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KenHashibe

Police Story 1 & 2 Criterion Blu-Ray Boxset

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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:

Quote
  • SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
    New 4K digital restorations of Police Story and Police Story 2
    Alternate 5.1 surround and English-dubbed soundtracks for both films
    Hong Kong–release version of Police Story 2, presented in a high-definition digital transfer for the first time
    New programs on Chan’s screen persona and action-filmmaking techniques featuring author and New York Asian Film Festival cofounder Grady Hendrix
    Archival interviews with Chan and actor and stuntman Benny Lai
    Television program from 1964 detailing the rigors of Peking-opera training, akin to the education that Chan received as a child
    Chan stunt reel
    Trailers
    New English subtitle translations
    More!
    PLUS: An essay by critic Nick Pinkerton
    New covers by Jeremy Enecio

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Edited by KenHashibe

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Going to have to grab this! Can't pass up 2 legit action classics! Sadly those are the best things coming out in April on Criterion.

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16 minutes ago, lilmanjs said:

Going to have to grab this! Can't pass up 2 legit action classics! Sadly those are the best things coming out in April on Criterion.

I don't think I've even heard of the other films coming out from Criterion in April, so I'd have to agree. 😁

Looking forward to seeing what other special features Criteiron will add (if any). I'm especially hoping for the original US cut and Japanese cut of Police Story, but we'll see. The HK cut of Police Story 2 in HD is an excellent special feature.

Edited by KenHashibe

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1 minute ago, De Ming Li said:

Anyone see any advantages this set would have over the Eureka set so far?

Reading the special features again. Hong Kong–release version of Police Story 2, presented in a high-definition digital transfer for the first time

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The extended cut of Police Story 2 in HD is real nice but I prefer the Hong Kong cut so I'd like an HD print of that. Having both cuts in HD will settle the score for me so I'm keeping the UK boxset and get the Criterion boxset as well.

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Does Criterion ship earlier than release date if you buy direct from their web store? I've never ordered direct before, all my Criterions so far I got from Amazon or Barnes & Noble (during 50% off sale).

Edited by De Ming Li

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Doesn't look like the Criterion set will have the original Cantonese audio (only the remixes), so I am going to get the Eureka set.

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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.

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There's a new online article - "Criterion and the Significance of Jackie Chan".  Extracts - "On the Asian cinema scene, however, I believe there has been more consternation and/or disappointment that the company [Criterion] appeared to focus more on European cinema than films from other regions... More recently, King Hu's masterful A Touch of Zen saw release, and then Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Mysterious Objects at Noon and then King Hu's wonderful Dragon Inn.  As an enthusiastic newbie to Hong Kong cinema back in the late 90s and early 00s -- and fledgling DVD collector -- I harbored hopes that, some day, Criterion might be able to rescue fellow fans with restored versions of action films from the glory days (mid 80s to mid 90s) of modern Hong Kong action cinema.  Finally, though, the door has been cracked open!  Jackie Chan's Police Story and Police Story 2 will see release on Criterion in April 2019."   The article also lists the other Criterion releases for April 2019.  Worth reading the whole article at - https://screenanarchy.com/2019/01/criterion-and-the-significance-of-jackie-chan.html

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The Criterions will almost certainly have the original mono. Cannot recall a release by them where a remix and a dub has been the only audio options.

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how many times these movies will get released.

I think shout factory released them as a double bill a couple of years ago…. it was upscaled but still…. there was also the metropolitans french blu ray… and I think Miramax blu ray ? anyway I lost track.

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Got the announcement for this release (via Criterion's newsletter) two days after I ordered the Eureka set. 😐

I may pick up the Criterion set as well during one of their 50% sales if I hear it's worth it.

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Hasn’t there been some controversy about the mono track, particularly on the first film?

Anyway, was there ever a proper uncut release of the HK version of III? With that mono?

Edited by hanshotfirst1138

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7 hours ago, hanshotfirst1138 said:

Hasn’t there been some controversy about the mono track, particularly on the first film?

Anyway, was there ever a proper uncut release of the HK version of III? With that mono?

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.

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DVDs of III have had the original mono, but as of yet there's nothing on the horizon concerning an English-friendly release of the 4k remaster. 

I hope I'm proved wrong soon. 

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On 1/18/2019 at 10:52 AM, whitesnake said:

There's a new online article - "Criterion and the Significance of Jackie Chan".  Extracts - "On the Asian cinema scene, however, I believe there has been more consternation and/or disappointment that the company [Criterion] appeared to focus more on European cinema than films from other regions... 

I think Criterion was caught off guard when Twilight Time released a Drunken Master/Snake in the Eagle's Shadow disc. I'll pick up this release since I don't have the Eureka one and to make sure we get more of this stuff stateside.

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On 1/20/2019 at 3:44 AM, KenHashibe said:

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.

Maybe these will inspire someone to release it properly? We can hope. Good news about the mono, anyway. Let’s hope more companies, particularly Fortune Star, follow suit. Why including the mono is so damned difficult, I will never understand. Wonder where he got the mono tracks?

19 hours ago, HyperDrive said:

I think Criterion was caught off guard when Twilight Time released a Drunken Master/Snake in the Eagle's Shadow disc. I'll pick up this release since I don't have the Eureka one and to make sure we get more of this stuff Stateside.

Yeah, it’s my vain hope that this will inspire more companies to follow suit and release more proper HK stuff in the US. We did finally get an uncut OAR DM II, so maybe things are finally looking up for us, but I approach with cautious optimism at best given the history of HK films on video. 

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17 hours ago, hanshotfirst1138 said:

Maybe these will inspire someone to release it properly? We can hope. Good news about the mono, anyway. Let’s hope more companies, particularly Fortune Star, follow suit. Why including the mono is so damned difficult, I will never understand. Wonder where he got the mono tracks?

Yeah, it’s my vain hope that this will inspire more companies to follow suit and release more proper HK stuff in the US. We did finally get an uncut OAR DM II, so maybe things are finally looking up for us, but I approach with cautious optimism at best given the history of HK films on video. 

From what I have read on the blu-ray.com forum, Fortune Star has not provided the proper mono audio tracks for almost any of the films that Eureka in the UK is releasing. Even when they claim they have provided the original mono audio, they haven't (downmixed tracks). Whether this is out of incompetence or negligence (or both), is anyone's guess. Irongod2112 and some other forum members have sourced tracks from laser discs and DVDs to provide the original audio. There are also forum members working on the subtitle translations for some of the films, cleaning them up so that they are as accurate as possible. It really is an amazing effort, and Eureka should be applauded for allowing this extra work to be included on their blu-rays.

Edited by Ronin

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7 hours ago, Ronin said:

From what I have read on the blu-ray.com forum, Fortune Star has not provided the proper mono audio tracks for almost any of the films that Eureka in the UK is releasing. Even when they claim they have provided the original mono audio, they haven't (downmixed tracks). Whether this is out of incompetence or negligence (or both), is anyone's guess. Irongod2112 and some other forum members have sourced tracks from laser discs and DVDs to provide the original audio. There are also forum members working on the subtitle translations for some of the films, cleaning them up so that they are as accurate as possible. It really is an amazing effort, and Eureka should be applauded for allowing this extra work to be included on their blu-rays.

It’s unbelievably depressing to hear that Fortune Star, a huge company, behave so unprofessionally. It’s sad that the passionate fan base is left to clean up their mess. Regardless, there’s no question Eureka (and presumably Criterion) deserve major kudos for allowing that extra work to appear on the final releases. Now if only we could get PS3 out of Miramax’s clutches. Are the films that they have the rights to just in their death grip forever? Don’t they ever expire? PS3 is a damned classic, and deserves a proper definitive release. It looks like if Fortune Star do release the 4K master they’re sitting on (which looks unlikely), they may release it with a shoddy downmix too. It’s amazing how so many companies can work on home video releases of Hong Kong films for decades, and yet still do such substandard work. 

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