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Once A Gangster (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 1, 3

Ekin Cheng (Actor) | Jordan Chan (Actor) | Alex Fong Chung Sun (Actor) | Conroy Chan (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (4)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Young and Dangerous stars Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan reunite on the big screen for the first time in ten years for the gangster satire Once a Gangster. Co-written and directed by Infernal Affairs co-writer Felix Chong, Once a Gangster is a hilarious reversal of the popular Hong Kong triad film of the 1990s. Chong tells the absurd story of two gangland figures doing their best to not become the triad boss with sly references to Election, Chong's own Infernal Affairs, and even Hong Kong politics. In addition to the two leads, Once a Gangster also features scene-stealing performances by Alex Fong Chung Sun (Overheard), Candice Yu (Whispers and Moans), Michelle Ye (Accident), Conroy Chan (The Heavenly Kings), and pop star Wilfred Lau, who gives a memorable impression of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai's Infernal Affairs character.

Roast Pork (Jordan Chan) joins the triad as a young man and ends up becoming a trusted lieutenant of boss Kerosene (Alex Fong Chung Sun). However, his true passion is in his successful chain of restaurants, his loving wife (Michelle Ye), and his two children. So when Kerosene wants to promote his trusted right hand man to the top of the organization as a way to take on his financial debts, it's understandable why Roast Pork would want to refuse. Roast Pork comes up with an intricate scheme with his men that would take himself out of the running, but Kerosene's intervention causes it to fail. When all hopes appears to be lost, lifelong gangster Sparrow (Ekin Cheng) is released from jail after serving a 20-year sentence for committing a gang-related murder that earned him a guarantee for the leader spot. However, Sparrow has made his own plans to stay out of the gang, setting off a battle of wits between the two men.

This Edition comes with deleted scenes, making of, and trailers.

© 2010-2017 YesAsia.com Ltd. All rights reserved. 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.

Technical Information

Product Title: Once A Gangster (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 飛砂風中轉 (DVD) (香港版) 飞砂风中转 (DVD) (香港版) 飛砂風中轉 (香港版) Once A Gangster (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Ekin Cheng (Actor) | Jordan Chan (Actor) | Alex Fong Chung Sun (Actor) | Conroy Chan (Actor) | Candice Yu (Actor) | Michelle Ye (Actor) | Wilfred Lau | Kwok Fung | Wong Yau Nam (Actor) | Derek Tsang (Actor) | Pong Nan | Pakho Chau (Actor) | C Kwan (Actor) | Chapman To 鄭伊健 (Actor) | 陳小春 (Actor) | 方中信 (Actor) | 陳子聰 (Actor) | 余安安 (Actor) | 葉 璇 (Actor) | 劉浩龍 | 郭峰 | 黃又南 (Actor) | 曾國祥 (Actor) | 藍奕邦 | 周柏豪 (Actor) | C君 (農夫) (Actor) | 杜汶澤 郑伊健 (Actor) | 陈小春 (Actor) | 方中信 (Actor) | 陈子聪 (Actor) | 余安安 (Actor) | 叶璇 (Actor) | 刘浩龙 | 郭峰 | 黄又南 (Actor) | 曾国祥 (Actor) | 蓝奕邦 | 周柏豪 (Actor) | C君 (农夫) C君 (农夫) (Actor) | 杜汶泽 鄭伊健(イーキン・チェン) (Actor) | 陳小春 (ジョーダン・チャン) (Actor) | 方中信(アレックス・フォン) (Actor) | 陳子聰 (コンロイ・チャン) (Actor) | 余安安(キャンディス・ユー) (Actor) | 葉璇 (ミッシェル・イップ) (Actor) | 劉浩龍(ウィルフレッド・ラウ) | Kwok Fung | 黄又南(ウォン・ヤウナム) (Actor) | 曾國祥(デレク・ツァン) (Actor) | 藍奕邦(ポン・ナン) | 周柏豪 (パコ・チャウ) (Actor) | C Kwan (Actor) | 杜汶澤 (チャップマン・トー) Ekin Cheng (Actor) | Jordan Chan (Actor) | 방중신 (Actor) | Conroy Chan (Actor) | Candice Yu (Actor) | Michelle Ye (Actor) | Wilfred Lau | Kwok Fung | Wong Yau Nam (Actor) | Derek Tsang (Actor) | Pong Nan | Pakho Chau (Actor) | C Kwan (Actor) | Chapman To
Director: Felix Chong 莊 文強 庄 文强 莊文強(フェリックス・チョン) Felix Chong
Producer: Alan Mak 麥 兆輝 麦兆辉 麥兆輝(アラン・マック) Alan Mak
Release Date: 2010-07-22
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Digital Surround
Disc Format(s): DVD-9, DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan), 1 - USA, Canada, U.S. Territories What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 95 (mins)
Publisher: Mega Star (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1022872011

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Trailer
- Making of

Director : Felix Chong

Celebrity cook Roast Pork (Jordan Chan) is known for his culinary sleight of hand, but hardly anyone realizes he used to be a young and dangerous slayer who cut human flesh rather than poultry meat. Now a family man who strives to be a caring father, he finds his idyllic life turn topsy-turvy when his Triad mentor comes out of nowhere and commands him to run for the “Dragon Head” in the underworld.

Roast Pork’s only chance to extricate himself from this quagmire is to lose the election to another candidate called Sparrow (Ekin Cheng), who supposedly is the designated heir apparent to the previous kingpin. Ironically enough, Sparrow has found his true calling in academia while serving terms in prison. He has set his mind to getting into the best university in Hong Kong rather than re-donning his Triad cloak.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Awards

This film has won 1 award(s) and received 1 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Once A Gangster (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

July 20, 2010

Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan are back - though things aren't what they used to be. Writer-director Felix Chong's Once a Gangster brings back the Young and Dangerous boys in a triad movie satire about aging gangsters thrust into a potential gang war where only one can emerge victorious. The winner gets to be head of the Wo Yee Sing triad, while the loser gets absolutely zip. The twist: Roast Pork (Jordan Chan) wants to be the loser. He's only up for the top spot because his lousy boss Kerosene (a hilariously scheming Alex Fong Chung-Sun) wants to saddle Roast Pork with the gang's large debt. Can Roast Pork find a way to extricate himself from the triad election and continue his dream profession, to be a chef?

It won't be easy. Roast Pork is being cajoled into the leader/fall guy role because of such concepts as honor, brotherhood and face - you know, the stuff that usually makes for good triads in your typical Hong Kong movie. Kerosene essentially uses a guilt trip to force Roast Pork into the running, but Roast Pork plots with his randy wife (a funny and fiery Michelle Ye) to somehow get out of the situation. Their best bet is the offspring of loud triad madam Pearl (an overacting Candace Yu). Her son Sparrow (Ekin Cheng) was promised leadership after a 20-year stint in the slammer, and when he's freed he immediately gets a huge entourage and heads into town, grinning like some would-be triad kingpin. Who'll be the top dog, the chef who doesn't want to be Number One, or the suave ex-con who seemingly wants the job? It should be obvious, right?

But it's not. Once a Gangster may feature serious triad actors but it's a subversive laffer, using surreal comedy, broad performances, local satire and deadpan absurdities to send up its genre. Some of the stuff won't translate so well to western audiences; a classic Maria Cordero tune (featured in Ringo Lam's Prison on Fire) is belted out ironically by a large assemblage of triad dudes, and the many references to local economic, political and even geographical issues may be lost on non-Hong Kongers. At the same time, there's some smart satire here, and everyone seems to be having a good time getting in on the joke. The gags lampooning triad film clichés are incisive and recognizable (e.g., the obvious Election references), and the extended Infernal Affairs parody, which features Wilfred Lau in a dog-eared Tony Leung Chiu-Wai impression, is fun stuff. The whole film may be a tad esoteric for the casual Hong Kong Cinema fan, but there's still plenty to enjoy.

Unfortunately, Felix Chong's direction isn't so sharp. Chong previously co-directed such films as Moonlight in Tokyo and Overheard, one a quirky character comedy and the other a solid commercial thriller. Once a Gangster skews towards Moonlight with its sometimes dark and off-kilter laughs - but this sort of comedy is hard to effectively present. Chong is no Pang Ho-Cheung (probably Hong Kong's best director at mounting effective satire), and sometimes the gags sag underneath suspect camera placement or shot length. Also, the film was clearly done on the cheap, and Chong doesn't compensate well. Many scenes take place in distracting darkness, where the shadows seem to exist only to hide the fact that they couldn't afford quality art direction. The performances are wildly uneven too, with many of the actors seemingly acting against rather than with one another. For a first-time solo effort, Felix Chong does a passable job, but there's room for improvement.

Still, Chong's direction doesn't hurt the film's entertainment value, and he paces the film decently. What he can't overcome, though, is the fact that his top-billed star doesn't even appear before an hour(!) onto the film. Ekin Cheng's Sparrow isn't even mentioned until the film is way past the halfway point, and his performance only clicks because it lampoons his legendary Young and Dangerous character. Thankfully, Jordan Chan picks up the slack, and despite the uneven nature of the performances, there are some standouts. Conroy Chan steals his scenes as a less-than-sharp triad boss lusting for the top spot, and it's fun to see Derek Tsang and Wong Yau-Nam essay younger versions of Jordan Chan and Ekin Cheng. And hey, just having Ekin and Jordan together again represents some sort of Hong Kong Cinema triumph. In some ways, the two actors are like David Chiang and Ti Lung - two guys who shared the screen so often that their careers are largely intertwined. Once a Gangster is already good stuff for the Hong Kong Cinema faithful. Seeing the two Hung Hing boys back together is just the cherry on top.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

Editor's Pick of "Once A Gangster (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Picked By Rockman
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July 29, 2010

Keeping it real
According to Felix Chong's Once a Gangster, being a gangster in real life is nothing like being one in the movies. Chong, who co-wrote the Infernal Affairs series, reportedly got the idea for the film after talking to real-life triad members who complained that Johnnie To's Election films actually don't reflect how the triad really is today. According to them, no one wants to be the boss anymore because there's no benefit to being so.

With that idea, Chong created a story where the central conflict is about two men fighting each other to not become a gang boss. Designed as a reversal of the popular genre, Chong even cast Jordan Chan and Ekin Cheng - stars of the Young and Dangerous series, considered the definitive representative of 90s triad movies - to play the film's two aspiring non-leaders.

As the stars of the series, the two men were the symbols of the genre's popularity in 90s Hong Kong pop culture, making them also the main targets of criticism by cultural critics that accused them of corrupting Hong Kong youths. A decade later, the two get their chance at redemption by playing two men who have better plans than leading a gang. The title of the film itself carries plenty of ambiguity - is it a phrase that's followed by "always a gangster", or does it mean that its characters can shed their lifelong gangster identity?

From the out-of-touch elders that still believe running a triad is a desirable job to the undercover cop whose real identity is a secret to no one (based on a real character, according to Chong), Once a Gangster is designed as a total reversal of the popular triad films of the 1990s. No triad film cliche is left unscathed in Chong's parody, including the ones in his own Infernal Affairs series. Chong's comedic style leans on the absurd, with people making seemingly real choices within the film's hyper-reality. Despite Chong's uneven direction (it's his first solo directorial effort), he has delivered a film that is both thoughtful and endlessly amusing, thanks to a script that balances absurd comedy with serious dilemmas. However, Chong lets his film become too uneven at times, presenting seriously bloody violence that is presented a little too lightly for comfort.

The lighthearted approach to violence may also come from the fact that Chong's triad saga isn't intended to only be what it appears to be. In addition to being a genre parody, the mini gang war Chong creates can also be read as a parallel to contemporary Hong Kong politics. At one point, a character complains aloud that the triad election system is an unfair "small circle election", a reference to the existing electoral system in Hong Kong that allows only an exclusive committee of 800 people to vote for the Chief Executive. Also, the protagonists' unwillingness to take the job of the leader reflects a general attitude that the job of the Chief Executive is not only an undesirable one, but one that means very little in reality. In the days of Chinese-Hong Kong co-productions that force filmmakers to appeal to Mainland Chinese sensibilities, Once a Gangster is a rare true Hong Kong film that should be appreciated by any Hong Kong film fan.
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 "Once A Gangster (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (4)

MKL
See all my reviews


January 17, 2011

1 people found this review helpful

some what an allstar cast Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
with the way HK cinema has been going downhill promoting horrible new actors, even well known actors participating in horribly rated movies and just bad plots. it took me about half a year before finally buying this film even though my favorite actor ekin was in it. To my surprise the film was filled with lots of great comedy. Action and scenes of violence where it was needed. Parts of the movie reminded me of infernal affairs(undercover cop almost like yan) and the election(baton to the throne). I would have eventually gotten this movie anyways just to support Ekin, but defintely happy i got this having lots of great laughs with decent actions scenes. Like the movie describes how triads even go straight and make a decent living. Its not just a movie either.
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Kevin Kennedy
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September 22, 2010

1 people found this review helpful

Gangland spoof Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
"Once A Gangster" tells of Roast Pork (Jordan Chan), a restaurateur who joined a gang in his youth in order to gain financial backing for his plans to open an eatery. Now settled into comfortable middle age, Roast Pork is a contented family man running a number of successful restaurants. His gangland days seem a distant memory until his Big Brother Kerosene (Alex Fong) seeks his help. Kerosene has been heading the gang, but was so irresponsible in its management that he has run it into the ground. Kerosene wants to resign and let businessman Roast Pork take over the clan in order to work it out of its financial difficulties. There are some big problems with Kerosene's plan: Roast Pork doesn't want the job, loud-mouthed triad madam Pearl (Candace Yu) seeks the position for her son Sparrow (Ekin Cheng), and rival gang boss Scissors (Conroy Chan) is willing to stop at nothing to gain the job.

"Once A Gangster" seeks to be both a spoof of gangster flicks and an effective actioner at the same time. It manages this feat, although the film sometimes lurches rather wildly among straight-faced high concept humor, violence, and slapstick, and seldom is quite as funny as the filmmakers intended. It is rescued by the splendid hangdog comic stylings of Jordan Chan, the inventive zaniness of Alex Fong (very reminiscent of Burt Reynolds in his prime), and a good running gag about how Scissors is the last person in Hong Kong's underworld to perceive the true identity of his right-hand man. A lukewarm recommendation.
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jasmine
See all my reviews


September 13, 2010

Roast Pork on the Menu Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
What a brilliant script by Felix Chong. I find this movie with a good moral ending and laced inbetween with compassion & humour. Felix did not let us forget the great masterpiece of Infernal Affairs (which he also co-wrote) especially when it poked fun at unforgettable character like Yan (played by Tony Leung Chiu Wai). It has just enough knife-slashing & explosions (for a gangster movie) to keep you wandering what's gonna happen next.

A much matured Ekin Cheng also did good here as he tries hard not to return to his old ways as an ex-con and fight for the triad's CEO position (much to the frustration of his mother). Roast Pork (Jordan Chan with that poker-face look at times) is so into his screen character, and Kerosene (Alex Fong) really kept his cool with his calculative schemes.

Not just another gangster movie!!
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jasmine
See all my reviews


September 5, 2010

Give it up?? Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
I really enjoy this movie maybe because it's less violent, funny and it reminds me of "The Scary Movie" theory. By this I mean having a dig at Tony Leung's character (Yan) in Infernal Affairs and the all important 'stick' from Election.

However, the plot is refreshing and I particularly like the twist towards the grand finale.
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