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Monga (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Ethan Juan (Actor) | Mark Chao (Actor) | Ma Ju Long (Actor) | Alice Ko (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Five youths come of age the hard way in the Taiwanese gangster blockbuster Monga. Beating even Avatar at the local box office in its opening day gross, the youth gang epic takes audiences back to 1980s Taiwan, to a time of rousing fistfights, loud floral shirts, and good old-fashioned brotherhood. Following his award-winning What on Earth Have I Done Wrong, Doze Niu spins his experience as an idol drama director into a big-budget, hot-blooded gangster actioner that's gritty, glossy, and completely entertaining. Television idols Ethan Ruan (Exit No. 6) and Mark Chao (Black & White) lead the cast, with Rhydian Vaughn (Winds of September), former Super Idol contestant Cai Chang Xian, variety show stars Huang Deng Hui and Chen Han Dian, and actress Alice Ke (Miao Miao) rounding out Monga's awry youth. Veteran actor Ma Ju Lung (Cape No. 7) and Doze Niu himself also co-star in the nostalgic gangland drama.

Loner teen Mosquito (Mark Chao) has just moved to Taipei's gang-ridden Monga district, and he gets picked out immediately at school for some roughing up. Dragon (Rhydian Vaughan), the swaggering son of mob boss Geta (Ma Ju Lung), swoops in to save Mosquito and invites him into the "Prince Gang" alongside Monkey (Cai Chang Xian), A-Po (Huang Deng Hui), and Monk (Ethan Ruan), the true brain and brawn of the group. The five friends live it up together amid backalley brawls and brothel excursions, even as they get pulled deeper and deeper into a brewing gang war that threatens to upturn their youth and their brotherhood.

This edition comes with making of, behind-the-scenes, outtakes, and trailer.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Monga (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 艋舺 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 艋舺 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) モンガに散る (艋舺) (香港版) (DVD) Monga (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Ethan Juan (Actor) | Mark Chao (Actor) | Ma Ju Long (Actor) | Alice Ko (Actor) | Jason Wang | Si Man Ning | Lu Yi Ching | Guo Yi Ling | Rhydian Vaughan (Actor) | Zhang Zhong Rui | Emerson Tsai | Frankie Huang | Sun Xiao Ming | Xing Feng | Chen Han Dian | Tang Guo Zhong | Doze Niu (Actor) 阮經天 (Actor) | 趙 又廷 (Actor) | 馬如龍 (Actor) | 柯 佳嬿 (Actor) | 王識賢 | 席曼寧 | 陸弈靜 | 郭怡伶 | 鳳小岳 (Actor) | 張 忠瑞 | 蔡 昌憲 | 黃 鐙輝 | 孫 小明 | 邢 峰 | 陳 漢典 | 唐 國忠 | 鈕承澤 (Actor) 阮经天 (Actor) | 赵 又廷 (Actor) | 马如龙 (Actor) | 柯 佳嬿 (Actor) | 王识贤 | 席曼宁 | 陆弈静 | 郭怡伶 | 凤小岳 (Actor) | 张 忠瑞 | 蔡 昌宪 | 黄 镫辉 | 孙 小明 | 邢 峰 | 陈 汉典 | 唐 国忠 | 钮承泽 (Actor) 阮經天(イーサン・ルアン) (Actor) | 趙又廷 (マーク・チャオ) (Actor) | 馬如龍(マー・ルーロン) (Actor) | 柯佳嬿 (アリス・クー) (Actor) | 王識賢(ワン・シーシェン) | Si Man Ning | Lu Yi Ching | Guo Yi Ling | 鳳小岳 (リディアン・ヴォーン) (Actor) | Zhang Zhong Rui | Emerson Tsai | Frankie Huang | Sun Xiao Ming | Xing Feng | Chen Han Dian | Tang Guo Zhong | 鈕承澤 (ニウ・チェンザー) (Actor) Ethan Juan (Actor) | Mark Chao (Actor) | Ma Ju Long (Actor) | Alice Ko (Actor) | Jason Wang | Si Man Ning | Lu Yi Ching | Guo Yi Ling | Rhydian Vaughan (Actor) | Zhang Zhong Rui | Emerson Tsai | Frankie Huang | Sun Xiao Ming | Xing Feng | Chen Han Dian | Tang Guo Zhong | Doze Niu (Actor)
Director: Doze Niu 鈕承澤 钮承泽 鈕承澤 (ニウ・チェンザー) Doze Niu
Producer: Li Lieh 李烈 李烈 Li Lieh Li Lieh
Release Date: 2010-07-09
Language: Mandarin, Taiwanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Taiwan
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: IIB
Duration: 140 (mins)
Publisher: Mega Star (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1022751666

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Trailer
- Making Of
- Behind The Scenes
- NG Shots

Director: Niu Chen Zer

Mosquito and his fellows learned, in the streets of Monga, there is only one way to survive: be stronger than your enemies.

Mosquito, Monk, Dragon, White Monkey and A-Lan, five teenagers joined "Prince Gang", simple because Mosquito's lunch was snatched on his first day transferred to the high school in Monga, and they are all tired of being bullied. While they enjoy their young gangster lifestyle and ready to take over the streets, the powerful others have casted greedy eyes on the prosperous Monga. The kids just knew nothing about it.

Geta, the boss of one of the gangs in Monga, takes the responsibilities of explaining to the young gangsters the legacy that has been established by the founders of Monga, the fighting for resources and honors and the meaning of brotherhood. What Geta didn't know about, was the storm that was going to destroy all the orders remaining and the last glory of the Old Town Monga. The other gang, the flooding firearms, and new settlements between new forces were going to change his and the Prince Gang's nice little world.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Awards

This film has won 4 award(s) and received 8 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

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

June 29, 2010

You've seen Monga before - but not exactly like this and that makes all the difference. Director Doze Niu's (What on Earth Have I Done Wrong?) youth gang film possesses solid situations and characters, and does a fine job of walking the thin line between glamorizing and criticizing the gang lifestyle. The story does seem familiar, but that's because every culture has their version of the youth gang saga. Sometimes a regional film industry will even produce new versions for successive generations. Well, Monga is the Taiwanese gangster film for the now generation, tapping into nostalgia and nationalism while also representing the country's reinvigorated commercial film industry. Well made and very entertaining, Monga is only a miss if you absolutely abhor this genre. I'm guessing that you don't.

Mark Chao of hit Taiwan drama Black and White stars as Mosquito, a lonely teen who's just moved to Taiwan's Monga (Wanhua) district circa 1986. When bullied by the local toughs - they're after, of all things, the roasted chicken leg in his lunchbox - he fights back instinctively. Mosquito isn't a rebel nor is he trying to upset the status quo - he just dislikes being pushed around. Soon, Mosquito is threatened with a five-on-one beatdown, but he's saved by the intervention of another gang led by the mullet-sporting Dragon Lee (Rhydian Vaughn of Winds of September). Dragon's group is composed of your standard youth gangster types - Monkey is short and a scrappy fighter, A-Po is the dopey comedy relief, and Monk (drama idol Ethan Ruan) is strong, stalwart and easily the most charismatic of the bunch. Together, the five friends form the "Prince Gang", reveling in their newfound camaraderie and the shared joy of running around the streets and getting into fights. It's all so precious.

Monga starts in sharply entertaining style, with smart black comedy, fantastic camerawork (from cinematographer Jake Pollock of The Message), and some lyrical, imagined touches that take place in the mind of neophyte gangster Mosquito. The character serves as the audience's touchstone, introducing the Monga gang life in an engaging manner. Mosquito's attraction to this life is easily understood; he has no father and few friends, and his mother maintains ties with a former mainland boyfriend (director Doze Niu) who Mosquito instinctively dislikes. Getting the audience to buy into Mosquito's character is easy; Mark Chao is innately identifiable, and Ethan Ruan so adeptly inhabits the charismatic (and possibly homosexual) Monk that it's easy to see why Mosquito idolizes him. As Mosquito's scarred love interest, Ke Jia-Yan (Miao Miao) is quietly alluring. For Mosquito and the audience, joining the gang seems like good times all around.

That is, before reality crashes in, sending the boys' idealized life hurtling towards a tragic end. As time passes, Mosquito finds a new parental figure in Dragon's father, ebullient gang boss Geta (Ma Ju-Lung of Cape No. 7), but there may be hell to pay in his growing affiliation to the gang. Director Niu lays the groundwork for that theme in one potent scene - involving a Taiwan-style breakfast, a pair of chopsticks and a severed finger - that wordlessly conveys the black reality of the gangster life. Being a part of jiang hu means establishing a reputation but also making potentially disastrous mistakes. The Prince Gang inadvertently plants seeds for later grudges, while also uncovering older, hidden secrets that could be more dangerous than anything they cause themselves. These plot points don't deviate from expected genre clichés, but the human emotions strike the proper chords. Who hasn't been young, flawed, and looking to belong? Surely most of us, and in those themes, Monga easily affects.

Monga sputters a bit when it enters its third act. Some narrative points are predictable and labored, and the film runs a bit too long at two hours plus. Still, by the time Monga trends towards convention, the film has earned the goodwill to satisfy and even impress. The Wanhua District setting helps; the storied location is home to Taipei's oldest temple, possesses numerous bustling night markets, and was formerly the city's red light district. Monga gives the district a distinct personality, making it the perfect cultural backdrop for these familiar characters and their well-worn struggles. Honor, friendship, family, loyalty and brotherhood - these themes are incredibly common for this genre, but Monga allows them the appearance of freshness. Perhaps after the third or fourth iteration of this new style Taiwan gangster film, Monga won't impress as greatly. Right now, however, Monga sharply and entertainingly gives audiences something that feels like a discovery. It's a pretty good feeling.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

Editor's Pick of "Monga (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Picked By Sanwei
See all this editor's picks


August 31, 2010

The Gangs of Taipei
I consider Doze Niu to be something of an auteur among idol drama directors. The label is admittedly overgenerous, but if there's any idol drama director who's managed to take what seems like populist fluff and make it modern and meaningful, it would be Niu. Unlike Tsai Yueh Hsun who accomplished more by tackling bigger stories and settings, Niu stuck in the idol staple of romance. His Toast Boy's Kiss, Come To My Place, Say Yes Enterprise, and Wayward Kenting, however, are not your usual manga-based confections, but distinctive, disarming stories of love and loss that challenge the genre with details and deliberation, while also keeping the target audience in mind even during the detours. Niu manages that same balance of self-indulgent details and audience-centric appeal in his entertaining gangland picture Monga.

While Niu's self-referential first feature What On Earth Have I Done Wrong?! was an offbeat festival offering, he goes completely and fabulously commercial for his second film Monga. The coming-of-age gangster film set in 1980s Taipei was a huge box office hit in Taiwan, and it's easy to see why. Monga brings idol drama stars Mark Chao and Ethan Ruan to the big screen for hard knocks, fast times, flashy shirts, cheesy pop, and epic brotherhood melodrama that, much like the Hong Kong triad classic Young and Dangerous, drives in the message that the gangsta's life is only glorious if you don't sit to the end of the film.
 
In case the above description isn't already a give-away, Monga is not exactly an authentic discourse on Taiwan gangs. Mark Chao, Ethan Ruan, and Tom Cruise lookalike Rhydian Vaughan are far too handsome to be real gangsters (or real people, for that matter), and they rather glaringly speak in Mandarin instead of Taiwanese for most of the film. The casting of variety show funnymen Chen Han Dian and Huang Deng Hui is even more of a stretch for local audiences who are all too familiar with their comedic images. There's also this wonderful part in the film where the budding gangsters are taken up to the mountains for gangster boot camp where they learn how to master traditional weapons; I'm sure that happens in real life.
 
Monga is undoubtedly an idol drama take on a gangster movie, but it's a Doze Niu idol drama take on a gangster movie, and that makes a world of difference. His young cast might have never roughed and toughed through the swaggering eighties, but Niu has, and he embellishes the era and the experience with proud "taike" flair. Monga is teeming with life and local flavor most apparent in its namesake setting, the colorful Wanhua district with the temple at its center. The film captures a moment in time in its nostalgic recreation of a sleepless Monga filled with hustle and bustle, and competing gangs carving terrain from block to block. The young and confused upstart punks portrayed by Chao, Ruan, and company are part of that exhilarative time and place, as are the fiery yet fatherly boss brilliantly embodied by Ma Ju Lung and the Mainland mobster who speaks softly and carries a big stick, aptly played by Niu himself.

Niu supposedly brought his stars out to meet and mingle with actual gangsters so they would have a better idea of the world their characters occupy. As seen in Monga, that gangster's world is apparently one of violence, vanity, and vitality, of men in love and women in need, brutal bloodshed and innocence lost. Most harrowingly, it's also an unabashedly sentimental world in which the best of brothers can fall to the worst of betrayals, but at least everyone looks pretty in the process.
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.

Customer Review of "Monga (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)

Scotty Mac
See all my reviews


February 22, 2011

1 people found this review helpful

The 5 Princes Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
What a great ensemble cast! I know Ethan Ruan has received a lot of attention for his work in this movie but I found Mark Chao to be equally as good. And rounding out the cast of the 5 major characters in the film, is Rhydian Vaughan, Cai Changxian (who by the way I love from his Super Idol days), and Huang Denghui. There is nothing special about the gangster storyline, you already know what is going to happen before it's even half over. But what makes this movie standout is the development and journey of the 5 Prince Gang members. You really experience and understand why guys join gangs in the first place and that is for the acceptance and belonging that they didn't get at home or in society. The cast did a great job of making their characters likeable and then the bonding that went on between them made me invest a lot in them which made the turn of events so much more enjoyable and/or painful. The one thing I have found about Taiwanese films is that they never seem judgmental or biased towards one point of view over another, they just present the facts of the story and leave it entirely up to you to form your own opinions. One thing I really got a kick out of in the film was the dance number which was completely appropriate for the scene and really worked for me. One negative to the movie was that they made the 5 high school students which I never bought since they are all obviously adult males but thankfully the story moved quickly away from them being seen at school.

One major subtext, or maybe it was more overt I don’t know, is the gayness of probably more than one of the characters. I read one professional revue that thought Monk was possibly gay but I really thought that Mosquito could have been as well as Grey Wolf, especially after the scene where he shows up with his boys who lustingly look Mosquito up and down. If that was the intent of the writer that would explain some of the storyline. And if I hadn’t seen the last NG/outtakes scene on the added features I probably would have thought I was crazy to think this but… I don’t think it’s really an outtake but the boys being boys. It’s the character of Monkey on his back with Dragon (with his underwear on) sitting on top of him riding him simulating gay sex when all of a sudden in English the guys off screen say “Monga…coming soon.” It was definitely meant as a sexual innuendo but since no profanity is allowed in reviews I will leave it at that.
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