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    About This Item

    Unique ID Code: 0000004106
    Added by: DVD Reviewer
    Added on: 8/4/2000 00:10
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    Hard Boiled (UK)

    5 / 10
    2 votes cast
    Rate this item
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    As a cop, he has brains, brawn, and an instinct to kill
    Certificate: 18
    Running Time: 122 mins
    Retail Price: £19.99
    Release Date:

    From John Woo, the Director of `Face Off` and `Broken Arrow`, comes this high-octane rollercoaster ride though the violent criminal underworld of Hong Kong.

    Inspector Yuen, nicknamed `Tequila`, is a courageous cop who shoots from both hips, never reloads and never misses. A tough guy with a soft spot and infinite charm, Tequila is the only man for the job of cleaning up the city, and when his partner is killed in a spectacular shoot-out, he decides to take the investigation into his own lethal hands.

    With a body count well into three figures, more firepower than you can shake an Uzi at, stylised adrenalin-pumping action sequences which make Hollywood blockbusters look like Bambi, this is Woo`s most outrageous flick to date.

    Special Features:
    Interactive Menus
    Scene Access
    Interview with Director John Woo
    Original Theatrical Trailer
    Still Gallery
    Star Filmographies
    Chow Yun Fat article
    Film Reviews

    Video Tracks:
    Pan & Scan 1.33:1

    Audio Tracks:
    Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 English

    Directed By:
    John Woo

    Written By:

    Philip Chan
    Tony Leung Chiu Wai
    Philip Kwok
    Teresa Mo
    Yun-Fat Chow

    Soundtrack By:
    Michael Gibbs

    Director of Photography:
    Wing-Heng Wang

    David Wu
    John Woo

    Costume Designer:
    Janet Chan

    Production Designer:
    James Leung

    Linda Kuk
    Terence Chang
    Amy Chin

    Tartan Video

    Your Opinions and Comments

    5 / 10
    Hard Boiled was the movie that really got John Woo noticed to the western filmmaking world. Due in part to the fact that between many action film fans, this is regardest as one of, if not the best, action films ever made.

    Woo`s style is immediately noticeable in the film, and the film gets going straight away with a big.. well i`ll let you find out :-)

    The DVD itself (at least the R2 version - i`m not sure about the R1) is a big disappointment however. It`s sad for such a brilliant film, that it`s presented in just Dolby Stereo, and full-frame pan`n`scan (ick!) format. The English dubbed audio track is awful, and about half a second off the action - but what makes it worse is that the original Cantonese soundtrack is not included.

    Sadly, these shortcommings makes it a better idea to get the VHS version of this film, with it`s original soundtrack. There`s just no reason to justify buying the DVD version.
    posted by pete the gremlin on 25/9/2000 22:03
    5 / 10
    Oh dear, oh dear.

    Why did Tartan feel it necessary to butcher such a great film, leaving DVD fans with such an appalling version?

    This is not a film for the faint-hearted - I can`t remember seeing a film with such a high body-count - but the storyline with good cops, undercover cops, bad guys, double crosses and non-stop action is well executed (as are many of the characters!) and directed by a master of his genre.

    Most of the action is fantastically stylised and it is immediately obvious where some latter-day western directors have got their inspiration from, not to mention some of the action sequences from Woo`s American offerings - Broken Arrow, Face/Off etc. As an action film, it`s non-stop from almost the first frame. Chow Yun Fat turns in an excellent performance as Tequila (a cop on the edge?) going after an arms smuggler. Things take a turn for the worse when his partner gets shot during a raid on a tea house used as a meeting place by the smugglers and the situation rapidly deteriorates from there.

    According to an article included with the Criterion version of this DVD, this was Woo`s last film made in Hong Kong before he emigrated to America in 1992. He left behind the uncertainty of the hand-over of Hong Kong from Britain to the Chinese in 1997 and it would seem that the story played out by the main characters mirrors the feelings of the Hong Kong citizens of that time. Tequila, being the hero and defiantly representing the Hong Kong people and the gun-runners, making their own rules, representing the incoming Chinese.

    Anyway, back to Tartan. Without exaggeration, this transfer is appalling. Pan-scan is bad, but the dubbed-only soundtrack is unforgivable considering the versatility of D"V"D. It`s disks like this that make people feel ripped-off when paying £15-£20 for a copy.

    If you want to see this fim, there are two better ways than buying this DVD:

    i Buy the Criterion Collection video (easily availible from HMV,Virgin etc). It is widescreen, original language and subtitled.

    ii The more expensive, but ultimately more satisfying way is to get hold of a copy of the Criterion disk. However, this is not particularly simple. You have to find one of the disks - and they are now out-of-print (I would suggest ebay - that`s where I got mine). As they have been deleted, prepare to pay over the odds - anywhere from $50-$100 plus shipping - BUT IT IS WORTH IT. The print is clean and well-transferred, the sound is the original mono soundtrack with either subtitles, no subtitles or dubbed voice track and special features include an audio commentary by John Woo and Terence Chang (producer) and 11 trailers for Woo`s other Hong Kong films (some with the most amazing subtitles you`ve ever seen). One very major bonus though is that, (as with the Criterion edition of Life Of Brian) Hard Boiled is REGION FREE (or 0) - yup, plays on all players - so those with Region 2 players don`t have to miss out!! Thank Criterion for that.

    PS: If you thought that $50-$100 was steep for a DVD, check out what copies of Woo`s The Killer now go for. Criterion again, deleted again - last seen going for $200-$250.

    Now, where`s that visa card . . . . .
    posted by the-chauffeur on 28/12/2000 17:55