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Aftershock (2009) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Chen Dao Ming (Actor) | Feng Xiao Gang (Director) | Zhang Jing Chu (Actor) | Xu Fan (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

At 3:42am on July 28, 1976, a massive earthquake struck Tangshan, China, devastating the city in merely 23 seconds and resulting in a death toll of more than 240,000. The catastrophe left a gaping wound in the consciousness of the nation, and some 34 years later, China's top director Feng Xiaogang (The Banquet, Assembly) offers catharsis with his latest film Aftershock. Carrying a hefty price tag of RMB200 million, the mega-budget production has raked in an earth-shattering RMB600+ million at the Mainland box office to become the highest grossing local film ever in China, further cementing Feng's status as the No. 1 blockbuster director in Chinese Cinema.

Being the first Chinese film made for the IMAX giant-screen format, the epic production enlisted the services of special effects experts from the US and Korea to depict the terrifying destruction in the stunning opening sequence. But, Aftershock won't settle for being simply a visual spectacle. The film tells a deeply emotional tale centering on a family brutally torn apart by the disaster. Critics have attributed the tremendous power of the film to its touching human drama and the heart-wrenching performances from the cast that includes Xu Fan (Feng's better half), popular actress Zhang Jingchu, Li Chen (Assembly), Lu Yi (Seven Swords), Zhang Guoqiang, and award-winning actor Chen Daoming.

Based on the novel Aftershock by Zhang Ling, the film follows a family who fell victims in the Tangshan Earthquake. The father, Fang Daqiang (Zhang Guoqiang), was crushed dead while trying to rescue his children, Fang Deng and Fang Da, who were trapped in the house. Unable to save both kids, the mother, Li Yuanni (Xu Fan), is forced to sacrifice Fang Deng for her feeble younger brother Fang Da, a decision that proved agonizing for the entire family. It turns out that Fang Deng survived the quake and was adopted by a couple in the aftermath. Thirty-two years later (2008), the grown-up Fang Deng (Zhang Jingchu) would finally cross paths with Fang Da (Li Chen) in Wenchuan, Sichuan...

The Hong Kong Version DVD of Aftershock comes with these bonus features: making-of, cast interviews, trailers, and deleted scenes.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Aftershock (2009) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 唐山大地震 (2009) (DVD) (香港版) 唐山大地震 (2009) (DVD) (香港版) 唐山大地震 (DVD) (香港版) Aftershock (2009) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: After Shock After Shock After Shock After Shock After Shock
Artist Name(s): Chen Dao Ming (Actor) | Zhang Jing Chu (Actor) | Xu Fan (Actor) | Lu Yi (Actor) | Pan Hung (Actor) | Lily Lau (Actor) | Chen Jin (Actor) | Zhang Guo Qiang (CN) (Actor) | Li Chen (Actor) | Wendy Zhang (Actor) | Olivia Wang | Zhang Jia Jun (Actor) 陳道明 (Actor) | 張 靜初 (Actor) | 徐帆 (Actor) | 陸 毅 (Actor) | 潘虹 (Actor) | 劉莉莉 (Actor) | 陳瑾 (Actor) | 張國強 (CN) (Actor) | 李晨 (Actor) | 張子楓 (Actor) | 王子文 | 張 家駿 (Actor) 陈道明 (Actor) | 张 静初 (Actor) | 徐帆 (Actor) | 陆 毅 (Actor) | 潘虹 (Actor) | 刘莉莉 (Actor) | 陈瑾 (Actor) | 张国强 (CN) (Actor) | 李晨 (Actor) | 张子枫 (Actor) | 王子文 | 张 家骏 (Actor) 陳道明 (チェン・ダオミン) (Actor) | 張静初(チャン・ジンチュウ) (Actor) | 徐帆(シュイ・ファン) (Actor) | 陸毅 (ルー・イー) (Actor) | 潘虹(パン・ホン) (Actor) | Lily Lau (Actor) | 陳瑾(チェン・ジン) (Actor) | Zhang Guo Qiang (CN) (Actor) | 李晨 (リー・チェン) (Actor) | 張子楓(チャン・ツィフォン) (Actor) | 王子文(ワン・ズーウェン) | Zhang Jia Jun (Actor) Chen Dao Ming (Actor) | Zhang Jing Chu (Actor) | Xu Fan (Actor) | Lu Yi (Actor) | Pan Hung (Actor) | Lily Lau (Actor) | Chen Jin (Actor) | Zhang Guo Qiang (CN) (Actor) | Li Chen (Actor) | Wendy Zhang (Actor) | Olivia Wang | Zhang Jia Jun (Actor)
Director: Feng Xiao Gang 馮小剛 冯小刚 馮小剛(フォン・シャオガン) Feng Xiao Gang
Release Date: 2010-09-17
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIA
Duration: 136 (mins)
Publisher: Intercontinental Video (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1023458669

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Trailers
- Interview
- Making Of
- Deleted Scenes

Director : Feng Xiaogang

Tangshan, 1976. Two seven-year-old twin children are buried under the rubble of the devastating earthquake. The rescue team explains to their mother, Li Yuanni, that freeing either child will almost certainly result in the death of the other. Forced to make the most difficult decision of her life, she finally chooses to save her son Fang Da, the male twin.

Li Yuanni has no idea that her decision is overheard by her daughter Fang Deng, the female twin. Although she has been left behind as dead, the little girl miraculously survives for several more days before being pulled clear by another rescue team who believe that she is simply a corpse. She wakes up in the pouring rain next to the dead body of her father.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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This film has won 4 award(s) and received 15 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Aftershock (2009) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

October 26, 2010

Although still not as well known in the West as contemporaries such as Zhang Yimou, or even Chen Kaige, Feng Xiaogang has continued to prove himself one of the most successful and indeed bankable directors working in modern Chinese cinema. Having made his name through sharp satires before moving onto period spectacle with The Banquet and rough war drama with Assembly his latest outing Aftershock sees him turning his hand to the subject of natural disasters and their devastating human cost. Based upon the novel of the same name by Zhang Ling, the film is a big budget affair, being the first Chinese production in the IMAX format, with amazing special effects and an impressive cast that includes Feng's wife Xu Fan, Zhang Jing Chu (recently in Flirting Scholar 2), Li Chen (Assembly) and Lu Yi (Seven Swords). With earthquakes being very much in the public eye in China, the film was unsurprisingly a huge hit at the domestic box office, pulling in more than RMB600 million and becoming the highest grossing local release ever.

The film opens in 1976 with the Tangshan earthquake, which lasted just 23 seconds, but which levelled the city and resulted in a death toll of more than 240,000. The plot follows a family caught up in the horror, with father Fang Daqiang (Zhang Guoqiang) being killed while trying to rescue his children, leaving his wife Li Yuanni (Xu Fan) in the unthinkable position of having to choose between saving either her young son Fang Da or daughter Fang Deng. Although she chooses her son, and then leaves the city in a state of shock, unbeknownst to her, Fang Deng also survives and is taken in and adopted by a kind couple from the military. As time passes, Fang Da (now played by Li Chen) and Fang Deng (Zhang Jing Chu) grow up, not knowing of each other's existence, whilst Li Yuanni continues to torture herself with guilt. Finally, in 2008 when an earthquake hits Sichuan, the two meet again, and try to reconcile their traumatic pasts.

One of the most important things to be aware of up front with Aftershock is that it is not a disaster movie in the Hollywood sense, with its title being interpreted quite literally and referring to the emotional and psychological scars of the earthquake that continue to affect its victims even generations after the event. Although the special effects, which were also worked on by teams from the US and Korea, are certainly impressive, they are limited to the first few scenes of the film, and a few shots scattered throughout. This works well, and helps the film in its aims of being a human drama rather than a spectacle - definitely a sensible idea, as any exploitation of the earthquake for big screen thrills would surely have been in remarkably bad taste. Similarly, their briefness fits in well with the shocking fact that despite causing such destruction, the quake itself only lasted for such a short period of time.

Unsurprisingly, given that the film was made predominantly for the domestic market, it revolves mainly around concerns of family, with a few dashes of national pride thrown in. Thankfully, it never takes the latter too far, and though there are a few flag waving moments, these don't detract from its more important and universal concerns. The story itself is strong, and whilst basically a fairly familiar tale of a family being broken apart by tragedy before attempting painful reunion, it rings powerfully true. Boosted by a decent script and some solid acting, especially from Xu Fan, the film doesn't pull too many emotional punches along the way, and never seeks too much to undermine essential sense of responsibility ensuing from the horrendous choice faced by Li Yuanni early on. By spanning several decades, it does a pretty good job of developing its characters in convincing fashion, and the story is engaging and moving without being too saccharine or forced.

In terms of direction, Feng again shows himself to be an incredibly adaptable helmer, being as adept with melodrama as he has been with various other genres. The film does attempt to have the best of both worlds, being at times gritty and rough, with an almost documentary like feel, and at others more like a television drama, though this does suit the material. Although long, the film is well paced, with its revelations and jumps between different decades being well timed to keep things from ever getting too middle of the road.

As a result, though it may disappoint viewers expecting an onslaught of special effects in the Hollywood manner, Aftershock is a surprisingly affecting film that successfully tackles a particularly painful and still current subject without being either tasteless or unambitiously bland. Having made another overtly commercial film and one so obviously tailored for the mainland blockbuster market, it has to be said that Feng Xiaogang is running the danger of being labelled as a director for hire, especially when considering the cutting edge and realist feel to his early works, though its hard to argue too much with the end product, and he again proves himself one of the best in the business whichever camp he decides to stand in.

by James Mudge -

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