Exiled (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Wo (Nick Cheung), a gangster who went into exile for a few years after attempting to kill Boss Fay (Simon Yam), returns to Macau with his wife (Josie Ho) and their newborn baby, hoping to settle down. There he meets his four friends, two commissioned by Boss Fay to kill him and the other two coming to aid him. The five hitmen open the film with a carefully designed gunfight that brings out both enormous tension and peculiar elegance. The brilliantly choreographed gunplay in Exiled promises to offer a stunning experience.
Apart from the action, Johnnie To's strength lies in bringing out the humane side of the action heroes, who in this film are doomed to be Exiled with their buddies. The strong bond among them simultaneously manifests in hard-boiled masculinity and sentimental emotions, a theme that is apparently contradictory but indeed recurs in many acclaimed Hong Kong action movies. From John Woo's A Better Tomorrow to Johnnie To's The Mission and Exiled, the alliance among action heroes remains a fascinating subject in Hong Kong cinema.
|Product Title:||Exiled (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 放．逐 (香港版) 放．逐 (香港版) エグザイル／絆 （放．逐） （香港版） Exiled (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Simon Yam (Actor) | Francis Ng (Actor) | Nick Cheung (Actor) | Richie Jen (Actor) | Anthony Wong (Actor) | Roy Cheung (Actor) | Gordon Lam (Actor) | Josie Ho (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | David Richardson | Cheong Siu Keung | Huang Zhi Wei 任達華 (Actor) | 吳鎮宇 (Actor) | 張 家輝 (Actor) | 任 賢齊 (Actor) | 黃 秋生 (Actor) | 張耀揚 (Actor) | 林家棟 (Actor) | 何超儀 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | David Richardson | 鄭兆強 | 黃 志偉 任达华 (Actor) | 吴镇宇 (Actor) | 张 家辉 (Actor) | 任 贤齐 (Actor) | 黄 秋生 (Actor) | 张耀扬 (Actor) | 林家栋 (Actor) | 何超仪 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | David Richardson | 郑 兆强 | 黄 志伟 任達華 （サイモン・ヤム） (Actor) | 呉鎮宇 （フランシス・ン） (Actor) | 張家輝 （ニック・チョン） (Actor) | 任賢齊（リッチー・レン） (Actor) | 黄秋生 （アンソニー・ウォン） (Actor) | 張耀揚（ロイ・チョン） (Actor) | 林家棟（ラム・カートン） (Actor) | 何超儀（ジョシー・ホー） (Actor) | 林雪 （ラム・シュー） (Actor) | Ｄａｖｉｄ Ｒｉｃｈａｒｄｓｏｎ | 鄭兆強（チェン・シウキョン） | Huang Zhi Wei 임 달화 (Actor) | Francis Ng (Actor) | Nick Cheung (Actor) | Richie Jen (Actor) | Anthony Wong (Actor) | Roy Cheung (Actor) | Gordon Lam (Actor) | Josie Ho (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | David Richardson | Cheong Siu Keung | Huang Zhi Wei|
|Director:||Johnnie To 杜琪峰 杜琪峰 杜琪峰 （ジョニー・トー） Johnnie To|
|Action Director:||Ling Zhen Bang 凌 振幫 Ling Zhen Bang Ling Zhen Bang Ling Zhen Bang|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Place of Origin:||Hong Kong|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.78 : 1|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM), DTS Extended Surround(TM) / DTS-ES(TM)|
|Disc Format(s):||DVD, DVD-9|
|Region Code:||3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Publisher:||Mega Star (HK)|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1004604317|
* Sound Mix: DTS ES, Dolby Surround-EX
* DVD Type: DVD-9
* Special Features:
1. Trailer 預告
2. Making Of 製作特輯
3. Making Of (Short Version 1-7) 製作特輯 (精華版 1-7)
4. Behind The Scene 製作花絮
Director: Johnnie To
The time is 1998. The setting is Macau. Every living soul jumps at every chance to make quick money before the Portuguese colony ushers in a new era under the Chinese rule. For the jaded hit men, they wonder where this journey will end. Against this background of fin-de-siècle malaise come two hit men from Hong Kong sent to take out a renegade member trying to turn over a new leaf with his wife and newborn baby. They soon find themselves in the throes of a dilemma when two of their former associates also show up, intent on thwarting them at every cost.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Exiled (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"
This professional review refers to Exiled (Hong Kong Version)
Exiled is a hard film to review. Full of director Johnnie To's pet themes, actors, and iconography, Exiled could justifiably be called the wet dream of Milkyway Film fanboys worldwide. Fans jonesing for the glory days of The Mission and A Hero Never Dies are sure to get off on the hard-boiled characters, copious gunplay, and barely-contained homoeroticism that To squeezes into this long-awaited gangland thriller. Frankly, those fans are right to be so damn excited; Exiled is topnotch Hong Kong Cinema, taking much of what international fans define as "Hong Kong Cinema" and packing it into a polished, award-worthy package presented on a golden platter with the initials J.T. carved into it. Because Exiled packs so much audience love into its widescreen frame, actually criticizing it can make a person feel downright guilty. Unfortunately, that's what this review does from time to time. We apologize in advance.
The big news on Exiled is it reassembles the cast from To's 1999 classic, The Mission. Anthony Wong, Francis Ng, Roy Cheung, and Lam Suet return playing characters who resemble their respective parts from The Mission, though early on we learn that they're clearly different guys. In The Mission, the four guys shared some acquaintances, but they largely met (along with Jackie Lui, a no-show in Exiled) on their assignment; in Exiled, they're revealed to be longtime buddies. The four guys originally joined the triad together along with Wo (Nick Cheung), who had to go into hiding after a botched assassination attempt on Boss Fay (Simon Yam). Wo has since returned, setting up residence in Macau along with his wife Jin (Josie Ho), and their newborn son. But Fay still holds a raging grudge, and dispatches Wo's old buddies Blaze (Anthony Wong) and Fat (Lam Suet) to do the deed. Opposing the two are old friends Tai (Francis Ng) and Cat (Roy Cheung). Wo once took the rap for Tai, so Tai won't let Blaze off Wo. When the two pairs of triad enforcers meet up, things are bound to get tense. Right?
Maybe. The two pairs of former triad pals great each other with warm familiarity, plus the recognition that they'll be going against each other to fulfill their jiang hu duty. When Wo does show up, an impressive two-on-one gunfight ensues, consisting of slow-motion gunplay, deafening sound design, and more Mexican standoffs than a John Woo movie. Then...it's time to eat! Nobody dies (it's only the first ten minutes of the movie), and soon the five former-and-now-current friends are reminiscing about their old days over a fine home-cooked meal.
Joining them is a rattled Jin, who can't grasp the "my enemy is my friend is my enemy" paradox of these veteran triad types - but that's okay because she's a girl. Exiled presents a man's world, and in this macho meeting of brawny male types, men can be friends and enemies simultaneously. Everyone's got a job to do and everyone knows it; better to have a good time before getting down to business and shooting each other. Food first, fight later. But the group decides to grant Wo's final wish (securing money for Jin and the baby), and opt to delay their fighting even further. In between, they smoke, drink, and display manly affection for one another. Clearly, being a macho gangster type rules.
Well, it does in a Johnnie To movie, anyway. Exiled recalls the homoerotic gangster brotherhood of A Hero Never Dies, which featured Leon Lai and Lau Ching-Wan as dueling hitmen who drink together with the knowledge that the following day they'll be aiming for each other's heads with semi-automatic weapons. Both guys had girlfriends, but it was really the unspoken honor between men that got their juices flowing. The Exiled guys are the same, meaning they'll live and die for one another, and can grasp their own, and each other's thinking with almost telepathic understanding. These are honorable guys who hon't hold a grudge if they're assigned to kill one another because hey, gangland respect is everything.
However, if that respect isn't returned, then watch out. Eventually Boss Fay rubs the foursome the wrong way, which is bad news for anyone looking to escape a bullet in the head. When circumstances place Blaze, Tai, Cat, and Fat on the same side, they react like some sort of well-oiled gunplay machine. Johnnie To uses stillness and calm to offset his slow motion bullet opera set pieces. He stages each forthcoming action sequence meticulously, setting each player into position before sudden guns-blazing chaos erupts. The sequences aren't as much choreographed as they are unleashed, with rooms suddenly filling with point blank, in-your-face bullet action. Frankly, in most of the film's gunplay sequences its a wonder that everyone isn't instantly killed.
But hey, that's movie magic. In some scenes, nobody is hit, and in others, everybody and their brother can take a trillion bullets without dying instantly. Gunplay purists looking to poke holes in Exiled would have an easy time here, as many characters seem to go unscathed simply because the script says it's not their time yet. Still, Exiled works spectacularly for the masses, though that's probably because it was built for a prefabricated group of Johnnie To followers who know exactly what they want -- and what they want looks, smells, and sounds just like Exiled. To delivers plenty of familiar stuff here. Macho, no-nonsense leads? Check. Quirky supporting characters? Check. Deadpan absurdities? Check. Ultra-cool posturing by men in awesome coats? Check. Emasculated comic relief? Check. An over-the-top Simon Yam? Check. If Exiled seems familiar that's because it is familiar. It's the Greatest Hits of Johnnie To, delivered in a single swell-looking and sounding movie that plays up the iconic presence of its actors and its director and uses them as cinema shorthand. Exiled isn't really a sequel, but like a sequel, it leans heavily on audience familiarity.
The negative is that the macho coolness can become predictable. Like many a Milkyway production, Exiled features a spare narrative that efficiently dispenses all its information in necessary doses. Given the iconic nature of the characters and the few narrative options presented to them, there are ultimately few surprises in the choices they make. The film does have some fun with the characters' aimlessness, having them resort to flipping a coin when their plans break down, but even then the film heads in an expected, and frequently unrealistic direction. Reality is hard to come by in Exiled because it's usually swept under the rug; the motivations of some characters are simplistic and obviously symbolic (everybody is apparently seeking a "home"), and some things seem to happen only for the coolness factor.
The Mission was so successful because it actually developed while we were watching it; the film drew the audience into its own particular jiang hu, and brotherhood was formed as the audience witnessed. In Exiled, brotherhood is a given, and the audience understands the film's particular world because, having seen To's previous works, we're already supposed to. Johnnie To really makes himself known here, imbuing characters and situations with enough too-cool iconography and obvious sentimentality that it becomes clear who the real star of the film is: Johnnie To, himself. If the director had inserted himself into one of the many male-bonding sequences of the men hugging and slapping each other on the back, it would oddly feel appropriate.
In some ways, Exiled feels like Johnnie To's 2046. Wong Kar-Wai created 2046 after his international breakthrough In the Mood for Love, and 2046 seemed to play to his international audience by giving them a mishmash of familiar Wong Kar-Wai actors and ideas. In the end, 2046 was a gorgeous, immersive, and predictable exercise in Wong Kar-Wai theme and technique. Similarly, Johnnie To's international reputation has reached its peak, with his films now playing Cannes, Venice, and Toronto. This is opposed to his previous venue: your DVD player and television set, with an assist from either Universe Laser or Mei Ah Entertainment. Exiled seems to pick and choose from the director's previous work, mixing the lyrical sentimentality of Throwdown, the over-the-top heroism of A Hero Never Dies, the casual brotherhood of The Mission, and even the barely-disguised politics of Election 2 into one slick, audience-friendly gangster film that entertains and enthralls, but rarely challenges or surprises. Yeah, To is providing what the audience wants, but at a certain point, Exiled's willingness to please starts to feel like pandering.
However, the above is extreme nitpicking, and if the biggest fault of Exiled is simply that it isn't as good as The Mission, then we're probably expecting too much. If one approaches Exiled as a fan of Hong Kong Cinema and Johnnie To in particular, then there's only one way to say it: Exiled rocks. The gunplay is exciting, the themes familiar and resonant, and the actors insanely charismatic, with most of them (save perhaps Simon Yam, who's pointedly over-the-top) adjusting their performances to the film's particular cadence. Anthony Wong and Nick Cheung underplay their roles well, and Francis Ng displays a fine balance of explosive anger and controlled emotion. Roy Cheung and Lam Suet turn in charismatic support, as does Richie Ren, who's so cool in his supporting role that he should get his own movie. However, despite the strong presence of the male actors, it may be Josie Ho who essays the film's most pivotal character, and she does so with a humanity that flies in the face of all the macho posturing going on around her. The male characters are mainly genre types, and don't seem to change as the film progresses. Ultimately, it's Ho's character and her infant son who drive the film to its blood-stained close - which is somewhat of a departure from the usually male-focused To.
Johnnie To also has fun mixing his genres. In a fun stylistic and narrative choice, Exiled is set in 1999 Macau, right before the handover to China. The time is famed historically for its lawlessness, and To plays that up by including comically ineffectual cops, and gangsters who basically flaunt their ownership of the region. Given the too-cool gunfighters, their self-created and maintained code of brotherhood, and the portrayal of Macau as a lawless region ripe for the plucking, Exiled becomes less a Hong Kong triad movie and more of an Asia-set western, made complete by Guy Zerafa's strings and guitar score, and motifs and set pieces that would actually play better in an Old West setting. One character even plays a harmonica while sitting next to a campfire. If everyone carried six-shooters and wore cowboy hats while tooling around Exiled's Macau, it might feel only slightly out of place.
The above innovations aside, Exiled does possess a "been there, done that" feel, with the biggest quibble being that Johnnie To is perhaps better than this. The excitement in watching To's films throughout the late 90s and early 2000s came from seeing him tweak genre conventions and developing his own unique cinematic language, and with Exiled the director doesn't move forward as much as move sideways. This is especially noticeable after the one-two punch of Election 1 and 2; taken together, the two films arguably represent the height of Johnnie To's filmmaking artistry. Exiled really doesn't build on that, and sometimes seems to be treading on too much familiar territory. If someone walks into the film expecting a true leap forward from Johnnie To, they may be disappointed. A Greatest Hits package sure seems cool, but it still amounts to something you've seen or heard before.
Still, Johnnie To deserves to make movies that he likes, and it's clear from the loving attention given to Exiled that the director likes these kinds of movies just as much as his fans do. Exiled is a technical knockout, and should be remembered come awards time for cinematography, score, art direction, and probably uber-coolness - if someone actually gave out an award for that. So yeah, we probably shouldn't be complaining that much. Johnnie To seems to recycle for Exiled, but so what? Knocking Exiled for pandering to a specific audience is like throwing away a candy bar because it tastes good; you know it's good and you know you'll like it, so why not just eat it? With that in mind, we're sorry that we spent time criticizing Exiled at all, because really, we liked the movie just as much as you did, or probably will. With Exiled, Johnnie To has given his faithful fans a gift, complete with bullet-ridded wrapping paper and bloodstained, personally-addressed card. We'd be ungrateful bastards if we didn't enjoy it.
by Kozo- LoveHKFilm.com
This professional review refers to Exiled (Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
Bearing all the marks of a film created as raw entertainment to cleanse the palette after the grim ride of the back to back Election features, Exiled is the much rumored quasi-sequel to The Mission. And let's clear those rumors up right now. While it shares a cast and a similar tone with The Mission the cast here are playing entirely different characters, so Mission-reunion yes, but Mission sequel no.
The film opens with a fist pounding on a door, opened by a run down woman with a baby squalling in the background. "Does Wo live here?" "There's no such person," she replies, clearly lying, and the pair of searchers, ominously well dressed for such a run down neighborhood, move off to a nearby square to wait. Two minutes later and the exact same scenario is played out again with a new pair of searching eyes at the door. They also move to the square to wait and it soon becomes clear that our two pairs are old friends, albeit friends now found on opposite sides. Though now marked by split loyalties, the four hitmen are all childhood friends of Wo, himself an exiled gangster now unwisely returned to Macau on the eve of its return to Chinese control. Realizing the danger their friend is in, the first pair has come to protect him. Ordered by their boss to do so, the second pair has come to kill him.
Where to even begin with what Exiled does well? Let's start with To himself. The film is simply gorgeous to look at, the cinematography just stunning capturing a seemingly endless stream of iconic images. While it is tempting to label it a simple triad-action film, To has much larger designs than that, filling the film with an unusual grace and beauty, a playful sense of humor, and a concern for his characters that run well beyond when they've got their guns in their hands. His approach to the story is strongly reminiscent of Takeshi Kitano's Sonatine at times, albeit a much prettier, much more violent than Sonatine.
Move on to the action. To has a loyal following among Hong Kong action fans for very good reason. He is simply one of the most technically accomplished film makers working in Hong Kong today. You may well think you've seen every possible gunplay option Hong Kong has to offer. To proves you wrong. He does it early, he does it often. There are shots in this film that will leave your jaw on the floor for their sheer inventiveness and style.
Move to the script. When To falters, it is most often a lack of attention to his characters that brings him down. This is not even remotely a problem here. His characters are rich and unique, the motivations run deep, the plot line clever and engaging, while never losing site of the people that drive it. While the film appears to stray from the main thread in the middle going, you soon realize that what To is doing is fleshing out his characters as full-blooded people, and when he easily and masterfully pulls his players back to the main story line it gives the ending that final wallop.
And finally, the cast. Francis Ng. Simon Yam. Lam Suet. Anthony Wong. Nick Cheung. Not only has To assembled the hardest of the Hong Kong hard men for his gangster drama, but every one of them is also a very fine actor in his own right. Upping the ante further is the simple fact that To and his crew have worked with these same actors repeatedly over the years, many of them appearing in several To-helmed films together, which gives them the natural, easy rapport that elevates the proceedings so far above the norm. Smart and crackling with energy though it may be, Exiled feels like nothing so much as a group of old friends getting together to play and having a simply fantastic time while doing it.
Don't mistake the praise here. Exiled is not a serious film in the way Election is a serious film. This is not To making a statement. This is To in full-on entertainment mode, and he succeeds mightily in that regard. Just a little over a year ago, I was well prepared to write To off after a string of films that simply failed to engage whatsoever. But between the Election films and now Exiled, one thing is very clear: Johnnie To is simply the most vital, muscular figure in Hong Kong cinema today and he deserves comparison to the all time greats.
by Todd Brown - Twitchfilm.net
Editor's Pick of "Exiled (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"
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June 16, 2007
Johnnie To manifests his unique gangster film aesthetics to the utmost in Exiled. In terms of manipulating the framing and colors, and depicting the male bonding between the five characters, Exiled can been seen as a showcase of Johnnie To's cinematic style.
The gunfight scenes provide a perfect stage for him to show off his mise-en-scene techniques, embedding the film's explosive tension in graceful actions. The film opens with a gunfight between Wo (Nick Cheung), Blaze (Anthong Wong), and Tai (Francis Ng). Johnnie To carefully arranges their positions to make full use of the depth of field, such that, amidst all the swift actions, they always form a triangle in contrast to the various rectangles - doorframes, furniture, and ultimately, the silver screen. The precarious feeling seems to foretell an outburst at anytime. The scene with our protagonists fighting against Fay (Simon Yam) and Keung (Gordon Lam) in the dome-shaped greenhouse restaurant also makes good use of all the geometric figures in the setting.
The scene at the black market clinic excels in utilizing the contrast between light and dark, and creates rich spatial texture with the old buildings' fire escapes. Various happenings converge in this extremely well-choreographed scene: the transaction between the doctor and the prostitute, two parties urging the doctor to heal the wound of their hitmen, the gunfights between the two parties, etc. The final gunfight scene is just as spectacular. The kicking of an empty can to the middle of the air unveils the battle, but when it reaches the ground, dead bodies are already everywhere. Realistic or otherwise, employment of slow motion and the bird's eye view makes the scene comparable to even the gunfight in John Woo's A Better Tomorrow in terms of aesthetics.
Since A Better Tomorrow, the affectionate yet chivalric male bonding has characterized a generation of Hong Kong gangster film. It returns in Exiled, in a way different from the somewhat homoerotic relationships in gangster films of the 1980s. Scenarios such as cooking a homely dinner and playing by lakeside not only give the audience a rest from the enormous tension at the right time, but also articulate the most innocent friendship that exists only among childhood friends. In the finale, kicking the soft drink can as if children playing football precisely brings up that childhood friendship before they are about to get conquered by the sophisticated and dark triad world.
From the cowboy-like firing by Cat (Roy Cheung) to their runaway to an abandoned quarry which resembles the Midwest landscape, Exiled carries plenty of elements taken from the Western genre. In order to save Wo's wife, our protagonists have prepared to die when they march into the hotel - a moment reminding us of a tournament in a Midwest inn in a Western film. But apart from these heroic moments, Johnnie To also resorts to black humor in deepening the portrayal of their bonding, such as cooking with a bullet-ridden pot and Fat (Lam Suet) telling jokes during their exile.
While the friendship among the five takes center stage in Exiled, the director also attributes each character a distinct personality. Each establishes his own persona: Wo's subtlety, Blaze's fierceness, Tai's slyness, Cat's sobriety, and Fat's rashness. In terms of technique, Exiled can be considered Johnnie To's most proficient film thus far. Let's wait and see if he will have another breakthrough in the future.
Feature articles that mention "Exiled (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"
Customer Review of "Exiled (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: (9)
See all my reviews
December 27, 2009
I dont know what is it about Exiled but everytime I watch it the film is strongly reminisent of Sergio Leone movies.
All of the actors in this film are excellent but I would say the real star of exiled is the director Johnny To.His direction is as smooth as a well-cut suit and the action has a balletic intensity.There is plenty substance here too,with epic themes of standing by your man,protecting your brothers.
The film is also heavy on action and on humour,which feathers several set-pieces so brilliantly filmed that they may well become classics of the genre.
See all my reviews
January 12, 2009
|"Exiled" dazzled me. I was mesmerized by the spectacular choreography of its action set pieces. I was captivated by its nail-biting tension. And I was fascinated by the heartfelt camaraderie of its central characters. A terrific veteran cast, a great director, a suggestive script, and loads of rich Macau atmosphere -- combined with those jaw-dropping shoot-outs make "Exiled" a classic of gangster cinema. Very, very highly recommended.|
See all my reviews
September 26, 2007
|I have no regrets buying this movie. I wouldn't say it is a better movie than The Mission (aka Gunfire) but it is definitely more polished, more beautifully shot and more mature. I buy pretty much anything that has Johnny To's name on it even if he is producing and so far I have not been disappointed. This movie offers a great deal to think about in terms of debt, obligation and what we are worth as human beings. And it offers a glimpse of pretty old Macau.|
See all my reviews
February 14, 2007
|Wo is in Macau with his wife in exile from his former triad gang. 4 members of the gang are dispatched there to kill him. However the members have a big link with Wo and grew up together. This is all taking place at the handover of Macau in 98. They arrive in Macau, and enter the house and botch up the hit. Boss Fay gets angry. Wo says his family and baby need money, so convinces the others to do one last job before he is killed. This is the main plot of the film, and it centres around robbing gold stored under Buddha Mountain. There is not too much dialogue, but some parts don't need much. The whole film is very well acted and all the major actors put in superb performances especially Anthony Wong and Josie Ho. The sound is very good, with gunfire sounding natural. In summary a good heroic bloodshed movie, which all people interested in Hong Kong cinema will love. Definately film of the year in my view and deserved the award it got.|