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The Butcher, The Chef And The Swordsman (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) DVD Region 3

Kitty Zhang (Actor) | Ando Masanobu (Actor) | You Ben Chang (Actor) | Ning Hao
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Wuershan carves his name in a bold new chapter of Chinese action cinema with nothing but a kitchen knife! The innovative commercial and MV director makes his film directorial debut in The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman, a subversive swordplay comedy that has earned critical acclaim for its captivating storytelling and flashy visual style. Backed by 20th Century Fox and Mr. & Mrs. Smith director Doug Liman, the pioneering movie screened in the film festivals of Toronto and Pusan to overwhelming critical acclaim, with some even calling it "the Pulp Fiction of wuxia cinema". Japanese actor Ando Masanobu (Battle Royale), Mainland actress Kitty Zhang (CJ7), and veteran TV actor You Benchang star in three storylines interlinked by a legendary cleaver, which sets in motion a chain of unexpected events that will change the destiny of everyone involved.

Despised butcher Shao San Liang (Liu Xiaoye) is smitten with beautiful courtesan Madam Mei (Kitty Zhang), but his confession of love is met with outright rejection. Roundly humiliated by a fellow suitor, Shao vows to slay him like a pig... Renowned midget chef Ba Da Chan hires a mute (Ando Masanobu) with extraordinary culinary talent as a kitchen hand for his restaurant, not knowing that he is there for revenge... In a bid to become the ruler of the martial world, ruthless swordsman Dugu Cheng (Xu Chong) robs his father's grave for the greatest black iron ever, with which he enlists reclusive blacksmith Fatty Tang (You Benchang) to make the world's most powerful sword for him...

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Butcher, The Chef And The Swordsman (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) 刀見笑 (DVD) (台灣版) 刀见笑 (DVD) (台湾版) 刀見笑 (DVD) (台湾版) The Butcher, The Chef And The Swordsman (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version)
Artist Name(s): Kitty Zhang (Actor) | Ando Masanobu (Actor) | You Ben Chang (Actor) | Ning Hao | Doug Liman 張 雨綺 (Actor) | 安藤政信 (Actor) | 遊本昌 (Actor) | 寧浩 | 德格里文 张 雨绮 (Actor) | 安藤政信 (Actor) | 游本昌 (Actor) | 宁浩 | 德格里文 張雨綺 (キティ・チャン) (Actor) | 安藤政信 (Actor) | 遊本昌(ヨウ・ベンチャン) (Actor) | 寧浩 (ニン・ハオ) | Doug Liman Kitty Zhang (Actor) | Ando Masanobu (Actor) | You Ben Chang (Actor) | Ning Hao | Doug Liman
Director: Wu Er Shan 烏爾善 乌尔善 烏爾善(ウー・アールシャン) Wu Er Shan
Release Date: 2012-01-11
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Bahasa (Malaysia)
Country of Origin: China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 92 (mins)
Publisher: Deltamac (Taiwan) Co. Ltd (TW)
Package Weight: 110 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1025833667

Product Information

導演:Wuershan

  ★ 榮獲2011年金馬獎【最佳新導演】【最佳造型設計】二項大獎

  屠夫少三兩因一方飄落的絲巾而對青樓花魁寐娘一見鍾情,追求屢遭挫折的少三兩萬念俱灰,賭氣尋死,卻意外得到一把無堅不摧的菜刀。由一代名廚八大鏟掌勺的俏江南酒樓收了一名啞巴做雜役,啞巴以非凡的廚藝天分及忠心護主贏得八大鏟的信任,就在八大鏟把全部手藝傳給啞巴之後卻中毒身亡,原來這一切都是啞巴設計,目的就是奪取師父手中的玄鐵菜刀報殺父之仇。一把神奇的菜刀輾轉於世人手中,於是無數人的命運就此改變…

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Butcher, The Chef And The Swordsman (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version)"

February 27, 2012

The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman was an interesting release for the Chinese film industry for a number of reasons, in part due to its having been produced through Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox and presented/executive produced by US director Doug Linman, known for hits like The Bourne Identity and Mr and Mrs Smith. The ambitious comedy, which marked the big screen debut of commercials and music video director Wuershan, was also of note for being one of the rare Chinese films to truly attempt a shake up of the traditional wuxia form through a sensory overload of flashy visual techniques. All of this earned the film a high profile release both in China and in North America, with it also screening to acclaim at a variety of festivals including Pusan and Toronto.

The film has a complex structure, and starts off following burly, uncouth butcher Shao San Liang (Liu Xiaoye), who is determined to woo the courtesan Madam Mei (Kitty Zhang, CJ7). Unfortunately for the poor man, when he goes to the town's prostitute house to declare his love, he ends up being laughed at and beaten by her oversized warrior customer, the fearsome Big Beard. Thirsting for payback, Shao meets a strange man (Japanese actor Ando Masanobu, Battle Royale with a powerful meat cleaver weapon that seems capable of defeating Big Beard, who relates to him the strange tale of how he came by it. As it turns out, the man was previously a chef, working for the famed cook Ba Da Chan (Mi Dan), who had planned to use the weapon to take revenge on the monstrous Eunuch Liu. Within this tale another unfolds, charting the origin of the cleaver, in which swordsman Dugu Cheng (Xu Chong) attempts to conquer the martial arts world after having it forged by the legendary blacksmith Fatty Tang (veteran television actor You Benchang) using iron stolen from his father's grave.

Style over substance is very much the order of the day, with The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman being an incredibly fast moving and dizzying experience. Wuershan assaults the viewer right from the very first frame, his background in commercials and MVs being blatantly obvious as he throws in pretty much every visual trick and technique in the book, varying the shot speed, saturating the colours and employing an array of bizarre camera angles, not to mention editing the film with a mania that suggests the mystic cleaver itself might have been used. With the film also featuring lots of CGI, video game style sequences, a musical rap number and a soundtrack consisting of pounding modern music and hip hop, it really does add up to an exhausting, eyeball searing hour and a half.

Despite an overwhelming impression that the film is trying very, very hard to impress as cutting edge, all of this actually works quite well, and Wuershan does a great job of keeping things tight and coherent. The film certainly rattles along at a fast, indeed breathless pace, and whatever else it might be is never anything approaching dull, and there's more than enough going on to hold the interest, visually at least. This is unsurprisingly where the film does fall down somewhat, as while its story within a story within a story structure allows it to pack in a great deal of plot, not all of it feels necessary, with the swordsman segment in particular crying out for either trimming or more of a purpose. With its various threads being only tenuously unified by their themes, the film at times struggles to find any kind of substance, and as a result might well leave cold viewers seeking actual characters or narrative.

On the plus side, Wuershan seems very aware of this and film doesn't take itself seriously, showing a scattershot and offbeat sense of humour throughout. Although surprisingly grotesque and mean spirited in places, the film is generally comical in a boisterous sort of way, with some imaginative gags and an amusing and occasionally clever script. Whilst the chef's story has the most meat, it's the wretched adventure of the butcher which is the funniest, with Liu Xiaoye hilariously over the top in his hopeless pursuit of the always gorgeous Kitty Zhang.

Although this might not be quite enough to win over viewers nonplussed by its determined visual excess, The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman should definitely be enjoyed by anyone looking for something a little different from Chinese cinema. As a bold attempt to do something new with the traditional wuxia form, it mostly succeeds, and Wuershan dazzles the senses with an impressive flourish, if not always the intellect.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

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