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Thread: Movie Going Madness in Japan

  1. #301
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    I caught Fist of Fury in cinema yesterday (part of the Japanese theatrical re-releases). This was advertised as a DCP re-construction of the Japanese 1974 Theatrical Version (based on the Fortune Star 4K masters), but that info appears to be partially incorrect. It was the standard 106 min cut unless I’m completely mistaken, and not the shorter Japanese theatrical cut (which I've never seen).

    I was rather anxious (scared shitless) because the flier ad said the film would be presented with 5.1 audio. I believe the Japanese BD release was also 5.1. What I can say is that it did not sound like a 5.1 track, and there was thankfully no Fortune Star junk on it. It was an English track with the glorious Mike Remedios theme song at the beginning and end, though audio quality left something to be desired and the track sounded like it was stitched together from more than one source.

    Sadly, this audio track is not included on the Criterion BD, and if I’m not mistaken, it’s not on Shout’s BD either? Though bizarrely it can be heard playing in the background in the Mike Leeder commentary.

    Oh and sorry for a noob question, but who exactly was this great man Mike Remedios and how did he end up on the Japanese (only?) prints?






  2. #302
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    I went to see The Way of the Dragon yesterday (part of the Japanese theatrical re-releases). Now, this was interesting because not only did it have the English dub with the great Mike Remedios songs, it was a slightly longer cut with about 2 minutes of new title and logo screens at the beginning and end to allow the songs to play in full.

    - In the beginning there was a Japanese language title screen and a credits screen (about 1 min in total) before the standard opening credits. The theme song would play throughout the new screens and the standard opening credits.

    - At the end there was a “dragon logo screen” (about 1 min) after the closing credits. Again, the song would play throughout the closing credits and the new logo screen.

    This version of the film is not present on the Criterion or Shout BDs, which do have the Japanese theatrical audio track, but in cut form since we are missing the above mentioned footage.

    Curiously, I don’t think there was a Fortune Star logo at all, unlike in the earlier films. Maybe they omitted it by accident?

    I had a blast with the film, as it’s my favourite Lee film. I also took my girlfriend to see it (her first ever kung fu film!). I figured The Way of the Dragon would be the most beginner / girl friendly of Lee’s films since it’s rather humoristic, features some nice Rome scenery and if nothing else, she could rest her eyes on Chuck Norris’ hairy chest Much to my surprise (and delight), she loved the film! “One of the best films!” I agree!

    I also couldn’t resist the temptation to put on my Sister Street Fighter t-shirt, and have her wear my Return of the Sister Street Fighter t-shirt. There’s a Japanese word that might be useful here… bakappuru. It’s a combination of the words “baka” (stupid or silly) and kappuru (couple)

  3. #303
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    I went to see The Way of the Dragon again, since I love it so much. Here are corrections and additions to my previous post:

    I went to see The Way of the Dragon yesterday (part of the Japanese theatrical re-releases). Now, this was interesting because not only did it have the English dub with the great Mike Remedios songs, it was a slightly longer cut with about 2 minutes of new title and logo screens at the beginning and end to allow the songs to play in full.

    - In the beginning there was a Japanese language title screen and a credits screen (about 1 min in total) before the standard opening credits. The theme song would play throughout the new screens and the standard opening credits.
    Actually the theme song plays only during the new title and credits screens (about 1 minute). Then the original Mandarin score plays during the standard opening credits that follow.

    - At the end there was a “dragon logo screen” (about 1 min) after the closing credits. Again, the song would play throughout the closing credits and the new logo screen.
    This was correct alright.

    This version of the film is not present on the Criterion or Shout BDs, which do have the Japanese theatrical audio track, but in cut form since we are missing the above mentioned footage.
    The Criterion / Shout version has also another change: it replaces the opening credits score with the Mike Remedios song, even though in the DCP Japanese version the Remedios song played before the credits and the credits retained the original score. Dammit.

    Also, the audio quality on the BDs is inferior, with evident hiss. The DCP sounded much better. I guess I will have to buy this new Japanese version on BD if they ever put it out...

    The image quality was quite nice as well. Some (only a few) shots had some blue tint whereas the same scenes have a greenish tint on the Criterion. Shout probably has the best image quality, but I think all three look good and considering the audio, I think the DCP had the best overall presentation.

    Curiously, I don’t think there was a Fortune Star logo at all, unlike in the earlier films. Maybe they omitted it by accident?
    No Fortune Star logo, but also no Toei logo. It only has Concord and Golden Harvest logos (brief still-type logos, not the usual long Golden Harvest fanfare).

  4. #304
    WAY OF THE DRAGON my favorite Lee film by far. Saw it first as a kid at a drive-in.

  5. #305
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelGuts View Post
    WAY OF THE DRAGON my favorite Lee film by far. Saw it first as a kid at a drive-in.
    That must have been so great!

  6. #306
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    I went to see Game of Death, the last one of the Japanese theatrical re-releases. Quite an awkward Frankenstein job indeed, but it does have a fantastic score, great Lee footage at the end, and a heart-warmingly exploitative touch throughout. It was certainly the right choice to make the film… just not to make it this way. Surely they could have done it with a better plot that doesn’t need the lazy Lee insert shots, and without the constant confusion about whether we are supposed to be seeing Bruce Lee or Billy Lo on the screen. And whose idea was it to make Hugh O'Brian the final opponent after Kareem Abdul Jabbar?

    The version screened was again (advertised as) a reconstruction of the Japanese theatrical cut. It had the full opening with the John Barry score over the Golden Harvest logo before the Bruce yells. However, the audio was NOT the same Japanese Theatrical track that is on the Criterion BD. This version played the Ji Han Jae fight without the John Barry score, and also had some audio issue in either the Ji Han Jae or the Dan Inosanto fight (I forgot which) where the audio source clearly changed to something inferior for about 10 seconds. There may be other differences, but I wouldn’t know since this was probably only the 3rd time I’ve ever seen the film.

    A diehard Lee fan might find this version interesting (if it comes out on Japanese BD later), but the opening aside I think the above mentioned changes are to the worse, so I’ll be quite happy the US BDs. And I don't know if those changes are correct or an accident (how is the Japanese print on the Shout disc? Barry in the Ji Han Jae fight?).

    Anyway, I must say I had a blast with this “Bruce Lee 4K Revival Festival”, going to cinema every week for 4 weeks. The local (4 screen) theatre also honoured Lee by putting all the films on their biggest screen and having the original Japanese posters on display. I’d say this was the coolest thing to hit mainstream multiplexes in Japan since Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno reboot.




  7. #307
    The Ji Han Jae fight on the bona fide Japanese print as seen on the SHout! disc had no John Barry music, as it was sourced from the Cantonese version of the film, where that fight was moved to the middle of the movie. The dialogue in this scene on the Japanese print is Cantonese, there is no dialogue in the English version.

  8. #308
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Meteor View Post
    The Ji Han Jae fight on the bona fide Japanese print as seen on the SHout! disc had no John Barry music, as it was sourced from the Cantonese version of the film, where that fight was moved to the middle of the movie. The dialogue in this scene on the Japanese print is Cantonese, there is no dialogue in the English version.
    That's interesting. I can't imagine how the Cantonese version plays with one of the ending fights moved to the middle of the film!

    I don't recall any Cantonese dialogue in the DCP, though. But maybe that was the "some audio issue in either the Ji Han Jae or the Dan Inosanto fight (I forgot which) where the audio source clearly changed to something inferior for about 10 seconds" part that I mentioned.

  9. #309
    Well, the HK cut moved the fight to the middle. The alternate version made for Singapore lost the fight altogether, and it was shown on UK TV in 2001, it lost the Dan Inosanto fight due to UK censorship, so there was only one genuine Bruce fight left in the movie!

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