Non-Criterion Boutique Home Video Discussion (Kino, Warner Archive, Arrow, Indicator, Vinegar Syndrome, Code Red, etc.)

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The notion was floated a while back of starting a thread to cover the myriad of non-Criterion boutique physical media distributors, and this bit of (potentially sad? although opinions are divided as to what it actually means) Warner Archive news finally prompted me to undertake the daunting process of clicking 'New Question':

QUE SERA SE-SAVINGS!
2021 is here, and with it comes change. So we and our friends at the Araca Group that manage WBShop wanted to say thank you for your support with a final 4 for 44 sale! Start your lists and get ready to save on the weekend of March 12th, 2021! See you then!

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 20:33 (five months ago) link

Oh good, that sale's still like three weeks away.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 20:37 (five months ago) link

Olive Films puts out a lot of good stuff. Can't seem to find a proper home page.

https://www.deepdiscount.com/olive-films/b236587

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 20:43 (five months ago) link

A small and arthouse-centric Kino sale started today alongside Criterion's: https://www.kinolorber.com/list/view/code/feb-brrr-ary-sale_2021

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 20:46 (five months ago) link

xpost I appreciate the titles that Olive releases but I'm not crazy about the fact that they're mostly bare-bones releases (usually just the film itself).

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 20:48 (five months ago) link

Agreed. Olive releases tend to make me frustrated Criterion or someone else didn't get them.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 20:55 (five months ago) link

Sometimes I stream from Kino Now, does that count?

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 21:00 (five months ago) link

Weekend before last I watched some Hungarian mind game thriller that I liked, title is really long and hard to remember.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 21:00 (five months ago) link

Huh, I didn't even know they had their own streaming service. It seems like a lot of their physical releases wind up streaming on Criterion Channel.

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 21:04 (five months ago) link

Wait, I misspoke. Kino Lorber does have its own streaming service called Kino Now, but I streamed PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME from Film Forum.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 22:43 (five months ago) link

Really hope that's not really the final Warner Archive sale! I didn't buy that often, but it was a nice thing to have around.

Nhex, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 02:03 (five months ago) link

Streaming the latest Philippe Garrel from Film Forum now before it goes away.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 03:39 (five months ago) link

xpost My understanding is that WB is parting ways with the company that runs WB Shop. There has been speculation running the gamut from 'so this is just the final 4 for $44 with that particular distributor' to 'so this means that WB is shuttering Warner Archive altogether'. Given that WB often demonstrates the sound business acumen of a downed power line whipping madly across a roadway, the real answer could fall anywhere within that continuum.

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 03:56 (five months ago) link

I recommend this Philippe Garrel film.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 05:07 (five months ago) link

I'm sad about the possible demise of WB Archive but to be honest I could never be bothered with bare bones releases, even if the transfers are very good. Without the contextualization I'd rather just stream it or, in the before times, wait until it hits a repertory cinema.

Can heartily recommend the first volume of Indicator's Columbia Noir boxes. Bought it kinda expecting scraps, but the overall level is actually pretty good, and Drive A Crooked Road might make it on a hypothetical list of my all-time fave noirs.

Second Run is another one to look out for - they specialise in Eastern European cinema, so I end up giving them less of my money than I should because I'm just not very savvy on that topic yet. But a recent release that I loved is Tomorrow I'll Wake Up And Scald Myself With Tea, which is a nazi time travel comedy (!) from Czechoslovakia. Very much official state cinema, not a Czech New Wave kind of thing, but really clever with its time travel conceit; can't think of another movie that uses it so well this side of Back To The Future.

Finally, 88 Films, headed by Nicky Wire in a banana suit, have just had British censors refuse them permission to release a blu-ray for some Italian nazisploitation orgy thing, which is dumb but also very funny if you immediatley think of dude's ilx days.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 10:58 (five months ago) link

i've been eyeing up the Second Run dvds for a while now, always meaning to buy more, but i only have the Jancso box.

koogs, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 11:42 (five months ago) link

(and Daisies. but then everyone has Daisies)

koogs, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 11:43 (five months ago) link

I'm sad about the possible demise of WB Archive but to be honest I could never be bothered with bare bones releases, even if the transfers are very good.


It's worth researching what's actually included each release, as some of their releases are completely feature-free while others are positively laden with features and occasionally even an entire extra film.

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 12:12 (five months ago) link

Huh. Are the latter regular Warner DVD releases that went OOP?

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 13:39 (five months ago) link

Some are. They just released Curse of Frankenstein which I think got a crummy snapcase DVD release 20 years ago in the US but was otherwise only ever available in multipacks. The new blu-ray is a two-disc set with the film in three different aspect ratios and a whole lot of new features.

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 13:44 (five months ago) link

Looking over my recent purchases (Curse, Shop Around the Corner, Meet Me in St. Louis, Best Years of our Lives), only Best Years is fairly stingy with the extras.

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 13:54 (five months ago) link

Second Run's Goodbye Dragon Inn might be my favorite release of the last year. Or at least my favorite movie that finally got a decent set.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 13:59 (five months ago) link

Didn't realise Nicky Wire Bananaman actually ran 88 Films, but did watch one of his documentaries on a release - might have been Massacre In Dinosaur Valley? - so it makes sense.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:00 (five months ago) link

I have never understood what "nicky wire in a banana suit" means and had no idea he was a poster...is there some reasonable reason his company has that name?

rob, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:03 (five months ago) link

Big Hitler fan and cinephile

jammy mcnullity (wins), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:06 (five months ago) link

One of those more believable than the other.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:09 (five months ago) link

ugh hitler stans are so annoying

rob, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:11 (five months ago) link

Just did a nostalgic search through thread titles started by his most frequent identity and that was a wild ride. I didn't realise there were just so many of them.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:16 (five months ago) link

In actually relevant news I went to order that Czech film from Second Run but I can't check out the shopping cart. Oh well.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:18 (five months ago) link

yeah sorry for derail (also embarrassingly realized I've figured this out before)

still, I would probably avoid releasing nazisploitation movies with that company name

rob, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:34 (five months ago) link

I wasn't having a go except at myself because I thought I was derailing.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 15:17 (five months ago) link

there are lots of WB Archives Blu-Rays with extras. Off the top of my head, a couple Michael Curtiz movies (Dodge City + Adventures of Robin Hood) have newsreels, cartoons, short films (by Curtiz!), trailers, and multiple radio broadcasts of the film in question. Usually some contemporary interviews with scholars/critics, too.

Dunno about entire extra films though, I've only ever encountered that with Criterion. They should really emphasize that more imo, I mean the Stranger Than Paradise disc for example: it has Permanent Vacation! That's hardly an extra. Stranger Than Paradise is an extra on that disc!

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:06 (five months ago) link

Gaslight at least has both the 1940 and 1944 versions of the film. I could swear I have at least one other with a bonus film.

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:11 (five months ago) link

But yeah, Criterion (and others who do likewise) should make a bigger deal about that. I bought The Front Page from Kino not realizing that it was included on Criterion's release of His Girl Friday.

Please Hammer Stop Hurting 'Em (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:13 (five months ago) link

Most (if not all) of the Warner Archive Blu extras are ported over from the original DVDs.

"what are you DOING to fleetwood mac??" (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:13 (five months ago) link

The first Gaslight with Anton Walbrook is grebt.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:16 (five months ago) link

Wow, I had no idea about Gaslight. Yeah, I had the same reaction with His Girl Friday, tbh I didn't even know it had the extra movie when I bought it. I went to watch HGF again like 2 years ago and was like "what's this extra disc...? ...oh..... wtf?!!"

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:22 (five months ago) link

It Happened One Night has a feature length Capra silent (haven't watched yet), and the Stagecoach release has one of the best Ford silents I've seen, Bucking Broadway.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:22 (five months ago) link

Killer's Kiss included with The Killing...The Report included with Certified Copy...yeah...

Motoroller Scampotron (WmC), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:24 (five months ago) link

I'd imagine with Criterion that it has to do with them gatekeeping what gets the official "prestige" of being included in the Collection, which kinda makes since for stuff like De Palma's Murder A La Mod (bonus for Blow Out) or the 30s version of Magnificent Obsession on the Sirk disc, but is pretty baffling choice when it comes to Permanent Vacation.

Judi Dench's Human Hand (methanietanner), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:26 (five months ago) link

Killer's Kiss included with The Killing...The Report included with Certified Copy...yeah...

― Motoroller Scampotron (WmC), Wednesday, February 24, 2021 1:24 PM (three minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

YO

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:29 (five months ago) link

I'VE HAD THE REPORT THIS WHOLE TIME.....?

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:29 (five months ago) link

xxp Yeah that does make sense, it just feels like they should advertise them more, I mean I had NO idea Certified Copy came with The Report-- and I've had that disc for years!

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:31 (five months ago) link

But, then again, I don't read stickers!

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:31 (five months ago) link

My birthday present to you!

Motoroller Scampotron (WmC), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:35 (five months ago) link

I love you

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:36 (five months ago) link

The studio killed the original UK Gaslight in various ways such as renaming it so as not to compete with the US remake, iirc..

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:41 (five months ago) link

Okay, MGM destroyed the negative at the time, and one or both versions were variously known as Angel Street and The Murder in Thornton Square.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:51 (five months ago) link

Bonus films are indeed an awesome feature, though tbh I'm not sure I'll ever get around to the earlier version of Holiday

rob, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:55 (five months ago) link

I haven't looked at the Warner Archive site in years, but I remember being wary because the DVDs (and maybe the blu-rays?) were sometimes DVD-Rs/MOD. The fact that a even some factory-pressed Warner titles from about fifteen years ago became unplayable over time helped sour me on buying Warner releases. But I also just rarely watch physical discs any more, unfortunately.

xxp Another bonus feature IIRC is The Traveler on Criterion's Close-Up.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 18:57 (five months ago) link

Arright, I think that trailer just got its hooks in me.

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Friday, 30 April 2021 16:27 (three months ago) link

I finally got my Arrow order: can I just say that My 20th Century is lovely.

Bidh boladh a' mhairbh de 'n láimh fhalaimh (dowd), Friday, 30 April 2021 20:22 (three months ago) link

Recent Arrow announcements include a set of spaghetti westerns to go with the eurocrime one and the Daimajin trilogy, a sort of Japanese take on the legend of the Golem.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 3 May 2021 11:18 (two months ago) link

Wow, very happy about Daimajin!

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 3 May 2021 17:43 (two months ago) link

Well, I guess it just took Hammer vol 3 at original rrp to start me off on the Indicator sets.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 11:54 (two months ago) link

Daimajin trilogy is more expensive than I expected but I really want this.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 8 May 2021 23:41 (two months ago) link

Yeah, pretty sure I'm gonna preorder. But if money is an issue, I'm sure they'll release it in a cheaper standard edition a couple months later like they did with Gamera.

Slime Goobody (Old Lunch), Sunday, 9 May 2021 03:05 (two months ago) link

...this I didn't expect.

***NEW TITLE ANNOUNCEMENT***
Coming to Blu-ray 8/24 from @KLStudioClassic

Jane Wagner's Moment by Moment (1978) pic.twitter.com/SsVvW7hRbO

— Dawn of The Discs (@dawnofthediscs) May 19, 2021

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 19 May 2021 01:52 (two months ago) link

i dunno, that kinda movie's like 100% in KL's wheelhouse

Nhex, Wednesday, 19 May 2021 03:03 (two months ago) link

Cult Epics have been releasing the works of Nouchka van Brakel, a Dutch female director from the country's 70's sexploitation heyday. Cool to see someone besides Verhoeven get some shine.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 19 May 2021 10:20 (two months ago) link

Strip!

i carry the torch for disco inauthenticity (Eric H.), Wednesday, 19 May 2021 13:00 (two months ago) link

Buy me a drink first.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 20 May 2021 09:19 (two months ago) link

Australia's Imprint label dropping Blus of The Straight Story and Drugstore Cowboy in August.

https://viavision.com.au/shop/the-straight-story-1999/

https://viavision.com.au/shop/drugstore-cowboy-1989/

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 27 May 2021 23:10 (two months ago) link

I powered through those Three Stooges shorts in the first Indicator Noir box set but I'm now on vol.2 and have decided life is too short.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 28 May 2021 09:36 (two months ago) link

How are the noir boxes? Not something I'm particularly au fait with.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Friday, 28 May 2021 11:14 (two months ago) link

Do you mean in terms of movies or extras?

Moviewise, Columbia b's aren't like the first thing I'd urge noir neophytes to see - they're certainly not at the level of those old Warner Bros DVD noir boxes - but I'd say the overall level is solid and so far every one of them has had something to distinguish it from the generic cop procedurals that sometimes get pawned off as noir. Biggest highlight on the first box is Drive A Crooked Road, an erotically charged thriller with Mickey Rooney as a sexually frustrated mechanic getting used as a patsy in a gorgeous beach house setting.

Extraswise, Indicator doesn't have the pull to get as much in the way of interviews with actual participants as Warner Bros or even Criterion would be able to, but they're creative in making up for this: a lot of short films by the same directors, mostly non-fiction and public information type stuff. Also every film comes with a Stooges short that is themtically related to the film, a very neat trick even though as I said you can only watch so many of those. This also means commentaries tend to be less by scholars who've written three books on the film and more by enthusiasts and Film Twitter types, which can be good or bad.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 28 May 2021 12:34 (two months ago) link

Vinegar Syndrome's Halfway to Black Friday sale is live now through Monday. There's a bunch of new releases and most of the rest is all 50% off.

https://vinegarsyndrome.com/

Judi Dench's Human Hand (methanietanner), Friday, 28 May 2021 12:37 (two months ago) link

Thanks Daniel, I meant in terms of the films to be honest. It's a genre I've never really got into and was wondering whether I was missing out but sounds like there are better options.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Friday, 28 May 2021 13:00 (two months ago) link

Yeah, I'd def watch Out Of The Past, Asphalt Jungle, The Killers, The Maltese Falcon and Touch Of Evil first before digging into the Columbia vault.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 28 May 2021 13:10 (two months ago) link

Arrow Video announced various 4K UHD versions of David Lynch's Dune, which are now up for pre-order

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 28 May 2021 19:34 (two months ago) link

Vinegar Syndrome Halfway to Black Friday sale currently live, now through Monday afternoon. Prices on new/limited releases are a little ehhhh but dig in to their older stuff and you'll find some decent deals. Get all the Rudy Ray Moore you can handle!

Jerome Percival Jesus (Old Lunch), Friday, 28 May 2021 20:05 (two months ago) link

Just got an email from Kino Now about their Memorial Day sale.

AP Chemirocha (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 29 May 2021 18:13 (two months ago) link

man where has this thread been that I didn't know about, this is my fuckin area even though I almost never find the time to watch the stuff I get. like I got a set of these back in January but by the time the kids turn in I have exactly two hours tops to pursue anything I wanna do before I crash, and by that point a movie will usually put me to sleep

anyway I am hoping that finding this thread will encourage me to watch the cool boutique dvds and blu-rays I have stacked up by the TV

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Saturday, 29 May 2021 19:31 (two months ago) link

Vinegar Syndrome's subsidiary Fun City Editions is releasing Michael Ritchie's 1975 masterpiece Smile!

https://vinegarsyndrome.com/products/smile-fun-city-editions

MGM's DVD was non-anamorphic and has been OOP for dog's years.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 31 May 2021 01:43 (one month ago) link

Description makes it sound like a typical horny teen sex comedy. It's not?

Nhex, Monday, 31 May 2021 03:17 (one month ago) link

It's more a Nashville-esque ensemble social satire about the goings-on in and around a staged event (in this case a statewide teen beauty pageant). Although there is a subplot involving Dern's son trying to spy on the pageant dressing room and get nude Polaroids of the contestants to sell to his friends.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 31 May 2021 06:14 (one month ago) link

It's also kind of a proto-Christopher Guest entertainment satire, minus the mockumentary elements.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 31 May 2021 06:22 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Well this sucks.

pic.twitter.com/MQsJz2SNFV

— INDICATOR (@indicatorseries) June 16, 2021

i carry the torch for disco inauthenticity (Eric H.), Wednesday, 16 June 2021 22:19 (one month ago) link

lol talk about your cursed movies

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 17 June 2021 09:28 (one month ago) link

Years of Lead turned up yesterday and looks pretty amazing,although Arrow have cribbed the Indicator box format for it (which is no bad thing for the buyer).

I also finally got the Bill Rebane set to match the William Grefé one, and Stephen Bissette tells me on FB that he's working on another regional auteur set (presumably also for Arrow in the same format).

The Christopher Lee box by Severin seems great on content but the disc box art is DREADFUL. Their mid-year announcement of Blood For Dracula is very welcome though, as is the offer of the Baker/Lenzi set at half price.

There's one film on the Lee box and half the Baker/Lenzi that are pushing me to finally go for region-free BR.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Thursday, 17 June 2021 11:14 (one month ago) link

Two relatively big sales going on right now.

Kino Lorber has 400+ titles on sale through with pretty good discounts through July 14th as part of their June Swoon sale. Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice for $12 and the recent release of Sirk's Battle Hymn for $10 were surprising standouts for me.

https://www.kinolorber.com/list/view/code/june-swoon-2021

At the same time, Severin has launched one of their two big annual sales as Severin Nukes The MID-YEAR SALE 2021, which only runs through the weekend. Most of their stock is 50% retail and there are a bunch of new titles, too; but sadly, none of their 2021 releases are included and their website seems to be having a bunch of problems per the blu-ray.com forums. I'm still likely to try to put in a $100ish order to get free shipping so if anyone has any essential Severin recommendations I'd love to hear them as Cruel Jaws is the only title of theirs I currently own and I have some wiggle room on my current prospective order.

https://severin-films.com/

Judi Dench's Human Hand (methanietanner), Friday, 25 June 2021 16:28 (one month ago) link

I was going to hit the Severin sale but the book is USA only and the Baker/Lenzi box was sold out by the time I got there so I'm going to save and buy the Al Adamson set in a couple of months I think.

Did any more rumours come of the Indicator Harryhausen centenary box? They just announced discounts on standard editions so feels unlikely now.

Arrow have a Sam Katzman box announced for September which will be fun.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Friday, 25 June 2021 16:44 (one month ago) link

As for Severins I'd recommend:

Massacre In Dinosaur Valley is full-on fun. Genre hops like crazy, from action adventure to threat of nature to cannibal escape to women in prison without batting an eyelid.

Beyond The Darkness has some great scenes. I'm not sure it holds up that well as a whole but there's probably enough there.

Blackenstein is really something. If you think you might like it you probably will. If you think you won't, you probably won't. It's not going to win you over from your original thoughts when you read the plot.

The documentary about Richard Stanley's Island of Doctor Moreau is essential (but has been on Prime so ymmv whether it's worth more than getting you over the line for free shipping).

I assume you're aware of Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh, All The Colours of the Dark, and Blood on Satan's Claw which are essential.

The Beast Must Die is a proper romp, but I'd argue the Indicator edition has better extras (or rather extra extras as nearly everything on the Severin one is on the Indicator one). I'm still debating whether I like it enough to trade up from the one in the Amicus Coffin Box.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Friday, 25 June 2021 17:04 (one month ago) link

And another sale to boot: https://www.shoutfactory.com/sale/hidden-gems-sale

If you like garbage (and god knows I do), this might be the sale for you.

These folks really should coordinate their sales better. There hasn't been anything happening for a couple months and now, as is standard, everything drops at once. I hit Shout! and Kino pretty hard but now I'm looking at my Severin cart and thinking, eh, I can wait for Black Friday.

Arrow sale on
https://arrowfilms.com/shop/camp-arrow-video-part-ii/?pi=1
Battles Without Honour And Humanity bluray boxset is back in stock for £30, great price as it was going for £100+ recently

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Thursday, 1 July 2021 18:16 (four weeks ago) link

ooh, two things there that are on the kinema junpo 1995 list i've been working through (Battles Without Honour being one of them, although i plumped for the single dvd not the box)

(it says the box is a pre-order (out monday?) and might be blu-only, rather than the dual format 13-disc thing that's now going for bazillions (£400) on amazon. but there are many formats so it's hard to tell)

koogs, Saturday, 3 July 2021 16:58 (three weeks ago) link

Why, this will do:

https://arrowfilms.com/product-detail/shawscope-volume-one-limited-edition-blu-ray/FCD2076

https://us.zavvi.com/blu-ray/shawscope-volume-one-limited-edition/13187337.html

After an undisputed reign at the peak of Hong Kong’s film industry in the 1960s, Shaw Brothers (the studio founded by real-life brothers Run Run and Runme Shaw) found their dominance challenged by up-and-coming rivals in the early 1970s. They swiftly responded by producing hundreds of the most iconic action films ever made, revolutionising the genre through the backbreaking work of top-shelf talent on both sides of the camera as well as unbeatable widescreen production value, much of it shot at ‘Movietown’, their huge, privately-owned studio on the outskirts of Hong Kong.

This inaugural collection by Arrow Video presents twelve jewels from the Shaw crown, all released within the 1970s, kicking off in 1972 with Korean director Jeong Chang-hwa’s King Boxer, the film that established kung fu cinema as an international box office powerhouse when it hit Stateside cinemas under the title Five Fingers of Death.

From there we see Chang Cheh (arguably Shaw’s most prolific director) helm the blood-soaked brutality of The Boxer from Shantung and two self-produced films in his ‘Shaolin Cycle’ series, Five Shaolin Masters and its prequel Shaolin Temple, before taking a detour into Ho Meng Hua’s King Kong-inspired Mighty Peking Man, one of the most unmissably insane giant monster films ever made. Chang’s action choreographer Lau Kar-leung then becomes a director in his own right, propelling his adoptive brother Gordon Liu to stardom in Challenge of the Masters and Executioners from Shaolin.

Not to be outdone, Chang introduces some of Shaw’s most famous faces to the screen, including Alexander Fu Sheng fighting on the streets of San Francisco in Chinatown Kid and, of course, the mighty Venom Mob in The Five Venoms and Crippled Avengers. Finally, Lau and Liu successfully meld high kicks with humor in two of their masterworks, Heroes of the East and Dirty Ho, both co-starring fan favorite Hsiao Hou.

From kickass kung fu killers to crazy kaiju knockoffs to culture clash comedies, this carefully curated and gorgeously presented selection of all-time Shaw Brothers classics merely represents the tip of the iceberg of the studio’s rich output, making it both an ideal starting point for newcomers and a treat for hardcore fans alike.

Limited Edition Contents:

High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of King Boxer, The Boxer from Shantung, Five Shaolin Masters, Shaolin Temple, Mighty Peking Man, Challenge of the Masters, Executioners from Shaolin, Chinatown Kid, The Five Venoms, Crippled Avengers, Heroes of the East and Dirty Ho
Brand new 2K restorations by Arrow Films from the original camera negatives of King Boxer, The Boxer from Shantung, Challenge of the Masters, The Five Venoms, Crippled Avengers and Dirty Ho
Brand new 2K master of the longer international cut of Chinatown Kid from original film elements
Original uncompressed Mandarin, Cantonese (where applicable) and English mono audio
Newly translated English subtitles for each film
Hours of bonus features including brand new commentaries and critic appreciations on selected films, new and archive interviews with cast and crew, alternate credit sequences, trailer and image galleries for each film and more to be announced!
60 page book featuring new writing by David Desser, Simon Abrams and Terrence J. Brady, with cast and crew info for each film plus trivia and soundtrack info
New artwork for each film by artists including Matthew Griffin, Chris Malbon, Jacob Phillips, Ilan Sheady, Tony Stella, Darren Wheeling and Jolyon Yates

Coming in 2022...

Shawscope Volume Two, and More!

Ned Raggett, Friday, 9 July 2021 14:36 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, I'll take it!

Speculation on the criterion forums was that it was gonna be all Chang Cheh, but I'm happy to see Mighty Peking Man in there too.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 9 July 2021 14:41 (three weeks ago) link

Word is that the movies in that Arrow poliziotteschi set are pretty nasty even by the standards of the genre?

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 9 July 2021 14:41 (three weeks ago) link

Like Rabid Dogs is absolutely brutal, I'm definitely not sure I've seen worse. Savage Three less so (but has its moments - mouse fight notwithstanding) and the other three are not exceptionally nasty in what's on screen (although the plot in Colt 38 Special Squad is fairly full-on).

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Friday, 9 July 2021 14:52 (three weeks ago) link

Mouse fight censored in the UK release! Which on one hand is kinda weird - not like anyone involved w/ the original production is gonna make much cash off this - but on the other hand, thank you british board of censors for saving me the fast forward.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 9 July 2021 14:57 (three weeks ago) link

Except it's uncensored on two of the documentaries - or at least you see several shots that are cut.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Friday, 9 July 2021 15:16 (three weeks ago) link

Arrow, why do you not like me to have money?

interesting regarding the Shawscope set. most of this stuff is streaming on Amazon Prime and other services, but very nice to see them getting a cool box set

Nhex, Friday, 9 July 2021 16:45 (three weeks ago) link

A bit annoyed this all had to be a boxed set that is going to be out of many people's price range and the bluray of Mighty Peking Man wasn't long ago. But I'll probably go for this.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 9 July 2021 18:17 (three weeks ago) link

I'll bet it's going to be broken up into smaller sets down the line, Gamera style.

Daniel_Rf, Saturday, 10 July 2021 10:52 (two weeks ago) link

Exciting stuff coming from third window films:

https://www.facebook.com/thirdwindowfilms/photos/a.322092414509345/4476557685729443/?type=3

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 22 July 2021 08:45 (one week ago) link

Synapse sale, for all your horror and sleaze needs: https://mvdshop.com/collections/synapse21

Marty J. Bilge (Old Lunch), Friday, 23 July 2021 21:22 (one week ago) link


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