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The Guillotines (2012) (Blu-ray) (US Version) Blu-ray Region A

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The Guillotines (2012) (Blu-ray) (US Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 0 - 0 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

After re-imagining Shaw Brothers' Blood Brothers with The Warlords, director Peter Chan steps back to become the producer for another Shaw Brothers-influenced venture. This time, Hong Kong blockbuster director Andrew Lau (Young and Dangerous, Infernal Affairs) takes the helm for The Guillotines, an explosive action spectacular that's also an emotionally powerful drama about brotherhood and the price of waging war in the name of peace. In addition to the legendary flying weapon, the "guillotines" in the title also refers to a secret assassination squad in the Qing Dynasty out to capture a dangerous rebel only known to the world as Wolf.

Led by superstar Huang Xiaoming (The Message, Ip Man 2) as Wolf, The Guillotines's cast of popular young stars from the Greater China region also includes Ethan Ruan (Manga), Shawn Yue (Motorway), pop star Chris Lee (Bodyguards and Assassins), Jing Boran (The Bullet Vanishes) and Wen Zhang (Love is Not Blind).

Wielding a powerful flying weapon that can decapitate any enemy in a split second, the Guillotines is an assassination squad controlled only by the Emperor Qian Long (Wen Zhang). Led by Leng (Ethan Ruan), the Guillotines' latest mission is to rescue team member Musen (Chris Li) and capture Wolf (Huang Xiaoming), a dangerous rebel leader who managed to elude custody. With palace official Haidu (Shawn Yue) tagging along, the team follows Wolf to a village. However, the team doesn’t know that Qian Long is also planning to eliminate them in the name of modernization.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Guillotines (2012) (Blu-ray) (US Version) 血滴子 (2012) (Blu-ray) (美國版) 血滴子 (2012) (Blu-ray) (美国版) 血滴子 (2012) (Blu-ray) (US版) The Guillotines (2012) (Blu-ray) (US Version)
Artist Name(s): King Shih Chieh | Wen Zhang | Jimmy Wang | Shawn Yue | Huang Xiao Ming | Guan Xiao Tong | Wang Luo Dan | Guo Peng | Li Meng | Chris Lee | Ethan Ruan | Zhou Yi Wei | Pu Ba Jia | Jing Bo Ran | Gao Tian 金 士傑 | 文 章 | 王羽 | 余文樂 | 黃曉明 | 關曉彤 | 王珞丹 | 郭鵬 | 李夢 | 李宇春 | 阮經天 | 周一圍 | 蒲巴甲 | 井柏然 | 高天 金 士杰 | 文 章 | 王羽 | 余文乐 | 黄 晓明 | 关晓彤 | 王珞丹 | 郭鹏 | 李梦 | 李宇春 | 阮经天 | 周一围 | 蒲巴甲 | 井柏然 | 高天 金仕傑(カム・シーキット) | 文章(ウェン・チャン) | 王羽(ジミー・ウォング) | 余文樂(ショーン・ユー) | 黄暁明 (ホァン・シァオミン) | Guan Xiao Tong | 王珞丹 (ワン・ルオダン) | Guo Peng | リー・モン | 李宇春 (クリス・リー) | 阮經天(イーサン・ルアン) | 周一圍(ジョウ・イーウェイ) | Pu Ba Jia | 井柏然(ジン・ボーラン) | Gao Tian King Shih Chieh | Wen Zhang | Jimmy Wang | 여 문락 | Huang Xiao Ming | Guan Xiao Tong | Wang Luo Dan | Guo Peng | Li Meng | Chris Lee | Ethan Ruan | Zhou Yi Wei | Pu Ba Jia | Jing Bo Ran | Gao Tian
Director: Andrew Lau 劉偉強 刘伟强 劉偉強(アンドリュー・ラウ) Andrew Lau
Producer: Peter Chan 陳可辛 陈可辛 陳可辛 (ピーター・チャン) Peter Chan
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?
Release Date: 2013-08-13
UPC Code: 812491014189
Language: English, Mandarin
Subtitles: English
Country of Origin: Hong Kong, China
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Package Weight: 86 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1033085045

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Guillotines (2012) (Blu-ray) (US Version)"

March 14, 2013

This professional review refers to The Guillotines (2012) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
With Chinese period epics still continuing to fill cinemas, it's no surprise that old school Shaw Brothers favourites are increasingly being brought back to screens, 1975 classic The Flying Guillotine now reappearing as The Guillotines. The film was produced by Peter Chan, who recently updated the Shaws' Blood Brothers as The Warlords this time allowing Andrew Lau of Infernal Affairs fame to take the director's seat and with a big name pan-Chinese language cast headlined by Huang Xiaoming (Ip Man 2), rising Taiwanese star Ethan Ruan (Monga), Shawn Yue (Motorway), pop singer Chris Li (Bodyguards and Assassins), Jing Boran (The Bullet Vanishes) and Wen Zhang (Love is Not Blind).

The guillotines of the title are a secret brotherhood of assassins controlled by Emperor Qian Long (Wen Zhang) during the Qing Dynasty, their name also referring to the fearsome decapitation weapon they wield. Charged with bringing down rebel leader and apparent prophet Wolf (Huang Xiaoming), guillotine leader Leng (Ethan Ruan) and his men are joined on the dangerous quest by his childhood friend, palace official Haidu (Shawn Yue). After female team member Musen (Chris Li) is grabbed by the rebels, the mission quickly becomes a rescue attempt, complicated by Wolf seeming to have some kind of odd destiny bond with Leng. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the guillotines, the Emperor has decided that their brutal ways are no longer needed, instructing Haidu to ensure that none come back alive.

It's best to say from the start that anyone expecting a full on explosion of martial arts action and crazy weaponry in the style of The Flying Guillotine may well be disappointed with The Guillotines which is definitely a case of re-imagining rather than remaking. Andrew Lau and Peter Chan clearly had something else on their minds other than the daft fun suggested by the premise, instead focusing on an emotionally wrought and philosophical tale that takes itself surprisingly seriously throughout. While there isn't nearly as much action as expected, this for the most part doesn't work too badly, the film working in a mature treatment of themes of nationalism, brotherhood and of the needs of the individual versus the greater good ?with clear and doubtlessly intentional shades of Zhang Yimou Hero. Though not as effective in this regard as The Warlords and at times lapsing into needlessly pretentious religious symbolism, the film does engage and has more depth than most of its type, winning points for not always taking the obvious route, even at the expense of crowd pleasing spectacle.

Thankfully, despite boasting a worryingly high number of writers, the film has a reasonably strong and coherent script, with some decent character work and tough moral dilemmas. The odd dynamics which Leng shares with Haidu and Wolf are both interesting, if a little too reliant on hot and heavy male bonding and staring, and the film does manage some moments of high drama, with a few unexpected developments along the way to its pleasingly downbeat conclusion. The leads are all on suitably manly and glowering form, Ethan Ruan and Shawn Yue coming off best, Huang Xiaoming being a bit hamstrung by the film's weirdly Christ-like treatment of Wolf. On the downside, though the main plot and characters engage, the supporting cast are all thinly sketched at best, the other guillotines in particular coming across as little more than daft thugs, meaning that the viewer barely notices when they start getting knocked off by Haidu, with no noticeable emotional impact.

Visually, the film is very impressive indeed, as usual with such re-imaginings going for a gritty and grounded look, with lots of dirt, dust and filtered sunlight. Lau has always been a director known for slickness and gloss, though he wisely tones things down here, the cinematography not being too forcefully grandiose. The special effects and CGI work are of the high standard expected from was undoubtedly a generous budget, and though the new guillotine weapons are a bit odd, it's a lot of fun to see them in action, fairly whipping the heads off their victims. Though the film's restraint generally works, it's kind of a shame that there's not more of the guillotines or more action in general, as when it does step up a gear it's genuinely exciting and spectacular, the martial arts and duels well-choreographed and occasionally quite bloody. Lau does throw in a few large scale set pieces towards the end, enough so to probably still mark the film as period action rather than just drama, and these should satisfy viewers with a hankering for the epic.

Overall though, The Guillotines is a surprisingly thoughtful film, and one which earns points for its efforts in plot, theme and character. Since it's debatable whether the world needs another slow motion heavy period action film, it's lack of battles and martial arts is by no means a bad thing, and while it may disappoint those looking for crazy flying guillotine fun, Andrew Lau and Peter Chan have done a solid job of updating the premise and delivering something worthwhile.

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.

Customer Review of "The Guillotines (2012) (Blu-ray) (US Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 0 - 0 out of 10 (1)

les
See all my reviews


February 9, 2013

This customer review refers to The Guillotines (2012) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Simply Trashy !! Customer Review Rated Bad 0 - 0 out of 10
Can't believe this movie is so bad! Story is confusing. Action scenes are too fast to have any impact. Acting is very marginal. Settings are very superficial and very affected. No intensity, just confusion.

Why have they made such a trash? Compared to the old Shaw Brothers' movie with the same title this one is a total disaster!!
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