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The Stool Pigeon (2010) (DVD) (US Version) DVD Region 1

Nicholas Tse (Actor) | Nick Cheung (Actor) | Liu Kai Chi (Actor) | Lu Yi (Actor)
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The Stool Pigeon (2010) (DVD) (US Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

The acclaimed 2008 crime thriller The Beast Stalker solidified director Dante Lam's status as the new king of Hong Kong action cinema. He and his writer Jack Ng return two years later on the thematic follow-up The Stool Pigeon, which again delivers in the pulse-raising action, breathtaking suspense, and heart-rending characterization that pulls the audience into the compelling drama and surprising plot twists.

Again treading the gray area between right and wrong, the Stalker stars Nick Cheung and Nicholas Tse have a reversal of roles in Stool. Winning an unprecedented seven Best Actor awards in the last outing, Cheung is a conflicted cop struggling between his duty and conscience this time as Nicholas Tse becomes the two-bit criminal forced to cooperate with him as his stool pigeon. Joining them are Taiwan actress Guey Lun Mei and Mainland actor Lu Yi, who both play against type as tough gangsters. Stalker's Liu Kai Chi, Miao Pu, and Sherman Chung return to co-star in the tense and gritty caper hit, while Chin Ka Lok and Wong Wai Fai, the action choreographer team behind Lam's Fire of Conscience earlier this year, are responsible for the film's thrilling car chases and visceral fight scenes.

Living in the guilt of sacrificing his informant (Liu Kai Chi) in a previous operation, Criminal Intelligence Inspector Don Lee (Nick Cheung) is wary when his superior orders him to send another informant to spy on the criminal operations of Barbarian (Lu Yi), a vicious gangster plotting a jewelry heist. He seeks ex-convict Ghost (Nicholas Tse), who agrees to work for Don despite vowing to go straight since he's desperately in need of money to repay a debt and save his sister. Ghost's driving skills help him infiltrate Barbarian's gang and earn his trust, but by feeding information to Don and hooking up with Barbarian's girlfriend Dee (Guey Lun Mei), Ghost is pushing himself into a tight and deadly corner...

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Stool Pigeon (2010) (DVD) (US Version) 綫人 (2010) (DVD) (美國版) 綫人 (2010) (DVD) (美国版) 密告者 (綫人) (DVD) (US版) The Stool Pigeon (2010) (DVD) (US Version)
Also known as: 線人 线人
Artist Name(s): Nicholas Tse (Actor) | Nick Cheung (Actor) | Liu Kai Chi (Actor) | Lu Yi (Actor) | Guey Lun Mei (Actor) | Lawrence Cheng (Actor) | Wan Yeung Ming (Actor) | Noel Leung (Actor) | Tony Ho (Actor) | Jin Gang (King Kong) (Actor) | Philip Keung (Actor) | Miao Pu (Actor) | Lau Kwong (Actor) | Lee Shing Cheong (Actor) | Deep Ng (Actor) | Sherman Chung (Actor) 謝 霆鋒 (Actor) | 張 家輝 (Actor) | 廖啟智 (Actor) | 陸 毅 (Actor) | 桂綸鎂 (Actor) | 鄭丹瑞 (Actor) | 尹揚明 (Actor) | 梁小冰 (Actor) | 何華超 (Actor) | 金剛 (Actor) | 姜 皓文 (Actor) | 苗圃 (Actor) | 劉江 (Actor) | 李成昌 (Actor) | 吳浩康 (Actor) | 鍾舒漫 (Actor) 谢 霆锋 (Actor) | 张 家辉 (Actor) | 廖启智 (Actor) | 陆 毅 (Actor) | 桂纶镁 (Actor) | 郑丹瑞 (Actor) | 尹扬明 (Actor) | 梁小冰 (Actor) | 何华超 (Actor) | 金刚 (Actor) | 姜 皓文 (Actor) | 苗圃 (Actor) | 刘江 (Actor) | 李成昌 (Actor) | 吴浩康 (Actor) | Sherman Chung (Actor) 謝霆鋒(ニコラス・ツェー)  (Actor) | 張家輝 (ニック・チョン) (Actor) | 廖啓智(リウ・カイチー) (Actor) | 陸毅 (ルー・イー) (Actor) | 桂綸鎂 (グイ・ルンメイ) (Actor) | 鄭丹瑞(チェン・ダンソイ) (Actor) | 尹揚明(ビンセント・ワン) (Actor) | 梁小冰(ノエル・リョン) (Actor) | 何華超(トニー・ホー) (Actor) | 金剛(カム・コン) (Actor) | 姜皓文(キョン・ヒウマン) (Actor) | 苗圃 (ミャオ・プー) (Actor) | Lau Kwong (Actor) | Lee Shing Cheong (Actor) | 呉浩康(ディープ・ン) (Actor) | 鍾舒漫(シャーマン・チョン) (Actor) 사 정봉 (Actor) | Nick Cheung (Actor) | 요 계지 (Actor) | Lu Yi (Actor) | Guey Lun Mei (Actor) | Lawrence Cheng (Actor) | Wan Yeung Ming (Actor) | 양소빙 (Actor) | Tony Ho (Actor) | Jin Gang (King Kong) (Actor) | Philip Keung (Actor) | Miao Pu (Actor) | Lau Kwong (Actor) | Lee Shing Cheong (Actor) | Deep Ng (Actor) | Sherman Chung (Actor)
Director: Dante Lam 林 超賢 林 超贤 林超賢 (ダンテ・ラム) Dante Lam
Action Director: Chin Ka Lok 錢嘉樂 钱嘉乐 錢嘉樂(チン・ガーロッ) Chin Ka Lok
Release Date: 2011-09-27
UPC Code: 812491012406
Language: English, Cantonese
Subtitles: English
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 1 - USA, Canada, U.S. Territories What is it?
Publisher: Well Go USA, Inc.
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024906429

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Stool Pigeon (2010) (DVD) (US Version)"

October 29, 2010

This professional review refers to The Stool Pigeon (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
When we last left Dante Lam, he'd just followed up his career-defining Beast Stalker with the anticipated Fire of Conscience. Expectations for Fire of Conscience were high and understandably so - Beast Stalker had great acting and dynamite tension, mixing strong characters and thrilling action better than most Hong Kong films have in a good long while. But Fire of Conscience underwhelmed, delivering an uneven experience weighed down by too many characters, an overstuffed storyline, pretentious themes and disconnected though still excellent action. If Beast Stalker was a resounding leap forward for Lam, Conscience was a quiet step back.

Thankfully, Lam's newest film is The Stool Pigeon, a reunion of his Beast Stalker principals - actors Nick Cheung and Nicholas Tse, and writer Jack Ng - and an entertaining and involving Hong Kong film. As usual, Lam combines morally complex characters and strong action beats into a hopefully potent mix, but unlike Fire of Conscience, the mixture isn't completely oil and water. Here we get character through action, with relationships forged and broken through chases, gunfights, and bloodshed. Lam has better actors this time too; Cheung and Tse are both deserving award-winners, and are joined by Hong Kong's most effective overactor Liu Kai-Chi and Taiwan's willowy muse Guey Lun-Mei. After the minor stumble of Fire of Conscience, Stool Pigeon is a step in the right direction for Dante Lam.

As the title indicates, Stool Pigeon is about informants, with Nick Cheung playing Inspector Don Lee, an expert at recruiting and using lower-level criminals to bust even more dangerous ones. But there’s a dark side to the biz, witnessed in an opening sequence where Lee betrays an informant (Liu Kai-Chi) when unexpected circumstances get in the way of a bust. Flash-forward a year and Lee recruits a new stool pigeon, jailed driver Ghost Jr. (Nicholas Tse) in hopes of bringing down jewelry thieves Tai Ping (Keung Ho-Man) and Barbarian (Lu Yi). As most criminals would, Ghost Jr. wants nothing to do with the fuzz, but Lee has some powerful tools: money and leverage. He can help Ghost Jr. in ways that his old gang pals can't, and if Ghost Jr. says "no", Lee can force his cooperation. Eventually, Ghost Jr. has no choice but to become Lee's latest stool pigeon.

For some stretches, Stool Pigeon plays like a procedural on the cop-informant dynamic, with Lam showing us the compromises and moral issues involved in using bad guys to catch other bad guys. Inspector Lee can apply police pressure to get his way, making the stool pigeon less of a partner and more of a pawn coerced into betraying his kind. Then, if Lee wants a little more, he can always change the deal. After all, who cares about the well being of a three-time loser when seeking justice? On the flip side, if you betray someone who trusts you for your own ends, what does that make you? These are worthwhile themes and Dante Lam and Jack Ng’s script tackles them smartly, making both Inspector Lee and Ghost Jr. into strong and involving characters. Both Cheung and Tse are excellent in their roles, with Cheung once again edging Tse as the efficient yet tortured Inspector Lee. Beast Stalker earned Cheung a record six acting awards, and while he may not win trophies for Stool Pigeon, nominations are not out of the question.

The strong acting and fine themes make up for the general predictability of Stool Pigeon's storyline. Whereas Beast Stalker reached cathartic, thrilling heights, Stool Pigeon adheres more to the tried and true, with characters never breaking from conventional expectations. Some details and subplots are more labored than they should be, with Inspector Lee's backstory reaching particularly egregious heights (or depths, perhaps) in order to make his character exceptionally and unnecessarily tortured. Furthermore, some of the film's biggest twists are handed to characters who lack the same generous development as Inspector Lee and Ghost Jr. That uneven focus hurts the film's momentum, but Lam's execution compensates nicely. Stool Pigeon has a number of strong, kinetic action sequences, with the climactic school-set chase/beatdown proving surprisingly brutal. At its most powerful, the violence in Stool Pigeon feels like a modern update on eighties-vintage Ringo Lam.

The China-Taiwan-Hong Kong cast helps in varying degrees. Oddly, Lu Yi is dubbed into Cantonese while Guey Lun-Mei speaks in her own Mandarin. They, along with Keung Ho-Man and Miao Pu (as Inspector Lee's crippled dance instructor crush) deliver solid performances, and Liu Kai-Chi chews scenery in his gloriously inimitable manner. This is really the Nick and Nic show, however, with both outshining the whole cast in screentime and performance. The action and acting carries the film such that it compensates for quite possibly Stool Pigeon's biggest problem: the curse of the China co-production. More specifically, everyone gets what's coming to them, making every character's fate easy to guess. Still, the filmmakers and actors infuse the situations with enough emotional resonance and kinetic surprise to make the whole package work. If the challenge facing HK filmmakers is how to work within SARFT's confines, then Dante Lam and Jack Ng succeed in a strong, if not completely stellar fashion.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

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