The Great Magician (2012) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3
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YesAsia Editorial Description
In 1916, China was in turmoil with warlords battling against each other and Japanese conspirators lurking in the dark. One day, a mysterious man named Zhang Xian (Tony Leung) takes the capital city by storm with his mesmerizing magic tricks. He soon catches the attention of ruthless warlord Commander Lei (Lau Ching Wan), who is eager to please his seventh wife Liu Yin (Zhou Xun) by taking her to see Zhang's performance. Unbeknownst to Lei, his favorite concubine was once the fiancée of Zhang, and approaching him to earn his trust is just the first step in the vengeful illusionist's secret agenda...
Hong Kong Version DVD comes with special features: trailer, making-of, and photo gallery.
|Product Title:||The Great Magician (2012) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version) 大魔術師 (2012) (DVD) (勁量雙碟版) (香港版) 大魔术师 (2012) (DVD) (劲量双碟版) (香港版) 大魔術師 (DVD) (勁量雙碟版) (香港版) The Great Magician (2012) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Actor) | Lau Ching Wan (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Daniel Wu | Alex Fong Chung Sun (Actor) | Morris Rong (Actor) | Wang Zi Yi (Actor) | Tsui Hark | Vincent Kok | Ambrose Hsu (Actor) | Yan Ni (Actor) | Kenya Sawada (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Lu Jian Ming (Actor) | Lau Ho Leung (Actor) | Olivia Wang (Actor) | Jiang Dao Hai (Actor) | Wu Gang (Actor) 梁 朝偉 (Actor) | 劉 青雲 (Actor) | 周迅 (Actor) | 吳彥祖 | 方中信 (Actor) | 戎 祥 (Actor) | 王紫逸 (Actor) | 徐 克 | 谷德昭 | 許紹洋 (Actor) | 閆妮 (Actor) | 澤田謙也 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 陸劍明 (Actor) | 劉浩良 (Actor) | 王子文 (Actor) | 江 道海 (Actor) | 吳 剛 (Actor) 梁 朝伟 (Actor) | 刘 青云 (Actor) | 周迅 (Actor) | 吴彦祖 | 方中信 (Actor) | 戎 祥 (Actor) | 王紫逸 (Actor) | 徐 克 | 谷德昭 | 许绍洋 (Actor) | 闫妮 (Actor) | 泽田谦也 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 陆剑明 (Actor) | 刘浩良 (Actor) | 王子文 (Actor) | 江 道海 (Actor) | 吴 刚 (Actor) 梁朝偉 （トニー・レオン） (Actor) | 劉青雲（ラウ・チンワン） (Actor) | 周迅 （ジョウ・シュン） (Actor) | 呉彦祖 （ダニエル・ウー） | 方中信（アレックス・フォン） (Actor) | Morris Rong (Actor) | Wang Zi Yi (Actor) | 徐克（ツイ・ハーク） | 谷徳昭（ビンセント・コク） | 許紹洋（アンブロウズ・シュー） (Actor) | Yan Ni (Actor) | 澤田謙也 (Actor) | 林雪 （ラム・シュー） (Actor) | Lu Jian Ming (Actor) | Lau Ho Leung (Actor) | Olivia Wang (Actor) | Jiang Dao Hai (Actor) | Wu Gang (Actor) 양조위 (Actor) | Lau Ching Wan (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Daniel Wu | 방중신 (Actor) | Morris Rong (Actor) | Wang Zi Yi (Actor) | 서극 | Vincent Kok | Ambrose Hsu (Actor) | Yan Ni (Actor) | Kenya Sawada (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Lu Jian Ming (Actor) | Lau Ho Leung (Actor) | Olivia Wang (Actor) | Jiang Dao Hai (Actor) | Wu Gang (Actor)|
|Director:||Derek Yee 爾 冬陞 尔 冬升 爾冬陞（イー・トンシン） Derek Yee|
|Action Director:||Jiang Dao Hai | Tung Wai 江 道海 | 董瑋 江 道海 | 董玮 Jiang Dao Hai | 董瑋 （トン・ワイ） Jiang Dao Hai | Tung Wai|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Country 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, DVD-5|
|Region Code:||3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Publisher:||Vicol Entertainment Ltd. (HK)|
|Package Weight:||150 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1030392877|
- The Making-of The Great Magician
Director: Yee Tung Sing
1916. General Yuan Shi-kai has just died and the Japanese are encroaching. A mysterious magician Zhang Xian catches the eye of local warlord, Lei Daniu, who hopes to use him to win the affections of Liu Yin, a woman he forced into being his seventh concubine. Unbeknownst to him, Zhang is the fiancé of Liu who has been waiting for him to rescue her. Zhang, who was hellbent on destroying Lei, discovers that the man behind the evil deeds is actually his head butler Liu who has joined forces with the Japanese in his misguided efforts to unite the country. To defeat Liu and win back the heart of his love, Zhang pulls out his ultimate magic trick.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "The Great Magician (2012) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)"
The Great Magician was one of the more highly anticipated Chinese releases of late, marking actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai's return to the screen after a break of three years, having presumably been worked in after his turn in Wong Kar Wai's - still unfinished - The Grandmasters had wrapped. The film also aroused interest for the fact that it saw Leung headlining along with Lau Ching Wan, the two having worked together several times in the past, most notably on Patrick Yau's classic 1998 noir thriller The Longest Nite with popular and talented actress Zhou Xun as the female lead. Based on a novel by Zhang Haifan, the film was a prestigious, big budget production, with one of Hong Kong's current top directors at the helm in Derek Yee, best known for recent action hits Triple Tap, Shinjuku Incident and One Nite in Mongkok, and an illustrious supporting cast of industry veterans including Yan Ni (Magic to Win), Wu Gang, Paul Chun (A Simple Life), Alex Fong (Overheard) and Lam Suet (Womb Ghosts), plus cameos from Daniel Wu and Tsui Hark.
The film is a period piece, set back in 1916, when China was being fought over by warlords and plotted against by the Japanese, with Tony Leung as Zhang Xian, a magician who turns up in the capital one day, vowing the crowds with his act. Of course, he has something grander in mind, being part of a plot to kidnap warlord Bully Lei (Lau Ching Wan), not to mention trying to win back the heart of his former fiance Liu Yin (Zhou Xun), who has been kidnapped as one of Lei's concubines. Things rapidly become even more complicated, with Lei's right hand man Butler Liu (Wu Gang) and one of his wives (Yan Ni) conspiring against him and searching for something called the Seven Wonders, which Liu Yin's imprisoned magician father may or may not hold the key to.
Added to this already convoluted affair are kidnap plots, Japanese villains, early film makers, tanks and mind control, making The Great Magician seem at times like an attempt to pack in as much as possible to one film, or perhaps just that Derek Yee wasn't as comfortable with this kind of material as with gritty thrillers. The film's early flirtations with serious espionage intrigue do suggest the latter, as does a definite uncertainty of tone, with knockabout silliness being peppered with a few moments of surprising nastiness. Still, there's a great deal going on, and though the film has a tendency to wander off on wild tangents and rarely makes much sense, it's certainly never boring, Yee managing to entertain throughout.
The film is definitely most successful when settling for old fashioned nonsense, and is best viewed as a traditional caper of sorts. Yee has a good time with the many mistaken identities and wacky schemes which make up the script, with pretty much every character harbouring one secret or another, and allegiances shifting constantly. Similarly, although the romance is distinctly half baked and frequently fades into the background, there's a fair amount of enjoyment to be had trying to work out who Zhou Xun will end up with, and the potentially more melodramatic elements of the film never really intrude or slow things down. Although overlong, with a two hours plus running time, Yee keeps the film moving with some nicely done magical set pieces, bolstered by some decent use of CGI effects.
Unsurprisingly, the film's greatest asset is its two male leads, the pairing of Tony Leung Chiu Wai's and Lau Ching Wan being very much worth the price of admission. The actors have a real chemistry between them, and the film gets impressive mileage out of their dynamic as it switches between rivalry and buddy shenanigans. Their characters, though both flawed, egotistical men, are a lot of fun to spend time with, and the film's best moments are when the two are onscreen together, bickering, play fighting or trying to out-scheme each other. In particular, it's great to see Leung back on the big screen again, his playful charisma having been much missed in recent years. Zhou Xun is also on good form, and though the script does perhaps understandably relegate her character at times to a background concern in favour of the Zhang Xian-Bully Lei show, it wins points for at least not making her the expected kind of useless damsel in distress.
Whilst there's no denying that The Great Magician is a little underwhelming, this is mainly due to Derek Yee having shown himself over the last few years to be a talented helmer capable of commercial fare with real substance. Judged on its own merits, the film still makes for fine, undemanding fun, with Tony Leung, Lau Ching Wan and Zhou Xun providing impeccable star power, and Yee managing to serve up enough laughs and magic themed action to hold the interest.
by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com
Editor's Pick of "The Great Magician (2012) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)"
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May 31, 2012
Hong Kong screen god Tony Leung Chiu Wai hasn't graced the multiplex screen since John Woo's two-part Red Cliff three years ago. For a long time, he has been locked in the production of Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmasters, which is rumored to wrap sometime before 2046. Much to the delight of his fans, Leung spared some time out of his shooting schedule to jump on-board Derek Yee's The Great Magician, teaming up again with Lau Ching Wan after The Longest Nite in 1998.
The film is a lighthearted comedy, somewhat surprising from the director who had made a string of gritty crime dramas like Shinjuku Incident and Protégé, but certainly a perfect match for the festive mood of the New Year holiday when it came out. People who go in expecting something serious and straight might be sorely disappointed if they don't appreciate how Yee playfully tells a period romantic story about two guys fighting over a girl, with a myriad of interesting genre gimmicks and plot devices. Plus, he's got a formidable cast joining his party, and everyone from the highly anticipated starring trio to the amusing cameos seems to have fun.
Tony Leung is impeccable as the titular character who returns to his homeland with an elaborate plan to win back his stolen fiancée from the iron fists of a powerful warlord. His compelling eyes have no doubt done much of the trick, but computer visual effects do help in making the East-meets-West magic set pieces convincing. Meanwhile, the other male lead Lau Ching Wan more than holds his own against the hero. In fact, one could say that he gets the meatier role as the somewhat dumb warlord who may just be the bigger illusionist in an intriguing character revelation. Comparatively, Zhou Xun isn't given much to do with her role acting-wise, but her very presence definitely adds charm to the film, as does the movie theme song she duets with Tony Leung.
One of The Great Magician's more inspired subplots involving the joint filmmaking venture between the warlord and some shady Japanese characters serves to elevate the film above mere entertainment. One doesn't need to watch too closely to identify Yee's not-so-subtle dig at the current state of Chinese cinema, as well as his homage to the magical quality of film as a popular artform.
Customer Review of "The Great Magician (2012) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)"
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September 1, 2014
This customer review refers to The Great Magician (DVD) (US Version)
A deficiency of directorial magic
"The Great Magician" feels very much like a film with which director Derek Yee wrestled strenuously and ultimately lost, as if Yee simply gave up on trying to make it cohere. The story is set in the latter 1930s, the age of local warlords and Japanese influence. A plot is afoot to remove the warlords and put the Chinese people in control of their fate. A rival plot also seeks the removal of the warlords; it seeks to restore the Qing dynasty under the control of the Japanese. At the center of it all lies a tussle between warlord Bully Lei (Lau Ching Wan) and magician/revolutionary Zhang Xian (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) for the affections of Lei's captive/'seventh wife' Liu Yin (Zhou Xun). It is understatement to note that these three main plot lines rest uneasily together.
The first twenty minutes of the film, in which we see Bully Lei yearn clumsily for Liu Yin, are embarrassingly inept. Blessedly, the great magician Zhang Xian enters the picture and the movie comes alive. Whenever Tony Leung as magician Zhang is on-screen performing his magic tricks, we are treated to rapturous movie-making. Too, Leung's scenes interacting with Lau Ching Wan's Bully Lei are a treat; they are like two great table tennis players smashing verbal volleys at each other. Zhou Xun does her Bette Davis schtick as the seventh wife, who remains in icy control of her fate even as she's held captive by Lei. Particularly good is Yan Ni as Bully Lei's domineering third wife. Lam Suet and Wang Zi Wen are charming as owners of a failing theatre, while one wishes that the film had made more of Alex Fong's role as a rival, less talented magician.
"The Great Magician" is sumptuously mounted and attractively lensed. The magic tricks it features are spectacular. However, its shifts in tone, from slapstick, to violence, to disquisitions on the nature of true love are jarring and its competing plots never add up to much. Let's call it a noble failure.