International Blu-ray discs

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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Michael Kerpan
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#376 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:18 pm

I need to see this -- as I am a big fan of the Chekhov play (which we did get to see performed a year ago -- by adults).

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#377 Post by feihong » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:21 am

It's a wonderful movie.

I saw the play with Annette Bening in the lead years ago. She tackled the role in a way that seemed very superficial to me, but the play was completely stolen by Alfred Molina, who was playing Lopakhin. I finally understood the remarkable skill of Molina as an actor––someone whose film roles are rarely allowed to measure up to the quality of his craft. He dominated the play from beginning to end with an immense energy to match the character's grand dreams and great expectations. The other actors were quite fine in their roles.

The Nakahara film riffs on the Chekhov––the eve of the production of the play is when all the action takes place, and the roles of the girls vis a vis their classmates delicately mirror some of the relationships in the play. It's also made very clear in the drama that the teen girls are by and large unaware of the ways in which their own lives and the roles in the play intersect. The film is quite subtle and understated.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#378 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:44 am

From the reviews I've read, it sounds like Nakahara's first version was best.

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andyli
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#379 Post by andyli » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:59 am

A French Blu-ray release of early cinema by the Lumiere brothers is up for pre-order.

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whaleallright
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#380 Post by whaleallright » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:03 pm

Neat! It says the set contains over 110 films. I hope this includes some of the "views" taken around the world by Lumière cameramen.

The following is listed among the bonus features:
Les nouvelles sorties d'usine de Quentin Tarantino, Jerry Schatzberg, Michael Cimino, Pedro Almodovar, Paolo Sorrentino, Xavier Dolan
You'd think they would have asked a Chinese filmmaker to remake that film, considering how many of the iconic technologies of the modern world are manufactured in that part of the world. Sortie des usines Foxconn?

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swo17
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#381 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:09 pm

I wonder how similar this will be to Tavernier's presentation of 85 films released long ago as The Lumière Brothers' First Films.

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#382 Post by feihong » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:20 am

There are German blu rays of Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Raise the Red Lantern, Gilda, The Big Clock and The Dark Mirror. I haven't seen those films available on blu ray anywhere else in the world as of yet.

There's also a German blu ray of A Bullet for the General. Has anyone seen this disc? I wonder if it has the same ultra-waxy level of noise reduction as the US blu ray.

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#383 Post by feihong » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:40 am

Discovered some Spanish blu rays as well of some surprising films. Reviews on Amazon suggest they are well-done discs, not bootlegs.

The laughably horrible Antonio Margheriti Spaghetti Western/kung fu hybrid, The Stranger and the Gunfighter, starring Lee Van Cleef and Lo Lieh is one disc, and the other film I found was the Edward Dmytryk Western Warlock, with Henry Fonda and Richard Widmark.

The same company doing The Stranger and the Gunfighter is also releasing a bunch of Spaghetti Westerns not available elsewhere, as far as I can tell. Mostly this is a lot of Trinity films.

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tenia
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#384 Post by tenia » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:25 am

feihong wrote:There are German blu rays of Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Raise the Red Lantern, Gilda, The Big Clock and The Dark Mirror. I haven't seen those films available on blu ray anywhere else in the world as of yet.
The Dark Mirror is out by Olive in the US. Gilda is available by Sony in Europe (Italy, Spain, Germany) since 2-3 years now.

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#385 Post by feihong » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:13 am

Ah! I hadn't heard of those releases.

The version of The Big Clock I found was in a 3-pack with The Dark Mirror and Ministry of Fear.

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willoneill
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#386 Post by willoneill » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:07 am

feihong wrote:There are German blu rays of Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Raise the Red Lantern, Gilda, The Big Clock and The Dark Mirror. I haven't seen those films available on blu ray anywhere else in the world as of yet.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry is available on blu in a double feature set from Shout Factory.

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Altair
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#387 Post by Altair » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:36 am

feihong wrote: There's also a German blu ray of A Bullet for the General. Has anyone seen this disc? I wonder if it has the same ultra-waxy level of noise reduction as the US blu ray.
From the looks of the Caps-a-Holic comparison between the German BD and the Anchor Bay DVD, A Bullet for the General looks like it still suffers from heavy noise reduction.

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#388 Post by feihong » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:07 pm

willoneill wrote:
feihong wrote:There are German blu rays of Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Raise the Red Lantern, Gilda, The Big Clock and The Dark Mirror. I haven't seen those films available on blu ray anywhere else in the world as of yet.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry is available on blu in a double feature set from Shout Factory.

Ha! So we're down to Raise the Red Lantern, which I am still pretty sure is not on blu ray anywhere else I've seen.


Thanks for the heads-up on Bullet for General. What a shame.

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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#389 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:43 am

A French Blu of Raise the Red Lantern came out in 2011, under the title Épouses et concubines. It was released alongside Farewell My Concubine and both are now OOP, with third-party sellers asking triple-digit figures for Lantern. It looks like the distributor (an outfit called "D'Vision") stopped putting out releases that same year, so they probably weren't on the market for long before the company folded.
Last edited by The Fanciful Norwegian on Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tenia
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#390 Post by tenia » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:47 am

I just realisee that were the movies in questions. I have both BDs but havent watched them yet.

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#391 Post by feihong » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:57 am

Got a bunch of blu rays from Amazon Japan. Two Johnnie To films, A Hero Never Dies and Triangle, which I gave my thoughts on in the Johnnie To thread. But also I got a Japanese blu ray of The Heroic Ones, as well as blu rays for Mr. Vampire, Wheels on Meals, The Killer, and Island of Fire.

All those discs are released by Paramount in Japan, but The Heroic Ones also has a Celestial label, and the others have a Fortune Star label (Mr. Vampire, Wheels on Meals, The Killer, Island of Fire).

The Heroic Ones looks great. Sharp picture, depth, rich color, and progressive, unlike the Well-Go disc from the U.S., which is interlaced. It has a 2.0 channel PCM audio track that sounds fine. No English subtitles.

The Fortune Star discs look, unfortunately, like upscaled transfers. They are soft and without a lot of depth. The colors appear slightly unsubtle, with skin tones appearing unnaturally red on all the discs. All the discs look better than SD counterparts I've seen, but they're not good enough improvements. They don't look like blu rays. They have, for the most part, 2.0 ch Cantonese audio tracks and 5.1 Japanese dub tracks. They have Japanese subtitles, but no English. They are substantially cheaper than the standard Japanese disc, so I didn't feel terribly bad about ordering them. But still, they're real disappointments. On the other hand, I don't think I've seen Island of Fire available on blu ray before, so maybe that's something.

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tenia
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#392 Post by tenia » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:58 am

Kieslowski's Decalogue will be released on BD in Poland on Nov 11th from remasters (good or not, recent or not, I don't know).
http://www.empik.com/dekalog-kieslowski ... 587,film-p" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#393 Post by JabbaTheSlut » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:27 pm

Remastered image and audio. With English subtitles.

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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#394 Post by Zot! » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:35 pm

Well, my Facets Decalogue was starting to look pretty dog-eared. Thrilled about the explosion of Polish BD excellence all of a sudden!

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#395 Post by feihong » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:15 pm

Paramount/Twin's Japanese blu ray of Shaw Bros' The Water Margin is a very nice disc, with sharp picture quality and more than decent depth of field. It's not as good as the Heroic Ones disc, or their disc of Come Drink with Me or King Boxer, or their Mighty Peking Man. It's close in quality to their Super Inframan disc, which was very good, but just a little bit softer than the others. There is a slight red tint to the picture, very evenly throughout, but aside from that the picture and sound quality is far better than I thought it might be.

I can't remember exactly how the Celestial remastering deal worked, but I thought there were two tiers of remastering quality going on, with the films that were touring having more extensive remastering and new negatives struck, and the films that weren't touring getting some kind of digital remaster that didn't result in a new negative? Is that even close to what they did? I remember there was a definite quality difference between some of the old IVL discs, and it seemed to skew favorably towards the pictures that were touring as a retrospective. I don't recall Water Margin being one of those films that got the better treatment. At any rate, it looks quite excellent; so much so, it's a real shame these discs aren't being released in English-language friendly forms somewhere. There's a few German discs which are quite good, like The Savage 5, Crippled Avengers, 8-Diagram Pole Fighter, The Kung Fu Master, and the Sentimental Swordsman, but there's a lot of neat films, like The Magic Blade, which I would have thought might be on blu ray somewhere by now, that don't appear to be.

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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#396 Post by bergelson » Fri Oct 30, 2015 1:04 am

Decalogue is an outstanding release. With "A Short Film About Killing" being released soon as part of the big Polish classics batch I can only wander what
is the status of "A Short Film About Love", my personal favorite.

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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#397 Post by Lowry_Sam » Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:00 am

Noticed that the French Blu-Ray box set of Johnny Get Your Gun is part of the current 50 euros off 100 euros sale. Has anyone picked this up yet & can give a review? Only dvd I've seen was awful. The included book is probably in French, so I don't need that, but I am interested in all that is included in the 4-disc set & didn't realize there was more than one version of the film. Just not sure it's worth shelling out that much for it even if it isn't likely to be (all) included if it ever gets a US release.

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tenia
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#398 Post by tenia » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:21 am

Lowry_Sam wrote:Noticed that the French Blu-Ray box set of Johnny Get Your Gun is part of the current 50 euros off 100 euros sale. Has anyone picked this up yet & can give a review? Only dvd I've seen was awful. The included book is probably in French, so I don't need that, but I am interested in all that is included in the 4-disc set & didn't realize there was more than one version of the film. Just not sure it's worth shelling out that much for it even if it isn't likely to be (all) included if it ever gets a US release.
I wrote the review of the regular version for Retro HD : http://retro-hd.com/tests/blu-ray/1980- ... uerre.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There is also a review of this regular version on DVD Classik : http://www.dvdclassik.com/test/blu-ray- ... europacorp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The collector one seems overpriced to me, and is mostly interesting if you want to dig into the extras. However, seeing Tavernier and Rissient are the main bulk of the exclusive extras, they most likely only are available in French without Eng subs, so they could be of "no use" to you.

Anyway, I would suggest saving some money and buying the regular release instead (especially since it's currently in a "3 for 2" sale).

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#399 Post by feihong » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:38 am

Has anyone seen this bluray box of Berlin Alexanderplatz out of Japan?

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Berlin-Alexande ... VRQENFRJN5" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Does anyone know if this is legit? I am wondering if it's worth the investment.

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feihong
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Re: International Blu-ray discs

#400 Post by feihong » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:38 pm

So this BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ set is a dismal SD upconvert. Not worth the investment.

I picked up the German releases of a couple of Jackie Chan movies, the immortal classics POWERMAN and ACTION HUNTER, as they appear on the coversof the German blu rays. These are actually WHEELS ON MEALS and DRAGONS FOREVER. There are no English subtitles. The discs are advertised as full 1080P. They have Cantonese and German DTS 5.1 and Mono audio tracks, and they port over the HKL audio commentaries by Bey Logan.

I can't tell if WHEELS ON MEALS is an upconvert. It looks pretty soft, altogether, though there's none of the ghosting apparent in the Japanese blu ray. The film is still pretty red in the flesh tones, though not as all-around red as the image on the Japanese disc.

DRAGONS FOREVER looks sharp, and it looks like a true 1080P scan. The disc is very handsome. Splendid Films, who releases these discs, is trying to corner the market in Germany in Jackie Chan films. They have blu rays of the Project A films, all the 70s kung fu stuff, as far as I can see. They have City Hunter, the Police Story films, etc. At least some of these are supposed to be true 1080P transfers. I wonder how they got these from Fortune Star? The Fortune Star logos are on everything, but discs from other parts of the world don't offer these hi-def transfers.

I got the Japanese blu ray of STALKER, which is also odd. I can't tell how good the transfer is. The picture looks generally pretty soft.

The best thing I found was a DVD of Susumi Hani's AFRICA STORY. This is a very elegant-looking SD disc of a pretty loony film. Somehow this was Hani's last film, and star Jimmy Stewart's last movie, also. It features very little dialogue, tons and tons of nature photography (probably in equal proportion to the very slight plot). The film was produced by SanRio, and it features some funky pop singing in English over images of zebras and lions on the veldt. Everyone is dubbed in Japanese. There could be no satisfactory explanation of this crazy movie, but it is hugely enjoyable, and the DVD does right by it. There are no English subtitles, but that doesn't detract at all from the experience of the movie.

AFRICA STORY is exceptionally weird, but foolishly beautiful. The film captures so much natural beauty, so casually. It can seem somewhat without purpose if you're not looking closely. But spare a deeper glance and it's fascinating; I've not seen another film that dwells so intensely on the experience of the animals of Africa––and I'm including that IMAX film that focuses on the Wildebeast migration. But this is really a film whose copious nature photography dwells on the behavior and emotional life of animals in the wilderness. The people in the film are treated in a very similar way, and there's a casual sympathy for them that is sort of at one with the animals. Eleonora Vallone, daughter of Raf Vallone, shows up late in the film and brings with her the frippery and fussy weight of civilization, but there's also the pain and menace of several fires. They are captured, I think, just as exquisitely––moreso, even––than the ones in Days of Heaven. AFRICA STORY is not the naive movie it initially appears to be, but rather something more idiosyncratic and intense, something rapturous and well-realized, almost entirely expressed through the visual and through exceptional sound design. It's story, its editing, its visuals, actually remind me more than anything of Hani's previous THE MORNING SCHEDULE, which follows a lot of similar story beats and character relationships. It's a surprisingly good movie. Not even SanRio's unfettered pop-song-bombing of the picture can make it any less absorbing than it is.

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