January 12, 2007


Seven Swords key artSo I was talking to Brian White (name drop) over at Dragon Dynasty and telling him that I thought SEVEN SWORDS was the best disc they'd put out to date when he said, "Then why'd you give it such a bad review?"


I didn't think it was a bad review, but when I went back and read my KILLZONE/SHA PO LANG review I realized that it was far more positive than the one I gave SEVEN SWORDS. So let me clarify:

SEVEN SWORDS is the best disc from Dragon Dynasty to date. The deleted scenes and the long interviews with the actors and Tsui Hark are exclusive to the disc and they're really valuable if you like the movie.

However, I don't like the movie. I am actually still broken up over SEVEN SWORDS because it's such a missed opportunity - unlimited resources and this is what my favorite director in the world came up with? I weep into my oatmeal.

And that audio commentary...I don't want to pick on Bey more than necessary but I hope the next time he records one of these he remembers that no cares what the white guy has to say.

But those issues aside, it's the best thing these folks have done so far.

January 12, 2007 at 12:49 PM in DVD Reviews | Permalink


Next time you're talking to him, could you suggest that they release the Dragon Dynasty titles on HD-DVD? I've more or less given up on buying DVDs from companies that release HD-DVD, and would love to see some of these that way.

Posted by: Jay Seaver | Jan 12, 2007 1:26:20 PM

This isn't the first time Bey spoiled a Tsui Hark commentary track. On the HKL Zu Warriors disc whenever Tsui was on a roll Bey would interrupt by pointing out every onscreen actor's name, or just to say how much he likes Sammo. This worked on the Beast Cops track when Gordon Chan seemed reluctant to speak, but Tsui arguably doesn't need a moderator on these things, let alone a co-commentator.

Posted by: Wes Black | Jan 12, 2007 3:09:34 PM

I'd disagree that Tsui doesn't need a moderator. Listen tot he Time and Tide commentary. Somehow, Tsui manages to concentrate on the most mundane aspects of making that movie, while barely mentioning anything interesting.

Posted by: Scott Hamilton | Jan 12, 2007 7:51:17 PM

On his own, Bey Logan commentaries are wonderful. Packed with more information than any normal human should be able to retain.

Shame to hear he tramples over Tsui Hark on this one. I like the idea of a moderator/interviewer prompting responses from the film-makers but it sounds like Bey just gets too caught up in his own opinion, especially for a 'troubled' production like this where the anecdotes had to be legion.

I've heard that the Asian DVD market has zero interest in 'director's cuts'. If a movie fails it's banished to movie hell for eternity.

It'll take a dedicated Western DVD company to put the work in re-assembling SEVEN SWORDS to watchability.

Posted by: ColinJ | Jan 13, 2007 2:30:21 AM

"On his own, Bey Logan commentaries are wonderful. Packed with more information than any normal human should be able to retain."

Not really.

Perhaps you should read the The Protector review.

"I've heard that the Asian DVD market has zero interest in 'director's cuts'. If a movie fails it's banished to movie hell for eternity."

Not really. :)

I don't know when the DD commentary was done, but I've heard Hark pretty much has called it quits on it and said that the 153 minute version is his cut of the film.

Posted by: the running man | Jan 13, 2007 7:00:36 AM

Sage advice for Mr. Logan there. Along similar lines, it would be of the utmost utility for Mr. White (who is apparently keeping tabs on the Shakedown) to take a good long look at the running man's A/B comparison of images from Dragon Dynasty's release of POLICE STORY and New Line Cinema's clips from POLICE STORY, taken from a preview on the MR. NICE GUY disc. Despite having access to up-to-date mastering technology, Dragon Dynasty's release falls short in the picture quality department compared to a trailer, taken from a first-or-second generation DVD, for a film that New Line Cinema never even bothered to release on DVD. Dragon Dynasty's POLICE STORY is certainly watchable, infinitely better than my dubbed, cut POLICE FORCE VHS from Simitar or my bootleg subtitled (but still cut) VHS from God knows where, but New Line's clips of POLICE STORY actually look really good, and there's no good reason for a modern disc from a company with the resources of the Weinsteins, self-proclaimed keepers of "The Greatest Martial Arts DVD Library In The World", to not at least equal the picture quality a tossed-off afterthought of a trailer from a really old New Line disc. Comparison link is here: http://tinyurl.com/y63rvg (scroll down past the IRON MONKEY stills). I want to see Dragon Dynasty live up to its own hype - and it easily could, given the proper care. I am pulling for them to do so. A final thought - it sure would be nice if the Dragon Dynasty website had an up-to-date list of all the titles that they have the rights to... perhaps that's coming "this fall" when the website is finally finalized.

Posted by: Rhythm-X | Jan 13, 2007 12:44:18 PM

...to not at least equal the picture quality OF a tossed-off afterthought of a trailer from a really old New Line disc.

There, that's better.

Posted by: Rhythm-X | Jan 13, 2007 12:52:51 PM

Best disc to date? Sorry, that had to be SPL. I've no interest in these extras. SPL with Sammo and Wu Jing as well as Donnie in the extras? SS can't come close to that. I don't care what's in the extras.

Posted by: screamingmimi | Jan 14, 2007 1:14:10 AM

Hey Rhythm X, thanks for the plug and all. :)

Only thing is, I hope you weren't instituting anyone to just skip my review entirely, kinda gave it a bit of thought for anyone to just skip over it and just look at the pictures ya know? :)

And speaking of pictures, those Iron Monkey stills were part of the big point I was making in the video section of that review. Skip that, along with my comments in that section (some of which you repeated here) and the reader would miss that big point I'm making there.

I appreciate the love though. :D

Posted by: the running man | Jan 14, 2007 3:24:07 AM

Is this blog/space policed by Dragon Dynasty???

Posted by: jackripper | Jan 14, 2007 3:27:37 AM

I figured readers would be magnetically drawn to the review, making such an endorsement redundant.

Posted by: Rhythm-X | Jan 14, 2007 12:37:33 PM

No, really it's cool. :)

I wasn't getting paid for doing such things so it's cool to see that whatever I did is seen as something useful to people out there.

Posted by: the running man | Jan 14, 2007 1:33:39 PM

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