Unauthorized Releases & Bootlegs

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forweg
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:24 am

hkdvdstore.com

#201 Post by forweg » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:12 pm

Could anyone give some info on hkdvdstore.com? I know they sell some bootlegs, but do they only sell bootlegs, or are the bootlegs mixed in with legitimate releases?

(The reason I'm wondering is because they sometimes list legitimate DVD companies in the product info.)

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myrnaloyisdope
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#202 Post by myrnaloyisdope » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:33 pm

Anyone know where I could find Rivette's L'Amour fou and Out 1: Spectre?

nihon

#203 Post by nihon » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:01 pm

I just got some Japanese movies listed on http://japaneiga.free.fr/

Good service and quality as specified prior to purchase.

I can't imagine how long must have taken to get all these movies! Not all of them are hard to find titles but many are.

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Michael Kerpan
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#204 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:09 pm

nihon wrote:I just got some Japanese movies listed on http://japaneiga.free.fr/

Good service and quality as specified prior to purchase.

I can't imagine how long must have taken to get all these movies! Not all of them are hard to find titles but many are.
A lot of these titles look like they could be plain old pirated versions of non-R1 DVDs that have English subtitles. (The Shimizu and Kawase stuff, for example).

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Cabiria21
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:10 pm

Re: Superhappyfun

#205 Post by Cabiria21 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:13 am

impossiblefunky wrote:Superhappyfun.com is going to be closing down. Selling their "stock" to notavailableondvd.com

Their messageboard is going to stay afloat. [urlhttp://superhappyfunboard.proboards80.com/index.cgi?board=general]A good resource[/url] for finding rare flix.
thats too bad. if you ordered stuff from them and picked payment by check/money order and never sent payment, they would still ship your order :lol: oh well, got everything that was unique to their site anyway and for free!

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JacquesQ
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DVDs from... er... the Far East...

#206 Post by JacquesQ » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:00 am

OK, let me put things straight: I'm a newcomer here, but I had the misfortune of being practically kicked out of France's DVD Classik forum because I had dared speak about not-so-official DVD releases, and the moderators feared their ample supply of free DVDs from the French distributors would come to a halt if this was to go on...

But let's be honest: in my 5000-and-then-some collection of DVDs there must be about 300 to 400 DVDs from China (or Korea) of which I couldn't say for certain that they are entirely legal by Western standards.

While I will completely agree to say that it is wrong (though economically sound) to buy Chinese copies of, say, existing Criterion DVDs, it must also be said that it was ONLY through this channel that I got to a complete set of Angelopoulos's films (or even one of them), for instance. The same goes for the French Carlotta releases of Mizoguchi that were out of print a couple of weeks after their release, were nevere re-released and were not to be obtained "legally" at any cost.
So please let me know if it will be considered obscene to discuss that kind of issues on this forum...

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by JacquesQ on Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Matt
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#207 Post by Matt » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:09 am

I suppose it depends on the context in which you talk about these releases. If you're going to do it, though, do it in the right thread.

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JacquesQ
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#208 Post by JacquesQ » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:00 pm

OK, so here: the most recent pictures I got from China (or Korea) but had been unable to obtain any other way are (AND without technical flaws, at that):

- Cocteau's The Eagle has two heads (L'Aigle à deux têtes);
- all Angelopoulos movies in a box with these strange pink plastic sleeves common to all Chinese box sets;
- Quinn's (actually DeMille's but he died before filming began) The Buccaneer;
- and a Mizoguchi set containing copies of all the Carlotta releases that have long been unavailable.

If only for that, one actually has to wonder what it is that moves the Chinese pirates: if it was ONLY for profit, then I guess they'd be satisfied with copying Stallone pictures and the like, because my guess is there isn't that much money to be made frome bootlegs of, for instance, Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz or Angelopoulos' oeuvre. Could it be that these DVDs are aimed primarily at the inner Chinese market where, judging from sheer population number, there has to be a couple of million cinephiles, and they just make the thing more lucrative by also selling abroad? Anyone from (continental) China here to enlighten us?

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Barmy
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#209 Post by Barmy » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:08 pm

It's been observed elsewhere on this forum that you can get all of Godard, all of Bergman, all of Antonioni, etc. Chinese boxsets for, like $20.

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Kinsayder
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#210 Post by Kinsayder » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:49 pm

JacquesQ wrote:OK, so here: the most recent pictures I got from China (or Korea) but had been unable to obtain any other way are (AND without technical flaws, at that):

- Cocteau's The Eagle has two heads (L'Aigle à deux têtes)
Probably a rip from the Japanese editions: here and here.
JacquesQ wrote:If only for that, one actually has to wonder what it is that moves the Chinese pirates: if it was ONLY for profit, then I guess they'd be satisfied with copying Stallone pictures and the like, because my guess is there isn't that much money to be made frome bootlegs of, for instance, Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz or Angelopoulos' oeuvre.
Perhaps because there's less risk of being pursued in law by ripping off the smaller publishers who put out the arthouse stuff? Not that there seems to be much (successful) effort, even by the big studios, to control the flood of Chinese bootlegs. The "vaulted" Disneys, for example, are easily available from traders openly selling online.

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david hare
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#211 Post by david hare » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:35 pm

Interestingly some of this Chinese product is on the shelves at a particular store in Downtown Sydney's Chinatown. Among the things I noticed there were huge boxsets of Mizoguchi (which appear to be pirates of the French material) Hou and Hitchcock (which appear to be pirates of Universal titles.) Obviously I didn't need to and certainly didn't buy them. I did however take a chance on a four disc box of Jean Rouch documentaries with Ed. Montparnasse on the label, as well as a boot (with Chinese script on the cover) of the French MK2 Last Days which is mercifully in the correct AR (unlike the R2 and R4 discs.) Like the poster above I have some scruples about commercially pirated material, although my own collection contains hundreds if not more trades of "various" provenance. But like the poster above the Rouch and the Van Sant for example are discs I was unable to find in Paris even two years ago. The quality is all DVD5 but the discs all look fine. And they cost 5 bucks each. (Which is probably way too expensive.)

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JacquesQ
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#212 Post by JacquesQ » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:44 am

Barmy wrote:It's been observed elsewhere on this forum that you can get all of Godard, all of Bergman, all of Antonioni, etc. Chinese boxsets for, like $20.
I DID buy the "complete" Bergman box as a bootleg (at around $90, though), because it sort of drove me mad that the English publisher offered only old material PLUS the 1979 Faro film that was not to be had outside of the box, that cost a tremendous £150 (at "discounted" price, officially 300!) - which is expensive by all standards, even for 40 films.

Same goes for the French Canal release of Renoir, in which only Madame Bovary was previously unreleased but was unavailable apart from the expensive 20-or-so film box.

In those particular cases, bootleg may be considered as a healthy reply to obvious attempts from publishers to rip one off, may it not?...
Regarding copyright, I usually prefer to buy bootlegs either of films by dead (preferably long dead) directors, knowing that this may hurt their distributors but neither them nor their loved ones, or of films which I know will sell more than enough on the "official" market to ensure prosperity to everyone on the copyright list, e.g. the complete Woody Allen set (considering it is also sort of a rip off that you can't find the lot as a set in the West).

OK, admitedly I sometiimes slip to the point where I ponder and say "this director's films I probably wouldn't buy at retail price because I don't like them enough, they might be a welcome addtion to my collection though"; examples are Wong Kar-Wai and the Coen Brothers' sets.

Kind of the Langlois syndrom, you know - get them and shelf them, no matter how you got them...
Last edited by JacquesQ on Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cold Bishop
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#213 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:01 am

#-o oh boy...

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JacquesQ
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#214 Post by JacquesQ » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:34 pm

So here is the URL: IBX (strange, the site is definitely adverse to this one and won't give its complete "idealbargainxp" name as a link, but anyway there IS a link, so...). Don't expect to find any rare gems there, the bulk of the stock is:
- either box sets of complete (or nearly complete) filmmakers' works, in case you sometimes feel sorry for having bought 20 pictures of director X or Y and having to spend two times as much money in order to get the few hard to get missing ones or to buy a set outside of which they are not available; it also goes for making gifts to people whose tastes you are not too certain about, but whose general direction you know (actually I DID buy the legitimate Bergman box after swallowing my anger, and offered the Chinese set to a friend of mine);
- or box sets of TV series; now I will readily admit I do NOT feel ashamed to buy Star Trek or The Simpsons at, say, more-than-discounted prices, considering that the economic side of the question is pretty different there from the edition of classic, hard to sell movies.

In a different category but also interesting, I can recommend Mr. B. L. at PM me for site name, who's been operating for ten years and is a welcome alternative to sell.com, ioffer.com or the like. [I deleted his actual name and URL at his request because being so easily "googleable" made him a bit nervous and caused him a rash of "fear of nasty FBI syndrome", but do feel free to ask me in private.] Admittedly "free movies" and making you pay for the disc, the copy work and postage (including just a global $5 for shipping outside of the US) is a thin disguise, but Brad is straightforward about it and says he would like to put those guys out of business who claim they have a "rare movie" on DVD and will sell it for $20 or more: his are all $9.25 a piece. He fully admits they're copies of TV or VHS releases, mostly pictures of the kind Mr. Maltin put in a different book than his annual guide because they were "second shelf", but quality is always OK - AND, AND B. was the first to offer Sjöström's The Wind, thank him so much for that (because apparently, who even at established arthouse editors will consider making one of the pictures regularly listed as one of all times' 12 best pictures available to cinephiles again)!

Also, he withdraws titles that are released on legitimate DVDs because he is cautious with the legal side of it (and he won't publish titles that he thinks should be available soon - he resisted my attempt at making him burn a Greed DVD because he thinks some studio is going to considering the 2000 theater release was a success, that is to say how optimistic he is!), and also because he is the first to admit it is better to have a remastered film with bonuses than a copy of a VHS, but still insists (as I will too) that the VHS copy is a welcome alternative while waiting for Mr. Marketing Man at BigDistributor's to ponder and admit it might be feasible after all to make a DVD with this or that.

This, by the way, should become rare with the advent of Blu Ray: the VHSs that have NOT been brought to DVD (and I know quite a few of those - name me Guitry or Grémillon!) are quite unlikely to be offered that chance now, and while there is a good probability that our DVD collections will not become as obsolete as our VHSs because the digital support has a good chance to remain "legible" if you buy a few dozen devices capable of reading them before they disappear, it is also very likely that there will be fewer and fewer additions of "new old films" to existing catalogues, and collecting wil mostly become a do-it-yourself occupation...

And as a last point: I DO think I was right to put my first message in the "International DVD news and discussions" part rather than just "DVD news and discussions", because nearly all of these releases are international by essence (meaning, R0 and not R1 - nor, for that matter, R2 or 4 or any other).
Last edited by JacquesQ on Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:15 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Morbii
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#215 Post by Morbii » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:35 pm

JacquesQ wrote:I DID buy the "complete" Bergman box as a bootleg (at around $90, though), because it sort of drove me mad that the English publisher offered only old material PLUS the 1979 Faro film that was not to be had outside of the box, that cost a tremendous £150 (at "discounted" price, officially 300!) - which is expensive by all standards, even for 40 films.
Huh? I wouldn't consider £3.75/film overpriced. Probably not even £7.50/film (but things never sell at list anyway, unless you don't know where to shop). This just seems like a justification to bootleg. I have no problems with it when there's no other alternative (or the alternatives are all worse as a product, in which case maybe you should get both), but I can't say I agree with it if you're simply doing it to avoid *gasp* actually having to pay for it.

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Scharphedin2
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#216 Post by Scharphedin2 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:10 pm

Welcome to the forum JacquesQ, and thank you for your recommendations. Would you say that these DVDs are first generation TV broadcasts and VHS transfers?

I agree with most of what you write regarding "unofficial" DVDs, although I am probably just slightly more conservative, and will definitely not purchase pirate copies of something that is out officially. I have also almost been able to stick to a personal promise to myself of always substituting "unofficial" DVDs with the official release, when and if it appeared later.

Still, it is an impressive collection that is on offer here, and it is highly doubtful that many of these titles will ever be available commercially.
Last edited by Scharphedin2 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Kinsayder
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#217 Post by Kinsayder » Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:13 pm

JacquesQ wrote:Regarding copyright, I usually prefer to buy bootlegs either of films by dead (preferably long dead) directors, knowing that this may hurt their distributors but neither them nor their loved ones
How does bootlegging dead artists not hurt their "loved ones" (i.e., inheritors)? This is almost as funny as the guy 3 pages ago in this thread who said he only bought bootlegs of films that were over 50 years old because he thought that art should belong to the people and, well, 50 years seemed about right to him. If you want to buy bootlegs, just do it and spare us the handwringing.

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Morbii
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#218 Post by Morbii » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:29 pm

Scharphedin2 wrote:I have also almost been able to stick to a personal promise to myself of always substituting "unofficial" DVDs with the official release, when and if it appeared later.
That's a good policy, and I try to follow it myself. I don't think I've been completely successful at it yet though either (one that comes to mind is Versus - I'm pretty sure my original asian DVD is a bootleg that I had probably a good year or so before the US release, but am not 100% certain)

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exte
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#219 Post by exte » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:43 pm

I used to know but now I don't - how does one know the password protected offers at superhappy? Can someone just post them here or PM me? Thanks.

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JacquesQ
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#220 Post by JacquesQ » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:50 am

Let me make myself a nuisance and ask for one of the missing Holy Grails in my collection: is there anyone, anywhere, who managed to put his hand on a copy of Welles' Filming Othello? If I could eventually bring myself to pay nearly $100 (ouch) for a copy of Kino's Lumière brothers DVD, I guess I could do the same again for this one (or rather not, because it will necessarily be "unofficial" and of moderately good quality, but anyway...).
PM me if...
Morbii wrote:
JacquesQ wrote:I DID buy the "complete" Bergman box as a bootleg (at around $90, though), because it sort of drove me mad that the English publisher offered only old material PLUS the 1979 Faro film that was not to be had outside of the box, that cost a tremendous £150 (at "discounted" price, officially 300!) - which is expensive by all standards, even for 40 films.
Huh? I wouldn't consider £3.75/film overpriced. Probably not even £7.50/film (but things never sell at list anyway, unless you don't know where to shop). This just seems like a justification to bootleg. I have no problems with it when there's no other alternative (or the alternatives are all worse as a product, in which case maybe you should get both), but I can't say I agree with it if you're simply doing it to avoid *gasp* actually having to pay for it.
I WILL call it expensive because it is actually not £3.75 or £7.50 a piece, but a full £150 or £300 for ONE picture, considering (as has already been noted in this very thread) it is extremely dubious that any cinephile (and I guess cinephiles should be about 90% of potential buyers of Bergman pictures) will have left aside entirely The Seventh Seal or Wild Strawberries or any other of the films in this set, that had all been readily available for quite a wile before it was released. So it is pure and complete commercial cupidity to publish a 40-+ movie set with ONE previously unreleased movie that will on purpose NOT be made available separately...
While we're at Bergman: I wonder why Criterion didn't include Skepp till India land (A Ship to India) of 1947 in its Eclipse release of early Bergman pictures. This and a couple others (Karin's Face, In the Presence of a Clown or the elusive The Touch - by and large not as bad a picture as Bergman said it was -) I only managed to find through ThePirateBay (or, alternatively, a site exclusively dedicated to Bergman pictures including "resources" but whose name I don't recall just now). Now this is a true rarity, and would have deserved to be in it better than the Sjöberg pictures for which he was only a writer.
Kinsayder wrote:
JacquesQ wrote:Regarding copyright, I usually prefer to buy bootlegs either of films by dead (preferably long dead) directors, knowing that this may hurt their distributors but neither them nor their loved ones
How does bootlegging dead artists not hurt their "loved ones" (i.e., inheritors)? This is almost as funny as the guy 3 pages ago in this thread who said he only bought bootlegs of films that were over 50 years old because he thought that art should belong to the people and, well, 50 years seemed about right to him. If you want to buy bootlegs, just do it and spare us the hand wringing.
While it is normal that inheritors should benefit of a dead director's (writer's, whatever) success, the present limit of (in France) 70 years for books and no limit whatsoever for films (whose rights are indefinitely retained by distributors) seems a bit overstretched. If your father was Jean Renoir or John Ford (just at random, I don't know of anything special about those two!) and 30 years after he's dead you still rely on what he did to make a living, I'm not sure you actually deserve it.
Not to mention the abusive widows (literature: Mrs. Jules Renard deleting whole sections of her husband's diaries in order not to get at odds with old friends; cinema: Mrs. Robert Bresson preventing the release of her husband's films on DVD because she thinks it is intolerable that they should be accompanied by a commentary), and even less some distributors' outrageous denial of anything decent (Pierre Etaix, still alive but 80 years old, unable to access his own pictures or make them available to audiences for 30 years because first his distributor didn't think it was commercially sound, and now his distributor's widow is just an inflated ignorant idiot who would rather bathe in her Cannes swimming pool than take care of these rights). [This Etaix case is at present hotly discussed in France, where that seems to put a limit to the legal rights of someone absolutely foreign to the creative process to actually own a film.]

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Kinsayder
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#221 Post by Kinsayder » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:49 am

Christian Duvivier and Janine Spaak are another pair of héritiers who could do with a kick in the nuts.
If your father was Jean Renoir or John Ford (just at random, I don't know of anything special about those two!) and 30 years after he's dead you still rely on what he did to make a living, I'm not sure you actually deserve it.
Renoir is perhaps a bad example, though, since he sold paintings inherited from his father to finance his early films. It's tricky to base one's moral viewpoint about bootlegging on whether the child deserves the parent's inheritance.

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JacquesQ
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#222 Post by JacquesQ » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:21 am

Scharphedin2 wrote:
JacquesQ wrote:In a different category but also interesting, I can recommend Mr. *** at URL to be asked by PM, who's been operating for ten years and is a welcome alternative to sell.com, ioffer.com or the like. Admittedly "free movies" and making you pay for the disc, the copy work and postage (including just a global $5 for shipping outside of the US) is a thin disguise, but B. is straightforward about it and says he would like to put those guys out of business who claim they have a "rare movie" on DVD and will sell it for $20 or more: his are all $9.25 a piece. He fully admits they're copies of TV or VHS releases, mostly pictures of the kind Mr. Maltin put in a different book than his annual guide because they were "second shelf", but quality is always OK - AND, AND Brad was the first to offer Sjöström's The Wind, thank him so much for that (because apparently, who even at established arthouse editors will consider making one of the pictures regularly listed as one of all times' 12 best pictures available to cinephiles again)!
Welcome to the forum JacquesQ, and thank you for the links. Would you say that this gentleman's films are first generation TV broadcasts and VHS transfers?.
From what I saw (about 20 of them), yes. And when the quality is inferior, he says so in the listing.
But he asked me not to actually mention his name or his site here (so please also delete them from your quote) because he is afraid some anti-terrorist squad will come and tear his place down. Do everyone feel free to ask me by PM, though.
Scharphedin2 wrote:Still, it is an impressive collection that is on offer here, and it is highly doubtful that many of these titles will ever be available commercially.
That is precisely the point. If the digital era is supposed to make so many things available to us that weren't before, what's the use of indefinitely relying on the good will (ie rather marketing dept.) of a few firms to get to them? I don't think there were many people refusing for "ethical" reasons and for private use to tape films from TV in VHS era, so why should we be more conservative with DVDs (that by the way will soon be on the way out, too)? Just because there is no quality loss from one generation of copy to another? Big deal! People like B.L. do make a few dollars with their DVD-Rs, but I think they may also be regarded as private collectors trading from their collection (hey! who of you had the patience of taping so many pictures then and would readily copy them on demand now?...).
Kinsayder wrote:Christian Duvivier and Janine Spaak are another pair of héritiers who could do with a kick in the nuts.
If your father was Jean Renoir or John Ford (just at random, I don't know of anything special about those two!) and 30 years after he's dead you still rely on what he did to make a living, I'm not sure you actually deserve it.
Renoir is perhaps a bad example, though, since he sold paintings inherited from his father to finance his early films.
Then again, Catherine or La fille de l'eau... :wink:

forweg
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hkdvdstore.com

#223 Post by forweg » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:28 am

Could anyone give some info on hkdvdstore.com? I know they sell some bootlegs, but do they only sell bootlegs, or are the bootlegs mixed in with legitimate releases?
In case anyone actually cares, I received two Japanese DVDs (The Face of Jizo and Canary) from them, and I'm 99.9% sure they're the official Bandai DVDs. (Although oddly, The Face of Jizo came in a generic black case with a legitimate sleeve over it.) These Japanese DVDs can be purchased for over $20 cheaper than anywhere else online, so it's a great find for me.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: hkdvdstore.com

#224 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:51 am

forweg wrote:I received two Japanese DVDs (The Face of Jizo and Canary) from them, and I'm 99.9% sure they're the official Bandai DVDs. (Although oddly, The Face of Jizo came in a generic black case with a legitimate sleeve over it.) These Japanese DVDs can be purchased for over $20 cheaper than anywhere else online.
If they are that much cheaper (and are not used copies), they are almost surely pirateware.

forweg
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:24 am

#225 Post by forweg » Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:26 pm

If they are that much cheaper (and are not used copies), they are almost surely pirateware.
How can one tell the difference when the supposed piratewear has every indication of being legitimate? I thought pirated copies came on bare discs or DVD-Rs (or at the least, have altered artwork)?

I'm totally ignorant in this field, so I'd honestly appreciate an explanation. The price differential is admittedly suspicious, but I don't find it damning by itself.

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