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Sacrifice (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Ge You (Actor) | Fan Bing Bing (Actor) | Vincent Zhao (Actor) | Zhang Feng Yi (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Two years after the elegant biopic Forever Enthralled, Farewell My Concubine director Chen Kaige takes on an epic story that has been dubbed the Chinese Hamlet. Sacrifice is based on the Yuan Dynasty play The Orphan of Zhao, which has been reinterpreted multiple times in the west as The Orphan of China. Bringing the story back to China, Chen has made slight changes to his own take on this tale of unspeakable sacrifice and revenge with scenes of spectacle, but he also retains the power of the story by maintaining an intimate focus on its key characters. One of China's most popular actors, Ge You leads a star-studded cast as a doctor who rescues the lone survivor of a massacre at the price of his own family for the sake of revenge. Also joining him are Wang Xueqi (Bodyguards and Assassins), Huang Xiaoming (The Message), Fan Bingbing (Lost in Beijing), and Zhang Fengyi (Red Cliff). Released in the intensely competitive year-end period in 2010, Sacrifice became one of the highest-grossing films of 2010 in China and one of Chen's most commercially successful films.

Jealous of the accomplishments of the Zhao family in the court of Duke Ling, General Tuan (Wang Xueqi) sets off an elaborate plan that leads to the massacre of the Zhao family. Before committing suicide, General Zhao's wife Zhuang (Fan Bingbing) asks family doctor Cheng Ying (Ge You) to help give birth to her son and take him to family friend Gong (Zhang Fengyi). With the help of Han Jue (Huang Xiaoming), Cheng Ying is able to take the baby to temporary safety. However, when Tuan manages to track Cheng Ying down, Cheng Ying convinces his wife to switch his own child with the Zhao baby to protect the bloodline, leading to the death of his family. Raising the Zhao child under Tuan's nose, Cheng Ying carefully plans his revenge...

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Technical Information

Product Title: Sacrifice (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 趙氏孤兒 (DVD) (香港版) 赵氏孤儿 (DVD) (香港版) 趙氏孤兒 (DVD) (香港版) Sacrifice (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Ge You (Actor) | Fan Bing Bing (Actor) | Vincent Zhao (Actor) | Zhang Feng Yi (Actor) | Wang Xue Qi (Actor) | Pao Guo An (Actor) | Huang Xiao Ming | Hai Qing (Actor) | Peng Bo (Actor) | Zhao Wen Hao (Actor) | William Wang (Actor) | Arthur Chen 葛優 (Actor) | 范冰冰 (Actor) | 趙文卓 (Actor) | 張豐毅 (Actor) | 王學圻 (Actor) | 鮑國安 (Actor) | 黃曉明 | 海清 (Actor) | 彭波 (Actor) | 趙 文浩 (Actor) | 王 翰 (Actor) | 陳 飛宇 葛优 (Actor) | 范冰冰 (Actor) | 赵文卓 (Actor) | 张丰毅 (Actor) | 王学圻 (Actor) | 鲍国安 (Actor) | 黄 晓明 | 海清 (Actor) | 彭波 (Actor) | 赵 文浩 (Actor) | 王 翰 (Actor) | 陈 飞宇 葛優 (グォ・ヨウ) (Actor) | 范冰冰 (ファン・ビンビン) (Actor) | 趙文卓 (チウ・マンチェク) (Actor) | 張豊毅(チャン・フォンイー) (Actor) | 王學圻(ワン・シュエイン) (Actor) | Pao Guo An (Actor) | 黄暁明 (ホァン・シァオミン) | 海清(ハイ・チン ) (Actor) | Peng Bo (Actor) | Zhao Wen Hao (Actor) | William Wang (Actor) | Arthur Chen Ge You (Actor) | Fan Bing Bing (Actor) | 조문탁 (Actor) | Zhang Feng Yi (Actor) | Wang Xue Qi (Actor) | Pao Guo An (Actor) | Huang Xiao Ming | Hai Qing (Actor) | Peng Bo (Actor) | Zhao Wen Hao (Actor) | William Wang (Actor) | Arthur Chen
Director: Chen Kaige 陳凱歌 陈凯歌 陳凱歌 (チェン・カイコー) Chen Kaige
Release Date: 2011-06-23
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-5
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Duration: 128 (mins)
Publisher: Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co Ltd
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024571399

Product Information

Director: Chen Kaige

Cheng Ying, a court doctor in the time of the warring states, has the misfortune of having his own baby born when his master's clan was wiped out by General Tuan Gu. A cruel twist of fate force him to sacrifice his son to save his master's unable or unwilling to cut his loss, he schemes revenge. he offers his service to the General and entices the General to become godfather to the boy, only to see his plan backfire big time. Lush and opulent. Sacrifice is Chen's most pessimistic films since The Yellow Earth.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Sacrifice (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

March 28, 2011

This professional review refers to Sacrifice (DVD-9) (DTS) (English Subtitled) (China Version)
Chen Kaige is nothing if not enigmatic. Having directed one of the all time greatest films about Chinese modern history and culture in the classic Farewell My Concubine he went on to helm the risible and environmentally destructive The Promise, all but squandering his reputation in the process. Having edged his way back towards form a couple of years ago with the Chinese opera biopic Forever Enthralled, he returns again with Sacrifice, a character driven historical epic based upon the Yuan Dynasty play The Orphan of Zhao. The film stars top Mainland actor Ge You in the lead, backed by an illustrious supporting cast including Wang Xue Qi (Bodyguards and Assassins), Huang Xiao Ming (The Message), Fan Bing Bing (Lost in Beijing), and Zhang Feng Yi (Red Cliff). The film was a definite comeback hit for Chen, beating off fierce competition to become one of the highest earning Chinese productions of 2010.

The film begins with the envious General Tuan (Wang Xue Qi) setting in motion a complex scheme designed to eliminate the entire Zhao clan, his rivals in the court of Duke Ling. Although Tuan is successful in staging a coup and seizes power for himself, General Zhao's wife Zhuang (Fan Bing Bing) manages to persuade local doctor Cheng Ying (Ge You) to save her newborn son before she kills herself. Unfortunately, although Cheng Ying with the help of Han Jue (Huang Xiao Ming) is able to take the child to safety, before he can get him to the house of Zhao ally Sir Gong (Zhang Feng Yi), he is forced to switch him with his own infant son. Working out that Cheng Ying was the one who escaped with the Zhao child, Tuan attacks Gong's household, unknowingly killing the wrong baby in the process. Biding his time, the doctor takes his place in Tuan's court, raising the boy as his own and plotting to have him take revenge when he reaches manhood.

If the plot of Sacrifice sounds rather convoluted, it is, though in rewarding and highly engaging fashion. Although the film has been likened to Hamlet, and does indeed have overtones of Shakespearian tragedy, it's most likely to bring to mind Chen Kaige's earlier work The Emperor and the Assassin. The two films do have a great deal in common, being complex, character driven affairs that revolve around difficult moral dilemmas and themes of responsibility, guilt, and of course, sacrifice. The film is very convincing in this respect, and sees Chen regaining his position as one of the premier storytellers of Chinese cinema, as he skilfully weaves a web of very human flaws, ambitions and nobility without ever patronising the viewer with easy answers or resorting to cheap melodrama. Thankfully, he also avoids any of the obvious nationalism or compromises which have tended to dilute some of the recent Chinese blockbusters, and the film is pleasingly intelligent and challenging.

The characters are all richly written, with Cheng Ying making for a fascinating protagonist, a man who is by no means brave or selfless, and who ends up taking an increasingly philosophical view on the events which he has become caught up in, despite the fact that his choices have cost him dearly. Even Tuan is a complicated and conflicted figure, capable of kindness as well as great ruthlessness, and though he is clearly the villain of the piece, he comes across as being fated to play the role that he does. Ge You is excellent in the lead and effectively carries the film with a deeply affecting performance, giving the film a moving emotional core, and the rest of the cast are similarly impressive.

Chen's direction sees him adopting a slightly different style to that of his previous historical outings, combining the grounded though intricate cinematography of Farewell my Concubine and Temptress Moon with some of the visual flourishes and flashiness of The Promise. The film mixes the intimate and the epic to great effect, and manages to balance its action and battle scenes with its quieter and more personal aspects. This approach works very well, making it both substantial and artistic, and entertaining on a more basic and accessible level. Packing in plenty of drama and confrontations along with a number of bloody sword scenes, the film moves along at a good pace, and is gripping and exciting right through to its tough and eloquently expressed conclusion.

Sacrifice is not only Chen Kaige's best film for over a decade, but is one of the best Chinese blockbusters of the last couple of years. Proving that it is possible to provide thrills and entertainment without compromising on plot or characters, it offers a powerful and thoughtful slice of tragedy that works on both an epic and intimate scale.

by James Mudge -

Editor's Pick of "Sacrifice (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Picked By Rockman
See all this editor's picks

August 31, 2011

Welcome back, Chen Kaige
2010 can be considered a comeback year for Chinese directors. Zhang Yimou returned to small-scale dramas to great success with Under the Hawthorn Tree, Tsui Hark finally produced another box office hit with Detective Dee, and Chen Kaige shows that he has recovered from the disaster that was The Promise with Sacrifice. A compelling revenge drama based on a Yuan Dynasty play, Sacrifice reminds audiences that Chen still has the ability to find gripping, intimate dramas within larger-than-life circumstances.

Sacrifice tells the story of Cheng Ying (Ge You), a family doctor for the court of Duke Ling. Despite being a humble man who just wants to do his job and care for his family, Cheng Ying is embroiled in a mutiny led by General Tuan (Wang Xue Qi) against the court and the Zhao family. Before General Zhao's wife Zhuang (Fan Bing Bing) commits suicide, she asks Cheng Ying to protect her baby son in order to continue the Zhao bloodline. To uphold his promise, Cheng Ying makes the ultimate sacrifice by replacing the Zhao baby with his own baby son, only to lose his entire family at Tuan's hands.

The first half of the story, covering the Tuan's massacre and Cheng Ying's choice, is a thoroughly gripping thriller with court intrigue, action, and compelling character drama. Chen is no stranger to creating large-scale period spectacle in his past films. However, instead of letting lush, expensive visuals take over the film, Chen wisely keeps the battles in the background, mostly focusing on Tuan, Zhuang, Cheng Ying, the Zhao baby, and how his complicated web of supporting characters all affect the core story. Even though Chen once again creates tiny doses of unintentional humor (particularly with a moment where a character inexplicably slips on a fish), it doesn't hurt the dramatic impact of the first half.

Sacrifice slows down greatly in its second half, as Cheng Ying plots a long-term revenge plan against Tuan by raising the Zhao baby as his own son under Tuan's watch. As the story finally sets its path, we realize that it's actually about the conflict between Cheng Ying and Tuan, with the Zhao orphan being used as the pawn. While this conflict keeps the story moving to its inevitable conclusion, it lacks the dramatic drive of the first half due to the long period of time the story covers. As a result, the second half feels like a different episode of the same story.

On the other hand, the second half is also when Wang Xue Qi, as Tuan, gets to truly shine with his multi-layered performance. While Tuan is suitably sinister as the main villain in the first half, Chen reveals Tuan's humanity in the second half, particularly in depicting his relationship with the Zhao orphan (whom he thinks is Cheng Ying's son). As one can expect, Ge You is solid from beginning to end as the tortured doctor, though he isn't as compelling to watch as Wang by the film's second half. While the film's conclusion doesn't pay off as well as Chen had set it up for, the intensity of the two men's conflict remains until the very final moment, partly due to Ge and Wang's intense performances.

Unfortunately, Sacrifice has been largely ignored outside of China, likely because it has too much drama for period epic fans and is too commercial for arthouse fans. Yes, Sacrifice is a commercial film aimed at the Mainland audiences (it became the highest-grossing film of Chen's career), but it's also an entertaining drama filled with excellent performances and a well-told story. It may be remembered as being Chen Kaige's best film in years, but Sacrifice should simply be remembered as a good film under any circumstances.

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

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