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Painted Skin (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Donnie Yen (Actor) | Vicki Zhao (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Aloys Chen (Actor)
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Painted Skin (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.3 out of 10 (9)

YesAsia Editorial Description

The 2-DVD Limited Edition of Painted Skin features the Director's Cut of the film, with 15 extra minutes not included in the theatrical release. The bonus disc comes with 61 minutes of extras, including making of, theatrical teaser and trailer, TV spots, a music video, and more. Also comes with five exclusive postcards from YesAsia.com, only while supplies last.

The classic Chinese story collection Strange Tales of Liaozhai receives its most opulent adaptation yet with Painted Skin. A remake of King Hu's 1993 film of the same title, this Gordon Chan-directed release mixes old-style Hong Kong Cinema panache with new generation stars and visual effects, resulting in an unexpected and wildly entertaining mixture of action, drama and tragic romance. Top Chinese actresses Zhou Xun and Vicki Zhao face off as two women who love the same man, a soldier played by the handsome Aloys Chen. Donnie Yen lends the film a solid martial arts presence, while Betty Sun (Fearless) and Singapore actor Qi Yu Wu (881) fill out the supporting roles. A box office hit in both China and Hong Kong, Painted Skin is Hong Kong's official entry into the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2009 Academy Awards.

Zhou Xun stars as Xiaowei, a beautiful maiden rescued from the clutches of bandits by honorable soldier Wang Sheng (Aloys Chen). Alone and without family, Xiaowei is taken into Wang Sheng's home, where she becomes popular with Wang Sheng's fellow soldiers, and friends with his lovely wife Peirong (Vicki Zhao). However, a romantic tension exists between the three, and though Wang Sheng is faithful to Peirong, he can't help but be attracted to the alluring Xiaowei. The situation is further complicated when Peirong's old flame, martial arts expert Yong (Donnie Yen) appears, along with a demonic serial killer (Qi Yu Wu) who steals human hearts. While Wang Sheng and his men hunt down the killer, Peirong tells Yong that she believes that the killer is not working alone. She suspects that the killer is delivering the hearts to a demon who consumes them to stay immortal, and that the demon is hiding within their midst in the skin of the beautiful Xiaowei...

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Technical Information

Product Title: Painted Skin (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Hong Kong Version) 畫皮 (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (限量導演完整珍藏版) (香港版) 画皮 (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (限量导演完整珍藏版) (香港版) 畫皮 ディレクターズカット 限定版 (ポストカード付き) (香港版) Painted Skin (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Donnie Yen (Actor) | Vicki Zhao (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Aloys Chen (Actor) | Betty Sun | Qi Yu Wu 甄 子丹 (Actor) | 趙薇 (Actor) | 周迅 (Actor) | 陳坤 (Actor) | 孫儷 | 戚玉武 甄 子丹 (Actor) | 赵薇 (Actor) | 周迅 (Actor) | 陈坤 (Actor) | 孙俪 | 戚玉武 甄子丹(ドニー・イェン) (Actor) | 趙薇 (ヴィッキー・チャオ) (Actor) | 周迅 (ジョウ・シュン)  (Actor) | 陳坤(チェン・クン) (Actor) | 孫儷(スン・リー) | チー・ユーウー 견자단 (Actor) | Vicki Zhao (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Aloys Chen (Actor) | Betty Sun | Qi Yu Wu
Director: Gordon Chan 陳 嘉上 陈 嘉上 陳嘉上(ゴードン・チャン) 진가상
Action Director: Tung Wai 董瑋 董玮 董瑋 (トン・ワイ) Tung Wai
Release Date: 2008-12-09
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM), DTS-ES Discrete 6.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 118 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Other Information: 2DVDs
Package Weight: 180 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1013432102

Product Information

* Special Features:
DISC 1: Limited Director's Cut
~ 118 Mins (Origional Mandarin Only) (15 mins more the DVD version)
DISC 2(Total 61 Min):
1)Making Of - 10 min
2)Teaser - 2 min
3)Trailer - 2 min
4)TVC - 1 min
5)Music Video 3 min
6)Music Video With Movie Cutting 3 min
7)Painted Skin Magical Ceremony in Guangzhou - 40 mins

Director : Gordon Chan

Commander Wang (CHEN Kun) and his army go into fierce war against bandits in the western province. There Wang rescues an exceedingly beautiful lady called Xiao Wei (ZHOU Xun) and brings her back to his imperial court. Some time later, in the city where Wang stays, murder takes place every other day and the hearts of victims are all being taken away. The entire city has fallen into terror.
On the other hand, Xiao Wei is deeply attracted to Wang and she is planning in hidden to replace Wang’s wife, Pei Rong (Vicky ZHAO). Pei Rong sees through Xiao Wei and also notices that she acts differently from others, so she seeks help from a ranger called Pang Yung (Donnie YEN) and a female exorcist Xia Bing (Betty SUN), thus unveiling the battle between the good and the evil …
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Painted Skin (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Hong Kong Version)"

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December 20, 2008

One of the biggest Asian cinema events of 2008, Painted Skin is the latest film to draw inspiration from Pu Songling's classic of Chinese literature Strange Tales of Liaozhai. Although the legendary King Hu actually directed a film back in 1993 with the same name and based upon the same material, Gordon Chan's new version is more of a re-imagining, being more in the vein of other recent big budget costume epics, boasting an all-star cast and luscious production values. The film has certainly proved popular, having topped the box office in both China and Hong Kong and despite some mixed critical reviews has been chosen as Hong Kong's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2009 Oscars. Although only recently released on DVD, a Director's Cut has now emerged, with an extra 15 minutes of footage, as well as a host of extras.

The film begins as a young maiden called Xiaowei (Mainland actress Zhou Xun, recently in Perhaps Love) is rescued from a vicious band of desert bandits by Wang Sheng (Aloys Chen, Playboy Cops), who takes her home with him. This immediately sets in motion all manner of romantic complications, with Wang's wife Peirong (Vicki Zhao, who also had box office success in 2008 with John Woo's Red Cliff) correctly sensing that the innocent seeming newcomer has her eyes set on her husband. What she doesn't realise is that Xiaowei is actually a demon hiding behind a mask of human skin, who wants Wang's heart in the worst possible way. The beast is aided, albeit in rather roundabout fashion, by a murderous sidekick (Qi Yu Wu) who causes havoc and sets about decimating the local populace. Thankfully, help arrives in the form of Yong (played by top martial arts star Donnie Yen), Wang's brother and ex-rival for heart of Peirong, who teams up with a young female demon buster called Xia Bing (Betty Sun, Fearless) to try and put a stop to the evil, though increasingly sentimental creature's schemes.

Despite the potentially grim subject matter, Painted Skin is generally light hearted, and doesn't take itself too seriously - which is probably for the best. The mood does tend to shift, dancing around between comedy, drama, horror and melodramatic romance. As a result the film resembles the kind of human-demon romantic fantasies so common in Hong Kong after the success of A Chinese Ghost Story bringing back memories of Demoness from Thousand Years, Fox Legend, and a host of other early 1990s classics starring Joey Wang. This does give the film a pleasingly old school feel, though of course thanks to its budget it is able to go much further than these earlier and inevitably cruder efforts in terms of scope and scale. This is particularly obvious during the frequent action scenes, which include both epic battles and high flying duels, thrown in frequently by Chan whenever things threaten to slow down. The choreography is well handled, and most of these are exciting, with Donnie Yen and Betty Sun being given a number of opportunities to show off his considerable skills.

Whereas a number of other recent Chinese costume epics have fallen short thanks to shoddy production values or less than special effects, Painted Skin is a handsome affair which benefits from some gorgeous visuals and convincing sets. Even the computer effects work quite well and in a rare show of restraint are used sparingly for maximum impact. When finally revealed, the skin shedding and demon make up are imaginative and gruesome, and are all the better for their limited screen time. All of this helps Chan to focus on the human elements of the story, and although the film is certainly of the fantasy genre, it clearly has character drama aspirations.

Perhaps surprisingly, the film also succeeds well enough on this level, mainly since Chan does spend a lot of time attempting to flesh out his characters and to weave a complex web of love triangles, repressed yearnings and ambiguous motivations. Whilst not particularly deep, and occasionally stretching belief, the film is genuinely moving in places, especially as it heads towards its inevitably tragic finale. The characters are all likeable, with the demonic Xiaowei emerging as the most interesting as she goes on her personal journey from heart eater to doe eyed lover. The extra scenes present in the Director's Cut go some way to helping achieve this, adding a few more layers of character motivation without slowing things down unnecessarily.

Chan directs in his usual modern commercial style, and as such the film is a mixture of epic vistas and visual trickery, with flashy editing during the action scenes and lots of slow motion. Whilst some of his flourishes are rather needless, and are occasionally at odds with the period setting, they don't really detract from the film, and the proceedings move along at a reasonably brisk pace. The odd soundtrack is worth mentioning, as it staggers around from amusingly grandiose and overblown to weirdly electronic, often adding a touch of unintentional amusement to otherwise dramatic scenes.

This of course fits well enough with the overall tone, and Painted Skin makes for fun and entertainingly unpretentious viewing. Whilst it may well be a strange choice for Hong Kong's Oscar nominee, it stands as one of the better big budget costume epics of the last few years, especially for fans of the old fashioned and long-missed fantasy genre. The Director's Cut edition is certainly worthwhile, with the extra footage adding some welcome character development and helping to bring to life the film's emotional core.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

December 1, 2008

This professional review refers to Painted Skin (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (Hong Kong Version)
A surprisingly fun, if not exceptional horror-fantasy, Painted Skin is probably the closest current approximation you'll find to that classic early-nineties Hong Kong Cinema feel. Director Gordon Chan and his numerous co-directors deliver what initially looks like another entry in the "let's appeal to Western audiences" sweepstakes. Indeed, Painted Skin seems to be angling for foreign sales with its period setting, martial arts sequences and ornate costumes, but it gratefully moves away from the done-to-death Zhang Yimou/Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon formula for something a little less pretentious. Painted Skin may look like a quality production, but its feel is closer to Hong Kong's classic wire-fu wuxias. Gordon Chan and company seem less concerned with stately elegance and too-beautiful-for-words production design, and instead amp up the style and obvious fakery. There's still plenty here to alienate an audience - like an odd score, overwrought emotions, misplaced comedy and Donnie Yen - but the entertainment value, both intentional and unintentional, is present if one can drop their expectations for consistent, polished filmmaking. As an update of Hong Kong's once abundant horror-fantasy genre, Painted Skin is a welcome and surprising release.

Painted Skin is based on the oft-adapted Strange Tales of Liaozhai by Pu Songling, a massive collection of Ancient Chinese stories, many covering supernatural subjects. The stories of Liaozhai have inspired countless television dramas and films, including the Chinese Ghost Story movies and the original King Hu Painted Skin, which featured Joey Wong as an immortal demon who stays young by feasting on human hearts. In her downtime she removes her skin and touches up her looks with paint to get that required "almost human" feel - hence the film's title.

Gordon Chan's version of Painted Skin features the same character as the King Hu original, but replaces Joey Wong with Zhou Xun - who is arguably not as beautiful as Wong, but is likely the better actor. Zhou is Xiaowei, an immortal demon who consumes human hearts to stay young and has a shinier, more advanced CGI skin than Joey Wong's lumpy plastic one. She also engages in some minor skin-flashing and is much more openly alluring than Wong's famously ethereal image. As Painted Skin's resident evil temptress, Zhou Xun is a fine and even inspired casting choice.

Despite her supernatural existence, Xiaowei has a human flaw: she's in love. The object of Xiaowei's non-gastric desires is Wang Sheng (Aloys Chen), a righteous and damn good-looking commander in the local military. In the film's opening, Wang Sheng saves Xiaowei - who he takes to be a damsel in distress and not the predator that she really is - from a group of bandits, and she's immediately smitten with her gorgeous savior. Xiaowei accepts shelter into Wang Sheng's home, where she lives with his wife Peirong (Vicki Zhao) and the other soldiers, many of whom have crushes on her. Wang Sheng is aware of Xiaowei's charms too; he occasionally has erotic dreams about her, and finds himself watching her as she small-foots her way around the estate.

Peirong is not oblivious to this undesirable family dynamic, but Wang Sheng is seemingly true to her, and everyone seems to co-exist in a superficially friendly manner. However, the household is shaken up by the return of Yong (Donnie Yen), Wang Sheng's previous commander and a supreme martial arts badass. Yong once had a thing going on with Peirong, and Wang Sheng is all-too-aware of their prior relationship. Making matters worse, a demonic serial killer (Singapore actor Qi Yuwu) is running around town tearing out people's hearts. Between the unresolved romantic tensions and the rampant heart-stealing, it's safe to say that there's tension in the air, and Wang Sheng and his men are right in the thick of both cases.

Peirong, however, thinks that the murders are related to Xiaowei. She has reason to believe that Xiaowei is actually a demon in disguise, and believes her to be responsible if not an accessory to the heart-nabbings. As everyone and her husband is understandably charmed by Xiaowei, Peirong can only turn to old flame Yong for assistance. Yong is skeptical, but is aided in his supernatural assignment by "Demon Buster" Xia-Bing (Betty Sun of Fearless). Xia-Bing possesses the naughty-looking "Demon Rod", which supposedly can slay demons if wielded by the right person. However, the majority disbelieves Peirong's accusations and Xiaowei uses that to her advantage, deflecting suspicion off herself easily. Ultimately, Xiaowei and Peirong enter into a showdown of wills, with the prize being Wang Sheng's heart - in the figurative sense, that is.

The biggest immediate plus in Painted Skin is the cast. Zhou Xun owns the screen with her seductive, thoroughly enchanting turn as an evil demon who learns a few tough lessons about love. Vicki Zhao is also quite good, and has to shoulder arguably the more difficult role. Peirong is a character that needs to earn the audience's sympathy, and Zhao carries the part with dignity and felt emotion. Aloys Chen is solid, but probably upstaged by his good looks (really, he may be the most beautiful person in the film), while Betty Sun likeably recalls the tomboyish female sidekicks essayed by Fennie Yuen or Michelle Reis in martial arts movies of years past. Donnie Yen is Donnie Yen, take him or leave him. In the film, Yen mixes dopey characterization with overdone facial expressions and more than a few bizarre outbursts, and the performance is remarkably amusing, if not appropriate. It's hard to take Yen seriously, which is fine, because it seems most of his performances nowadays fall into that category. That’s what makes him Donnie Yen™.

But Donnie Yen is around for more than just unintentional laughs. He's also around for the action, which is fast and heavy on the wirework, and entertaining enough in its sporadic doses. There's also an abundance of undercranking - though not during fights but during chases, establishing shots and at other odd times. Odd timing seems to be Painted Skin's thing. Besides the action being messier and sillier than usual, the film serves up a strange and sometimes goofy soundtrack that proves distracting. The editing and camerawork are self-conscious and stylized, with odd pacing, abundant montage, off-kilter angles, and fast camera movement used to convey action, excitement, or more. The techniques do provide a welcome energy to the film, though they also make it seem a little sloppy and cheap.

The film is also sometimes slow, especially during the endless scenes where people debate whether or not Xiaowei is a demon, or whether or not Wang Sheng has the hots for Xiaowei. Despite being a costume horror-fantasy, Painted Skin serves up a lot of double-edged intrigue, not to mention the required overwrought romance, and not all of it is riveting or successful. Gordon Chan lays on the romance especially thick, going for lots of teary emoting and overwrought expressions. The sheer over-the-top romanticism works, however, and the characters do get to act on their feelings from time to time. Characters make felt sacrifices based on their emotions, and while the romance is sometimes laughable in its goopy sentimentality, the filmmakers serve it up in such an over-the-top manner that it can't help but affect.

Overall, Painted Skin feels fake, from the technique, to the acting, to the production design and cinematography. The resulting film feels over over-the-top and messy rather than consistent. If one walks in expecting a reverent, elegant update of the Hong Kong horror-fantasy genre, they'd be disappointed. Frankly, any elegant attempt at this genre could prove disappointing, anyway; does anyone really want to see the horror-fantasy version of The Banquet? Hopefully, that thought entered the minds of the filmmakers, resulting in this uneven mixture of a movie that actually benefits if the audience doesn't take it too seriously. Freed of the requirements of consistency, realism, or restraint, the movie turns out to be much more fun than expected.

The downside to all this craziness is that Painted Skin can polarize its audience. Some people may laugh in enjoyment, others may cry from the overwrought emotions, and others may become annoyed at the messy filmmaking or Donnie Yen's overacting. Really, it's hard to say any of those people are right or wrong, because this is commercial filmmaking that mixes so many genres and emotions that it would probably be impossible to please everyone. Painted Skin can be easily assailed for being messy and uneven, but its mishmash of action, horror, romance, comedy, and chaste eroticism is undeniably diverting. The mixture here is not unlike many enjoyable films from Hong Kong Cinema's early nineties heyday, which foisted so many emotions breathlessly upon the audience that their choice was to either get in or out with what they were seeing. Well, this time I'm in. Painted Skin is not A Chinese Ghost Story, but it feels cut from the same cloth, and that's a welcome thing indeed.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "Painted Skin (2008) (DVD+Postcard) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.3 out of 10 (9)

MM
See all my reviews


June 5, 2010

This customer review refers to Painted Skin (2008) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
Enjoyable Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
A film beautifully shot, well performed with a great score. The actors delivered solid performance in a traditional good vs evil movie. It may be a bit deceiving as some audience may think it's an action film because of Donnie Yen. However, I'm glad that Donnie was cast in the film with a lesser fighting role. Yes, he was still yielding a big sword and all, but mostly he acted, which is something that he has done very well lately. Good cinematography, simple plot, and solid acting make this an enjoyable movie to watch over and over again. Did you know that this film was voted to represent China to be nominated for best foreign movie in the Oscars?
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Armitage
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January 15, 2010

This customer review refers to Painted Skin (2008) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Hong Kong Blu Ray Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I love this movie, but please note the English subtitles are good, but not great. "Where disappeared?" for "Where'd he go?"etc. It might be worth waiting for a North American release if you get annoyed easily over such things.
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Lam
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December 24, 2009

This customer review refers to Painted Skin (2008) (DVD) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
entertaining cinema Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
if you are expecting an all out martial arts picture you will be dissapointed for there are few fights with in the film but what there is well choreographed. The film delivers as pure entertainment and director gordan chan has given the audience a bit of everything romance, comedy, action and horror albeit less so on the latter few. All cast handle there respective roles really well, the cinematography is good all round and the pacing is good. what little action there is though in the film is entertaining if not a bit over edited but that has become the norm for hong kong cinema these days.

a good quality dvd unfortunately i havent seen the original cut so dont know what difference the directors cut offer. worth a watch but dont expect donnie yen to be kicking everyone.
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cuddley bear
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July 28, 2009

This customer review refers to Painted Skin (2008) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
good Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
It was not easy for foreigners to grasp the first half of the story but the second half is touching and enjoyable. It demonstrates the power of true love so effectively and it is nice to see a good ending. Well done.
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Cedric Chan
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June 23, 2009

This customer review refers to Painted Skin (2008) (DVD) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
Excellent Production Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
The theme song is excellent. I watch the MV. The singer is so pretty and the song is excellent. The song and the singer is a good match. I seldom give any comment about singer and songs from China. But the theme song is so great that I ever heard such a good song. Anyway, is excellent , 5 thumbs up!!!!
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