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Ricky Baker's questionable business dealings!!

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 tell you a little story about Ricky Baker and things that I know...

Steve no longer use Rick as sole distributor. He has been taking money on books that are not ready for release date. Its ok if there is a release date, but a lot of books never had definite dates. 
Rick collected a lot of money on these  books behind Steve's  back. Many fans complained  about money being taken by Rick but books not delivered. 
Recently, Rick was caught  and admitted his wrong doings because he's short of money. He's an unreliable book distributor,!
Despite what Rick is telling you, please ask for refund in full... 

Frankly, iam also very disappointed on Eastern Heroes, but only thanks to Steve I have two out of three refunds back.
He had no right to take our money like that  I never order again at Eastern Heroes!

Leon

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Eastern Heroes

Magazine was great back then, but their dvd releases were often cropped....still Rick+staff were huge importance in making hk cinema more widely known in Europe

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37 minutes ago, Tex Killer said:

Eastern Heroes

Magazine was great back then, but their dvd releases were often cropped....still Rick+staff were huge importance in making hk cinema more widely known in Europe

Ah yes, the false Widescreen DVDs. Anyone who ordered any of the Jackie Chan movies from Eastern Heroes, aside from the re-issue boxsets which included the films in letterbox format will know that they took 4:3 tape masters and simply cropped them to 16:9, making the image very cramped with heads cut off and fairly awful picture quality. Thankfully, 88Films is re-releasing a lot of the old Jackie Chan movies on blu-ray now and they look much better. Just waiting for them to release Fantasy Mission Force.

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8 minutes ago, TheKungFuRobber said:

Ah yes, the false Widescreen DVDs. Anyone who ordered any of the Jackie Chan movies from Eastern Heroes, aside from the re-issue boxsets which included the films in letterbox format will know that they took 4:3 tape masters and simply cropped them to 16:9, making the image very cramped with heads cut off and fairly awful picture quality. Thankfully, 88Films is re-releasing a lot of the old Jackie Chan movies on blu-ray now and they look much better. Just waiting for them to release Fantasy Mission Force.

Their doublebill of My life is on the line(+hot cool and vicious) is absolutely terrible. HCV is not that bad but think even vhs released here of my life has better quality. full screen and disturbance in their dvd...pity as it is terrific indie flick with beardy doing great villain role.

Edited by Tex Killer

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I confirm about the books never released.

I had bought a pre-order book called " Everybody was kung fu fighting " several months ago, and the expected date to receive it was in March 2019, and I never got it. Rick Baker told me that it was because Steve Kerridge was going to release the full three volumes as one single book, and that I would received the three books at the same price because of the delay, but I never received them either. He offered me a free poster to make me patient about the release, but several weeks ago, I asked him again and still the books were delayed, so, I asked him for a full refund and I got it.

I take a look from time to time to time to his ebay store and there is no sign of the three-in-one volume of the above mentioned book and I wonder if it will see the light of the day in the future...

Fortunately, all the other items I bought from him arrived safely and were great (Angela Mao's poster, Brice Lee's book of pictures in black and white).

So, if Steve Kerridge sells outside of Rick Baker's store, where does he sell, please ?

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I don't have the VHS of My Life is on the Line, but if it is better than the DVD I will get it. The Italian DVD is false widescreen, just a pan-scan print, which does have ever so slightly more picture information on the left and right portions of the screen cropped to 16:9. I tried doing a custom based on the Eastern Heroes DVD a while back but I decided it was too poor to put online. Since the Eastern Heroes DVD is clearly a VHS transfer, maybe I can do a better custom of it if I had the VHS.

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The Hot Cool and Vicious DVD is a proper widescreen, but slightly vertically stretched for some reason (aspect ratio should be 2:20.1). I did a custom DVD correcting the ratio and adding the Mandarin audio but it still could be better because it is still cropped and the original film was wider still. This could be due to the archaic transfer methods used by Eastern Heroes at the time. Even then, I get the feeling that the Hong Kong Legends DVD of Legend of a Fighter was taken from a U-matic tape transfer, because I have a feeling that they were having a hard time with a lot of the Seasonal prints .Seasonal is notorious for not looking after their movies and providing companies with worn prints, the prints they gave to Universal of the No Retreat, No Surrender series and King of the Kickboxers were clearly worn and don't look very good. The Kino Lorber blu ray of NRNS looks stunning in comparison although I would have liked to have seen a better job at cleaning up the film. Hopefully some day, maybe 88 Films or Eureka will release LOAF on blu ray because it really should be presented OAR. It was shot in an extremely wide format to begin with. All of the HKL Seasonal DVDs were cropped to 16:9, apart from Ninja in the Dragon's Den which was 2:35.1.

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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I have ordered from Eastern Heroes in the past and I have to say Ricky Baker was always courteous and professional in his emails. Unfortunately, many of the items that I ordered that were listed "in stock" were sold out and the preorders were never fulfilled within the expected release dates but Ricky always refunded my money promptly and even sent me a bonus gift for my troubles. So it's disappointing to hear from Steve that Ricky has admitted to taking customer's money without the intention of filling the orders in a timely manner and I will cease ordering from Eastern Heroes until his operation is sorted out and run in a professional manner.

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Also like @ShawAngela inquired earlier, I am also curious if Steve Kerridge is going to start selling his books/magazines through another distributor or if he is going to open his own online shop. If anyone has further info, please post it here. Thanks in advance.

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I don't know much about Ricky himself, or Toby for that matter. I think largely that at the time they had great difficulty tracking down good transfers of movies and they made way with what they had available to them, and in doing so they brought us a great many classics. I suppose it is important to bear in mind that at the time, even the original 35mm negatives for Jackie Chan's Half A Loaf of Kung Fu were thought to be lost forever and even having a DVD transferred from a U-matic tape and cropped to 16:9 from a narrower ratio was seen as the closest thing to owning a "widescreen and remastered" copy of any of  these movies. Of course, in retrospect we now have access to better prints of the movies from very mainstream actors such as Jackie Chan, but unfortunately the niche stuff which is mainly popular with fans such as the Flash Legs Dorian Tan movies are still fairly obscure with the exception of Hand of Death (mainly because of Jackie Chan and your's truly, the great John Woo) and, to some extent, The Hot Cool and Vicious. Hopefully VCI will get their finger out and release their blu ray of The Invincible Kung Fu Legs  soon which I am buzzing about.

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10 hours ago, TheKungFuRobber said:

I don't have the VHS of My Life is on the Line, but if it is better than the DVD I will get it.

It is...there is interference in eastern heroes double bill but not in vhs...One of movies I remember technically very well as rented tape close to 10 times...Hmm, never was quite sure did leung kar yan won end or lost...seems he was winning but then bell rang which suggests it`s alternate title 60 seconds killer...

Edited by Tex Killer

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10 hours ago, Yihetuan said:

Also like @ShawAngela inquired earlier, I am also curious if Steve Kerridge is going to start selling his books/magazines through another distributor or if he is going to open his own online shop. If anyone has further info, please post it here. Thanks in advance.

 

17 hours ago, ShawAngela said:

So, if Steve Kerridge sells outside of Rick Baker's store, where does he sell, please ?

 

My information might be a bit hazy, I've never ordered any of Steve Kerrdige's books before. However, I think he's now selling them via his FaceBook page, there's also been talk of them being made available via Amazon.

 

I think this is his FB page, hope this helps you out.

Link- https://www.facebook.com/pg/bruceleeconnection/photos/?ref=page_internal

Edited by DragonClaws

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3 hours ago, Tex Killer said:

It is...there is interference in eastern heroes double bill but not in vhs...One of movies I remember technically very well as rented tape close to 10 times...Hmm, never was quite sure did leung kar yan won end or lost...seems he was winning but then bell rang which suggests it`s alternate title 60 seconds killer...

I think it is implied that they killed each other, but in some prints I beleive it is implied that Minute Fong wings the fight, as the film ends when Leung Kar Yan gets kicked in the chest.

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I've always liked Ricky. Nice bloke. Although, admittedly, I've never actually ordered directly from him (I have my fair share of Eastern Heroes VHS). One thing I will say though, I have a kung fu cinema themed blog and, when Ricky stumbled across my blog, he would post whatever I posted on his Instagram. No credit...nothing. Just took my posts and threw them up on his Instagram.

Now, I do realize the internet is a place where content is stolen day in day out. It just seemed slightly rude that he was pinching every post of mine. But, like I said, other than that, he's a solid bloke. Even wished my happy birthday this year.

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15 hours ago, DragonClaws said:

 

 

My information might be a bit hazy, I've never ordered any of Steve Kerrdige's books before. However, I think he's now selling them via his FaceBook page, there's also been talk of them being made available via Amazon.

 

I think this is his FB page, hope this helps you out.

Link- https://www.facebook.com/pg/bruceleeconnection/photos/?ref=page_internal

Thanks for the info @DragonClaws. Much appreciated. 👍

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Not really... I was just asking a simple question and the guy flakes, and just keep editing his posts instead of answering like a normal person. I know Ricky can be shifty in a used car dealer sort of way, and I wouldn't put it past him to do what he's accused of here. But just throwing out claims and linking to some random eBay account that, to me, doesn't look like it has anything to do with this, is misleading and rather confusing. If you got legit grievances and can back them up with proof, cool. But have your shit in order if you're gonna out a man for fraud.

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Steve and Darren were paid very little by Rick for doing the book and there hardwork (nearly 3 years of research & writing ) only worth $2-3 per book sold. They Really felt demoralized doing so much work but getting so little hard-earned money. Where does the rest of the profit goes to nobody knows because Ricky never showed his financial account of the MS book. Maybe Ricky had a drug or drinking problem who knows. Ricky said the cost was very high and the profit is very slim. Later, when many fans told Steve that Ricky have collected a lot of pre-orders without Steve's  knowledge. Many lies finally burst, Ricky kept apologizing to Steve but Steve have no choice but decided to cut ties with him and set up the Amazon shop. It will be more transparent and easy for fans to just order from there in the future. Payment won't be an issue as well since Amazon will only take money. The worst is Ricky  has caused Steve huge embarrassment in people thinking that he is involved in this to which most certainly he is not!

Leon 

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I have talked to Ricky about this and a few other people in the know, and while I can't say for sure what has been going on, there are two sides to every story and nothing is black and white. And while I don't think this thread should be deleted because I don't believe in censorship, I think it should either be re-titled and recognized for what it is, a bunch of Kerridge allies giving you one version. You are dangerously close to slander here.

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