Hard Boiled [Blu-ray]
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The remainder of this review is for the previous DVD special edition, which the new Blu-ray does little to better:
There should be no doubt that HARD BOILED is a phenomenal action picture, one of the best ever produced in Hong Kong. Much has been written all over the internet about it in the years since it was released direct-to-video in North America in the very early 90's.
Now, some 16 years later, through any number of flawed prints, alternate edits, crummy dubs and subtitles of varying quality, not to mention several PREVIOUS special editions on DVD, each with their own pros and cons, the chance to do right by this film in so many ways is, typically, blown by the Weinstein machine and their cabal of Hong Kong cinema experts.Read more ›
However, there is one major flaw to the film somehow slipped through the cracks. The original film's aspect ratio is 1.85:1; wide screen tvs at home are 16:9, or 1.78:1 (Standard tvs are 4:3 or 1.33:1). Because 1.85 is wider than 1.78:1, you will have small black bars on the top and bottom of a widescreen tv, this is normal. For some reason, they decided to turn this movie into widscreen 16:9, and what this means is images on the sides as well as top and bottom are cut off slightly. Imagine looking at a photograph and then zooming in about 7 percent all around, essentially this is what has happened here. The film is still viewable, but artistic quality is compromised because the image is being cut off all around.
As for this release, the menus are good and the special features looked neat, I haven't had time to watch them yet.
Hopefully by releasing this movie many people will get to see the film for the first time. Just be aware that the movie is not in its original format and that the image is cut off slightly on the top, bottom, and sides.
The first disc features an audio commentary by Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan. He shows off his impressive knowledge of HK geography by pointing out which locations in the film don't exist anymore and their significance in the country's culture. Logan also dishes out interesting factoids, like the teahouse in the opening sequence was going to be demolished and this happened right after they filmed the last scene in the place! As with other commentary tracks that he has done his encyclopedic knowledge about the film and HK cinema in general is quite impressive, making for an informative track.
Disc two starts off with "A Baptism of Fire: A Featurette with Iconic Director John Woo." He was a big fan of Steve McQueen in Bullitt and Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry and with Hard Boiled; he wanted to create his own Dirty Harry. Woo wanted to make Chow Yun-Fat like Eastwood's iconic character but with the Asian actor's warm charisma.
"Partner in Crime: An Interview with Producer Terence Chang." He talks about how he met Woo in the late 1970s but that they didn't start working together until ten years later. Chang also talks about the genesis of the film which was originally a psycho who kills baby (?!). Fortunately, after they filmed the teahouse shoot-out, Chang convinced Woo to discard this idea.
"Art Imitates Life: An Interview with co-star Philip Chan," the actor who played Tequila's boss in the film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Chow Yun-Fat is basically the coolest. I defy you to find someone who wields hand cannons while chewing a toothpick and looking this cool. See, you can't. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Blu-Raid
I know it's an 90's movie, but.....
The acting was really not good. The subtitles did not match what was actually being said. I'm Chinese, so I know. Read more
John Woo is a well known name to action movie fans, and in my view he has yet to top the masterpiece he crafted in Hard Boiled. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ozone Joe
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Criterion Vs Dragon Dynasty||
The DD disc also features a puzzling, horizontially STRETCHED image that makes Tony Leung and Chow Yun-fat (and everyone else) look about 20 pounds heavier than they actually are. In cropping the image FROM ALL FOUR SIDES (!!!!) and then stretching it back to fill the screen left and right,... Read More
Jul 19, 2007 by Brian T | See all 13 posts
No cuts--it's John Woo's final cut. (It's NOT the slightly longer Taiwanese version--but that's not Woo's final cut, anway). The good thing with Dragon Dynasty is the Weinsteins seemed to have turned 'a new leaf' in some aspects, offering original uncut versions, original language option, etc.
Jun 13, 2007 by Alkaline | See all 3 posts
|Version they are selling is not the American release but the Canadian...||Be the first to reply|
|Skippy Disc||Be the first to reply|
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