International DVD Talk Intl. DVDs, Region Free Players, RCE, Hong Kong DVDs & More

OFFICIAL Newbie Help: HK DVD & Discussion

Old 04-23-02, 03:00 PM
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OFFICIAL Newbie Help: HK DVD & Discussion

Welcome to Part 2 of this thread. The first part of this thread which contained some good bits of discussion can be found here. It was viewed nearly 9000 times. This thread is designed to serve to answer a few common questions about HK and Asian cinema in general. I'll be adding more to this second edition of the thread once time allows, but for now this thread contains basically the same information the first thread did. The roots of this thread started in the DVDTalk section of this forum in the form of HK Discussion threads. There were 2 One and Only HK DVD threads that got very busy - many good discussions were held and at times I dominated the threads (sorry), but still they might hold some useful information that may not get repeated...

If you feel like checking them out (each thread reached 5 pages long), here's the links:
One and ONLY HK DVD Thread #1
One and ONLY HK DVD Thread #2
They may or may not still be available since that forum was cleaned out awhile back.

Please feel free to use this thread to ask questions

___________________________________________________
Q & A:

1. Q: I want to order discs from Hong Kong, any advice?

A: Well - There are a few things to watch for... First, if you live in the US, you most likely will not be able to play PAL DVDs since our televisions over here are NTSC (sparing you what that all means), so just make sure when you order that you're getting NTSC DVDs. It shouldn't be much of a problem since most HK films on DVD are NTSC... if you're getting a US film from a HK distributor - some of them may be PAL. Typically - most HK DVDs will play on any standard american player.

Second - make sure you're getting All Code DVDs. In the US, our DVD players can only view Region 1 DVDs (unless you have a region free DVD player) but ANY DVD player can play Region 0 (All Code, Region Free) DVDs. Most HK DVDs are Region 0 and can be viewed in any country. Sometimes a DVD will be Region 3 or another number, and you probably won't be able to play it on your DVD player unless it's been modified.

Third - sometimes when ordering overseas, customs may check out your package which may lead to some extra charges - this isn't the norm - it's more common to just recieve your package untouched, but be aware that it can happen. Also - many HK sites will show prices in HK dollars (which are worth roughly 7.4:1 USD)... if this confuses you, check out a currency conversion site like this one: http://www.xe.com/ucc

Fourth - Some sites will be selling VCDs - which aren't DVDs, but Video Compact Discs - make sure you're getting what you want. VCDs don't have as good a picture or sound as DVDs do, but some films are only available on this format and they are usually better quality than VHS. VCDs will play on most standard players, but some players can't handle them. Look on the front panel of your DVD player and it will probably list all compatible formats (DVD/CD/VCD/MP3/CD-R).

*It is also worth noting that if your DVD Player will handle VCDs, it will most likely handle both NTSC and PAL VCDs. It is supposedly built in to the VCD spec for all players to be able to handle both PAL and NTSC conversion. Good news if you can only find a VCD in PAL format and you don't have a multi-region player. As for multiregion players - do a search for "Malata" in this forum and you'll get youself a quick education on this stuff...

1b. Q: The movie I want isn't in Region 1 or 0... how can I get myself "Region Free"?

A: Most people around this forum will tell you to pick up a Malata. The reason is that they can convert PAL to NTSC very well. Most players that can be made region free can convert PAL to NTSC, but they do it poorly. The Xbox also converts PAL to NTSC properly, but as of today there is no region free hack for it. The cheap players are typically a good choice for someone who isn't interested in DVDs from the UK or France. People who want Korean titles or Region 3 stuff or stuff from Japan (R2) can save some money by just getting one of the really cheap players out there. There's a bunch of discussions going on about region free players usually, but the best place to start looking for a cheap region free player is at Best Buy or Costco or Circuit City... go find the cheapest players (like Daewoo or Apex) and get the model numbers and take that info over to www.nerd-out.com to see if that player can be made region free. In the end you're looking at about a 75 dollar investment.

*For Info on REGION FREE DVD PLAYERS... Click Here. Nerd-Out forums deal with all types of questions concerning all brands of players - from Apex to Malata to JVC etc... Just go there - your question has most likely already been answered.

2. Q: I really liked Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon! What else will I like?

A: Well, don't expect all HK films to be exactly like that. In fact, none are exactly like that. HK films don't have quite as much money behind them as CTHD did - that doesn't mean they aren't top quality films... it just means to not expect the same experience you had when you watched CTHD. The films suggested below could be a good starting point - don't go off the deep end and order dozens of titles hoping to like them all... some people really love these films and some people just don't "get it". Many people who were into this genre before CTHD came out will tell you that CTHD wasn't all that great compared to the real thing. Having said that though - if you really liked Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - chances are you'll love many of the films that HK has to offer. For starters - try the selections from the list below. Iron Monkey (1993) seems to be the Akira of HK Kung-Fu films as it's the most recommended film to newcomers. Avoid the sequel.

3. Q: Subtitles vs. Dubs? What's the best way to watch? Do DVDs made in HK provide english dubs?

A: Up until recently, nearly all HK films were filmed with no sound - the sound was added later and all the dialogue was done in the various languages so the film could be distributed to nearby countries and also so it could be understood by everyone in China (as there are 2 main languages spoken in China). This technique is called "looping" and consists of voice actors watching the film and saying lines - trying to match the on-screen performance.

What you end up with is a dub - no matter what language. Often times, the original actor wouldn't even do his or her own looping as they would be busy shooting another film (common for HK actors to do 5 - 10 or more films per year). Many purists would argue that the original language is the ONLY way to listen to the film. I tend to agree that it is a better experience to watch the film with subtitles listening to the original intended language - dubbed or not. It's the best candidate for voices matching up with lips and typically, the subtitles are more accurate than the english dubs.

Most english dubs are done in Europe and are piss-poor quite frankly. Occasionally a decent one comes along, but not often. It's rather common for meanings to get lost as english actors try to change the script in order to make their spoken words come out when the on-screen actor's mouth is moving. It's a scary thought.

Subtitles aren't perfect either as it is quite common to have mispellings and horrific grammatical mistakes. Sometimes with HK DVDs - the subtitles are burned into the print and can disappear when the scene is bright. Sometimes things being said aren't even translated. Sometimes subtitles flash by so fast even the fastest speed reader can't make them out (just watched a film where one subtitled statement was on the screen for only 4 frames).

Basically - 99% of HK DVDs do NOT come with english Dubs. There are a few that do and the dubs are usually decent. If you want a HK film with an English dub, you're going to have to look at US releases or UK releases. Tai Seng operates in the US and produces some fabulous DVDs as well as some terrible ones. Hong Kong Legends operates out of the UK and they (for the most part) produce awesome DVDs of HK films. Outside of that, some major US distributors occasionally release a Jackie Chan film or a Jet Li film with excellent transfers and English Dub ONLY... they often remove a lot of scenes for you as well, so beware. Bottom line is - it's preferred to order DVDs from HK and watch them in the original language with subtitles. They are cheaper from HK anyway.

4. Q: How are the quality of HK DVDs vs. American DVDs?

A:There are 3 main DVD distributors in HK - Mei Ah, Universe Laser, and Mega Star (there's a ton of others like Tung Ah, China Star, Rytek, DeltaMac, Thakral, Widesight, etc... but we're talking about the ones you would run across most often). Mei Ah DVDs are typically inexpensive and the transfer is the equivalent to a laserdisc. They are minimalists on extras and usually have burned-in subs. Only reason to get a Mei Ah disc usually is if there is nothing else available.

Universe Laser are a great company - usually they have some awesome DVDs with great sound and transfers with a few extras as well such as making of featurettes and press conferences and such. Some of their earlier releases weren't as good and they are a company that has been improving... they have been getting progressively better and their recent releases which include featurettes and other extras also include english subtitles for the extras! Great! They typically have Cantonese and Mandarin sound with removable english subtitles.

Media Asia are excellent as well - They usually provide outstanding transfers and fantastic digital sound. They seem to have a formula going and most of their menus are the same-looking. Menus include a movie still in the background and chapter stops, sound options, subtitle options, star files, trailers, coming attractions and start the movie along the side. They also usually provide multiple soundtracks with many subtitle options (removable).

In america - when a HK film gets picked up by New Line or Columbia Tri Star - they get cleaned up really well so the transfers kick ass all over most HK releases. The sound is almost always Dub with no other audio track available (except maybe french for the canadians occasionally). Recently, asian cinema has been gaining respect and these stuidos are starting to realize that the original language track is necessary along with subtitles - as an option at least. I predict these major stuidos will begin to treat these films even better than before with less cutting and more subbing.

Tai Seng, however is a mixed bag - sometimes they provide great transfers with a decent amount of extras (in english) and acceptable sound - and other times they provide garbage transfers with no extras and burned in subs that you can't see. In some cases, the Tai Seng release is the one to get (when there's a choice), while in other cases Tai Seng is the one to avoid. Be aware also that sometimes a Tai Seng release is just the HK release with a Tai Seng foil sticker on the sleeve... these re-packages are easy to spot because they'll say Media Asia or Mei Ah or Universe etc on the jacket but have a Tai Seng sticker on them. These are safe to buy, but just know you're probably paying a bit more than you could be if you were ordering the same DVD from HK.

Updated info - Mei Ah's recent releases have been a vast improvement over their past attempts. Most recently they have adopted using more standard looking cases and artwork and their DVDs are more or less on par quality-wise with Universe if not better. Disney/Buena Vista has been releasing HK movies with major cuts and often changed names. This news isn't new, but there are many petitions you can sign to tell Disney how you feel about that.

5. Q: What are the differences between the (whatever) version of (movie) and the (whatever) version? Is there a way I could find out which DVD version to get of (whatever) film?

A: It's possible for several DVD publishers to get the rights to press the same film, and different publishers do things differently. The results can range from relatively minor such as cutting out a few seconds of a particularly gory scene to completely re-doing soundtracks, re-ordering of scenes, and some cases almost making a completely different movie! Differences in versions will also exist due to cultural norms and laws.

Since HK movies might be distributed to several different countries such as Malaysia, China, Taiwan, etc, different scenes might have to be removed and/or changed to conform with that country's culture and laws. Also, sometimes scenes can be added as well. Sometimes the only difference that exists between two versions might be that one is in widescreen format while the other is in full-screen format or pan & scan or in widescreen but a slightly different aspect ratio. Other variables can be sound quality (5.1, 2.0, digital mono, etc...), print quality (less grain, more grain, too dark, too washed out, etc...), burned-in subtitles vs. removable subtitles, or extras available (or lack thereof).

There are in fact resources available that can help in all this confusion. Asian DVD Guide is the best resource and it's the most complete. Recently it was removed by the creator for reasons I won't go into, but has been put back up and is now available again. Let's hope it stays that way. Please see the bottom of this post for links to this site and others. If you can't find an answer, just ask the folks here and we will do our best to answer you.

6. Q: What is with all these acronyms and initializations I see in everybodys posts?

A: Yes, it can be confusing trying to keep up with all the HK (Hong Kong ) shorthand. Here is a list of some of the more common ones in use around here and elesewhere:

CTHD - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (but you probably already knew that)

C/T - Columbia Tristar. A US based company that has been releasing HK films on DVD.

CYF - Chow Yun Fat. A popular Hong Kong actor that has recently starred in several western movies.

DM - Drunken Master. An early Jackie Chan film

DM2 - Drunken Master 2. A sequel to DM by Jackie Chan. Also re-released as Legend of the Drunken Master.

HK - Hong Kong. 'natch

HKL - Hong Kong Legends. A UK (United Kingdom) based company that re-masters HK films onto DVD.

JC - Most commonly refers to Jackie Chan. Could also refer to actor Jackie Cheung

LODM - see DM2

OUATIC - Once Upon A Time In China. A very popular movie series.

OUATIC&A - Once Upon A Time In China And America. A particular movie from the OUATIC series.

7. Q: I have checked out the popular suggestions and I want more! Where do I start from here?

A: Good Question. There are a few ways to go about it. Look at your favorite HK films so far. See who you like in that film. Check out other films with that person in them. Stephen Chow has dozens of films under his belt and many of them are good. Also - if you like the style of a film, find out who produced and/or directed it and see more films produced and/or directed by that person. Johnny To is an excellent director, but his name doesn't come up as often as John Woo or Tsui Hark. Odds are, if you've seen most of the stuff in the list below - you've seen a film he's done. Another thing to do is check out review sites. HKMDB (when it's working) is a great resource for reviews. There are dozens of other sites for reviews of HK films that I didn't even list - try doing a search for the title of a movie you like and the word review. Several websites will pop up with a review for that film and most likely other films from HK. This is where it all gets so addictive... DVDs from HK are typically less than 10 bucks each so it's easy to pick up a bunch of them at a time sight unseen. If all else fails - simply request a review from someone else in this forum. I've done many reviews on this forum as have several other members.

___________________________________________________

Here's a list of films recommended to those who want to get into Asian cinema, but don't know where to start. I didn't make the list up by myself as most of these films were recommended to me:

== Good Kung-Fu/Wire-Fu ==

Iron Monkey
(1993) - This is the MOST recommended title. This perhaps should be the first HK DVD you buy.
Tai Chi II - underrated
Dragon Inn (1992) - excellent
Fire Dragon (1994) - underrated - amazing special effects for the time
The Blade (1995) - Not yet on DVD in Region 1 or 0 but is available on a mediocre Mei Ah VCD and Tai Seng VHS - Tsui Hark directed. Highly recommended, but not typical of HK films.

== Michelle Yeoh ==

Butterfly and Sword
(aka Comet, Butterfly & Sword)
Wing Chun
Heroic Trio
Supercop II
(US Title) (Project S - HK title)

== Jet Li ==

Swordsman II
No need to see the first one, but it's good too - Jet is not in the first one or the third one (East is Red).
Fong Sai Yuk 1 and 2 (a.k.a. The Legend & The Legend 2) - Many people's favorites - they have comedy, drama, outstanding action and great performances by Jet and supporting cast.
Tai Chi Master (a.k.a. Twin Warriors) - great wire work and very much like Fong Sai Yuk in spirit.
Once Upon a Time in China 1, 2 and 3 - Jet is said to have been born to play the character in these films (Wong Fei Hung)
Fist of Legend - Best film to showcases Jet Li's unassisted talent. The film isn't all that great, but the fighting is among the best ever recorded on film.
Kung Fu Cult Master - Outstanding film, but ends abruptly leaving some disappointed.

== Jackie Chan ==

Drunken Master 2
(a.k.a. Legend Of Drunken Master)
Who Am I?
Police Story I & II
Supercop (US Title) (Police Story III - HK title)
Operation Condor (US Title) (Armor of the Gods 2 - HK Title)
Rumble in the Bronx
Gorgeous
Miracles
(US Title) (Mr. Canton and Lady Rose - HK title)
Project A
Young Master (old-school Jackie Chan)

== Steven Chow ==

God of Cookery
- Hilarious! (Iron Chef-fu)
Shaolin Soccer - Excellent! (CGI Soccer-fu)
Royal Tramp 1 & 2 - Hilarious! (Period kung-fu comedy)
King of Comedy - Hilarious! (Wanna-Be-Actor-fu)
King of Beggars - Very funny (Reversal of Fortune-fu)
Justice My Foot! - Hilarious (period courtroom-fu)
Forbidden City Cop - Hilarious (Period Fantasy-fu)
Tricky Master - Funny (Gambling-fu)

Click here for a Steven Chow discussion thread

== Chow Yun Fat == - usually paired with John Woo & his films are typically very bloody w/ tons of gunplay.

The Killer
Hard Boiled
A Better Tomorrow 1, 2 and 3
City On Fire
- Is said to be the Inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs

== Old-School Kung-Fu Suggestions ==

The Five Deadly Venoms
The Master Killer
(aka Shaolin Master Killer)
Kid With The Golden Arm
Five Fingers of Death
Chinese Super Ninja (5 element ninja)

Check out this thread for more discussion and info

== Gun-Fu or Explosive Action ==

Tokyo Raiders
Running Out of Time
Purple Storm
Gen-X Cops
Shiri
- Korean - really bloody
Time and Tide - Tsui Hark directed... beautiful!
Fulltime Killer - Johnny To directed

== Comedy/CatIII ==

Electrical Girl
- funny "soft" porn/romance love story
Sex and Zen - Classic period sex comedy (S&ZIII is decent as well, but not that funny)
Story Of Ricky - Super Gory HK film - Based on a Manga. Only funny because it's so outrageous. A Must Have!
Naked Killer - Silly HK version of La Femme Nikita (sort of) with nekkidness.
Robotrix - Poor special effects, but has plenty of naked female cyborg action.

== Romantic Comedy/Romance ==

Fighting For Love
Love on a Diet
Comrades, A Love Story
Feel 100%
And I Hate You So...


== Drama ==

In the Mood for Love
Shuzou
Fly Me To Polaris
Yi Yi
Peking Opera Blues
- Fantastic film! Plenty of action as well.
Farewell My Concubine

== Horror/Fantasy == (Hong Kong horror has historically been cheesey and campy and people like it for that reason... recently there has been a trend in HK to produce some really scary movies proving that they can do it just as good as the next Asian country or culture)

Visible Secret[/b] - (HK)
Pulse (Kairo) - (Japan Horror)
The Ring 1 & 2 - (Japan Horror)
Battle Royale - (Japan)
The Eye - HK Horror
Chinese Ghost Story 1 & 2 & 3 - classic love story
Green Snake - Fantasy
Bride With White Hair - Fantasy with a dash of Horror and plenty of swordfighting action. Well loved title - sequel is not as good.
Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain - Fantasy - Accused of practically starting the whole flying kung-fu fantasy genre - Tsui Hark directed.

[b]== High Production Values & CGI ==

A Man Called Hero - A bit slow, contains CGI, based on a Manga
The Duel - Andy Lau - contains CGI, mixed reviews
Storm Riders
Legend of Zu

== Korean Films ==
(Korean cinema is easy to get sucked into. They make some outstanding films. These are all outstanding films you're sure to enjoy)

My Sassy Girl - Romantic Comedy
JSA (Joint Security Area) - Drama
Ditto - Drama
Il Mare - Romantic Drama
My Wife is a Gangster - Action/Black Comedy

_____________________________________________
The people with their own sections above obviously aren't the only stars in HK obviously... there are many others that often find themselves attached to great films (including many of the films listed above)... For example, Brigitte Linn, Andy Lau, Anthony Wong, Maggie Cheung, and Anita Mui. After watching several HK films, you'll begin to develop favorite actors and actresses just like with American film actors and actresses - and you'll gravitate towards their other films.

Get to know the names of some of the directors of your favorite films as well, and then go seek out more of their movies... Tsui Hark, Corey Yuen, Yuen Woo Ping, John Woo, and Wong Jing have all been known to produce some great films. They've all worked on films in the U.S. as well.

It's not difficult to get into Asian cinema - the hard part is being able to stop.



___________________________________________________
Best online stores for import HK DVDs and VCDs:

The links below are just a small example of where you can shop... please visit this thread to find a site that suits you.

Please use DVDTalk's Links when they exist - Supporting this will encourage the sites to issue coupons.

Hong Kong based:

DDDHouse - *favorite* Usually the cheapest & best customer service! (HK)
HiVi Zone - used to be the second most popular HK retailer. (HK)
DVD Shelf - click on "English" in upper left. Great service and good prices. (HK)
Coolala - slow loading, but good selection and decent prices(HK)
Yes Asia - Beautiful site - modeled after Amazon - has TONS and TONS of stuff! (HK)
3D Express - Slow loading, but tons of stuff. (HK)
Hong Kong Movie - on the expensive side, but may be cheaper than US retailers. (HK)

Let me tell you something - Don't be afraid to order from a HK distributor. 99% of the titles will play on ANY machine and the ones that won't are clearly marked on most sites as Region 3 or 2 or whatever. DDDHouse and the others are very reputable and have good customer service and are experienced in dealing with US customers. I've personally ordered over 200 DVDs from HK and have had no problems with credit cards or packages getting lost or held up. That's not to say it won't happen ever, but it's just the same as ordering from a US retailer. So - don't be shy - just start ordering. I'd start out with a 5 or 6 DVD order from one of the retailers above and see how it goes.

US Based:

hkflix.com - slick site design. Support DVDTalk(US)
Asian Discs - professional looking site with fair prices - they carry VCDs as well. Currently running a special - buy 4 get one free
Poker Industries - Large selection/higher prices. Free shipping over $50. Also sells on Amazon Zshops, half.com and ebay. (US)
Five Star Laser - similar to poker. (US)
Asiafilm - not easy to order from, but decent prices. (US)
AsianXpress - easy to use, not the cheapest (US)
Blue Laser - carries a few hard-to-find items (US)
DVD Asian - Nice site - modeled after express.com (US)

VCD Zone: Some sell DVDs also, but others deal pretty much only in VCDs - beware of bootlegs at some of these places - buyer beware. Chances are, if the item can only be found at one place, it's quite likely a bootleg. VCDs are considerably cheaper than DVDs but the quality can be sketchy - usually about as good as a VHS tape. Thing is, many films can only be found on VCD. Most DVD players will play VCDs.

Absolute Music - Music and VCD movies
All VCD - Name says it all
Cool VCD
Get VCDs
Sensasian - slow delivery, but great prices and selection
Video CDs
DVD Video CD - Karaoke heaven! (US)
Sasa VCD - Hentai, porn, adult, anime, etc... (US)

Other:

Best Prices - US retailer carries US releases of HK films and are cheaper than many places. Especially with Anime. (US)
Amazon - Carries many imports as well as US editions of HK films. (US)
Reel Love - Carries alot of stuff and price most things 30% off or more. (US)
DVD Empire - carries imports. (US)
DVD Planet - also Ken Kranes. (US)

___________________________________________________
Other Resources:

*Asian DVD Guide - The resource for information on which DVD version of a movie to get (ie. Tai Seng, Mei Ah, Universe, etc...)
*Hong Kong Movie Database - for a resource of reviews and other info on nearly ALL HK films... it's IMDB for HK cinema. Best resource, but the site is often down.
Korean Film - HKMDB of Korean cinema
The Blade - Anime and Import info
Bullets and Babes - Fantastic resource for international DVD buyers. Info on Everything.
Love and Bullets - Hong Kong DVD review

Last edited by Trigger; 05-01-03 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 04-24-02, 01:04 PM
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Old 04-27-02, 02:54 AM
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I didn't see any mention in the FAQ about custom duties or taxes when buying from a HK online store. Has anyone ever had to pay these before? How would you get charged for this? Does the store bill you for this or would it be something you pay upon delivery?
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Old 04-27-02, 04:44 AM
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Originally posted by budster7
I didn't see any mention in the FAQ about custom duties or taxes when buying from a HK online store. Has anyone ever had to pay these before? How would you get charged for this? Does the store bill you for this or would it be something you pay upon delivery?
Good question - I'll certainly add it.

The short answer... yes, sometimes you might get charged custom duties. The smaller the order, the better your chances for avoiding such fees. I've never encountered it and I've ordered over 400 DVDs from Hong Kong. DDDHouse is really good about how they handle the declared value and you usually avoid getting dinged. If they put "Gift" on the box somewhere, it also helps you avoid custom duties. It's not very common I don't think. Some of my orders have been for 50 or more DVDs in one box and I still didn't get tagged. Hopefully someone else will share their stories on it so I can write an answer for the FAQ that is culled from a collective source rather than just from me.
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Old 04-28-02, 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by Trigger
Hopefully someone else will share their stories on it so I can write an answer for the FAQ that is culled from a collective source rather than just from me.
I've received several dozen orders from both HK and Japan now. My largest dvd orders were 30-35 at one time. Some of these orders were for electronics items and/or toys also. I have yet to be hit with a customs charge. (even on the packages that had declared values over $400 USD.) Like Trigger said, the majority of the etailers are good about marking pkgs as "Gift". I think it probably does help a little bit.

Cheers,
Gabe
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Old 04-28-02, 07:28 PM
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I just wanted to throw my hat into the ring about getting charged for customs as well. I've had about 8 shipments so far with one being 60 dvds and most of the rest being about 20 and I have yet to be charged. On my 60 dvd shipment DDDHouse put a value of 1500 HK on the package when it was about 3500 also they always mark the package as a gift.
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Old 05-13-02, 11:02 AM
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Trigger, since you've used DDDHOUSE, give me a reality check. Is there no search function on that site? I don't know if I'm just being clueless. There are a few discs I'd like to try.

Also, have you purchased The Son's Room?
http://www.dddhouse.com/cgi-local/pr...category_id=25
Its an Italian flick. I think this may be the only release of it on zone 3. I was wondering abou the AR. DDDHOUSE didn't specify.

Thanks in advance-
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Old 05-13-02, 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by FaustBos
Trigger, since you've used DDDHOUSE, give me a reality check. Is there no search function on that site? I don't know if I'm just being clueless. There are a few discs I'd like to try.

Also, have you purchased The Son's Room?
http://www.dddhouse.com/cgi-local/pr...category_id=25
Its an Italian flick. I think this may be the only release of it on zone 3. I was wondering abou the AR. DDDHOUSE didn't specify.

Thanks in advance-
The Son's Room is listed as being 4:3 on DVDShelf, so that should be right. DDDHouse doesn't have a search function, but it's pretty easy to navigate through the categories. If there's only a few discs you're looking for, it should be fairly easy to locate them if they have em. If you want to tell me what they are, I can try to find them for you.
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Old 05-14-02, 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by Trigger
The Son's Room is listed as being 4:3 on DVDShelf, so that should be right. DDDHouse doesn't have a search function, but it's pretty easy to navigate through the categories. If there's only a few discs you're looking for, it should be fairly easy to locate them if they have em. If you want to tell me what they are, I can try to find them for you.
OK, it wouldn't suprise me if that is the OAR. At that price, i can take the chance.

I've been looking for foreign films that deal with gay characters or gay themes. I've been searching through the asian market lately and have basically been using HKflix since it has a good search engine. But they are kind of expensive to ship to Norway.

Its just when I find a film on HKflix I have no idea where to search for it on DDDHouse and also wasn't sure if I was seeing ALL the films or not.

I'll see if I can get a short list together, though I can see a few films that look interesting. Basically I*m not really looking for the martial arts, people flying in the sky kind of films, just stuff dealing with people, emotions and lifestyles. So recommendations are welcome.

Also, Gay is not a requirement, just a preference :-)

Jim

PS, DVDShelf was the ONE site I hadn't checked yet!

PPS, Oh while we are on the subject of titles, You wouldn't happen to know and and eTailer is carrying the Special Edition Y Tu Mama Tambien DVD. It's released by Edko Film Ltd. apparently. I've seen it on Ebay and in fact have tried to purchase one, but I'm having a devil of a time with PayPal. So I may need to cancel my order.

Last edited by FaustBos; 05-14-02 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 05-16-02, 02:39 PM
  #10  
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I seem to be getting hit more frequently now by Customs.

Now, it's not directly from Customs but from the carriers (UPS/TNT/FEDEx).

I think the common charge was 2.7% + $5 to $15 to the carrier.

I've never been hit with a customs charge for packages that ultimately use USPS as the final carrier.
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Old 05-16-02, 03:24 PM
  #11  
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About searching DDDHouse... You can always go to www.google.com and download the Google Toolbar which will allow you to search DDDHouse (or any other website for that matter) for whatever you want.
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Old 05-24-02, 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by FaustBos


I've been looking for foreign films that deal with gay characters or gay themes.

As far as HK movies goes, two of the best movies that deal with gay themes would of course be Lan Yu, which probably would have won HKFA Best Movie for last year if not for Shaolin Soccer, and Happy Together, which did win HKFA Best Movie back about 6 years ago. There are at least 3 HK movies with the title of Happy Together, so the one you want is the one directed by Wong Kar-Wai.

Also good HK movies with gay themes would be A Queer Story, He's A Woman, She's A Man, and Who's The Woman, Who's The Man. All are comedies. Of course you probably know about The Wedding Banquet, which is a Taiwan movie. Finally, there's the excellent HK drama Hold You Tight.
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Old 06-12-02, 10:39 PM
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I have a suggestion for the movie list in the horror/fantasy category: "Mr. Vampire". I read a catch-phrase description of this (I think in alt.asian-movies) as "the Hong Kong Evil Dead movie" and it sort of fits. Lots of emphasis on the hopping vampires, plus an amorous ghost thrown in as a side plot, and a very good mix of action and comedy. Anyone else seen it?

I admit, I still haven't watched my copy of A Chinese Ghost Story. I'm afraid it won't be as good as it's been made out to be...
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Old 06-18-02, 10:46 AM
  #14  
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Man, I'm glad I found this website, lots of good info here. I am a newbie to Hong Kong and foreign movies in general. I only have around 20 hk dvds but my collection is steadily growing. After reading your first post Trigger, I went ahead and placed an order through DDDhouse.

I have a couple of questions for everyone here. Recently I rented Shiri and liked that. I've seen there is a 2 disc release for this film as well as others like Musa and JSA. For these Korean special editions, are the extras subtitled? Also, is the 2 disc version of Shiri shorter than the American version? I've read that the U.S. version is 5 minutes longer.

Has anyone seen any of the following films, I would appreciate your comments on whether you liked them or not and what your comments on the films would be:
The Young and Dangerous series, Street Angels, Deadful Melody, Blade of Fury, A Chinese Odyssey 1&2, Die Bad, Kick the Moon, Killimanjaro, The Intruder, The Legend of Ging Ko,Conman in Tokyo, A Mystery of the Cube.

Thanks in advance and sorry this was a long post. One more thing, does anyone know when Michelle Yeoh's new film The Touch will be released?
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Old 06-20-02, 09:37 PM
  #15  
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Originally posted by concreto
Has anyone seen any of the following films, I would appreciate your comments on whether you liked them or not and what your comments on the films would be:
The Young and Dangerous series, Street Angels, Deadful Melody, Blade of Fury, A Chinese Odyssey 1&2, Die Bad, Kick the Moon, Killimanjaro, The Intruder, The Legend of Ging Ko,Conman in Tokyo, A Mystery of the Cube.
I can comment on some of the HK ones (spoken from the viewpoint of a very experienced HK movie-watcher):
Young and Dangerous series: very interesting in the storytelling aspect of the movie. One thing that is confusing is that a couple of the characters that die in earlier episodes come back as different characters.
Street Angels: sort of a female version of Young and Dangerous, movie is ok.
A Chinese Odyssey 1&2 - Excellent parody of the Monkey King Journey To the West stories. You may want to read the story first before watching the movies to get an understanding of the characters.
Conmen In Tokyo - non-descript movie, fairly entertaining and fun to watch.


One more thing, does anyone know when Michelle Yeoh's new film The Touch will be released?
Look here:
http://michelleyeoh.info/Movie/touch.html
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Old 06-21-02, 05:28 AM
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Originally posted by concreto
I have a couple of questions for everyone here. Recently I rented Shiri and liked that. I've seen there is a 2 disc release for this film as well as others like Musa and JSA. For these Korean special editions, are the extras subtitled? Also, is the 2 disc version of Shiri shorter than the American version? I've read that the U.S. version is 5 minutes longer.

Has anyone seen any of the following films, I would appreciate your comments on whether you liked them or not and what your comments on the films would be:
The Young and Dangerous series, Street Angels, Deadful Melody, Blade of Fury, A Chinese Odyssey 1&2, Die Bad, Kick the Moon, Killimanjaro, The Intruder, The Legend of Ging Ko,Conman in Tokyo, A Mystery of the Cube.
I'm glad you found the post useful.

As for Shiri, I think there was a thread awhile back about it. All the DVD versions were discussed... Here's a few links to discussions that might contain relevant info:
Korean dvds versus HK dvds
Shiri specific discussion
The cut appears to be a directorial decision and was just some goofy scene that shouldn't have been there in the first place. It is included as extra footage in the supplements. I had the DTS special edition and also the 2 disc Korean SE. I sold off the single disc edition and I'm happy with the 2 disc version.

I'll comment on a few of the films you listed (spoken from the viewpoint of a somewhat experienced HK movie-watcher):

The Young and Dangerous series - I have the first one and a more recent one with Shu Qi - I haven't watched either of them yet. I have to be in the mood to watch a triad movie. From what I understand the films are unremarkable achievements, but more or less worth watching for fans of Triad films.
Street Angels - No idea.
Deadful Melody - I really dig this movie. This and Fire Dragon Kid simply kick ass in the fantasy kung fu movie genre.
Blade of Fury - No idea.
A Chinese Odyssey 1&2 - These are great films. As YH said, they are somewhat of a parody of a famous story. Stephen Chow plays it a little too "Jim Carey" in part 2, but they are still enjoyable. No relation to Chinese Oddyssey 2002 outside of a wink and a nod. This isn't the film I'd start with to introduce yourself to Stephen Chow, but it's certainly among his best.
Die Bad - I have it on order
Kick the Moon - I have this on order too.
Killimanjaro - On order...
The Intruder - On order I think...
The Legend of Ging Ko - Really unpopular in Korea. Considered to be a really terrible movie. The trailer looks kickass to me, so I ordered it. It's the prequel to Gingko Bed which IMO is an overrated low-budget attempt on a fantastic story... they had so much to work with and they screwed it up. The prequel came out not too long ago and was considered to be even worse than Gingko Bed which was also panned for the most part in Korea from what I understand. I'll post a review of it once I watch it - I've already posted a review of Gingko Bed.
Conman in Tokyo - I've posted reviews for all 3 Conmen movies. I found them all to be entertaining. IIRC, this is the one without Andy Lau and I think I liked it alot despite it being totally different from the previous 2 films. It's for people who like gambling movies. It's also pretty funny. There are better movies out there though...
A Mystery of the Cube - No Idea.
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Old 06-21-02, 09:20 AM
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Thanks Yellow Hammer and Trigger.

I have Shaolin Soccer and The Tricky Master so I've seen two Stephen Chow films. SS was totally hilarious, The Tricky Master was good in parts but I thought it was a little boring overall, I should watch it again before making a final decision though. I've seen some of the well known pictures like Iron Monkey, Drunken Master II, Fist of the Legend, The Killer, Hardboiled, A Better Tomorrow I & II, most of the Jet Li films, about half of Michelle Yeoh's pictures, some with Jachie Chan, Chow Yun-fat and a few by Tsui Hark and Andrew Lau. Most of what I've seen I've enjoyed. Anyway, thanks again for the help.
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Old 06-21-02, 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by concreto
Thanks Yellow Hammer and Trigger.

I have Shaolin Soccer and The Tricky Master so I've seen two Stephen Chow films. SS was totally hilarious, The Tricky Master was good in parts but I thought it was a little boring overall, I should watch it again before making a final decision though. I've seen some of the well known pictures like Iron Monkey, Drunken Master II, Fist of the Legend, The Killer, Hardboiled, A Better Tomorrow I & II, most of the Jet Li films, about half of Michelle Yeoh's pictures, some with Jachie Chan, Chow Yun-fat and a few by Tsui Hark and Andrew Lau. Most of what I've seen I've enjoyed. Anyway, thanks again for the help.
You might want to try King of Comedy and God of Cookery for Stephen Chow films since you're on the fence about him. Tricky Master is either a hit or miss with people it seems. I'd also suggest Royal Tramp 1 and 2 over Chinese Oddyssey 1 and 2. I didn't read the stories that Chinese Oddyssey was spoofing, but I was able to enjoy the movies and follow along - maybe I missed a joke here or there, but it was funny anyway.

I'd suggest you check out Tai Chi 2, Time and Tide, and Bio Zombie... You should come up with a list of films you are considering and maybe list what you've seen and liked and start your own thread asking for suggestions.
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Old 06-21-02, 02:42 PM
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Here are some additional Asian DVD online stores you can add to the list:

www.koreandvds.com
www.krdvd.com
http://dvdstore.co.kr
http://dvd.co.kr

(I like the koreandvds.com website -- but if anyone is wondering, I haven't personally ordered from any of these places.)

I would also add http://babelfish.altavista.com/ under the resources links. Babelfish translates websites from Chinese or Korean to English. It's very useful for websites that don't have English translations.

Last edited by dvdsarecool; 06-21-02 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 06-22-02, 04:32 PM
  #20  
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I have kept this FAQ more geared towards HK cinema, but I may add a few of those to the list. You might want to post these retailers in the Work In Progress thread about online retailers because I don't think all those stores are present over there... I think there's also one or two that you don't have listed.
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Old 07-05-02, 03:16 PM
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Does anyone here live in HK? I've found VCDs for $15 and DVDs for $39 HKD at Tsim Sha Tsui. VCDs are also $15 at Diamond Hill. Any other places you know with cheaper prices? Thanks.
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Old 07-10-02, 11:34 AM
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New Korea Shop

http://www.sayodvd.com/



schubku
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Old 07-10-02, 12:03 PM
  #23  
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Those prices are a bit high, but you should share this link with the Work In Progress sticky thread that lists all the international online retailers... unless of course you're running this site and doing your own advertising which is a no-no unless you ask the staff here. Anyway - we can always use new Korean shops.
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Old 07-10-02, 02:13 PM
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@trigger :laugh:
Nono...I`m from Germany...this is not my shop. I`ve just found this link in a german DVD board. The shipping costs to Germany are pretty good. I`ve no experiences with them right now.


EDIT:
They`ve changed their shipping rates to Europe after 24h from $2.5 to $6.6 for 2 DVDs Allright, yeondvd is cheaper



schubku

Last edited by schubku; 07-10-02 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-10-02, 04:27 PM
  #25  
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That's cool - I wasn't sure cuz you're still a "new member"
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