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International DVD Talk Intl. DVDs, Region Free Players, RCE, Hong Kong DVDs & More

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Old 04-20-03, 11:58 PM   #1
jtkv
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 220
REVIEW: Cat and Mouse (Hong Kong , 2003)

Cat And Mouse (Hong Kong , 2003)
director: Gordan Chan
Starring: Andy Lau, Cecilia Cheung, Anthony Wong, GuoD onglin, Li Bingbing, Wu Yue

Synopsis:
Story of Judge Bao, Inspector Zhan, working with the Robin-hood like outlaw, Bia, to solve some crime cases and plots against the Emperor.

Thoughts:
Andy Lau's Lunar New year movie, cat and Mouse, was a nice 92min distracton for the evening. It starts off as a comedy, but then decides to get serious, and turns into a more traditional martial-arts drama of sorts. The comedy wasn't laugh-out-loud funny, but more of the chuckle under your breath type funny. An adaptation of an old Chinese novel, Cecilia Cheung is Bai, who becomes the rival and romantic interest for Andy's Zhan. The light comedy comes in the form of antics by Anthony Wong's Judge Bao and Inspector Zhan, and from Bia's goofy henchmen. But halfway through the movie, the comedy is discarded, and replaced by more serious storyline and some martial arts action, as the side romance story and an assassination case progresses. Some nice action on display by Andy.
Some beautiful historic backdrops were used in this movie, which seems to be filmed in Beijing (somewhere in China anyways!), and there are lots of mainland actors involved, as this is a Hong Kong-China production.
As mentioned before, it's a decent 92mn distraction for the evening, and not much more.

DVD info:
Publisher: MegaStar
Region: ALL
NTSC
DVD-9
runtime: 92mins
ratio: 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced)
12 chapter stops
audio: Cantonese (DD 5.1 and DTS) and Mandarin (DD 5.1)
subtitles: optional Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) and English
extras: The Story (Synopsis), Making Of, Deleted Scenes, Casts & Credit, Trailer, Promo, Setup for Anamorphic DVD (explains the proper TV settings for 16:9 mode)

The DVD comes in a nice cardboard slipcase, with the nice poster art of the movie as the cover. Inside, the actual DVD case as a different cover art for the case' sleeve. Both the slipcase and the DVD sleeve use the same rear info design.

Image: Clean and sharp presentation. Seems to be mastered from a perfectly mint film print, as there are no defects at all. Some wide-angle scenes looks like it's shot through a dirty lens. Fairly high bitrate, average between 5 and 7MBits, even for the extras!

Audio: clean and distortion free audio. Seems to be a tiny bit behind sync in Cantonese DD5.1 soundtrack, but enough to be noticeable. Mandarin soundtrack is in sync. Did not test DTS track.
Cantonese soundtrack: Mandarin actors are dubbed into Cantonese.
Mandarin soundtrack: Cantonese speakers are dubbed into Mandarin, while retaining the original Mandarin actors voices.

English subtitles: White letters with black border, easy to read, good translation, but some liberties taken in the English wording.

Extras info:
Making Of: 14:36 runtime ,letterboxed, no English subtitles, burnt-in Chinese subtitles in letter-box area, consists of behind-the-scenes and interview with casts in Cantonese, ends with the music video of the theme song in Mandarin. Some nice insights provided here, and Anthony with some funny commentary.

Deleted Scenes: 2 scenes available (Cave Island and Magistrate Justice Court), 9:22 runtime, letterboxed, no English subtitles, optional Chinese subtitles, presented in original sync'ed language (a mix of Cantonese and Mandarin, depending on which cast is speaking). The second deleted footage has a funny rap scene to introduce Judge Bao.

Trailer: 2:15 runtime, letterboxed, Cantonese language with burnt-in Chinese subtitles
Promo: 2:02 runtime, letterboxed, Cantonese and Mandarin with burn-in Chinese subtitles

I wish there was a third soundtrack option, that of the original sync'ed voices. We would have Cantonese and Mandarin language speakers interacting with each other (as in the deleted scenes and the promo reel). Would have been so much more natural than the dubbing (Cantonese wasn't bad, but Andy and Anthony's Mandarin voices are too un-natural).

If MegaStar can consistently release DVDs that are this good, Mei-Ah will have a companion as a top-notch DVD publisher in Hong Kong.


Ratings:
Movie: 7/10 - not too funny for a comedy, but works as period martial-arts drama
DVD: 8/10 - good mastering, and decent extras. Marred by the ever-so-slightly out-of-sync audio track
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