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About Us: Asiafilm.com - Address: P.O. Box 293028, Lewisville, TX 75029 USA. Phone 940-497-FILM.

Five years ago, I was buying some laserdiscs from Hong Kong via Ebay. I eventually got more into buying DVDs and selling laserdiscs. Back then, Hong Kong DVDs were around $50 in stores, if they even had them. So I decided to start an import business selling legitimate Hong Kong DVDs. Thus Asiafilm.com was born. We gradually became very popular, because our prices were usually the lowest on the internet from a US seller. Now four years later, the market has changed drastically. There are too many store sites specializing in Asian DVDs. Some are good, others are not so good.

Since about a year ago, the DVD releases in Hong Kong have been so bad (mostly), that we quit buying many of the new releases. So now most of our competitors have surpassed us with titles, and sometimes even prices. We still don't even have a shopping cart, and are about the only site left that doesn't. But we are also one of the few that still promenently gives our free 800 number to call for ordering or customer service. So, there you go. To compete better, we have lowered many of the discount titles. Please do not think we sell bootlegs or are unreliable just because we have some crazy low prices. Everything on our bargain page is official Hong Kong release DVD. We still also sell most new releases that are worth having- including many from Korea. Just call 1-800-569-6562 for ordering. If after reading this you want to look elsewhere before deciding, the best competitor I recommend is Aznfilms.com. They are not related to us in any way- they are just friendly, reliable, and have low prices. Another old reliable is Pokerindustries.com. Pokerindustries and Asiafilm.com were actually the first to pioneer this kind of marketing (importing and selling for low prices). There were other ones before that were good also, but it took them longer to get on the low price bandwagon. So there you go- we are probably the only Asian Film DVD webstore that gives out it's competitors' website URLs. Why not give us a try? We never give out any kind of info about our customers. For a reference, you can check my Ebay user ID: johnridelylewis . At the time of this writing, I have over 1100 unique positive feedbacks without a single negative or neutral comment. Just go to www.ebay.com . That is also how we run Asiafilm.com. We are a small family business, and the customer comes first. We usually ship fast and cheap- but mostly use priority mail or Fedex (by request). Thanks for your business!- John Lewis, president

LINKS AND INFO:

Know of any great Chinese or other asian movies available on video/LD/DVD? Send me your comments, reviews- and I will try to post them here. Seen a good asian new film lately in a theatre? Have any favorite related Asian film links? A few of my favorites are given below, and more will be added as you send them in. Free information is the goal here. The reason I started this website storefront was to help Chinese and other asian videos to become more easily available and more affordable in the U.S.

Send messages to johnlewis@asiafilm.com . Some related and favorite links:

Haven't added any new links for a while. Here is a good specialized one with all kinds of information about the great Japanese actor Shishido Jo:

http://www.angelfire.com/ok4/shishido/

Here is Faye Wong's fansite: http://www.fayewong.org/fayetop.htm

www.gregorvision.com Lots of great commentary, reviews, and knowledge about the Hong Kong DVD industry.

For most of the big theatrical releases of Asian films in the US, try www.LandmarkTheatres.com

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Dojo/8789/index.html is a really neat personal website with extensive bios and pictures of various Hong Kong film stars, including: Lam Ching-Ying, Sandra Ng, and especially Chingmy Yau-which inludes over 100 pics of this asian hearthrob. Also a member of the Chinese Popstars Webring, which has even dozens of additional links, such as pictorials of Hsu Chi. I could go on, but you get the picture. Just follow these links around until you run out of spare time <g>. I suggest doing this at non-peak times. As with many free personal websites, these can load very slow.

A great link for Hong Kong movie reviews: http://www.kowloonside.com/

Here is yet another Hong Kong Movie review site. It has some older obscure films in addition to the usual fare: http://www.ozemail.com.au/~sharptongue/hkmovie.html

One of the best all-around references for Hong Kong films released on DVD is found at: http://www.asiandvdguide.com/

http://astyle.com - ASTYLE -- Your Asian Entertainment Community. This started as a really neat newsletter with articles, reviews, and such. Now it is much more corporate, but has even more news and some extensive interviews with Hong Kong stars. Very good!

http://www.thecinemalaser.com/ A great source of information including reviews of DVD releases and related links.

http://egret0.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/hkquery Hong Kong Movie Database. Most of our titles have reviews listed here. Another great resource.

http://www.bluelaser.com Another competetor retail site with good pricing on many Hong Kong and other foreign DVDs and laserdiscs.

www.ebay.com A wide selection of Hong Kong videos are always available here. These are sold by individuals living in Hong Kong and the U.S. Prices can be be high, especially considering shipping cost if buying from Hong Kong. However, if one is persistent, many laserdisc titles can be bought for about $10 + $9 shipping, which isn't too bad. The most popular titles are usually higher than this. Be sure and read the fine print in all ads regarding such things as English subtitles and whether it is new or used. I have had good dealings with a few Hong Kong dealers. I can recommend Fion Wong (username hkmovies ), who is super-nice and honest as well.


Letters and Reviews:

(July 2001) - Dear Sir,

Question: I am very interested in Chinese movies. I have seen a few: Raise the Red Lantern, Jou Dou, Weding Banquet & Red Sourgum(sp?). I found them to be delightful viewing and am wanting to see more ... and more. Is there such a thing as a Chinese Movie Club? Since I have not seen too many of these films I am not sure of content. Please help and advise me. Thank you - g.Z.

Asiafilm.com: There is a club of sorts that would be a good starting place for you It is http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/9667/ which is the Red Lotus Society. There is also http://www.hkmdb.com/ . It is focused more on Hong Kong films, but also lists most common Chinese films. Those are both links on my main webpage. Of course, www.imdb.com is the best source of info on films from anywhere. You can follow links of directors and actors, and pretty much end up with an infinite supply of information. Just start by looking up your favorite movies, directors, and actors and you will be able to branch out to just about all Mandarin films. If you have even more time for research, try doing an Alta-Vista search of "Chinese New Year". http://www.altavista.com/ That should do it. I recommend The Emperor's Shadow, and Thunderstorm. Two of my favorite Mandarin film classics. You can look them up on IMDB.com or any of the above sources, to read about them.

New Mini-Reviews (April 2001): Naked Poison- and Robotrix - written by Dan

Plot Outline: Naked Poison is about a young man who is angry and frustrated about his lovelife. He makes poison to seduce and control women. He even does this to the girl who likes him. He ultimately tries to take over the company he works for by poisoning his boss. Picture Quality: Good. Sound Quality: Fair. Overall View: Not a bad flick, but the acting is a bit weak, the girls that were being raped, didn't really look that scared. The concept of the story was intersting enough however to give this movie a 6/10 rating. This is a Cat 3 movie so there were copious amounts of sex and violence. This one ain't for the kiddies.

Also I got the Robotrix movie!! just watched it today, I must say this is the best HK DVD I own. I actually liked it better if you can believe that then Naked Killer!! I am still in awe of Amy Yips talent (s)! Wow what a brutal film! - Danny ( http://www.geocities.com/templgod/ )

New Review (April 2001): Empress Dowager (Yi Dai Yao Hou)

I absolutely love this movie. There appear to be two movies with the title "Empress Dowager", one from 1975 and one from the later 80s. This particular movie has a rich techni-color feel to it and I'm inclined to think its the earlier version. [ed.- no, this one is 1988.] I've no information on the actors who play in this, nor what other films they may have been in, but I won't let that deter me from giving it my highest recommendation! What we have here is a five star period piece which chronicles the courtly intrigues going on within the walls of the Forbidden City during the rise of the Empress Dowager CiXi. This movie can be watched back-to-back with The Last Emperor, as both films take place (mostly) on the palace grounds. Practically a seamless historical transition. And whereas the young emperor Pu Yi only debuts at the end of Empress Dowager (which focuses on CiXi and her sisters); the Last Emperor cameos CiXi in the beginning and then focuses mainly on Pu Yi (played by John Lone). I've also a nagging feeling that the Mother Dowager in one movie plays the Empress Dowager in the other! The scenery and sets used in Empress Dowager are exquisite, and the Dowager Sisters seem every bit the royal Incarnations of the celestial counterparts (Queens of the East and West) they are supposed to represent. I liked this Hong Kong forerunner to the Last Emperor better than the Last Emperor itself (by far), and consider it to be a real gem. -Matt

FAQs:

You list two Mr. Vampire DVDs. Which Mr. Vampire you have listed is the new release listed on other websites?

The Mr. Vampire 1992 is not the one listed anywhere. It is very much out of print, and was never sold in mainstream outlets. It isn't a very good movie, BTW. But it is rare. The one from the mid 80s is the one "being released 10/24". That is not really the case. It has been around for years, and is very popular. Tai Seng always seems to announce any title as a new release every time they get a new shipment in (after they have previously run out). Anyway, it was out of stock domestically for about six months so it is a new release in a sense, but I've always stocked it.

Are all of the DVD and VCD with both Cantonese and Mandarin soundtracks? If not, how is the Chinese language identified ?

98 percent of Hong Kong DVDs have both languages, and they are selectable through the DVD player controls. VCDs are more simple, and cannot have selectable languages; so instead, they have each of those languages on the right and left channels (one on each channel). So VCDs have to have one channel turned off to sound normal. However, only about 80 percent of VCDs are like that. Most of the remaining 20% are in Cantonese only. The optional Mandarin soundtracks are dubbed on Hong Kong film DVDs, while the Cantonese are dubbed on some mainland China film DVDs. On a lot of the older Hong Kong action films, the Cantonese is dubbed after the film is made. Some actors like Jackie Chan and Jet Li don't speak very good Cantonese, so most of their films are dubbed for thier voices.

Which is best, Tai Chi Master or Swordsman II ?

I've seen TCM and Swordsman 2. They are both exceptional movies, so it is going to be impossible to recommend one over the other. They each have strong points which are very strong. It will depend on personal taste which you would like best. All I can do effectively is to point out some differences and similarities. Both movies have a high energy level, and are very hyper with lots of fighting. Tai Chi Master has the most fighting in it and less drama, and is very serious (not much humor). Teenagers would like it best, because there is less to think about and everything is easy to understand; and most of all- the action rarely stops. Swordsman 2 has more humor, more flying, a complicated and confusing plot, and more speeded up filming in the fights. Some adults would like it better, except hardcore action fans will like Tai Chi Master better. Swordsman II also has plenty of fighting and action, just maybe 75 % instead of 90%. The picture quality of Swordsman 2 is much better than Tai Chi master. It has a better widescreen print, very sharp and detailed with bright colors. TCM is cropped much (all four sides!), and has a dark, low contrast print, with very dull colors. The price is a big difference. $15 TCM vs $26 for SwM2. Personally, I like Swordsman 2 the best. But I also like TCM almost as much, just in a different way.

More discussion:

Good morning, John:

I found your website by accident when browsing at eBay. I am so glad I did. Your prices are great and your reviews are interesting and helpful. Hope my first order of 16 films will arrive soon. It is hard to find Foreign films in the U.S. Your website fits the void. I think the demand is out there. See how many people bidding for Kurosawa films on eBay. I had to pay $ 48 to get Kurosawa's "Ikiru" Criterion LD because of many bidders.

I noticed that most American audience consider Asian films as Kung Fu or Samurai Movies. That's far from the truth. Encouragingly, more and more people discover great films by Asian Directors such as Kurosawa, Ozu, Chen Kaiger, Zhang Yi-Mou etc thank to Criterion, Fox Lorber and Image. I am pleased to see that you start to carry movies of above directors and some of the films by Hou Hsiao- Hsien and Stanley Kwan. How about Edward Yang? ( A brighter summer day, Mahjong etc. )

One of my favorite Japanese directors is Ozu. Very few films are available on LD and none on DVD. I particularly interested in his masterpieces - " Tokyo Story " ( only available on VHS ) and some of his early films. Hope you can find DVD distributors in Japan similar to Mae Yah and bring us some of these great films.

I collect LD & DVD (mostly Classic, Foreign and award winners, over 800 titles so far) If you need to know the quality of transfer or films itself on certain tittles. Please feel free to write to me. I will be happy to share my thoughts with you and your customers. I am very particular about aspect ratio as I want to view the movies exactly what it's director want audience to see. For example, "Yojimbo" was shot in 2.35: 1 ratio, but both Criterion LD and DVD were cropped a little to 2.15:1. In this movies, it effects the viewing a little as Kurosawa liked to put two characters at the extreme edge of frames. I wonder what is the aspect ratio of your HK version? I hope "The emperor and the assassin" is not a cropped P&S version and "Hidden fortress" is a full widescreen version.

Thanks again for the great prices.

Best regards, Vincent Kan

 

Hi Vincent- I am reasonably certain that the Mei Ah discs of Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo I sell are both full 2.35:1 ratio (full original Tohoscope). Please note that Hidden Fortress is a two-sided "flipper" disc, so it has to be turned over to see the last part. It is a very nice transfer, however. Also, note that the English subtitles on most of these are not real great (in accuracy). It's enought to get the meaning across anyway. - John Lewis

 

(Comments to a customer whose letter was not in text so I couldn't import it. He was asking about hard action film recommendations.)

I watched the first half of Full Alert last week, and was not too impressed. It does have some decent car chase scenes, but nothing stretching any limits. The movie was a drama more than an action, and the lead actor was very wooden. The two all time hardest gun action movies I have ever seen which match your parameter almost perfectly are A Better Tomorrow II ($24), and Full Contact ($26). Both Chow Yun Fat movies. Full Contact is the better film of those two. Also, Eastern Condors ($21) is one of Sammo Hung's best movies (about the only one i like)- it is very hard action, supposedly in the jungles of Vietnam. Great fun! Of course, the Killer ($30) is one of the best action dramas out of Hong Kong.

There are so many good action DVD movies. Royal Warriors (out of stock) and all the In the Line of Duty series (I only have #3 and 4 in stock now-$23 each). Supercop (Police Story3)$30 with Michelle Yeoh - to name a few. - John Lewis

 

March 31, 2000:

Hello John,

Just finished watching Swordman 2. A great movie, despite the fact that the plot was a little hard to follow in parts. For my next order, I'd like to order something similar, i.e., something with great action, brilliant cinematography, and superior dvd transfer. If possible, I'd like to avoid dvds with burned in multiple subtitles since I feel they take up too much space on the screen. Any suggestions? Keep in mind that my current favorites are Zu Warriors, Iron Monkey, Flying Dagger, and Swordman 2.

Jack

Hi Jack,

Those are good recommendations. Glad you liked Swordsman II, and yes, it is confusing. About your request- unfortunately, when you put in all of those parameters, the movies you list are the only movies I can think of that match. The selection on DVD is still very limited when it come to the highest quality Hong Kong action films. The owners of the classic Hong Kong films just seem to be too greedy. If you can tell me which parameters are less important, I can recommend a few. The only one I can think of that is close to it is Royal Tramp ($21), but it is also a comedy, but it also has a lot of action and drama. The lead role is not really a fighter. Mostly the bad guys do the fighting in this movie. It is full widescreen, and similar quality print as Swordsman II. Fist of Legend (widescreen) is an excellent Jet Li film you would like if you don't mind the dubbed soundtrack on this U.S. release. I have that for $24.

Feb. 7, 2000:

Hi John,

Thanks for your great service. I got around to watching the DVD of "Eagle Shooting Heroes" the other day. I found it to be great fun, much more enjoyable than the first time I saw it on TV. This is one of those films that gets better the more you have seen other HK movies, so that you recognize the actors and their antics. Unfortunately, this DVD (an early one I think) does not have any extras nor a digital remix. I was wondering if anyone knows where one can get the trailer for "Eagle Shooting Heroes", the one with outtakes. I once saw it once on a laserdisc, of another movie I think, but can't recall which one - maybe "Handsome Siblings"?

Another question I have is, how does the DVD transfer for "Zu Warriors" compare to the laserdisc from Taiseng? I was really disappointed in the laserdisc, I found it murky and blurry. To answer someone else's question, the DVD of "Flying Dagger" available from asianxpress.net. A movie similar to "Flying Dagger" which I would like to see on DVD is "Holy Weapon".

Thanks,

Fan T.

*********

Hi Fan,

The Zu Warriors DVD is much better picture quality than the Tai Seng laserdisc. Here is a review link which tells more about it:

http://www.public.asu.edu/~muldoon/hk/reviews/zu.txt

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Jan. 2000 posts:

Hello John,

Just wanted to thank you. I received the dvds yesterday and they look great---I'm especially enjoying Iron Monkey. I'll also probably order Bio-Zombie sometime soon. A couple of quick queries: Do you have a dvd version of "Flying Dagger" in stock? Any other suggestions for "extreme" Hong Kong dvds? Would it be possible to see a list of new arrivals that haven't been posted on your website yet? Thanks again---your combination of excellent prices and great service will keep me coming back.

Best Wishes, Jack S.

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Hi Jack,

You're welcome, and thanks for the compliments. Iron Monkey is great!

Sorry, I don't have Flying Dagger, but I will look for it. It may be hard to find. I havent yet found a source for Mercury DVds (the company who makes that DVD). They are in Malaysia.Well, other extremes from Hong Kong are easy to come by. There is DONG CHENG XI JU (THE EAGLE-SHOOTING HEROES), which is really wild and crazy. It is so bad that the Chinese reviewers who write on the Hong Kong Movie Database really hated it and called it stupid. I like it, and the actors have fun. All Men are Brothers-Blood of the Leopard is a flying swordmen flick with outrageous stuff in it, but it is more traditional classic than Eagle-Shooting... If you get this one with any other purchase, I'll give you a special price of only $10 (for All Men Are Brothers). Other extremes along similar lines (flying swordmen) are "The Mad Monk" (unfortunately it doesn't have English subs-but is the most outrageous of all of these!), and "The Sword Stained With Royal Blood" (does have English subs). Heroic Trio ($17) is pretty extreme and has some really impressive cheap but very artistic photo/cinema shoots. It is pseudo-science fiction. The French film Irma Vep used film footage from this cult classic. Both films (Irma Vep and Herioc Trio) star Maggie Cheung.

 If I only mention those as good quality as Iron Monkey, that narrows down the list quite a bit. Peking Opera Blues is even better than Iron Monkey (at least funnier), just not as macho since all three heroines are women. Swordman II is also a best bet.

John Lewis - asiafilm.com 1-800-569-6562

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