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    The Digital Movie Bonanza

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    Brian T

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Brian T on Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:14 pm

    Thought of something a bit easier. I took the "2011" off the title of this thread, so now we can keep posting to it if we feel like it or not. Might be a bit easier to flip back to previous posts that way, if necessary. Might post some 2012 purchases at some point. There's certainly been a few . . . ;-)

    I'll do my best to post in the other thread more often. It's not easy to tear myself away from this marathon I'm on! Laughing

    One weird thing about this site is that it doesn't always notify when posts have been made. Suspect Sometimes I figure nobody's dropped in for a while, so I don't check in for a while, then when I do, I notice a flurry of new posts!

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    Brian T

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Brian T on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:31 pm

    Thought I'd post an update here after all, especially seeing as the Hong Kong DVD buying scene here has taken a bittersweet turn over the past month. Not surprising, really.

    Popped into one of my usual haunts, Warden Music & Movie Outlet, about a month ago and was told that they're going out of business in approximately 8 months. This store is one of the "hybrids" I used to mention in the forum at the old place. They're essentially a bootleg outfit with a legitimate facade: a mix of ripped DVD-R's and authentic product lining the shelves. Prices on most of legit catalogue stuff is between $10 and $30 CDN (except for new release Blu-rays, which are often overpriced, possibly because they don't sell rips of them). They also have a modest selection of older DVDs at clearout for 2/$10.00.

    Now that they're closing, they've got "60% off DVD and Blu" signs all over the store. The price of newer Blu-rays, not surprisingly, have been increased even higher, but DVD stickers remain the same, so 60% off is a bit better than the 50% they were doing previously (if you bought 2-for-1 at the same price). That discount will likely rise as the weeks wear on, which makes me somewhat regretful that I've blown so much money in there over the years, even if the savings over importing were substantial. Still, I managed to find a few goodies (which I hopefully don't already own! Laughing ) and will definitely be heading back to pick the bones a few more times:

    BLACK MASK VS. GAMBLING MASTERMIND
    REMEMBER M REMEMBER E
    MY AMERICAN GRANDSON
    WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN
    ETERNAL LOVE
    DEJA VU


    Other recent HK/Asian discs from the past month or so, likewise mostly 2-for-1's from the Warden Movie & Music shop:

    NIGHTMARES
    I LOVE WING CHUN
    DEMON 2
    MURAL
    LOVE IN SPACE
    LEGENDARY AMAZONS
    YOU ARE THE APPLE OF MY EYE
    EAST MEETS WEST
    LET'S GO!
    MAGIC TO WIN
    MAYDAY 3DNA

    Mayday is a Taiwanese alt-rock band. This is a concert/narrative movie combo which intercuts a tale of some kind involving Richie Ren, Rene Liu and Lam Suet.

    Korean Movies (HK Editions):

    WHERE THE TRUTH LIES
    THE OUTLAW
    MIDNIGHT FM
    IRIS


    Japanese Movies (HK Editions):

    GANTZ
    MISSING 44

    HULA GIRLS (VCD)
    SPACE SHIP YAMATO
    THE NEGOTIATOR


    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Last weekend, I went to another of my trusted pushers, CASH & CARRY MUSIC & MOVIE, and came to suspect that they, too are preparing to close, though the checkout ladies were too busy to ask. This place is basically a sister store to the Warden shop, though if you ask the staff at either location, they deny it. Same little white envelopes, same vast stock of legitimate discs that haven't moved in years, only their prices were higher and they didn't do 2-for-1 on the legit stuff. This weekend, however, ALL of their DVDs were marked down to $5.00 each, including—be still my heart!—all of the $25 Shaw Brothers DVDs I've had my greedy but cheap little eye on for years now. Fortunately I had my iPod with me, which has a list of the Shaw discs I own, and was able to grab these, for now:

    GANG MASTER
    KING GAMBLER
    MADAM SLENDER PLUM
    ROSE BE MY LOVE
    BAT WITHOUT WINGS
    INTERPOL
    LEGEND OF THE BAT
    LOVE PARADE
    TEENAGE DREAMERS
    PINK TEARS
    TORRENT OF DESIRE
    THE BROTHERS
    THE MIGHTY ONE
    BLUE SKIES
    MY SON


    This is one of the few surviving stores that still had a good cross-section of Shaw titles on the shelves, especially the contemporary 60's and 70's dramas, musicals and comedies. The martial arts films are still fairly plentiful around Toronto thanks to oversaturation and bootlegging, but these other genres have always been tougher to source at a fair price, and were rarely bootlegged because they probably didn't sell as well as the kung-fu stuff.

    Also got these odds 'n ends at the same location. Still surprised after all these years to find things at this place that I don't already own (at least I hope not!). Goes to show how massive their stock was/is that you could easily miss stuff:

    THE TRUTH ABOUT JANE & SAM (1999)
    GOLDEN SWALLOW (1987)
    KING OF COMEDY (1980) - Chow Yun-Fat
    KEEP ON DANCING (1988)
    PRISON ON FIRE: PREACHER (2002)
    Now I need to find the other two in this video series
    HONG KONG STYLE (architecture doc by Mathias Wong)

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    More bargain-priced gap-fillers from a trip to the Wa Yi downtown a couple of weeks back, although I would've waited if I knew about Cash & Carry's prices, as they have all of these now for $5 each. Oh well:
    THERE IS A SECRET IN MY SOUP
    MAGNIFICENT 3
    HER TENDER HEART
    MOONLIGHT IN TOKYO

    THE INVINCIBLE FIST - VCD
    LOVE ON DELIVERY - VCD
    OUT OF THE DARK - VCD
    THE MASTER OF KUNG FU - VCD

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    And some non-Asian stuff from Amazon and elsewhere in the U.S.:
    TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON 3D combo pack ($20 Facebook deal)
    DOCTOR ZHIVAGO Blu-ray
    THE INFORMANT! Blu-ray
    THE QUICK & THE DEAD Blu-ray
    LEGEND (ULTIMATE EDITION) Blu-ray
    BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS Blu-ray
    CAPE FEAR Blu-ray
    LADY AND THE TRAMP (3-DISC DIAMOND EDITION) Blu-ray Combo
    DEATH RACE 1/2 (Blu 2-pack) Blu-ray
    Found for $7.99 at HMV here in Toronto. Probably won't even watch the sequel.
    HAMMER FILM NOIR VOL. 2 - DVD
    Includes STOLEN FACE and BLACKOUT. Found this also at the HMV bargain shelf, for $2.00

    From the Warner Archive's most recent 5/$45 sale, Got 12 to get a further discount on orders over $100 plus free shipping. These are pretty much the last of the titles I wanted from the Archive, so hopefully I'm done with that for a while:
    GREEN DOLPHIN STREET (1947)
    BLACK ZOO (1963)
    PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD (1974)
    This was shot on the MGM backlot before it was bulldozed for all eternity. Cool to finally get my hands on it.
    NIGHT WATCH (1973)
    FROM HELL IT CAME (1957)
    GIVE A GIRL A BREAK (1953)
    THE TATTOOED STRANGER (1950)
    THE SUPER COPS (1974)
    WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956)
    THE THREAT (1949)
    DARK OF THE SUN (1968)
    GET YOURSELF A COLLEGE GIRL (1964)
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    Brian T

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Brian T on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:15 pm

    Stopped into the Music & Movie Cash & Carry Outlet (or "Cutlet" according to their misprinted business card! Laughing ) for some more bargain-hunting last night. Turns out they're not closing after all, only moving to a new location a couple of blocks closer to my place, so that's cool. This big sell-off of stock suggests they're going to a smaller location, though I'm guessing they'll still be very much in the bootleg game.

    Incidentally, if anyone in the U.S. still reading this thread is looking for Shaw DVDs, including some that are increasingly hard to come by, I don't mind picking up titles they might have in stock as long as you're willing to pay the $5.00 plus shipping/packaging costs (which would still be cheaper than trying to source them online). Music & Movie has multiples of just about everything I've mentioned in this thread, and since I have a U.S. mailbox, I can ship fairly cheaply to U.S. addresses during my routine trips across the border. Alternately, if any of you guys happen to be in Toronto for some reason in the months ahead, let me know and I'll give you directions to these stores. There's still a LOT of stuff on the shelves.

    Anyways, here's last nights pickings, all of them contemporary dramas, musicals, actioners and comedies. Some of these are upgrades of VCDs already purchased (and still unwatched, sadly Mad ), but from what bits 'n pieces I've seen from them, they'll probably hold more lasting appeal to me because of their reflections of then-current social mores and fashion trends than the abundant martial arts pictures, which often seemed tradition- and studio-bound by necessity. I don't mind having more of a VCD/DVD mix on those, but these are the real gems in my book:

    AUNTIE LAN
    THE LADY PROFESSIONAL
    WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY
    WE LOVE MILLIONAIRES
    A PLACE TO CALL HOME
    THE SINGING THIEF
    APARTMENT FOR LADIES
    SUMMONS TO DEATH
    YOUNG LOVERS
    (1978)
    YOUNG LOVERS (1969)
    GUESS WHO KILLED MY TWELVE LOVERS
    DESTINY'S CHAMPION
    THE YELLOW MUFFLER
    SUMMER HEAT
    MAHJONG HEROES
    LOVE PARADE
    HUMAN GODDESS
    ONE WAY ONLY
    ANGEL WITH THE IRON FISTS


    And a couple of non-Shaw titles I've been seeking for a while:
    TEMPTATION OF OFFICE LADIES
    SEAMY SIDE OF LIFE: A BLACK CHICK

    Already had the other one in this "series", CRYING STARS, so I can finally have a matched pair of reviews someday, hopefully. Smile


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    Brian T

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Brian T on Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:43 pm

    Another batch of largely non-martial arts $5.00 Shaw DVDs from the Music & Movie Cash & Carry Outlet last weekend. I really want to avoid the place this weekend, but the temptation is strong.

    WHOSE BABY IS IN THE CLASSROOM
    POLICE FORCE
    CRIPPLED AVENGERS
    THE BLUE AND THE BLACK
    THE BLUE AND THE BLACK 2
    HONG KONG RHAPSODY
    THE MILLIONAIRE CHASE
    THE VENUS' TEAR DIAMOND
    THE BLACK FALCON
    TRAGIC COMMITMENT
    DANGER HAS TWO FACES
    BETWEEN TEARS AND SMILES
    LOVE WITHOUT END
    (1970)

    Already had a few of these on VCD, but figured I shouldn't procrastinate considering their increasing scarcity on DVD in North America (and even in Asia for that matter). The store still has a treasure trove of martial arts titles for the taking, but I'm rather pathetically hoping they might drop the price on those even further before the relocation. Embarassed The same night I got the discs above, I nearly scored a pile of HK Blu-rays for 70% off (in the $4 to $10 range), until the cashier started ringing them up at 30% off and suddenly realized the error on her sign when I pointed out to her. Nothing I didn't already have, so it was no great loss.

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    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:56 pm

    Brian T wrote:...I don't mind picking up titles they might have in stock as long as you're willing to pay the $5.00 plus shipping/packaging costs (which would still be cheaper than trying to source them online). Music & Movie has multiples of just about everything I've mentioned in this thread, and since I have a U.S. mailbox, I can ship fairly cheaply to U.S. addresses during my routine trips across the border. Alternately, if any of you guys happen to be in Toronto for some reason in the months ahead, let me know and I'll give you directions to these stores. There's still a LOT of stuff on the shelves. ...

    I'm pretty much interested in any Shaw title that is not on R1. The only issue is that I would have to pay by check or money order or cashiers check since I don't use Paypal anymore. But if you want to narrow the titles down then I can give a list later this week.

    I don't want to take advantage so if you change your mind I'm OK with that Smile.
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    Brian T

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Brian T on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:32 am

    Most of the Shaw titles I've listed in my last few posts have not been released in North America, and the store has duplicates of most (but not all) of them, so it depends on whether you're mainly interested in martial arts-related titles, or would prefer for a wider cross-section. Knowing your viewing habits from your posts here, I'm guessing the latter, so I could at least grab a handful of these kinds of titles (which are less ubiquitous anyways) for you on my next visit, which might be this week but more likely next week once they're in their new location on the 13th. When I was in the present location a couple of weekends ago, they were already starting to box up the stock, so who knows what's left on display by now. They told me that everything would make the transition to the new store, which I hope it's big enough to hold it all; this place has a LOT of stuff! To be honest, I'm not sure which Shaw titles have been released in R1. I'm pretty sure the majority are martial-arts titles, since that's all the U.S. distributors seemed to see any value in. As such, I'm not sure which titles in the Cash & Carry Outlet are already available on our shores. Best bet might be for me to ask them if I can snap some iPod photos of their Shaw bins, then I can send you those offline and you can do whatever research you need to. I'm hoping the $5.00 price point will stay in place at the new location, so I'll keep you posted. Money orders or checks are fine, so long as I can cash them at a Canadian bank. No worries about taking advantage. A "finder's fee" for all my hard work is encouraged, though not expected. Laughing Laughing

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    Brian T

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Brian T on Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:21 pm

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:I'm pretty much interested in any Shaw title that is not on R1. The only issue is that I would have to pay by check or money order or cashiers check since I don't use Paypal anymore. But if you want to narrow the titles down then I can give a list later this week. I don't want to take advantage so if you change your mind I'm OK with that Smile.
    Brian T wrote:Knowing your viewing habits from your posts here, I'm guessing the latter, so I could at least grab a handful of these kinds of titles (which are less ubiquitous anyways) for you on my next visit, which might be this week but more likely next week once they're in their new location on the 13th. When I was in the present location a couple of weekends ago, they were already starting to box up the stock, so who knows what's left on display by now. They told me that everything would make the transition to the new store, which I hope is big enough to hold it all.

    Alrighty, time for an update on the Shaw DVD front.

    The reason I fell silent on this for so long was because once Cash & Carry moved to their new location, it appeared as if the Shaw titles did NOT make the transition, other than a small selection of best-selling titles that were still priced back up at $25.00 while the infamous little DVD-R's in paper envelopes sat beside them for only a buck. The new location is MUCH smaller than the old one, which means a lot of DVDs were probably sitting off site somewhere.

    Until recently.

    I went in about three weeks back, and — huzzah! — MOST of their legit Shaw titles were out on their own sale rack, all priced at $5.00. Even better, a massive selection of their regular Hong Kong DVDs (and Hong Kong releases of Korean and Japanese films) were racked together at the low, low price of only $2.99 each. Shocked New stuff, old stuff, off-the-radar stuff, you name it. Even found a couple of copies of the OOP Anchor Bay release of Richard Franklin's LINK (1986), so hopefully reselling those will offset some of the money I've dropped in this place. Smile

    Before the old location closed up, I spent a huge wad (see various posts above) stocking up on $5.00 non-martial arts Shaw stuff. Once the discs returned to the shelves of the new store, fearing the supply would inevitably run out I loaded up on everything else that I didn't already own, including a metric ton of martial arts films.

    Returning about a week later I noticed the selection had dwindled a bit further than I'd anticipated—suggesting someone else may have gotten hip to my stash!—so I cleaned them out, which netted me approx. 20-25 duplicate Shaw DVDs, both martial arts and (thankfully) non-martial arts titles that I can now pass on to interested parties here, beginning with Shawn since he was the first (and so far, only) person to express an interest. The price is what I paid: $5.00 each, plus tax (13% up here, unfortunately) and whatever shipping will be, most likely from the U.S. during one of my trips home.

    The discs are at home as I type this, so I'll email Shawn privately with a list. Whatever's left, if anything, will be available to anyone willing to pay my purchase costs plus shipping (most likely from the U.S.), though personally, Shawn, I'd recommend leaving as little as possible behind as these discs are becoming scarcer by the day. If there is anything leftover and there are no takers, well, hopefully their value might accrue in time . . .

    Further on the ever-devolving Toronto Chinese DVD scene, another favourite haunt, the Warden Cash & Carry Music & Movie outlet (another hybrid legit-bootleg operation, essentially a sister operation to the store above, though they always deny any connection) will be closing their doors in mid-August, so for several weeks now, their substantial stock of legitimate product has been 60-80% off, with DVDs at 70%, Blu-rays at 60% and really nothing at 80% as far as I could tell (maybe some CDs?). Always clever in their pricing, their legit discs are generally priced so high that even a 70% discount isn't really a discount, resulting in a price that's barely competitive with what you'd pay online. Their Blu-ray pricing was especially egregious, ranging from $49.99 to $69.99 for single disc editions! At 60% off, that works out to $20 to $28 a piece—some bargain!

    Just this week, they finally changed the discount to 80% off everything in the store, but sadly it appeared someone else beat me to the punch and scooped up nearly every Blu-ray they had in stock, including about seven that I was hoping to get my hands on. On the plus side, their supply of DVDs was still half-ways decent (though definitely picked over a bit, further indicating I truly missed the start of the 80% off pricing). Still, I'm making out like a bandit. Their rather small supply of Shaw movies is now $5-$6, and comprised mostly of titles I don't yet own, so I've loaded up on those. Most of their other DVDs are as overpriced as their Blu-rays, but they do have a lot of $10 titles which are now only $2.00 a pop, including a lot of Legendary Collection releases (for better or worse), so that's where I've been focusing my attentions for now. Pretty much catch as catch can at this point.
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    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:47 pm

    Thanks Brian, I will respond most likely Monday (when I get back). Don't forget your mailing address as well Smile.
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    Brian T

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    Re: The Digital Movie Bonanza

    Post  Brian T on Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:12 pm

    No problem. I'll send you the list offline over the weekend and we'll take it from there.

    Went back to the going-out-of-business outlet again today. Twice! One of the ladies that works the weekends there always lets a couple of things go in the bag for free these days! This afternoon it was two of the 17 "Legendary Collection" DVDs I picked up for $2.00 a pop. Tonight it was the $60-for-$12 Blu-ray of Wong Ching-po's delightful and quintessentially Hong Kong-ian LET'S GO! (2011). That place is dangerous, man, but I'll be heartbroken when they finally close up. Despite the shady nature of their enterprise, they were one of the few places that at least stocked legitimate Hong Kong product, and I'm sure they made multiple times their money back on nearly everything I'm buying, even at these ridiculously low prices.

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