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Fallen Angels (DVD) (Taiwan Version) DVD Region 3

Leon Lai (Actor) | Charlie Young (Actor) | Kaneshiro Takeshi | Karen Mok (Actor)
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Fallen Angels (DVD) (Taiwan Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.5 out of 10 (4)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.5 out of 10 (15)

YesAsia Editorial Description

In Chungking Express, director Wong Kar Wai delivered a breezy, effervescent look at two cops falling in and out of love amidst Hong Kong's alienating urban cityscape. Fallen Angels takes the styles and themes presented in Chungking Express and pushes them even further, delving deeper into Hong Kong's sleepless nights to find characters who've truly fallen from grace. Leon Lai is a disaffected hitman who enters a relationship of convenience with a heartbroken flirt (Karen Mok), while his emotionally damaged partner (Michelle Reis) pines for him silently. Meanwhile, a mute child-like grifter (Takeshi Kaneshiro), finds one-sided love with a brassy young woman (Charlie Young), who's also suffering from a broken heart. As Hong Kong's neon nights drag on, these five desperate souls crisscross and collide in hilarious, romantic, and completely surprising ways. Featuring gorgeous cinematography from Christopher Doyle, and a hip soundtrack from Frankie Chan and Roel A. Garcia, Fallen Angels is a dark, stylish and undeniably cinematic portrait of Hong Kong that ranks among Wong Kar Wai's most stunning works!
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Technical Information

Product Title: Fallen Angels (DVD) (Taiwan Version) 墮落天使 (台灣版) 堕落天使 (台湾版) 天使の涙(堕落天使)(台湾版) Fallen Angels (DVD) (Taiwan Version)
Artist Name(s): Leon Lai (Actor) | Charlie Young (Actor) | Kaneshiro Takeshi | Karen Mok (Actor) | Michelle Reis | Frankie Chan | Christopher Doyle | William Chang 黎明 (Actor) | 楊采妮 (Actor) | 金城 武 | 莫文蔚 (Actor) | 李嘉欣 | 陳勳奇 | 杜可風 | 張 叔平 黎明 (Actor) | 杨采妮 (Actor) | 金城 武 | 莫文蔚 (Actor) | 李嘉欣 | 陈勋奇 | 杜可风 | 张 叔平 黎明(レオン・ライ) (Actor) | 楊采妮 (チャーリー・ヤン) (Actor) | 金城武 | 莫文蔚(カレン・モク) (Actor) | 李嘉欣 (ミッシェル・リー) | 陳勲奇(フランキー・チャン) | 杜可風 (クリストファー・ドイル) | 張叔平 Leon Lai (Actor) | 양채니 (Actor) | 금성무 | Karen Mok (Actor) | Michelle Reis | Frankie Chan | Christopher Doyle | 張叔平(ウィリアム・チャン)
Director: Wong Kar Wai 王 家衛 王 家卫 王家衛 (ウォン・カーウァイ)  왕가위
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Publisher: Xin Sheng Dai (TW)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 2473

Product Information

Director: Wong Ka Wai


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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Fallen Angels (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"

August 16, 2006

This professional review refers to Fallen Angels DTS (Korean Version)
Having just filmed his martial arts epic, Ashes of Time, Wong Kar-Wai was getting bogged down in the editing process of the film. To creatively revitalise himself, he undertook Chungking Express in 1994 as an in-between project, quickly shooting a film built around a couple of lightweight stories, but imbuing the screen with all the vividness and spontaneity of its Hong Kong locations. Chungking Express was originally intended to consist of three loosely interconnected storylines, but in the end the third episode was carried over and used as the starting point for his next film Fallen Angels (1995), which consequently has much in common with its predecessor.

Following Chungking Express with the same colourful settings and familar character types, Fallen Angels is much more an exercise in style than Chungking Express. Wong Kar-Wai and Christopher Doyle, this time with Mark Lee Ping-Bing on second unit photography, go for a much moodier and more contemplative feel to suit the slightly darker material. The first story concerns a hitman, Ming (Leon Lai), who likes to keep both his business and his private life simple and without complications, which necessarily means keeping them apart. Someone else makes his decisions for him, where to go, when to go and who to kill - all of this is relayed to him through a partner he never meets. Disillusioned by his work, Ming quits and takes up with a girl called Blondie (Karen Mok). His partner (Michelle Reis) however wants to find him. Deeply aroused by the mental image she has built up around the mysterious killer, she has fallen in love with a man she has never met and has one last request for him, if she can find him.

The second story, which interweaves with the first rather than being presenting in sequence as in Chungking Express, features He Qiwu, again played by Takeshi Kaneshiro - the son of the door manager for Chungking Mansions. Although there are some similarities to his character in the first film, this one is a kind of playful remix. In Chungking Express, #223 was He Qiwu's police number, here it's his old prison number; in the first film, the character ate expired pineapples to extend hope that his broken relationship wasn't over, here it is a can of expired pineapples that caused He Qiwu to be mute since the age of five. Rather wild and crazy in a mostly harmless way, the young man makes his living by using the premises of other businesses after hours when no one else is about, so if you are looking for late-night laundry, vegetables at 3:00am in the morning, or untimely ice-cream cravomgs, He's your man. Even if you don't have such a need, He Qiwu proves to be a persuasive businessman for all his muteness - mainly by dragging and manhandling customers into his shop. There is only one person who is a match for him, and that is Charlie Yeung (Charlie Yeung), a young woman who was dumped when her boyfriend Johnny took up with a woman called Blondie. Together, this extremely odd couple finds wild and crazy ways to get over the losses and disappointments in their lives.

Fallen Angels is not as immediately likeable as its predecessor Chungking Express, but in many ways it is all the more thrilling for seeing just how much further Wong Kar-Wai can stretch a style and a concept. This is something the director would also do later in his career with In The Mood For Love and 2046, one film being the flipside of the other - and the same principle is applied here. In The Mood For Love, like Chungking Express, explored the anticipatory thrill and the tantalising possibilities of meeting someone new and falling in love, endlessly drawing out the moment without there ever actually being any consummation of the relationship, using seductive repetitive cues of mood, colour and music to draw the viewer into its spell. Like 2046, Fallen Angels is much more moody, abstract and languidly paced, exploring the darker side of meeting when the characters share a common sense of loss or unrequited love - both parties use an intense liaison as a brief haven to shelter from the painful memories of past relationships. In many ways, this is a much more challenging concept, particularly in the manner in which Wong Kar-Wai approaches it here in Fallen Angels. You typically would not expect to find such bittersweet emotion in the ultra-stylised violence of the first section where the blood literally drips down the camera, nor in the frankly knock-about comedy of the second. You would not even expect these two very different sections to sit well side-by-side at all, but Wong Kar-Wai has a way of getting to the underlying pain that lies beneath and using one to feed off the other in a way that is barely definable and scarcely perceptible but for the simple fact that it works.

And again it works because the approach and technique supports the content in every detail, the camera fetishistically lingering over people and objects - the colour of a Wurlitzer jukebox, the slow-motion exhalation of cigarette smoke, Michelle Reis in leather, fishnet stockings and high heels writhing in bed - all contribute to mood rather than characterisation, something that is echoed in Frankie Chan's music score, which is much more abstract than the catchy music cues of Chungking Express. There are plenty of moments here nonetheless to keep fans of Chungking Express happy, not least of which is Takashi Kaneshiro's capricious performance - one of the great comedy performances of all time in my opinion - and the links his section makes with the Chungking Mansions and Midnight Express locations of the first film. Just don't expect a rerun of the first film. Like 2046, many will see the similarities in the surface technique and locations of the film that preceded it and expect more of the same, but Wong Kar-Wai is too restlessly experimental a director to repeat himself. Despite those surface similarities, Fallen Angels pushes his style and technique further and sees the director playing with light, colour and sound to express and refine mood and character with ever greater precision. As with 2046 nonetheless, many will see Fallen Angels as an indulgence too far, but there are greater treasures to be found here if one is prepared to look for them.

Fallen Angels is released in Korea by AltoDVD. The film is contained in an individual slimline cardboard digipack, held together with a slipcase displaying the poster artwork for each film on front and back. The DVD is encoded for Region 3 and is in NTSC format.

The video quality is striking. I've seen the film before on a number of DVD and VCD editions, I've never seen it look as good as it does here. I wouldn't have believed it could look this good, since even the previous best editions of the film still showed numerous tiny marks and scratches that I thought must have been inherent in the rough and ready nature of the making of the film. Not so. On this edition of Fallen Angels, there are no marks or scratches on the film at all. If you have seen any other edition of the film on DVD, you can imagine exactly how big a difference that makes. What might not be evident from the screenshots accompanying this review however is just how fluid and stable the film now looks, with not a single flicker or digital artefact, perfectly detailing even the most blurred motion and time-lapse sequences of the film. Doubtlessly restored, the quality of the prints here reveals Fallen Angels to be as clear and colourful as we have become accustomed to expect from Wong Kar-Wai in films like In The Mood For Love and 2046. Only blacks are relatively less well defined, not showing a great amount of shadow detail, and Fallen Angels is slightly softer than Chungking Express, but with the use of various filters, that may well be intentional. Fallen Angels also occasionally displays some digital noise at the bottom left of the screen, but as this is about one-pixel in height, it will only be visible on displays with no overscan whatsoever. Some might find the 1.78:1 aspect ratio of the transfer an issue, but in practice it appears to make very little difference to the compositions of the film. Otherwise, the film here looks outstanding and it is hard to conceive of it looking any better than it does here.

Perhaps more controversially, the original Dolby Digital 2.0 track of the film has been dropped in favour of new Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 remixes. Considering the rights to the film belongs to the filmmakers themselves and that the film has doubtlessly been restored by Jet Tone/Block 2 Pictures, I would expect that these would be official restorations and remixes of the original soundtrack. (Incidentally, the copyright date at the end of the credits is 1999, but I don't know what that indicates.) The surround mixes here are fabulous. There is a fair amount of hiss still audible on the dialogue track - evidently a consequence of the improvisational nature of the original analogue recording - but the dialogue is clear with none of the roughness, crackle and sibilance found on previous editions of the film. The central channel that contains the dialogue sounded slightly low in the mix on my sound set-up, particularly when the music score and other ambient effects, both of which play a major part of in the film, were being output on the other channels - but the overall effect of the new mixes is powerful and enveloping, as this film ought to be, with no noticeable re-recording or addition of new sounds or music cues. It's hard to hold any grudge against the non-inclusion of the original 2.0 mixes, which on any previous DVD edition has always sounded very rough and crackly.

English and Korean subtitles are provided in a clear white font and are of course both optional. They are good and in keeping with the traditional tone of the films, but not perfect. There are no annoying grammatical or spelling errors, but rather a few typos, dropping a couple of letters here and there.

The film comes with Korean Commentary, which will not be of any use to English viewers. I would be curious about how anyone could provide a commentary for such an elliptical film as this, but without knowing what it consists of, I can't make any comment on quality or appropriateness. Other than that we have a Trailer (2:43), letterboxed but looking slightly squashed-up, for Fallen Angels. This seems to make use of a number of outtake scenes from the film.

All editions present the film at a ratio of 1.78:1. There are slight but noticeable differences in the framing of each of the editions - the US edition being clearly zoomed in. The US Miramax edition is also the least accurate in terms of colour timing, the Korean to my eyes having moreover much more clarity, detail of tone, sharpness and lack of grain than the Artificial Eye release. The most evident difference between the Korean R3 and the other editions, is in the cleaning up of the thousands of tiny marks and scratches that riddled the film.

Initially undertaken as a filler project, Chungking Express and its follow-up Fallen Angels are far from throwaway films - Wong Kar-Wai and cinematographer Christopher Doyle rather take the opportunity to do something fresh and immediate, experimenting with spontaneous storytelling and filmmaking techniques that would lead the way towards the more intuitive and improvisational explorations of character and mood in Happy Together, In The Mood For Love and 2046. Both these groundbreaking films still hold that sense of fun, freshness and willingness to take chances that lies at the heart of the characters whose stories they tell. This is all the more evident when you are able to see the films in the full-colour, unblemished glory that the Korean DVD transfers provide. If this is how good Chungking Express and Fallen Angels can look, the prospect of Ashes of Time being restored to a similar level is almost too staggering to contemplate.

by Noel Megahey - DVD Times

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 "Fallen Angels (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.5 out of 10 (4)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.5 out of 10 (15)

cuddley bear
See all my reviews

April 11, 2007

This customer review refers to Fallen Angels (Taiwan Version)
3 people found this review helpful

TOTAL RUBBISH Customer Review Rated Bad 0 - 0 out of 10
I was utterly disappointed with this film. Could have done some boring things and that would still be more interesting. Complete waste of time and money. What rubbish Wong Ka Wei could produce? Everybody seemed to have taken LSD while filming.
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Kevin Kennedy
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January 30, 2007

This customer review refers to Fallen Angels (US Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Beautiful, but empty Customer Review Rated Bad 4 - 4 out of 10
Having already produced Chungking Express, it is unclear why Wong Kar Wai felt the need to repeat himself with this movie. What we get is a series of stunning images populated by a series of empty characters. Kaneshiro, Lai, Mok, Yeung and Reis all are capable of delivering fine performances, but the script here reduces them to not much more than adolescent posing. I felt like telling them all to grow up and get a life.
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December 31, 2006

This customer review refers to Fallen Angels Digitally Remastered Edition (Japan Version)
favorite Wong Kar Wai movie Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
out of all the movies from Wong Kar Wai (Hong Kong director) Fallen Angels (Ten Shu no Namida) is the one i like best. the cinematography by Christopher Doyle is superb and exquisite. the way it is filmed it remarkable and you cannot take your eyes off the screen. the actors heavily rely on their gestures and facial expressions to make the scene meaningful and making an empty atmosphere feel full and rich like a painting. when you are watching a Wong Kar Wai film you are looking at a painting in motion.
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June 3, 2006

Cantonese version is better Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
"Fallen Angels" which stars Leon Lai, Kaneshiro Takeshi, Charlie Yeung, Michelle Lee and Karen Mok. Is a very good artistic movie. I enjoyed the scenes very much. I have watched this movie in the Cantonese (which the original language of the movie) and it is very good. This Taiwan version is dubbed in Mandarin, which is alright. But I prefer the Cantonese version.
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February 25, 2006

This customer review refers to Fallen Angels (1995) (DVD) (US Version)
10 year old and still my Favorite Movie Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Fallen Angels is a movie that shows you how sad and cruel life can be, and how can some events in our life can beat us down and keep making people feel worst. This is not a regular romantic movie, but it has a good ending; at the end life is not that bad, sooner of later we find happiness. Actor Leon Lai is one of the many stars in this movie, his character is a killer; its very contrary to his normaly clean image. Fallen Angels is a great movie in which you will feel the sadness of these characters. I have seen this movie many times, and its just as good as the first, it is a real masterpiece. Higly recomended.
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