International Blu-ray discs

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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Aunt Peg
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:30 am

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#476 Post by Aunt Peg » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:43 pm

The Italian Blu Ray of Happy as Lazzaro has English subtitles for anyone interested.

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A Tempted Christ
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:31 am

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#477 Post by A Tempted Christ » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:22 am

Apparently it hasn't been discussed anywhere in this forum, but the 4K restoration of Paris, Texas is out in Germany by ArtHaus. They're also releasing the 4K restorations of Wings of Desire and Until the End of the World. It's region locked, but if you have a region-free player, you're in for a treat.

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#478 Post by feihong » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:48 am

Picked up a bunch of Hong Kong blu rays recently, and while things are never great, there are some interesting developments with some of these discs. A few Hong Kong companies have been getting into the market with older titles that are not just the standard Fortune Star upscales.

Panorama has stepped forward with some interesting older titles. I bought Tsui Hark's Wicked City and Ringo Lam's School on Fire. Wicked City has some intermittent DNR, but it often looks very sharp and there is an unusual amount of visible grain for a Hong Kong disc. The source for the disc looks like a damaged negative or a damaged print, which if anything makes it more of a grindhouse-like experience watching the film. It's really fun to see the picture––I forgot Tasuya Nakadai was in it, doing his damndest to invest his role with Hong Kong style energy. You can see film grain at all times in School on Fire––though the grain is a little softer than one feels it could be. Both pictures look like true HD, and neither film has ever looked anything close to this good on home video.

Then I got a few discs from CN Entertainment: Tsui Hark's The Chinese Feast, and Ringo Lam's Victim, Full Contact, and Wild Search. They all look like true hi-def transfers, but there's a big range of DNR going on with these titles. Victim, the earliest release, is the worst offender. It looks soupy and loses most detail. Full Contact has much more intermittent noise reduction, with a lot of sharp edges. In general it looks really good. Wild Search is the best of the bunch, with lots of visible grain. It's the only CN edition that is truly beautiful. There is a little noise reduction, but by and large the image looks pretty unadulterated. It was stunning to see late 80s Hong Kong in hi def in this film. I hadn't seen the film in years, and I realized with a shock I didn't really know who Ku Feng was when I first saw the movie. It was a delight to see him play the father character. The latest release, The Chinese Feast, has a very even and consistent level of DNR. It never looks as good as Wild Search does, but it never looks as bad as Victim. It's still way better than the film has looked on home video before this, and what's more, the version of the film on the disc is the one that includes the Zhao wen Zhuo/Hung Yan Yan fight scene. I'd never seen that scene before––it isn't a great fight, but it's pretty cool to finally see. I believe in previous editions I'd seen the credits feature a montage of scenes from the film. In this version it ends with Leslie Cheung giving a toast to all of the cast and crew. You can see Tsui Hark toasting into the camera in the midst of tons of people. I didn't think to mention it earlier, but Full Contact has the classic electric guitar score, unlike the old Columbia/Tristar DVD someone accused me of sinking on another forum, years ago.

Of course, the quality of these discs doesn't match what 88 Films did with Miracles, or what Eureka is doing with the Sammo Hung and King Hu films, but it's great to see some of these awesome HK New Wave movies with a bigger, brighter, more steady picture. The experience seems better than it's ever been. I Hope CN and especially Panorama are able to pick up more of the titles that haven't had the Kam&Ronson/Fortune Star treatment so far. Movies like The Mission and The Blade haven't appeared yet. A good blu ray of either of those, or of Teresa Woo's Iron Angels, would be so great. CN's next films are Tsui Hark's The Raid and Chang Cheh's The Shanghai 13.

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tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#479 Post by tenia » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:02 am

I don't know about Wicked City but I've seen a few caps of School on Fire on blu-ray.com's board, and it looks absolutely awful. It definitely resembles a SD upscale anyway and by the look of it, it seems that Panorama originally expected getting a better uncut master but ended up with a subpar censored one. It also seems the English subtitles aren't very good.

The following HK movies are rumored to be or have been restored : The Secret (1979), C’est la vie, mon chéri (1993), Made in Hong Kong (1997), and of course A Better Tomorrow (1986). Also, from elsewhere in Asia : After the Curfew (1954, Indonesia), Santi-Vina (1954, Thailand), Stage Sisters (1964, China), Batch '81 (1982, Philippines), Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Dijulang (1961, Singapour) and Mee Pok Man (1995, Singapour).
The Secret has been released on BD in HK in 2019, and Made in Hong Kong in 2018, both based on the new restorations.
Ronny Yu's Bride with White Hair (1993) has also just been restored in 4K and will get a French BD release in February 2019. Lonely Fifteen is getting a new restoration in Paris (2K, I believe) and should get its French BD release in April 2019.

I don't think any of the 6 movies you're mentioning have been restored any time recently, hence the result.

I however read that Yu's The Saviour (1980) HD master looks very good. I don't know if it's been released on BD yet, though.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#480 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:17 pm

tenia wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:02 am
The following HK movies are rumored to be or have been restored : The Secret (1979), C’est la vie, mon chéri (1993), Made in Hong Kong (1997), and of course A Better Tomorrow (1986). Also, from elsewhere in Asia : After the Curfew (1954, Indonesia), Santi-Vina (1954, Thailand), Stage Sisters (1964, China), Batch '81 (1982, Philippines), Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Dijulang (1961, Singapour) and Mee Pok Man (1995, Singapour).
The Secret has been released on BD in HK in 2019, and Made in Hong Kong in 2018, both based on the new restorations.
The Better Tomorrow restoration (which was done by Ritrovata) was released by Fortune Star in 2016 as part of their "4K Ultra HD Remastered Collection" (which, despite the name, is BD-only). From what I can tell, the other titles in that line are the four Bruce Lee movies, the first three in the Once Upon a Time in China series, the first two Police Stories, and Johnnie To's Throw Down. There are also 4K Ritrovata restorations of the early Brigitte Lin vehicle Outside the Window (1973) and Tao Jin's Diary of a Nurse (1957), plus recent 4K restorations of Huang Shuqin's Soul of a Painter (1993), The Adventures of Sanmao the Waif (1949), and, uh, The Birth of New China (1989) that were apparently restored in China. A 4K copy of Huang Jianzhong's My 1919 (1999) has popped up online, but I don't know if that's a true 4K restoration or what. Not holding my breath for these to get Blu-ray releases.

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tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#481 Post by tenia » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:19 pm

Thanks for the additionnal info. I'm aware of most of those since they surfaced in heavily advertised releases or festivals, but weren't aware of the ones you mentioned in your second lists (Lin, Jin, etc).
Of all these, it seems Throw Down got a K&R BD release, also in their "4K UHD remastered" collection despite only being a BD. I hope it's not as Ritrovata-ed as A Better Tomorrow... EDIT : it doesn't look like it. Pfew.

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L.A.
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#482 Post by L.A. » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:25 pm

tenia wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:02 am
Santi-Vina (1954, Thailand)
A very tempting looking DVD is available.

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Aunt Peg
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:30 am

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#483 Post by Aunt Peg » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:57 am

The Italian Blu Ray of Marco Bellocchio's The Traitor (2019) is available with English subtitles.

The Canadian Blu Ray of Denys Arcand's The Fall of the American Empire (2018) is available with English subtitles.

Sony hold the rights in the US to the above titles as well as Laszlo's Nemes' Sunset (2018) which like the Arcand film has yet to make a physical media appearance in the U.S.

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senseabove
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:07 am

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#484 Post by senseabove » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:26 am

Looks like Bonello's L'Apollonide/House of Tolerance had a Russian blu-ray release (in 2016?!), which I only discovered because an HD rip finally popped up.

From what I gather it's relatively difficult to import from Russia, and it doesn't have English subtitles anyway, but I was surprised I hadn't seen it mentioned anywhere else (and that an HD rip didn't surface sooner...). Can't say it looks the best, compression-wise, but at least it's HD...

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RobertB
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: International Blu-ray discs

#485 Post by RobertB » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:01 pm

Bo Wideberg's film Mannen på taket (The Man on the Roof) will be released on Blu-Ray by Sudio S in Sweden. I contacted them and the person who replied said there will be English subtitles. She did not know what extras there will be. The date for the release is April 29, and it's a new restoration.

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