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Hong Kong Rescue #1: Hard Boiled
#1
Note: I figure many people here already know about our releases, but I wanted to post about them for people who are not familiar with our work.

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Disc 1:  

The only genuine HD transfer in the world, sourced from Japan. Color corrected to match the original theatrical print. Image quality FAR exceeds releases by Dragon Dynasty and anyone else for that matter.  

Audio Tracks:  

1. Cantonese 2.0 Uncompressed LPCM  
2. Cantonese 5.1 Surround Remix DTS-HD  
3. English Dub 5.1 Dolby  
4. Mandarin Dub 5.1 Dolby  
5. John Woo, Terence Chang Commentary  
6. John Woo, Terence Chang, Roger Avery and Dave Kehr Commentary  
7. Bey Logan Commentary    

Disc 2 Special Features:  

1. Taiwan Extended Version of Hard Boiled  

This is a doozy of a special feature. This is the rare, extended Taiwan version of Hard Boiled, presented here complete and unedited. Longer than the theatrical version. It contains many minor differences throughout the film, including alternate takes in some scenes.  

2. The Making of Hard Boiled  

A documentary that was originally only available on the French HKVideo DVD. We commissioned new English subtitles since the original only had French subtitles  

3. Interview with John Woo  

4. Interview with Tony Leung  

This feature was originally only available on the French HKVideo DVD. We commissioned new English subtitles.  

5. Interview with Terence Chang  

6. Interview with Philip Chan  

7. Interview with Kwok Choi  

8. Location Guide  On-site tour of the shooting locations for Hard Boiled  

9. Alternative Opening Scene  

10. John Woo's Student Film  Originally only available on the long OOP Criterion DVD  

11. Trailer Gallery  Collection of all theatrical and home video trailers for Hard Boiled  

12. Hong Kong Rescue Trailer


Here is a YouTube video review of this release that one of our customer's made:

https://youtu.be/XZwhXhbHd1Q



What Other People Are Saying About Hong Kong Rescue:
Note: I'm withholding the names of the individuals who sent me these messages at their request.
Message 1:
"I received three blu rays from you recently. As a long-time lover of Hong Kong film I am over the moon by what you have put together here. The love and dedication are very obvious, as well as your thoughtfulness on things to include and to do with these releases. You are literally saving some of these films for generations to come - these are the discs of these films I will show my kids, and I know many others will be doing the same thing. They will become the standard versions of these movies as time goes by, I am sure. I am a film editor and know very well the massive work this must have taken you to pull off. Please know it does not go unappreciated, and these efforts will echo for many people for a very long time.
As somebody who also has had to deliver items of this fashion to others on my own, I also want you to know I understand the difficulties this must bring to a single individual trying to handle. So please, know that there are some people out there who definitely "get it". In the end, I got the discs I ordered, I absolutely love them, and I really, really appreciate what you have done here. This is one of the greatest bits of film preservation I have ever seen, and I will definitely be ordering more from you."
Message 2:
"I received my Blu-ray for Police Story in the mail a few days ago and I love it! You've outdone yourself with this amazing re-release."
Message 3:
"I just wanted to tell you that your new Police Story release is absolute perfection; beyond my wildest dreams and expectations even. Your restoration and de-subtitling of the unique Japanese print footage and seamless melding with and re-editing of the restored HK print is nothing short of astonishing. AND, your custom edit of the awesome Criterion mono Canto track restoration mixed with the necessary bits of the Pony Canyon LD track is the icing on the cake — sounds spectacular and even gives us the breakdancing music during Jackie’s moonwalk, my pet request!!!
Incredible job, thank you SO SO MUCH!!!!!"
Message 4:
"Wow I am really really impressed with your updated version of the JP version of PS. How did you manage to erase the sidetitles on the JP version? It looked so seamless. I didn't know there was any copy around of the JP version without the burnt-in subs hehe. Very nice work indeed!"
Message 5:
"Hello there, I just wanted to reply and tell I could not be more satisfied with my copy of Hard Boiled! It is everything I anticipated. And let me just say your packaging was amazing! I honestly didn’t expect such professional grade packaging. That’s not a backhanded compliment or anything lol...just way better than some custom blus I’ve gotten in the past. Everything from the menus down to the two sides cover was top notch. And the movie itself was as advertised, blew every other edition I’ve seen, owned or heard about completely out of the water. I definitely plan to order other titles in the future (Drunken Master most likely), and I can’t freaking WAIT for your edition of The Killer, I’m sure it will be worth the wait. Fantastic work you’re doing, please keep it up!"
Message 6:
"The quest for the perfect editions of John Woo classics in HD continues... This could be the one for Hard Boiled... Holy shit...this is amazing. The print is great, sourced from a Japanese release, minimal grain in the dark scenes, multiple soundtracks and commentaries, I checked it out with the Criterion LD audio and it sounded pure perfection !! The subtitles have been properly translated too from a person that is fluent in Cantonese ! Loads of extras collected from other releases including the longer (20 mins+ more) Taiwanese version.... Took just over a week for delivery, I'll definitely be grabbing more of their stuff."
Message 7:
"I am just emailing to say what an amazing purchase the Hard Boiled Hong Kong Rescue Blu Ray was. I first watched this film on vhs many years ago and then purchased it on dvd (tartan extreme version) and cannot day how thrilled I am to watch it in such a high quality format. The picture quality is second to none and is akin to watching a brand new film. Gone are the washed out, grainy and dark textures that I have been so used to viewing. John Woo was one of my favourite directors growing up, making all other action films (especially those outside Asia) pale in comparison. I really look forward to you rescuing both The Killer and A Better Tomorrow (those will complete my holy trinity of heroic bloodshed films that I have loved for so long!)
Keep up the good work, you are doing things that some of the bigger studios should have done a long time ago!"
Message 8:
"I got my copy of the new HKR version of SUPER COP yesterday..., but I was too busy to check it until today on my lunch break. The discs work perfectly. I previously purchased the original HKR SUPER COP release, but decided to get the new upgrade and planned to give my son my old copy. Wow, I was not disappointed- SUPER COP has never looked better! The color upgrading is impressive. I saw the Hong Kong version projected in 35mm, and later, when Dimension put out the US release I saw that theatrically as well. I have always thought that the home video releases looked a little yellow and sickly, and was surprised because I remembered it looking quite vibrant in the theater. How nice to see it popping with natural colors once again. I think I may actually get another copy of SUPER COP V2.0 instead of giving my son the original one, because he appreciates a quality presentation and after seeing the difference I don't want him to see the original, shoddy-colors version now.
My son (who was born the year after the film came out) hasn't seen it yet, and we were excited about watching it together. But now with the pandemic going on, even though he lives less than 15 minutes away, to stay safe, we can't. But it'll be worth the wait."
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Thanks given by: HippieDalek , H A S S A N
#2
I always wondered, did you actually color correct the master to a 35mm print or to a different source that has assumably correct colors? I've always wondered this given I've heard somewhere that it's really just been color corrected to the Criterion DVD. I ask because I actually know a source who owns a 35mm print of the movie, and in theory, it may be possible to get that funded and scanned (in 4K too) to be used as a truer color reference to you and a more grindhousey presentation to others.
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#3
The Criterion DVD was a transfer from their LD, which was most likely made from a IP or Interneg that also had different opening credits (on a red screen) instead of the ones that cut to black with sliding text from the left/right.
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#4
References to prints or internegatives are the Criterion DVD/LD, the JP LD and the HK Video DVD. Between them all, you get a fairly good idea of how the movie looked.
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#5
(2020-06-09, 07:03 AM)Stamper Wrote: References to prints or internegatives are the Criterion DVD/LD, the JP LD and the HK Video DVD. Between them all, you get a fairly good idea of how the movie looked.

Though the HKR version of the movie is definitely much nicer looking, I've always wondered if it was supposed to look so yellow at times. There are instances where I get the sense where it ends up drowning out other colors (like the night-time blues in these frames I grabbed from the Dragon Dynasty blu-ray). I wish I knew if it's the same case when looking at an actual OTP 35mm print or not given home media releases tend to be off the mark color-wise, but who am I to judge?

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#6
The Japanese transfer and in turn the HKR version are wrong color wise.
I was lucky enough to catch a 35mm showing and Id say the French DVD (HKVideo) is the most accurate (if a little over saturated).

You are correct in that it has been drained of blue, its a phenomenon Ive noticed (especially with Hong Kong film transfers) quite alot over recent years.
I often wonder if its part of a noise reduction process ?
I know I could often clean up noisy video footage just using the blue channel when I was doing this professionally.
But i worked 99% of the time with video and not film transfers. I guess it would be the same once digitized though.
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Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla
#7
(2020-06-09, 05:21 AM)SpaceBlackKnight Wrote: The Criterion DVD was a transfer from their LD, which was most likely made from a IP or Interneg that also had different opening credits (on a red screen) instead of the ones that cut to black with sliding text from the left/right.

I've just checked my laserdisc copy and it says: 

"The transfer was made from a newly-struck 35mm interpositive. The sound was mastered from the original 3-track magnetic mono master."
Program material is recorded on the other side of this disc...
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#8
(2020-06-10, 10:06 AM)CSchmidlapp Wrote: The Japanese transfer and in turn the HKR version are wrong color wise.
I was lucky enough to catch a 35mm showing and Id say the French DVD (HKVideo) is the most accurate (if a little over saturated).

You are correct in that it has been drained of blue, its a phenomenon Ive noticed (especially with Hong Kong film transfers) quite alot over recent years.
I often wonder if its part of a noise reduction process ?
I know I could often clean up noisy video footage just using the blue channel when I was doing this professionally.
But i worked 99% of the time with video and not film transfers. I guess it would be the same once digitized though.

Thanks for the input; Least now I know I wasn't just being paranoid. I suspect it's just an auto-white-balancing sort of deal rather than a DNR thing if I had to be honest. That or the scanned elements just didn't have the colors baked in (EG: If it was a neg scan).

(2020-06-10, 10:25 AM)HippieDalek Wrote: I've just checked my laserdisc copy and it says: 

"The transfer was made from a newly-struck 35mm interpositive. The sound was mastered from the original 3-track magnetic mono master."

How do the Criterion colors compare to the HKR master then? Is there a lack of a wider color range there too?

A shame a modern scan of a theatrical print would be quite a pricey endeavor though; Around $1065 I'd say by my calculations. I could start up a thread about the prospect though if there's enough interest. I know a few folks on SWT considered the prospect.
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Thanks given by: CSchmidlapp
#9
(2020-06-10, 10:28 AM)LucasGodzilla Wrote: How do the Criterion colors compare to the HKR master then? Is there a lack of a wider color range there too?

I couldn't tell you off the top of my head. I only got the disc a year or so ago and have only had the chance to watch it once since. From memory I remember being very impressed with the picture quality of the release, especially as it's the CLV version.

I can take some phone-pointed-at-the-TV screenshots later if you want to compare.
Program material is recorded on the other side of this disc...
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Thanks given by: CSchmidlapp , LucasGodzilla
#10
(2020-06-10, 10:25 AM)HippieDalek Wrote: "The transfer was made from a newly-struck 35mm interpositive. The sound was mastered from the original 3-track magnetic mono master."

Ive got to say Ive always thought the quality of the original Cantonese mono track for Hard Boiled sounded awful!
On all releases.
The English dub track in comparison sounds great, so I have no idea what happened.
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