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Everything posted by KenHashibe

  1. The Criterion Collection has just announced that they will be releasing Police Story 1 & 2 as a Blu-ray boxset on April 30th, 2019. You can bet that I'll be picking this up the day it's released. https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1554-police-story-police-story-2 Here are the special features listed on their website:
  2. It appears that the New Beverly will now have weekly Grindhouse Tuesdays. On October 14, 2014, the New Beverly Cinema will have a double feature screening of The Big Boss and The Big Boss Part 2 (starring Bruce Le) presented by the Grindhouse Film Festival.The week after (October 21) will be a double-bill for Fist of Fury and Fist of Fury Part 2 starring Bruce Li. The next week (October 28) is Snake in the Monkey's Shadow and Snake in the Eagle's Shadow. What a line-up! Apparently, Tarantino had fired the original program manager because he was showing movies digitally at the theater so Tarantino's taking over and is showing films from his own collection. We might be able to expect more HK movies now that they're showing Grindhouse Tuesdays weekly, which is very exciting! What are your thoughts? For me, I think this is really cool. Hopefully these screenings get really good turnouts! Here's the full calendar (kind of hard to read): https://www.facebook.com/newbeverlycinema/photos/p.10152229169760904/10152229169760904/?type=1&theater
  3. KenHashibe

    Kung Fu Screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA

    Here's the June 2019 schedule (open image in a new tab for a larger image): No kung fu/Hong Kong movies this month, but highlights for me are 2001, Once Upon a Time in the West, and Bullitt. I've unfortunately been really busy with work and haven't found the time to go to the New Beverly, so we'll see if I can make it to anything this month. I think I've seen the Cantonese and English version of The Master Strikes, and I agree that the English dub is much better. Also, though I'm not the biggest fan of the film, you have me intrigued with those extended scenes. I'm always interested in alternate versions of Hong Kong films. (I definitely would've hoped for some additional fight scenes 😁)
  4. KenHashibe

    Kung Fu Screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA

    Here's the May 2019 calendar (open image in a new tab for a larger image): I'm very late this month, but here's the May calendar for the New Beverly. For Hong Kong cinema, they have a Kao Pao-Shu double feature on May 28th including Blood of the Dragon (which I actually haven't heard of before) and The Master Strikes (which I don't really like but I think the fights are incredible). If I'm free, I'd love to make it to see these films. Side note: I unfortunately wasn't free to see any of the Hong Kong films shown last month. Thanks for the comment! I try to be as specific as I can when I write these so the reader can almost share the experience. Unfortunately, I wasn't as in-depth this time, but I'm glad you enjoyed reading it! I'm actually not super knowledgeable with sound systems and digital audio, but going to the New Beverly so often has taught me a lot about how films were made and shown in theaters. It's such a fun experience going there because it's like you're stepping back in time. Thanks again!
  5. I really love this release (and Criterion in general). I got to spend some more time this week watching the films and looking through the special features, and I think it's a great set with great picture and audio. I feel like the 2k transfer of the HK version of Police Story 2 alone made the set worth buying. But I've heard some complaints about contrast-boosting and compression artifacts. To my eye, I don't see anything wrong with the picture quality. And there are some fans who were disappointed that there aren't any additional versions of Police Story included. However, I'm still ecstatic about this release! The complaints that people have about this release are ones that don't really both me at all. All I wanted was the films in HD with the original mono. To answer your question, it really just depends what you're looking for. I guess I'm not very picky.
  6. Got mine yesterday. Drove an hour and a half through LA traffic to pick it up from Amoeba. Definitely worth the awful drive getting there (and getting home). I haven't been able to watch both films all the way through yet, but I did get to skim through the films and the special features. The picture quality is excellent. And the original mono tracks sound incredible. As for the 2k transfer of the original HK version of Police Story 2, it surprisingly looks great! It looks a tiny bit dark, and of course, there's some blemishes and missing frames. But it's very sharp and vibrant. The print doesn't look faded at all. And none of the defects are that distracting. Apparently, Criterion sourced this print from the American Genre Film Archive and they did a great job preserving it. Police Story has the rare English dub from a Dutch VHS which contains the original soundtrack. The "Police Force" version with the alternate synthesizer soundtrack is not included in the Criterion release. Police Story 2 has the new English dub.
  7. Seeing Bastard Swordsman at the New Beverly was one of my very favorite experiences seeing a movie in a theater ever. I would 100% recommend seeing it with an audience.
  8. Later this month, the Criterion Collection will be releasing Police Story/Police Story 2 on Blu-ray. And last week, Last Hurrah For Chivalry (which they apparently own distribution rights to) was chosen to be one of their Movies of the Week on their streaming service, The Criterion Channel. It seems the Criterion Collection is returning to their roots and will possibly be releasing more Hong Kong movies in the future. Besides films they have released in the past, which Hong Kong action/kung fu films do you feel deserve the "Criterion treatment"?
  9. KenHashibe

    Kung Fu Screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA

    Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy. But better late than never I hope. Last month on March 12th, I went to the New Beverly Cinema to watch their Bruce Li double feature: Soul Brothers of Kung Fu and The Image of Bruce Lee. Now that I’m a licensed driver, I was able to drive myself this time (fortunately for my mom who hates English-dubbed kung fu movies). When I got there, I met up and caught up with @ShaolinPatriot who I hadn’t seen for about a year. It was great getting to catch up with him before the film. Before Soul Brothers started, New Bev programmer Brian Quinn came out and introduced the two films, and encouraged everyone to stay once Soul Brothers ended because of a surprise interview with Carl Scott himself! Coincidentally, @ShaolinPatriot and I were talking about how Carl Scott lives in LA and the chances of him being here for the screening. I was already excited for the films, but this just made everything better. They showed a live-action comedy short film entitled “So You Want a Raise” starring Joe McDoakes which was pretty enjoyable. The following trailer reel included trailers for Amazon Women on the Moon, Slumber Party Massacre, and Sorority House Massacre (all of which showed later that month). The print for Soul Brothers of Kung Fu was an English-dubbed print, and it was in great shape for being over 40 years old. The print shown didn’t include any music from the Rocky soundtrack (unlike other versions), but it was completely uncut. And without spoiling anything, the ending included was the “happy ending” instead of the alternate downbeat ending. I hadn’t seen Soul Brothers of Kung Fu for a few years, and I had forgotten how innovative the fight scenes were for the time. The film is otherwise pretty standard, but the fight scenes really make it exceptional and thoroughly entertaining. The story is half-decent as well and the audience reactions added a lot to the excitement. Following Soul Brothers was the live interview with Carl Scott which was very informative and fun. Apparently, Carl Scott disliked making live appearances until recently. He actually reached out to the New Beverly when he found out they were showing this film and said he’d love to come by. Brian Quinn asked questions about his background and how he got involved in Hong Kong films. Then, they opened up questions to the audience where they asked about his martial arts background and who his favorite people were to work with (among other things). He also said his favorite film that he made is Sun Dragon (aka A Hard Way to Die). Brian Quinn then said they haven’t been able to find a print of that yet, but if they were to show it, Carl Scott said he would definitely come back for that. I would go more in-depth, but maybe another time on a separate post. I’m scrambling to get this write-up posted. 😁 But, overall, it was a super cool surprise and Carl Scott was a very nice guy. Next was an intermission, and before The Image of Bruce Lee started, there was another brief trailer reel including trailers for Exit the Dragon Enter the Tiger (which I actually enjoy a lot for some reason) and Bruce Lee Fights Back From the Grave (which I refuse to see because it looks horrendous). The Image of Bruce Lee was shown English-dubbed with faded colors, but was otherwise in decent condition. The version they showed was strange. None of the nudity was censored, but certain scenes were clearly trimmed for violence by the distributor. And the ending was cut as well. The airport scene at the end of the film was completely absent, and instead it ended with the shot of John Cheung and Han Ying-Chieh followed by a title card that said “The End”. It was a shock to everyone that it ended so abruptly, but I couldn’t help but laugh. This was my first time seeing The Image of Bruce Lee, and though it has a few moments to shine, it was otherwise horribly boring and repetitive. My biggest problem with some low-budget kung fu movies of the time are the fight choreography. One of the main reasons why kung fu movies appeal to me is because you get to see incredible feats of athleticism that few in the world can achieve. But the fight choreography in The Image of Bruce Lee was completely devoid of any creativity, and it all looked like stuff that I could do. And it didn’t help that the fight scenes took up a majority of the film. It was pretty rough to sit through, but at least it was on the big screen with an audience, making it only slightly more engaging. It’s really hard to complain, because I’m just so appreciative that a theater in LA is still showing these kind of movies. Despite being indifferent about The Image of Bruce Lee, I still had a great time going to the New Beverly again. I say this every time I go, but it’s absolutely true. If I’m free next week, I’m gonna try to see the Lee Tso Nam triple feature (but I’m not sure if I can stay for the third film) and A Better Tomorrow 2. I am definitely gonna try to see Dangerous Encounters-1st Kind and School on Fire the week after. Intense downbeat movies like that are my jam. Can’t wait! I can’t thank the New Beverly enough for these awesome film-going experiences!
  10. Recently, I've been looking for the theme song from Hand of Death (1976). So catchy and it's been stuck in my head this whole month.
  11. KenHashibe

    Sister Street Fighter collection giveaway...

    I'll be greedy and enter here too. 😁 Haven't seen these films but I would love to. Thanks! These giveaways are very generous of you.
  12. KenHashibe

    Kung Fu Screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA

    UPDATE: On Apil 30th, the New Beverly will be showing Dangerous Encounters-First Kind (1980) and School on Fire (1988). Never seen Dangerous Encounters but I hear it's very downbeat. I have seen School on Fire though, which I know is very downbeat. But I love these kind of bleak, intense movies anyway so I really hope I can make it. And I'm curious if it's the Category 2 or Category 3 version of School on Fire. Again, awesome schedule this month!
  13. KenHashibe

    88 Films' Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin giveaway...

    No idea if I'd be considered "longstanding" or a frequent contributor. But I like free stuff, and Snake and Crane is one of my favorite kung fu movies of the 70's. So it's worth a shot. 😁 Thanks!
  14. KenHashibe

    Kung Fu Screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA

    The April 2019 calendar is currently up on the New Beverly's website (except for April 30th): http://thenewbev.com/schedule/ Wow. Amazing schedule next month. Starting off with the Asian cinema, there's a kung fu triple feature next month on the 23rd: Fist of Fury 2 (1977), The Hot the Cool and the Vicious (1976), and Eagle's Claw (1978). I would love to go to this, but chances are extremely low that I'd stay for Eagle's Claw so late at night (as much as I'd love to see it). Then on the 24th and 25th, there's The Yakuza (1974) with A Better Tomorrow 2 (1987). I would love to attend this one. Never seen The Yakuza, but I have seen ABT2 which I consider one of the strangest sequels ever made (but still extremely entertaining). Besides these Asian movies, there are many many many other highlights for me including The Matrix, Rififi, The Hateful Eight, The 'Burbs, Animal House, Dirty Harry, Escape From Alcatraz, Jurassic Park, The Blues Brothers, and The Odd Couple (not the kung fu movie), among others. I'm definitely planning on going to the New Beverly as often as my schedule allows this month. Great stuff all around. P.S. I haven't found the time to work on my write-up for the Soul Brothers of Kung Fu/The Image of Bruce Lee double feature. I've barely had much free time since I've started working two jobs. And whenever I'm free, I'm either relaxing or spending time with friends. Not sure when you might expect the write-up, but I'll work on it as soon as I can. Maybe next week?
  15. I agree, it's an excellent episode. A lot of great insight there! And thanks for bringing my attention to that! I hadn't seen the back covers, and I'm happy they've announced that they'll be including the mono tracks. It's Criterion, they gotta have it. 😁 @Irongod2112 has been helping Criterion and supplied them with certain audio tracks for the films. I've been following what he's been up to on the Blu-Ray.com forum. I'm especially excited to see that Criterion was apparently able to get the Japanese version on there. According to the cover, it says "Special Edition Features...Japanese-release version of Police Story, presented in a high-definition digital transfer"! I'm surprised they were able to get the rights (unless this is a tentative cover and they included it just in case they got the rights later on; fingers crossed).
  16. Police Story 1 & 2 are playing at the Nuart Theatre in West LA right now (it started on Friday). I'm planning on going today; I'll post pictures later! Can't wait!
  17. KenHashibe

    Kung Fu Screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA

    I have a day off from work this Tuesday so I feel like I might as well. I know these have played at the New Bev before, but I didn't get the chance to see them yet. Pretty excited, and I'm glad that HK movies are playing more often since the reopen too. And now that I'm able to drive myself, I think I'll be heading there more often. 😁
  18. KenHashibe

    Kung Fu Screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA

    Here's the March 2019 calendar (open in a new tab for a larger image): For Hong Kong movie screenings, there's Soul Brothers of Kung Fu and The Image of Bruce Lee on March 12th and The Tattoo Connection and Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger on March 26th (presumably all English-dubbed). I've seen Soul Brothers of Kung Fu and ETDETT before on home-video and I really enjoy both (especially ETDETT which I think is hilarious). The Image of Bruce Lee looks okay and I've always being meaning to see The Tattoo Connection. I'm learning to drive on the freeway so I'll hopefully be able to go to both. There are many other highlights for me this month: Kill Bill, Kentucky Fried Movie, Point Break, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Young Frankenstein, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Meaning of Life, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Excellent schedule this month!
  19. Another announcement of some new special features: I'd love to see Wright's interview with Chan. Wright has stated before that Police Story is one of his favorites, so it'd be interesting to see Chan be interviewing by a hardcore fan. Also, Wright and Chan are two of my favorite people to watch interviews for. Definitely a nice bonus. The Incredibly Strange Film Show episode is great. The sections from My Stunts are great too so viewers who haven't seen the documentary can get insight on the dangerous stunts. Still waiting on an official announcement about the original monos, but I'll be patient. There's still another two months or so until its release.
  20. Criterion updated their "Special Features": I'm assuming that means it'll have the burnt-on Chinese/English subtitles (which might be interesting to see in 2k). Also, it'd be interesting comparing the colors of the 4k scan with this new 2k scan. Pretty awesome nonetheless.
  21. KenHashibe

    Kung Fu Screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA

    The February 2019 calendar was just released (open in a new tab to see larger image): Only one kung fu film this month. The Tongfather (1974; original title is The Notorious Bandit), a Taiwanese martial arts film, is showing February 3rd and 4th at midnight. Never heard of this movie, but I might consider going to support the Hong Kong/kung fu screenings. Jaws/The Deep is a pretty awesome double feature. Hollywood Shuffle is a movie I've been meaning to see for a while based on a friend's recommendation, so I might go if I don't have work that day. There's also a month-long Burt Reynolds tribute going on featuring White Lightning, The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, and many, many others.
  22. KenHashibe


    Since the announcement that the first two Police Story films will be released by Criterion, I was inspired to do some artwork for the first film. And if you know me, you know that Police Story is one of my all-time favorites, so it was inevitable that I'd do some fan art for it. For this drawing, I used chalk pencils, white gel pens, and black Pigma Micron pens on black drawing paper. I started working on this on January 20th and finished earlier today (January 24th). It took approximately 7 hours in total over the past few days. The actual drawing is 8 inches by 10 inches. I'm mostly happy with how it turned out. I might touch up Jackie Chan's face later. And I feel like my drawing of Brigitte Lin looks a bit more like Emily Chu. But still, I'm pretty happy with it, and it was fun trying new materials. I may get around to making something like this for Police Story 2. I hope you guys like it! Feel free to leave any constructive criticism. (Open in a new tab for a larger image)
  23. KenHashibe

    100 VHS Kung Fu movies

    I'm interested too. I'd love to see what tapes you have. Thank you!
  24. On the Blu-ray.com forum, @Irongod2112, who also worked on the Eureka Blu-ray, said he was able to get in touch with Criterion and help them with the audio tracks. According to him, "Both films will have the original Cantonese mono tracks. Including the HK theatrical cut of Police Story 2." However, he said he isn't able to discuss/disclose anything else yet. So don't ask. 😁 As for Police Story 3, I haven't heard of any news of a Blu-ray with the new 4k remaster with the original mono unfortunately.
  25. I'm still hopeful that Criterion will be able to add the original mono's. I mean, it's Criterion. Considering their mission is to "[present] each film as its maker would want it seen", original mono is kinda a biggie. But we'll have to wait and see. I'm cheap and don't want to buy a multi-region Blu-ray player for the Eureka Blu-ray. 😁 Regardless, this is still a must-buy for me.