Hong Kong Legends


Hong Kong Legends

Hong Kong Legends was a UK DVD distribution company, operating in the UK and Australia between 1999 and 2007. Hong Kong Legends was initially part of Medusa Communications, who, along with Soulblade bought up the UK distribution rights for film titles previously owned by Eastern Heroes label.

Hong Kong Legends specialised in releasing Hong Kong films, primarily martial arts films and other action films. In preparing the DVDs, they gained access to the vaults of Hong Kong studios such as Golden Harvest, selecting the films with the highest quality prints available. Hong Kong Legends added audio commentaries most notably by Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan, conducted interviews with key actors, directors and other film crew, performed new translations for subtitles and cleaned up damage to the films.

Their extensive catalogue of films included releases featuring Hong Kong stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh.

History

In 2004, Contender Entertainment Group (the UK branch of Entertainment One) took over Medusa Communications, including both Hong Kong Legends, and their sister company, Premier Asia. [cite web
title = Entertainment One - Our Business
work = Contender Entertainment Group
url=http://www.entertainmentonegroup.com/entertainment/ourbusiness/entertainmentb/
accessdate = 2008-05-16
]

Contender, for reasons unknown, dispensed with the services of Brian White, who had been the prime mover of the label and a close personal friend of Bey Logan. Logan decided it was time to leave the company and moved to the US, to begin working in a similar capacity for The Weinstein Company's East Asian DVD distribution company "Dragon Dynasty". Shortly thereafter, Logan brought White on board. With the loss of two of its biggest assets (Logan for his popular commentaries; and White who had been responsible for many of the exclusive extras), Hong Kong Legends had to cancel many of its planned releases. As no attempt was made to bring in replacement staff to perform audio commentaries, or to create bonus features, the release schedule dropped, ultimately spelling the demise of the company. Subsequent DVDs were released in so-called "Ultra Bit" versions, implying DVDs with improved bitrates or in otherwise "special editions". In fact, the releases were significantly more basic, the company having lost the rights for additional features other than trailers, and the bitrate was no higher than their previous releases. Also the commentary is now moved to Andrew Staton as the likely candidate.

The directors of Medusa went on to start a new company, Showbox Media Group. [cite web
title = Showbox Media Group
work = About Us
url=http://showboxmediagroup.com/aboutus/
accessdate = 2008-05-16
]

Beginning in September 2005, in co-operation with magazine / partwork publisher DeAgostini, a selection of the better-known Hong Kong Legends titles were released along with a fortnightly magazine giving facts and backgrounds on the featured film. The titles released included "Fist of Fury", "Drunken Master", "Once Upon a Time in China", "The Killer". The series continued for 45 issues. [cite web
title = Deagostini
work = Hong Kong Legends
url=http://www.deagostini.co.uk/hongkonglegends/movies.php
accessdate = 2008-05-16
]

Releases

Films

* "2000 AD"
* "Armour of God"
* "The Avenging Fist"
* "Beast Cops"
* "A Better Tomorrow"
* "A Better Tomorrow 2"
* "The Big Boss"
* "Battle Creek Brawl"
* "The Blacksheep Affair"
* "Body Weapon"
* "Bullet in the Head"
* "A Chinese Ghost Story"
* "A Chinese Ghost Story 2"
* "City Hunter"
* "City on Fire"
* "Crime Story"
* "Dragon Fist"
* "Dragon from Russia"
* "Dragon Lord"
* "Dragons Forever"
* "Dreadnaught"
* "Drunken Master"
* "Duel to the Death"
* "Eastern Condors"
* "Encounters of the Spooky Kind"
* "The Fearless Hyena"
* "First Option"
* "Fist of Fury"
* "Flaming Brothers"
* "Full Contact"
* "Game of Death"
* "Game of Death II"
* "Hand of Death"
* "Hapkido"
* "Heart of Dragon"
* "Heroes Shed No Tears"
* "Hitman"
* "Hong Kong 1941"
* "The Iceman Cometh"
* "In the Line of Duty"
* "The Iron-Fisted Monk"
* "Iron Monkey"
* "Island of Fire"
* "The Killer"
* "Knockabout"
* "Last Hurrah for Chivalry"
* "Legend of a Fighter"
* "Magnificent Bodyguards"
* "Magnificent Butcher"
* "Magnificent Warriors"
* "The Master"
* "Millionaire's Express"
* "Miracles"
* "Mr. Vampire"
* "Moon Warriors"
* "My Lucky Stars"
* "Naked Killer"
* "Naked Weapon"
* "New Dragon Gate Inn"
* "New Fist of Fury"
* "New Police Story"
* "Ninja in the Dragon's Den"
* "The Odd Couple"
* "Once a Thief"
* "Once Upon a Time in China"
* "Once Upon a Time in China II"
* "Once Upon a Time in China III"
* "Outlaw Brothers"
* "The Peacock King"
* "Police Assassins"
* "Police Story"
* "Police Story 2"
* "The Postman Fights Back"
* "The Prodigal Son"
* "Project A Part II"
* "Project A"
* "The Protector"
* "Purple Storm"
* "Red Wolf"
* ""
* "The Scorpion King"
* "Seoul Raiders"
* "Sex and Zen"
* "Shaolin Chamber of Death" aka "Shaolin Wooden Men"
* "She Shoots Straight"
* "Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon"
* "Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin"
* "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow"
* "Spiritual Kung-Fu"
* "The Swordsman"
* "Tai Chi Boxer"
* "Tiger on the Beat"
* "Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars"
* "Warriors Two"
* "Way of the Dragon"
* "Wheels on Meals"
* "Wing Chun"
* "Winners and Sinners"
* "The Young Master"
* "Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain"

Documentaries

* "An Introduction To Hong Kong Legends"
* "Heromakers"
* " / "

References


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