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Running Out Of Time DVD Review (Region 2)

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Seth Gecko, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><FONT STYLE='font-size: 18px'><IMG SRC='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/images/RunningOutOfTime/RunningOutOfTimeR2.jpg' ALT='RUNNING OUT OF TIME DVD cover artwork' ALIGN='RIGHT'>RUNNING OUT OF TIME</FONT><br>Reviewed September 2005 by <A HREF='search.php?do=process&query=Craig Snell&showposts=1&forumchoice[]=107&forumchoice[]=197' target='_top'>Craig Snell</A>.</P><P><B>The Movie : 8</B></P><P>An unknown man (Andy Lau) at the start of this award winning Hong Kong film is being seen by his Doctor. Given a short time to live he leaves the Doctor’s office and starts planning an elaborate scheme to rip off a local crime lord known as “The Bald Guy” but also completely confuse the local police led by the inept Inspector Wong. So the scene is set for an incredibly enjoyable action thriller from Director, Johnny To.</p><P>Officer Ho has certainly been around. Having worked in almost every single department in the Police Force, he now has a 9-5 clerical job with a nice little sideline in hostage negotiation. Lau’s character robs a financial centre but decides to hold the Manager hostage. In a botched attempt at hostage negotiation, Inspector Wong has to put up with Officer Ho Lau Ching Wan) who not only gets up Wong’s nose but is a far better cop then he will ever be. Chasing Lau’s unknown assailant to the roof top, he calls the Police’s bluff and escapes down the air conditioning shaft.</p><P>Ho is determined to track this mystery man down and is helped by a Interpol agent played by Ruby Wong (who appears in the sequel). We learn Lau’s character is Peter Cheung recently returned from the UK and out to avenge his late Father. Cheung is determined to rip off ‘The Bald Guy’ over some diamonds and Ho reluctantly agrees to assist him.</p><P>Running Out of Time in its original 1999 release won Andy Lau the best actor award at the Hong Kong Film Awards and it’s easy to see why. Lau is positively breathtaking as a man whose life is almost over. Determined to do that one last deed to avenge his Father, he is getting a real kick out of confusing his opposite number played superbly by Lau Ching (who reprises his role again in the sequel) in his exploits. The award winning script (Hong Kong Film Awards) by Frenchman, Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud is straightforward and lets you know the characters motivations at the right time during the film. It also ties up the entire loose ends well. As mentioned previously the character of Ho returns in the sequel, this is one sequel I will have no problem watching because if it is half as good as the original you are in for a really great time.</p><P><B>Picture : 6</B></P><P>Presented in the 1:85:1 ratio, Running Out of Time’s picture is clear and suffers from no major problems. The majority of the film is set in the daylight and in office buildings, so there is a fair amount of bright colours on displays especially whites. These are presented reasonably well and I could see no signs of bleeding. The blacks during the night scenes are equally pretty good and again I could see no real problems. The film I believe was a fairly medium to low budget affair and this does show as at times the picture can look a little dull but maybe this is the fault of the camera stock used, I don’t know. However, it’s not a real major problem and the entire picture is more then serviceable.</p><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/images/RunningOutOfTime/RunningOutOfTimeR2_1.jpg' ALT='RUNNING OUT OF TIME'></P><P><B>Sound : 5</B></P><P>I watched the film with the Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 option. The dialogue is clear, the sound effects and terrific music score are encoded well into the front right and left speakers. Throughout the film I waited to see if the surrounds would have some life breathed into them. It was a long wait, on occasion the odd effect could be heard but mainly it is a ‘front heavy’ audio presentation. No bad thing as the sound rather like the picture is more then serviceable.</p><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/images/RunningOutOfTime/RunningOutOfTimeR2_2.jpg' ALT='RUNNING OUT OF TIME'></P><P><B>Extras : 6</B></P><P>Seven trailers are included on the disc including the original theatrical trailer, the newly edited DVD trailer of the film and five other films including the sequel and Cop on a Mission with Daniel Wu.</p>Next up are six biographies for members of the cast. They are reasonably well written but the filmography section is especially well detailed. It is quite scary how many films Andy Lau has actually made (around 100). The video Q&A session with the writers is a detailed featurette which runs just over half an hour. For once some decent questions have been asked and the two Frenchman are honest with their answers. They come across as two very intelligent fellows who have a real passion for cinema. Also on the disc is a brief featurette in which various members of the Hong Kong film industry talk about their dealings and experiences with the writers. Some of the Interviewees include Tsui Hark and Michelle Yeoh.</p><P>Finally the commentary recorded for the Tai Seng release is by the writers and an unknown moderator (if his name is mentioned I didn’t catch it – sorry!!) This commentary is fairly standard and we get to hear a little background of the film, the actors and how the writers came to the project.</p><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/images/RunningOutOfTime/RunningOutOfTimeR2_3.jpg' ALT='RUNNING OUT OF TIME'></P><P><B>Trivia</B><br><P>For user information we use Bitrate 1.4 to scan the disk for the video bitrate, which also calculates the average bitrate. Below is a graph illustrating the bitrate of the disk, including the average bitrate reading. This disk averaged at 6.54 Mbps.</p></P><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/images/RunningOutOfTime/RunningOutOfTimeR2_BR.jpg' ALT='RUNNING OUT OF TIME'></P><P><B>Verdict : 7</B></P><P>Running Out of Time is an entertaining cat and mouse thriller with is a fair amount of action and some light comedy. The two main leads have a terrific on screen chemistry and are backed up by some fine supporting characters. This is a great film to introduce others to the wonders of Hong Kong cinema, the script isn’t taxing and the subtitles (although a little fast) are perfectly readable and don’t detract from the onscreen action. Well recommended.</p><TABLE border='0' CELLPADDING='0' CELLSPACING='2' WIDTH='100%'><TR><TD COLSPAN='2'><B>RUNNING OUT OF TIME (1999)</B></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Genres</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=ACTION' target='_blank'>ACTION</A>, <A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=DRAMA' target='_blank'>DRAMA</A>, <A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=CRIME' target='_blank'>CRIME</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Director</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=director&search_for=JOHNNY TO' target='_blank'>JOHNNY TO</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Stars</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=WAI AI' target='_blank'>WAI AI</A>, <A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=SHIU HUNG HUI' target='_blank'>SHIU HUNG HUI</A>, <A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=WAI LEUNG HUNG' target='_blank'>WAI LEUNG HUNG</A>, <A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=SUET LAM' target='_blank'>SUET LAM</A>, <A HREF='http://www.avforums.com/dvdreviews/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=WAI KIN LAM' target='_blank'>WAI KIN LAM</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65'><B>Region</B></TD><TD><B>2</B> <FONT>(UK)</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Supplier</TD><TD><FONT>Tai Seng Entertainment UK. Released Monday 19th September 2005</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>SRP</TD><TD><FONT>17.99</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Discs</TD><TD><FONT>1</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Format</TD><TD><FONT>DVD9</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Time</TD><TD><FONT>89 mins.</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Chapters</TD><TD><FONT>12</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Picture</TD><TD>Anamorphic Widescreen 1:85:1&nbsp;</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Sound</TD><TD>Cantonese 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo<BR>Cantonese 5.1 Dolby Digital<BR>English Mono<BR>Mandarin 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Subtitles</TD><TD>English and Chinese</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Case</TD><TD>Amaray</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Extras</TD><TD>Audio Commentary by the Writers<BR>Original Theatrical Trailer<BR>Trailers of other Tai Seng releases<BR>Interview with the Writers<BR>’Directors Overview’ featurette</TD></TR></TABLE><P STYLE='text-align: center'>If you would like to comment on this review, please reply below.</P>
     

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