Black Comedy (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A
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YesAsia Editorial Description
As he laments the state of his life, Johnny unwittingly becomes contested property for Devil Prince Vincent (Chapman To, Vulgaria) and Jim the Angel (Jim Chim, Love In The Buff). In a bid for his soul, Vincent grants Johnny three wishes, which leads to one misadventure after another. Eventually, Johnny gets the chance to woo his girlfriend once again, and he might even achieve his dream of protecting the Chief Executive...
|Product Title:||Black Comedy (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 黑色喜劇 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 黑色喜剧 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 黑色喜劇 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) Black Comedy (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Chapman To (Actor) | Wong Cho Lam (Actor) | Kimmy Tong Fei (Actor) | Hui Siu Hung | Siu Yam Yam (Actor) | Shirley Yeung (Actor) | Jim Chim (Actor) | Bob Lam (Actor) 杜汶澤 (Actor) | 王祖藍 (Actor) | 童菲 (Actor) | 許紹雄 | 邵音音 (Actor) | 楊思琦 (Actor) | 詹瑞文 (Actor) | 林盛斌 (Actor) 杜汶泽 (Actor) | 王祖蓝 (Actor) | 童菲 (Actor) | 许绍雄 | 邵音音 (Actor) | 杨思琦 (Actor) | 詹瑞文 (Actor) | 林盛斌 (Actor) 杜汶澤 （チャップマン・トー） (Actor) | 王祖藍 （ウォン・ジョーラム） (Actor) | Kimmy Tong Fei (Actor) | 許紹雄（ホイ・シウホン） | 邵音音（シウ・ヤムヤム） (Actor) | 楊思［王奇］（シャーリー・ヨン） (Actor) | 詹瑞文（ジム・チム） (Actor) | 林盛斌（リン・シェンビン） (Actor) Chapman To (Actor) | Wong Cho Lam (Actor) | Kimmy Tong Fei (Actor) | Hui Siu Hung | Siu Yam Yam (Actor) | Shirley Yeung (Actor) | Jim Chim (Actor) | Bob Lam (Actor)|
|Director:||Wilson Chin 錢 國偉 钱 国伟 錢國偉（ウィルソン・チン） Wilson Chin|
|Producer:||Wong Jing 王晶 王晶 王晶 （バリー・ウォン） Wong Jing|
|Blu-ray Region Code:||A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Place of Origin:||Hong Kong|
|Picture Format:||[HD] High Definition What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||2.40 : 1|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby TrueHD|
|Disc Format(s):||Blu-ray, 25 GB - Single Layer|
|Screen Resolution:||1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)|
|Video Codecs:||AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10)|
|Publisher:||Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co Ltd|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1037547205|
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Black Comedy (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"
In some ways the teaming of director Wilson Chin and writer producer Wong Jing is a very fitting match indeed, as whatever the quality of their respective outputs might be - and few would argue the Lan Kwai Fong series or most of Wong's productions as being top notch examples of Hong Kong cinema - the two have certainly been responsible for their share of crowd-pleasing hits. With popular comic star Wong Cho Lam (Delete My Love) and Chapman To (Vulgaria) in the lead roles, Black Comedy is basically a remake of Stanley Donen's 1967 Peter Cook and Dudley Moore-starring Bedazzled, with plenty of HK pop culture references and scantily clad young actresses thrown in for good measure.
Wong Cho Lam plays HK detective Johnny Du Kei Fung (though the English subtitles aren's too clear on this point, the name is presumably a reference to director Johnny To), an earnest fellow who dreams of excelling in his job and of being part of the special G4 team which protects Hong Kong's Chief Executive. Unfortunately rejected by G4 for being too short, his life is further complicated by his nagging and often violent girlfriend Angel (Kimmy Tong, From Vegas to Macau), who he one day reads in the tabloids is having an affair with an actor. At his wits end, Johnny presents a tempting target for Vincent the Devil Prince (Chapman To), whose mother (Susan Shaw) insists that he prove his worth by claiming the miserable young man's soul, which the kindly Jim the Angel (Jim Chim, Love In The Buff) is also in the hunt for. Heading up to the human world, Vincent offers Johnny four wishes and thirteen days of no-strings fun in return for his soul, a bargain that soon turns predictably sour.
Black Comedy is a fairly straightforward film to judge, as most Hong Kong cinema fans will have a pretty good idea what to expect from Wong Jing, and should at least be aware of Wilson Chin's critically panned Lan Kwai Fong bump-and-grind tease epics. To a large extent, the shoe fits, and the film performs very much according to type, being a lowest common denominator affair which cynically scrapes the barrel for laughs, panders to a very specific male demographic in search of lurid wish fulfilment, and which rarely makes any sense. For some viewers, this will understandably mark it as an automatic turn-off, and rightly so, as it's an unrepentant hour and a half of crude, at times bafflingly hit or miss humour, unredeemed by an actual plot or likeable characters, and boasting an attitude towards women that's stuck way back in the 1980s. Leaping between random comic set pieces and staggeringly gratuitous flesh-flouncing nightclub scenes that feel like outtakes from Lan Kwai Fong, it's definitely not one for audiences looking for something substantial or well-crafted.
Still, judged on its merits and for the right crowd, Black Comedy does have plenty to offer and its own tawdry charms, modest though they might be. While there's no denying that Chin and Wong haven's exactly attempted to deviate from their usual formulas, the Bedazzled premise works well enough, and the script does work in a plot of sorts towards the end, involving Johnny's spirit being caught in the body of a nefarious tycoon. Similarly, scattershot though the film's comedy is, there's a certain amount of inelegant creativity on show, and there are a good few genuine laughs to be had, in particular during the final act, which takes a notably vicious slapstick dig at the Hong Kong Chief Executive, giving the film an somewhat of an odd air of relevance. While sleazy and packing in a huge number of cleavage shots, it's all fairly harmless, Chin and Wong aiming for eye candy rather than anything actually misogynistic, and though the film is boorish, in their defence the two are serving up what their intended audience very likely wants to see.
Wong Cho Lam and Chapman To also give the slight material a boost, both turning in fun performances which do partly paper over the many, many cracks in the script and distract from their characters being sex-obsessed buffoons - Wong's Johnny basically using his wishes to try and score with attractive women, and To's Vincent appearing in most scenes in compromising positions. The rest of the cast all seem to be having a good time, and this also adds a pleasant cheerfulness to the proceedings, the suggestion that no one was taking things too seriously thankfully coming across throughout.
All this is enough to make Black Comedy worthwhile viewing for fans of Wong Jing, Wilson Chin and nonsensical humour, or indeed for anyone interested in seeing a collection of young Hong Kong starlets parade around in barely-there attire. An old-fashioned throwback to the chaotic, bawdy HK genre films of old, though difficult to justify as good cinema, it has to be admitted that the film does hit its unambitious targets, and there's something to be said for its existence in the face of the continuing disappearance and sanitisation of such foolishly fun fare.
by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com
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