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The Moss (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Shawn Yue (Actor) | Fan Siu Wong (Actor) | Bonnie Xian (Actor) | Liu Kai Chi
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The Moss (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (3)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Up-and-coming Hong Kong director Derek Kwok follows his acclaimed debut feature The Pye-Dog with the gritty crime and action drama The Moss. Building on overlapping threads and conflicted characters, Kwok applies the narrative style and earthy aesthetics of The Pye-Dog to a much more harrowing and ambitious story. Popular actor Shawn Yue (Invisible Target) gives it his brooding best as a desperate, crooked cop caught between the law, squaring off against long-time-no-see action star Louis Fan Siu Wong (Story of Ricky). In addition to familiar supporting players Eric Tsang, Liu Kai Chi, and Shaun Tam, Kwok fills out the rest of his cast with some less likely names, including Shaw Brothers actress Siu Yam Yam who returned to screens last year in The Pye-Dog, rotund actor Ho Sai Man from Hollywood Hong Kong, and Hong Kong-Indian TV personality Gill Mohindepaul Singh.

Former undercover cop Jan (Shawn Yue) may be back on the force, but his life hasn't improved much. He spends most of his days plying the seedy streets of Kowloon, mixing with the triads and participating in the occasional brothel raid. When there's a shakeup in the underworld involving his former boss Tong (Liu Kai Chi), Jan gets unwittingly pulled into the line of fire. By the time the dust settles, Tong is dead, Jan's prostitute girlfriend (Bonnie Xian, Naraka 19) is comatose, and his girlfriend's teenage cousin Fa (newcomer Shi Xueyi) has been kidnapped - all the work of a homeless hitman (Fan Siu Wong). Jan has a dangerous score to settle with the hitman, but he's not the only one on the hunt.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Moss (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 青苔 (DVD) (香港版) 青苔 (DVD) (香港版) 青苔 (DVD) (香港版) The Moss (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Shawn Yue (Actor) | Fan Siu Wong (Actor) | Bonnie Xian (Actor) | Liu Kai Chi | Siu Yam Yam 余文樂 (Actor) | 樊少皇 (Actor) | 冼色麗 (Actor) | 廖啟智 | 邵音音 余文乐 (Actor) | 樊少皇 (Actor) | 冼色丽 (Actor) | 廖启智 | 邵音音 余文樂(ショーン・ユー) (Actor) | 樊少皇(ルイス・ファン) (Actor) | 冼色麗(ボニー・シァン) (Actor) | 廖啓智(リウ・カイチー) | 邵音音(シウ・ヤムヤム) 여 문락 (Actor) | 번소황 (Actor) | Bonnie Xian (Actor) | 요 계지 | Siu Yam Yam
Director: Derek Kwok 郭子健 郭子健 郭子健 (デレク・クォック) 곽 자건
Writer: Clement Cheng 鄭 思傑 郑 思杰 クレメント・チェン Clement Cheng
Release Date: 2008-07-11
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: DTS Digital Surround
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9, DVD-5
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 95 (mins)
Publisher: Mei Ah (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1011077838

Product Information

* Screen Format: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
* Sound Mix: DTS
* DVD Type:
- The Movie: DVD-9
- Special Features: DVD-5
* Special Features (60 mins):
- Deleted Scence
- Making of
- Trailer
- Data Bank

Director: Derek Kwok Chi Kin

Jan (Shawn Yu) is one of the many dirty cops living in the area. He’s really more like a gangster than a cop. Self-serving and living aimlessly in this hellhole of an area, he constantly have dealings with the mobs and offers protection to the prostitutes in exchange for sexual favours. Of all the girls, he fancies Lulu (Bonnie Xian) most. He finds her non-inquisitive and quiet nature comforting, almost like a place where he can seek solace.
Jan's peaceful routine is disrupted when the son of God mom Chong (Susan Shaw) goes missing in a rival gang’s territory headed by the four-eyed Tong. Along with his disappearance is a valuable green gemstone that was meant as a birthday gift from her son. Jan is tasked by Chong to confront Tong (Liu Kai Chi). At this moment, a mysterious beggar (Louis Fan) makes an attempt to kill Tong.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Moss (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

July 4, 2008

The Moss is hotly tipped Hong Kong director Derek Kwok's follow-up to his much praised debut The Pye-Dog, and sees him sticking to the same territory with another gritty tale of urban angst. Here, the tone is somewhat darker, and the film delves even further into the lives of criminals and dirty cops, whilst still attempting to find a sense of heart and humanity in their desperate deeds. Although not straying too far from the well, the film certainly represents a step up for the director, as he manages to pull together an impressive cast and tries his hand at a more complex narrative style.

The plot, it has to be said, is not particularly original, following corrupt ex-undercover cop Jan (top Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue, recently in Shamo and Invisible Target) who still seems to act like a petty criminal, doing favours for his old gang pals and making money on the side. As is usually the case, his life is thrown into disarray by a series of violent and unpredictable events that leave his former boss dead and find him charged with locating the missing son of another triad leader. This leads him into conflict with an oddball hitman (played by Fan Siu Wong, who cult film fans may remember as the lead in the awesome Story of Ricky), whose actions leave Jan's girlfriend (Bonnie Xian, also in Naraka 19) in a coma and who kidnaps her feisty young cousin Fa (actress Shi Xueyi, making her debut).

The Moss gets straight down to business with a surprisingly lurid opening scene, complete with sweaty, oily sex and bloody murder, immediately indicating that it is going to be a far more visceral affair than The Pye-Dog. Although the subject matter is familiar, dealing with the usual triad troubles, corrupt cops and offbeat assassins, the story is well told, and is just about eccentric enough to give it a touch of freshness. Similarly, Kwok manages to make his characters an interesting bunch, and although none of them are exactly fully fleshed out or explored in any great detail, they are at least vaguely unconventional, each with their own gimmicks - a corrupt cop who has the flu and who spends most of the film sneezing, an assassin who also happens to be a crazy homeless guy, a vicious gang boss who turns out to be a caring mother, and so on.

As with The Pye-Dog, the plot is quite slow moving and meandering, perhaps even more so, and although a lot happens, the film comes across as a series of threads, rather than a driven narrative. Everything does come together at the end, quite neatly as it happens, and thankfully without too much in the way of contrivance. This approach actually works to the film's benefit, making it feel less conventional and more naturalistic and unforced, helping to draw attention away from its essential predictability. The film also benefits from some fairly frequent bursts of action and violence, which help to give the proceedings a welcome jumpstart every now and again. It does get surprisingly bloody and brutal in places, especially towards the inevitable climatic showdown, and this adds to the overall impression of gritty believability.

The film covers some pleasingly challenging moral ground, with Kwok taking a bravely non-judgmental stance, effectively blurring the line between what might have traditionally been thought of as the good and bad characters, and leaving it up to the viewer as to who they sympathise with. Of course, since the film is pretty grim throughout, dealing with some depressing themes and focusing on the decidedly less glamorous side of the underworld, it's a safe bet that none of them are particularly likely to end up happy, or even alive. Thematically, the film is not quite so successful, with the half-hearted attempt at pushing it as some kind of ironic modern fairy tale never really working, and with the plant metaphors never coming across as anything more than pompous platitudes.

Visually the film is quite accomplished, with Kwok again showing an excellent eye for details, bringing the city to convincing life, being hot and sweaty enough for the viewer to almost feel and smell. Filled with dripping water and with some lush use of saturated colours, the film takes on a somewhat organic look, albeit in an often dilapidated and filthy manner. Whilst it does have a fair few technical flourishes, it is stylish in a quiet fashion, and is never flashy enough to distract from the story or to undermine its otherwise gritty air.

Thanks to this, and to his ability as a storyteller, Kwok manages to lift The Moss above its inherent familiarity, and it is a tribute to his skill that he is able to turn something potentially uninspiring into one of the better Hong Kong films of the year so far. Certainly, there is plenty here to enjoy, and it confirms him as one of the most interesting new Chinese directors - although hopefully he will turn his attention to something a little more ambitious for his next project.

by James Mudge -

Feature articles that mention "The Moss (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "The Moss (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (3)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

September 28, 2008

1 people found this review helpful

Additional thought on "The Moss" Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
After submitting the review shown below, I conceived the perfect way to describe "The Moss": It is the old fable of "Beauty and the Beast" wrapped within the nihilistic violence of a Hong Kong gang war movie. Recommended.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

September 27, 2008

1 people found this review helpful

"It's better to be the moss." Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
"The Moss" is a dark and brutal tale involving a corrupt former police officer who finds himself in over his head in brutal gangland wars. It's also a dark and brutal tale about an 11 year old orphan who comes from the mainland to Hong Kong to make fast money in the company of her sister, who is a prostitute, only to find herself hostage to the world's dirtiest hitman. The story opens and closes as the telling of a fable by the young girl; the violent story in between maintains the not-quite-realistic, larger than life feel of a fable, particularly in the character of the grimy hitman and serves as the fulcrum of these intertwined stories. "The Moss" is effectively atmospheric, immersing the viewer in its steamy, filthy underworld milieu. It is less effective at shaping believable characters; most of these people never become more than animated cardboard cutouts. Nevertheless, this action-packed film propels the viewer to its blood-soaked culmination.
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Best Review
Nice Tambourine
See all my reviews

August 11, 2008

1 people found this review helpful

The Moss is Boss Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
I liked The Moss, mainly because it stars Shawn Yue and I haven't seen a film starring Yue for, I dunno, 2 weeks? The man simply cannot say no, because he's in like every other film made nowadays. I appreciate his hard work and tenacity, plus his apparent inability to be picky with his projects.

Yue plays a cop who gets stuck in a bad jam. He must find the guy who murdered a local crime boss while also deflecting suspicion from himself. Meanwhile, the hitman fingered for the crime kidnaps a young girl - and she's the cousin of Shawn's girlfriend (Bonnie Xian). Can Shawn find the hitman? Will the hitman, played by the ultra-dirty Fan Siu Wong, ever clean up or attempt to comb his hair? And what's the meaning behind the title of the film?

Director Derek Kwok also made the pretty good Pye-Dog, and while Moss isn't up to that standard, it's still pretty entertaining. The film is a bit manufactured, bt since most films are nowadays, I can hardly complain. Those seeking a Shawn Yue fix won't complain, and the film has some dark humor that makes it fun for discerning viewers. It was better than The Promise, anyway.
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