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Sacrifice (DVD) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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Sacrifice (DVD) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Two years after elegant biopic Forever Enthralled, Farewell My Concubine director Chen Kaige takes on an epic story that has been dubbed as 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 Xue Qi (Bodyguards and Assassins), Huang Xiao Ming (The Message), Fan Bing Bing (Lost in Beijing), and Zhang Feng Yi (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 Xue Qi) sets off an elaborate plan that leads to the massacre of the Zhao family. Before committing suicide, General Zhao's wife Zhuang (Fan Bing Bing) asks family doctor Cheng Ying (Ge You) to help give birth to her son and take him to family friend Gong (Zhang Feng Yi). With the help of Han Jue (Huang Xiao Ming), 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) (Japan Version) 趙氏孤兒 (DVD) (日本版) 赵氏孤儿 (DVD) (日本版) 運命の子 Sacrifice (DVD) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Zhang Feng Yi | Ge You | Fan Bing Bing | Huang Xiao Ming | Hai Qing | Wang Xue Qi 張豐毅 | 葛優 | 范冰冰 | 黃曉明 | 海清 | 王學圻 张丰毅 | 葛优 | 范冰冰 | 黄 晓明 | 海清 | 王学圻 張豊毅(チャン・フォンイー) | 葛優 (グォ・ヨウ) | 范冰冰 (ファン・ビンビン) | 黄暁明 (ホァン・シァオミン) | 海清(ハイ・チン ) | ワン・シュエチー | 王學圻(ワン・シュエイン) Zhang Feng Yi | Ge You | Fan Bing Bing | Huang Xiao Ming | Hai Qing | Wang Xue Qi
Director: Chen Kaige 陳凱歌 陈凯歌 陳凱歌 (チェン・カイコー) Chen Kaige
Release Date: 2012-06-08
Publisher Product Code: DABA-4187
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: Japanese
Place of Origin: China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1030381499

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Sacrifice (DVD) (Japan 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 -

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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