The Continent (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A
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YesAsia Editorial Description
The tiny Dongji Island is the first part of China to see the sun every morning. It's the place where Ma Haohan (William Feng) and Jiang He (Wilson Chen) grew up. One idealistic and one pragmatic, the two are, perhaps, an unlikely pair of friends. As they prepare for a cross-country road trip on the mainland, they remain unaware of how much the journey – and the people they would meet – would change their friendship.
|Product Title:||The Continent (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 後會無期 (2014) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 后会无期 (2014) (Blu-ray) (香港版) いつか、また (2014) (Blu-ray) (香港版) The Continent (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Also known as:||後會無期|
|Artist Name(s):||Chen Bo Lin (Actor) | William Feng (Actor) | Wallace Chung (Actor) | Joe Chen (Actor) | Wang Luo Dan (Actor) | Yolanda Yuan (Actor) | Jia Zhangke (Actor) 陳柏霖 (Actor) | 馮 紹峰 (Actor) | 鍾漢良 (Actor) | 陳喬恩 (Actor) | 王珞丹 (Actor) | 袁 泉 (Actor) | 賈樟柯 (Actor) 陈柏霖 (Actor) | 冯 绍峰 (Actor) | 锺汉良 (Actor) | 陈 乔恩 (Actor) | 王珞丹 (Actor) | 袁 泉 (Actor) | 贾樟柯 (Actor) 陳柏霖 （チェン・ボーリン） (Actor) | 馮紹峰（ウィリアム・フォン） (Actor) | 鍾漢良（ウォレス・チョン） (Actor) | 陳喬恩（ジョー・チェン） (Actor) | 王珞丹 （ワン・ルオダン） (Actor) | 袁泉（ユアン・チュアン） (Actor) | 賈樟柯 （ジャ・ジャンクー） (Actor) 천보린 (Actor) | 풍소봉 (Actor) | Wallace Chung (Actor) | Joe Chen (Actor) | Wang Luo Dan (Actor) | Yolanda Yuan (Actor) | Jia Zhangke (Actor)|
|Director:||Han Han 韓寒 韩寒 ハン・ハン Han Han|
|Blu-ray Region Code:||A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Country of Origin:||China|
|Picture Format:||[HD] High Definition, NTSC What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.78 : 1, Widescreen|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM)|
|Screen Resolution:||1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)|
|Package Weight:||100 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1041790527|
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "The Continent (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"
Celebrity writer, blogger and race car driver (Really!) Han Han brings his popular fictional stylings to the screen with his directorial debut The Continent. A written-for-the-screen road movie, the film concerns old friends Ma Haohan (William Feng), Jiang He (Wilson Chen) and Hu Sheng (Gao Huayan), who, upon being asked to relocate from their home island off the eastern coast of China, begin a 3000 kilometer road trip across the country to Jiang He's new teaching job. After a brief visit with actress and old friend Zhou Mo (Joe Chen), the three stop at a dilapidated hotel where the introspective and quirky Jiang He takes a shine to enigmatic prostitute Su Mi (Wang Luodan). A shakedown leads to a quick getaway, but the cognitively-challenged Hu Sheng is left behind while Jiang He and Ma Haohan abscond with Su Mi in tow. She isn;t with them for long, but a bond forms between she and Jiang He, and some reflection on love and self are gleamed.
Then the journey continues, sans Hu Sheng and Su Mi, as Haohan decides to visit his longtime penpal Liu Yingying (Yolanda Yuan). A self-aggrandizing blowhard, Haohan believes that Yingying has long pined for him, but he's about to get a rude awakening. And so it continues for the traveling twosome, as they move further from their origins and encounter more diversions and emotions. Their journey begets feelings of transition and maturation as the two fight, make new friends and even get bamboozled. What does it all mean? I'm not sure I can tell you. There's a lot going on in The Continent but most of the turmoil takes place inside the characters. Why are we here? Where are we going? What's with this dude, and why is he talking about penises? There's a self-absorption to Han Han's musings that surely relates to his target audience. Wong Kar-Wai tapped into this zeitgeist in Hong Kong over 20 years ago, but his approach was overtly pretentious, while Han Han approaches matters in a more engaging way using obvious self-deprecation and dry wit.
The humor of The Continent saves it from being impenetrable pseudo-existential blather. The jokes aren't belly laughs, however, and are largely carried by pacing and timing, with the hapless duo of Haohan and Jiang He frequently the butt of the funnies. Sudden swerves from epiphanies to pratfalls, moments of absurd lyricism – The Continent uses dry surprise well and consistently amuses. The performers are in fine form too. Wilson Chen is an ace at playing dopey yet righteous slackers, and Jiang He certainly qualifies as one. Meanwhile, William Feng is dead on as the puffed-up Haohan, whose egocentric antics provide much of the film's absurd humor. Wang Luodan and Yolanda Yuan shine in their smaller roles, while Wallace Chung is amusingly outspoken as a bohemian backpacker who, for a short time, becomes Jiang He and Haohan's third wheel. All the characters are surreal in that they don't act like you'd expect real people to, but that's the chosen aesthetic. This is Han Han's world – take it or leave it, people.
Ultimately, it's difficult to say that The Continent accomplishes all that much besides deadpan quirk and a few serendipitous surprises. The film could be regarded as a metaphor for the journey towards maturation, with each person representing a piece of one's personality, and each stage of the journey resulting in another piece getting left behind (first Hu Sheng, then another, until finally one is left). Or, this might be a film only for Han Han's legion of followers (among which I cannot be counted). As is, the film only succeeds at appearing to plumb philosophical depths – and yet it also seems to understand that its own pretensions are something to poke fun at. This is a unique creation and one that – while it's not forthcoming enough to be everyone's cup of tea – can still engage with its character insight, small surprises, a cute puppy (yes, there's a puppy), exacting pacing, subtle camerawork and finally the expansive, earthy vistas that greet Haohan and Jiang He on each step of their journey. It's arguable that following this twosome results in anything that revealing or substantial. But the ride is well worth it.
by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com
Editor's Pick of "The Continent (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"
See all this editor's picks
June 10, 2015
Time magazine opened its "2010 Time 100" profile of Han Han like this: "Best-selling novelist, champion race-car driver, wasp-tongued enfant terrible of China's literary world – Han Han has been all these things." Since publishing his first novel at the age of 18, Han Han has straddled the line between rebel hero and commercial superstar while diving into countless side hobbies and projects. The influential bad boy writer who defined China's post-80s generation found yet a new role in 2014 – director – and it should perhaps come as no surprise that he's good at that, too.
Han Han penned an original story for The Continent, but this new story would sound familiar to anyone who's ever read a Han Han novel. Wilson Chen and William Feng play longtime friends Jiang He and Ma Haohan, one introspective and the other impetuous, from a small remote island off China's east coast. When Jiang He gets assigned to a teaching position in western China, the friends hit the road together in a beaten car for the cross-country journey. On this long trip, they'll lose and gain travel buddies, meet enigmatic women, get involved in outrageous happenstances and quarrel endlessly to a breaking and/or breakthrough point.
Aimless, egotistical, pseudo-intellectual drifters up to no good while on a journey in which no meaning or great meaning can be gleaned is basically the formula that has driven all of Han Han's novels, so it's only appropriate that his first film would also be in this vein. Like his written works, The Continent is also filled with dry humor, snarky characters, wild turns and quotable lines that are just as likely to elicit snickers as they are to engage the audience in a discussion about one's place in the world at large.
As a longtime fan of Han Han the novelist, I looked forward to The Continent with both great anticipation and slight anxiety, because his oblique, spontaneous storytelling, while genius in print, might not translate well onto screen, especially in the hands of a first-time director. He has, however, adeptly adapted his style for cinema: the humor and references are more accessible, the story less preposterous and the subtext less biting, but the film is undeniably him. The appealing cast, clean cinematography and sprawling locales also lend a down-to-earth grandeur to the vagabond road film. Even the soundtrack is a home run, with Han Han coaxing the first original new song in a decade out of reclusive singer-songwriter Pu Shu for the film's theme song.
In The Continent, Han Han has delivered exactly the kind of stories, characters and encounters you'd expect from him, while also showing an assured grasp of cinematic language and commercial savvy. If he keeps using this same formula for every film afterwards, it might not work as well as in his books, but for his directorial debut, this is absolutely the film he's meant to make.