The Heavenly Kings (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All
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YesAsia Editorial Description
The film is also interspersed with interviews with big stars such as Jacky Cheung, Paul Wong (from the band Beyond), Miriam Yeung, Candy Lo, and Nicholas Tse, who share their experiences in the Hong Kong entertainment industries. Their words are interwoven with the fictitious narrative. While Alive positions itself between a real music group and a fabricated band, The Heavenly Kings also mixes documentary with storytelling to articulate, in a cynical manner, the unhealthy environment of the Hong Kong music industry. The blurring of fiction and reality, which carries on to the very end of the film, is indeed as much entertaining as it is inspiring.
The film is interspersed with interviews from big stars such as Jacky Cheung, Paul Wong (from the band Beyond), Miriam Yeung, Candy Lo, and Nicholas Tse, who share their experiences in the Hong Kong entertainment industry. Their words are interwoven with the fictitious narrative of the band's quest for stardom. Much as Alive blur their image between real music group and fabricated band, The Heavenly Kings also mixes documentary with story-telling to articulate, in a cynical manner, the unhealthy environment of Hong Kong's obsession with fame. The blurring of fiction and reality, which carries on to the very end of the film, is indeed as much entertaining as inspiring.
The Hong Kong Film Critics Society named The Heavenly Kings as one of their recommended titles at their 2006 annual award.
|Product Title:||The Heavenly Kings (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version) 四大天王 (DTS版) (香港版) 四大天王 (DTS版) (香港版) 四大天王 （香港版） The Heavenly Kings (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Daniel Wu (Actor) | Andrew Lin (Actor) | Terence Yin (Actor) | Conroy Chan (Actor) 吳彥祖 (Actor) | 連凱 (Actor) | 尹子維 (Actor) | 陳子聰 (Actor) 吴彦祖 (Actor) | 连凯 (Actor) | 尹子维 (Actor) | 陈子聪 (Actor) 呉彦祖 （ダニエル・ウー） (Actor) | 連凱（アンドリュー・リェン） (Actor) | 尹子維（テレンス・イン） (Actor) | 陳子聰 （コンロイ・チャン） (Actor) Daniel Wu (Actor) | Andrew Lin (Actor) | Terence Yin (Actor) | Conroy Chan (Actor)|
|Director:||Daniel Wu 吳彥祖 吴彦祖 呉彦祖 （ダニエル・ウー） Daniel Wu|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Place of Origin:||Hong Kong|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital 2.0, DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Disc Format(s):||DVD, DVD-5|
|Region Code:||All Region What is it?|
|Publisher:||CN Entertainment Ltd.|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1004280533|
* DVD Type: DVD-5
- CH. 1 三級DTS
- CH. 2 三級 5.1
- CH. 3 IIA 2.0
- CH. 4 IIA 國語
- CH. 5 導演評述
Director: Daniel Wu
Boy bands are everywhere. People's reactions to boy band music range from amazement and awe to disgust and hatred, but it is an undeniable aspect of popular culture, doing its part to fulfill the dreams of teenage girls and line the pockets of music industry masterminds.
Yet how much do we really know about boy bands? What is it like to belong to such a group and what happens behind the scenes? Following Conroy Chan, Andrew Lin, Terence Yin, and Daniel Wu, The Heavenly Kings divulges everything that Hong Kong's star-making machine is afraid to tell. Shot from a fly-on-the-wall perspective, this documentary details the rise, fall, and ultimate success of an unlikely modern-day Asian boy band comprised of established actors who cross over into the music industry as ALIVE. From learning how to sing and dance to developing their own marketing strategies, the entire process is laid out for all to see in this no-holds-barred film.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "The Heavenly Kings (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version)"
They're not much of a band, but they make a pretty damn entertaining movie. The Hong Kong boy band Alive, consisting of actors Daniel Wu, Terence Yin, Andrew Lin, and Conroy Chan, has had the cultural impact of a wasted ferret since its debut in 2005. Their lack of overt popularity (Alive hasn't even released an album yet) is really no surprise. The band may be fronted by a hot actor in Daniel Wu, but the other three members are solid B or C-listers who've never achieved any true stardom, and worse, appear in movies like PTU File - Death Trap, and Devil Face Angel Heart. Also, their musical talents aren't very impressive, and they can't dance either. With nothing to recommend them besides the non-musical popularity of one of their members, shouldn't Alive really be dead by now?
Maybe they should be, but according to this film, they're still chugging along. A "mockumentary" about the group's attempted ascent into the Cantopop stratosphere, The Heavenly Kings is part fact, part fiction, part animated, and all amusing. Alive produced and Daniel Wu directed this shot-on-digital-video exercise, which basically asks the question: how does a talent-challenged boy band make it in the shrinking Hong Kong music market? The answer: by manipulating the media. As revealed via "hidden" cameras and face-to-face interviews, the boys were getting crappy offers from the record execs, so they decided to enter the public eye (or maybe ear) in a publicly accepted, but still illegal way. To get their songs heard, the boys of Alive uploaded their first single onto the Internet, then complained to the media, and finally "officially" offered their song for download on their own website. It's ingenious stuff: lie to everyone, play the victim, then become heroes for delivering what your fans want.
It's questionable if that's the whole truth, though. The Heavenly Kings follows the journey of Alive in disturbingly close detail. Many of the events depicted in the film actually happened, such as the initial press conference covering their downloaded single, plus their endorsements, public appearances, and even some of their purported conflicts. This accuracy to real events disturbs because the question arises if Wu and company actually pulled off their supposed deception, with this movie being the smoking gun/self-published exposé. Is Alive really so smart that they were able to manipulate the media this completely from the very first day?
Possibly, and Wu's ability to keep the audience guessing is one of the film's strengths. It's feasible that Alive really did do something that extreme to make headlines; as this film plainly shows, the group is willing to bite the hand that feeds it. In the film, director Daniel Wu slams the HK media institution and the Cantopop industry in general, knocking both for favoring smiling saccharine pap over actual substance. It's a decidedly cynical take on Hong Kong's media culture; the irreverent attitude and the edgy animation (at times, animated sequences provide commentary on each band member's inner life) feels very appropriate for the group's Western attitudes and sensibilities. By poking so much fun at the media and brazenly announcing the crappiness of the industry in such a direct fashion, the film goes much farther than most of its contemporaries ever would. The cynicism on display definitely belongs to a newer generation; you'd never see any of the original Heavenly Kings do something this ballsy.
Still, it's really not that ballsy. Wu and company do take the media and Cantopop to task, but leave some targets curiously unscathed. One of Alive's biggest media brouhahas was their public dissing of Hong Kong Disneyland, and their subsequent banning from TVB. None of that gets referenced in The Heavenly Kings - which could mean that there are some people that Alive isn't willing to take on. Also, the more scathing stuff is largely negated by the hijinks and tomfoolery of the boys. The journey of Alive is interspersed with many talking head interviews with people like Jacky Cheung, Paul Wong of Beyond, Nicholas Tse, Miriam Yeung, Candy Lo, Karen Mok and more. Dirt and dish about Cantopop gets thrown about, but in the end it doesn't do all that much. Some of the industry's absurdities make for good laughs, and some stories border on revealing, but not much is really gleamed. In some ways, The Heavenly Kings feels like a wasted opportunity because it's not as brave as it initially seems.
But at least the film doesn't paint Alive's journey as some sort of quest to "keep it real". Alive doesn't give itself props; in fact, more often than not they just appear crappy. Wu and company are good sports, and spend just as much time making themselves look silly as they do dissing the media. Right away, we learn that they started Alive to make music and have fun, but the project has problems because the group basically sucks. Nobody except Terence Yin can sing, and he's portrayed as a prima donna VIP wannabe with flatulence problems. Conroy Chan's problem is that he's married to someone far more famous and successful (actress Josie Ho). He's also fat. Daniel Wu is portrayed as overly anxious and a bit of a control freak, while Andrew Lin is the nice guy of the group who's really in it just to boost his flagging career. They mostly can't sing, none of them can dance, and they sometimes appear stupid. None of the guys come out of film looking all that great - which in itself is a fun commentary on the whole idea of talent and fame. It also all but confirms that this "documentary" is just an act. Once the film enters its crunch time conflict - which is whether or not the four friends can get along again in time for the big performance - you know some fakery is definitely on display. This isn't a documentary; it's a facetious facsimile of one.
It's the sense of humor that makes The Heavenly Kings a pleasant surprise. Those who wonder who these guys are may not get all the jokes, but Hong Kong entertainment junkies should find this to be a fun and even richly entertaining experience. It's hilarious to see Alive reveal itself to be potentially crappy because that's what some of us probably think when watching Naked Weapon or Kung Fu Mahjong 2. By putting their faults (or fabricated faults, anyway) on display, the foursome come off as likable and even sympathetic blokes - though really, the film doesn't always portray them as such. Daniel Wu reveals a remarkably keen sense of humor, and his timing can be dead on. One wonders if he could translate that talent to actual narrative filmmaking, or if he's destined to be some sort of ultra-lite Hong Kong Michael Moore, with cynical mockumentaries as his specialty. Or he may never make another film - after all, who knew that Wu was going to try a singing career? After starting a boy band, doing the Hong Kong version of Jackass (called Chiseen), and then directing a film, it's worth wondering if he'll put the filmmaking hat on once again. He should.
by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com
This professional review refers to The Heavenly Kings (Hong Kong Version)
The Heavenly Kings is a mockumentary which blurs the line between fact and fiction, following a Hong Kong boy band called Alive, who may or may not have been created solely with the intention of poking fun at the music business. The result is a sharp and at times hilarious expose, not only of the Canto-pop industry, but of fame and the narcissism of celebrities in general.
The film begins with the formation of the band back in 2005 by actor Daniel Wu, along with fellow thespian friends Terence Yin, Andrew Lin, and Conroy Chan, apparently "to have some fun and make some music together". However, after failing to land a satisfactory record contract, possibly due to a glaring lack of talent, the boys hatch a plan to create an internet downloading scandal and use the resulting publicity to launch the band properly. Although this works wonderfully, the fact remains that, apart from Terence, none of them can sing and, as a woefully incompetent stage show reveals, they still have a great deal to learn about surviving in the image-obsessed industry.
Whatever the motivations behind the formation of Alive, The Heavenly Kings, directed by Wu himself, is very clever, skillfully weaving an apparently fictitious narrative around actual footage of events and mixing in interviews with real popstars (including the likes of Miriam Yeung, Jackie Cheung and Nicholas Tse) and producers as well as with the band members themselves. The film is well constructed, making for a good mixture of comical satire and genuine commentary on the industry. Although not particularly revelatory, it does cover some interesting ground. It certainly helps that with a running time of less than an hour and a half, the film does not outstay its welcome, and Wu keeps things moving at a good pace. As such, the band's development plays out quite naturally, and none of the film's critical elements feel forced or repetitious.
Although a mockumentary, the film is actually very believable, and, aside from a few obvious gag scenes, on the whole it is quite difficult to tell when the band members are acting or simply being themselves. In this way, The Heavenly Kings is certainly quite a brave film, with all four actors allowing their many faults to be explored on camera, some of which cross into fairly personal territory, such as Yin's frequent flatulence. Wu underlines this through some crazy animated inserts which work well both to reflect the band member's inner turmoil and to help liven up the film. As a result, the four end up being quite endearing, in an incompetent sort of way, especially Chan, who proudly announces that he is the fattest guy ever to be in a boy band.
All commentary and wry satire aside, The Heavenly Kings is genuinely hilarious, in a straight faced, Spinal Tap type of way, with the laughs divided equally between the lameness of the band and the insanity of the industry. One scene in particular is a real side splitter, which sees the boys being kitted out in increasingly flamboyant Village-People-style outfits, to their obvious discomfort and shame. Strangely, the film has a category III rating, although it is not particularly offensive aside from some foul language, and the laughs never veer into bad taste or shock tactics.
Perhaps more than anything, the film deserves praise not only for daring to criticise and lampoon the music industry, and both themselves and other celebrity actor/singers, but simply for offering an alternative to the usual low-brow Hong Kong comedies. Working well on many different levels, the film is entertaining and interesting and deserves to reach a wider audience than it sadly probably will, as the points which Wu makes can certainly be applied to the music industry and celebrities of any country in the world.
by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com
Feature articles that mention "The Heavenly Kings (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version)"
Customer Review of "The Heavenly Kings (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version)"
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: (6)
See all my reviews
December 9, 2007
"Heavenly Kings" is an amusing fake documentary about a fake boy band. If that reminds you a little bit of "Spinal Tap," I'm sure it's not an accident. "Spinal Tap is the obvious comparison for this movie; while "Heavenly Kings" is not as hilarious, it is much more subversive.
While "Spinal Tap" presented itself as a documentary, it was pure fiction and was much more scripted than "Heavenly Kings." With the brilliant comedic minds that collaborated on that project, "Spinal Tap" has left us with a host of classic lines and images; it changed the popular culture.
"Heavenly Kings" won't have that kind of an impact, but it is well worth watching for its sheer audacity. "Heavenly Kings" works because it is believable; it is believable because, to some extent, it actually happened. In it, we see Daniel Wu and his pals take some great risks, risks that for the most part pay off as black comedy. The viewer becomes squeamish watching these talentless singers try to strut their stuff as a boy band. And that squeamishness is exactly the effect sought by the film's creators. It is out of that discomfort that the filmmakers mine their comic gold.
I recommend "Heavenly Kings" for an insightful look into Hong Kong's star-making machine. It is entertaining and original.
See all my reviews
January 27, 2007
I really love this film. It's like a documentation about music industry. It shows us the problems about media, the "talent" of the so called "new artists" (yeah, they don't have any, but as long you`re good looking, no one cares. Music isn't that important anymore) etc. The messages of this movie are clear and while watching it, I always thought "yeah, thats so true".
You watch the guys going their way to become a famous boyband. Every member represent an other character, so it's easy to identify with them.
Unlike silly HK comedys nowadays, this movie was really funny and entertaining. Especially Alive's first live performance and the costume part. man, their facial expressions were so hilarious. I think I would look like that too, if someone put me in such embarrassing outfits.
I recommend this film to everyone, who likes realistic movies. I hope Daniel, Andrew, Conroy and Terence will do another movie together.
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November 22, 2006
|I had such high expectations in this movie, it wasn't very good. Daniel and his friends form a boyband and they go through the trials and tribulations that the entertainment business offers. It was really boring and it was hard to watch considering Daniel is such a good actor, I'd give this a C-.|
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September 20, 2006
|I'm sorry to let you know how upset i was with this movie. It was the borest movie ever. Theres no action, drama, romance, etc. This movie is basically about tale-gating a famous band. Boring and disappointing. Hope u guys will find a better theme next time considering u have great actors in this movie.|
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August 16, 2006
|This movie enables you to see how ugly the game of entertainment business is in Hong Kong. It touches on the corruption, deception, and moral deterioration behind the glamour. This is a pretty good educational film that makes you "wake up to reality".|