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The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Crystal Huang (Actor) | Anthony Wong (Actor) | Kevin Cheng (Actor) | Pat Ha (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Hong Kong director Herman Yau contributes to the centennial celebration of the Xinhai Revolution with his period kung fu biopic about late-Qing feminist and revolutionary Qiu Jin, whose heroic exploits were pivotal in bringing about the eventual downfall of the imperial regime in China. The maverick director of The Untold Story has long admired the legendary figure, and his entertaining portrayal of her life story on the silver screen admirably balances the historical drama stuff with exhilarating action scenes choreographed by veteran action director Leung Siu Hung (Ip Man). Yau brings back his The Legend is Born - Ip Man star Crystal Huang in the eponymous role, supported by a star-studded cast including Dennis To, Anthony Wong, Kevin Cheng, Rose Chan, Pat Ha, Lam Suet, Xiong Xinxin, Tsui Tin Yau, Wong Yau Nam, and Lollipop-F's A-wei.

When the women of her time had their feet bound to please men, Qiu Jin (Crystal Huang) was already questioning the sexual inequality of feudal traditions. Free-spirited and well-educated, she grew up practicing martial arts and was as well versed in poetry as she was in sword-fighting. When this rebellious girl moved to Beijing with her husband (Kevin Cheng), she witnessed how her country was raided and ravaged by foreign powers. With the encouragement of her neighbor Wu Zhiying (Pat Ha), the wife of righteous magistrate Li Zhongyue (Anthony Wong), Qiu Jin left her family behind to pursue study in Japan. There, she met some like-minded schoolmates who shared her ideals, including revolutionary leader Xu Xilin (Dennis To), and secretly joined his anti-Qing cause. After returning to China, Qiu Jin participated in the uprisings staged by Xu Xilin, leading a small group of hot-blooded students against the armed forces of the corrupt Qing government...

Hong Kong Version DVD of The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake comes with making-of.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 競雄女俠 秋瑾 (2011) (DVD) (香港版) 竞雄女侠 秋瑾 (2011) (DVD) (香港版) 競雄女俠 秋瑾 (2011) (DVD) (香港版) The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Crystal Huang (Actor) | Anthony Wong (Actor) | Kevin Cheng (Actor) | Pat Ha (Actor) | Dennis To (Actor) | Rose Chen (Actor) | Lau Siu Ming (Actor) | Xiong Xin Xin (Actor) | Wong Yau Nam (Actor) | Chui Tien You (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Mia Yim (Actor) | A-wei (Lollipop F) (Actor) 黃奕 (Actor) | 黃 秋生 (Actor) | 鄭 嘉穎 (Actor) | 夏文汐 (Actor) | 杜 宇航 (Actor) | 陳 嘉桓 (Actor) | 劉兆銘 (Actor) | 熊欣欣 (Actor) | 黃又南 (Actor) | 徐天佑 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 閻清 (Actor) | 阿緯 (Lollipop F) (Actor) 黄奕 (Actor) | 黄 秋生 (Actor) | 郑 嘉颖 (Actor) | 夏文汐 (Actor) | 杜 宇航 (Actor) | 陈 嘉桓 (Actor) | 刘兆铭 (Actor) | 熊欣欣 (Actor) | 黄又南 (Actor) | 徐天佑 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 阎清 (Actor) | 阿纬 (Lollipop F) (Actor) 黄奕(ホァン・イー) (Actor) | 黄秋生 (アンソニー・ウォン) (Actor) | 鄭嘉頴(ケビン・チェン) (Actor) | 夏文汐(パット・ハー) (Actor) | 杜宇航 (デニス・トー) (Actor) | Rose Chen (Actor) | 劉兆銘(ラウ・シウミン) (Actor) | 熊欣欣(ホン・ヤンヤン) (Actor) | 黄又南(ウォン・ヤウナム) (Actor) | 徐天佑(チョイ・ティンヤウ) (Actor) | 林雪 (ラム・シュー) (Actor) | 閻清 (ミア・ヤン) (Actor) | A-wei (Lollipop F) (Actor) Crystal Huang (Actor) | Anthony Wong (Actor) | Kevin Cheng (Actor) | Pat Ha (Actor) | Dennis To (Actor) | Rose Chen (Actor) | Lau Siu Ming (Actor) | Xiong Xin Xin (Actor) | Wong Yau Nam (Actor) | Chui Tien You (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Mia Yim (Actor) | A-wei (Lollipop F) (Actor)
Director: Herman Yau 邱禮濤 邱礼涛 邱禮濤(ハーマン・ヤウ) Yau Lai To
Action Director: Leung Siu Hung 梁小熊 梁小熊 梁小熊 (トニー・リャン) LIANG XIAO XIONG
Release Date: 2011-12-01
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: Hong Kong, China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM), 6.1, DTS-ES 6.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 115 (mins)
Publisher: Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co Ltd
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1025780660

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Making of

Director: Yau Lai To

Qin Jin - the first female revolutionist in Chinese history. Qin was born in a worry-free official family. The more she studied, the more she loved her country. Fist, martial arts, horse-riding and archery of this little young lady even outperformed her brothers. However, her husband concerned nothing about home nor country. Qiu could only resort to poems to express her emotions. A big quarrel made Qiu leave her home in dismay. As an admirer of Japanese culture after Meiji Reform, she went to Japan for further studies. In Japan, she and other classmates initiated Plain-language Paper to inculcate patriotic message: Kyoaikai (Tong Ai Association) to promote of man and woman. Through Social Democratic Association. Xu Xi Lin was introduced. They had some vision and joined force for revolution in China. They ran Da Tong Military School and paved way for the revolution.
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 Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

November 28, 2011

The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake qualifies as a pleasant surprise, given the recent spate of ballyhooed big-budget films celebrating Chinese historical figures or events. A historical biopic set during China's developing revolution against the Qing Dynasty, Woman Knight eschews the polarizing pitfalls of recent patriotic fare. Woman Knight isn't intended to instill pride in Chinese people because of their nationality. Instead, the film asks that viewers care because its biographical subject, writer and revolutionary Qiu Jin, was a remarkable woman. Backing up these admirable intentions is director Herman Yau, who gives the film solid dramatic structure and storytelling smarts. The film's entertaining martial arts sequences are just icing.

Woman Knight opens in the 1880s with a quick historical rundown explaining China's late nineteenth century unrest, from subjugation by foreigners to the Qing government's growing corruption. Amidst this, Qiu Jin is born, and she immediately chafes at her place in society. As a child she refuses to have her feet bound, and questions why she can't receive an education like her brother. Presto, her father gives her equal status, and she grows to adulthood in a quick montage that uses fast onscreen titles to relay even more key history.

Actual historical events are important here, but Yau and screenwriter Erica Li sideline that larger panorama in favor of their character focus. After the quick history rundown, the film jumps to 1907 where Qiu Jin (Huang Yi), now clothed in western male garb, runs a college for future revolutionaries. However, the Qing authorities come calling and Qiu Jin enters into hand-to-hand combat with Qing official Ao Feng (Xiong Xin-Xin). Eventually, Ao Feng captures her and she's set to be tried and possibly executed. This is not a spoiler.

Woman Knight of Mirror Lake alternates between two time periods. The first spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, covering events in Qiu Jin's life like her arranged marriage to a wealthy scholar (Kevin Cheng) and her burgeoning career as a poet and writer. Later, she becomes involved in women's rights and receives an education in Japan, where she comes in contact with Xu Xilin (Dennis To), a revolutionary who recruits Qiu Jin into one of the many groups that would one day join together under Sun Yat-Sen as the Tongmenghui.

The second time period rests solely in 1907, as Qiu Jin is tried as a revolutionary by Qing court official Li Zhongyue (Anthony Wong), who admires Qiu Jin for her writing and education. However, Li must contend with the influence of the corrupt Qing court, represented here by officials Ao Feng and Gui Fu (Lam Suet). This non-linear setup is smart storytelling, as we learn about Qiu Jin's past and character gradually while also witnessing her rapidly approaching fate. The time shifts sometimes occur without onscreen titles, but the distinct plot threads and confined locations make things easy to follow.

Also smart is the use of Li Zhongyue, a character who in some ways acts as the audience stand-in. Li's empathy towards Qiu Jin is due to her strength and resolve and not because of her beliefs. Ultimately, nationalism is less important here than simply having ideas and being willing to fight for them. That's a small but vital distinction, and it makes all the difference in how an audience – especially one that doesn’t drink the China pride Kool-Aid - receives the film. It helps that Anthony Wong essays Li Zhongyue with a sympathetic and underplayed integrity.

At the center of everything, Huang Yi is surprisingly good. Only recently raised from supporting to lead roles, Huang demonstrates a greater range and ability than previously, though she's still a notch below some of her contemporaries in screen charisma. It helps that few of her co-stars can act rings around her; besides Wong, this is largely a cast of respectable but not decorated performers, and they perform solidly. The big exception is Tsui Tin-Yau, who overacts his sensitive student with the subtlety of spastic chinchilla.

The fighting is also a plus. Handled by Tony Leung Siu-Hung (with some advice from producer Checkley Sin), the action is a bit over the top, with choreography and prop use that's reminiscent of late-eighties and early-nineties Hong Kong Cinema. Huang Yi surprises with her ability when she goes toe-to-toe with Xiong Xin-Xin, the two sparring nimbly over a name list of revolutionaries. There are also minor dustups along the way, including sequences where Qiu Jin takes on Qing soldiers and also Japanese police.

The film's biggest set piece is an uprising led by Xu Xilin, as he and some revolutionaries attempt to assassinate a Qing official (Lau Siu-Ming). The scene features a lengthy fight between Dennis To and Xiong Xin-Xin that's intricately choreographed and quite entertaining. There are a few debits in the action design, mostly involving potential animal cruelty, but it still possesses a flair that’s become increasingly rare in Hong Kong Cinema. The action sequences don't occur that often, but when they arrive they don’t disappoint.

Artistic license is rampant. The action is too over-the-top to be real, and the actual Qiu Jin was only interested in martial arts and not a kick-ass master like she's portrayed here. But the fudged facts are acceptable. Like the Once Upon a Time in China movies and also Bodyguards and Assassins, Woman Knight of Mirror Lake is a knowing mix of history, character drama and only-in-the-movies entertainment, and the fast-and-loose facts are part of equation. The liberal doses of unreality make the didactic drama more palatable, and also let the audience know that maybe the history presented in films isn't the absolute truth.

Nevertheless, Woman Knight still presents an idea - that revolution is how people can effect change - that's ironic in today's CCP-centric China. The script kind of addresses that, telling us that true change takes years or decades, and may only be felt after the revolutionaries are dead and gone - just like the light from stars in the sky belonged to dead suns of millennia past. Woman Knight of Mirror Lake isn't as grand as that metaphor implies, but its flame burns brightly enough to be seen from where I'm standing. And hopefully from where you're standing too.

by Kozo -

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Customer Review of "The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

See all my reviews

January 19, 2012

1 people found this review helpful

Unsung Heroes Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
I've enjoyed Crystal Huang's performances in many mainland tv series (starring with Hawick Lau) and of course I can't miss out on Kevin Cheng being cast as her husband.

A bit of a tear jerker, be prepared with tissues. Crystal did well with action choreography, Dennis To showing another side of his talent besides contributing some kickass action.

I'm glad Kevin had a chance to be involved in a movie production. He's hot property at the moment and his acting skills are improving so strongly. Can't wait for a huge hit from him.
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