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Royal Tramp Series (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Stephen Chow (Actor) | Brigitte Lin (Actor) | Chingmy Yau (Actor) | Michelle Reis (Actor)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

The Royal Tramp Blu-ray set includes Royal Tramp and Royal Tramp 2, plus trailers and interview with Wong Jing.

Adapted - quite loosely - from the famous Jin Yong (a.k.a. Louis Cha) novel The Duke of Mt. Deer, the Royal Tramp films tell the tale of Wai Siu Bo (Stephen Chow), a tricky layabout who chances into a plot to overthrow the Qing Dynasty! The Heaven and Earth Society draft him to steal the "42 Chapter Classic", a legendary martial arts tome, from the Imperial Palace, but to do so, he has to pretend to be a eunuch. The Emperor's sister (Chingmy Yau) sees through his deception, but she's willing to keep quiet if Wai compensates her - with his body! Meanwhile, the Empress Dowager Lung Yi (Sharla Cheung), who's secretly working for the Dragon Sect, angles to take over the country, but Wai Siu Bo manages to thwart her plans. She returns to seek revenge with her face magically changed to look like wuxia screen goddess Brigitte Lin! Can a crafty, but physically inept scoundrel like Wai Siu Bo stand up to her supreme kung-fu powers?

The Royal Tramp films may not be the most faithful adaptation of Jin Yong's works, but they're easily the most side-splitting! Stephen Chow is in top comic form as Wai Siu Bo, and ably demonstrates the comic talent that made him one of Hong Kong's biggest box-office superstars. There's kung-fu too; both films feature fluid, energetic fight choreography from Ching Siu Tung (Hero) mixing inventive action with crazy situation comedy. A huge cast of top Hong Kong names, including frequent Stephen Chow collaborators Ng Man Tat, Elvis Tsui, Sandra Ng, and Nat Chan Bak Cheung round out the cast. Gorgeous actresses Fennie Yuen and Michelle Reis are also on hand to up the eye candy quotient. Director Wong Jing keeps the comedy coming fast and furiously, and audiences obviously appreciated his and Stephen Chow's efforts. Both Royal Tramp films were among the five top-grossing films in Hong Kong in 1992. The other three films? They also starred Stephen Chow!

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Technical Information

Product Title: Royal Tramp Series (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 鹿鼎記系列 (Blu-ray) (香港版) 鹿鼎记系列 (Blu-ray) (香港版) ロイヤル・トランプ (鹿鼎記) シリーズ (Blu-ray) (香港版) Royal Tramp Series (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Stephen Chow (Actor) | Brigitte Lin (Actor) | Chingmy Yau (Actor) | Michelle Reis (Actor) | Ng Man Tat (Actor) | Sharla Cheung 周 星馳 (Actor) | 林青霞 (Actor) | 邱淑貞 (Actor) | 李嘉欣 (Actor) | 吳孟達 (Actor) | 張敏 周 星驰 (Actor) | 林青霞 (Actor) | 邱淑贞 (Actor) | 李嘉欣 (Actor) | 吴孟达 (Actor) | 张敏 周星馳(チャウ・シンチー) (Actor) | 林青霞 (ブリジット・リン) (Actor) | 邱淑貞(チンミー・ヤウ) (Actor) | 李嘉欣 (ミッシェル・リー) (Actor) | 呉孟達 (ン・マンタ) (Actor) | 張敏(チョン・マン) 주성치 (Actor) | Brigitte Lin (Actor) | Chingmy Yau (Actor) | Michelle Reis (Actor) | 오맹달 (Actor) | 장민
Director: Wong Jing 王晶 王晶 王晶 (バリー・ウォン) Wong Jing
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2011-05-16
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Thai
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition, NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, 1.85 : 1
Sound Information: 7.1, Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM), 6.1, Dolby TrueHD
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Rating: II
Publisher: Joy Sales (HK)
Other Information: 2Blu-rays
Package Weight: 200 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024419927

Product Information

《鹿鼎記》
■ 1920 x 1080p FULL HD 全高清畫面
■ 16:9 Widescreen 1.85:1
■ 粵語 Dolby True HD 7.1、
國語 Dolby Digital Ex 6.1、
泰語 Dolby Digital Ex 6.1
■ 繁體中文、英文及泰文字幕選擇
■ 特別收錄:電影預告、導演訪問(王晶)

《鹿鼎記II神龍教》
■ 1920 x 1080p FULL HD 全高清畫面
■ 16:9 Widescreen 1.85:1
■ 粵語 Dolby True HD 7.1、
國語 Dolby Digital Ex 6.1、
泰語 Dolby Digital Ex 6.1
■ 繁體中文、英文及泰文字幕選擇
■ 特別收錄:電影預告、導演訪問(王晶)

導演:王晶
Director: Wong Jing

《鹿鼎記》── 康熙(溫兆倫 飾)早年因年幼,未能親政,故由四位顧命大臣扶助親政。當中鰲拜卻乘機弄權,控制朝政。以反清復明為志的陳近南(劉松仁 飾)組織了「天地會」。在一次機緣巧合下,認識了小龜奴韋小寶(周星馳 飾),並收他為徒,及著他混進皇宮內偷取大內至寶四十二章經。入宮後,小寶誤打誤撞下成了康熙的心腹,並受命去剷除鰲拜,但不果。後幸得由神龍教聖女假扮的太后(張敏 飾)相助,成功將鰲拜收入天牢,並假意說是小寶的功勞,令他立下大功,從此權傾朝野,並繼續做其邊緣人…

《鹿鼎記II神龍教》── 神龍教聖女龍兒(林青霞 飾)接任教主之位,並遵從師命,輔助平西王吳三桂(秦沛 飾)推翻康熙。康熙為安撫吳,決把建寧公主(邱淑貞 飾)許配予吳之子吳應熊,並派韋小寶(周星馳 飾)當欽差大臣護送公主。龍兒誤服平西王特使馮錫範毒酒,在無計可施下只好獻身予小寶,同時將其八成功力轉移給小寶。後來小寶及公主大鬧平西王府,閹割了熊,迫吳造反。馮則趁機出賣吳,活擒陳近南,轉投康熙。當小寶知道康熙不再信任自己,欲燒掉大內至寶四十二章經之際,卻發現了箇中秘密,故用計誘馮到東郊皇陵決一死戰……

Royal Tramp -- In this screen adaptation of Louis Cha’s famous novel, Stephen Chow heads a star-studded cast as a small time punk Wei Xiao Bao, who bumbles his way into the Imperial Court and poses an urchin and becomes Emperor Kangxi (Derek Wan) confidant. He has his hands full while he juggles between helping the Emperor dispose of the over bearing Minister-Regent Ao Bai and trying to steal the 42 Chapters for his master Chen Jin Nan (Damian Lau) who heads an activist group against the Qing government.

Royal Tramp II -- In this second installment of Louis Cha’s famous novel, Brigette Lin joins the cast as the head of the Dragon Sect, who helps Wu San Gui, the King of a vassal state in an attempt to overthrow Emperor Kangxi (Derek Wan). To appease him, Kangxi lets his sister, Princess Jian Ning (Chingmy Yau) marry Wu’s son and Wei Xiao Bao is the Imperial Envoy who heads the entourage. When the wedding turns into a fiasco, Wu is forced to take action while his entrusted follower betrays him and turns in Chen Jin Nan (Damian Lau) to Kangxi. Once again torn between his loyalty to the Emperor and his allegiance to the anti-Qing movement, Xiao Bao must face a final showdown...

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Royal Tramp Series (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"

May 8, 2008

This professional review refers to Royal Tramp - 3 Disc Box (DVD) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)
Royal Tramp, a 1992 wuxia comedy starring Stephen Chow, is the first of a two-part story which is loosely based on the novel The Duke of Mount Deer which was penned by Jin Yong (aka Louis Cha). Adapted by and directed by Wong Jing, the film features a fine cast of Hong Kong talent who along with Chow in the leading role do enough to elevate the film above the slightly haphazard storyline which although fluid enough on the screen, requires some form of relationship chart in order to understand just who is betraying who.

At its most basic level, Royal Tramp is a very simple tale of warring dynasties who are trying overthrow one another and in this case, all end up using the same unwitting instrument to further their cause. Said instrument is Chow, who plays his trademark smart mouthed young layabout who finds himself working every possible angle except his own as his effortless charm and quick tongue put him in favour of each faction at some point in the film. Moving around the Emperor's Palace, first as a Eunuch, then as a trusted confidant to the Emperor right through to eventual political positions, there is action at every turn. With an almost even split of comedy and action, the production values on the wuxia aspects are often quite impressive with attractive sets and some well-choreographed kung fu and swordplay sequences which, true to the genre, feature all sorts of elaborate wire work. Chow himself gets involved in some of the action, though for the most part he sticks to the "Dragon Hand" which we see taught to him in the film. It's essentially a nipple twist, which results in fairly predictable though none-the-less amusing physical humour which is balanced out with the smart dialogue. The latter occasionally suffers under the English translation, though the basic constructs of the humour come across very well and offer plenty of comic value. For the most part the dialogue is very witty and the combination of quick fire delivery and physical jokes keep things interesting, particularly one of the favoured gags in the film which sees Chow's posing responded to with a quick punch in the face. Sure it's simple, but when used sparingly as it is here, these jokes work and spice up the elaborate ruses which predominately rule over the rest of the proceedings.

Early in the film Chow's character posing as a Eunuch brings about some more fairly predictable humour, both verbal and physical, all relating to the fact he's meant to be castrated. This level of humour works at a basic level as does another running gag early in the film which sees Chow mistake the Emperor's sister for a man. It's that old Hong Kong film tradition wherein a pretty feminine face and soft skin are easily overseen when the rest is dressed in male clothes, and here the lovely Chingmy Yau plays a delightfully playful young thing who knows what she wants, and that is Chow's body all for herself. Playing into the fact he's mistaken her for a man, she has her fun with him and eventually gets her way, with Chow's character left crying on the bed after he's been so shamefully used. It's a quirky and fun relationship which allows the two actors to play off each other to great effect, particularly in the early stages when Chow is not aware of the mistake he's made.

The various sub-plots work their way through to an eventual conclusion which brings the first part of this story to a close, with the mixture of comedy and action continuing full speed ahead as they are fused into the story exposition and even one another with the inevitable final battle featuring an unexpected call-back to a very early scene which maintains that very base level of humour but gets the job done.

The sequel continues the story, with Chow's Wilson Bond now a Duke enjoying his newfound money and power and spending his time at his favourite haunt, the local brothel. Short of a brief opening sequence which explains the changing role of the Empress Dowager character, newly promoted to leader of the Dragon Sect and now sporting her true guise under the delicate appearance of Brigitte Lin, the film jumps right into the action and comedy mould. We also learn that Lin's character has inherited the power of her master, but will forsake 80% of her power to the man who takes her virginity. You can guess who that will be...

Anyway, back to the brothel where Bond is mistaken by two beautiful assassins as someone other than their target, only for him to first trick them into attacking his subordinate Duo Long, before then concocting a plan to rescue and trick them into sleeping with him. And that folks tends to be the driving force of much of the story, Bond's eclectic taste in women and the schemes he comes up with in order to bed them, from his "I Love Dicky" potion which drives them insane with lust for all things even vaguely masculine to his more elaborate plans usually concocted with the aid of Duo Long. Another running gag which comes back for numerous pay offs over the course of the film is the double-crossing between Bond and Duo Long, with the latter's first comeback particularly satisfying. Another great moment is a gag between Bond and his mischievous princess which sees them cover a soap opera moment by delivering their lines Chinese Opera style, something which works beautifully on the surface though I suspect may lose a little something through the subtitles and cultural divide.

Entering production almost immediately after the first film wrapped and hit cinemas to a rapturous reception, the sequel arrived in Hong Kong cinemas just two months after the original. That's a staggering time frame and one you'd be forgiven for thinking might result in an inferior product, but what it lacks in the original's plot complexities, Royal Tramp II more than makes up for elsewhere. Running a slightly leaner 96 minutes, the sequel not only features more immediately satisfying humour, but it also boasts more elaborate action set-pieces that - despite a few clumsy moments - are entertaining from both an action stand-point and - when infused with comedy as they so frequently are - a humour stand-point as well. By offering a much more straightforward plot in which the allegiances of the various characters are far more obvious, you always know where you are in the sequel, and subsequently by reducing the word play involved in the endlessly twisting plot of the original and exchanging them for broader, more physical gags, the sequel is likely to appeal much more to a Western audience. Even if that wasn't the intent (and I sincerely doubt it was, when time factors meant getting a script that was acceptable were far more important), it definitely works in the film's favour now, making this a rare case of a sequel which at the very least is as entertaining as the original.

DVD
Coded for all regions, this Joy Sales release comes packaged in an elaborate silver coloured box which is slightly larger in length and width than a DVD case and about three times the depth. A sturdy construction, it features a magnetically sealed fold-out mechanism which reveals two inner compartments. The whole thing opens up much like a jewellery box, with one of the compartments holding a DVD case (with cardboard sleeve) which in turn houses the discs, while the other compartment stores a notebook which is fashioned after the 42 Chapters tomes featured in the film. This is mostly blank, with the last few pages featuring deleted dialogue from the films in script form (with both Chinese and English text).

Audio/Video
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers are considerable improvements over the previous Megastar releases, offering varying levels of detail and good colour reproduction. The images across both films feature heavy grain, but for the most part this is rarely distracting and handled well by the compression. Print damage is kept to a minimum but far from non-existent, while focus can sometimes be a little soft but on the whole I was impressed for films of this age. The only really annoying point is a coloured vertical line running down the far left of the frame which anyone with a display that has no overscan will see throughout. I've left this in all of the screencaps, with the line appearing as a bight blue on my monitor, but when playing through my DVD player it was a softer greenish blue.

Audio options on both films are the original Cantonese 2.0 and new 5.1 and DTS Surround mixes. The 2.0 is fairly clean throughout though on the first film the dialogue occasionally sounds like it has been recorded in a concert hall. This however often suits the equally spacious locations featured in the film so could well be deliberate, though it can be a little overbearing and there is a minor sense of reverb throughout the film as opposed to selected scenes. There is also little separation or balancing in the 2.0 mixes, making them somewhat harsh on the ears in segments with high pitched audio. The surround mixes take the basic elements and do their best to balance them across the soundstage, staying true to the source by keeping surround effects to the minimum and instead focusing on creating a more balanced mix that uses the surrounds for music and ambient effects while pushing dialogue through the centre speaker. Between the 5.1 and the DTS, the latter has a fuller, more natural sound, though both tend to push ambient sound effects a little too far into the background, almost to the point of phasing them out completely while the balancing on the dialogue has a tendency to soften certain voices out (with the echo occasionally present on the 2.0 almost completely absent here). Given the option I would go for the original 2.0 as it just sounds more accurate, though the surround mixes are certainly not bad and do give a more balanced mix which some will prefer.

Subtitles
The optional English subtitles appear to offer a decent translation though as noted in my main review text, there are moments where I get the impression certain aspects of the comedy are lost through the lack of translation. One such example in the first film is when the Emperor forces Wilson Bond to reveal his master, whereupon we hear plenty of dialogue but the subtitles merely reveal the name Chow eventually reaches. Looking at my older Megastar release this same scene features a more thorough translation attempt, though it really makes no sense whatsoever so I can only assume it's difficult to translate and Joy Sales simply opted not to bother. These completely obvious instances are fortunately very few in number, though doing another comparison to my Megastar release of the sequel in the Chinese opera segment mentioned in the main review text, once again reveals some differences though here it's mainly one of refinement in the Joy Sales release, with only some subtleties in the humour lost. Which one is more accurate I have no way of telling you, so I'll just close this segment by saying there are few spelling or grammatical errors that I recall and overall the subtitles do a good job.

Extras
A third-disc holds a small selection of bonus material which doesn't really add up to a great deal. The highlight certainly is a two-part interview with Wong Jing which runs for twenty minutes and sees him answer questions on both films (one part of the interview for each). Topics covered are the source novel, the story of each film, the main cast members and the working process with the action director Ching Siu-Tung. Wong Jing isn't particularly charismatic, but he gets straight to the point which makes his answers all the more interesting, particularly when he says Stephen Chow was ideal for the part because he's ugly and Cheung Man is just a typical idol. Of course the translation might not help and my take on things is certainly deliberately negative (it's more fun that way) but the overall impression is that while he may not be the best at framing or cushioning his response, he does get straight to the heart of the matter and gives some worthwhile insight. The interview is presented in Full Screen with optional English and Chinese subtitles.

There are six-minutes of deleted scenes which are presented in non-anamorphic widescreen with Mandarin audio and burnt-in English and Chinese subtitles. These appear to be mostly scene extensions or alternate scenes, and are likely taken from a Mainland China or other Asian theatrical release version. There is nothing here really worth bothering with; particularly as the subtitle translation is quite poor.

In the Trailers section you'll find both Original and New Edited trailers for the Royal Tramp films alongside promotional trailers for other Joy Sales Remastered titles - Crime Story, Once Upon A Time In China and Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain. They are all presented in anamorphic widescreen, though no subtitles are provided.

Finally there is a Photo Gallery section which includes Movie Stills Photo Gallery and a Movie Photo Slideshow for both Royal Tramp films. The former appear to be lobby cards while the latter are simply film grabs played in a slideshow format to the original film score (each slideshow is just under a minute long).

Overall
The first is overly convoluted and the second strives to be as simple as possible but the common theme throughout is one of a fun take on the source material and the wuxia genre. The cast are uniformly excellent and the action should satisfy fans, and while the humour may not travel quite as well as some of Chow's more recent efforts anyone willing to put a little more effort in will find plenty to enjoy. The Once Upon A Time in China "Under the General's Orders" theme tune parody is worth any Hong Kong movie buff's time alone, and this set is certainly a good way to enjoy the films.

by Dave Foster = DVD Times

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 "Royal Tramp Series (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


December 23, 2007

This customer review refers to Royal Tramp - 3 Disc Box (DVD) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)
2 people found this review helpful

Stephen Chow in top form Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
"Royal Tramp" and "Royal Tramp 2" are best appreciated when seen together. They provide a hilarious send-up of Jin Yong's "Duke of Mount Deer". Stephen Chow, of course, chews up the scenery throughout with his endlessly self-centered, lecherous depiction of 'Wilson Bond' (as he is called in the English subtitles).

Also giving strong comic performances are Cheung Man, Chingmy Yau, Brigitte Lin, and Nat Chan. Chan, in particular, really gets a chance to be more than just a side-kick; he shines here! Wong Jin delivers one of his more controlled directorial jobs in these films. He keeps the antics coming at breakneck speed and juggles a crazily complicated plot in competent fashion.

The digital remastering really improves the viewing experience (I watched a Korean remastered version). The "Royal Tramp" films definitely deserve their popularity. I suspect that these movies will continue to be enjoyed by a wide audience for decades to come.
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