Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dragon Dynasty DVDs

It wasn't so long ago -- just about three or four years, in fact -- that Bob and Harvey Weinstein were despised, hated even, by the Hong Kong action/kung fu movie fan community. When they were still with Miramax and Disney, they purchased the rights to many classic and new HK action movies and either released shoddy versions to the screen or DVD, or they sat on them and withheld them from the market. Fans were livid and put together petitions and letter campaigns. I failed to keep up with the latest news in that realm so I lost track of what was happening on that front.

Fast forward to 2006: The Weinsteins, having left Miramax the previous year to form their own company, set up a label called Dragon Dynasty to release some of their HK films. They appear to have a deal with Shaw Brothers because Dragon Dynasty is offering several Shaw classics. Most of the DD line are Fortune Star releases, including a couple of Jackie Chan's best movies. Others titles include the Chow Yun-Fat classic Hard Boiled and all three Infernal Affairs films.

So far I've picked up two of the four available Shaw Brothers titles, My Young Auntie and The One-Armed Swordsman (which hasn't been released on legal home video in this country until now). Those are acknowledged classics but the other two Shaws are huge: The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (aka Shaolin Master Killer) and King Boxer (aka Five Fingers of Death)! I need to do some checking of reviews and so forth, but these look fairly complete. If so, it's very good to have these finally available on DVD in wide release.

In a later post I'll cover the Shaw Brothers films being released by Image Entertainment in Region 1, and then maybe as complete a listing as I can make of all the R1/R3 Shaw discs.

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