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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:02 pm
The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:
This customer review of Oki's Movie doesn't sound too promising:

"The DVD image is different from what I watched on Amazon Prime. It's been zoomed in and stretched and generally looks awful. I'm not sure why the image is so different but Asian Crush won't respond to any emails. The movie is good and deserves to be seen as intended. The Prime version is fine but avoid this DVD."

Maybe the disc isn't correctly flagged for 16:9 (an easy fix) and s/he was watching on a 4:3 set, in which case it would be stretched--but that wouldn't account for zooming.


I wrote this review after getting 2 copies of the DVD through Amazon (The 2nd one being a replacement for what I believed was a defective copy) but both had the same problem. I had also ordered their Hahaha DVD and it matched the Prime image, so this isn't a problem with all of their DVDs. Asian Crush finally responded to me on their Facebook page with this: " - these DVDs are authored by Amazon using the same video file we provide them for streaming, so there shouldn't be a discrepancy like the one you noticed. My guess is that an error occurred during the DVD authoring process, and I am afraid we have no control over Amazon's quality assurance process. If you are not happy with the product, I suggest you to request an exchange or refund via Amazon. We will also contact Amazon as content partners to make sure the issue is fixed in the future." I tried it out on various players and its definitely a problem with the authoring, it looked horrid on a widescreen TV. Here are screencaps of the Prime image and the DVD image.
Amazon: http://i.imgur.com/GzYeyGL.jpg
DVD: http://i.imgur.com/QXLfcQw.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:08 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors on blu
http://www.kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=19279


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm
Please let The Power of Kangwon Province be next....


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:18 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:02 pm
For anyone interested in the Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors DVD on Amazon, it has the same problem as the Oki's Movie one.

(Left side is Amazon Prime streaming, right is the DVD) http://i.imgur.com/thHp2Mb.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: 02128
feihong wrote:
Please let The Power of Kangwon Province be next....

It is.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
Hoorah!

I not only consider this film and Virgin Stripped Bare Hong's best films, but I'd say they're also easily the two that would most benefit from HD, so if you're considering dipping your toes in, now is definitely the time to strike. Hong's Korean DVDs and Blus tend not to stay in print for long, so if you snooze you might lose.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
I can put things into a shopping cart at Kimchidvd -- but when I try to order, I see no way to complete the order. ;~{


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:39 pm
Location: Idaho
The "OderNow" button next to "Go Shopping" on the View Cart page takes you to the checkout process.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
AlexHansen wrote:
The "OderNow" button next to "Go Shopping" on the View Cart page takes you to the checkout process.
All this does for me is show me a list -- no buttons available to move to the next step. ;~{


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:39 pm
Location: Idaho
Hmm weird. Other than trying a different browser (which I'm guessing you've done), I've got nothing. If you can't get it straightened out, I'm sure arrangements can be made, either through myself or another forum member. It'd be a crime otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm
Applesauce, you are THE BEST for making my dream come true. I choose to believe you personally responsible for this fortuitous turn of events.

I second zedz assertion of these two being Hong's best films. I like Turning gate a lot as well. That said, I haven't seen a lot of recent Hong Sang-Soo films, so I don't know if it seems he's progressing somewhere or anything. But those early films have such a freshness about them, even now.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: 02128
I've been picking these Hommage blus up in pairs and was hoping another would be announced before Virgin Stripped Bare went OOP, which it seems is the current situation for Night and Day.
Also, at the recent BAFICI retrospective, Power of Kangwon Province (easily one of my favorite few of Hongs) was the only screening I was sore about missing. So, I'm quite pleased.

Come to think of it, has anyone owning these releases found any image glitches? I found a two-frame blocky pattern appearing almost midway through NIght and Day but haven't had a chance to check any others. I'm slightly worried it's indicative of the series' quality. (The Hongs are the only Content Zone/Hommage releases I've purchased.)


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm
Haven't seen anything on Turning Gate yet, but I haven't watched all the way through yet. Virgin arrived today. I'll look later if I can.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
Michael Kerpan wrote:
AlexHansen wrote:
The "OderNow" button next to "Go Shopping" on the View Cart page takes you to the checkout process.
All this does for me is show me a list -- no buttons available to move to the next step. ;~{

Hey Michael (and anybody else who's interested), if you didn't get this to work, Kangwon Province is now available from yesasia.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:46 pm
I am actually on the fence for a while now. I'd like to get some comments on the PQ before pulling the trigger, since these films, correct me if I'm wrong, were shot on film and never had good HD masters to begin with. While issuing a blu-ray for Night and Day could just be a re-working of the digital file from the camera, these early features could cost much more time and money to digitize. It's gonna be a pain for me to return these discs if they turn out to be merely SD up-scaled or DNR'ed to hell.

Anyone, please?


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
I've only received On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate so far, but the other early titles are on their way. I'll report back when they arrive.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:39 pm
Location: Idaho
Whew for a second there I thought another release had been announced. My wallet needs a little recovery time.

There was one moment of funkiness in Turning Gate when they're drinking in the room with red tinted lights, but other than that it looked good to me. Woman is the Future of Man looked pretty fabulous during a quick peek (at least compared to the transfer Netflix is/was streaming).

Also Hahaha and Like You Know It All are streaming on Hulu, along with Virgin. No idea about the quality, but at least they're available.


Last edited by AlexHansen on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm
I've also been wondering about the PQ of these Blu-ray releases. Can't wait for someone to post some screen captures for comparison to the DVDs.

I watched the Kangwon Province DVD (the version from the Spectrum 3-disc boxset) over the weekend with an Oppo BDP-80 and Sony LED TV and was pleasantly surprised how good the upconverted picture looked ... so good to the point that I'm having second thought about buying the upcoming Blu-ray release.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:39 pm
Location: Idaho
zedz wrote:
Kangwon Province is now available from yesasia.

Who also has the Night & Day LE if you missed out at Kimchi (there's also a "normal" version as well).


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack
K2DVD says it's in stock.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
In non-Blu news, Hong's latest Nobody's Daughter Haewon is terrific. The film features yet another variation on his trademark bifurcated narrative, with its second half revisiting most of the locations and situations of the first (for a reason he's probably used before, but I'm coming up blank on which film it might have been in). The more you think about what you've seen the more devilishly clever the whole structure is, right down to just why a particular carefully set-up plot thread is unceremoniously dropped. Plus it's often hilarious, starting with the opening encounter with The Real Jane Birkin. Employing a flawed but sympathetic female protagonist rather than one of Hong's typical feckless males gives the film a genuine warmth - we actually want Haewon to sort her life out.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:04 am
Location: high in the Custerdome
Good to hear that about Haewon! I was dismayed to see some of the early reviews once again perpetuating the predictable commonplaces, although in general the reviews have been more positive this time around. I actually wrote an elaborate plea to my local film festival to bring this back from Berlin, but no luck. I think it's only been screened at two other occidental festivals so far (Karlovy Vary and LA), I hope this isn't a symptom of his dwindling reputation.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
The fact that one Hong film is structurally and tonally very similar to all the others should have ceased to be news by now. For me, I'm just pathetically grateful that we're getting something on the level of a new Rohmer film every year. Unless Hong effects a radical stylistic change, I suspect he'll just trundle along in the same sublime rut until some act of God changes things (a Cannes win; a fluke commercial hit for some random reason; heaven forbid it's a Hollywood remake). If not, he'll die and be rediscovered in the West twenty years later like another Ozu.


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
zedz wrote:
Employing a flawed but sympathetic female protagonist rather than one of Hong's typical feckless males gives the film a genuine warmth - we actually want Haewon to sort her life out.
Well Virgin Stripped Bare and Woman on the Beach are my favorite Hong movies -- for this very reason. I prefer woman-centered Hong -- just like I prefer woman-centered Rohmer. ;~} (Not that I ONLY like the woman-centered films, mind you).


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 Post subject: Re: Hong Sangsoo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:16 am
I know you've expressed a little less enthusiasm for some of the recent features, Zedz, but I'm of the opinion that Hong is getting better with every feature. Which is not to say that In Another Country is superior to Virgin Stripped Bare, but that Hong is always adding new tools to his repertoire and further refining those that he's introduced previously, so that the borders of his cinema are continuously expanding outwards. Which is also true of Ozu. Both are filmmakers whose oeuvres, because they accumulate, develop, compound, refine, and innovate techniques instead of simply switching out old for new, are seen as static, unchanging or, with a slight air of condescension, as "perfect".

So I prefer Oki's Movie and An Autumn Afternoon, but partly because of how they retroactively transform features of the earlier films.


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