Tuesday, July 4, 2017

VCD of the Day

I've been meaning to post this for like a week, but I'm just getting around to it now, so here we go!

While I was digging through my many boxes in my mom's basement I came across the box that has my VCD collection in it.  If you aren't aware VCD stands for "video compact disc" and is a video format that was quite popular in Asia due to it the fact that it's cheap and there is no region locking.  Movies or TV shows are put on CD format, but since CD only holds so much data,  a movie is usually put on two discs.  The quality can vary quite a lot, but a newer movie on VCD can be as good or better than a VHS.  Also, in HK VCDs could have to audio tracks on one disc, the left channel would be Cantonese and the right channel would be Mandarin.  Popularity has dropped due to the blu-ray format, lower prices on DVDs,  and digital downloads, but popular movies in Hong Kong still get a VCD release to this day.

I was buying VCDs back in the day of Hong Kong movies because some of the movies I wanted to watch were only available on VCD or the VCD was cheaper than the DVD equivalent.  I still hang on to my VCDs because a lot of them I haven't upgraded yet and some are still only available on VCD.   I went through my box and brought back a few VCDs to re-watch because I haven't seen them for ever.

Going clockwise there is Purple Storm, The Avenging Fist, 2000 AD and My Schoolmate, The Barbarian.  These are all fairly "big" Hong Kong movies.

These four are from around 2000ish and are the fancier ones with a cardboard slipcase over a jewel case or in the case of Avenging Fist just a plastic CD holder.  Fun fact: The Avenging Fist was originally supposed to be a Tekken movie, but since they didn't have the rights to it a bunch of changes had to be made so they wouldn't get sued.  I remember it being pretty cheesy.

I already watched Gen Y Cops.  If you are looking at the cover and wondering about that "2" it's because the movie is actually Gen X Cops 2: Gen Y Cops.  Unfortunately, a Gen Z Cops was not made.

I liked Gen X Cops, so was looking forward to Gen Y Cops when it came out.  Despite some terrible acting, Richard Sun I'm looking at you, the movie is still pretty fun.  Yes, it's not very realistic and some times it is cheesy, but that's why it's cool.  Plus a blond Paul Rudd as an FBI agent gets in on the action.

The video quality doesn't hold up a good as I remember, but that's probably because I used to watch VCDs on my old TV which was the old school CRT style.  VCDS aren't really made for the new HD TVs of today.  It's a shame because now I really want to upgrade to DVDs...or buy an old TV to watch them on.

Speaking of outdated A/V material I still have a CED player and movies in my basement.  I have a box of movies, but they weigh so much I nearly killed myself packing them down there when I moved.  You'd have to be crazy to collect that format.

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