PictureWith an anamorphic widescreen presentation, shot in 2.35:1, this has a very good clean transfer. Colours are true, but they aren't always vibrant but that suits the grungy style of the movie and it works well. Blacks are deep, flesh tones are spot on and detail is superb, you can practically count the lines on Nolte's face. It doesn't suffer from grain, but isn't quite as pristine as the best Hollywood movies, which belies its independent roots. I didn't see any edge enhancement, but that could also be as I was pretty engrossed in the movie - but if there is any, it isn't noticeable! Good stuff again - as you can see from the bit-rate graph.
SoundI'm really in two minds on this. The first one says for a new move, why on earth is it a stereo track? The second one says, ah yes, but for a stereo track it's really quite good. It's clean, clear and crisp with good bass when needed (for example, at the club in the beginning of the movie) and serves its purpose well. It is actually quite loud compared to other stereo only mixes I've heard, but I just can't help think that even a decent pro-logic mix would have been better. Adequate then, but nothing more.
ExtrasFirst off, we have the Hong Kong gala footage, which lasts for 3 minutes and is effectively a press conference - sadly no subtitles, but they look like they're having fun! The theatrical trailer lasts for 2 minutes and gives you a clear idea of what the movie is about, without revealing everything. The photo gallery consists of 10 stills from the movie. Lastly, we have the filmographies of Cheung, Nolte and the director Olivier Assayas, all of which have interviews with them relating to the movie. Cheung's is definitely the best of the three, in my opinion, as she's quite open about having no desire for Hollywood, yet still being intimidated by Nolte.
VerdictWell, this is a bit of a revelation really, as I didn't know anything about this movie until I received it and watched it. I'm glad I did too - it's a very moving drama, although it has a sombre tone to it throughout and is helped no end by a riveting performance from Cheung (I know I've said it already, but it is that good). Certainly not a movie to watch if you need to be cheered up, but definitely worth viewing if you're wanting a fine drama. Just hope Hollywood don't try and remake it.
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