Hong Kong Cinema

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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artfilmfan
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#176 Post by artfilmfan » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:22 pm

If the prices are the same, will get the one with the best picture of Maggie Cheung on the cover.

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Banasa
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:35 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#177 Post by Banasa » Sun May 21, 2017 9:41 am

A new blu-ray of Benny Chan's popular triad melodrama A Moment of Romance is available for pre-order on YesAsia.

The packaging has seemed to have gone above and beyond, at least from these pictures.

Then again, the link above states "lthough publisher take Digital Scan version from Copyright holder but there might be some scratch on screen. Some scratch are not error. So please understand this situation. Thank you." Take that how you will.

hanshotfirst1138
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:06 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#178 Post by hanshotfirst1138 » Thu May 25, 2017 10:32 pm

Fingers crossed...

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#179 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:34 am

This is why year-end round ups are so important. I have not been following Hong Kong cinema recently so it was great to find this run down of the Hong Kong films of the year, which includes The White Girl, co-directed by Christopher Doyle; The Founding of an Army by Andrew Lau Wai-Keung (of Infernal Affairs), the third in the series about the history of the Chinese Communist Party; a pair of Journey To The West adaptations: Wu Kong up against Tsui Hark's Stephen Chow-starring special effect laden Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back; John Woo's doing his dualistic cop-criminal thing again with Manhunt and topped by a new film by Ann Hui, Our Time Will Come.

Meow (if Jellyfish Eyes can get a Criterion release, then surely this can! Though of course Futurama got to the premise first!), The Sinking City: Capsule Odyssey, The Sleep Curse (which feels like an extremely gory throwback to the heyday of the Category III films of the late 80s and early 90s) and 29+1 also look quite intriguing out of that list!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#180 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:47 pm

Well -- this list starts with the worst and works up to no. 1 -- which is the new Ann Hui Blu-Ray that just arrived in my mailbox yesterday. ;-)

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#181 Post by whaleallright » Mon May 07, 2018 5:28 pm

Does anyone know why Chang Cheh's Tiger Boy, the film that, along with Come Drink with Me, kicked off the renovation of the wu xia in the mid 1960s, is not on home video at all? It's a Shaw Bros pic, of course, so I assume Celestial has the rights to it.

Orlac
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:29 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#182 Post by Orlac » Tue May 08, 2018 1:16 am

It apparently doesn't exist.

masterofoneinchpunch
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:24 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#183 Post by masterofoneinchpunch » Tue May 08, 2018 2:03 pm

I had asked this question a dozen times over the years on various martial art sites. There has always been rumors that HKFA had a copy (checking their online site I do not see it listed there), that Toby Russell had seen it; but no concrete evidence that the film had survived. I would certainly buy it if it came out; but I am in the opinion that it no longer is extant.

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#184 Post by whaleallright » Tue May 08, 2018 5:38 pm

So the various histories that suggest that Shaws delayed the release of the film, but eventually put it out after the success of Come Drink with Me are false? Or was it given a local release and then subsequently lost?

masterofoneinchpunch
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#185 Post by masterofoneinchpunch » Tue May 08, 2018 6:27 pm

whaleallright wrote:So the various histories that suggest that Shaws delayed the release of the film, but eventually put it out after the success of Come Drink with Me are false? Or was it given a local release and then subsequently lost?
"It premiered in Singapore and Malaysia to critical acclaim, followed by a successful release in Hong Kong outshining many of the colour films released at around the same time." -- Chang Cheh A Memoir

Also The Shaw Screen: A Preliminary Study has it coming out in February of 1966 a couple of months earlier than Come Drink with Me.

Where did you get that information on it coming out later than Come Drink with Me?

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#186 Post by whaleallright » Wed May 09, 2018 3:23 pm

I can't actually remember where I picked that up; perhaps I was misremembering!

Looking over my materials, it seems there are a number of different descriptions of how the film was released. David Bordwell in Planet Hong Kong gives it a release date of 1966, which IMDB corroborates (like The Shaw Screen, specifying February 1966, compared to Come Drink with Me's April).

Tony Williams in A Companion to Hong Kong Cinema says it was shot in 1963, briefly released in 1964, and then re-released in 1966 after Jimmy Wang Yu had starred in two successful films. Williams implies that the film exists but Celestial has "no plans" to release it on home video. (Given the film's importance and its star, I would think that if halfway decent elements had survived, they would find a way to release it.)

Stephen Teo (in Chinese Martial Arts Cinema: The Wuxia Tradition) dates Tiger Boy's production to 1965 and its release to 1966.

Some of these and other books reference the film having been a commercial failure, but I doubt they're relying on any kind of financial documents to validate that. Most of what's said about this film seems to belong in the realm of hearsay.

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colinr0380
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#187 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:08 pm

Here's this years run down of Hong Kong cinema from Edmund Lee at the South China Morning Post. Nothing really strikes me as being a must see on the level of last year's Our Time Will Come (or Meow :) ) but Somewhere Beyond The Mist looks interesting.

Though at least Girls vs Gangsters looks as if it might be a little more fun than the Hangover films that it seems influenced by.

moreorless
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:34 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#188 Post by moreorless » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:06 pm

Maybe not directly related to Hong Kong cinema itself but I always felt that the UK distributer HK Legends ended up setting a lot of the blurprint that the likes of Arrow would follow. Criteron themselves were obviously working as a 3rd party home distributer before them but I don't remember anyone focusing on putting out genre cinema in good quality the way HK legends did in the early/mid 00's.

Orlac
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:29 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#189 Post by Orlac » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:28 pm

Hong Kong Legends were great for extras - the Bey Logan commentaries were indispensable.

They were not consistent with quality control of the films though - a lot of uncesarry mistakes - but I do miss them.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#190 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:43 pm

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it previously in this thread, but there's an AMC not too far from where I live that plays all major Chinese and Hong Kong releases the same week they're released over there (and sometimes before). I usually go for the action films, but occasionally will see curiosities like Meow (very cute, but over long with one very unfortunate blackface joke), solid films like Shock Wave (where Jian Wu from Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin gives one of the best villainous performances I've seen in the last few years) or excellent films like Three or Trivisa. I actually have to disagree with a couple choices that rank highly in Edmund Lee's list.

Big Brother is z-grade Donnie Yen that's only held together by his charisma and by two excellent fight sequences. It makes the urban teacher-student melodramas like Freedom Writers and Dangerous Minds seem like masterful cinema in comparison. The structure is an absolute mess as it abandons a simple three-act structure to keep giving false conclusions and introducing silly plot contrivances like a sudden pill addiction for one of the students, local mobsters involved in real estate, and Donnie Yen saving people in a unnamed middle-eastern country where the cruelty of war is reflected with effects that make Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 look like a documentary. The most offensive moment is during a moment of particularly sappy family drama, the offensively terrible song "7 Years" plays. Hearing something so saccharine, so corny almost starts to work on a Brechtian level by mocking the insipid drama on screen.

Project Gutenberg could've been a fun thriller, but the film is weighed down by endless plot twists at the end, some poorly assembled action sequences and a lack of understanding solid dramatic construction. Chow Yun Fat seemed to dominate 80s and 90s HK cinema when working with talented directors like Ringo Lam and John Woo who understood editing, special effects, and dramatic build-up to these scenes. But here the action is so limp and soulless, particularly in one sequence that is partially inspired from the church/CGI fight scene from the first Kingsmen movie. Chow Yun Fat is great in it and can still control a film. I saw this with a full-house on opening weekend (as always, I was the only non-Chinese person in the audience) and the audience gasped when Chow Yun Fat was finally revealed 10-15 minutes into the film. It makes me happy he still has that power over audiences and looks great in every immaculate suit he wears. Unfortunately the film revolves around Aaron Kwok's anemic failed artist character who gets pulled into the criminal underworld. Kwok is an otherwise fine actor, but here plays a weepy, ineffective man who has little character moments other than crying or having a hissy fit.

This year, it seems like the amount of films from mainland China versus Hong Kong was drastic (I saw many more mainland films than HK), but unlike previous years, I could find very little to like in either of their commercial cinema market. In the world of Chinese arthouse, you had excellent films by Jia Zhangke, Bi Gan, and Hu Bo, but those are films that function very differently than the ones I wrote about above.

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Adam Grikepelis
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:04 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#191 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:10 am

moreorless wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:06 pm
Maybe not directly related to Hong Kong cinema itself but I always felt that the UK distributer HK Legends ended up setting a lot of the blurprint that the likes of Arrow would follow. Criteron themselves were obviously working as a 3rd party home distributer before them but I don't remember anyone focusing on putting out genre cinema in good quality the way HK legends did in the early/mid 00's.
Hong Kong Legends were a great company, but they weren't the first to focus on good quality genre releases. Companies like Anchor Bay & Elite Entertainment were around producing VHS tapes & laserdiscs prior to DVD, with the latter producing a series of special edition laserdiscs in the mid-late '90's, of films such as A Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Night of the Living Dead & A Nightmare on Elm Street .

hanshotfirst1138
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:06 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#192 Post by hanshotfirst1138 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:42 pm

Criterion’s acquisition of the two Police Story story films is exciting news (which they’d gotten 3-4, but hey, you can’t have everything in life), though the releases over the years have been such a horror show, I hope they can get good master elements.

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Adam Grikepelis
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:04 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#193 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:16 am

I'd imagine they'll be using the same master's Eureka! did.

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MichaelB
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#194 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:28 am

Adam Grikepelis wrote:I'd imagine they'll be using the same master's Eureka! did.
It’s pretty much inconceivable that they’ll be doing anything else.

Orlac
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#195 Post by Orlac » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:15 am

Which is a shame as Ritrovata effed up the colour and brightness as usual

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tenia
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#196 Post by tenia » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:56 am

They're also unlikely to alter the gradings, it seems they either do it themselves or leave it untouched (save for slight contrast / brightness adjustments).
I'm also curious to know if they'll keep the mono track supplied by Fortune Star, which Eureka replaced by another mono track sourced from a DVD (and which is supposed to be better, hence the change).

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andyli
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:46 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#197 Post by andyli » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:34 am

The new track is definitely better than the supplied one, which is a down-mix from 5.1 with many faux effects that drown out the dialog. Criterion should never touch it.

moreorless
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:34 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#198 Post by moreorless » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:47 am

Adam Grikepelis wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:10 am
moreorless wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:06 pm
Maybe not directly related to Hong Kong cinema itself but I always felt that the UK distributer HK Legends ended up setting a lot of the blurprint that the likes of Arrow would follow. Criteron themselves were obviously working as a 3rd party home distributer before them but I don't remember anyone focusing on putting out genre cinema in good quality the way HK legends did in the early/mid 00's.
Hong Kong Legends were a great company, but they weren't the first to focus on good quality genre releases. Companies like Anchor Bay & Elite Entertainment were around producing VHS tapes & laserdiscs prior to DVD, with the latter producing a series of special edition laserdiscs in the mid-late '90's, of films such as A Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Night of the Living Dead & A Nightmare on Elm Street .
I was never really exposed that much to laserdisc but what stood out with HK legends was the number of releases and the focus on their own brand(and expectations of certain extras) similar to criterion but with genre cinema. It wouldn't just me the case of "I want a copy of Eastern Condors, which is the best one?" but rather looking to what they released as an active recommendation.

I'v got a good deal from them but in retrospect wish I'd made a big order when they were having their closing down sale, at the time it was easy to think someone else was step in but actually a lot of what they released is now very tough to find.

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Slaphappy
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:08 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#199 Post by Slaphappy » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:20 am

moreorless wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:47 am
I was never really exposed that much to laserdisc but what stood out with HK legends was the number of releases and the focus on their own brand(and expectations of certain extras) similar to criterion but with genre cinema. It wouldn't just me the case of "I want a copy of Eastern Condors, which is the best one?" but rather looking to what they released as an active recommendation.
I think Redemption was the first to create a brand like that in UK mid 90's. Edit. Manga Entertainment had a pretty strong brand and focus too and they started early 90's or so. Hong Kong Legends is my favorite company of the three for sure.

hanshotfirst1138
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#200 Post by hanshotfirst1138 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:56 pm

andyli wrote:The new track is definitely better than the supplied one, which is a down-mix from 5.1 with many faux effects that drown out the dialog. Criterion should never touch it.
Far too many of Fortune Star’s so-called “original mono tracks” were actually crappy dowmixes, unfortunately.

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