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Dangerous Liaisons 2012

NR CC
4.1 out of 5 stars (49) IMDb 5.9/10

1930s Shanghai - The glamorous, tumultuous "Paris of the East" whose salons, streets and bedrooms frame this Chinese adaptation of the French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses into a lush new vision of Dangerous Liaisons.

Starring:
Cecilia Cheung, Dong-gun Jang
Runtime:
1 hour, 51 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, International, Mystery
Director Jin-ho Hur
Starring Cecilia Cheung, Dong-gun Jang
Supporting actors Ziyi Zhang, Shawn Dou, Lisa Lu, Jean Favie, Dan Tong Han, Rong Rong, Candy Wang, Shuli Xiao, Zhang Yun
Studio Well Go USA
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edward L Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 11, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Classics never go out of style. You can take any one of Shakespeare's great tragedies and set it, say, in the Bronx Zoo with talking animals and still preserve more than the lion's share (pun intended) of the dignity, drama, and pathos that the Bard intended so long as it's done right. You'd have to cast the right zebra to play Juliet, and you'd be a fool to settle for the most magnificent tiger for the part of Romeo. It'd definitely have to be lit well, and you'd better not be too stingy with the checkbook when it comes to bringing all of it to life. No doubt - if your heart and the animals are in the right place - you'll introduce a whole new generation to one splendid work of sheer genius, all on a reasonable budget, and earn kudos from the critics.

(NOTE: The following review may contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and character. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

Those already familiar with this story need not worry as all of the major bullet points remain fully intact. Suffice it to say that the setting has been changed to Shanghai, 1931. Told against the backdrop of the impending Japanese invasion of China (though without all that much political ballyhoo or rhetoric), this DANGEROUS LIAISONS explores the devilish machinations of the socialite Mo Jieyu (played by the lovely Cecilia Cheung) and the dashing bachelor Xie Yifan (Jang Dong-kun at his sultry best).
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Format: Blu-ray
In 1782, Choderlos de Lacios published his French epistolary novel "Les Liaisons dangeruses" (The Dangerous Liaisons). The novel would inspire several films including the 1959 Roger Vadim film, a 1988 Stephen Frears film titled "Dangerous Liaisons", the 1989 film "Valmont" and the 1999 Roger Kumble film "Cruel Intentions".

In Korea, the film would lead to a 2003 film titled "Untold Scandal" by E J-yong and in 2012, a Chinese film by South Korean filmmaker Hur Jin-ho.

Hur Jin-ho is known for his films about love. From his 1998 hit film "Christmas in August", his 2001 film "One Fine Spring Day", "April Snow" (2005), "Happiness" (2007) and "A Good Rain Knows" (2009). The latter film which would feature a Korean/China collaboration between their two main leads.

With his 2012 film "Dangerous Liaisons", Hur Jin-ho and screenwriter Geling Yan ("Xiu Xiu The Sent-Down Girl", "Forever Enthralled") wanted to do a film inspired by the original French novel but with the setting taking place in Shanghai during the 1930′s. And also continuing a collaboration between Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung ("The Promise", "Running on Karma", "Shaolin Soccer"), Jang Dong-Gun ("The Promise", "The Coast Guard", "The Warrior's Way", "Tae Guk Gi: Brotherhood of War") and Chinese actress Zhang Zi Yi ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Hero", "House of Flying Daggers").

VIDEO:

"Dangerous Liaisons" is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen). The film looks fantastic in HD with skintones that are natural, detail on clothing, hair, vehicles that look amazing. But it's the close-ups that look stunning, thanks to the performances and style of shots that were taken.
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Format: Blu-ray
The 18th-century French novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos has had a number of interpretations within my lifetime. A brilliant tale of manipulation and sexual politics, the story basks in a gleeful unpleasantness that only hints at the possibility of moral redemption. It is a clear-eyed view of the power of gamesmanship and societal gender inequality with the two protagonists waging a war that will undermine many an innocent party. Who will be the victor? Who will be the victim? And is the ultimate prize even worth winning? The original story is as much about a time and a place, though, with its dissection of the decadence and debauchery of the French aristocracy prior to the Revolution. So, it may seem like a bold move to shift the action to Shanghai in the 1930s. But while the political climate of the era may not match up exactly, the opulence of the period more than compensates. And if you like the story, this relatively faithful adaptation has a lot to recommend it (even if it plays it a bit safe).

I, however, was more than willing to settle in for another adaptation! It's been a while since anyone has taken on the illicit tale. Still probably the best known version of "Dangerous Liaisons" is Stephen Frears' piece based on Christopher Hampton's play (which was a working of the novel). This 1988 film was a major player at the Academy Awards and was quickly followed by Milos Forman's "Valmont" in 1989 and the modernization "Cruel Intentions" in 1999. Director Hur Jin Ho doesn't veer far from the source material with this version of the film, so those familiar with the plotting will know pretty much what to expect. Those with nothing to compare it to might be a bit more engaged as the wicked interplay is always a delight.
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