I hate hate hate Miramax. Or as Monkeypeaches.com refers to them “MiramAxe.” I hadn’t realized that a bunch of Jackie Chan’s movies had been released direct-to-video. The listing for this movie is pretty funny actually. The DVD comes dubbed and subtitled, but they’re completely different versions. The dubbed version is full-frame and 106 minutes long. The subtitled version is letterboxed and 127 minutes long. Basically if you’re dumb enough to want to watch a dubbed Hong Kong film you’re also dumb enough to watch movies in full frame. At least, that seems to be the implication.

The whole retitling thing just rubs me the wrong way because it really doesn’t make sense to me. The idea behind retitling is so that the movie will sell better because it will sound cooler. Though the implication is that people don’t know anything about these movies and a cooler title is more likely to inspire an impulse purchase. When I look at martial arts sections of DVD stores I’m still appalled by all the crappy re-releases of old Hong Kong films by various different companies that snap up the rights to crappy prints to put out their crappy-ass DVDs.

Jet Li’s collection of films is the most notable victim of this debauchery. Only movies of his to retain the title is “Fist of Legend” which tragically doesn’t exist subtitled in any worthy form on DVD (please email me if you know otherwise), and “The Master.” Of course “The Master” is the terrible terrible Tsui Hark film which has a shot at the end where they dolly out so far that you can see the dolly track. It just hurts to see titles like: The Legend, The Enforcer, The Defender, The Legend of the Swordsman, Twin Warriors, Meltdown (Legend of Fong Sai Yuk, My Father is a Hero, Bodyguard from Beijing, Swordsman II, Tai-Chi Master, High Risk).

There used to be a time when I thought that American DVDs were the best hope I had for a nice DVD transfer of Hong Kong films with well done subtitles. But now Hong Kong seems to be getting more serious with DVD releasing remastered editions of classic films like the “Better Tomorrow” series. Of course the victim in that series is that music from “Speed” and “Forrest Gump” replaces a lot of music in the first film effectively making it one of the most unintentionally funny/sad/painful viewing experiences of my life.


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