Will Ryuhei Kitamura's films ever come out to Region 1?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Travis W., Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Travis W.

    Travis W. Second Unit

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    I know Versus has come out (just last year) but where are his other films like Azumi, Alive, Sky High, or Aragami? These films are only available in Region 3 counterparts and impossible to find in the United States. The man is a very cool director and he deserves to have his films released here at least in some form. My question is will these ever see Region 1 releases?
     
  2. jason:g

    jason:g Stunt Coordinator

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    Very likely to see Region 1 releases. However, Azumi will most probably be the international cut (10 minutes shorter) version. Anyway the R2J editions are much better quality.
     
  3. WillKTaylor

    WillKTaylor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Travis, check out this July release ofSky High. They also carry Azumi.

    However, I can not vouch for the legitimacy of this site, whether these are official releases or not. For instance, I can't find Sky High for less than $45 USD anywhere online except for this site. Both are also region 0 disks, so, I'm a bit skeptical. Perhaps someone else can chime in on this.
     
  4. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Someone mentioned in another thread (might have been you, Will) that Kitamura is considering Hollywood projects, which probably means the rights to his films are sitting with various U.S. distribs who will wait to tie their release into his U.S. theatrical debut. I suspect the same thing will happen with the original JU-ON films once Shimizu Takashi's remake hits our shores.

    Of course, I'm just guessing...
     
  5. Shawn_Sek

    Shawn_Sek Stunt Coordinator

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    i have bought DVDs from the mentioned hkdvdstore.com and the ones i bought were almost certainly boots. im about 95% sure of that so be careful.

    i would love a full blown R1 release of Azumi but i was less than thrilled with the R1 Versus so region free is probably the way to go.
     
  6. Travis W.

    Travis W. Second Unit

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    A friend of mine has a region free disc of Azumi and it's a great movie, just wish it could reach a wider audience. It boggles my mind when I see the store shelves littered with tons of direct-to-video trash and thinking that Kitamura films are virtually unknown to everyone. It's a shame, really.
     
  7. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Tell me about it. If I had my own video store, MAN what a collection I'd have in there!
     
  8. Bill_Syn

    Bill_Syn Auditioning

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    Media Blasters (which released "Versus" in R1) is releasing "Aragami" on Nov. 16th and "Alive" (plus the "Ultimate Edition" of "Versus") sometime this year. I'm pretty sure the rights were bought to "Azumi," but I don't remember which company.

    BTW, if you enjoyed "Aragami", pick up "2LDK" this coming Tuesday (7/13). It was the other film made as part of the "Duel Project" between Kitamura and director Yukihiko Tsutsumi.
     
  9. jason:g

    jason:g Stunt Coordinator

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    Cinexus (Korea) is releasing Azumu (R3 Korea), a port of the 2-disc. Cinexus releases high-quality discs, so if you cannot afford the more expensive R2J editions, I suggest that you buy the R3 Korean edition.

    (Avoid the R0 bootlegs.)
     
  10. Travis W.

    Travis W. Second Unit

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    An ultimate edition of Versus? I spent extra cash just to get that two disc special edition that was hardly worth the trouble (it being delayed and all). At least they're bringing Alive out though.
     
  11. jason:g

    jason:g Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm somewhat bemused that Versus has gotten so much attention, attaining cult status like Sam Raimi's Evil Dead films. At the same time, it would be good if they charged a lot less for Versus. After all, it is a very low-budget flick.


    Ultimate Versus isn't an Ultimate Edition of Versus. It is a new director's cut, with newly shot additional footage re-inserted into the movie.

    If you want the original theatrical cut, go for the current release, not the "Ultimate Versus". I'm not sure if they will release an edition with both versions of the movie. That would be good, as the original theatrical cut should be preserved. The new version should be considered cosmetic surgery, and it is possibly unnecessary.

    Kitamura is now a prolific director in Japan. He is currently working on Godzilla: Final Wars. He seems to excel in creating exciting Japanese swordfighting scenes. But when the movies call for exposition (or suspense), his movies rapidly become dull. e.g. "Aragami" is mostly filled with boring, talking scenes. "Alive" (his attempt at a sci-fi thriller) is basically an unexciting copy of "Cube" and "Aliens".
     
  12. Travis W.

    Travis W. Second Unit

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    Ah, that's right now I remember. An issue of Fangoria featured an interview with Kitamura and he stated he'd like to go back and film new things for Versus, I just assumed he'd forgotten about it. I'll pick up this new edition for sure.

    I agree about his films becoming dull pretty fast. I wasn't too big a fan of Aragami (since it had been touted as just one big sword fight pretty much) but I like Alive almost as much as Versus.

    Out of all his films though Azumi has the best chance of succeeding in the market here.
     
  13. jason:g

    jason:g Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree. It is a very commercial film, and it will appeal to people who liked the action of "Kill Bill" and movies like "Conan The Barbarian". (However, Azumi is not up to the standard set by "Conan The Barbarian")

    Those gamers who have played "King of Fighters" will also recognize that "Bijomaru Mogami" character (who is a psychotic effeminate killer).

    I can't wait till Azumi 2 is out. Then, I'll have an "Azumi Movie Marathon". :)

    I found that "Sky High" has more replay value. I've been watching it several times now, without getting bored. That is something amazing.
     
  14. WillKTaylor

    WillKTaylor Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: i have bought DVDs from the mentioned hkdvdstore.com and the ones i bought were almost certainly boots. im about 95% sure of that so be careful.

    Shawn

    I believe that you are in fact %100 correct. Did some further searching and found out that the copies that I bought locally of Miike's, Ley Lines and China Mafia War can be purchased on hkdvdstore. No where else have I seen these versions. I suppose it's pretty bad when a DVD copy has an Yahoo email address on it. I was sort of skeptical of this upon makin the decision to buy and now, I feel even worse about it.

    If this is the case, I'm surprised no one has attempted to shut these guys down considering the damage that they are creating to the industry over there.
     
  15. Eric.

    Eric. Stunt Coordinator

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    I drew the line at paying the high price for the r2j release of Azumi but i'm in the cue to get the r3 Korean release.I'm also looking forward to seeing Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Doppelganger.
    [rant]Without trying to put to many noses out of joint in the US i would have to say i think your industry's treatment of Asian cinema and and it's actors is nothing short of disgraceful.[​IMG]
    All you seem to want to do is hold back there release,do ridiculous remakes or butcher the original.
    As for there stars the best you can come up with is mindless cop buddy movies.What's that all about?
    Your studios should get there head out of the sand and wake up to the fact that these movies are good enough to stand up on there own with a bit of promotion.My Sassy Girl For example is a wonderful comedy with universal appeal that is better than 98% of the stuff coming out of the studio system over there.[/rant]
     
  16. WillKTaylor

    WillKTaylor Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric.

    That's why true Asian cinema fans will get a region free player and support the correct overseas releases. The only release is the director's release. At least Fox has done some good for an American distributor with its wave of older martial arts rereleases. Miramax however, has seriously marred its reputation by showing disrespect to anyone involved in Asian titles over and over again. The sad part is, yet Miramax realize, is that the buyers of their foreign releases wuold be those that would already be searching out the director's intended version anyway .. imho. They will continue to shoot themselves in the foot by alienating this crowd. Oh well for them ..

    Besides, you have to understand that as of recently, American studios can't put out a single, interesting, intelligent, entertaining, funny .. whatever film anyway. This is one reason why a third of my collection is foreign and increasing rapidly. I think I need to move ...
     
  17. Eric.

    Eric. Stunt Coordinator

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    I can tell you one thing for sure Will,unless the Hollywood studios lift the game dramatically in the second half of the year they arn't going to have many films in my top 10.[​IMG]
    I think it shows how blind everyone is there when a film as good as City of god goes home from the academy awards empty handed.I had it down as the best film of last year by a mile.
    As for this year well i would say Oldboy is currently 5 miles in front [​IMG]
     

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