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Hard Boiled (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition)

4.4 out of 5 stars 186 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to bring down a gun smuggling ring. Features some of the most amazing and influential action set pieces in cinematic history.


Masterful Hong Kong action director John Woo (The Killer, Face/Off) turns in this exciting and pyrotechnic tale of warring gangsters and shifting loyalties. Chow Yun-fat (The Replacement Killers) plays a take-no-prisoners cop on the trail of the triad, the Hong Kong Mafia, when his partner is killed during a gun battle. His guilt propels him into an all-out war against the gang, including an up-and-coming soldier in the mob (Tony Leung) who turns out to be an undercover cop. The two men must come to terms with their allegiance to the force and their loyalty to each other as they try to take down the gangsters. A stunning feast of hyperbolic action sequences (including a climactic sequence in an entire hospital taken hostage), Hard-Boiled is a rare treat for fans of the action genre, with sequences as thrilling and intense as any ever committed to film. --Robert Lane

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Teresa Mo, Philip Chan, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok
  • Directors: John Woo
  • Writers: John Woo, Barry Wong, Gordon Chan
  • Producers: Amy Chin, Linda Kuk, Terence Chang, Yuet-Chuen Kwok
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Dragon Dynasty
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N4SHNK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,370 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hard Boiled (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian T VINE VOICE on July 18, 2007
Format: DVD
IMPORTANT NOTE: This review was written for the Dragon Dynasty DVD VERSION of this film, but thanks to Amazon's bizarre practise of porting reviews from one product platform to another product platform with no regard to differences between them, there's a good chance you're reading this review on the Blu-ray listing for this title. Having seen the Blu-ray version, I can say with absolute certainty that it is only a VERY MODEST improvement over the DVD in terms of picture quality. While I have neither the time nor inclination to review the Blu-ray, I would direct you to the extremely informative review at DVD Beaver (dot com), and concur 100% with the "disappointment" label given this release. What is most puzzling is the loss of the trailer gallery available on the earlier DVD set. Strange that a format that actually holds more is, in this case, used to hold less!

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.
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Format: DVD
Hard Boiled is one of the best action movies ever and every John Woo film from the 1980s is golden. Hard Boiled has been released twice in the U.S. now, once from Fox Lobrar and once from Criterion, both are now out of print. (Of course there are numerous companies in Asia selling the film currently, thank goodness for Ebay!) I own both versions; the Criterion one has the best features but the picture is noticiably darker. This version of Hard Boiled from Dragon Dynasty/Wienstein Company has an amazing picture, stand out colors, well lit dark scenes, and excellent detail. If I was juding this film on color, brighteness, and overall picture, I would give it 5 stars.

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.
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Format: DVD
For those of you lucky enough to own the Criterion Collection edition of this movie, you might want to hold onto your copy as none of the extras from that edition are included on this one. That being said, the video and audio on this version easily surpass any previous Region 1 incarnations making this edition a must-have for fans of the movie.

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.
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