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Asian cinema, need wishlist help

Old 07-02-02, 08:43 AM
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Asian cinema, need wishlist help

Could someone give me a hand with this… I’ve becoming more and more interested in asian cinema. I’ve browsed the net and looked for reviews. These are the titles that have caught my eye. There are others titles on my wish-list but these are titles I just can’t decide on. I’m really interest in most of these but I don’t want to end up wasting money.

What films are the cream of the crop and are there films that I should drop?

I’m also trying to gather information on the best version (with english subtitles). Most of this stuff is from Hong Kong Legends and Tartan. Some of them are currently R3 only, and I was wondering if R1/R2 releases are planned…

2000 A.D. [Gordon Chan] – Hong Kong Legends
Beast Cops [Gordon Chan, Dante Lam] – Hong Kong Legends
Bird People In China [Miike Takashi]
Blade, The [Tsui Hark]
Bride With White Hair [Ronny Yu]
City Of Lost Souls [Miike Takashi] – Tartan, soon
City On Fire [Ringo Lam]
Days Of Being Wild [Wong Kar-Wai]
Fallen Angels [Wong Kar-Wai]
Friend [Kwak Kyung-Taek]
Fudoh: The New Generation [Miike Takashi] – Media Blasters
Full Contact [Ringo Lam] – Hong Kong Legends has rights
Full Metal Gokudo [Miike Takashi]
Fulltime Killer [Johnny To & Ka-Fai Wai]
Hana-Bi [Takeshi Kitano]
Happy Together [Wong Kar-Wai]
Hong Kong 1941 [Po-Chih Leong] – Hong Kong Legends
JSA [2D] [Chan-Wook Park]
Ley Lines [Miike Takashi] - Tartan, soon
Musa [2D]
My Sassy Girl [2D]
Nowhere To Hide [Lee Myung-Se] – Where to get the full version?
Peking Opera Blues – Hong Kong Legends has rights
Purple Storm [Teddy Chan] – Hong Kong Legends
Rainy Dog [Miike Takashi] – Tartan, soon
Red Wolf [2D] [Yuen Woo-Ping] – Hong Kong Legends
Running Out Of Time [Johnny To]
Shinjuku Triad Society [Miike Takashi] – Tartan, soon
Story Of Ricky – Hong Kong Legends in October, is it uncut?
Spiral / Uzumaki / Vortex [Higuchinsky]
Time And Tide [Tsui Hark] - Columbia
Versus [Ryuhei Kitamura]
Zu Warriors From The Magic Mountain [Tsui Hark] – Hong Kong Legends, is this the “correct” version?

And I already have

In The Mood For Love
Road Home
Eat Drink Man Woman
Battle Royale
Ring
Ring 2
Ring 0
Audition
Naked Killer
Iron Monkey
Brother
Crouching Tiger
Hard Boiled
Killer
Better Tomorrow
Freezer
Shiri

so you have an idea as to what kind of titles are of interest.

Hopefully someone helps.

Last edited by Mikko Rasinkangas; 07-02-02 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 07-02-02, 09:37 AM
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Re: Asian cinema, need wishlist help

I've done a review of many of these - you can find them by searching with the following parameters - search for the word "Review" or "reviews" (will yield some different results) in thread title, search for my user name, set the date to "any date" and set the forum to specify this international one. That should bring up most of my reviews if you're interested.

2002 A.D. - I have the R0 from HK and it's a nice DVD. I've done a review of this film. Decent, but not a must have.
Beast Cops - I have the R0 HK version and this film bored me so I shut it off halfway through... I still intend to finish it someday. IIRC, the R0 is nice.
Bird People In China - No Idea
Blade, The - One of my favorite films - there are no decent DVDs of this available. I have it on Tai Seng VHS and the Mei Ah VCD.
Bride With White Hair - I've reviewed it - essential must have stuff, but avoid the sequel. I have the Tai Seng DVD and it's very nice.
City Of Lost Souls - No Idea
City On Fire - I have the R0 HK release and I got bored by this film much like I did with Beast Cops - never finished, but still intend to.
Days Of Being Wild - If you're a fan of WKW...
Fallen Angels - Haven't watched yet
Friend - I reviewed this - I have the HK release and it's very nice IIRC... I thought it was pretty decent, but JSA is also a male-bonding picture and so much more. I'd suggest JSA over this film.
Fudoh: The New Generation - no idea
Full Contact – Unsure
Full Metal Gokudo - No idea
Fulltime Killer - I reviewed this... I liked it. I have the Delta Mac DVD and it's good.
Hana-Bi - I haven't watched it yet, but I have the Korean DVD of this and it looks outstanding.
Happy Together - Haven't seen it.
Hong Kong 1941 - No Idea
JSA - Excellent flick. I've posted a review of it. I have the HK release and it's great.
Ley Lines - no idea
Musa - I recently reviewed this. Good choice, the Korean DVD is excellent.
My Sassy Girl - Recently reviewed also in same thread. Good choice as well. The Korean DVD is excellent.
Nowhere To Hide - also recently reviewed. Korean DVD is excellent.
Peking Opera Blues – The HK Mega Star DVD is great IIRC. I love this movie. Excellent choice.
Purple Storm - The Universe DVD of this is great. I like this movie as well. I've reviewed it somewhere.
Rainy Dog - No idea
Red Wolf - no idea
Running Out Of Time - Good movie. I have the Tai Seng version I think. The HK version is supposed to be good as well. Avoid the sequel.
Shinjuku Triad Society - no idea
Story Of Ricky – I have the HK DVD and it's great. Must Have flick.
Uzumaki - I've reviewed this film. It's strange and good, but not so scary. The trailer is better than the movie, and the soundtrack is good too. I bought all of Do As Infinity's albums because of the song they have during the credits. The HK DVD is fine - I don't know about the Korean version.
Time And Tide - Excellent film. I loved it. I have both the R3 and the R1 versions of this. The R1 is probably the right choice.
Versus - I have the Japanese R2 DVD of this. It's a good DVD and a really cool movie. I think I reviewed it.
Zu Warriors From The Magic Mountain - This would be the one from the 80's. Great movie. I have the HK DVD of this and it's good.

Perhaps price is no object for you, but the movies you have there for the most part have nice Hong Kong releases which can save you alot of money. Korean DVDs are typically really outstanding in all departments. Hong Kong DVDs are a mixed bag, but most recent releases (past few years) are a safe bet. You can always check www.asiandvdguide.com for reviews on the quality of the various DVD releases.

Other suggestions to maybe consider adding:

Wild Zero (Japan)
Pulse (Japan) a.k.a. Kairo
St. John's Wort (Japan)
Bio Zombie (HK)
The Isle (Korea)

For something lighter:

Il Mare (Korea)
Ditto (Korea)
Dry Wood Fierce Fire (HK)
King of Comedy (HK) Stephen Chow
Quiet Family (Korea)
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Old 07-02-02, 10:41 AM
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Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai) - I found this to be much faster than Days of Being Wild
As Tears Go By (Wong Kar-Wai)
Guns & Talks (Korea)
Shower (China)
Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano)
Bullet In The Head (John Woo)
Once A Thief (HK John Woo) - Woo w/ a touch of comedy
The New Legend Of Shaolin aka The Legend Of The Red Dragon (Jet Li)
Fist Of Legend (Jet Li)
Tai Chi Master aka Twin Warriors (Jet Li)
Ashes Of Time (Wong Kar-Wai)
The Emperor And The Assassin (Chen Kaige)
Fong Sai Yuk aka The Legend (Jet Li)
Fong Sai Yuk II aka The Legend II (Jet Li)
The God Of Cookery (Stephen Chow) Comedy
Shaolin Soccer (Stephen Chow) - to be released in America chopped up by Miramax
Once Upon A Time In China series (Jet Li)
Yi Yi (Edward Yang)
Tokyo Raiders (Ekin Cheng/Tony Leung)

Those are my recommendations. As for the films you mentioned:


JSA [2D] [Chan-Wook Park] - worth every penny
Musa [2D] - a little long and drawn out, but is eye candy and worth watching
My Sassy Girl [2D] - has become one of my faves
Purple Storm [Teddy Chan] – $5 Universe DTS version isn't too shabby
Time And Tide [Tsui Hark] - best action I've seen in a while, but is it worth sitting through the complex plot? You bet.
Zu Warriors From The Magic Mountain [Tsui Hark] – the father of modern Asian fantasy films
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Old 07-02-02, 06:44 PM
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Hey - I got confused... you said 2002 A.D. and I thought you were talking about the recent horror/comedy. You meant 2000 AD with Aaron Kwok. I liked that film alot. 2002 was just okay.

also

The New Legend Of Shaolin - I agree, it kicks ass.
Fist Of Legend - eh... best fighting scenes, bad movie.
Tai Chi Master - awesome flick
Ashes Of Time - artsy desert drama. Good, but hit or miss with most people.
Fong Sai Yuk - Excellent
Fong Sai Yuk II - excellent part 2
The God Of Cookery - Highly recommend this one as well.
Shaolin Soccer - Most people seem to like it alot. I liked it, but it's not my favorite Stephen Chow.
Once Upon A Time In China series - parts 1-3 are great. Parts 4 and 5 are difficult to find, but don't have Jet Li anyway. Once Upon a Time in China and America (part 6) is alot like Shanghai Noon and in some ways is better and in many other ways is not as good. I liked it anyway.
Tokyo Raiders - I agree - this should be on your list.
Space Travelers is another good one.

Good suggestions.

Last edited by Trigger; 07-02-02 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 07-02-02, 08:53 PM
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The Korean DVD of MUSA is kick-ass - why wait for HKL version? The Korean version comes with 2 discs and a beautiful hardbound book... okay - I can't speak or read Korean, but on top of all that the movie is presented beautifully.
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Old 07-02-02, 11:55 PM
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Few questions/corrections…

I meant 2000 A.D., sorry.

Are there english subtitles for the special features on the HK, Japanese, Korean etc. dvds? What about anamorphic widescreen?

Fulltime Killer ”Delta Mac dvd”… Is Delta Mac HK, Japan, Korea or…? What version of Fulltime Killer is being sold in R1? I remember seeing it on some e-tailers list.

Many of the titles on my list have been (or will be) released by Hong Kong Legends. Is it safe to say that in almost every case they are the best versions?

Also, has there been any release date news for Media Blasters’ R1 Ichi The Killer, Visitor Q and Versus?

Does HKL have rights to Musa? Haven't heard anything...
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Old 07-03-02, 12:14 AM
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Typically the HK, Japanese, Korean versions of DVDs don't have subtitles for the extras... I have a few HK DVDs from Universe I think that have subtitled extras, but very few. Older HK DVDs are non-anamorphic for the most part and most Korean and Japanese DVDs are Anamorphic at roughly the same ratio as US DVDs. Lately, HK DVDs have been anamorphic more and more. The titles on your list for the most part have great HK releases which are typically around 6 to 10 bucks each which is half or a third the cost of HKL DVDs from Europe. Only on a few occasions have I been motivated to buy a HKL DVD. My MO is to buy DVDs from HK when I can because at the price it's about the same cost as if I were to go see it in the theater. If the DVD is poor quality and the movie sucks too, then I'm not out so much money. If the DVD is good and I like the movie, then I'm set. If the DVD is crappy, but I really like the movie then I can always upgrade later. It just doesn't make sense to me to buy the more expensive DVD when a cheaper alternative is available if I haven't seen the film. I've been really getting into Korean releases lately and they typically run between 15 and 20 bucks but are simply amazing... so in such cases if I have a feeling I'll probably like the film I'll go for the Korean release over the HK version (My Sassy Girl for example), but even so I'll still buy the HK DVD when available if I'm unsure about the film.

Fulltime Killer on Delta Mac is available at HK retailers. I'm pretty sure it's a HK company. They are among the best in DVD from HK. Of the companies that release DVDs in HK, I'd place them in order as of the quality of their latest releases like this:

1. Delta Mac
2. Mei Ah (can you believe it? They used to be the worst.)
3. Mega Star (have always been solid)
4. Universe Laser (have been solid for a few years now)
5. Modern (have spotty track record - some are mediocre and some are fantastic)
6. Winstar (decent enough, but typically lacking)
7. Widesight (typically kinda sucky, but not all that bad)

Others from the past:

Mei Ah - their old release are crappy but they've been getting better over the years (Tung Ah is basically the same company)
China Star - their release would be great except that one thing was always wrong with each DVD - either subtitles were missing or not synced up right or the sound was messed up. They are now owned by Mei Ah which has turned both companies around and into one solid company... their first few releases had some flaws, but they seem to have ironed out the kinks.

HKL puts out great DVDs and they are often the best choice if price is no object... some online stores run specials on HKL DVDs sometimes which makes them even more reasonable (but still a bit expensive). Still, HKL DVDs may only be slightly better than a HK release which may or may not be worth twice the money. Price being no object, HKL DVDs are a safe bet usually - but they have made mistakes... just not many.

I think there's a few Ichi the Killer threads floating around - you can do a search.

I don't know if HKL has the rights to MUSA, but I'll address axolotis's comments on the Korean version of MUSA... I have a hi-def TV and a progressive scan player and I didn't notice any of the problems you mentioned. I'm using component video and had my TV set to Progressive input and the player set to progressive output. Sound and video were both amazing I though. Maybe you got a bunk DVD or else your player needs cleaning or else there's something up with your setup or connections. I don't know. I'll take a closer look if you tell me what scenes your talking about (time code) and I'll report back, but at least we agree that they did a fantastic job on the presentation and packaging.

Last edited by Trigger; 07-03-02 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 07-03-02, 12:20 AM
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You reviewed the Korean dvds of Musa and My Sassy Girl... What about the extras' subtitles on those? They are two disc special editions so the second disc would basically go to waste if no english subs.

And I just browsed Bulletsnbabesdvds.com and they list Musa as a HKL title so I guess it's coming...
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Old 07-03-02, 12:24 AM
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^edited my post above...

The supplements are not subtitled as far as I know, but some of them are still interesting anyway. I popped in the second disc for My Sassy Girl and watched some of the supplements... maybe I'm strange, but they were interesting even though I didn't know what was being said.

You can wait for the HKL of MUSA if you like, but it's available now and the DVD is great.
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Old 07-03-02, 12:25 AM
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You could always try a few Korean DVDs to see if you like them.
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Old 07-03-02, 12:30 AM
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I most likely will. In fact I was almost going to make an order at www.krdvd.com but their checkout is disabled... ???
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Old 07-03-02, 12:33 AM
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Just one more thing about "My Sassy Girl"...

This thread

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=207450

talks something about a director's cut... Nothing solid... Do you know which version the Korean dvd is?
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Old 07-03-02, 12:40 AM
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Originally posted by Mikko Rasinkangas
I most likely will. In fact I was almost going to make an order at www.krdvd.com but their checkout is disabled... ???
They don't have a checkout - you have to email your order in and pay with paypal. I placed a big order and it came to me so I can vouch for the place. It might be less convenient than a site with a shopping cart and checkout, but these prices are pretty damn good. You can pay a little more at Pokerindustries, but there's checkout and a coupon and free shipping for over 50 bucks within the US... oh - you aren't from the US though are you... www.dvdasian.com has them at a somewhat reasonable price.
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Old 07-03-02, 12:43 AM
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Originally posted by Mikko Rasinkangas
Just one more thing about "My Sassy Girl"...

This thread

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=207450

talks something about a director's cut... Nothing solid... Do you know which version the Korean dvd is?
The Korean DVD is like 137 minutes or something which should be the long version... Find out the runttime of the VCD and you'll know.
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Old 07-03-02, 12:44 AM
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IMDB lists it as being 120 minutes, so the Korean DVD sounds uncut to me.
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Old 07-03-02, 12:48 AM
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From krdvd help "The only payment option we accept is PayPal.
After placing your order, you will be given a link that will take you to the PayPal website and let you pay for your order. The link will also be e-mailed to you and you can also login to your account and see the link."

From krdvd main page "The checkout is currently disabled."

So the cart that you can add items to is useless? And there is no link since you can't checkout? Instead I have to e-mail to [email protected]? What to say? Items I want, delivery address?

I guess I'll send them a mail inquiring how to make an order...

Last edited by Mikko Rasinkangas; 07-03-02 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 07-03-02, 01:53 AM
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Yeah - it's a little inconvenient and the order process takes a little longer with emails back and forth, but the shipping is fairly quick and I was satisfied. You might want to ask around about the site to get a few more opinions. Just email saying you want to order these DVDs and give him your address and he'll send you a link to a paypal payment. Once you pay, he'll ship the DVDs.
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Old 07-03-02, 02:02 AM
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Where does krdvd operate from?
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Old 07-03-02, 02:05 AM
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I think the US or Canada, but most of the DVDs ship from Korea. They apparently ship some from the US though.
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Old 07-03-02, 12:36 PM
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Ok… I’ve narrowed my list down… Here’s the top 13. There’s the name and the version I’m considering… Is this good to go (naturally I won’t buy all of them at once)?

1. JSA (Korean 2 disc)
2. My Sassy Girl (Korean 2 disc)
3. Musa (Korean 2 disc, is there a release month set for the HKL disc?)
4. Friend (Korean)
5. Uzumaki (Hong Kong Universe)
6. Kairo (Hong Kong Universe)
7. Fudoh: The New Generation (Media Blasters US, is this uncut?)
8. Fulltime Killer (Delta Mac, anamorphic?)
9. Nowhere To Hide (Korean)
10. Bejing Bicycle (Korean or R1 Columbia?)
11. Time And Tide (Columbia)
12. Fallen Angels (Image R1)
13. Bride With White Hair (Tai Seng US, is this a repackaging of some R3 release?)

Then the mostly sure things are: The Isle, Ichi, Versus, Visitor Q, Dead or alive 2, Dead or Alive 3, Shinjuku Triad Society, The Killer, Bullet In The Head, Rainy Dog, Ley Lines, Story Of Ricky. I just need to wait for a proper/suitable release.

Oh… Does anyone know if the Tartan R2 UK release of “Bangkok Dangerous” is going to be 4:3 pan&scan (Play247 lists it as such)… R1 is also pan&scan. Is there a subtitled anamorphic widescreen version anywhere?
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Old 07-04-02, 08:10 AM
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Could Trigger give som input on my previous post... Since you are the expert...
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Old 07-04-02, 06:30 PM
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I'm no expert...

However, that list sounds fine to me. The HK versions of Friend and JSA are both pretty nice. The Tai Seng of Bride with White Hair isn't a repackage - it's a really nice DVD that they put out on their own. I'm unsure if Fulltime Killer is Anamorphic, I think it's letterbox. It does have DTS though and the picture is quite good.

The Isle has a HK release worth getting and so does Story of Ricky.

I know nothing about Bangkok Dangerous.
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Old 07-04-02, 09:40 PM
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Re: Re: Asian cinema, need wishlist help

Originally posted by Trigger
Beast Cops - I have the R0 HK version and this film bored me so I shut it off halfway through... I still intend to finish it someday.


Wow. I'm stunned by this review! Beast Cops is essential stuff, IMHO. But to each his/her own of course!

Anthony Wong is absolutely hypnotic in this film and the end sequence with him is classic over-the-top stuff.



-matt
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Old 07-04-02, 10:30 PM
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Maybe that's my problem - I never made it to the end.
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Old 07-06-02, 06:46 AM
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Fulltime Killer is letterboxed and as for the Beijing Bicycle disc, I would go with the Columbia release. I got the Korean release before I knew there was an R1 release, but have yet to check it out yet. I would trust the subs with Columbia more than the Korean release, as the Korean company is natively Korean translating Mandarin Chinese into English, whereas Columbia would be an American company translating Mandarin Chinese into English. Just takes one link out of the language barrier.
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