22, 10:40 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Meanwhile, in North America . . .

Anyway, glad to see another company getting into the fray, although I will admit some exhaustion at the endless "up-packaging" (I made that up in lieu of a better term) of these movies, i.e. "each is designed to catch the eye and look awesome on your shelf, with numbered spines and reversible sleeves in high quality clear cases," but I guess that's Physical Media Retailing 101 these days and obviously these guys are following the boutique label playbook to the letter. That line about BREAKING NEWS debuting at Cannes marking the milestone of art cinema embracing Hong Kong action genre is bullshit, of course. Previous Johnnie To "arty action" films had debuted at Cannes and countless other festivals before BREAKING NEWS and often to wider acclaim but I suppose I understand the need to hard-sell these older titles in whatever way possible to an increasingly crowded marketplace. Incidentally, for those not willing to risk what I assume will be premium pricing for these premium editions, and just want to see a really solid movie, BREAKING NEWS was released by Palm Pictures on DVD in 2006 (with limited extras) and can still be had quite cheap.

By the way, in fairness regarding the North American market, there is a new company on the scene called 'Error 4444' that is specializing in Asian horror cinema, including some HK films already announced (including two phenomenally vile Cat. III sickies RED TO KILL, RUN AND KILL, and a double feature of RED SPELL SPELLS RED and CENTIPEDE HORROR). Their first release was an SE of Japan's ANATOMIA EXTINCTION (both versions sold out) followed by a pairing of FUNKY FOREST and WARPED FOREST (likewise sold out) again cases of 'limited' packaging, a low production run, plentiful extras and (sigh) needless tchotchkes doing most of the salesmanship in spite of UK's Third Window films releasing a not-limited-but-still-loaded region-free set use this week (not to mention the US DVD special edition of the first film from 2009!).
https://error4444.bigcartel.com

I've been amassing Asian and Hong Kong cinema by the truckload for decades, but it's only now that I'm starting to feel like we're being a) truly spoiled by all of these top-drawer collector's editions and yet b) patronized like covetous suckers who can't resist pretty and pricey re-packaging for films many never bothered with when they were legitimately available on DVD for years in North America. Guess I'm a 'glass right in the middle' kinda guy, but hey.
Old 03-24-22, 11:17 PM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Johnnie To!
Old 03-25-22, 07:30 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)


Title Announcement Spine - 02

SUMMER TIME MACHINE BLUES サマータイムマシン・ブルース

Katsuyuki Motohiro 2005 Japan 108 mins

Time. Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking went on about it forever. But the big questions of time travel remain: who stole Niimi’s shampoo, how might spilling coke on the remote control spell the end of the universe, and perhaps most importantly, how can nerdy guys get to meet girls?

It’s an endlessly hot Japanese summer and the members of the sci-fi club are hanging around waiting out the school vacation. Slowly, small things start not making sense, until a time machine and a dork from the future arrive in their clubhouse, and all of a sudden, the time-space continuum is under threat. Of course, the nature of the threat is never exactly clear, but it will involve a lot of frantic comic complications to put things right.

Director Katsuyuki Motohiro (Bayside Shakedown), is at the top of his game here, constructing a wildly playful and unfailingly inventive film that enjoys cult status among lovers of Japanese youth comedy.

EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL FEATURES:
• Limited first-pressing collector's booklet featuring a new essay by film writer Hayley Scanlon
• Original audio commentary by director Katsuyuki Motohiro & writer Makoto Ueda with newly translated English subtitles
• New interview with writer Makoto Ueda

Archival Extras:
• Theatrical trailers x2

Technical Specifications:
• 1.78:1
• 1080p colour
• Japanese DTS-HD MA 5.1 LPCM 2.0
• English subtitles
• Region B
• BD-50

Packaged in a Scanavo full sleeved 14mm clear case with a reversible, numbered sleeve that is clean of classification markings and barcode on the alternative side.

Released June/July [TBC] and available to pre-order soon from the Chameleon Films web store: www.chameleonfilms.com.au
Old 03-25-22, 09:12 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Solid choice. I can't think of a Motohiko film that isn't gently comical and built on elegant production values – BAYSIDE SHAKEDOWN, SPACE TRAVELERS, UDON, GO FIND A PSYCHIC, CURTAIN RISES – and this one's no different. I don't think that commentary was on the Japanese anniversary Blu-ray from several years ago so that's a plus. It's truly a shame how little of his work has been released in the west, especially in North America (of course!). The feel-good, lovably eccentric nature of most of his output makes it ideal for 'cult' labels like this one that appear to be thinking outside the box. Tough to say based on two announced releases, but I'm hopeful Chameleon will comparable favourably to UK's Third Window Films, which is home to such a broad range of offbeat/mainstream Asian stuff. I've been so grateful for the Hong Kong DVD releases of Motohiko's movies over the years because the Japanese discs were usually beyond my budget and often without subs. Hopefully this will spark more interest in his work, but I won't expect any American boutiques to jump in. It would be so nice to see the whole concept of "Japanese cult film" move away from the endless Sushi Typhoon-type low-budget gonzo gore stuff that has proliferated over here during the last 20 years and into the realm of films like Motohiko's. There are so many to choose from, by him and others.
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Old 03-26-22, 06:31 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)



Title Announcement Spine - 03
EXILED 放‧逐
Johnnie To 2006 Hong Kong 109 mins
Wo (Nick Cheung) unwisely returns to Macau where Boss Fay (Simon Yam) has put a price on his head. His childhood buddy Blaze (Anthony Wong) is given the contract, while another lifelong friend, Tai (Francis Ng) is sworn to defend him. The scene is set for the kind of simmering confrontations that fans of Johnnie To prize so much. As characters loom out of the darkness, the tension is so thick you could pick it up with a pair of chopsticks.
Exiled is undoubtedly the high point of To’s work in the gangster genre. It seizes on elements central to the Hong Kong action film, such as the conflict between loyalty and self-preservation, and the way that male bonding is certainly stronger than death, and maybe even stronger than automatic weapons. It succeeds brilliantly in making these genre elements fresh through Johnnie To’s enormous talent and passion for filmmaking. The film is full of memorable set-pieces where taut confrontation is savoured in the moments before it explodes, and where inventive wide-screen compositions and crisply edited action provide a feast for any cinephile.
EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL FEATURES:
• Limited first-pressing collector's booklet featuring new essays by film historian Stephen Teo and Dylan Cheung
• New audio commentary by Hong Kong cinema expert Frank Djeng
• "The Weight of Honour" - a new video essay on Exiled
• Newly translated and improved optional English subtitles
Archival Extras:
• The Making of Exiled
• Behind the scenes
• Photo gallery
• HK trailers x2
• US trailer
Technical Specifications:
• 2.35:1
• 1080p colour
• Cantonese DTS-HD MA 5.1 LPCM 2.0
• English subtitles
• Region B
• BD-50
Packaged in a Scanavo full sleeved 14mm clear case with a reversible, numbered sleeve that is clean of classification markings and barcode on the alternative side.
Released June/July [TBC] and available to pre-order soon from the Chameleon Films web store: www.chameleonfilms.com.au
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Brian T (03-29-22)
Old 03-26-22, 09:06 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

It sounds like the Election films may also be getting a release.
Old 03-29-22, 07:50 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

We've noticed you have a few questions! Rather than respond individually, hopefully the following will be useful.

* Will your Blu-ray releases be region coded?

We're usually restricted under our licensing agreements to code discs for Region B only. It will be clear in the product description when we're able to make specific releases Region Free. Region B discs will play in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. If you live outside one of these regions and wish to purchase our discs, we recommend obtaining a region-free Blu-ray player. (It's what we've done to watch all those lovely Criterions.)

* Will you ship internationally?

Yes, we will ship everywhere that our logistics provider and its carriers can reach. Shipping charges will vary. Australia is unfortunately an expensive place to ship from, but shipping rates will be less than the actual amount we're charged because we want you to be able to own and see our discs!

* Are you utilising new masters?

The announced films have not been remastered in 4K or recently restored. We are encoding from the best available existing 2K masters supplied by the rightsholders. All supplied elements will be carefully inspected for artefacts and print damage. Any issues that are discovered will be removed or fixed with professional Diamant-Film Restoration software. The feature films will be encoded at the highest possible bitrate, and all the content will be mastered for replication onto dual layer Blu-ray discs.

* Can you please release [insert title here] on Blu-ray in the future?

We'll pin a new post so you can submit the titles you would like to see released in a glorious premium Blu-ray edition. Some of the requests that have already been mentioned are high on our list.

* I have a different question!

Fire away in the comments. We'll do our best to respond stoically.
Old 03-29-22, 09:49 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Wish they'd stick to the original HK posters for the HK movies. SUMMER TIME MACHINE BLUES gets the original artwork for its release, but they appear to have commissioned new "pointing guns" Photoshop comps for both HK titles – sigh. How very Dragon Dynasty or Hong Kong Legends of them. Technically speaking they're not horrible, per se, but they're so cliche for 2022. The originals in both cases were more intriguing and dramatic. I'm assuming the reverse sides will be the same only without the classifications, etc. Still, depending on how much these things actually end up costing, it would be nice to upgrade my bulky HK special edition box of EXILED. Also glad to see Stephen Teo contributing to another HK reissue (after TIME AND TIDE from Eureka). These companies really need to solicit contributions from scholarly, published authors like him for balance with the populist web-based folks who are often featured.
Old 04-08-22, 06:31 PM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Their store has pre-orders up: https://shop.chameleonfilms.com.au/

$27 USD each plus $13 shipping (doesn't seem to matter how much you order). Too much for now, IMO.
Old 04-13-22, 09:59 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Diabolik has them up on their site now. It’s actually cheaper for me to order direct. I’ll probably just wait until they’ve been out for a bit to see what the consensus is on the discs. Maybe wait for them to release some more and place a larger order of multiple titles… since two more To films are coming.

Last edited by dex14; 04-13-22 at 10:07 AM.
Old 08-09-22, 07:37 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

After a long and winding journey we can finally announce a street date of August 31 for our Blu-ray releases of Breaking News, Summer Time Machine Blues and Exiled.

But keep an eye out, orders may be ready to send from our fulfillment centre in Sydney up to a week earlier so you could receive a shipping notification before the end of the month.

Shipping rates

If you have been waiting for the official release date before pre-ordering, you might want to do so in the next few weeks because our shipping rates might soon be going up a little to offset planned fee increases by our carrier (an inevitable outcome of the pandemic, war and inflation).

We will wait until after the release date before assessing if we need to update the shipping rates and in any case will continue to keep them as low as we reasonably can.

Free domestic shipping at $69 will continue to apply.

Product update

If you haven't been following us on social media you may not be aware that some additional bonus content was added to Exiled after the initial launch:

• Frank Djeng has recorded a second supplemental audio commentary where he goes into more detail about the film's style and themes

• We interviewed co-composer Dave Klotz about his experience scoring Exiled and his career so far working with Hong Kong filmmakers like Johnnie To and Ringo Lam

Coming up

We have already teased our next release in a couple of places. Standby for a proper announcement with more details soon. Johnnie To fans will not be disappointed...



Regarding future release announcements and pre-ordering, we are going to handle things a little differently. Obviously we had a very long pre-order window for the first wave of releases, and we do not wish to burden anyone with that kind of prolonged wait again.

Instead we will reveal new release information at intervals when we have something to show and share, like upcoming titles, key art, supplementary content, full packaging artwork, and so on.

Then we will only open the pre-order window once we are very confident that the release date will be just around the corner.

Staying in touch

We would love to hear from you, especially once some Chameleon discs are in your hands. Feel free to reach out to us via [email protected] or through our channels if you have any suggestions, questions, pictures of your awesome physical media collections, ideas for original bonus content, or whatever else you would like to bring to our attention.

Remember also to check the FAQ, which we will get around to updating with additional responses to various Qs that have arisen since the launch.

Eventually we would like to compose and publish some written content, for instance a piece on why the label was started and what steps were involved in getting it off the ground. Would that be of interest?

Until next time,

Team Chameleon

Last edited by dex14; 08-09-22 at 07:48 AM.
Old 08-09-22, 08:47 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Just got their email this morning. Glad to see some new extras have been put together for EXILED – that's a personal favourite of mine, and very much in league with To's long-unavailable THE MISSION. Still on the fence about these, though. Both of the To films are excellent, but those prices are steep (even via Diabolik, although a little better there it seems). Way of the world these days, I suppose, but I'll probably cave eventually. Too bad the company's too new to have any sales for a long time to come.
Old 12-11-22, 10:20 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Old 12-13-22, 08:08 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Old 02-07-23, 05:09 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

D I G I T A L L Y R E S T O R E D

Released - March 2023 [exact date TBC]

Spine - 004 & 005

ELECTION 黑社會

&

ELECTION 2 黑社會2以和為貴

Johnnie To 2005/2006 Hong Kong 100 mins/93 mins

The Election films have been compared with The Godfather in the way they take crime syndicates seriously, showing how murderous violence, family, national politics and honour are woven inextricably together.

These dark, moody films exude a relentless air of menace as they strip the glamour and gunplay away from the triads and take us through the battles for the top job in the Wo Sing triad. Candidates negotiate with the uncles who uphold the historical traditions of the triad societies, while they must also deal with the politics of contemporary Hong Kong as it moves inexorably into the orbit of the mainland.

Once the votes are in, the real contest begins with a series of simmering confrontations involving face, money and loyalty in equal measure. One thing is certain—the quietly intense political manoeuvring will surely lead to blood, though in the best tradition of Johnnie To’s films, the violent confrontations are anything but predictable.



SPECIAL FEATURES:

High definition digital restoration of both films
Collector's slipcase & booklet featuring new essays by film scholar Gary Bettinson & film critic Sam Ho
Newly translated & improved optional English subtitles for both films by Dylan Cheung

Disc 1 - Election:

New audio commentary by Hong Kong cinema experts Frank Djeng & John Charles
OzAsia Festival 2016 Masterclass with Johnnie To - audio recording hosted by film historian Mike Walsh (37 mins)
Interviews with Johnnie To, Simon Yam, Tony Leung Ka-fai & Wong Tin-lam (60 mins)
The Making of Election (7 mins)
Photo gallery
TV spots x2
Theatrical trailers x2

Disc 2 - Election 2:

New audio commentary by Hong Kong cinema experts Frank Djeng & John Charles
Supplemental audio commentary by Frank Djeng
New interview with composer Robert Ellis-Geiger (approx. 30 mins TBC)
"The Veneer of Nobility" - a new video essay on the Election films (8 mins)
Interviews with Johnnie To, Lam Suet & Gordon Lam Ka-tung (43 mins)
The Making of Election 2 (7 mins)
Photo gallery
TV spots x3
Teaser
Theatrical trailer



TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

2.35:1
1080p colour
Cantonese DTS-HD MA 5.1 LPCM 2.0
English subtitles
2 x BD-50


Packaged in a cardboard slipcase without classification markings that includes a 2-disc Scanavo full sleeved 14mm clear case and a reversible sleeve without classification markings and barcodes featuring the original poster artwork of both films.



Available to pre-order now from: https://shop.chameleonfilms.com.au/
Old 02-07-23, 08:31 AM
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Re: Chameleon Films - Australia/NZ label for Asian Cinema (Region B)

Interesting to see John Charles turning up on these (I think I saw his name on another release in recent years?). His HK movie review book was reasonably handy back in the day, not quite as definitive these days (with way too much irrelevant, held-over video label info that could've been excised from the reprint), but his self-admitted shunning of post-97 cinema as not worthwhile was (and kinda still is) rather high-minded and makes me question the 'expert' label, but whatever. I wouldn't be surprised if Johnnie To was one of the few exceptions to that viewpoint, though. He has that effect. Glad they were able to use most of the original supplements from earlier editions.

Last edited by Brian T; 02-07-23 at 08:38 AM.

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