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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Come Drink With Me' or 'Da zui xia')

Directed by King Hu
Hong Kong 19
66

 

The heroine is Golden Swallow (Cheng Pei-pei – Painted Faces; Crounching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – in a star-making turn). She's been dispatched by her powerful father to rescue her brother who's been taken hostage by bandits. The kung-fu master is Fan Da-pei (Heroes Shed No Tears; Rumble in the Bronx); he may look like a drunken beggar but he's one of the best fighters around. Trouble is, the only man who can beat him is helping the bandits...

Directed by the legendary King Hu (A Touch of Zen; The Fate of Lee Khan) for the mighty Shaw Brothers studio, Come Drink With Me shook up martial arts movies and influenced everyone from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan and beyond. No wonder 88 Films are so proud to present this UK Blu-Ray Premiere.

***

This was Hu's first foray into wuxia (martial chivalry) territory and already featured many of his future trademarks: a heroine in drag, fights in the confined space of an inn, music and percussion cues from Peking Opera and a plot which suddenly expands to a larger frame of reference. Posing as the knight errant Golden Swallow, Xiyan (Cheng) sets out to rescue her brother, an official held hostage by the Five Tiger Gang; she is aided, at first obliquely, by the beggar Drunken Cat (Yueh), who leads a raggle-taggle troupe of kids (great haircuts!) who sing for small change. He is actually Fan Dabei, a 'drunken master' in retreat since the murder of his teacher, and the plot shift occurs when he realises that the gang's mastermind is the traitor who did the foul deed. Less ambitious than Hu's later classics in the genre, but the charismatic performances and the overall sense of a form in transition give it a lasting freshness and charm.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 7th, 1966

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow (US) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Covers

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:34:39       1:34:47.890   1:34:37.380
Video .35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.47 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,346,702,075 bytes

Feature: 23,590,115,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

2.25:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,876,751,210 bytes

Feature: 24,225,362,880 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate 88 Films Blu-ray:

Bitrate Arrow Blu-ray:

Audio Mandarin (mono), DUB: English (Dolby Digital 5.1) 

DTS-HD Master Audio Chinese 2003 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2003 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1999 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1999 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

DTS-HD Master Audio Chinese 1059 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1059 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1082 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1082 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 160 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 160 kbps / DN -31dB

Subtitles English (CC), English, Spanish, None English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Weinstein Company

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary with Actress Cheng Pei-pei and Bey Logan
• Featurette: The King and I - Hark Remembers Hu (13:54)
• Interview with Cheng Pei-pei (16:40)
• Featurette: A Classic Remembered (17:23)
• Interview with Actor Man Yueh Hua (17:50)

• Theatrical Trailer Gallery (Come Drink With Me, Heroes of the East)

DVD Release Date: May 27th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio:
88 Films

 

2.35:1 1080P DSingle-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,346,702,075 bytes

Feature: 23,590,115,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Samm Deighann
• Trailer (3:48)


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 17th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

2.25:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,876,751,210 bytes

Feature: 24,225,362,880 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Brand new audio commentary by film critic and historian Tony Rayns
• Interview with star Cheng Pei-pei, filmed by Frédéric Ambroisine in 2003 (51:55)
• Interview with star Yueh Hua, filmed by Frédéric Ambroisine in 2007 (30:15)
• Interview with star Chen Hung-lieh, filmed by Frédéric Ambroisine in 2003 (43:33)
• Talk Story with Cheng Pei-pei, a 2016 Q&A at the University of Hawaii moderated by George Chun Han Wang (10:47)
• Cinema Hong Kong: Swordfighting, a documentary on the history of the wuxia genre and Shaw Brothers’ contributions to it, produced by Celestial Pictures in 2003 and featuring interviews with Cheng Pei-pei, Gordon Liu, Lau Kar-leung, John Woo, Sammo Hung, Kara Hui, David Chiang and others (50:21)
• Original theatrical trailer (3:49), plus trailer for the sequel Golden Swallow (3:39)
• Digital Reissue Trailer (1:09)
• Image gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson, and a 2010 essay by George Chun Han Wang about the relationship between director King Hu and producer Run Run Shaw


Blu-ray Release Date: March 22nd, 2022

Transparent Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (March 2022): Arrow out of the US have also transferred King Hu's iconic Da zui xia (Come Drink with Me) to Blu-ray. The most notable difference with the 88 Films 1080P is that the Arrow shows a shade more information at both the top and bottom of the frame being in the 2.25:1 aspect ratio. Technically, it is also more robust with a higher bitrate and housed on a dual-layered disc. Video quality differences are minor.

Audio-wise, Arrow go authentic mono via a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel track in both Mandarin and an optional English DUB. Both 88 Films and Arrow's transfers are 24-bit with the latter sounding a modicum flatter with the effects and modestly in the score by Lan-Ping Chow (Dragon Inn). This may be more accurate. Arrow offer optional English (SDH) or English DUB-titles on their Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

Supplements are where Arrow separate themselves from their UK counterpart. This offers an excellent commentary by Tony Rayns. He spends a lot of time on King Hu and covers an immense amount including the development of Martial Arts cinema in Hong Kong. He's the absolute best for Asian cinema. There are interviews - first up is with star Cheng Pei-pei, filmed by Frédéric Ambroisine in 2003 running over 50-mintes. Next we spend 1/2 hour with Yueh Hua (Fan Ta-p'i), filmed by Ambroisine in 2007 and a third with Chen Hung-lieh, and Ambroisine from 2003 for almost 3/4 of an hour. We get 'Talk Story with Cheng Pei-pei'. It's a 2016 Q&A at the University of Hawaii moderated by George Chun Han Wang. It runs shy of 11-minutes. Cinema Hong Kong: Swordfighting, is a 50-minute documentary on the history of the wuxia genre and Shaw Brothers’ contributions to it, produced by Celestial Pictures in 2003 and featuring interviews with Cheng Pei-pei, Gordon Liu, Lau Kar-leung, John Woo, Sammo Hung, Kara Hui, David Chiang and others. There is an original, lengthy, theatrical trailer plus trailer for the sequel Golden Swallow, a digital Reissue trailer and an image gallery. The package offers a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella and the first pressings get an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson, and a 2010 essay by George Chun Han Wang about the relationship between director King Hu and producer Run Run Shaw.

Probably THE most influential martial arts films of all time - and as far as that dynamic genre goes - this is just about perfect in every sense. The teaming of the Shaw Brothers and King Hu transformed the style of celluloid martial arts to a zenith extreme. Kudos to the magnetic Cheng Pei-pei - the universal tumblers certainly fell into place with this one! In a word - WOW. It's a film all martial arts cinema fans should own on Blu-ray. The Arrow wins hands-down with the Rayns commentary and over 3-hours of extras plus the illustrated collector's booklet.        

***

ADDITION: 88 Films Blu-ray (February 2020): 88 Films in the UK have transferred King Hu's iconic Da zui xia (Come Drink with Me) to Blu-ray. As I did with the DVD, I found the presentation showed inconsistencies - that actually may be exacerbated in 1080P. But, there is little doubt that this HD transfer is a significant leap beyond the 2008 SD. Certain sequences can seem less-sharp (soft and almost noisy) but the new Blu-ray image has beautiful instances of depth and really breathes some life into the film from a digital-watching perspective. It's on a single-layered disc with a supportive bitrate (4X that of the DVD.) I was pretty pleased with the Blu-ray presentation despite inherent warts.

NOTE: 40 more large resolution Blu-ray  captures are for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, 88 Films offer DTS-HD Master tracks (both 24-bit!) in, what I think is Mandarin (must ask wife) and an English language DUB. It is another advancement in the film's audio and score by Lan-Ping Chow (Dragon Inn), but not without, what I feel must be inherent weaknesses, in the higher end. It does have more depth and the many effects are an effective notch higher - this really adds to the film experience, imo. 88 Films offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

Well, we get another audio commentary by Samm Deighann (does this gal ever sleep?) It's again at her well-research, thorough standard as she can't stress enough how influential and iconic Come Drink with Me is... how it set the stage for the films to come after it. She analyses tropes from Chinese literature and Opera... and how this film turns them on its head. She discusses the significance of the Female hero... how Come Drink with Me gave the Shaw Bros studio its identity, similarities with Hammer Studios - experimentation by directors, there is a lot on Pei-Pei Cheng, trained as a dancer, and how she was fluent in Mandarin which gave her a leg-up on getting many of the roles. She talks about King Hu's under appreciated mise en scène, and the weaving together of stylized artistic elements of Chinese culture including Opera, performance theatre, history and art. She covers so much and its obvious she loves the film. With here, sometimes partner, Kat Ellinger, they are created a new standard for film commentaries. Exceptional. There is also a very weak trailer included and some liner notes with photos and an essay by James Oliver - located in the transparent case.

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVD: There have been a few DVD editions of this film with most looking adequate but many being non-anamorphic. This new Dragon Dynasty DVD looks very strong - it is almost impossible to believe the film is over 40 years old. It's dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive - coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. Detail, contrast and colors are at a very high level indeed. The image is clean and must have been restored, although I see no mention on the box although it IS mentioned in the commentary. I believe the source is from Celestial Pictures. I can't confirm that this is the best DVD visually (although I strongly suspect it), but tack on the extras (listed below) and it surely must be the best package of this monumentally revered classic.

Audio consists of an original Mandarin mono track and a 5.1 English DUB. I agree with these choices as it caters to the purists and those who don't mind the bastardized version with the artificially boosted audio. The mono can be somewhat 'echoy'. There are English (standard and hearing impaired - almost comically literal at times and don't flow very smoothly) and Spanish subtitle options.

Supplements are extensive - firstly we have a decent commentary with actress Cheng Pei-pei and Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan. We've heard Logan on many of these and he really knows his stuff - he takes the lead but Cheng Pei-pei isn't afraid to give input regardless of her English (which is generally good). They work well together - lots of nostalgia and discussion of production specifics - no gaps - too much to talk about. There are two featurettes: The King and I has director Tsui Hark remembering King Hu - this runs about 14 minutes. The second has a kind of retrospective with Bey Logan where he is able to impart more minutiae relating to the film's production. Then we have two interviews (both with English subtitles) - the first, almost 20 minutes, with leading lady Cheng Pei-pei and she is very cute and charming - her camera charisma still shines through. Finally another with actor Man Yueh Hua giving his remembrances and lasting about 17 minutes. Finally a theatrical trailer gallery with Come Drink With Me and Heroes of the East (also released on this date - reviewed HERE).

Come Drink With Me captured the very essence of what embodied best of the martial arts cinema universe. This $15 DVD price tag is a ridiculous deal - whether you are a fan or the genre or not. It borders on essential cinema although I wish the subtitle translation was a shade more fluid. Dragon Dynasty comes through again. Magnificent value and we give it a strong recommendation.   

Gary W. Tooze

 


Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC

 

88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Arrow - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow (SDH) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  THIRD

4) Arrow (DUB title) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) 88 Films Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Covers

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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