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Tea Fight (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Vic Chou (Actor) | Eric Tsang (Actor) | Kagawa Teruyuki (Actor) | Janine Chang (Actor)
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Tea Fight (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Movies don't get much odder or more entertaining than this: Tea Fight. Applying ancient curses, modern duels, underground rivalries, and journeyman adventures to, yes, the art of tea, Tea Fight rolls out stylishly like a flight-of-fancy manga adaptation, except it's actually an original story from Taiwan director Wang Ye Ming. This fun and bewildering film is all the more entertaining for enlisting the A-list Pan-Asian cast of F4 heartthrob Vic Chou (Linger), popular Japanese actress Toda Erika (Death Note: The Last Name), acclaimed actor Kagawa Teruyuki (Tokyo Sonata), top Taiwan actress Janine Chang (what on earth have I done wrong?!), and Hong Kong veteran Eric Tsang to play along with serious faces. Even the scroll painting-inspired animation sequence that opens the film is first-rate, the work of noted Japanese animation house Studio 4C° (Tekkon Kinkreet). With Vic Chou's charismatic turn and Toda Erika's shojo heroine cuteness leading the way, Tea Fight joyfully throws convention out the window for a completely unexpected and undeniably amusing tea adventure.

In days of yore in ancient China, there were two legendary teas that outshone them all: Male Golden Tea and Female Golden Tea. Male Golden Tea makes drinkers aggressive, while Female Golden Tea is calming; and the two teas combined holds the key to immortality itself. The two prestigious houses of tea face off in a do-or-die tea-tasting competition, or tea fight if you will, in which the Female Golden Tea prevails. Enraged by the loss, the supporters of Male Golden Tea exterminate the house of Female Golden Tea in a fiery rampage. But a few precious leaves of Female Golden Tea are rescued by a visiting Japanese tea master, and passed down from generation to generation to the present day. The tea's current owner, Yagi Kei (Kagawa Teruyuki) wants nothing to do with it, blaming his family's misfortunes on the curse of the golden tea.

Yagi's daughter Mikiko (Toda Erika), however, wants to reunite the Female and Male Golden Teas to lift the curse, and force her drunken father to shape up. Against her father's wishes, Mikiko heads to Taiwan to study tea. There she crosses paths with Yang (Vic Chou), an enigmatic and possibly dangerous tea dealer who's determined to acquire the Female Golden Tea.

© 2009-2014 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: Tea Fight (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 鬪茶 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 鬪茶 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 闘茶 〜Tea Fight〜 (香港版) Tea Fight (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: 鬥茶 斗茶
Artist Name(s): Vic Chou (Actor) | Eric Tsang (Actor) | Kagawa Teruyuki (Actor) | Janine Chang (Actor) | Toda Erika (Actor) 周渝民 (Actor) | 曾志偉 (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) | 張 鈞甯 (Actor) | 戶田惠梨香 (Actor) 周渝民 (Actor) | 曾志伟 (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) | 张 钧甯 (Actor) | 户田惠梨香 (Actor) 周渝民 (ヴィック・チョウ) (Actor) | 曾志偉 (エリック・ツァン) (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) | 張鈞甯 (チャン・チュンニン) (Actor) | 戸田恵梨香 (Actor) Vic Chou (Actor) | Eric Tsang (Actor) | Kagawa Teruyuki (Actor) | Janine Chang (Actor) | Toda Erika (Actor)
Director: Wang Ye Ming 王也民 王也民 ワン・イェミン Wang Ye Ming
Release Date: 2009-08-19
Language: 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
Disc Format(s): DVD-5, DVD
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Duration: 103 (mins)
Publisher: Mei Ah (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1021057138

Product Information

Director: Wang Ye Ming

Yagi is the owner of an old rea shop in Kyoto. He is so immersed in Tea that he believes his wife died, owing to the traditional Tea Curse, and closed his shop. is daughter, Mikiko, scarches for clues to have her hopeless father get back on his feet again. Searching the internet, she learns of an ancient Chinese contest called Tea Fight. Searching deeper, Mikiko discovers that her father owns the Female Golden Tea, rare tea leaves, which are believed to have become extinct. Triggered by a ferocious quarrel with her father one day, she sets out on a journey to Taiwan in prusuit of the truth. Meanwhile, awaiting the young woman is Yang, a ruthless kingpin of the tea black market in Taiwan. Born into a family of generations of Tea Masters, Yang was once truly dedicated to Tea and was in love with a woman he wholeheartedly cared for. Yang meets Mikiko. Is it fate or a trap? Anxious of his daughter's whereabouts, Yagi also arrives in Taiwan. He meets Ruhua. A Taiwanese Tea Agent with the likeness of his late wife, and seeks her cooperation to find his daughter. Yagi and his daughter, Mikiko, both meet enchanting Taiwanese Tea Masteres. Unaware of their true motives, Yagi and Mikiko are led astray by their secucers, and wander about the city of Taipei in search of the rare tea.
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 "Tea Fight (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

August 13, 2009

Here's an exclamation you probably don't hear very often: "Tea Fight!" Director Wang Ye-Ming's Tea Fight is an original creation, though one would be forgiven if they mistook it for one of the numerous "based on manga" movies hitting the international multiplexes. Let's see: it takes an exotic Asian topic (tea culture), applies bogus legends and cultural concepts, gives the whole subject undue reverence, and features oddball characters who seem to think they're behaving in a perfectly normal manner. Undercranked chase sequences and a convoluted love pentagon seal the deal on this one. Tea Fight is basically a shonen manga brought to life, except it's an original concept, and lacks the truly over-the-top craziness that one might expect of the genre. As silly manga movies are concerned, this is a rather low-key one, and earns cred not because it's really that good, but because it's so strange and so "special" that it entertains. Sometimes lowering your expectations is a good thing.

Tea Fight opens with an animated sequence (handled by Studio 4C°, the guys behind Tekkon Kinkreet) detailing "The Legend of the Rare Tea Leaves". As the story goes, there were two legendary teas in Ancient China, the "Male Golden Tea" and the "Female Golden Tea." The male variety makes its drinkers violent and uncouth, while the female variety calms the soul and makes people generally mellow. Combining the two is the key to immortality, but unfortunately, the female tea was lost to history when the owners of the male tea (a surly lot who resemble Ancient Chinese frat boys) got all huffy and exterminated the tea in a fit of jealousy. You see, once upon a time, the two teas were pitted against each other in a Tea Fight - which, despite its cool name, is little more than a spruced-up tea tasting competition. The Male Golden Tea backers expected a landslide victory, but were denied, so they went bananas and slaughtered everything in sight, eventually burning all the Female Golden Tea while under the influence of their adrenaline-kicking Male Golden Tea. The obvious modern lesson to this charming cultural tale? Just say "no".

However, some Female Golden Tea did survive, thanks to visiting Japanese tea master Saemon Yagi. He fled back to Japan, where he harvested the tea, eventually passing it along to his ancestors, who now have a Female Golden Tea bush in their backyard. Unfortunately the tea comes saddled with a terrible curse, bringing oodles of bad luck to anybody who deals with the Female Golden Tea. Former tea master Kei Yagi (Teruyuki Kagawa) blames his wife's death on the curse, and chooses to have nothing to do with tea anymore, regardless of the tea's origin, gender, or aroma. Now he spends his time getting drunk and wandering through a series of crappy jobs. However, his daughter Mikiko (the adorable Erika Toda) rebels, and hightails for Taiwan to attend a tea school against her father's wishes. But Mikiko has an ulterior motive besides becoming an expert tea master: she wants to reunite the Male and Female Golden Teas. Doing so will supposedly lift the family curse, plus force her father to sober up, shave, get a decent job, and join the rat race like the rest of the sad sacks out there. It's like a reverse afterschool special, only with tea instead of drugs, alcohol, smoking, or an addiction to Pokemon.

However, maybe Dad was right about the evils of tea. Mikiko's trip to Taiwan brings her into contact with dangerously handsome bad boy Yang (Vic Chou of the boy band formerly known as F4), a smoldering gangster whose blue-tinted hair and lavender outfit earmark him as an obvious refugee from a Pepsi commercial (Chou does, in fact, push Pepsi all over Asia). Yang is a player on the Taiwan Tea Black Market, who uses chicanery to win underground Tea Fights. He's also the heir to the Male Golden Tea, and now desires to find the Female Golden Tea to, uh, do something. It's actually hard to figure out exactly what he wants, but Yang's overdone behavior overshadows any actual motivation or backstory that his character possesses. Vic Chou overacts Yang's smarmy intensity to the point of combustible laughter. The performance is charismatic, hilarious, and undeniably watchable - a triple threat that could make Chou the odds-on favorite for a "Best Overacting" award.

Yang's pathos gets even more overwrought when it's revealed that he was once involved with mysterious tea agent Ruahua (Ning Chang). When Kei rushes to Taiwan after Mikiko, he chances into the sultry Ruahua, who runs her elegant hands all over the middle-aged man's body while simultaneously feeling him out for some hint of tea-scented action. Apparently, Ruahua's tea talents are rooted in lurid seduction, while Yang's talents make him a charismatic but smarmy bastard. Tea makes Kei overwrought and needlessly melodramatic, and Kagawa sells his character by acting tortured and even psychically pained. Sometimes Kei seems like he's about to explode from the terrible emotions welling up from inside his scarred heart - even when he's just walking down the street. Kei's bizarre seriousness makes Teruyuki Kagawa another candidate for Best Overacting honors. Let's hand out the rest of the nominations: Erika Toda is up for "Most Adorable", while Ning Chang is a slam dunk for "Most Needlessly Seductive". Taiwanese actor King Shih-Chieh should win "Best Morgan Freeman Impression" for his turn as a grave tea master who utters the immortal line, "Tea has no sins." Everybody can win an award for Tea Fight. What award should writer-director Wang Ye-Ming get? Probably none, though he should be congratulated for convincing someone to bankroll this strange, oddly entertaining piñata of a film. Tea Fight uses its tea battles and overly-serious cultural shenanigans to sell an inspirational tale of letting go, moving on, and finding a better life by realizing how to reconcile your past. Or something. Aside from the awesome nugget about "Tea has no sins", the phrase "You must face your own fear" gets invoked from time to time. Those fears are: the fear of making tea, of letting a crappy curse run your life, of letting your daughter grow up, of sacrificing true love for pride, and maybe of getting killed in Taiwan because you happened to annoy some Male Golden Tea-addled punk who was after your Female Golden Tea. These conflicts and personal pains come to head in a grand head-to-head tea battle between three participants, where the characters imagine themselves in ceremonial garb as they prepare to make the tea of a lifetime. Of course, that's when they learn all their lessons and the world finally makes sense. At least for the characters. For the audience, "sense" is a relative term that takes a hike as soon as Tea Fight begins. The Klingon language may be more decipherable than this film.

But hey, that's okay, because Tea Fight is a strange and special Asian movie that can still entertain - if perhaps for the wrong reasons. It's got manga-like storytelling, good production values, and photogenic actors who know how to fill up the screen. And, if the above doesn't convince you of the worthiness of Tea Fight, then get a load of this: the film also stars Eric Tsang as an immortal Tea God! Tsang occasionally shows up to narrate the action, or to guide the characters on their way - which is kind of needless, since the film is driven by coincidence and contrivance. Still, Tsang's commanding presence forces everyone around him into submission. At one point, Kei is about to get bamboozled by a young punk when Tsang drives up in a taxi - and then the young punk runs away in fear! It would only be slightly more bizarre if the actor shrieked, "Holy crap, it's Eric Tsang!" before beating his hasty retreat. That line of dialogue would probably have destroyed any suspension of disbelief, but the film does that to itself very, very early on. Tea Fight is creative but bizarre, and is told in such a low key, irony-free way that it proves oddly enjoyable, if not actually that good. Just don't take it seriously. You probably couldn't if you tried.

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.

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