2008: The Digital Rummage

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2008: The Digital Rummage

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:14 am

Thought of calling it The Digital Chivvy, but really, one has to draw the line somewhere . . . :D

A fresh little thread for folks to discuss they're ongoing acquisitions and/or recent viewings of Asian movies, and anything else for that matter! Not sure we'll see the same action as last year's thread, but ya never know (5000+ views: paltry some would say, but not too shabby for the size of our active membership). The 2007 thread, particularly those bits where people actually elaborated on their latest goodies ;), still provides me with plentiful titles to hunt for during my ongoing bargain scrounges around Toronto's Chinatowns and Asian malls, as well as online.

And the goodies are still out there, if in decreased supply. Not hoping to blow the bank this year due to other commitments yada yada yada, but there's still a little scrounge budget to be tapped! :lol:

And who knows, maybe this not-too-surprising news will colour this year's tallies for everyone, though a small part of me wants to doubt that because fading sales and format wars can only mean more price drops and bargains to be had (money permitting, of course):
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/290885

While I've no doubt that hi-def formats—and more importantly, though not mentioned in the article, downloading—will play important roles in the future, I've yet to see a good reason to start thinking about HD-DVD or BLU-RAY versions of my beloved Hong Kong pictures. I suppose the odd new release might be worth a boo on the new formats, but seriously, when you consider how much effort goes into restoring, remastering, and re-whatevering Hollywood movies for presentation in 1080p, I just don't see that same kind of care being lavished on a majority of Hong Kong films, countless numbers of which have yet to even appear on standard DVD, and even the minority that do receive such treatment, well, will the elements even stand up to such high resolution? I wonder if I'll be just as happy upconverting most of the collection I have now via some $50 player that does the deed, rather replacing any significant quantities of it. Hell, I'm still hunting down VCDs, for goodness' sake, and popping the occasional fish-eye at folks who high-mindedly slam them at various other forums. Really, how long do some folks figure they're willing to hold out for certain titles on DVD, let alone the next-gen formats? Sigh.

Anyways, back to the hunt . . .
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Postby JohnR » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:07 am

My budget has allowed me only to put in an on-line order of HK movies every three months at most. I just put one in a week ago and it really hit me that they've become more expensive to buy. The place I order mine has increased the shipping/handling charge and the cost of older movies hasn't declined as much as in the past. E.g., I've been waiting for several years for the price of Men Suddenly In Black to drop, but it stubbornly sits there.

I attribute this to the weakness of the US dollar. For me, it's coming at a time when my interest in HK movies is weakening. I guess I'll have to pay more attention to the 2008 version of the digital scrounge than I did in 2007 in order to find more movies worth (to me anyway) the cost.

As for US DVDs, they've been over-priced and late-released for years. Now that they've put the $1 rental boxes in the grocery stores, that's where I've been going for my US movie viewing.
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Postby cal42 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:40 pm

I've still got a reasonable pile of films that I bought in 2007 to watch :shock: . Plus, my New Year's resolution this year is to finally watch Avenging Fist, which I bought about 5 years ago :P .
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:58 pm

JohnR wrote:As for US DVDs, they've been over-priced and late-released for years. Now that they've put the $1 rental boxes in the grocery stores, that's where I've been going for my US movie viewing.


Boy, I wish we had those up here in the north! There's a lot of Hollywood and European stuff from the last decade or so that I'd like to see but not own, but don't really want to risk even five bucks on a Blockbuster rental. For about a dollar more than that price, I can hit one of the many budget theatres in town and see a movie writ large, which in turn means potentially one less DVD sitting on the pile several years down the road!



cal42 wrote:I've still got a reasonable pile of films that I bought in 2007 to watch :shock: . Plus, my New Year's resolution this year is to finally watch Avenging Fist, which I bought about 5 years ago :P .


"The Pile" can be so daunting sometimes. I used to be troubled just looking at it, so I decided to store the unwatched stuff in a couple of those big plastic totes for now, and dig into them as necessary! :lol:
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:51 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
cal42 wrote:I've still got a reasonable pile of films that I bought in 2007 to watch :shock: . Plus, my New Year's resolution this year is to finally watch Avenging Fist, which I bought about 5 years ago :P .


"The Pile" can be so daunting sometimes. I used to be troubled just looking at it, so I decided to store the unwatched stuff in a couple of those big plastic totes for now, and dig into them as necessary! :lol:


My pile is actually in several places; probably now close to a hundred or more (wait I forgot about that pile, yes over 100, damn) also grows, but luckily only a few films remain unwatched for over a year (I think I can remember them: The Score, some Tai Seng TV Series Donnie Yen flick that is probably missing lots of footage, The Last Samurai which is almost two years now waiting :D and will probably remain unwatched).

What I've bought this year so far:
Blade Runner (you know which set :D);
Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy Criterion

and will preorder the Criterion Eclipse set within a few days: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000XPSC0C/ .
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Re: 2008: The Digital Rummage

Postby cal42 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:37 pm

Well, OK, cards on the table, my pile probably consists of no more than a dozen films. But I'm hoping what I lose in quantity I can make up for in quality :P .

I'm hoping this year to continue exploring "new" HK films (i.e. ones that have been made in the last 20 years!) in genres away from the typical HK action movie as I found some real gems last year. But hopefully I'll also be rewatching a load of films I've only seen once as I've begun to feel that I'm losing track of the films I've already got. For example, I was watching Seeding of a Ghost the other day and one scene in it reminded me of another HK film. It was probably a kung fu flick, but it had this part where a Taoist priest had built an altar in the open air and this really dramatic supernatural wind storm occured. It really bugged me that I couldn't remember what it was, who was in it or even (and I'm usually good at this) what decade it was made in. So I'm going to reacquaint myself with some older, more forgotten films. Might even dig some old VHS tapes out! As I was discussing with Brian elsewhere, re-evaluating films can be a very rewarding experience.

Brian Thibodeau wrote:Thought of calling it The Digital Chivvy,


I'm so glad you didn't :P
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:01 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Blade Runner (you know which set :D);


I suspect I do. I started in on the commentaries here at work today, and just finished the one with Hampton Fancher, David Peoples, Michael Deely and Katherine Haber. Fancher and Peoples are amazing to listen to, at least to these ears. I really dig commentaries that have some distance between the date they were recorded and the production of the film—in this case over 25 years—because it forces the participants to dig a bit deeper for anecdotes (well, usually), and these guys aren't afraid to take a few good-natured shots at each other while sharing thought-provoking insight into the writing process.



My pile is actually in several places; probably now close to a hundred or more (wait I forgot about that pile, yes over 100, damn)


This is exactly what I'm talking about! Just when you think you've got a handle on things, then you look at some other corner of the room and—BAM!—another pile! :lol: Definitely helped me to corral them in containers; it's less troubling when I can't actually see them constantly staring back at me, begging me to watch them. :lol:



cal42 wrote:but it had this part where a Taoist priest had built an altar in the open air and this really dramatic supernatural wind storm occured.


I'm not much for pairing familiar scenes with their movies myself, but this sounds like soooooo many low-budget robe-twirlers from the late 80's and early 90's—stuff like HUNTING EVIL SPIRIT—that I couldn't even begin to help out! :lol: I suspect the film you're thinking is of a much higher quality, though. I've probably become a bit of a bottom feeder thanks to the 2007 Scrounge . . .


My first purchase of 2008 was a handful of Blu-Ray discs at Amazon's current (at least as I write this) Buy One Get One Free sale.

Blazing Saddles
Bullitt
Enter the Dragon
The Road Warrior


Total was US$40 shipped. Very reasonable and within my limited winter budget. The first three port over all the extras from the standard special editions (which I can probably flip on the Amazon.ca Marketplace for about what I paid for these), the fourth adds a commentary not found anywhere else, and each is only one disc. Ten bucks a pop is fair, though I'm gonna be far, far more selective with what I buy on Blu-Ray than I ever was with regular DVD. There's just too much stuff that I like—especially the drive-in silliness and the Hong Kong movies I hold so dear—that won't be available on these new formats for a long time to come.


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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:04 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote: ...My first purchase of 2008 was a handful of Blu-Ray discs at Amazon's current (at least as I write this) Buy One Get One Free sale.

Blazing Saddles
Bullitt
Enter the Dragon
The Road Warrior


.


All solid (I have the first three on DVD); good to see someone else like Bullitt :D. The two-disc set has one of my favorite extras on the second disc about the editing process (very little of it has to do with Bullitt, so it is a great extra to have for people interested in film). The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing is the name (I don't see it on the blu ray or HD DVD). I dig the Peter Yates commentary too.
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:01 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:All solid (I have the first three on DVD); good to see someone else like Bullitt :D. The two-disc set has one of my favorite extras on the second disc about the editing process (very little of it has to do with Bullitt, so it is a great extra to have for people interested in film). The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing is the name (I don't see it on the blu ray or HD DVD). I dig the Peter Yates commentary too.


The Blu-Ray (as well as the HD-DVD) does indeed have both docs from the standard edition (Cutting Edge and The Essence of Cool), as well as the commentary, trailer and the 1968 featurette that was on the original DVD way back in the early days. I've had that early one-disc release in the collection since it first came out, and by the time the 2-disc special edition had a few price drops, it was already announced on the next generation formats, so I thought I'd just bide my time, but at $10 it was too good to pass up. :D Still kinda cool to have all that content on one little disc, too.

EDIT:
Looks like the Hong Kong distrubutors who've started releasing films to Blu-Ray made the right decision. This silly "format war" thingy has finally ended, it would seem:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080104/tc_ ... _sony_dc_4
(have any HK movies even been released on HD-DVD yet in R3?)
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:55 pm

Just caught up on some backlogged podcasts and came across a good interview with Ridley Scott via National Public Radio (NPR). Turns out you can also access it from their site:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=17450340
(two different interviews are available at the link)

Found this part of the second discussion interesting (it's touched on a bit in the first interview and the DVD extras as well):

Ridley Scott wrote:"I'd been travelling a lot and, notwithstanding, I'd spent a bit of time in Hong Kong, prior to skyscrapers, and the harbour was filled with, I dunno, two thousand junks with those beautiful sails, and it was incredibly impressive and that's where I tried to make the film initially, and that wouldn't stand the budget so we didn't do that. Cut a long story short, I ended up on the backlot in Culver City which is less exotic than Hong Kong. But I remembered Hong Kong and kind of applied that to the logic of, you know, if you're gonna look to 2019, the predominance of nationalities is gonna be either Hispanic or Asian, and I went for Asian. I dunno if I'll be right or wrong. It's kind of a balance at the moment, isn't it?


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Postby Mike Thomason » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:53 pm

Did you chaps want me to chip in this year? We're having a bub in August, so I reckon I'll be pretty much a superficial presence this time... :P
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Postby Mike Thomason » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:24 am

But just for old times' sake: I'm starting my year by taking an extended break from Asian cinema and catching up on all the cult/horror/genre/Euro titles I wanted...

99 Women (Italy/Spain/West Germany) (DVD)
The Black Belly of the Tarantula (Italy) (DVD)
The Bloody Judge (Italy/Spain/West Germany) (DVD)
Eugenie...the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion (Spain/West Germany) (DVD)
Marquis De Sade's Justine (Italy/West Germany) (DVD)
The Phantom of the Opera (1989) (United States) (DVD)
The Pyjama Girl Case (Italy) (DVD)
Rosemary's Killer (United States) (DVD)
Strip Nude for Your Killer (Italy) (DVD)

...next time around, the final additions to my Lucio Fulci collection. :D
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:33 pm

Mike Thomason wrote:The Black Belly of the Tarantula (Italy) (DVD)
The Bloody Judge (Italy/Spain/West Germany) (DVD)
Eugenie...the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion (Spain/West Germany) (DVD)
Marquis De Sade's Justine (Italy/West Germany) (DVD)
The Phantom of the Opera (1989) (United States) (DVD)
The Pyjama Girl Case (Italy) (DVD)
Rosemary's Killer (United States) (DVD)
Strip Nude for Your Killer (Italy) (DVD)


Assuming that you've seen these, of course, just wondering what your thoughts are about PYJAMA GIRL, BLACK BELLY and STRIP NUDE. I thought the latter two were quite good, PYJAMA less so (not so sure Ray Milland really needed to be in it). You bought all three, so perhaps I should assume they're favourites, but you never know with the list format of threads like these. There's an interesting documentary on the R1 PYJAMA disc that goes into some detail about the real-life case that inspired the movie (and happened in your neck of the woods, no less), yet the two couldn't be more different. I couldn't help but think the story "as is" would make for a really good dark thriller, but it would definitely require a lot of period recreation.



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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:59 pm

Say, anyone thinking of picking up . . . LEGEND OF THE BLACK SCORPION?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00104AYGK/

Gotta love those guys . . . I think :?

:lol: :lol:
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:03 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:Say, anyone thinking of picking up . . . LEGEND OF THE BLACK SCORPION?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00104AYGK/
Gotta love those guys . . . I think :?
:lol: :lol:


Since I have the rest of the DD releases I will pick it up. Fatal Contact is their next release on the 22nd of this month.

For Celestial/Image: Shaolin Intruders is coming out in February (R1): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000XXWE26/

I picked up Tsui Hark's Time and Tide this weekend.
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:27 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Since I have the rest of the DD releases I will pick it up.Fatal Contact is their next release on the 22nd of this month.


It must be tricky for companies like Dragon Dynasty sometimes. I'll give them some credit for at least trying to compile decent special editions for some of their acquisitions, but I just gotta wonder about the viability of those same titles. I mean, I know there's a niche market for this stuff, particularly those viewers that eitheraren't looking to go balls-deep into Asian cinema, or haven't the interest in going region-free but just want to sample a bit of everything from the Asian buffet (well, as long as it's action, action, action), but some of the stuff in their catalogue has been met with mixed critical and boxoffice reaction upon original release, maybe even outright indifference, and often for legitimate reasons, that I can't help but wonder just what their margins might be. I'm probably just imagining things, but do people really make enough blind buys on stuff like FATAL CONTACT, DOG BITES DOG and NO MERCY FOR THE RUDE, among others to cover the company's investments? I suppose they must, otherwise there'd be no point, but I'm still not entirely convinced of the importance and/or relevance of many of the newer titles they choose to put out there (the pointlessness of retitles like BLACK SCORPION is practically a moot point these days), but at the same time I suppose they gotta work with what these countries are churning out, contemporarily speaking, which is indeed a mixed bag . . . :?



I picked up Tsui Hark's Time and Tide this weekend.


Have you seen this one before? Any thoughts?

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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:59 pm

^
I probably blind buy too much :). I have been wondering about Dragon Dynasty selections of late (though Rob-B-Hood was a no brainer release I think), because I thought they would have came out with titles like The Killer, more of the Shaw Brothers, Jackie Chan and Jet Li titles that they said they were going to rerelease, etc..., so I completely agree with you on your points. I've read that they were very successful with several of their early releases like Police Story and The Protector (so I don't fault them for bringing out Born to Fight) so up until The City of Violence (I have not seen this one yet, so it might be a good/great) the picks were fine (though I'm not a fan of Seven Swords, well at least that version that has been released) for bigger type audiences. After that they seemed to have lost some interest in that label (not a good edition for Hardboiled, web sites updates aside from Bey Logan blog entries have been slow and lacking, release schedule was pushed back, I could not find several releases at Best Buy/Target when they were released, marketing campaign was slowed, etc...). That label could be so much more successful if they put some more effort into it (the company makes so many rookie business mistakes that I sometimes wonder what the heck is wrong with them; I do think this same thing about other businesses though).

Hmmm, April 8, 2008 for Come Drink with Me for DD's release.

I have not seen Time and Tide yet, but it was only about four dollars for me at FYE (with discount) so I picked it up. Any feelings from you on this?
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:05 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:I probably blind buy too much :).


Who here hasn't been guilty of that at some point, especially with Asian cinema :D. It's not like we always have theaters and video stores in our neighbourhoods overflowing with the stuff!



I have been wondering about Dragon Dynasty selections of late (though Rob-B-Hood was a no brainer release I think),


Definitely no brains were involved in the retitling of that one.



because I thought they would have came out with titles like The Killer, more of the Shaw Brothers, Jackie Chan and Jet Li titles that they said they were going to rerelease, etc...,


I'm sure that stuff will see the light of day in due time, but they've got to mix it in with titles that are more recent, but it just seems like so much of the recent stuff splits opinions. Then again, opinions online are split over just about everything, so few companies are gonna let that drive them out of business. You are right about one thing, their releases are extremely difficult to spot at Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart (where they're generally the cheapest, outside of online retailers), which makes me wonder just how much clout the company has with major retailers for this kind of . Their titles do turn up at these outlets, but often it's only the more recent theatrical features (like THE LEGEND OF ROBIN BEIN' IN DA HOOD) that get replenished, and even that's very rare (as a regular visitor to the U.S. via Michigan and New York these days, I've been in more Wal-Marts than I care to admit :lol:)

Personally, I thought CITY OF VIOLENCE was a pretty good film for what it set out to be, which was a comic book writ large (the short running time should be a lesson to virtually every Korean filmmaker out there: it can be done, people!). Probably no heralded classic fifty years from now, but I picked up the vibe it was selling at the outset and felt it really stayed true to that all the way through. Others' mileage has no doubt varied, but that's one Dragon Dynasty title I'll probably pick up—when their prices inevitably drop—as my Korean DVD has a problematic first disc.



I have not seen Time and Tide yet, but it was only about four dollars for me at FYE (with discount) so I picked it up. Any feelings from you on this?


Quite a ride. Check out the reviews in the DB for this one; my thoughts are pretty much in line with the favourable ones. They're all pretty positive and most go to some length to back up their praise. The few who disliked it—and even some of those who did—usually shoot for the script first as a source of confusion, but I can sincerely say that it didn't have that effect on me in the theater. It requires more focus from a viewer than one might be expected to give to a Hong Kong action picture, but that never felt unintentional to me.

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Postby Mike Thomason » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:12 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
Mike Thomason wrote:The Black Belly of the Tarantula (Italy) (DVD)
The Bloody Judge (Italy/Spain/West Germany) (DVD)
Eugenie...the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion (Spain/West Germany) (DVD)
Marquis De Sade's Justine (Italy/West Germany) (DVD)
The Phantom of the Opera (1989) (United States) (DVD)
The Pyjama Girl Case (Italy) (DVD)
Rosemary's Killer (United States) (DVD)
Strip Nude for Your Killer (Italy) (DVD)


Assuming that you've seen these, of course, just wondering what your thoughts are about PYJAMA GIRL, BLACK BELLY and STRIP NUDE.


I've only seen THE BLOODY JUDGE, PHANTOM, ROSEMARY and PYJAMA GIRL. The rest of the Franco's were inspired by watching his VENUS IN FURS the other day and being very taken with it and a younger Maria Rohm -- excepting the gialli, which I should have bought ages ago as I do enjoy a good one every now and then.

PYJAMA GIRL was shot here in Oz, based on an actually murder case from the turn of the twentieth century and also featured the wonderful Dalila Di Lazzaro (whom I first encountered in Warhol's FRANKENSTEIN all those years ago); some of Riz Ortolani's score even seemed vaguely reminiscient of Giorgio Moroder's score for Alan Parker's MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, which was still another year away when it was released -- maybe Ortolani inspired Moroder's direction? I always liked the film and found the mystery element was wrapped up in quite unexpected fashion. I'll be buying a few more gialli, as well as the Argento and Fulci titles I want to complete those respective collections.

I also bought all the rest of the "Blind Dead" films on disc recently, having been years since I saw the first one (and about half a year since I upgraded it to a digital edition), and started watching them backwards -- THE NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS first. Though I've always loved the concept, watching NIGHT a day or two ago reminded me of why I was never in a rush to see the whole series: their pacing is leaden in the extreme and their shoestring budgets show through in nearly every scene. Mind you, being able to watch them in their native Spanish is a plus...:)

Speaking of which (Spanish that is), my collection of Almodovar films should start turning up soon...that I snagged on sale out of the UK late last year. I do so love a good Almodovar film, which pretty much means any of this films really (though I am favoured towards everything post-WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN).
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:09 pm

I definitely liked the score of PYJAMA GIRL. I'm pretty sure I've still got a Italian film compilation CD at home with a track from it (maybe two), although I knew nothing about most of the films highlighted on it when I bought it many moons ago! The movie was pretty good in my book, although I just couldn't get past what seemed like stunt casting in the case of Milland (maybe I'd have felt differently had they used him throughout the entire film), although it seems that it was fairly common for American actors to head to Europe in their down years.

BLACK BELLY was a pleasant discovery for me, although knowing our differences of opinion on certain genre stuff like this (not a big Franco fan here, for example!), a recommendation from me might be a signal to approach with caution! :lol: Still, there's something about that 1970-1973 period that almost always seems to work for my aesthetic sensibilities. Outside that range I've had mixed experiences, strangely. :?

I'd give anything to see a remake of any of the BLIND DEAD films. The concept is a good one, as you say, but the production and pacing on most of the original four leaves a lot to be desired (probably good that you started with the last, and worst, one). Today's filmmaking techniques would do the story so much more justice. Surely there's some enterprising Spanish writer or director out there who's had the same idea?

Further speaking of Spanish films, wondering if Mike or anyone else here has taken a chance on a neat little Hitchcockian Spanish thriller called EL HABITANTE INCIERTO (2004). Can't remember if I've ever mentioned it around here. I originally read about it at Mobius and after reading what little I could find on it that wasn't in Spanish, decided to give the Spanish DVD a try. The premise is almost too easy: a recently dumped guy lets a stranger in to use his phone on a dark and stormy night. He gives the guy some privacy for a couple of minutes, then returns to find him gone. But where? Slowly, the protagonist becomes convinced the stranger is still living in the house but avoiding detection, while everyone else becomes convinced he's going insane from paranoia. But the evidence does indeed suggest there's something amiss. The film leaves things a bit too open at the end, but in such a way that it's kinda fun to see how different people interpret it. Looks like the R1 edition is a bit cheaper than I paid for my import, too (especially if you get it via the Marketplace :shock:):
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FUTV50
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Postby Mike Thomason » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:46 am

Brian Thibodeau wrote:I'd give anything to see a remake of any of the BLIND DEAD films. The concept is a good one, as you say, but the production and pacing on most of the original four leaves a lot to be desired (probably good that you started with the last, and worst, one). Today's filmmaking techniques would do the story so much more justice. Surely there's some enterprising Spanish writer or director out there who's had the same idea?


I thought the same thing -- and I'd long since already seen the first two films in the series (I also liked [sic] the manner in which the origins of the blind dead changed in every film; there's zero consistency), but thought it was time to see the third and fourth films. So, I just bought the lot. :D

Addendum: In late breaking news, being that I watched the films backwards, when I got to TOMBS the other day best laid plans dictated that I didn't end up watching the whole film on the day planned; I popped the disc back into its case and wouldn't you know it -- the centre-ring of the disc shattered! It also split a jellybean sized (and shaped) fracture from the centre hole right across into the playing surface of the disc itself -- so guess I'll be buying myself a new one of these before I finally get around to watching it again and completing a certain quartet of reviews for publication elsewhere... :shock:
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Postby Mike Thomason » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:52 pm

Bought two Hong Kong movies*, just for posterity, and some other stuff...

Bullet & Brain (Hong Kong) (DVD)*
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (Great Britain) (DVD)
Emmanuelle (France) (DVD)
Escape from Hell (Italy/Spain) (DVD)
Hotel Paradise (Italy/Spain) (DVD)
House of Mahjong (Hong Kong) (DVD)*
The Mummy's Shroud (Great Britain) (DVD)

...next payday -- some old Lucio Fulci flicks! :D
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Postby Mike Thomason » Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:46 am

Mr. Franco it is! Voila...

Doriana Grey (Switzerland) (DVD)
Jack the Ripper (Switzerland/Germany) (DVD)
The Jess Franco Collection (Image R1 boxset):
- Female Vampire (France) (DVD)
- Oasis of the Zombies (France) (DVD)
- The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus (Spain) (DVD)
- A Virgin Among the Living Dead (France/Italy) (DVD)
Women in Cellblock 9 (Switzerland) (DVD)
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:19 pm

A few things to finish up from 2007, no surprises here as many of you already have 'em, but now that I've got some good legit suppliers within a stone's throw from my home (and Christmas out of the way!), it's often better for me to wait than it is to pre-order online. Hardly surprising that Chinese retailers here lower the prices rather than raise them after the first few weeks. Guess they gotta compete with their less scrupulous competitors somehow . . . :( Besides, I'm cool with being behind the curve a bit as I know I'm not the only one here with mountains of this stuff to tackle!

BROTHERS (2007)
BEAUTY AND THE 7 BEASTS (2007) Almost picked up  the original LUCKY SEVEN duo in a store here, until I noticed they  carry no English subs. Still tempted, really. It can only enhance  viewing the newer film, whether it's good or bad, right?
WHO'S NEXT (2007)
BULLET & BRAIN (2007)
TRIANGLE (2007)

and some old stuff:

ON TRIAL (1980; Leslie Cheung, Danny Chan, Paul Chung) This is in the DB as ENCORE, so it looks like it will need an alias added at some point.
A SUDDEN LOVE (1995) DB entry definitely needs some padding, and maybe a review or seven! :lol:
KICKBOXER (1993) Normally I don't spring for upgrades since the film's the thing (anamorphic or otherwise), but this replaces a cheap U.S. disc that broke on me before I had a chance to  finish it years ago! Guess I'll have to start all over again . . . :D

and some more recent Shaw stuff, all VCDs except RIVER OF TEARS
(getting near the end of these, from what I hear)

FACETS OF LOVE (1973)
BLOODY PARROT (1981). DB entry needs an upgrade
RIVER OF TEARS (1969) DB entry for this one needs an upgrade as well.

Out of genuine curiosity, is anybody else here into the contempo dramas and such? I've got so many discs along the lines of RIVER, but I have such difficulty finding reviews/discussions of them, and I'd really like to. Links? Directions? From the common go-to sites, one would think martial arts and exploitation (like FACETS) were the only things worthy of the time . . . :(

But, since Shaw Martial Arts titles can't be overlooked:
DEADLY KNIVES (1972) Another one to be updated
THE SUPREME SWORDSMAN (1984; Jason Pai Piao, Derek Yee) Ditto
THE IMPERIAL SWORDSMAN (1972; Ching Miao, Shu Pei-pei) And again . . .


and from my U.S. post box:

PYE DOG (2007; Eason Chan, George Lam) Weird that it streeted in the  states before Hong Kong. Should I lower my expectations? The package  sure makes it sound interesting . . .
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977). 3-Disc Edition (Blu-Ray)

Oh yeah, and a couple free downloads from Jaman (phenomenal quality  on these, by the way):
BIG BAD SIS
THE DELINQUENT



As always, this list is partial, since a lot of stuff gets tucked away before I think to post here.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In related news, one of the regular haunts for HK movies here in Toronto just recently moved massive amounts of Chinese music CDs to a $3.99 bin. Some of the elaborate boxed sets in there - once priced as high as $50 - are virtual no-brainers at that price, and I'm thinking I might have to give in on a future visit. As well, this place also has nearly every Shaw DVD still in stock in multiple copies (VCDs as well), including most of the out-of-print titles, though their $24.99 CDN price tag :shock: has kept nearly all of them on the shelves since day one. On the weekend, one of  the ladies who runs the place suggested to check back if I was  interested in that stuff as there might be a big purge coming up in the months ahead. Oh, my achin' wallet . . . :lol:
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Postby Mike Thomason » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:33 am

Zigga-zig-ah! :D

Anna & Anna (Hong Kong) (DVD)
The Drummer (Hong Kong) (DVD)
Layer Cake (Great Britain) (DVD)
The Orloff Collection (Image R1 boxset):
- The Awful Dr Orlof (France/Spain) (DVD)
- Dr Orloff's Monster (Austria/France/Spain) (DVD)
- Orloff & The Invisible Man (France/Spain) (DVD)
- Revenge in the House of Usher (France/Spain) (DVD)
Sexy Sisters (Switzerland) (DVD)
Straight On Till Morning (Great Britain) (DVD)
Succubus (Germany) (DVD)
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:43 am

Not sure if any of these are overly saucy as I recall, but they are Euro (in keeping with the theme here for only a moment), and for $20.99 shipped from Amazon (tossed in a $5 cheapo disc for someone else to get over $25), this is bar none the lowest price yet for the eight (nine!) films in . . .

The Bava Box Set, Vol. 2 (Anchor Bay)

Includes:
LISA AND THE DEVIL
HOUSE OF EXORCISM
BAY OF BLOOD
BARON BLOOD
KIDNAPPED (includes RABID DOGS as well)
ROY COLT AND WINCHESTER JACK
5 DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON
FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT


Link below, in case anybody's still looking. Hopefully the sale price is still in effect when you click!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UVV23S/
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:02 pm

I was thinking about the Bava set (someone recommended it to me) but too many purchases lately including:

Lot won on ebay (copied/pasted list :); overlaps some I already own):

This is a 13 Asian Taratan Extreme dvd auction.
It contains following dvds:
1) Koma
2) Phone
3) Kill Chiba collection
4) H
5) Vital
6) Pray (Used in mint condition)
7) Unknown White Male
8) Sorum
9) Cello
10) Another Public Enemy (Used in mint condition)
11) Spider Forest (Used in mint condition)
12) Internal Affairs 2 (Used in mint condition)
13) Address Unknown (Used in mint condition)

Got Fatal Contact (HK) -- Dragon Dynasty

Non-Asian:
Val Lewton Box Set (the new one with the Scorsese documentary: Amazon is late on shipping though for some reason; saw it at Best Buy though this weekend)
El Cid (Special Edition)

And mucho mucho mas
My Amazon Reviews

“That’s Icky to Infinity.” – The Tick
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Postby Mike Thomason » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:18 am

Barbed Wire Dolls (Switzerland) (DVD)
The Blood of Fu Manchu (Germany/Great Britain/Spain) (DVD)
The Castle of Fu Manchu (Germany/Great Britain/Spain) (DVD)
The Girl from Rio (Germany/Spain) (DVD)
Magic Boy (Hong Kong) (DVD)
Sex & Lucia (Spain) (DVD)
Talk To Her (Spain) (DVD)

Mmmm, told you all there'd be more Jess Franco films... :D
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:27 am

A few items from the past three weeks. Didn't buy these all together, but figured I'd wait until there was enough to justify a post.

From Hong Kong

MAD DETECTIVE
IN LOVE WITH THE DEAD
(2 disc) Why do they even bother with these 2 disc sets when all the content can fit on one disc with room to spare? :?
TRIVIAL MATTERS
ANNA & ANNA
THE DETECTIVE
(Aaron Kwok)
FEAR FACTORS (tough to find anything on this one. No one seems to have reviewed it anywhere that I can find, plus it's not in the DB here at all, so some credits will be in order one of these days

From the U.S.

2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY (Blu-Ray)
GOODFELLAS (Blu-Ray)
SUPERMAN RETURNS (Blu-Ray)
(got these in Amazon's Buy Two Get One Free sale, though given the chance, I'd have probably substituted something else for Superman, not that it's a bad film or anything—I rather enjoyed it, but didn't feel it was a classic worthy of an upgrade to hi-def like the other two—but there just wasn't anything else I needed. )

And because I just can't seem to kick the drive-in habit, four two-disc, eight-film DVD collections of Crown International classics, each around $6.50 at DVD Planet. A bit less at Deep Discount, but they haven't got all four sets. Some of these titles are recycled from BCI's "Welcome To The Grindhouse" double features that were apparently pulled from distribution because the Weinsteins got pissy because they apparently own the word "Grindhouse." Or something like that:

MAXIMUM ACTION 8 MOVIE COLLECTION
Includes: Tough To Kill (D'Amato), The Last Four Days, The Silencer, KillPoint (Leo Fong!), 9 Deaths of the Ninja (yes!!), Low Blow (more Leo Fong!), Top Cop and the Tonny Tulleners masterpiece Scorpion :lol:)

SCHOOL DAZED 8 MOVIE COLLECTION
Included: My Tutor, My Chauffer, Hunk, Tomboy, Jocks, Weekend Pass, The Pom Pom Girls and The Van

AFTER DARK THRILLERS 8 MOVIE COLLECTION
Includes French Quarter, Separate Ways, Hot Target, Pickup, Blue Money, Double Exposure, Night Club and Click: The Calendar Girl Killer. Not sure if Night Club is the Corbucci film or the 1990 thriller as this is the only set that hasn't arrived yet, and the one from which I've seen the fewest films, so we'll see . . . )

DRIVE-IN CULT CLASSICS 8 MOVIE COLLECTION
Includes The Teacher, Pick-up (shame this bizarro new-agey silliness turns up in two sets, but hey . . .), Trip With The Teacher, Best Friends, Cindy & Donna, The Sister In Law, The Stepmother and the legendary Malibu High.
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Postby Mike Thomason » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:30 am

The Black Cat (Italy) (DVD)
Confessions Box-set (Sony R2UK collector's pack)
- Confessions of a Window Cleaner (Great Britain) (DVD)
- Confessions of a Driving Instructor (Great Britain) (DVD)
- Confessions of a Pop Performer (Great Britain) (DVD)
- Confessions from a Holiday Camp (Great Britain) (DVD)
Don't Torture a Duckling (Italy) (DVD)
Ilsa, The Wicked Warden (Spain/Switzerland) (DVD)
Love Camp (Spain/Switzerland) (DVD)
Manhattan Baby (Italy) (DVD)
Murder Rock (Italy) (DVD)
Voodoo Passion (Switzerland) (DVD)
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