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The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Blu-ray)(Japan Version) Blu-ray Region A

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The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Blu-ray)(Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Tsui Hark (Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame) reinterprets Qu Bo's 1957 novel Tracks in the Snowy Forest, which was memorably adapted into an opera during the Cultural Revolution, into a roaring action blockbuster in The Taking of Tiger Mountain! Starring Zhang Hanyu (White Vengeance), Lin Gengxin (Black & White: The Dawn Of Justice), Tony Leung Ka Fai (Rise Of The Legend), Tong Liya (Silent Witness), Yu Nan (No Man's Land), Han Geng (So Young) and others, the epic film was a box office smash, and yet another testament to Tsui Hark's ability to put on a cinematic spectacle.

In the midst of the Chinese Civil War, People's Liberation Army Captain Shao Jianbo (Lin Gengxin) is assigned a daunting mission: to retake Tiger Mountain. Once a Japanese stronghold, the mountain is now dominated by a group of vicious bandits led by the fearsome Hawk (Tony Leung Ka Fai). In order to bring down the gang from the inside, Yang Ziyong (Zhang Hanyu) takes on the dangerous task of infiltrating the group.

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Product Title: The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Blu-ray)(Japan Version) The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Blu-ray)(Japan Version) The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Blu-ray)(Japan Version) タイガー・マウンテン 雪原の死闘 (Blu-ray) The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Blu-ray)(Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Tony Leung Ka Fai | Zhang Han Yu | Kenny Lin 梁 家輝 | 張涵予 | 林更新 梁 家辉 | 张涵予 | 林更新 梁家輝 (レオン・カーファイ) | 張涵予 (チャン・ハンユー) | 林更新 (ケニー・リン) Tony Leung Ka Fai | Zhang Han Yu | Kenny Lin
Director: Tsui Hark 徐 克 徐 克 徐克(ツイ・ハーク) 서극
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: 2016-06-08
Publisher Product Code: TWBD-80796
Place of Origin: Hong Kong, China
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Publisher: Twin
Other Information: Blu-ray
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1049438555

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
チャン・ハンユー[張涵予] / レオン・カーフェイ / ケニー・リン[林更新] / ツイ・ハーク[徐克] (監督、脚本)


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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Blu-ray)(Japan Version)"

July 31, 2015

This professional review refers to The Taking Of Tiger Mountain (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
Tsui Hark’s recent streak of excellence has been tied to a single genre: the costume fantasy film. Stuff like Flying Swords of Dragon Gate and the Detective Dee movies were perfectly suited to Tsui’s sensibilities, as he could exercise his imagination without being chained to realism or authenticity. That pattern changes with The Taking of Tiger Mountain, which possesses a comparatively recent historical setting rife with political themes, not to mention drab costumes and settings that don’t allow for arresting visual imagery. Also: no flying kung-fu. Tiger Mountain is a tougher nut to crack, and yet in Tsui Hark’s hands, what could have been PRC propaganda ends up a rousing wartime action-adventure, complete with a wily undercover spy, stalwart war heroes and dastardly bad guys who behave despicably and look even worse. Also: a CGI tiger, an annoying little kid and a last-minute action climax that would be right at home in a James Bond movie. It’s not Tsui Hark’s best work, but The Taking of Tiger Mountain has plenty to recommend it.

Based on a novel turned patriotic opera set in 1946, Tiger Mountain details the exploits of a small People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troop who defend a northern China village from a dastardly army of bandits. Led by the serious Captain 203 (Lin Gengxin), the brigade should be fighting the Kuomintang (KMT) directly but end up doing so indirectly, as the bandits are in cahoots with the KMT and fight the PLA on their behalf while also terrorizing local villagers. Multitasking! The bandits are led by pointy-haired villain Lord Hawk (Tony Leung Ka-Fai beneath tons of make-up), and operate out of a fortress in the Tiger Mountains that used to belong to the Japanese army. Meanwhile, the PLA hunkers down in the small village of Leather Creek, which is occasionally raided by the bandits – just like that poor village in Seven Samurai, if you’re looking for a cross-Asian cinema connection. Looking to liberate the fortress, stop the bandits, stick it to the KMT and also protect the village, Captain 203 and company have plenty of work to do.

Luckily 203 has the help of PLA scout Yang Zirong (Zhang Hanyu), whose casual kickassery cannot be denied. The fortress is basically impregnable but Yang volunteers to infiltrate Lord Hawk’s gang to figure out their weaknesses and set up a future assault. There’s more at stake than protecting the village – the KMT and Lord Hawk possess or seek numerous maps that lead to hidden resources and even 10,000 catties of gold – but those objects are largely MacGuffins for a David vs. Goliath storyline about a smaller force taking on a much larger one. Much of the map-related intrigue is delivered via quick exposition, and nobody actually follows the maps to figure out where they lead. One might ask why the PLA doesn’t use the treasure map to help Mao fund his “great awakening” or something, but Tsui Hark thankfully never waves his China pompoms. Even the film’s framing sequence, set in 2015 and involving a Chinese man (Han Geng) in New York travelling back to China, is more about family than PLA pride. Tsui Hark butters his bread on both sides here.

Instead of politics, the film concerns itself with smaller human stories, like the subplot involving Knotti (Su Yiming), a young boy who lost his parents to the bandits, and also a vague attraction between 203 and PLA nurse Little Dove (Tong Liya). Knotti’s story is the film’s most emotional, but even his subplot is largely superfluous to the film’s main enjoyment: its espionage antics. Once Yang decides to play spy the film kicks into entertaining high gear, as he heads to the mountain fortress and spends oodles of time convincing the bandits that he’s not a PLA spy even though he totally is one. Numerous times, Yang runs rings around Lord Hawk’s army through his confident wit and bald-faced lies, and Tsui Hark milks each scene for delightful tension and humor. It’s even more entertaining since the bad guys are sneer-worthy types with character design (scars, moustaches, bad hair) that paints them as exaggerated movie villains. Tsui obviously departs from reality in creating Tiger Mountain, edging his “realistic” setting closer to the fantasy worlds that he’s been so successful in.

Ultimately, the story builds towards the assault on the Tiger Mountain fortress, but the journey is more important than the resolution. The outcome is never in doubt (The PLA wins, yay!) so what really matters is how things happen – i.e., how Yang outsmarts the bandits, how the PLA breaks into the fortress, and how the PLA defends the village. Funnily enough, the film actually calls attention to its own storytelling with a brief coda offering an alternative end to the “real story” of Tiger Mountain. The alternative is an over-the-top action sequence, and while it feels a bit tacked on, it’s nevertheless in keeping with the film’s serial adventure tone. The action is also top-notch, with elaborate set-ups and gunplay, particularly during the defense of Leather Creek sequence in the penultimate act. Performances are solid, led by Zhang Hanyu’s charismatic turn as the PLA hero, Tony Leung’s inscrutable take on a pulp magazine villain and Yu Nan’s sultry performance as Lord Hawk’s mysterious moll. Lin Gengxin provides good presence as the righteous captain, while costuming and personality types are used to differentiate the large cast of heroes and villains.

In some ways, The Taking of Tiger Mountain feels like an update of the Tsui Hark co-directed The Raid (1991), which used the Sino-Japanese War as a backdrop for a rousing adventure that sidestepped most political themes. Tiger Mountain also offers impressive use of 3D with plenty of showy moments including slowed-down Matrix-like camera moves plus knives and grenades flying towards the audience. But Tsui also uses the 3D for layered perspectives, e.g., the initial railway station shootout, with jutting steel rails that intrude at every depth level, or a climactic chase down a long hallway. Tsui Hark doesn’t offer anything unique here, but this is a fine mixture of old storytelling tricks and new technology, and an unpretentious piñata of popcorn movie goodness that’s easily enjoyed. Tsui Hark is sometimes called “The Master” and The Taking of Tiger Mountain is a pretty good reminder why.

by Kozo -

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
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