971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#26 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:49 am

My HK (co-)favorite Ann Hui is virtually invisible, with most of her work unavailable on DVD (much less Blu-Ray). Lots of To has at least made it to Blu-Ray in HK.

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whaleallright
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#27 Post by whaleallright » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:47 am

There's a Blu-Ray of Boat People and The Story of Woo Viet in France, and to my eyes it looks great, so hopefully that bodes well for release stateside. And yeah, Hui has a lot of great films that have no exposure here. I'd love a good copy of Song of the Exile in particular, esp. the Cantonese version w/ the Anita Mui song at the end.

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colinr0380
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#28 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:14 am

Speaking of Anita Mui reminds me of Stanley Kwan's wonderful past and present ghost story Rouge. I wonder how dependent films getting released are on the usual issues with archival prints being in good shape, footage and different versions of films being available, which was something that Wong Kar-Wai's short film on In The Mood For Love set highlighted. Or whether the issue might be of needing to build up relationships with companies and their archives. 88 Films with the 88 Asia line seems to have been doing a good job with the martial arts and horror titles recently in the UK, but there is a need for the more arthouse end to get representation as well.

(Also how does the transition of Hong Kong becoming more a part of China now affect previous distribution patterns, if at all? At least in production terms we have seen Hong Kong filmmakers creating films much more targeted at Chinese audiences than following Western trends over the last ten to fifteen years, so maybe international video distribution has similarly dropped in priority?)

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tenia
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#29 Post by tenia » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:38 am

Most of 88 Asia line is sourced from masters so poor they often are either thoroughly DNRed or don't offer any improvement over the past DVD incarnations. While it's nice to have these on HD, I'd argue it's not really that much.
As for Woo Viet and Boat People, the HD masters used look more like decade old bottom-of-the-barrel Universal or MGM masters, with Boat People sometimes bordering on SD upscale. I wouldn't call that great a minute, but rather barely mediocre. These movies haven't been restored probably since the early 00s, and it's not a surprise they sadly look this way.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#30 Post by ftsoh » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:05 pm

Rather getting off topic. I remember Ann Hui's first 2 features (The Secret, The Spooky Bunch) had been restored by the Hong Kong Film Archive and screened. Wonder if Criterion would establish a relationship with HKFA as they did with Taiwan Film Archive.

As for Song of the Exile, the writer and leaf actress are Taiwanese so I think the Mandarin version (and Mandarin theme song) is equally essential. But alas I don't think there is any good print of this film.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#31 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:27 pm

I'd love to see a restored version of Hui's Romance of Book and Sword (parts 1 and 2).... (at least I have this on a VCD, but this hardly seems adequate).

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#32 Post by Orlac » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:21 pm

I'd be up for some Shaw Brothers titles such as King Boxer or 36th Chamber of Shaolin if they were new scans - the former is cut by 4min because Celestial removed the splices joining shots by removing entire frames, and the latter was zoomed in heavily to hide the splices.

Come Drink With Me has a decent digitial restoration, but poor subtitles. Again, a great choice for Criterion if they could get it!

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whaleallright
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#33 Post by whaleallright » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:36 am

ftsoh wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:05 pm

As for Song of the Exile, the writer and leaf actress are Taiwanese so I think the Mandarin version (and Mandarin theme song) is equally essential. But alas I don't think there is any good print of this film.

Yes, someone could move the last several posts to the HK Cinema thread, I suppose. In re. Song of the Exile, I wouldn't argue for one version being superior to the other, really, I just like hearing Maggie Cheung's own voice and the Anita Mui song is very pretty.


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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#35 Post by CSM126 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:41 am

They’ve updated the specs:
New 4K digital restorations of Police Story and Police Story 2
Alternate 5.1 surround soundtracks
Alternate English-dubbed soundtracks
Alternate version of Police Story 2, presented in a 2K digital transfer for the first time from a subtitled 35 mm Hong Kong–release print
New interview with filmmaker Edgar Wright and a 2017 podcast conversation between Wright and actor-director Jackie Chan
New programs on Chan’s screen persona and action-filmmaking techniques featuring author and New York Asian Film Festival cofounder Grady Hendrix
Episode of Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show from 1989 featuring interviews with Chan and actor Maggie Cheung
Archival interviews with Chan and actor and stuntman Benny Lai
Excerpts from Jackie Chan: My Stunts, a 1999 documentary codirected by and starring Chan
Excerpt from a 2017 television program reuniting Chan with the original members of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team
Television program from 1964 detailing the rigors of Beijing-opera training, akin to the education that Chan received as a child
Chan stunt reel
Trailers
New English subtitle translations
PLUS: An essay by critic Nick Pinkerton

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Boosmahn
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#36 Post by Boosmahn » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:14 am

New interview with filmmaker Edgar Wright and a 2017 podcast conversation between Wright and actor-director Jackie Chan
Episode of Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show from 1989 featuring interviews with Chan and actor Maggie Cheung
Excerpts from Jackie Chan: My Stunts, a 1999 documentary codirected by and starring Chan
Excerpt from a 2017 television program reuniting Chan with the original members of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team
Wow, four/five new extras? Normally the "more" indicates only a couple of additional bonus features, right?

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#37 Post by yoloswegmaster » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:44 am

Boosmahn wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:14 am

Wow, four/five new extras? Normally the "more" indicates only a couple of additional bonus features, right?
Also a 2K transfer of the alternative version of Police Story 2.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#38 Post by CSM126 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:53 am


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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#39 Post by Apperson » Sun May 05, 2019 6:31 am


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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#40 Post by Apperson » Sun May 05, 2019 6:33 am

His comments about Gamma levels seem very accurate, just look at the comparison of these screenshots:

Eureka:
Image

Criterion:
Image

Orlac
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#41 Post by Orlac » Mon May 06, 2019 3:21 am

The gamma issue is due to the blue and green being off on the standard ritrovata titles, nice to see Criterion addressing that.

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tenia
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#42 Post by tenia » Mon May 06, 2019 6:24 am

I highly doubt that.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#43 Post by Orlac » Mon May 06, 2019 2:03 pm

How so? I seem to recall gamma issues with the Arrow BD release of BLACK CAT.

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tenia
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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#44 Post by tenia » Mon May 06, 2019 3:03 pm

I doubt David screwed the Eureka gamma and I doubt Criterion did anything willingly to tone down the Ritrovata'd grading.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#45 Post by Orlac » Wed May 08, 2019 3:25 am

Sounds like Criterion has dropped the ball mightly on the compression front.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#46 Post by moreorless » Mon May 27, 2019 3:20 pm

tenia wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:07 am
Seeing how many HK movies are available on Western BD vs how many are available on Western DVD vs how many are available on DVD in Asia, I can easily see how people can feel HK movies have been quite neglected over the past decade in Occident. If it wasn't for Eureka, how many of the FS restorations would be available to us ? 2 ? 5 ? They've restored 28 movies.
It's still missing tons of things, including many Tsui Hark or John Woo movies (Peking Opera Blues, Shanghai Blues, Bullet in the Head, A Better Tomorrow - but this one should soon be released -) but also tons of Johnnie To or Ringo Lam movies, and so so many others.
Even just looking at what Pathé, Metropolitan and their sub-label HK Video released in France on DVD, there are dozens of movies that pretty much haven't released since. There certainly has been a bubble during the DVD peak popularity, but it clearly has faded.
From a UK perspective I suspect Hong Kong Legends flooding the market with so many titles in the 00's and then going under ment other lables were wary of taking up the slack fearing there might not be the demand.

If they can get the materials I'd love to see Criterion do a remaster of Tsui Hark''s The Blade from 1995, one of the best candidates for a crossover into the artier end of the market.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#47 Post by Orlac » Mon May 27, 2019 7:34 pm

I think Warners owns The Blade, at least in the US.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#48 Post by moreorless » Tue May 28, 2019 1:35 am

I don't think there's been a release of it in the UK since the early DVD at the turn of the millennium so perhaps someone like Arrow might be a better bet.

Sticking more with Golden Harvest I always thought the best of their 80's releases was actually the non Chan Eastern Condors, breaks a bit more with the opening action/hour of comedy/closing action formula and generally seems like that bit higher in production standards.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#49 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue May 28, 2019 11:00 am

Orlac wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 7:34 pm
I think Warners owns The Blade, at least in the US.
Warner owns it outright—it was one of 200 or so titles they bought from Golden Harvest in the late '90s when Raymond Chow was drowning in debt after the Asian financial crisis. (The rest of the library eventually ended up at Fortune Star.) WB did at least release The Blade and a handful of others on DVD through Warner Archive—and very briefly (like for a couple of months) in HD through Warner Archive Instant—but Comrades: Almost a Love Story is the only one they've ever put out on Blu.

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Re: 971-972 Police Story & Police Story 2

#50 Post by Orlac » Tue May 28, 2019 3:18 pm

Warners for some reason only puts SDH subs on those titles.

There was an early DVD of The Blade in the UK from MIA I think.

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