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The Message (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Li Bing Bing (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Huang Xiao Ming (Actor) | Zhang Han Yu (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Directed by Chen Kuo Fu (Double Vision) and produced by Feng Xiaogang, The Message sends out the spies and the stars for a stellar wartime suspense thriller. Set in 1942 Nanjing when parts of China were under Japanese control, the beautifully shot blockbuster rounds together acclaimed actor Zhang Hanyu (Assembly), Taiwan star Alec Su, and top actresses Zhou Xun and Li Bingbing, who are both nominated for Best Actress at the 46th Golden Horse Awards, to play suspected freedom fighters caught in a cruel closed-room battle of wits. Huang Xiaoming (The Sniper) makes a steely turn as a Japanese general desperate to sniff out the spy. Navigating bloody twists and psychological turns with visual flair, The Message keeps viewers at the edge of the seat with compelling character drama and an escalating cat-and-mouse game of national urgency.

Deep in the Japanese counter-insurgency office, there's a spy codenamed Phantom who's been passing information to the Chinese Resistance. Japanese colonel Takeda (Huang Xiaoming) has narrowed the suspects down to five people who saw the false intelligence he circulated as a trap: brusque general Wu (Zhang Hanyu), effeminate lieutanent Bai (Alec Su), portly administrator Jin (Ying Da), codebreaker Li (Li Bingbing), and sassy telegraph operator Gu (Zhou Xun). With his name resting on the investigation, Takeda transports the five suspects to an outskirt castle, and sets them against each other. Phantom is racing against time to get news about the false intelligence to the Resistance, but Takeda will stop at nothing to torture the truth out of them.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Message (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 風聲 (DVD) (香港版) 风声 (DVD) (香港版) 風聲 (香港版) The Message (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Li Bing Bing (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Huang Xiao Ming (Actor) | Zhang Han Yu (Actor) | Wang Zhi Wen (Actor) | Alec Su (Actor) | Zhu Xu (Actor) | Liu Wei (Actor) | Ying Da (Actor) | Wu Gang (Actor) | Duan Yi Hong (Actor) | Tim Yip 李冰冰 (Actor) | 周迅 (Actor) | 黃曉明 (Actor) | 張涵予 (Actor) | 王 志文 (Actor) | 蘇有朋 (Actor) | 朱旭 (Actor) | 劉威 (Actor) | 英達 (Actor) | 吳剛 (Actor) | 段奕宏 (Actor) | 葉錦添 李冰冰 (Actor) | 周迅 (Actor) | 黄 晓明 (Actor) | 张涵予 (Actor) | 王 志文 (Actor) | 苏有朋 (Actor) | 朱旭 (Actor) | 刘威 (Actor) | 英达 (Actor) | 吴刚 (Actor) | 段奕宏 (Actor) | 叶锦添 李冰冰(リー・ビンビン) (Actor) | 周迅 (ジョウ・シュン)  (Actor) | 黄暁明 (ホァン・シァオミン) (Actor) | 張涵予 (チャン・ハンユー) (Actor) | 王志文 (ワン・チーウェン) (Actor) | 蘇有朋(アレック・スー) (Actor) | 朱旭(チュー・シュウ) (Actor) | Liu Wei (Actor) | 英達(イン・ダー) (Actor) | Wu Gang (Actor) | Duan Yi Hong (Actor) | 葉錦添(ティン・イップ) Li Bing Bing (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Huang Xiao Ming (Actor) | Zhang Han Yu (Actor) | Wang Zhi Wen (Actor) | Alec Su (Actor) | Zhu Xu (Actor) | Liu Wei (Actor) | Ying Da (Actor) | Wu Gang (Actor) | Duan Yi Hong (Actor) | Tim Yip
Director: Gao Qun Shu | Chen Kuo Fu 高群書 | 陳國富 高群书 | 陈国富 高群書 (カオ・チュンシュ) | チェン・クォフー Gao Qun Shu | Chen Kuo Fu
Producer: Feng Xiao Gang 馮小剛 冯小刚 馮小剛(フォン・シャオガン) Feng Xiao Gang
Release Date: 2009-12-09
Language: Original Soundtrack
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Digital Surround
Disc Format(s): DVD-9, DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 118 (mins)
Publisher: Joy Sales (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1021581783

Product Information

* Original Soundtrack: Mandarin

* Special Features:
- Making-of
- Teaser
- Trailer
- MV
- Photo Gallery

Director : Chen Kuo-fu, Gao Qunshu

April 26, 1940, former Nationalist vice president Wang Jingwei made peace with Japan and set up a Japan-supported regime during World War II, a puppet government.

Oct 10, during an anniversary ceremony of the government, a Wang government high official was assassinated. Taketa, chief intelligence officer of the Japanese Imperial Army, believed that it was an action of an underground anti-Japan group “Old Gun”.
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 2 award(s) and received 14 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

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

December 1, 2009

All-star Chinese thriller The Message is a tad overblown, but it ultimately provides solid entertainment value to match likely audience expectations. Exec-produced by Feng Xiaogang and directed by Chen Kuo-Fu (Double Vision, The Personals) and Gao Qunshu (Tokyo Trial), The Message tells the story of a spy hunt set during the Second Sino-Japanese War, when Japanese Imperialists controlled a good portion of China. A mysterious individual called Magnum is masterminding the deaths of numerous Japanese officers and Chinese co-conspirators. Looking to quell the wave of terrorism, the Japanese army set a trap to flush Magnum and the Resistance out into the open.

The authorities plant false information about the future location of Japan-backed Commander Zhang, and after the some observation determine that the leak must be located in the Counter-insurgency Center, staffed by a five-member team under the command of Captain Wu Zhiguo (Zhang Hanyu). Without delay, his team is forcibly invited to be guests at a remote castle that's opulently decorated and also possessing of a fine set of torture devices. The Japanese authorities, led by Colonel Osamu Takeda (Huang Xiaoming) and Chief Wang (Wang Zhiwen), plan to keep Wu's team in custody until one of them confesses to being "Phantom", the spy who passes info to Magnum and the Resistance.

That's when the games begin. While their captors scheme in the background, the Counter-insurgency Team proceeds to point fingers at one another. Captain Wu initially seems above the fray, but becomes incensed when sassy little princess Gu Xiaomeng (Zhou Xun) fingers him as a possible Phantom. Meanwhile, the overweight Jin (Ying Da) finds himself pitted against prissy Lt. Bai (Alec Su), who's under suspicion despite being the "special friend" of Commander Zhang. Given these characters' willingness to see one another executed, one wonders how they ever get along in the workplace. The most reasonable member of the group is also the most vulnerable; lead codebreaker Li Ningyu (Li Bing-Bing) seems beyond reproach, but her situation worsens when her boyfriend is brought in as one of Magnum's co-conspirators.

There's a ticking clock, too. Phantom is stuck in the castle with no way of communicating with the outside, and if word doesn't get out within five days that the upcoming hit on Commander Zhang is a trap, then it could mean the end of the Resistance. Since Phantom's identity is kept a mystery from the audience, his or her thoughts are communicated via frequent intertitles, which emerge snazzily onto the screen like they're being sent through the Matrix. Message may take place over sixty years ago, but the technique employed is modern in its undue flashiness. Dizzying establishing shots, bombastic music, MTV-style cuts, copious steadicam - technically, this is a very confident production, and audiences seeking commercial thrills should be pleased with the strong, forceful technique on display.

Directors Chen Kuo-Fu and Gao Qunshu were wise to mount Message in such a commercial manner because the film is essentially just an amped-up chamber drama. The thrills are largely confined to several rooms in one location, and action is sparse aside from a few tense but not graphic torture sequences, plus one meeting room dustup where someone gets a pen stuck where it shouldn't be. The acting is strong and suitably overdone. Zhou Xun is all sultry sass as well-to-do party girl Gu Xiaomeng, and has a fine foil in the commanding and charismatic Zhang Hanyu. As the most sympathetic character, Li Bing-Bing shows a convincing and felt vulnerability, and Wang Zhiwen brings more to his character than the script really allows. Steely-eyed Huang Xiaoming has screen presence to spare as the nominal bad guy. Really, the filmmakers' finest achievement here may be their choice of lead actors.

The Message is not without convention, as its plot twists and reveals are sometimes easy to predict. However, the film is never clumsy or insulting, and even when a character's true intentions are easily read the story retains its suspenseful, entertaining edge. The film ultimately portrays Phantom and the Resistance's roles as heroic ones, but any flag-waving in the film never seems more important than narrative need and good, old-fashioned storytelling. Basically, this film may possess the expected patriotic leanings, but not at the audience's expense. The Message may only disappoint those who look at the combination of talent, budget and subject matter and expect something super-exceptional. This film isn't that, but for your average moviegoing audience - that is, the people who look for well-made, solid entertainment - this Message gets through.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.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.

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

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


August 2, 2010

1 people found this review helpful

The tension never lets up Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
"The Message" is a richly atmospheric, tension-filled tale of unexpected heroism. Set during the year's of Japan's occupation of China, the film tells of a group of people who are brought by the collaborationist government to a remote mansion to determine who among the group is working with a group of insurrectionists to undermine the government.

At the outset, the film plays a bit like one of those drawing room murder mysteries in which an intrepid detective brings a group of people together in order to uncover the identity of the murderer. However, "The Message" is not quite so genteel. Things soon turn nasty when the inquisitors begin, one by one, to try to torture confessions out of the group's members. In these scenes, the dramatic tension keeps the viewer glued to the edge of his seat even as the action turns increasingly sadistic. Especially effective are the interactions among the group's members as they await their fate.

A surprise ending turns our impressions of the characters upside-down and reveals an astonishing valor that previously had been disguised to the viewer. The film's ensemble cast deliver extraordinary performances. For me, the real standout is Zhou Xun, who has developed a magnetic charisma that reminds me of Bette Davis in her prime. "The Message", while not suitable for the faint-hearted, yields a very compelling cinematic experience.
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