“There’s only so much time in the day and money in the bank.”
DVD News: Apparently no new Asian films on Region 1 DVD this week. Which allows me to elucidate my reasoning for the “Upcoming on DVD” list on the home page of the site.
When I began the site in August 2000, part of my rationale was that I couldn’t locate information on the internet about Hong Kong movies coming soon to DVD. Soon thereafter I discovered the precursor to Asian DVD Guide. That site has proven to be a rich resource for recent and upcoming DVD releases in Hong Kong.
Though many Asian film fans in the US and Canada have purchased multi-region DVD players, thereby opening up a much wider marketplace, the majority of world cinema devotees have not taken the plunge. And even for those who have, the number of Asian films released on Region 1 has jumped, especially in the past year. Just take a stroll down the “new releases” section at your local Hollywood Video, as I did recently, and you might be surprised how many films there are to choose from. That opens up many more rental options.
An excellent source of information is KungFuCinema.com. Mark Pollard will keep you up to date on all martial arts films coming to DVD and provides discerning reviews and industry news.
Anime is a world unto itself, with a wealth of releases. Similarly, Bollywood films are constantly being released. I readily admit my ignorance in these areas and point you to our friend Google.
Still, relatively little attention is devoted to live-action Hong Kong and other Asian films coming soon to Region 1 DVD, so I felt I should try and maintain my own list.
Certain companies have consistently released below-average quality DVDs, and I’ve stayed away from listing them.
Tai Seng is probably the biggest supplier of Hong Kong movies released on Region 1. The majority of their releases are apparently simple distribution deals – they import DVDs released in Hong Kong, attach their sticker to the case, and get them into chain stores in the US. That’s not a bad business model, but if you buy more than a few it makes more sense to purchase directly from Hong Kong internet retailers. The prices are generally much lower (between US$5.00-12.00). US-based internet retailers are more expensive, but generally priced lower than chain stores. Tai Seng has produced a limited number of releases in advance of their release to Hong Kong retailers, but these are very much hit-and-miss in their quality. Because of these concerns, I’ve stayed away from listing Tai Seng releases.
And…we’ll amend this as need be in the days ahead.