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The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel (2013) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) VCD

Liu Ye (Actor) | Zhang Han Yu (Actor) | Tanaka Chie (Actor) | Wang Xun (Actor)
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The Chef, The Actor,  The Scoundrel (2013) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
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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) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) 廚子.戲子.痞子 (2013) (VCD) (香港版) 厨子.戏子.痞子 (2013) (VCD) (香港版) 廚子.戲子.痞子 (2013) (VCD) (香港版) The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel (2013) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: 廚戲痞 / 廚子戲子痞子 / 虎烈拉 厨戏痞 / 厨子戏子痞子 / 虎烈拉
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: 2013-08-30
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: China
Disc Format(s): VCD
Duration: 108 (mins)
Publisher: Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co Ltd
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1033963185

Product Information


四十年代初,日本 731 部隊投放的細菌發生變異,“虎烈拉”橫行華北,進而威脅到日軍。日軍密電急召專家攜秘方前來滅疫災。北平城被日軍封城。城外瘟疫,城裏饑荒。 一個流氓餓得不行了,誤打誤撞把兩個日本人劫到了一家日本料理店裏。料理店裏只有中國人店主夫婦和一個神叨叨的駐店唱戲戲子。怎麼處理這倆日本人成了難題。店主怕得要死,要立刻放人。流氓為了趕緊扔掉這倆燙手的山芋儘快脫身,謊稱自己是八路,要把倆日本人存在店主這兒。戲子則要把日本人和流氓都殺了,省得放了日本人得罪八路,放了八路得罪日本人。為了讓另外倆人聽自己的,流氓掏出手榴彈,廚子拿出刀,戲子舉著矛。三個人陷入僵局。店主老婆翻兩個日本人行李,忽然發現兩個日本人的真實身份竟然是731 派來救災的生化專家。由此,流氓不跑了,戲子也不殺了,三人達成共識:套出秘方,發財分贓!流氓和戲子逼著店主做翻譯,輪番用各種陰招審問日本人,而漢奸店主還在翻譯的過程中偷偷地幫助日本人,與此同時,三個偽偵緝隊隊員也莫名其妙地捲進了這場事件中……
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel (2013) (VCD) (Hong Kong 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 -

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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