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A Better Tomorrow (1986)

Lung Ti , Leslie Cheung , John Woo  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

Price: $33.94 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lung Ti, Leslie Cheung, Yun-Fat Chow, Emily Chu, Waise Lee
  • Directors: John Woo
  • Writers: John Woo, Hing-Ka Chan, Suk-Wah Leung
  • Producers: John Woo, Hark Tsui
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: January 16, 2001
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305972532
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,666 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Better Tomorrow" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

The Original Hong Kong Gangster Epic From John Wood, Director of Hard Boiled, Face-Off and Mission: Impossible 2 A Better tomorrow is the film that started it all, full of John Woo's now-classic trademarks of jaw-dropping style, heart-stopping action and gunfire mayhem that must be seen to be believed. Chow Yun Fat stars in this epic story of suave gangsters and renegade cops who discover that in a world bound by honor, revenge comes at the speed of a bullet. Written and directed by John Woo, this is the breakthrough film that made international superstars of both Woo and Chow Yun Fat, and single-handedly changed the look of action movies forever!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Bad Collector's DVD March 3, 2000
Format:DVD
Okay... so if you're only interested in the movie, of course this is quintessential John Woo melodrama-action. Chow Yun Fat is the master of matches mouth moving and handgun hysterics. But the DVD is badly flawed. The subtitles are too big as the other review said, but they're also late (show up after the dialogue) and inaccurate (its text from the original) *I'm Chinese so I know--I just turn it off*. In addition, the description is incorrect--there's no "additional footage" or "behind the scenes stuff." Only the lightest production notes on the cast and crew--stuff you could get from IMDB. Also the transfer is a bit faded and lacks real richness that DVD is suppose to provide. In addition, the annoying startup promo (which lasts over 3 minutes) before the actual menu starts can't be skipped. I had rated this as 3 stars, but changed it to 2. I still love the movie, but feel a little jipped--especially since I bought the entire trilogy. Where's Criterion when you need them?
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic movie, HORRIBLE subtitles March 26, 2000
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This movie is just awesome. It's not the action packed thriller you'd normally expect from John Woo, but it's one of my all time favorite movies. Chow Yun-Fat offers yet another brilliant performance in this drama about an aging gangster (Ti Lung) torn between his best friend (Chow Yun-Fat) and his brother (Leslie Cheung).
What keeps this product from a five star rating is NOT the film itself. The subtitles are so horrible, I can't understand how any professional film distributor could release this is as a finished product. Spelling mistakes and ridiculously poor grammar litter this otherwise great film. Who did they hire to translate this? Whoever it was obviously had only known the English language for approximately 3 weeks. In addition, the subtitles often appear AFTER the dialogue is spoken- which can ruin the effect of a couple of key scenes (if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean).
Besides the subtitles, the DVD itself is nothing special. In fact, its not even average features wise. It has basic chapter selection, an ad for other film's the "Media Asia Group" offers, and the trailer for the film. That's it. The "About The Film" section isn't even worth mentioning, it's just extremely brief information on those involved with the film. You would get much better information (and in more detail) from the IMDB ([...]) or any fan site.
The subtitles alone were so bad that I was tempted to return this, but since there is no other version available that I am aware of, I guess there isn't much choice. As a big fan of both Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo, this product was very disappointing. It's a shame- this movie deserves much better.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Five Star Film Ruined By Poor Transfer To DVD February 19, 2000
Format:DVD
A wonderful movie overall, but the subtitles are terrible and distract from enjoyment of the film.
The letters are too big, and often only four or five words are fitted per line, so an additional line of subtitles is necessary, taking up the bottom 25 to 30% of the screen. Can't see the movie for the words! The same holds true for the sequels.
I'd buy another copy if only they'd fix this aweful production flaw.
DON'T BUY IT! Wait for an improved edition! Too high a cost for such a faulty product.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where did the FORREST GUMP MUSIC come from?????? June 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Let me just say, I love this film. Now that that's out of the way , let's talk about this DVD.I had seen this film many times before buying it on disc, and I was very dissapointed by two things. One. They changed alot of the original music and replaced it with movie themes from, yes, Forrest Gump, Speed, and one or two I couldn't recognize. This is unforgivable. Second. In an attempt to take advantage of DVD Dolby Digital sound, they've remixed the gunfire to constantly come from the rear channels, which is both unrealistic and extremely dissorienting. As much as I love hearing a great stereo mix, this film was not meant to be heard this way, and this is a very sloppy attempt to create true stereo sound.The picture, on the other hand looks better than previously available, but I found myself having to turn my black level all the way down to make the picture look natural. It is very bright, to the point of washing out color.So the 2 stars is for this DVD presentation, not the film. A Better Tomorrow is the movie that launched a thousand two fisted gun battles, and caused every actor in Hollywood to secretly want to be Chow Yun Fat.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Better Desicration February 1, 2001
Format:DVD
First off, I would like to say that I love this movie. The movie is very dramatic, and full of action. This film revolutionized action movies, and lifted John Woo and Chow Yun Fat's career to new heights. It also exsploded the heroic bloodshed genre up through the underground to the main stream. Perhaps without this movie to start it all, there would be no Killer or Hardboiled, ect. So the movie itself is not in question. With that being said this DVD is very disapointing. I am easy to please, to have this film on DVD is enough for me, BUT.....Anchor Bay or whoever changed the audio tracks on this film. At first this seemed like an ok idea, I actually liked how they did the beginning. But that is about it. Part of the greatness of this film is its soundtrack, the hypnotic, dramatic scores John Woo uses are sensational. When you change them, you change the feel of the entire movie. They took out crucial musical scores in certain scene's and added them in ones where it was not needed. After watching this I was throughly disapointed instead of exilarated as I usaully am. (I've viewed this movie about 25 times in the past.) Fortunatly, the changed audio is only on the cantonese lanuage version so the English dubbed version is the original. Being somewhat of a purist though, I hate the lack of realizm and feeling dubbed verions portray. I recently showed The Killer to my girlfriend in the English dubbed version (I was lazy and didn't feel like reading) and regreted that I didn't select the original launage with subtitles because it lacked the emphasis and power that the pure language brings. The picture quality is fine and the sound on this English version is good, the sound on the Cantonese version has ALSO BEEN CHANGED! Why? I have no idea, I was going to give this a 3 star but I am changing it to a 2. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie. Not great
I actually liked A Better Tomorrow 2 better, maybe because I saw it first. This one was a bit cheesy, but still has great scenes with Chow Yun Fat. One of John Woo's classics.
Published 6 months ago by Steve C Strom
1.0 out of 5 stars Review
I love Chow Yun Fat but this second part of the series was just as disappointing as the first. I love his acting, but I did not enjoy this movie.
Published 8 months ago by Gayle454
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Unfortunately I can't comment on the content because I have "lost" the DVD, and it has been a long time since I watched it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gerald Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars A better Tomorrow
I loved this movie. Ti Lung and Chow Yun Fat are great in it. A better tomorrow 2 is also great movie.
Published 17 months ago by gary alan quinn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
DVD is just as described and arrived very quickly. Seems to be new with no damage or wear. Good job.
Published 19 months ago by James H. Kwon
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I love this movie. I got this movie really fast and there were no scratch marks on it from being used. I think John Woe should remake this film, it can only make it better.
Published on June 13, 2009 by Christine Moreno
5.0 out of 5 stars The most influential Hong kong ganster film, and an Action-cinema...
The best introduction i can think of for this 1986 all-time classic action thriller that started the true Hong Kong ganster genre, and its influence over the movie industry, is... Read more
Published on March 10, 2008 by TANTRUM!!!!
4.0 out of 5 stars Woo's International Calling Card
This is the Hong Kong action/crime film that kick started the flagging careers of director John Woo and actor Chow Yun Fat. Read more
Published on March 30, 2007 by Shaun Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of John Woo
I still have to see Bullet In the Head but this movie is just flat out awesome. Ti Lung starts out as a guy who prints fake money. Read more
Published on October 17, 2006 by morgoth
4.0 out of 5 stars "It's easy to become a ganster, but it's hard to get out..."
"A Better Tomorrow" is John Woo's first tense, bloody gangster epic, and while it wasn't his best it certainly shows the potential that would be fully realized later. Read more
Published on August 22, 2004 by Wheelchair Assassin
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