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Buttonman (DVD) (Taiwan Version) DVD Region All

Francis Ng (Actor) | Terri Kwan (Actor) | Leon Dai (Actor) | Hsieh Cheng Jun
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YesAsia Editorial Description

When the mob kill, someone has to clean up the mess. That person is Wei (Francis Ng). Known as the "Buttonman", low-ranking gangster Wei specializes in cleaning crime scenes. He comes and goes without a trace, disposing of dead bodies without leaving any evidence behind. Lately Wei's been thinking of calling it quits. He's in trouble with the syndicate because his assistant (Leon Dai) secretly sold organs on the black market, and his girlfriend (Terri Kwan) is cheating on him. But the more he wants to quit, the more he gets pulled back in, pushing him dangerously over the edge. What happens when it is the Buttonman who needs to be cleared away?

Hong Kong movie star Francis Ng heads to Taiwan for the dark crime thriller Buttonman by up-and-coming director Chien Ren Hao (The Underground Order). Ng delivers a multilayered performance as a small-time gangster whose true nature is slowly revealed as he's driven into a corner by romance and underworld struggles. The first Taiwan film produced by Hong Kong film company Mei Ah, Buttonman brings together an interesting cast that includes popular actress Terri Kwan (The Heirloom), acclaimed actor Leon Dai (Parking), Taiwan beauty guru Janet Lee in her film debut, and Mainland star Huang Yue.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Buttonman (DVD) (Taiwan Version) 鈕扣人 (DVD) (台灣版) 钮扣人 (DVD) (台湾版) 鈕扣人 (台湾版) Buttonman (DVD) (Taiwan Version)
Also known as: Button Man Button Man Button Man Button Man Button Man
Artist Name(s): Francis Ng (Actor) | Terri Kwan (Actor) | Leon Dai (Actor) | Hsieh Cheng Jun | Annie Wu | HUANG YUE (Actor) | Janet Lee (Actor) 吳鎮宇 (Actor) | 關穎 (Actor) | 戴立忍 (Actor) | 謝承均 | 吳辰君 | 黃悅 (Actor) | 李 倩蓉 (Actor) 吴镇宇 (Actor) | 关颖 (Actor) | 戴立忍 (Actor) | 谢承均 | 吴辰君 | 黄悦 (Actor) | 李 倩蓉 (Actor) 呉鎮宇 (フランシス・ン) (Actor) | 關穎(テリー・クァン) (Actor) | 戴立忍(レオン・ダイ) (Actor) | 謝承均 (アンガス・シェ) | 呉辰君(アニー・ウー) | HUANG YUE (Actor) | Janet Lee (Actor) Francis Ng (Actor) | Terri Kwan (Actor) | Leon Dai (Actor) | Hsieh Cheng Jun | Annie Wu | HUANG YUE (Actor) | Janet Lee (Actor)
Director: Joe Chien 錢人豪 钱人豪 錢人豪(チェン・レンハオ) Joe Chien
Release Date: 2009-09-10
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.33 : 1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Duration: 80 (mins)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1021223361

Product Information

Director: Qian Ren Hao

Sometimes a murder is accidental, sometimes they are planned; to leave nothing behind, someone has to do the cleaning. Wei is the "BUTTON MAN", an expert cleaner for the gang, a man who comes alter a murder scene, takes care of the victim, disposing the body, and leaving no evidence behind. Who would have thought that one day, he would become a target on their list
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 "Buttonman (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"

September 7, 2009

This professional review refers to Buttonman (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Grim crime drama Buttonman is the latest offering from rising Taiwanese director Chien Ren Hao, previously responsible for The Underground Order. The film is the first from Taiwan to be produced by Hong Kong company Mei Ah, and boasts a suitably impressive cast which includes Francis Ng, Leon Dai, Huang Yue, Terri Kwan and Janet Lee. Although its premise, revolving around a body disposal man, may suggest the potential for a grisly suspense thriller, the film earns kudos for taking a very different and far less conventional route.

Hong Kong veteran Francis Ng stars as Wei, the titular Buttonman, a man who works freelance for the gangs, cleaning up after murders, and who apparently earned his name for his habit of always buttoning up the top buttons of the dead. His work can include anything from wiping down rooms to chopping up bodies, and he certainly seems to be good at it, being thorough and employing some pretty inventive methods. His assistant Doctor (Leon Dai, recently in Chung Mong Hong's excellent Parking) is killed after getting involved in smuggling organs for the black market, landing Wei in trouble with the syndicates. His boss sends him a new, inexperienced assistant (played by Mainland star Huang Yue), who he gradually teaches the tricks of the trade. Unfortunately, their relationship is soon complicated by the kid falling for Wei's prostitute girlfriend (Terri Kwan, also in Taiwanese horror The Heirloom) and his attempts to push his mentor into solving a series of particularly brutal murders of local girls, playing upon the conscience which he may or may not have.

Buttonman really benefits from an offbeat set of characters, most notably Wei himself. Sporting an odd hairdo, he is a particularly hard drinking sort, and it is rare that he is seen without a glass or his hipflask in his hand. Indeed, he spends almost all of his time away from murder scenes in a seedy but vaguely hip bar, knocking them back with impressive speed. Writer director Chien Ren Hao puts a lot of effort into making him a complex character, and although this does make for some strange undercurrents, involving revelations of Wei's memory loss and true identity, these do come together towards the end in an effectively round about way. His dynamics and relationships with the other characters are similarly unconventional and whilst the film isn't exactly moving, it is emotionally rewarding. Ng turns in a great performance, striking just the right balance of detachment and buried morality, making Wei a fascinating protagonist, wretched and yet quite likeable in his own way.

The film is certainly more of a character drama than a thriller, and there is very little in the way of CSI style crime scene action, or conventional suspense, despite a few tense set pieces. Although the plot does meander, and the film frequently loses its focus, Chien's approach actually works very well, and the proceedings have a uniquely laid-back, disaffected air which perfectly matches his themes. Again, this gives the film a winningly different feel which sets it apart from the majority of more straight forward crime or triad dramas. Unsurprisingly, Chien aims for a noir look, with some Se7en style visuals, giving most scenes a dark red tinge. Thankfully, he holds back on the neon, and coupled with some handheld camera work, this gives the film a lurid, though pleasingly grounded feel. Things do get quite violent and sleazy in places, with a lot of after the fact blood and a number of gruesome murders. Given that it takes place deep within the dregs of the underworld, and that almost all of the characters are either prostitutes, gangsters or killers of one variety of another, it does make for dark, nihilistic viewing, and even though Chien does deliver an almost positive message, he eschews the usual promises of hope and redemption.

As such, although perhaps likely to disappoint viewers expecting high octane thrills or taut suspense, Buttonman is certainly one of the better and more interesting crime films to have come from either Taiwan or indeed Hong Kong over the last year. Effectively anchored by Francis Ng's star turn in the lead role and featuring some skilful direction and writing from Chien Ren Hao, it should certainly be enjoyed by genre fans looking for something different, and indeed darker than the norm.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.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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