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January 03, 2007

MASSIVE WEINSTEIN DVD ATTACK

While we've all been on vacation, chewing undigestible flesh and drinking gruesome amounts of corn liquor, the Weinstein Company's Asian DVD label, Dragon Dynasty, hasn't been sleeping. They have been on the treadmill, working out and getting in shape, and they've got more releases lined up than you've had Yuletide hangovers.

First up, the INFERNAL AFFAIRS box set. This is all three IA movies in one sleek little package emblazoned very cleverly with "The Motion Picture Trilogy that inspired 'The Departed'". No details are available beyond a $39.99 price point, and a February 13th release date. (Full cover art here).

On February 13 there will also be a reissue of a Collector's Edition of POLICE STORY 2 with a pull quote from Brett Ratner on the rather anonymous looking cover.

Seven Swords key artOn January 16, however, there's another double shot of Dragon Dynasty with the release of a two-disc SEVEN SWORDS and a two-disc THE PROTECTOR. The specs are as follows:

SEVEN SWORDS
 
Running Time:
                     153 minutes
MPAA Rating:
                       R
Languages:
                         English and Mandarin
Subtitles:
                              English and Spanish
Sound:   
                                English 5.1, Mandarin 5.1 and DTS

SPECIAL FEATURES
- 7 Deleted Scenes
- Audio commentary with Bey Logan and Tsui Hark
- "Making of" featurette
- Four "Behind the Scenes" featurettes
- Storyboard gallery
- Trailers and TV spots
- Interviews with Tsui Hark, Donnie Yen,  Zhang Jing-chu, and Duncan Lai

The Protector key art THE PROTECTOR
Running Time:
                     83 minutes
MPAA Rating:                       R
Languages:                          English and English/Thai
Subtitles:                              English and Spanish
Sound:                                   5.1 and DTS

SPECIAL FEATURES
- Audio commentary with Bey Logan
- "Making of" featurette called "No Wires Attached"
- "Making Tony Jaa" featurette (I'm not sure what this means. Is he bionic?)
- Director's Guided Tour
- TOM YUM GOONG "Making of" featurette
- Theatrical Trailer

 

 

January 3, 2007 at 08:11 AM in News | Permalink

Comments

So the Weinsteins aren't gong to try to pull the chopped footage from Tom Yum Goong out of a hat and say "with almost 40 minutes of added footage" or something?
Damn. I guess I'll just have to get the VCD.

Posted by: Simon Abrams | Jan 3, 2007 8:28:18 AM

Other stories are saying that "The Protector" will also feature the uncut Thai verion as well.

Posted by: daniel | Jan 3, 2007 8:42:44 AM

I guess I could say that the INFERNAL AFFAIRS 2 and 3 artwork is an improvement on Miramax's bloodfart-ish INFERNAL AFFAIRS 1... but I'd rather just say that the art sucks - it's better suited to a dollar-bin Mafia documentary than to a sucessful and well-regarded trilogy. At least INFERNAL AFFAIRS doesn't star "martial arts sensations Tony Leung of GORGEOUS and HERO and Andy Lau of HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS." Apparently it doesn't star anybody worth mentioning.

What's mindboggling is that these "designs" are clearly made by someone working from the original promotional artwork from the HK releases, which was really damn good, and far classier than this. Someone, in other words, considers this an improvement. I guess we're lucky it's not much worse; for that, you need the Tartan Region 2 discs. Or an American KUNG FU HUSTLE poster.

Posted by: Rhythm-X | Jan 3, 2007 9:50:28 AM

the remark The Motion Picture Trilogy that inspired 'The Departed' is of course completely ridiculous some parts in Departed are exact copies of Infernal Affairs I.

Posted by: joey6666 | Jan 3, 2007 1:24:09 PM

Exactly (re: Joey6666). I liked The Departed until it started to copy IA (I liked the first hour but after that it slowly started to go down hill until it started to go downhill very fast in the last 20-30 minutes).

Posted by: simon Abrams | Jan 3, 2007 1:54:49 PM

Tarantino's name is bigger than Tony Jaa's. There is something basically wrong with that.

Posted by: robix | Jan 3, 2007 11:58:07 PM

So does this mean we're that much closer to the "Fist Of Legend" release?

Posted by: Jason | Jan 4, 2007 6:19:27 AM

of course Tarantino's name is bigger than Tony's; look at the old Chungking Express DVD which is designed to make it look like Tarantino practically made the film.

And his introduction, though passionate, is annoying as he acts like he discovered Wong Kar Wai.

Now, years later, finally, WKW is getting international respect and doesn't need the supposed hipness of Tarantino.

Miramax, the Weinsteins, and Tarantino consistently do a crappy and condescending job as if we should be so happy they "found" these films for us lowly Americans.

Posted by: glenn | Jan 4, 2007 7:46:18 AM

The Dragon Dynasty disc for "The Protector" is already showing up in stores here in NYC and it does have both the US and Thai cuts. As for Tarantino, I have to say I think he gets a bad rap over these "Presents" releases. In the past it has been my understanding that the W brothers made his endorsment a condition of releasing the film at all (at least that was the case for Chungking Express and HERO).

Posted by: daniel | Jan 4, 2007 7:56:51 AM

Is that you, Dan C.? If so, hey there, gurlfriend!
If not, oh snap!

In and case, nix the VCD. I'll wait for this, Nightmare Detective and Seven Swords.

Posted by: simon Abrams | Jan 4, 2007 9:06:42 AM

Yeah, the nerve of Tarantino, providing the stamp of approval of a known filmmaker to endorse the work of people who, like it or not, aren't nearly as well known to American audiences as we'd sometimes like to think they are, and certainly not as well known as we wish they were. What a douche, he needs to shut up and keep his enthusiastic opinions to himself. (Of course, then we'd complain about how the Weinsteins and Tarantino didn't do anything to promote the films.)

Some of you will be satisfied with nothing less than Quentin Tarantino's public beheading. Dude likes movies, likes sharing them with people. Sure, he's an obnoxious guy, but I don't see the problem here. Americans are woefully ignorant of non-American cinema, generally speaking. Someone like Tarantino endorsing a foreign film provides a useful guidepost for clueless noobs, and we all were clueless noobs once, though you may prefer to deny or forget that. Lots of people I personally know got into Wong Kar-wai because they rented the Tarantino-endorsed CHUNGKING EXPRESS VHS, and they did it BECAUSE it was Tarantino-endorsed. While Tarantino's endorsement wasn't what sold me on CHUNGKING EXPRESS, I'd never have had the chance to rent CHUNGKING EXPRESS in the first place if my local podunk video stores hadn't stocked it based upon his endorsement on the cover. You can't rent what isn't there.

How is this worse than Lucas/Coppola "presenting" Kurosawa movies or any of the other stuff they've "presented" over the years? How come I never hear about how that evil Terry Gilliam tried to claim CITY OF LOST CHILDREN as his own by "presenting" it? Why do I get the feeling that if one were to do a time-space "find and replace" and substitute every historical occurence of "Quentin Tarantino Presents" with "Terry Gilliam Presents", the senseless and largely hypocritical complaining would mysteriously vanish as if it were never there?

You hate Tarantino, or his films, fine. You think he's ripped off Asian cinema, and ought to own up to stealing from CITY ON FIRE, fine. But when the man is vilified for ENDORSING, HYPING, and PROMOTING something that he could just as easily have quietly ripped off when nobody was looking, that's just irrational.

Posted by: Rhythm-X | Jan 4, 2007 9:47:37 AM

"You think he's ripped off Asian cinema, and ought to own up to stealing from CITY ON FIRE, fine. But when the man is vilified for ENDORSING, HYPING, and PROMOTING something that he could just as easily have quietly ripped off when nobody was looking, that's just irrational."

No it isn't irrational. All of the Asian films he has "presented" were heavily altered in one way or another. When you present the movie and claim to love it yet the version that has your name on it has been altered, then much doubt comes into what you are really doing.

That isn't given respect for anything. That's just an obvious, perverted, and sleazy move for marketing to the lowest common denominator of film goers.

Posted by: the running man | Jan 4, 2007 11:07:36 AM

The US cut of CHUNG KING EXPRESS is different from the Hong Kong version, but isn't it actually longer and Wong Kar-wai's preferred version?

Posted by: Steve | Jan 4, 2007 1:47:18 PM

Chungking Express doesn't really count in the era of him "presenting" movies since that title belongs to (attach giggles here) the now defunct Rolling Thunder video line.

And as far as which version WKW prefers, I've never heard news of him announcing one cut of the film over the over. In fact, I once heard he has no prefer to either.

Posted by: the running man | Jan 4, 2007 2:53:52 PM

It's completely different than when Lucas presented Kurosawa Or when Roger Corman bought foreign films and released them here.

Completely different and I'm old enough to remember those releases firsthand.

Lucas and Coppola did not have names larger than Kurosawa's on the Kagemusha release posters; they knew he was a monumental filmmaker who just needed US $ and backing NOT their stamp of approval; Corman just used his $ to release foreign films -- he didn't say "Hey, glad you liked Grand Theft Auto, now here's some Ingmar Bergman for you!"

The whole Weinstein/Tarantino thing is entirely and totally different and more shameless AND...AND...they (the Weinsteins) are significantly changing the films.

That is the most significant point.

Lucas and Coppola and Corman just were financial helpers and backers to get things American releases.

Mind you, I love Kill Bill #1, Jackie Brown, and Pulp Fiction so I don't hate the guy.

I hate the "brand" of Tarantino but large parts of all of his films I LOVE.

And so what if, thanks to Tarantino, someone discovers Wong Kar Wai?

Inevitably the result is the same: like me, they discover how these films have been changed for US release, get disgusted, and seek out the imports.

The only thing Tarantino/Weinsteins have taught me is "hey, maybe I better buy the legal import first"

that is if I'm allowed to and they don't have their legal goons leaning on legit importers (but that's a hole 'nother post).

Posted by: glenn | Jan 5, 2007 8:50:58 AM

I'm glad you guys have focused on what's important here. The cover art. I always buy or don't buy DVDs based on the cover art. It guarantees quality, right?

Posted by: Scott Hamilton | Jan 7, 2007 9:35:33 AM

Let me repeat myself cause I'm not talking about the cover art: "The whole Weinstein/Tarantino thing is entirely and totally different and more shameless AND...AND...they (the Weinsteins) are significantly changing the films.

That is the most significant point."

Posters are one thing, cover art another, EDITING, rescoring, dubbing, changing titles.

Do some research on any of the old Jackie Chan or Jet Li DVDs.

Let's see Shaolin Soccer was re-edited AND shelved for 3 years.

Legend of Zu was re-edited, re-titled AND shevled for almost 4 years.

Do some research.

God knows it'd be great if it were only the cover art and posters.

Posted by: glenn | Jan 8, 2007 4:31:54 AM

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