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The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) DVD Region 3

Liu Ye (Actor) | Zhang Han Yu (Actor) | Tanaka Chie (Actor) | Wang Xun (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Liu Ye, Zhang Hanyu and Huang Bo are the eponymous heroes of The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel, a wartime comedy-drama from director Guan Hu (Cow). Set during the Sino-Japanese War in a Beijing ravaged by war, famine and plague, the film takes place mostly in an inn with four everyday folks and their two Japanese captives. The entertaining, shape-shifting story of comedy and espionage gradually reveals a labyrinthine battle of wits and masquerade among various parties with divergent motives and secrets.

A desperate Scoundrel (Huang Bo) tries to rob two Japanese travelers, but a Chef (Liu Ye) captures them first and holds them hostage in his Japanese restaurant. The Chef, his mute wife (Liang Jing, Design of Death), the Scoundrel and a rakish opera Actor (Zhang Hanyu) who works at the restaurant argue over what to do with the captives. When they learn the captives are actually scientists who have developed a vaccine for cholera, they agree to steal the vaccine formula and then sell it off for big money. Making the scientists spill their secrets, however, is easier said than done, especially when they also have to hide the captives from the Japanese army and some suspicious detectives. Meanwhile, the Chef, the Actor and the Scoundrel also may not be who they appear to be.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) 廚子.戲子.痞子 (2013) (DVD) (台灣版) 厨子.戏子.痞子 (2013) (DVD) (台湾版) 廚子.戲子.痞子 (2013) (DVD) (台湾版) The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version)
Artist Name(s): Liu Ye (Actor) | Zhang Han Yu (Actor) | Tanaka Chie (Actor) | Wang Xun (Actor) | Liang Jing (Actor) | Huang Bo (Actor) 劉燁 (Actor) | 張涵予 (Actor) | 田中千繪 (Actor) | 王迅 (Actor) | 梁靜 (Actor) | 黃渤 (Actor) 刘烨 (Actor) | 张涵予 (Actor) | 田中千绘 (Actor) | 王迅 (Actor) | 梁静 (Actor) | 黄渤 (Actor) 劉燁 (リウ・イエ)  (Actor) | 張涵予 (チャン・ハンユー) (Actor) | 田中千絵 (Actor) | ワン・シュン (Actor) | Liang Jing (Actor) | 黄渤(ホァン・ボー) (Actor) Liu Ye (Actor) | Zhang Han Yu (Actor) | Tanaka Chie (Actor) | Wang Xun (Actor) | Liang Jing (Actor) | Huang Bo (Actor)
Director: Guan Hu 管虎 管虎 管虎(クワン・フー) Guan Hu
Release Date: 2015-03-20
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-5
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 108 (mins)
Publisher: Eagle International Communication CO.,LTD
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1038695253

Product Information

導演:管虎

  民國三十一年,日本731部隊投放屠殺中國人的「虎烈拉」病菌橫行華北。北平城被日軍封城,城外鬧瘟疫,城裡鬧饑荒。

  痞子(黃渤 飾)受不了飢餓,將倆日本人劫到一間日本料理店裡。店內只有店主夫婦和一個駐店唱戲的戲子(張涵予 飾),怎麼處理這倆日本人成了大難題。店主廚子(劉燁 飾)怕生事,要求放人。痞子想省事,謊稱自己是八路軍,要求廚子配合,把日本人關押在此。戲子則要把日本人和痞子都殺了,免得左右為難。此時,廚子的瘋老婆(梁靜 飾)赫然發現兩個日本人的真實身份是派來救災的生化專家。

  聽到此消息,眾人便達成共識「套出秘方,發財分贓!」,並開始使出各種陰招拷問日本人,但事實卻並非表面所見的單純,一齣鬧劇才正要上演…。
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"

October 15, 2013

This professional review refers to The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel (2013) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Guan Hu, writer and director of the acclaimed Cow returns with another World War II set comedy drama in The Chef, the Actor, the Scoundrel which sees the titular three rogues going up against the Japanese in Beijing to try and get their hands on a cure for cholera. Headlined by three of the country's most popular actors, Liu Ye (The Last Supper), Zhang Hanyu (Back to 1942) and Huang Bo (Lost in Thailand), the film takes place mainly in the one location, and is an imaginative and constantly shifting affair that attempts to keep the viewer guessing through to the end.

The film opens in 1941 in Beijing under Japanese occupation, with a strict curfew enforced and the city decimated by a cholera epidemic. A stage coach trying to pass through is ambushed and hijacked by the Scoundrel (Huang Bo), who subsequently crashes into an inn, run by proprietor the Chef (Liu Ye) and his wife (Liang Jing, also in the director's Design of Death) and where opera performer the Actor (Zhang Hanyu) also works. The Scoundrel takes the two Japanese soldiers travelling in the coach hostage and joins with the others in trying to figure out how to ransom them for money. However, they soon uncover that the two are actually scientists from the notorious Unit 731 and are carrying with them an experimental cholera cure in a canister, and they decide to steal it in the hopes of a bigger profit.

The Chef, the Actor, the Scoundrel is a film of constant surprises, and it's pretty hard to talk about it without giving an early twist away. So, for those who want to go in totally fresh (never a bad idea), the long and the short is that this is a highly inventive, cleverly constructed, and above all fun film, which is definitely worth the time of any Chinese cinema fans. Another great effort from Guan Hu and with great performances from the cast, it comes very much recommended - anyone wishing to avoid spoilers should stop reading now (and are also advised not to read the DVD back cover blurb).

The film certainly starts off in madcap fashion, with some over the top action, bizarrely stylised acting and lots of slapstick comedy as the three titular characters bicker over their Japanese captives. Though it's all very amusing, a lot of viewers would be forgiven at this stage for feeling a little baffled. About half an hour in, Guan Hu puts at least some of his cards on the table, revealing that the chef, actor and scoundrel, along with the chef's wife, are actually Chinese agents, who have set the whole thing up with the aim of snatching the scientists, their charade being planned as a means of getting them to let their guard down. From here on, things get increasingly complicated, and the film becomes a constantly shifting game of cat and mouse, with a group of useless detectives trying to sneak in and seize the cholera canister, and with Japanese troops amassing outside.

This really only scratches the surface, and there's a great deal more going on, the film at the same time working in flashbacks that flesh out the characters' relationships - apparently, the story was actually based upon a true story. Thankfully, Guan Hu does a fantastic job of juggling everything, and it's truly impressive just how seamlessly the film leaps from comedy to spy drama to germ warfare thriller and more, never missing a beat in the process. It's breathlessly entertaining stuff, and is all the more enjoyable for the fact that while it certainly plays with the viewer and cleverly subverts expectations, it never feels manipulative, thanks in no small part to an expertly constructed script. With the characters all being likeable and surprisingly multi-dimensional, it's both involving and eventually even moving, and though there are a few melodramatic touches towards the end, they at least feel well-earned.

Guan Hu's direction fits the material perfectly, with an air of manic energy throughout that keeps things moving at a breakneck pace. Though it takes place mostly on just the one set, the production design is gorgeous, and some excellent camerawork makes sure that the visuals never get repetitive. A fine sense of comic timing also helps, and though those familiar with either Peking opera or the early days of Chinese cinema might get a little more out of some of the setups, there are plenty of laughs for the general viewer, along with some nicely choreographed, and frequently quite bloody action scenes.

The Chef, the Actor, the Scoundrel is a film which really doesn't put a foot wrong and which packs in more good stuff than several other less ambitious productions combined. Guan Hu is a writer director with a particular talent not only for fast paced fun and visual style, but also for solid character work, and with Liu Ye, Zhang Hanyu and Huang Bo all on great form, it one of those rare films with both a heart and a brain.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

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.
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