Stephen Chow A Chinese Odyssey (DVD) (HD Restored & Remastered) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All
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YesAsia Editorial Description
A bold reinvention of the classic A Journey to the West, the two films follow the adventure of Joker (Stephen Chow), a scruffy Ancient Chinese gang leader who's really the reincarnated form of the Monkey King. Two evil sister demons (Yammie Lam and Karen Mok) nudge Joker in the correct direction and complete the Journey to the West. Part 2 starts with Joker (Stephen Chow) just discovering that he is, in fact, fated to be the Monkey King. But he is much more concerned with traveling forward in time to save his wife, one of the sisters who used to be his enemy, from certain death. Unfortunately, he's indentured to the beautiful, but schizophrenic Zixia (Athena Chu), who's bent on becoming Joker's true love! But to finally become the Monkey King, Joker must cast off all human desire. Can he forsake human love to save his Master, the Longevity Monk (Law Kar Ying)?
A Chinese Odyssey blends costume pageantry with gorgeous scenery and some fabulous action sequences from action choreographer Ching Siu Tung (Hero). Stephen Chow turns in a hilarious and emotionally moving performance to offer a costume comedy adventure unlike any you've ever seen!
|Product Title:||Stephen Chow A Chinese Odyssey (DVD) (HD Restored & Remastered) (Hong Kong Version) 周星馳西遊記系列 (HD數碼修復) (香港版) 周星驰西游记系列 (HD数码修复) (香港版) 周星馳 チャイニーズ・オデッセイ （西遊記） （HDリマスター） （香港版） Stephen Chow A Chinese Odyssey (DVD) (HD Restored & Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Stephen Chow (Actor) | Athena Chu (Actor) | Karen Mok (Actor) | Ng Man Tat (Actor) | Law Ka Ying (Actor) | Yammie Nam (Actor) 周 星馳 (Actor) | 朱茵 (Actor) | 莫文蔚 (Actor) | 吳孟達 (Actor) | 羅家英 (Actor) | 藍潔英 (Actor) 周 星驰 (Actor) | 朱茵 (Actor) | 莫文蔚 (Actor) | 吴孟达 (Actor) | 罗家英 (Actor) | 蓝洁英 (Actor) 周星馳（チャウ・シンチー） (Actor) | 朱茵（アテナ・チュウ） (Actor) | 莫文蔚（カレン・モク） (Actor) | 呉孟達 （ン・マンタ） (Actor) | 羅家英（ロー・ガーイン） (Actor) | 藍潔瑛（ナム・キットイン） (Actor) 주성치 (Actor) | Athena Chu (Actor) | Karen Mok (Actor) | 오맹달 (Actor) | Law Ka Ying (Actor) | Yammie Nam (Actor)|
|Director:||Jeff Lau 劉鎮偉 刘镇伟 劉鎮偉（ジェフ・ラウ） Jeff Lau|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese|
|Place of Origin:||Hong Kong|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.78 : 1|
|Sound Information:||DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Disc Format(s):||DVD, DVD-9|
|Region Code:||All Region What is it?|
|Publisher:||Intercontinental Video (HK)|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1004551137|
Director's Interview (Part.1 & Part.2) (With English, Trad./Simp. Chinese, Korean, Japanese Subtitles)
A Chinese Odyssey (Part.1 - Pandora's Box)
* Screen Format: 16:9 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
* Sound Mix:
- Cantonese: Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS 5.1
- Mandarin: Dobly Digital 5.1
* DVD Type: DVD-9
* Running Time:
- The Movie: 88 mins
- Director Commentary: 10 mins (With English, Trad./Simp. Chinese, Korean, Japanese Subtitles)
Cast: Stephen Chow/ Richard Ng/ Karen Mok/ Yammie Lam
Director: Lau Chun Wai
A Chinese Odyssey (Part.2 Cinderella)
* Screen Format: 16:9 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
* Sound Mix:
- Cantonese: Dolby Digital 5.1/ DTS 5.1
- Mandarin: Dolby Digital 5.1
* DVD Type: DVD-9
* Running Time:
- The Movie: 100 mins
- Director Commentary: 10mins (With English, Trad./Simp. Chinese, Korean, Japanese Subtitles)
Cast: Stephen Chow/ Richard Ng/ Karen Mok/ Chu Yan
Director: Jeff Lau
The Joker travels back in time to save his beloved, the reformed devil Boney M. But in stead of going back to the right place and right time, he finds himself stranded in a chasm five hundred years back. There, the Joker is destined to meet Cinderella, a woman who will change his life forever. He is to fall madly in love with her and yet deny it. He is also to witness and relive the scene of the Monkey King being subdued by the Goddess of Happiness. The Joker is to become Monkey King again but he is unwilling to follow Monkey King's footsteps. But can he really take over his own destiny and resist Divine Providence?
Other Versions of "Stephen Chow A Chinese Odyssey (DVD) (HD Restored & Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)"
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- Usually ships within 7 to 14 days
- A Chinese Odyssey Boxset : Pandora's Box + Cinderella DTS (Korean Version) DVD Region 3
- Out of Print
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Professional Review of "Stephen Chow A Chinese Odyssey (DVD) (HD Restored & Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)"
Journey to the West, or Monkey as it was originally published in England, is probably the most famous work of classic literature to come out of China. The story of the Monk XuanZang and his pilgrimage to India to bring back the sacred Buddhist scriptures (that could change the heart of man for the better) is well known, mostly because of the companions he brought on that journey. Of course, when I say companions, I'm mostly referring to the Monkey King: the mischievous chimp who became an immortal then dared to challenge the Jade Emperor and ended up imprisoned under Five Finger Mountain for 500 years, until XuanZang rescued him to bring on his perilous journey. The character has captured the hearts of Asian fans for generations and has been portrayed in numerous film, TV and theatre adaptations of Journey to the West that keep cropping up year in, year out. Most famous of all these is the Japanese TV series Saiyuki, a wonderfully camp show that proved a big cult smash in Britain when it was first aired back in 1979.
The format of the original novel, made up of 81 various calamities that befall XuanZang and his companions Monkey King, Pigsy, and Sandy, leans itself more favourably to a lengthy TV series, but in 1995 comedic film writer/director Jeff Lau came up with a unique concept for re-imagining the Monkey legend by filling in the blanks of the 500 years that the Monkey King was imprisoned. His idea was what would happen if the Monkey King wasn't literally trapped under Five Finger Mountain all those years, but had been reincarnated as a human, one who would eventually fall in love. What trials and tribulations would he have to go through before reaching enlightenment and accepting the holy order to join XuanZang in his passage to India? Lau's choice for the leading role of the Monkey King was the reigning box office king of comedy: Stephen Chow, who had rose to superstardom working under Jeff Lau in the God of Gambler spoof All For the Winner. The partnership was one proven to work fantastically, and with the epic story split across two films and released for the 1995 Chinese New Year, A Chinese Odyssey became a smash hit and earned instant classic status by fans and critics alike.
A Chinese Odyssey Part One - Pandora's Box
Ok, I feel I have to state up front right away that I am a huge fan of Stephen Chow, I've seen almost all his comedies and the majority of his early action dramas as well, and can say that he has made very few films that are worth avoiding. I'm often bemused when I read comments that Chow's distinctive Mo Lei Tau (nonsense) style of comedy often doesn't translate well to English at all, and most of his films are not very Western-friendly, because I can reel off title after title that have consistently kept me belly-laughing from beginning to end. I may not be picking up on all the gags, but Chow's films usually have so many that you can miss a load and still laugh twice as hard as other comedies.
A Chinese Odyssey: Pandora's Box is for me one of the funniest films in Chow's filmography, and more importantly, it's one of only a handful of comedies he's starred in to have enough of a plot that you can appreciate the film even if you don't actually get the humour. Jeff Lau's script plays out ostensibly like King Hu's Dragon Gate Inn on crack for the first half and then becomes much more narrative driven when the Bull King turns up looking for revenge, building up to an exciting finale that paves the way for the next film. Along the way, just about every aspect of the production adds its own personal layer to the film. Frankie Chan's score is extremely poignant in places and adds a level of dramatic gravitas to certain scenes that is missing in the script; he also regurgitates some of his work on the superb Ashes of Time score (the reasons for this would become clear in Part 2). So A Chinese Odyssey sounds great, but it's also a visually polished film, particularly during night exterior shots, which Poon Hang Sang has basked in multiple primary coloured neon lights, capturing an ethereal, almost cartoonish feel. This is appropriate after all, for in the Chinese Odyssey world, night time is when the monsters come out to play.
Although Pandora's Box is not an action-driven film, there are a few action sequences, most amounting to little more than brief scuffles, and all feature heavy use of wirework (sometimes slapstick, sometimes serious) that you'll find in any action fantasy from the mid 90s. When the Bull King arrives on the scene though, the action gets cranked up a notch and one battle in particular has action director Tony Ching Siu Tung making clever use of camera perspectives to convey the body size morphing abilities of the characters. The fact that the demons and immortals in the Journey to the West legend usually resemble some form of animal and have varying degrees of shape-shifting abilities presented an obvious problem for the special effects, and indeed it is the visual effects that prove to be the weakest element in the film. This was long before HK had adopted CGI as standard, so all the creature effects rely on extremely poor prosthetics. Even the easy prosthetics, like the make up that turns Stephen Chow into the Monkey King looks blatantly like bits of rubber stuck to his head; you're never fooled for one second, but ironically the poor effects add to the film's camp charm.
As for the comedy, there are gags flying everywhere, and almost all of them hit the mark. There really is something for everyone here. Most of the laughs come from Chow's character Joker either mishearing what people tell him, or just being plain ignorant to their point - which ensures that most of the exposition doesn't feel forced, but fresh and hilarious. Slapstick also features very heavily, although in keeping with Chow's usual style, the violence is particularly cruel on his character; there's a brilliant repetition grab where Joker always ends up in a situation where he repeatedly gets attacked in the nuts - sometimes the cheap shots are the best. Perhaps the most successful thing Chow and Lau have managed to do is to set up comedic set pieces that at first seem completely contrived and obvious, but then hit the viewer with something truly unexpected. There's one scene where Joker and his gang have been given Invisibility tokens that, if worn, render the wearer completely invisible. It's obvious they're going to use this to spy and ambush on the Demon Sisters, and it's obvious that Chow and co will resort to physical tomfoolery to find out whether the sisters can see them or not - what you're don't expect though, is for Joker to turn up dressed in a bow tie and robe made out of the invisible tokens and for Assistant Manager to be dressed up as a cheerleader complete with pom-pom tokens.
When the films become more narrative driven in the second half, the volume of gags reduces considerably, but it's a case of quality over quantity as many of the funniest moments in the film occur in the final half. Plus the shift in tone towards story and drama enables Lau to finish the film on a very neat plot twist that pretty much guarantees you can't wait to watch the next instalment. This makes A Chinese Odyssey: Pandora's Box an extremely fun, engaging opening act to the larger overall story.
A Chinese Odyssey Part Two - Cinderella
What is most surprising about Cinderella is how quickly the tone of the story has shifted, with the riotous comedy that drove Pandora's Box forward being downplayed and high drama coming to the forefront instead. The reason for this is mostly because the protagonist, Joker, has come a long way since the start of the tale. He is now a man who has loved and has a purpose in life (to get back to Jing Jing), but it's one that is allowing him to ignore the hand that fate has dealt him. Ultimately the film is about Joker's refusal to let go of the love he lost and embrace the new one he has found, and more importantly it's about his struggle to accept Buddha's holy order and take up his duties as Longevity Monk's travelling companion/protector. The change seems almost effortless because Jeff Lau has carefully plotted A Chinese Odyssey to create a strong, constantly changing character arc for Joker. The narrative in Cinderella is much more focused and cleverly unravels all the links and references to the first film as the story trundles along, ensuring that the film has a clear sense of direction, which Pandora's Box lacked. This doesn't mean that there's no room for comedy; in fact Cinderella is consistently funny - you're just not being bombarded with joke after joke like in the first. Many of the comedy interludes are laugh-out-loud, particularly the extensions to the confrontation between Monkey King and Goddess that opened the story up. To re-invent the Longevity Monk from the pious hero of the original novel into a similarly pious, but outrageously annoying goody-two-shoes who simply can't stop talking, is absolutely inspired and constantly provides laughs throughout the film. Also, fans of Wong Kar Wai will appreciate the cheeky spoofing of Wong Kar Wai's Ashes of Time and Chungking Express - parody being one of the staple elements of Jeff Lau and Stephen Chow's work.
Lau's script is very bold to try and change the romantic pairing that had been established between Joker and Jing Jing to Joker and ZiXia - not to mention the complications of having QingXia sharing the same body as her sister. Although Lau has developed the story well, I don't think it would have been possible to accept this change if it wasn't for the brilliant performances of its two leads, Athena Chu and Stephen Chow. Not only does Chu look gorgeous, she's also utterly adorable as ZiXia, a sparkling, effervescent screen presence that makes ZiXia so much cheerier than the callous Madam 30th and broken hearted Jing Jing from Pandora's Box. However, despite Athena Chu's undeniable screen presence, Stephen Chow's performance completely dominates the film. Cinderella represented a bold departure for Chow as an actor; it has much less comedy than pretty much any film he made leading into the mid 90s, and while he had handled romance before in triad dramas and the occasional romantic comedy, this was really his first starring role where romance and drama was the primary focus of the story. He rises to the occasion seemingly effortlessly, innately finding the right tone during the shifts from comedy to drama with surprisingly subtlety as the emotionally torn Joker. It is however his performance as the Monkey King that impresses the most. Playful and menacing, Chow portrays Monkey King as both jester and psychotic, completely capturing the heroic and dark, bestial side of the character - he also gets to deliver some of the best lines in the film. In fact, it wouldn't be too much hyperbole to say that his Monkey King is a perfect character performance, featuring very little of Chow's usual screen presence or acting style at all. The final showdown between Monkey King and King Bull also gives Tony Ching Siu Tung a chance to put his considerable imagination to good use, incorporating many of Monkey King's legendary abilities in a lengthy confrontation that features some outrageous techniques. So good is Chow's portrayal and Ching's action sequences that you're kinda left wishing they could have made a third film covering the actual journey to India.
But alas all good things come to an end, and if we're lucky, sometimes that end can even transcend what has come before. Whenever I think back on the great closing scenes of all the HK films I've watched, the finale to A Chinese Odyssey always springs to mind. For me, it is by far the most emotional moment in the film and a beautiful, poignant way to close the story. As the closing plays out, I always end up contemplating the complex character arc that has taken Joker from incompetent desert rat to heroic Monkey King, and appreciating what Jeff Lau has managed to achieve with these two films. When you look at A Chinese Odyssey as a singular, three hour epic fantasy comedy, it's quite simply one of the finest films of its type.
Pandora's Box has a reasonably sharp, detailed transfer (that uses only minor Edge Enhancement in the occasional scene), and features excellent brightness and contrast levels. The print is also remarkably clean, save for the occasional vertical scratch and a strange vertical mark popping around the 35 minute mark (the scene where the grapes fall on Joker) that dances from side to side near the left edge of the screen. This lasts roughly 20 seconds. Poon Hang Sang's cinematography features some very bold, colourful lighting, which is brought vividly to life by the DVD transfer's strong colour reproduction. There's a little chroma noise, and reds are a touch too strong - leading to the occasional bleeding and lack of detail in certain scenes that have heavy red lighting. This is only a small gripe, the colours look absolutely fantastic. The transfer appears to be progressive for the most part, but infrequently frames are affected by aliasing and ghosting. The image also wobbles occasionally as well, but I can't say whether this is down to telecine wobble or the camera that took the shots, there does appear to be some object drift because of Digital Noise Reduction though.
Cinderella matches Pandora's Box for image quality; it too looks great and also has its own strange print marking in the form of a smudge on the print from roughly 06min 13sec to 06m:34s. Another strange quirk of Cinderella's transfer is that its aspect ratio temporarily shifts to 1.79: and 1.77:1 at various intervals during the film. This of course will be totally unnoticeable on a CRT TV set, but what some may notice is that there appears to be some cropping to these sequences where the aspect ratio changes.
Pandora's Box has the better audio representation of the two. The DTS track is pretty loud and features surprisingly clean, audible dialogue throughout. The score also sounds crisp and clean but sounds a little hollow in comparison; this is probably down to the bass levels being a little low generally throughout the film, but when the score goes a little deep and the action sequences need a little punch, the bass does deliver. The 5.1 soundmix is very well done with an active, expansive soundstage that makes full use of the front and rear speakers. The only real negative I can say about the track is that there is a very faint but audible hiss coming from the center channel throughout the film. In comparison, the DD5.1 track exhibits pretty much the same audio quality, just at a much lower volume level. If there's anything that separates the Cantonese DD and DTS tracks, it's that the DTS sounds just a little more dynamic. A Chinese Odyssey was not shot synch sound, so the Mandarin track is comparable to the Cantonese in quality.
Cinderella is also blessed with two very good Cantonese tracks, but for some reason both the DTS and DD5.1 tracks suffer a little from weaker bass and a more hollow sound in general. The most noticeable difference is that the audio isn't quite so clean, with tearing occurring when voices are raised or loud sound effects kick in. Another minor distraction is that the audio hiss on the center channel is louder, and accompanied by a hum in certain scenes. Also, about 19 minutes in there is a chunk of dialogue that has been re-looped and sounds noticeably cleaner and louder than the normal dialogue; this only lasts for about half a minute.
Optional English, Japanese, Korean, Simplifies Chinese, and Traditional Chinese subtitles are included on all the MegaStar DVD releases. Every single HK DVD release of the A Chinese Odyssey films features the same English translation, which is going to dishearten fans who hoped an editor would have given the old translation a good going over. The grammar throughout both films is pretty poor and does make the complex narratives of both films harder to follow.
by Matt Shingleton - DVD Times
Feature articles that mention "Stephen Chow A Chinese Odyssey (DVD) (HD Restored & Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)"
Customer Review of "Stephen Chow A Chinese Odyssey (DVD) (HD Restored & Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)"
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: (4)
See all my reviews
July 19, 2009
This customer review refers to Stephen Chow's A Chinese Odyssey (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
ALMOST LOVED THIS MOVIE
|well, all my friends had told me that this movie is GREAT!!! the reviews here said the same. So i thought the BLU-RAY would be worth it even though I had not seen it. Well, overall, I enjoyed the movie and it was funny, entertaining and touching at the end, but DAMN the subtittles....I mean I thought they would put more time into the subs since it was BLU-RAY, but it seemed wack. The storyline seemed so rushed, shallow and non-engaging; and the whole time I felt like blaming the SUBTITTLES. The subs just seemed so short, rushed, and there were plenty of mistakes. Hes became shes, and shes became hes. DAMN IT, I want at least 10 bucks back, unless they send me a blu-ray version with better subs. Although, my buddies did tell me that the version DUBBED in my language (HMONG) was better. Guess I'll have to watch that version one day. Overall, good movies still. And, very very good quality. Subs just kinda killed it for me. =(|
See all my reviews
May 5, 2008
This is the version to own!
I have watched the two-part "A Chinese Odyssey" on VHS tape and on older DVD editions. Believe me, this newly remastered DVD version is the one you must own. The images and sound are so much clearer on this version that it almost seems like you are watching a different movie.
For "A Chinese Odyssey", filmmaker Jeff Lau refashioned the familiar tale of "Journey to the West" into a love story between the Monkey King (in human guise) and, serially, two different women, played by Karen Mok and Athena Chu. This reworking of the classic story was a brilliant conception that turns the rather episodic source material into a cohesive whole.
Director Lau carries it all off with great style and humor. The movie manages to be a fast-moving visual delight, both uproariously funny and fervently romantic. Stephen Chow gives perhaps his greatest performance and is ably supported by the wondrously comic Mok and the heartbreakingly lovely Chu. Also memorable is Law Kar-Ying as the tediously long-winded Longevity Monk.
This two-part film is among the most boundlessly creative and laugh-out-loud funny that Hong Kong has ever produced. I downgrade this version slightly for the inconsistent quality of its English subtitles. Nonetheless, I recommend this edition of this great film very highly.
See all my reviews
March 22, 2008
A Great Love Story
The local TV station had shown the two movies on many occasions but I have never watched them in full. The two scenes - one from each of the movies -that were the most memorable was when Stephen Chow's character tried to travel back in time to save his loved one; and the other was the final scene where Stephen Chow's and Athena Zhu's characters stood on the high wall in a "face-off".
I finally watched the two movies in full today and although the movies are more than 10 years old (and if one can look past the Stephen Chow's slapstick humour - you either love it or you hate it), I felt that the movies have withstood the test of time. It is a great story about love and destiny, and the most original twist to the Journey to the West. I am glad I bought the DVD.
See all my reviews
October 28, 2006
one of chow's best!
|i loved this movie. action, epic, comedy, and romance. a bit of everything, just enough to satisfy ur appetite. u need to see both to get the grand feel of things. besides shaolin soccer and kung fu hustle, this movie is almost his best. plus it has one of THE most memorable lines in hong kong movie history (love you a million years [ai ni yi wan nian])...|