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Ashes of Time Redux

61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

DVD Movie


Product Details

  • Directors: Wong Kar Wai
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: French, Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003U0C7BC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,917 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By California Boy on July 16, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is a botched production job, and Amazon will charge you to return it because it's "not the result of our error." Amazon's error is to distribute this dog of a product. Wait for a better release. Caveat emptor.

The sound track lags several seconds behind the picture (and the subtitles) for the first 45 minutes of the movie. And there's a lot of dialog. It's almost impossible to figure out who is saying what to whom.

But maybe the visuals alone are worth it? Not really: The bottom quarter of the picture is blacked out, to cover the Chinese subtitles -- which nonetheless peek out from time to time when there are two lines of them. This provides a nice black background for the English subtitles (which contain the predictable dumb typos), but wouldn't you like to see the whole picture? I know I would.

Only a couple of times, there are pixilated intrusions of images from some other movie, with white people in it, for a second or two. Spoils the willing suspension of disbelief, you know?

And only once, there is a snatch of dialog in English -- not likely part of this movie, whose setting is earlier than the advent of English.

You don't need to spend any money on this product. Amazon should be ashamed of itself for selling it.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is great movie. No doubt about it, but quality of DVD is horrible. Picture sometimes got blurred, sound is very low quality. This is worst DVD ever. Movie is more then worth to watch, but not from that DVD.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "atfrost" on October 24, 2000
Format: DVD
This is one of my favourite movies of All Time - the story is moving, the cinematography is painfully beautiful, and the characters are fascinating.
The DVD mastering, accoringly, is perhaps the greatest injustice the movie could have possibly suffered. The source from which the DVD was dubbed was in *terrible* condition. Your local rental store's VHS copy probably looks like it's in better shape. The picture is very scratchy.
Even worse is the subtitling. The subtitles in the VHS version were very thoughtfully written and give a good sense of the poetry of the original script. The only problem is that they are sometimes a little (read: teeny bit) hard to read. The DVD version "overcomes" this problem by BLACKING OUT the bottom 20% of the screen and displaying new subtitles on the black bar.
Two problems with this method - they didn't resize the picture at all. You simply lose the bottom fifth of the picture. Also, the subtitles in the DVD version are a much poorer translation of the original. They are almost comical at times, they depart so far from Wei's original vision.
I would whole-heartedly recommend this movie to anybody, especailly lovers of Hong Kong cinema or Asian period peices. Please save yourself a lot of disappointment, though, and pick up the VHS version.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "hikayat" on January 26, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This too is my favourite Wong Kar Wai movie. The non-linear story of love, lost, betrayal and regret is achingly beautiful. The cinematography is stunning. It's almost worth watching the film just for that alone. That said, it's not an easy movie to watch at all. It's one of those that require repeated viewings. And it's definitely one of those that you either hate or love. There are actually 2 dvd versions of this movie. The one released by World (?) video is hideous. However, if you can find the one released by Mei Ah, I hear it's pretty good. I'm going to sell my horrid dvd version of the movie and try and pick up the Mei Ah version.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 5, 2005
Format: DVD
'Ashes of Time' is the rarest of Wong Kar Wei's films and best remembered as the one that so confounded him that he went off and made 'Chungking Express' to clear his mind before finishing it. Actually, it's worth remembering in its own right, as he brings his uniquely romantic take on the world to the fantasy swordplay genre with the expected unexpected results. There are swordfights, most of them pretty good, but the fantasy is kept to the bare minimum with the focus on the emotional cost of being a professional killer. Love is lost and so are memories, vengeance is sought and denied, characters meet but fail to connect, secrets are kept and regrets shared, all filtered through Leslie Cheung's inn on the edge of the desert where he acts as agent for killers for hire. The interest here isn't in action but reasons, and in the emotional cost of pursuing a life of violence, all captured via his usual dreamlike imagery and poetic confessional narration. Part Hong Kong, part European, part Leone (acknowledged/plagiarised at times in the score), not everything works, but the parts that do are quite magnificent, whether it's a woman tracing her hand over the sleeping body of a man who is not her lover or the curiously memorable shots of the horse thieves waiting their turn in a battle.

It can get confusing - not only do the characters sometimes blur into each other but he even hires both Tony Leungs for key roles in the same film while Brigitte Lin plays dual roles and, just to add to the clarity, the film's chronology is very misleading - but it's worth bearing with. A film I'll definitely be returning to, and I suspect more than just the once.

However, this DVD edition is one to avoid for reasons already outlined in other reviews here. Instead, track down the Hong Kong Mei Ha release: the picture quality is grainy, but the English subtitling is much better handled.
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