The Midnight After (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Boasting a large cast made up of veterans and young guns including Simon Yam (Iceman), Kara Hui (Rigor Mortis), Sam Lee (Dog Bite Dog), Wong Yau Nam (Gallants), Lam Suet (Drug War), Tsui Tin Yau (Enthralled) and Janice Man (Passion Island), the film begins with a group of strangers boarding a late-night minibus in Mong Kok bound for Tai Po. Amongst them are a junkie, a superstitious insurance broker, a computer expert, a gangster, a music geek and several college students. After the bus passes through the Lion Rock Tunnel, the passengers find themselves in a complete ghost town. The mystery deepens when each of them receives a cell phone message from an unknown source. Can the passengers find a way to overcome whatever has decimated their city's population despite their clashing personalities, morals and beliefs?
|Product Title:||The Midnight After (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 那夜凌晨，我坐上了旺角開往大埔的紅VAN (2014) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 那夜凌晨，我坐上了旺角开往大埔的红VAN (2014) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 那夜凌晨，我坐上了旺角開往大埔的紅VAN (2014) (Blu-ray) (香港版) The Midnight After (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Also known as:||Lost on a Red Mini Bus to Tai Po Lost on a Red Mini Bus to Tai Po Lost on a Red Mini Bus to Tai Po Lost on a Red Mini Bus to Tai Po Lost on a Red Mini Bus to Tai Po|
|Artist Name(s):||Simon Yam (Actor) | Kara Hui (Actor) | Sam Lee (Actor) | Wong Yau Nam (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Chui Tien You (Actor) | Li Shang Zheng (Actor) | Janice Man (Actor) | Vincci Cheuk (Actor) | Chen Hui Hong | Jiang Hao Xin 任達華 (Actor) | 惠 英紅 (Actor) | 李瑋璁 李璨琛 (Actor) | 黃又南 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 徐天佑 (Actor) | 李尚正 (Actor) | 文詠珊 (Actor) | 芝See菇Bi (Actor) | 陳輝虹 | 江 皓昕 任达华 (Actor) | 惠 英红 (Actor) | 李玮璁 李璨琛 (Actor) | 黄又南 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 徐天佑 (Actor) | 李尚正 (Actor) | 文咏珊 (Actor) | 芝See菇Bi (Actor) | 陈辉虹 | 江 皓昕 任達華 （サイモン・ヤム） (Actor) | 恵英紅（クララ・ワイ） (Actor) | 李燦森（サム・リー） (Actor) | 黄又南（ウォン・ヤウナム） (Actor) | 林雪 （ラム・シュー） (Actor) | 徐天佑（チョイ・ティンヤウ） (Actor) | Li Shang Zheng (Actor) | 文詠珊 （ジャニス・マン） (Actor) | Vincci Cheuk (Actor) | Ｃｈｅｎ Ｈｕｉ Ｈｏｎｇ | Jiang Hao Xin 임 달화 (Actor) | Kara Hui (Actor) | Sam Lee (Actor) | Wong Yau Nam (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Chui Tien You (Actor) | Li Shang Zheng (Actor) | Janice Man (Actor) | Vincci Cheuk (Actor) | Chen Hui Hong | Jiang Hao Xin|
|Director:||Fruit Chan 陳果 陳果 陳果（フルーツ・チャン） Fruit 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?|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese|
|Country of Origin:||Hong Kong|
|Picture Format:||[HD] High Definition What is it?|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM)|
|Screen Resolution:||1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)|
|Package Weight:||140 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1036597026|
Imagine if the whole population on Earth had vanished except for you and 16 other people. Do every-day moral principles and long-standing religious orders still apply? How do we handle survival with the collapse of civilization? And how far are you willing to go in order to return to normal life?
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "The Midnight After (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"
Fruit Chan's The Midnight After adapts its source material, web novel "Lost on a Red Mini Bus to Tai Po", in an unfaithful, potentially disappointing, but also inspired and ingenious manner. Written by a HK netizen under the pseudonym Pizza, "Lost on a Red Mini Bus to Tai Po" has a terrific concept – really, it's Lost on a red mini bus – and the film adaptation offers an engaging buildup of that core storyline. Then the film becomes something else, perhaps at the cost of the very reason that would entice someone to see it. To wit: The Midnight After starts as an apocalyptic thriller but ultimately drops its genre hook in favor of an extended metaphor on disaffected, displaced Hong Kongers. Such a move is legitimately concerning for fans of the novel (or coherent cinema in general), and the fact that the story is left unfinished does the film no favors whatsoever. But for some, the inconclusive end may not matter because The Midnight After does what it chooses to do so very well.
The Midnight After starts with over a dozen characters (played by Simon Yam and Kara Hui, among others) boarding a red minibus in Mongkok. Steered by substitute driver Suet (Lam Suet), the bus is headed for Tai Po, but once it passes through the Lion Rock Tunnel – crossing from Kowloon to the New Territories – Hong Kong becomes a ghost town. Three students are dropped off first, but one is looking pale and sick, while junkie Blind Fai (Sam Lee) is dumped on the highway after he has a bad drug reaction. When the bus gets to Tai Po, everyone starts to realize something is wrong. Why are the streets empty? Where is everyone? Why can't they reach anyone using their mobile phones? Why are people falling ill? And who are the mysterious masked figures lurking about? In many ways, Midnight After does resemble Lost. Bundle some disparate types on a vehicle, strand them alone in a strange world, introduce numerous mysteries and then compound them exponentially. Add a polar bear and a smoke monster and you're basically there.
Obvious inspirations aside, Midnight After is notable because it tells an apocalyptic story set in Hong Kong – an idea that's a lot rarer than it should be. The filmmakers build their premise with engrossing detail, introducing characters efficiently and distinctly. As the situation is revealed, the tone shifts in bizarre and even delightful ways. Once the group is ensconced in a Tai Po restaurant (Michelin-recommended Wah Fai Restaurant & Cake Shop), computer whiz Shun (Tsui Tin-Yau) intercepts a Morse Code message sent over the airwaves to "Major Tom". The message actually contains the lyrics to David Bowie's "Space Oddity", adding a new mystery to the proceedings but also highlighting the film's unique sense of humor, as the cast launches into a surreal C-grade music video performance led by Wai (local singer Jan Curious). The musical detour is very strange, but it jumpstarts the film's journey into metaphor, accompanied by crappy visual effects and copious satire. The Midnight After clearly knows that it's headed afield and obliges tonally and stylistically.
The film's eccentricities are offset by excellent production design and visual effects that present a Hong Kong devoid of life. Hong Kong Cinema's previous forays into apocalyptic fiction (e.g., Wilson Yip's Bio-Zombie) usually stuck to confined spaces, but Midnight After creates expansive, empty environments out of Tai Po's streets, skylines and highways. The production conveys an eerie resonance and foreboding, while the film's dark sense of humor adds an intelligence and edginess. Unlike the novel, which has clearly defined leads, the film spreads its focus among a cast representing exaggerated versions of Hong Kong's varied Chinese populace. The characters belong to varying occupations and classes, with differences giving rise to conflict and an uncomfortable, darkly funny look at human nature. The sharp script also references local topics, from universal suffrage and political issues to class prejudice. Pacing is strong too; despite much of the action taking place inside a restaurant, the film never loses steam.
Less can be said for the story. The film follows its nominal lead, Chi (Wong Yau-Nam), as he races from Tai Po back to Kowloon, glimpses mysterious figures wearing gas masks, and forms an odd bond with the mysterious Yuki (Janice Man). Mysteries are discovered and questions are asked, but little is resolved. Narratively, that is. Metaphorically, The Midnight After hits a home run, and manages to connect its concept and its ideas without didactic dialogue or explain-it-all speeches. The film's Hong Kong allegory is incisive; Midnight After depicts Tai Po as a place cut off from the rest of the world where normal rules no longer apply – maybe just like Hong Kong after the Handover, where people have rights but cannot vote, and have resorted to compromising their humanity for simple survival. But besides dark, there's also light; the film displays an acute affection for Hong Kong that should resonate with those who get the richly-detailed metaphor.
However, the audience has to get Fruit Chan's vision, and some viewers, most especially Western ones, may not be inclined to. The film still works as a black comedy and universal allegory on the collapse of society, but without accepting Tai Po as a metaphor for Hong Kong, the climax only puzzles. The Midnight After delivers a fine emotional payoff if one gets that this apocalyptic Tai Po is what Hong Kong became after 1997 and the desire to stay or leave is very much a reflection of the Hong Kong experience. Is Hong Kong hopeless? Is it really a lawless purgatory where the rules no longer apply? Or can collective memory and small joys sustain us in an inhospitable, perhaps doomed environment? The Midnight After captures those conflicts and emotions remarkably, such that its climactic moments work in all their nonsensical, lyrical glory. The film offers an open ending that's not really a cliffhanger, so if we never find out what happens to the characters – well, it works anyway because the journey is really more important than the destination.
Except, perhaps, to fans of the novel. "Lost on a Red Mini Bus to Tai Po" is apocalyptic fiction without the exploration of Hong Kong identity, so this narrative divergence is understandably frustrating. It's also not the film's fault, because the novel remains unfinished, and indeed devolves into so many plot twists that it starts to eat its own tail – hey, just like the television show Lost! A sequel to Midnight After is absolutely necessary, because mysteries like Chi's old schoolmate, the phone call from his girlfriend (Cherry Ngan) and his ghostly visions of Yuki won't be explained otherwise. However, the answers may not satisfy audiences, and Fruit Chan's acute Hong Kong metaphor could end up being kneecapped by a continued chase for Major Tom. On some level, the film is best left as is: a pop-art genre film that's inexplicable yet compelling, a funky Morse Code message in a bottle delivered via 2.4 GHz wi-fi. The Midnight After does not fully make sense, but succeeds splendidly without having to.
by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com
Customer Review of "The Midnight After (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"
See all my reviews
October 24, 2014
This customer review refers to The Midnight After (2014) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
Planet Earth is blue...
‘The Midnight After’ is certainly a movie that grabbed my attention even though I couldn’t fully grasp the intricate meaning relating to certain HK social descriptions within. It’s no master piece, but certainly good visually and assembles well a number of ‘what’s happening to the world?’ via ingredients about local HK social vibes, fears, rage and despondencies (normally about the future and bigger picture), along with the movie’s most obvious theme, subverted isolation and apocalypse – a cast of characters shown microcosmically as the last people on Earth, a ‘I am Legend’ or video game ‘The Last of Us’. Especially good looking bits are the effects and cinematography depicting a desolate sprawling Tai Po with no soul there other than the bus passenger protagonists seemingly transported to a desolate ‘Lost’ alternate reality. The movie is packed with social, political, pop-art stuff and black comedy metaphors and some harsh cruelty. The ghost town of Tai Po’s danger relating to some type of deadly gas virus that can either crumble bodies to dust or burn them horribly and plot wise an apocalypse that seems to relate to Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.
After a normal sweaty and bustling day in Mongkok a motley bus load of 17 HK residents suddenly find themselves scarily alone after their bus ride through the Lion Rock Tunnel, driven by helmsman Suet (Suet Lam), where suddenly no other living person than the bus passengers, or any other moving vehicle, can be seen. Considering theories about their isolation the passengers decide to give each other their mobile phone numbers for contact and then disperse and wander throughout a deserted Tai Po, there confirming fears that no other living soul or updated internet sites in the world can be found. A silent hill ghost town? The only other person seen is a mysterious figure in a long leather coat wearing a gas mask who young fella Chi (You-nam Wong) spots whilst walking with girl passenger Yuki (Janice Man). Three youths had also made a break from the bus where one sick youth is taken to a deserted hospital. But as the youth turns into a sudden corpse the other two lads make a run for it. Later on the ‘lost’ bunch reside within a restaurant and cake eatery, where most of this movie is set and where some grim and cruel circumstances occur. One, a rather uncomfortable bit when a college student is punished by the other lost crew due to the student abusing a female bus passenger.
See all my reviews
October 24, 2014
This customer review refers to The Midnight After (2014) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
...and there’s nothing MT can do
Midnight After’s characters have a myriad of personal problems from Sam Lee’s junkie Blind Fai running out on drug dealers to You-nam Wong’s Chi and Janice Man’s Yuki who both have worries about home and their personal lovers; Ying (Kara Hui) a woman spiritualist with much warnings about 4th dimensional shifts and planet Earth’s entrance into the photon belt adds the mystical part to the plot. Also people very different in class, work and status. An interesting bit for me was when the 'lost' simultaneously receive eerie screechy cell phone calls and the Morse code that computer whiz Shun (Tin-Yau Tsui) deciphers from the noise filled phone recording onto his laptop software, the code translating to David Bowie’s 1969 song ‘Space Oddity’ about the lost astronaut Major Tom ‘floating in a tin can, far above the world’ (the song's 1980 ‘sequel’ Ashes to Ashes looking upon Major Tom as a junkie, thinking about Blind Fai here) and an interesting video parody of the song.
The lost characters fall into darker nature within themselves and even mutually turn to medieval punishment due to the student’s opportune horrible sexual abuse. The law code defunct in a ghost town, when bad things happen, they happen very badly. But also it’s the HK culture muses, the ‘we don’t do sci-fi’ bits. But the mystery here (unresolved in the plot) surrounds the Japanese man in the gas mask and leather coat and of his dire warnings. A small number of the passengers also befall victim to the mystery ‘gas’, and some of the 17 suddenly crumbling into dust. Fruit Chan’s TMA doesn’t give much on conclusions and has loose ends, like why does Yuki’s long dark hair flow Lilith demonic like occasionally when Chi looks at her (generally at odd and stressful moments such as when Chi sees the man in the gas mask). Being open ended some will find this frustrating, but there might be a sequel although I’m not sure. The oddball nature of this dark thriller takes on some serious issues and is more for the satirical and allegorical cleverness than plot path. Especially regarding HK’s 1997 changeover. Based on a hit novel it’s apparently quite different with added characters. The bus also looks a bit hippy trippy, as if the vehicle itself is the portal into the alternative reality? You have to see this to really get what it’s about, though, and it’s a film certainly worth seeing. This two disk features an extra DVD with English subtitles for the premier footage but not with the interviews.