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Re-Cycle (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) VCD

Angelica Lee (Actor) | Lawrence Chou (Actor) | Lau Siu Ming (Actor) | Rain Li (Actor)
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Re-Cycle (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (2)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.7 out of 10 (7)

YesAsia Editorial Description

The Pang brothers return with another horror movie Re-Cycle which closed Cannes Film Festival's "Un Certain Regard" section. This visually impressive piece stars Angelica Lee who first worked with the Pang brothers in The Eye. She plays a popular author who falls into a eerily beautiful world when writing a supernatural thriller. The Pang brothers employ new CG technologies to create abandoned slums which resemble Hong Kong's long-forgotten demolished walled city, imagined color-drained hills and forests, and a suffocating tunnel with embryos hanging from above. The first half of the film delivers plenty of suspense in the same style as other Pang brothers' film. However, the second half of Re-Cycle, mostly an RPG-like adventure, innovatively weaves into the exquisite setting a sense of spookiness.

Angelica Lee is Ting-yin, a popular author who is stuck with her writing and keeps discarding her ideas. She starts to sense her apartment being haunted. When she steps out of her building, she arrives in a mysterious world where she comes across characters she has created and abandoned. An old man (Lau Siu Ming) tells her that she must go to "The Transit" to leave this place, and a little girl (Tsang Nga Kei) accompanies her to go through one desolate world to another in this inexplicable space... The film concludes with a surprising twist which one will appreciate if he or she follows the clever plot closely.

The sophisticated narrative structure, which at times mixes fiction and reality, makes the film more interesting than what is expected from a normal horror film. Thematically speaking, the attraction of Re-Cycle lies in the notion of abandonment. Ideas discarded and memories forgotten, no matter by an individual or a community, will return to haunt you.

© 2006-2024 Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Technical Information

Product Title: Re-Cycle (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) 鬼域 (香港版) 鬼域 (香港版) リサイクル/死界 (鬼域) (香港版) Re-Cycle (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Angelica Lee (Actor) | Lawrence Chou (Actor) | Lau Siu Ming (Actor) | Rain Li (Actor) 李心潔 (Actor) | 周 俊偉 (Actor) | 劉兆銘 (Actor) | 李彩樺 (Actor) 李心洁 (Actor) | 周 俊伟 (Actor) | 刘兆铭 (Actor) | 李彩华 (又名: 李彩桦) (Actor) 李心潔(アンジェリカ・リー) (Actor) | 周俊偉(ローレンス・チョウ) (Actor) | 劉兆銘(ラウ・シウミン) (Actor) | 李彩樺(レイン・リー) (Actor) Angelica Lee (Actor) | Lawrence Chou (Actor) | Lau Siu Ming (Actor) | Rain Li (Actor)
Director: Danny Pang | Oxide Pang | Pang Brothers 彭發 | 彭順 | 彭氏兄弟 彭 发 | 彭 顺 | Pang Brothers 彭發 (ダニー・パン) | 彭順(オキサイド・パン) | 彭氏兄弟 (パン・ブラザーズ) Danny Pang | Oxide Pang | Pang Brothers
Release Date: 2006-09-01
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Disc Format(s): VCD
Rating: IIB
Publisher: Universe Laser (HK)
Other Information: 2VCDs
Package Weight: 110 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004484929

Product Information

導演︰彭氏兄弟 (彭順、彭發)
Director: Pang Brothers (Oxide Pang, Danny Pang)

  一切被遺棄的,將在另一空間再次靈現! 一個年青新晉作家徐尋,第一部愛情小說已令她成為當紅作家,她在小說所展現的愛情描寫,感動了每一位讀者。在一次書展中,她公佈了下一個著作計劃,一本探討靈異世界的小說,書名名為─鬼域!所有讀者都期待「鬼域」的面世,因為每人都相信,以她的文筆,定必能虛構出一個如幻如真的空間,再次讓讀者投入引人入勝的「凶間」。


  The first novel of a young woman writer, Ting-yin, pen-named Chu Xun (LEE Sinje), has become the bestseller in South East Asia. Her novel is a love story that touches the hearts of all her readers...

  The film opens with Ting-yin starting work on the Recycle. After drafting a chapter, she stops. She even deletes the file which contains the draft from her computer... Later, she begins to see weird things. Some of the phenomenon cannot be explained.

  Ting-yin feels that the supernatural events depicted in her fictional work begin to unfold in the real world! Ting-yin finds it increasingly hard to tell what is real and what is imaginary...
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This film has won 2 award(s) and received 5 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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Professional Review of "Re-Cycle (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

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August 14, 2006

Re-Cycle is the latest effort from Hong Kong 's dynamic directing duo Danny and Oxide Pang. The film screened at the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival, closing the "Un Certain Regard", marking the growing international recognition of the talented twins. Although Re-Cycle sees them sticking with the supernatural, the film is quite difficult to categorise, being less actual horror, and more dark, hallucinogenic karmic fantasy. In this way, it certainly comes as a breath of fresh air in a genre still sadly overcrowded by the increasingly tired looking long-haired female ghost.

The film follows Ting-yin (actress Angelica Lee, who previously worked with the Pangs on their classic horror The Eye), a popular novelist who decides that her latest book will be a supernatural work. Unfortunately, she finds herself unable to focus, and keeps discarding ideas, crumpling up pages of writing and throwing them in the bin. At the same time, her life is thrown into turmoil both by the reappearance of an old boyfriend and by the fact that she starts to suspect that her apartment is haunted. Bizarrely, when she leaves her building one day she steps out not onto the streets she knows, but into a strange, decaying world populated by threatening ghostly figures. Aided by an old man and a young girl, Ting-yin desperately tries to find 'The Transit', which is apparently her only way out of the surreal nightmare.

Re-Cycle is very obviously a Pang Brothers' film, shot through with their strong visual style, though thankfully here they have toned down the fast editing and dizzying camera work for which they have become known. Indeed, the first third of the film, which is set mainly in Ting-yin's apartment and feature the usual half-seen ghosts and rampant long black hair appearing in sinks, could have been lifted straight from The Eye or either of its sequels. Although these early scenes are reasonably suspenseful, mostly due to the use of sudden blasts of electronic music, they are depressingly familiar, and it is fair to say that the film gets off to a less than promising start.

Thankfully, as soon as Ting-yin is sucked into the other world, things improve immeasurably, and Re-Cycle emerges as the most startlingly creative genre film to have come from Hong Kong in some time. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous, with the Pangs letting their imaginations run wild and displaying a wonderful eye for detail. The film features countless stunning images, including forests of corpses and rusting fairgrounds, all of which are brought to life by excellent CGI work, and the film is one of the few which actually makes good use of the technology. The visuals are not merely decorative, but are used for a number of thrilling set pieces as well as for their thematic value, with most of them being overtly symbolic.

Aside from a few effective jolts, there is not too much in the way of actual horror, and the film works more as a journey into the unknown as, like the protagonist, the viewer is immediately immersed and disorientated by the ever-shifting world, with little clue about what will happen next. Despite this, the Pangs do hold true to their basic central premise and never wander off into self-indulgence, although the film is clearly driven by themes rather than narrative logic, and they are not too concerned with the whys or wherefores of the situation. The film sticks to their usual concerns of karma and reincarnation, but this time focuses on abandonment and loneliness, although this only becomes clear towards the latter stages of the protagonist's travels.

Inevitably, Re-Cycle walks a fine line between style and substance, and it essentially functions as an elaborate ghost train fairground ride. Ting-yin, who is the only real character as such, is rather thinly drawn. Although she is the viewer's eyes and ears in the strange fantasy world, she is never fleshed out beyond a few basic attempts at generating sympathy in the film's early stages. This does mean that the ending lacks the kind of emotional impact for which the Pangs are obviously aiming, and that the film as a whole is rather distant aside from a vague feeling of sadness.

However, this criticism is easily forgiven in the face of the tedium which has come to categorise Hong Kong horror in recent years, and Re-Cycle stands as one of the genre's best, indeed from any Asian country for some time. Artistically stunning and showing an amazing ingenuity, it confirms the Pangs as amongst the most interesting directors working in cinema today.

by James Mudge -

August 9, 2006

This professional review refers to Re-Cycle (Special Edition DVD+Gift Set) (Hong Kong Version)
The Pang Brothers aren't dead, but after their most recent horror films one may be forgiven for thinking so. The Eye 2 felt somewhat light and The Eye 10 was a curious and even silly misfire. The twin brothers still displayed their ace ability to create cinema tension, but there seemed to be nothing beyond the cinematic anticipation. That trend looks to continue with Re-cycle, as the first half of the film seems to be a repeat of their celebrated tricks. The pulse-pounding soundtrack, slow-moving reveals, and tense buildup feel like The Eye redux, but thankfully the brothers pull something else out of their sleeve. The result may confound as many people as it intrigues, but at least this feels like a step in the right direction for the Pang Brothers. The presence of Angelica Lee only seals the deal.

Lee plays Tsui Ting-Yin, a popular author whose last three romantic novels have just been adapted into a new film. Her agent (Lawrence Chou in a small role) has already announced that her new book will be a supernatural thriller called "The Re-cycle". Sadly, Ting-Yin is stuck with her writing, and discards many of her ideas soon after she imagines them. At the same time, she has personal issues: a former love - and an inspiration for her successful romance novels - has resurfaced, but she shuts him out, choosing to bury herself in her work instead. But strange things begin occurring to Ting-Yin. She finds long strands of someone else's hair littered about her flat, she begins receiving odd static-filled phone calls, and she even spots a strange red-colored rift in the sky pulling debris into it. At a dinner with pal Rain Li, it's suggested that all these strange phenomena may simply be a product of Ting-Yin's overactive imagination, which is a reasonable idea given her current difficulties writing a horror novel.

Before long, the mysterious events begin to pile up - and then Alice travels through the looking glass. Ting-Yin crosses over into a mysterious fantasy world defined by lurid colors, desolate production design, and bodies falling from the skies. Multiple worlds lay before her - abandoned buildings with bottomless stairwells, color-drained hills beneath ashen-colored skies, corpse-filled forests stripped of green and yellow, a junkyard of oversized forgotten toys. Ting-Yin finds herself wandering from one desolate world to the next, each time being pursued by shadowy creatures and scads of blackened undead. How exactly did Ting-Yin end up in this place, and more importantly, how is she going to get out?

Re-cycle is fun for attentive filmgoers because of its heavy foreshadowing; every single detail given, from dialogue to visuals to whole scenes plays a purpose. This shows thought on the part of the Pang Brothers, which is a rarity for filmmakers currently working in Hong Kong. However, while the screenwriting is thoughtful, it also serves to make the film predictable. At a certain point, it becomes obvious what will happen to Ting-Yin simply because it's mentioned somewhere else first - and in case you forgot, the Pangs use flashbacks to remind you. The only time this doesn't occur is during a pivotal moment near the film's climax, which likely occurs because the Pang Brothers feared they would give away one of the film's biggest reveals. Nice try, but even that pivotal plot point is rather predictable. Re-cycle features some heady ideas, but it's laid out so efficiently that even the most supposedly surprising details can be easily guessed.

Still, the predictability doesn't detract from the overall ride, which is as involving as one would expect - and hope for - from the Pang Brothers. The first half of the film, which chronicles Ting-Yin's growing unease and initial foray into the other world, is vintage Pang Brothers. By now, the image of slow-moving portents of horror coupled with a thundering-drums soundtrack isn't really that scary, but it can still generate plenty of suspense. The Pangs change up their technique effectively too; slow buildups are alternated with pulse-quickening chase sequences, and the sudden shock scares are used sparingly. The other world is rendered with impressive detail, each new world possessing imagery that's alternately beautiful, immersing and horrible. Some of the details are sometimes so over the top that they may appear more funny than scary (the sheer fakery of the pursuing ghouls prevents them from being that frightening), but the atmosphere is more than enough to compensate. Once you get what's going on, Re-cycle can prove quite engrossing.

The film doesn't always click, though. The actual logic of Ting-Yin's brush with the supernatural is explained in an explicit fashion - and even then there are lingering questions. Once in the other world, Ting-Yin befriends a knowledgeable old man (Lau Siu-Ming), who gives her some pointers on making it to "The Transit", i.e. the place where she can return to her own world. At times the other world follows the logic laid out in the exposition, and at other times it starts to feel arbitrary. The Pang Brothers exercise their imagination in creating the other world, but sometimes it seems as if they're just using the screen as a canvas for whatever horrific images they can come up with. It's never clear who all the entities are that chase Ting-Yin, and after a while her journey becomes more plodding than organic. In getting to The Transit, Ting-Yin must cross a number of worlds with specific challenges. The multiple worlds sometimes provide interesting answers to Ting-Yin's questions, but at other times they seem to exist like levels in a video game - each coming complete with a "puzzle" that must be solved before Ting-Yin can move on. It's still involving, but also somewhat transparent in its manufactured action.

Still, there is a cause and effect behind Re-cycle, and the emotions created resonate effectively. Part of this is due to the film's themes, which manage more emotion than the past two Eye films did. Ting-Yin has a real connection to this other world, and though the facts are doled out in an unsurprising and even predictable manner, they seem very felt. Angelica Lee turns in a remarkable performance, made all the more impressive when you consider that for the majority of the film she's basically acting against nothing. For Lee, Re-cycle is basically one big reaction shot, and the actress is never less than convincing. At the same time, she brings weight to the film's more emotional scenes, and appears to give her character a tangible inner life. If Re-cycle succeeds at all, Lee is a very, very large reason why.

Re-cycle does end on a final moment that could leave many in the audience momentarily scratching their heads. The Pangs take great pains to lay down their logic and their rules, and they frequently do so in a way that seems to talk down to their audience. Ting-Yin's understanding is frequently complemented by flashbacks or quick exposition, such that the audience is basically spoon-fed everything throughout the course of the film. Throwing an extra twist out there at the end only serves to confuse things. Still, if one were to follow Re-cycle's logic to its bitter end, then the film's final moments do make sense. The whole may not feel that substantial, but the ending does give the film that final talking point that makes it much more discussion-worthy than the Pangs' past two efforts. And hey, in these quality-starved times, anything that gets people talking can't be all that bad. Re-cycle shows that The Pangs still have the ability to involve and excite as few filmmakers working in Hong Kong do anymore. And again, having Angelica Lee star seals the deal.

by Kozo -

June 30, 2006

This professional review refers to Re-Cycle (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Just as a certain satirical spy film reminded us to "remember the henchmen", the Pang Brothers return and ask us to think of ideas otherwise discarded. If a writer can breathe life and soul into a character and a world, what happens when they throw an idea away? Can an author be haunted by creations otherwise left undeveloped and what responsibility does a creator have to their creations?

Re-cycle is the Pang Brothers' return to solid horror after their dubious The Eye sequels. Unlike The Eye films which are set firmly within our world, but slightly removed into the realm where ghosts move unseen to the rest of us, Re-cycle takes us into a land completely alien to the mundane - a fictional land made up from the mind of a fictional character. As is the trope of these stories, such a journey through this wonderland brings insight into the everyday world, just as the journey is fraught with the strange, the beautiful and the dangerous.

There's a nice irreverent sensibility to the introduction of the land of the dead. Being a land of not only ghosts but also discarded ideas, the visual background is richly populated with dilapidated versions of underdeveloped ideas and the just plain cool. It is almost as if every dumb idea the Pang Brothers or the production crew have ever had found its way on screen and were given a new (if entropic) lease on life.

The thrills in the film rarely occur outside of the introduction to Ting Ying in the beginning. Even in this introduction, the thrills vary little more than the stock standard sudden faces and silhouettes in reflection and through smoked glass, supported by eerie music intentionally used to create tension. It is used much more effectively when she first walks through the alleyways of what we otherwise think to be purely the Deadlands and the atmosphere is of being hunted rather than haunted. There's a certain ickiness involved with the land of aborted babies, but when passing through the land of the discarded, it can hardly be avoided.

After a luscious introduction into the world, the majority of the journey is comparatively lackluster and certain scenes feel like filler when zombies and funerary rites are introduced. It is almost as if we needed reminders that this is a journey through the land of the dead or that our protagonists need to meet certain quest requirements (Take OBJECT. Use OBJECT on MONSTER HORDE) before achieving their final goal. The revelation itself is also somewhat telegraphed though it is worthwhile sticking around for the final plot twist.

In the end Re-cycle is an enjoyable enough film with some very luscious scenes in which, ironically enough, much life is breathed into the land of the dead. The Pang Brothers certainly seem to have fun creating a world populated with the unfleshed, no to mention the two-dimensional and the purely derivative. As long you can get in on the joke, the fun communicates through.

7.5 Rusty Amusement Rides out of 10

by Eugene Chan -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "Re-Cycle (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (2)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.7 out of 10 (7)

Kevin Kennedy
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August 21, 2014

This customer review refers to Re-Cycle (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

A journey through the looking glass Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
In the Pang Brothers' film "Re-Cycle", Angelica Lee plays Ting Yin, a successful novelist who is struggling with the writing of her new semi-autobiographical story and dealing with seemingly supernatural phenomena in her apartment. Compounding her confusion is a former boyfriend who seeks to return to her affections. The Pangs spice up the movie's early scenes with all of the tricks of the horror filmmakers' trade: jarring music, blurry images, shapes moving in the background, odd sound effects. The viewer begins to wonder whether Ting Yin's apartment is haunted or whether she simply is losing her grip on reality.

When she leaves her apartment and steps into her building's elevator, she also steps through the proverbial looking glass into a bizarre and frightening dreamlike world filled with abandoned people, things, and ideas. Ting Yin needs to keep on the run in order to avoid being 'eroded' into nonexistence. She proceeds with the help first of an elderly guide (Lau Siu Ming), then with the aid of a nameless little girl (Zeng Yaqi) whom Ting Yin chooses to dub Ting Yu. This journey through the abandoned yields some striking imagery, but comes to feel directionless and manipulative until Ting Yin enters what appears to be a giant womb filled with aborted babies.

It is at this point that we begin to learn how the pieces of the film fit together. After emerging from the womb, Ting Yin begins her journey out of this looking glass world and back to reality and, in the course of doing so, discovers her true relation to little Ting Yu. What had seemed aimless wandering through a nightmarish world becomes both powerful and poignant.

The Pang Brothers, with "Re-Cycle", have created one of the most powerful anti-abortion movies I've seen. Kudos to them for their courage in producing such a film and their artistry in delivering their message in a way which never seems didactic or schematic. Wide-eyed Angelica Lee proves to be the perfect pilgrim for this pungent journey.
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December 25, 2009

This customer review refers to Re-Cycle (DTS Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
An OK Film Customer Review Rated Bad 4 - 4 out of 10
To tell you the truth Re-Cycle (in my opinion) is 70% good and 30% dissapointing.I think the Pang brothers put good effort in making a average horror with spooky visual effects and make up.The lead actress is also very good (except when she starts crying when she realises that the little girl is in fact her daughter).

The films theme is a little bit similar to Alice in Wonderland and the 1998 horror Japanese classic Ring but I would say that the horror in this one dont build up natuarlly from the developing of a logical primise.

An average horror film.
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April 18, 2008

This customer review refers to Re-Cycle (DTS Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

rE-cYclE Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
For the Pang Bros, "Re-cycle" must be (so far) the most lavish production they have made yet, aside to the final scenes of "The Eye", and certainly a film with creditable aspects. "Re-cycle" is another trek into the brother's dark worlds (they seem to excel when together, don't they), and although this film is derivative, its certainly interesting if only for the twisted fantasia journey you'll get from it. "Re-cycle", though, isn't exactly a scary title in itself reflecting, the horror of the tale, but more a warning to the grimness of the film's premise. The 'horror' in all of this regards human waste, cast offs or neglect of various kinds - the wider social sense of modern living, pollution and consumable excess. But mainly the personally discarded; memories, experiences, love, God, regrets - that can all be cast out as needless aspects of the soul, and all in the blink eye. So the decayed city, city of books, lost babies in "Re-cycle" are abstract manifestations (as symbols) that have been thrust into a anachronistic dumping ground hell of Ting Yin's making (but she's forgotten all about it). But the title "Re-cycle", ironically, becomes the way out of it all, as Ting Yin experiences and faces the dross of her forgotten past, that she discarded behind a dark veil beyond superficial life - and re-news herself through this 'dark reflective world' she treks through. A re-birth of sorts. In tandem to that, too, certainly the Pang Bothers had been playing the ultra disturbing video game "Silent Hill 4 : The Room", concerning aspects of this film. "Re-cycle" plays out like a video game, and the "Silent Hill" and American McGee's "Alice" video games, relate to "Re-cycle's" dark looking glass and decayed grim parallel worlds, that Ting Yin finds herself in. Some of the deleted scenes also reflect the Silent Hill 4 influence by one piece of music used and the "Chasing in the City" scene. But with one great influence onto another, this can only be a good thing!

"Re-cycle" certainly has impressive visual effects (great CGI). The haunting beginnings with Chu Xun typing out her novel in that errie ghostly green raise the atmos to start things off, with the addition of a long haired ghost in wisps of her blurred presence. But its the 're-cycle worlds' where the effects really kick in. Like the mass of falling bodies from a dark grey sky (the fall?) to the ground, to suddenly and simultaneously rise up again - is effectively surreal. An overhead swinging fun fair wheel moves silently and sweepingly over a wide perspective over Ting Yin's head, and the floating ghosts that chase her through the dread city. The Dawn of the Dead type motifs, though, by the lost souls in Ting Yin's forgotten playground, are a bit too cliche, - and if these zombie aspects had been reflected more imaginatively to the disturbingly dread surroundings, would have heightened the film's appeal. These 'dead' are a bit to repetitive and pedantic in becomingly reflectively satirical, to what should have been more genuinely effective and scary. (But I think the Pang Brothers are a bit tongue in cheek anyway, though).

Although that relates to Sinje Lee's main protagonist Ting Yin, her real self is Chu Xun - an authoress who writes popular novels. Chu Xun, who by writing her new supernatural novel called "Re-cycle" alone in her apartment, creates a Doppelganger character named Ting Yin, who becomes the lost soul within this pseudo reflected and surreal hell of her Re-cycle novel. Chu Xun needing for creative inspiration to complete her book for a deadline publishing date (as she discards much of her writing), soon gets unusual experiences. Her character Ting Yin as long hair, and is supposed to be a part of herself, which Chu Xun explains at a book presentation press conference. And has she begins to type out her novel in her apartment in isolation, apparitions of Ting Yin's character seem to appear in Chu Xun's room. Chu Xun gets ever more spooked by the unreal, as she finds long black hair strands around her room, and a blurred ghost which becomes the odd inspiration for her novel. These manifestations trigger Chu Xun's 'other world' to gradually manifest around her. Soon she goes out of her apartment and is sucked into a parallel and grotesque dead world of her own forgotten memories - a repository of cast off things and people.

Chu Xun then (or Ting Yin), similar to Dante's Hell Inferno, traverses a dark poisoned world of numerous hell zones or levels (similar to computer game worlds) and moving from one to the next , as she tries to find her way back to the 'real' world of her apartment. She meets an old man, who seems to be her grandfather, who tells her that she has become trapped inside her own thrown away memories, and that her "Re-cycle" novel she is writing, as provoked the doorway into this realm. Everything Chu Xun has ever thrown away in her life (even books and pages of her novels) resides here in the worst ever re-cycle bin. Chu Xun also meets a little girl who assists her though the many 'worlds' : the Playground of the Damned, Forest of Hang, Ghosts Bridge, Embryo Tunnel etc., all like levels of a video game, so that she can get through them and find her way back, like Alice in the looking glass, back to her room.

Mainly, "Re-cycle" is played out like a dark set of dream sequences, with Chu Xun/Ting Yin traveling from one crazy world to another, locating 'gates' to move on the the next zone/level - entering firstly a decayed and desolate city that is butted together like chaotic twisted metal and onwards through shadowy and haunting worlds of people and things dropped from Chu Xun's life, producing souls devoid of 'life' and 'substance' and inanimate things. Like the Embryo Tunnel of aborted babies and the City of Books, where a mass of piled high books represent high consumption or neglect into material waste, if unread. These cast out things, though, relate more to Chu Xun's soul and emotion, than mere forgotten things. Its through Ting Yin's 'ghost emotion' of seeing the things in life she had thrown away, that starts to re-new her soul and realization of what was more important to her. Sinje Lee mentions herself in an interview on the bonus disk, how easy it can be in modern life to cast things aside - certainly clothes and consumables, but also friends and fellow people in the need to re-new things on a daily basis. Re-cycled food. Re-cycled clothes. Re-cycled friends. All eventually isolating the person into the room that Chu Xun finds herself writing her novel in - having discarded cherishing parts of her life into the abyss of the "Re-cycle" world.

This film's themes certainly could have elaborated on what is being said in all of this. "Re-cycle" is far more a visual feast and a roller coaster ride in a nightmare world of computer graphics, than musings about pollution, climate change and fast food relationships. It hints at the substance, though, but you have to think about it all on top of the film's premise, after watching. Like all movies, there is something relevant to glean from it. Even rubbish itself speaks volumes (the pearl in the oyster) and "Re-cycle", (no, its not rubbish) altough less of an intellectual exercise, can provoke other works and cinema with its themes and ideas.

Sinje Lee is wonderful in this second ghostly role for her again with Danny and Oxide, and I hope maybe she does a third one sometime. "The Third Eye of the Re-cycle Mirrors", maybe...yes, I'll shut up!

Apparently "Re-cycle" is to be given a Hollywood version in the near future, although I hope that the original (like many other Asia movies) isn't superimposed upon and 'forgotten' by this remake. Although by "Re-cycle" getting the re-cycle treatment with a new version is a way to showing that nothing is ever really forgotten. Like matter transforming into another form of energy, it continues onwards.

This 2 x DVD set is great! The disks are R3, but loaded full of Chinese / English subtitles to everything on these two DVDs, even the commentaries. So you can get a good 100% from this one. Also, there are two art booklets showing the various zones from the film. Recommended for its visual splendor no doubt, but also for some of its reflections and ideas, and for those who have enjoyed the Silent Hill series, this could be an interesting addition.
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Kevin Kennedy
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September 10, 2007

This customer review refers to Re-Cycle (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Empty visual gimmickry Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
"The Eye" seeks to be a horror version of Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" or perhaps Hiyao Miyazawa's "Spirited Away". It tells of a novelist who is writing a supernatural tale, but is battling writer's block induced by pressure she feels from her publisher.

Lee Sinje is the perfect heroine for this kind of a movie. Her big-eyed, waif-like beauty draws the viewer into her world. However, unlike in "The Eye", in this film the Pang Brothers don't let the horror build naturally from the developing of a logical premise. Instead, here the horror elements pop up immediately and build in a manner that seem much too manipulative and forced. We quickly leave all reality behind and "Re-Cycle" devolves into a plotless journey through a funhouse world.

The Pang Brothers get to display their skills with visual wizardry and spooky music, but, with no real story to tell, the movie becomes numbing, like watching an unending, non-interactive video game. I can't recommend "Re-Cycle"; Lee Sinje deserves better.
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November 4, 2006

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Film belongs to Angelica Lee Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
As one of the best actresses (if not the best) working in the Hong Kong film industry, Angelica Lee takes what could have been a potential doozy of a movie and elevates it above most other Asian thrillers in recent memory thanks to her beautifully restrained emotions and complete understanding of her character.

Off to a slow start on her new book titled The Re-Cycle, writer Ting-Yin is bothered by the appearances of an ex-flame and a rather spooky apparition floating around her apartment. As she begins to realize that the things she is writing are happening in reality (or vice versa), she is transported to a mysterious world upon leaving her apartment - a world filled with all things and people discarded and abandoned.

The Pang Brothers are back in rare form with this film, using a combination of unforced emotions, controlled pacing, and fantastic visuals. The world of Re-Cycle is amazing to behold, with both fear and awe elicited through the film's beautiful distortions. This is not a true horror film by any means, but its heartbreaking themes of isolation, selfishness, and loneliness will resonate with anyone, because in the end, what's truly scary is us and our own thoughts and actions.
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