It's been a year since my first DVD roundup, when I summarized the classic Thai films on offer from Triple X. I planned to follow up with the Happy Time catalog. While I still have my half-finished notes for that, it'll have to wait its turn. Today I'm gonna take on a bite-sized DVD roundup: GMM's new Memory Collection.
It's only in the last few weeks that I've begun to notice these films on the shelf. And so far there are only three titles in the series. But doing a little research, I find that the first in the Memory Collection series was released in January 2009, followed by released in February and March.
Title: February (กุมภาพันธ์)
Director: Yuthlert Sippapak
Starring: Sopitnapa Dabbaransi, Shahkrit Yamnarm
Run-time: 108 minutes
Original theatrical release: 14 February 2003
Memory Collection release: 29 January 2009
Title: O-Negative (รักออกแบบไม่ได้)
Director: Pinyo Rutharm
Starring: Tata Young, Shahkrit Yamnarm, Ray MacDonald
Run-time: 108 minutes
Original theatrical release: 30 October 1998
Memory Collection release: 26 February 2009
Title: Red Bike Story (จักรยานสีแดง)
Director: Euthana Mukdasanit
Starring: Tata Young, Patipan Pataweekarn
Run-time: 111 minutes
Original theatrical release: 4 March 1997
Memory Collection release: 24 March 2009
Larger covers from Red Bike Story (click for even bigger):
The suggested retail prices for titles in the Memory Collection is 199 baht. Today I saw 189, and online sites Boomerang and Amorn Movie are offering them for 159 and 150 baht, respectively. The bad news: no subtitles of any kind, Thai or English.
The word on the street is that the picture quality is poor, so today I went out and bought Red Bike Story, which I'm not sure has ever been released on DVD before.
On my computer screen the image looks pixelated, which is unfortunate. On a TV (or analog monitor) that computes to a fuzzy picture. But the colors are decent, in comparison to the downright awful quality of most older Thai movies (due to poor preservation and transfers). I'd call the quality very watchable, but certainly not what you'd typically expect from a DVD. If you have any doubt that the image is not crisp, just skip to the end credits, which are washed out and difficult to read.
Here are a couple of screen shots. Click for the full native resolution.
My feelings on this series overall is that it's typical Thai cheap-as-possible production, where they don't appear to either realize or consider that many people do care about things like image and sound quality (just read the comments on that thread I linked to). So it smarts a little when they do cheap transfers and charge 199 baht for it.
But at the same time, I've never had the chance to see Red Bike Story before, so I do hope they continue to release interesting older films. The typical shelf life for DVDs here is so short, it's refreshing to see titles like these back on the shelves.