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TheKungFuRobber

Classic Kung Fu: Preferred format?

Preferred Format for watching old Kung Fu movies  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. What format would you prefer to watch old kung fu movies in, given the lack of good Cinemascope remastered prints of many classic movies (including Mystery of Chessboxing, Cripped Masters, Ninja in the Deadly Trap and pretty much all of the old Cathay swordplays)?

    • Fully remastered and sharp 1.33:1 (Fullscreen) prints with little to no damage at all
      4
    • Worn out and soft looking VHS or VCD transfer presented in wide Cinemascope format, with colour issues and burned in subtitles
      10


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Am I the only one here who would rather watch a remastered Fullscreen print of an old kung fu movie any day over a soft and fuzzy Wide VHS rip? I'm not sure but I can't stand a lot of the wide VHS bootlegs of old kung fu movies, they hurt my eyes so much. Yet, a lot of the old Fullscreen DVD's put out by Tai Seng and the old Cathay fullscreen remasters are perhaps the best looking prints we will ever get for a lot of these movies.

What do you think? Would you sacrifice picture information for a sharper remastered image?

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I'm going to vote Remastered, but if there are two movies (three actually) that I could watch fullscreen with dub and all that, being on VHS, I'm going to have to say that I will watch my personal VHS'es of Master Killer (yep Master Killer), The Killing Machine, and The Avenging Eagle. Nothing beats the warm and fuzzy intro of World Northal :)

 

Image result for world northal theme song

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I voted for the second option as I prefer to watch things as close to original (intended) aspect ratio as possible. Cropping off part of the picture ruins the original framing and composition of the cinematography. I think action movies particularly suffer from being cropped as seeing the action and movement is a big part of them.

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You want the best of both, a restored widescreen print, but I voted WideScreen. Full screen has a negative effect on the film as a whole, but its the choreogrpahy that gets harmed the most.

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4 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

 

You want the best of both, a restored widescreen print, but I voted WideScreen. Full screen has a negative effect on the film as a whole, but its the choreogrpahy that gets harmed the most.

Well, of course that's what everyone wants, but often times there are no restored widescreen prints available at all. The only remastered version of Mystery of Chessboxing is Fullscreen, whereas the only widescreen version is from a VHS bootleg. This is sadly the case for countless kung fu movies, where the original negatives have often been destroyed and the only remasters available are in Fullscreen format. Nearly all of the old Asso Asia catalogue is in Fullscreen, as they were all transferred and remastered to that format and IFD Films no longer has the 35mm reels for many of these movies. The official release of The Dragon's Snake Fist from 2015 is sourced from an old bootleg, because it was the only wide print available at the time. In theory, all movies should be released in home media in their original theatrical aspect ratio. 

Honestly, my favorite ratio for theatrical film is 1.85:1 because it is such a universally accepted format. I also like open matte too because it captures so much detail into the frame. I hate when studios crop films shot in 1.66:1 and 1.33:1 to 1.78:1 for "widescreen" releases. It's just not okay.

On another note, when will someone start restoring and subtitling some of the old Cantonese Wong Fei Hung movies with Kwan Tak-hing? It just needs to happen. Someone should start buying up the old reels and clean them up ASAP before they are gone too.

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Presently, I'm trying to hunt down this German tape of 'The Dragon Lives Again', which is supposedly presented in 2.35:1 Letterbox with Dutch subtitles. Would be great to have in my collection. I want to see this film in Widescreen, the Fullscreen version is very badly framed.

https://www.catawiki.com/verzameling/6507657-the-dragon-lives-again/i/85937055/v?user=Peter1957

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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1 hour ago, TheKungFuRobber said:

Presently, I'm trying to hunt down this German tape of 'The Dragon Lives Again', which is supposedly presented in 2.35:1 Letterbox with Dutch subtitles. Would be great to have in my collection. I want to see this film in Widescreen, the Fullscreen version is very badly framed.

https://www.catawiki.com/verzameling/6507657-the-dragon-lives-again/i/85937055/v?user=Peter1957

To my knowledge there's no German tape (otherwise it would exist a stupid German title). If you mean the Dutch tape, be careful, according OFDb.de it's only fullscreen:
https://ssl.ofdb.de/view.php?page=fassung&fid=56113&vid=109418

Edited by Chen Hung Lieh
typing error

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interesting question and subject !

After growing up on watching plenty of my Fu movie son crusty vhs copies..it was pretty strange to finally watch many on the classics in mint condition etc. But oi do miss my vhs copies of the jackie chan released flicks..

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More than any other genre kung fu suffers most when cropped to fullscreen. i cannot watch them anymore,it's horrible,it's wide or nothing for me. will watch a 2:35:1 cropped to 1:85:1 but that's about my limit of tolerance.

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I'm a widescreen guy too. Never used to be but, over the years, I've come to appreciate seeing everything on screen. Watching films where two people are fighting and only one guy's on screen has turned into a bit of a nightmare for me.
There are full screen films I keep just because they're the only way to watch them but I'd much prefer a wide print. Even if the picture itself is shoddy.

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On 7/22/2018 at 2:39 PM, TheKungFuRobber said:

Honestly, my favorite ratio for theatrical film is 1.85:1 because it is such a universally accepted format.

2.35:1 is probably my favourite for movies because it feels the most cinematic to me, though I hate it for documentaries, because I don't like documentaries to look too "cinematic" (like the ones that seem to win the most awards lol).

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