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Old 12-09-2019, 10:40 PM   #1
toddly6666 toddly6666 is offline
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Hong Kong School on Fire blu-ray (1988)

B8D84C55-D101-4490-B6A6-050688019AF7.jpg


Starring : Fennie Yuen, Damien Lau, Lee Lai Yui
Region : Blu-ray Region A
Genres : Comedy, Romantic
Distributor : Panorama Corporation
Director : Ringo Lam
Release Date : 13-Dec-2019
Pre-Order Price : HK$158/US$20.26
Description :
1080 Full HD
Widescreen
Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital
Language : Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitle : Traditional / Simplified Chinese, English

Synopsis :
The film involves a young schoolgirl Chu Yuen Fong (Fennie Yuen) who becomes caught in a tragic stranglehold of triad activity after she testifies over a triad beating. When this news reaches the triad leader Brother Smart (Roy Cheung), Yuen Fong must pay him protection money for what she has done as events begin to escalate.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:38 PM   #2
DooK DooK is offline
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This will most likely contain the cut 97 min version, just like its' DVD counterpart courtesy of Joy Sales.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DooK View Post
This will most likely contain the cut 97 min version, just like its' DVD counterpart courtesy of Joy Sales.
How long is the uncut version? Iíve only seen the version that has an awkward edit at the end to cut out gore
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:36 AM   #4
DooK DooK is offline
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The original theatrical cut is 101 min and was on the old Tai Seng VHS.

Yesasia (https://www.yesasia.com/global/schoo...0-en/info.html) is now listing the movie and it shows the runtime being 97 min... Shame.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DooK View Post
The original theatrical cut is 101 min and was on the old Tai Seng VHS.

Yesasia (https://www.yesasia.com/global/schoo...0-en/info.html) is now listing the movie and it shows the runtime being 97 min... Shame.
Interestingly the Chinese description on yesasia mentions that it is the "original director's version". Not sure if that's just a listing mistake but maybe there's hope?
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:35 PM   #6
Muck47 Muck47 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DooK View Post
The original theatrical cut is 101 min and was on the old Tai Seng VHS.
That's not correct, this uncut American VHS runs 104 min (103:48 to be precise) in NTSC. The Hongkong DVD was 97 min long but in PAL. There are some small deviations to the older Hongkong laserdisc (which is in NTSC and therefore ~ 101 min) but overall those two Hongkong releases are censored very similar.

So the given runtime of 97 min for the Blu-ray is confusing as it probably won't be in PAL speed. Most likely this number is just based upon the DVD. Let's hope this "Not cut, Director Original Version" note that Google Translate shows for the YesAsia listing is a good sign.

And even better: Buyoyo lists 104 min for the Blu-ray. So fingers crossed indeed!

I compared the Hongkong laserdisc + DVD vs the US Tai Seng VHS a while ago in German and just realised that we didn't create a translation for Movie-Censorship.com yet. Will add this once the Blu-ray has arrived to cover this part as well. As it's mostly violence or subtitled audio censorship, the German report may serve for now as orientation for anyone that can check out the new Blu-ray earlier:
https://www.schnittberichte.com/schn....php?ID=250440

Last edited by Muck47; 12-10-2019 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:28 PM   #7
Markgway Markgway is offline
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Didn't think there was a remix for this film (only prior release was Joy Sales and that was mono). Any chance the 5.1 listing could be a mistake?
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for the correction. Let us know the outcome of this release when it's out.
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:36 PM   #9
DooK DooK is offline
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Anyone who has it now and can comment on picture, audio, subs, and what cut it contains?
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Old 12-20-2019, 07:29 PM   #10
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DDDhouse is now listing the street date as 12/27.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:58 PM   #11
DooK DooK is offline
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Panorama's site shows the running time being 104 min. Here's hoping for the actual uncut/true version of the movie.

https://shop.panorama.com.hk/en/drama/3257--.html
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Old 12-25-2019, 07:57 AM   #12
spannick spannick is offline
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the HDTV Version from HK runs 103:41, yeah one would guess it's uncut, but it's not: endless Logos are included in that runtime.

don't get your hopes high...
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Old 12-26-2019, 12:31 AM   #13
DooK DooK is offline
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I was able to contact Panorama Corp. through their official website, and they stated that "it's a special version of the movie, and something for fans to look forward to". Could mean something... Either good or bad. Let's see when someone eventually gets the bluray.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:07 PM   #14
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So, one of my top 10 favorite movies ever will be released as a One Year Commemorative Edition since Ringo Lam died on 12/29/2018.

The original artwork previously stated "Uncut: The Director's Original Version". But it doesn't say that anymore on the actual artwork. The company Panorama, I am unfamiliar with, but they have released some good stuff. Like "Terminator 2" with alternate footage and "Mr Vampire" Boxsets with Action Figures.

The original uncut version of "School On Fire" was only available on VHS tape and with the Cinema City logo and played in it's original speed, it was 1 hour and 44 minutes.

Years ago, I posted "Deleted Scenes" of the movie on YouTube - the scenes that were originally cut from the Theatrical Version. The movie wasn't just edited for violence, gambling and drug use, but a lot of language, profanity, slang and dialogue was dubbed over like a f**king TV movie. Imagine "Scarface" or "Casino" being shown on TNT, NBC, Fox, etc... It was about 7 minutes worth of footage that was either cut, or dubbed over. The HK censors weren't used to this kind of movie, even though a H.K. movie like "As Tears Go By" and "To Be Number One" has the same level of profanity - and censors never bothered cutting those movies... even though "As Tears Go By" was now given a Category III rating 25 years after it's release.

The H.K. movie industry is very weird and joke-worthy like that for reasons I won't get into here... which is also why a lot of H.K. movies have been neglected, disrespected and may take years for the general public to see in their original, uncut forms (remember, the original 2 hour and 40 minute version of "A Better Tomorrow 2" was destroyed by Tsui Hark and the idiots at Film Workshop - American filmmakers would never allow that sh** to happen, especially without keeping the footage to themselves and releasing it years later as a "Redux" or "Director's Version").

So, this MIGHT be the uncut version (as it said originally in the artwork), or it might not be... or it might be partially uncut - meaning some language still might be dubbed over. If it's not uncut, I'll hang on to my VHS tape. I also hope they use the original mono track and not do what those idiots at Media Asia did with their DVD releases 20 years ago with annoying remixes.

I mean, if it's a matter of some content still being objectionable, I can understand. But still, in that case, they should still do a "Seamless Branching" version like that 2 DVD set of "Bullet In The Head" from Joy Sales and add the scenes either into the film, or as a "deleted scenes" section... IF they have a hard time finding HD picture quality of the deleted scenes that the censors still find objectionable.

@Muck47 - I see that you've taken the scenes I've posted on YouTube years ago and did scene comparisons on a German website and I thank you for that. I accidentially left out 2 minor scenes from that YouTube video. It would be nice to see that content put into moviecensorship.com and I can help with that information.

I preordered the DVD and I will be doing a review on it here when I get it.

P.S. At YesAsia, it says it's a "2019 Reprint", which basically means a 2019 Remaster/Restored version. - That said, I do not believe this is the HDTV version, which was a 2010 version by Fortune Star. That version did add SOME scenes back in, but some scenes were still missing and a lot of dialogue was still dubbed over, once again, like a TV movie.

Last edited by Mr. Odessa; 12-26-2019 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:22 PM   #15
Mr. Odessa Mr. Odessa is offline
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The DVD and the Blu Ray was released yesterday HKT.

I've caught wind that neither is the original director's cut. It happens to be the 2010 Remastered HD version from Fortune Star. The movie was edited 42-44 times by the H.K. Censors before it's theatrical release in the Summer of 1988. I've seen the 2010 Remastered Version as it was floating around on YouTube for years and there's still 24 scenes missing/altered - which not only includes scenes of violence, but profanity and slang being dubbed over, a scene of drug use, a scene where a pregnant woman is accidentally knocked down a flight of stairs during a gang fight, attempted sexual assault and the scene where a guy gets impaled on a spiked gate.

I suppose the H.K. Censors and Govt. still have an issue with some material being released to the general public, even after 31 years. H.K. filmmakers could have gotten away with a lot of sh*t until the 1997 handover, when the govt. said certain movies can no longer be made, or released in their uncut glory (unless they are released by some American or European video company). China has a big thing against "counter culture" (a.k.a. "rebellion"). Musicians like Jay-Z, Bob Dylan and I think Snoop Dogg are banned in their country. Chinese Rap Groups like L.M.F. (Lazy Mutha****as) have been forced to tone down their lyrical content, they don't want people with tattoos being televised AND a lot of Category III rated H.K. movies from 1989-1997 have yet to be Remastered -- and even weak movies like "Election" gets slapped with a Category III rating.

The sign on the cover that says in Chinese "Uncut: The Original Director's Version" is no longer there and this is why it was delayed for 2 weeks. Plus, there was not Category III rating on the artwork, either.

Sadly, my hopes were up high. For nothing! Oh well. I will just stick with my VHS tape from Rainbow Audio & Video - the only way to ever see this movie uncut.

Like I've said before, the H.K. entertainment industry is a sad joke sometimes - especially in comparison to the American movie industry. Even a movie like "Scarface" can be found in it's original uncut glory (whereas the censors wanted to give it an X rating), or an extended version "Apocalypse Now" gets released and simply because most film directors wouldn't tolerate anyone disrespecting their work like this. Especially for 31 years and 1 year after Ringo Lam has died.

The only way to ever see some H.K. movies uncut is if you are lucky enough to see it on VHS tape. This is also true for movies like "Nomad" (1982, starring Leslie Cheung) and "Daughter of Darkness" (1993, directed by Ivan Lai). I am sure there are other movies in H.K. like this. Strangely though, there ARE other H.K. movies that you will only see uncut on DVD, whereas the VHS tapes are highly edited and similar to theatrical release. Then, some H.K. movies will never be seen uncut; for example, "Dr. Lamb". Then, there are other movies that were never even released on DVD and I'm not talking about just "Pedicab Driver".

That said, if you just want to own a copy just to have it and to enjoy the extremely high quality and picture touch-up, go ahead and buy it. Still 24 scenes and cuts that were never restored. As for me? I'll stick with my VHS copy. - Too, I'll hold back on purchasing a Region Free DVD player. Even though I have about 20 DVDs, I don't watch that much TV at all. "School On Fire" was a main reason for me to even buy one to begin with.

Last edited by Mr. Odessa; 12-28-2019 at 08:28 PM. Reason: additional notes.
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:45 AM   #16
DooK DooK is offline
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What a waste of time hyping up this one. Shame...
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Old 12-29-2019, 01:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Odessa View Post
I've caught wind that neither is the original director's cut. It happens to be the 2010 Remastered HD version from Fortune Star.
According to Brother Wai (a respected online HK cinema fan and expert in Hong Kong), this new release does not have the original ending that was on the US VHS, but it does feature about a minute or so of footage that was not on the Joy Sales DVD. Unfortunately, he didn't mention anything about the audio.

I don't know if this matches with the 2010 version, but at least people can know what they're getting.
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:30 AM   #18
Futurhythm Futurhythm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Odessa View Post
The movie wasn't just edited for violence, gambling and drug use, but a lot of language, profanity, slang and dialogue was dubbed over like a f**king TV movie. Imagine "Scarface" or "Casino" being shown on TNT, NBC, Fox, etc... It was about 7 minutes worth of footage that was either cut, or dubbed over. The HK censors weren't used to this kind of movie, even though a H.K. movie like "As Tears Go By" and "To Be Number One" has the same level of profanity - and censors never bothered cutting those movies... even though "As Tears Go By" was now given a Category III rating 25 years after it's release.

The H.K. movie industry is very weird and joke-worthy like that for reasons I won't get into here... which is also why a lot of H.K. movies have been neglected, disrespected and may take years for the general public to see in their original, uncut forms (remember, the original 2 hour and 40 minute version of "A Better Tomorrow 2" was destroyed by Tsui Hark and the idiots at Film Workshop - American filmmakers would never allow that sh** to happen, especially without keeping the footage to themselves and releasing it years later as a "Redux" or "Director's Version").
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Odessa View Post
I suppose the H.K. Censors and Govt. still have an issue with some material being released to the general public, even after 31 years. H.K. filmmakers could have gotten away with a lot of sh*t until the 1997 handover, when the govt. said certain movies can no longer be made, or released in their uncut glory (unless they are released by some American or European video company). China has a big thing against "counter culture" (a.k.a. "rebellion"). Musicians like Jay-Z, Bob Dylan and I think Snoop Dogg are banned in their country. Chinese Rap Groups like L.M.F. (Lazy Mutha****as) have been forced to tone down their lyrical content, they don't want people with tattoos being televised AND a lot of Category III rated H.K. movies from 1989-1997 have yet to be Remastered -- and even weak movies like "Election" gets slapped with a Category III rating.

Like I've said before, the H.K. entertainment industry is a sad joke sometimes - especially in comparison to the American movie industry. Even a movie like "Scarface" can be found in it's original uncut glory (whereas the censors wanted to give it an X rating), or an extended version "Apocalypse Now" gets released and simply because most film directors wouldn't tolerate anyone disrespecting their work like this. Especially for 31 years and 1 year after Ringo Lam has died.
I agree with most of what you're saying, but you're also presenting a gross simplification.

First up, what happened with A Better Tomorrow 2 was nothing but spite and ego. Tsui Hark was at the time the most powerful man in the HK film industry, which also practically made him the most powerful man in the entire Chinese-language film industry. He didn't like Woo's version (which sidelined Tsui's buddy Dean Shek among other things) and so recut it secretly. Considering the level of egos involved, it's no surprise he destroyed Woo's work as well. Tsui is a notorious control freak. He practically directed all those movies he was credited only as a producer on.

This leads into another thing you have to remember about HK films: They were all made as disposable products. Of course there were talented filmmakers and artists involved, but ultimately, it was all about making money and doing things on the cheap. Every movie was 90 minutes long because that meant you could fit the most number of sessions into a day at the cinema. Preservation and any thinking related to preservation was non-existent.

You also can't compare HK with the US when it comes to censorship. Although Hong Kong was westernised from British colonialism, it's not like they stopped being Chinese altogether. Chinese values and thinking are very conservative and continue to be. All the crap you see in Mainland China regarding things like homosexuality, family and marriage are just a much more extreme version of the values that continue to dominate the Hong Kong mainstream. Hell, despite all of China's love of its leftist revolutionary history, it's not like they didn't just revert back to being a bunch of peasants worshiping an emperor.

Election and As Tears Go By (upon it's re-classification) have Category III ratings because depicting specifics of triad culture like ceremonies, slang, and hand signs is only allowed under a Category III rating. It's a technicality and nothing else. I'm sure a whole heap of stuff would get slapped with a Cat III rating now if it was resubmitted for classification.

That being said (and I think I've mentioned it before), who knows what the censors are doing. While I've seen a definite tightening on profanity and sexual content (even jokes), especially on movies that are reclassified, their views on violence are definitely more relaxed with many former category III movies being lowered to a IIB now, e.g. The Cat and The Blue Jean Monster.

I haven't even begun to scratch the surface either, but that requires a huge political rant about how British Colonialism and the rise of Mainland China has affected Hong Kong.

Last edited by Futurhythm; 12-29-2019 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:56 AM   #19
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I'll be passing on this then. Damn shame. Would have loved a legit BD on my collection.

Those 60s Shaw Bros melodramas are good examples of how conservative Hong Kong society was (is).
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:22 PM   #20
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Subtracting the Fortune Star and Cinema City logos at the beginning, the print on Panoramaís new Blu runs 102:27.
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