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-   -   Reviews: The Prodigal Son, Conman in Tokyo (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/international-dvd-talk/219312-reviews-prodigal-son-conman-tokyo.html)

gabegarwick 07-01-02 02:34 PM

Reviews: The Prodigal Son, Conman in Tokyo
-The Prodigal Son
Genre: Kung-Fu
Distributor: Universe
Cast: Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Ching-Ying Lam, Frankie Chan and others...
Story: A rich man's son (Yuen Biao) believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately, his father, anxious for his son's safety, bribes all his opponents to lose. After a humiliating defeat at the hands of an actor in a traveling theatre company, the son resolves to find a better teacher. Furious kung fu battles and slapstick comedy follows.
Comments: It was about time for another old-school film for me. :) I liked this one. I thought this was a fairly memorable role for Sammo (at least for me). :) Lots of fighting with good choreography, plenty of comedy. Good transfer, it's pretty clean considering the film dates back to '82. Subtitles
are fine. Sound is good also.
Score= 7.5/10 Recommended! :thumbsup:

-Conman in Tokyo
Genre: Action/Comedy, Comedy/Gambling
Distributor: Deltamac
Cast: Louis Koo, Nick Cheung, Athena Chu, Christy Chung & others...
Story: Jersy (Nick), a rascal and illegal gambler, worked his way to fame in Hong Kong for being the number one gambler. Jersy's fame is shadows by the legendary Cool (Louis) who disappeared from Hong Kong three years ago. Jersy is finally convinced by his girlfriend to go on a shopping vacation in Japan, while in Japan they encounter Cool running a small restaurant. Cool tells Jersy his story and they become friends and help each other to get back to Hong Kong with Karen, Cool's old girlfriend who has been in the hands of his enemy.
Comments: {Disclaimer I have not any of the other 'Conman' films. (So, I am unable to make any comparisons.) As I understand it, this one is unrelated and stands alone.} If you've seen any other Wong Jing films and liked them, pick this up! Nick Cheung does the comedic role so well IMO. He was good in Runaway, and great in Jing's The Duel as Dragon 9. Don't take the movie too seriously, it's supposed to be fun! Some kung-fu from Jersy, some card-fu from Cool, some nice CGI is present too. Kept me well entertained for the entire movie.
Score= 8.0/10 Highly recommended! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Comments always welcome! :)

roseart 07-01-02 02:40 PM

Re: Reviews: The Prodigal Son, Conman in Tokyo

Originally posted by gabegarwick
Conman in Tokyo
I have this on my next oder from DDDHouse, but am waiting till I get some of my CC debts down.. I have a list of 19 titles so far to order.

Thanks for the review. :up:

gabegarwick 07-01-02 02:44 PM

Re: Re: Reviews: The Prodigal Son, Conman in Tokyo

Originally posted by roseart
Thanks for the review. :up:
Welcome! (Truth be told, I watched those at least 4 weeks ago...) I've got some catching up to do on my reviews. :)
Luckily, I'm not too terribly behind as I've been too busy to watch a great many.
I'll see if I can't find some other stuff for you to add to your list ;)

roseart 07-01-02 03:02 PM

Re: Re: Re: Reviews: The Prodigal Son, Conman in Tokyo

Originally posted by gabegarwick
I'll see if I can't find some other stuff for you to add to your list ;)

Trigger 07-01-02 07:35 PM

I'll go ahead and repost my thoughts on the Conmen series that I posted in this thread quite awhile ago...

I watched The Conman with Andy Lau last night. It's pretty decent. It's about conmen obviously. It starts out really heavy and then kinda settles down after a bit into a lighter toned film. It's about Andy Lau being a conman and a womanizer and just a bad guy. Then one of his gambling cons goes bad and he gets beaten and thrown in jail. The beating caused him to lose his ability to see color (which they didn't really explore as quite the weakness they built it up to be). He's released from jail after 5 years a gentler man with alot more good in his heart. He's still a conman though and quickly gets back into it, but only for good and so he can reunite with his wife and child.

Andy Lau is actually likable in this film - normally I don't much care for his characters, but once he is released from jail he's quite likable. The supporting cast is decent and there's a few HK cinema "in-jokes". The plot has some weak moments, but it is a Wong Jing movie - so what do you expect. It's not a comedy, but there's a good balance of comedy in it along with drama. The cons are interesting and clever enough. The ending was forgettable.

Overall it's a decent flick - I'll have to watch the next 2 films to see if this story is to stand on its own or if it's better as part of a larger arc in these people's lives. I guess I'd give it a :up: but only 6.6/10.

The DVD is Mei Ah and it's among their better produced DVDs. It was kinda skipping a little on my player, but I think it's just cuz my player needs to be cleaned. It's still a nice DVD with 5.1 and 2.0 sound in cantonese and mandarin and the video quality is nice as well.


This review might give away a tiny spoiler, but nothing that will spoil the plot - just a funny moment... if you're the type that won't think it's as funny if you know it's coming, then just skip ahead to the paragraph after the next one.

So I watched Conmen in Vegas just now and I liked it. This one is more like a classic Wong Jing movie - it's silly and there are a few good movie parodies in it... they even parody The Ring and it made me laugh out loud. I would suggest seeing The Ring before watching this film... sorry if that gives away a surprise... Anyway - There are other great moments in this one too that make it a fun time. The story seemed to trail off alot like they were working without a script or something, but they managed to tie everything up in the end.

Movies make their own set of rules... rules for characters and rules for plot development and rules for location and gravity or whatever... Like in the Matrix, it created this world and did a pretty good job of sticking to the rules they created. It's not the real world that we live in, but we were able to follow along and know what was going on... had they changed the rules, it would've been too confusing and the movie wouldn't have been as good. In Hong Kong cinema - sometimes they will change the rules of characters or situations. There's nothing really wrong with that except that it makes these films difficult to believe or follow or what have you. With this film - being that it is a sequel, the first film set up some rules for the characters... they didn't really follow these rules however... they did to the extent that they aknowleged the rules existed only to change them so they could make a movie that was more fun to watch.

So right from the beginning they throw out all the storyline that had happened in the previous film so they could start fresh. Not a bad way to go considering the result, but fans of the first movie might be disappointed if they were expecting to see certain things resolved. It's not so much a continuation as it is a new film based on the same basic characters. This still has Andy Lau in it (many other faces return as well) and he is just as charming... I like him better now that I've watched these two films. It's still about being a conman, but this one doesn't have any of the serious undertones that the first one did.

This time Andy Lau (King) must travel to Las Vegas so he can capture a wanted criminal, retrieve some stolen money and pay off some bad guys who are holding his pal captive. The cons in this film are even more elaborate and probably a bit too much for their own good as the audience might have trouble believing they could possibly work in real life... but that's not what these films are about. This isn't really an updated God of Gamblers so much but it's in the same vein. I'd venture to say that it shares alot in common with Tricky Master.

There's plenty of Wong Jing slapstick and movie references in this film and the comedy manages to be quite funny. Near the end it gets too silly for its own good, but overall I'd have to give this one a :up: as well and score it a 7/10 cuz I liked it more than the first one. I started watching the third one and it looks like it's gonna be good too... Andy Lau isn't in it though... I'll let you know...

Conmen In Tokyo - more Wong Jing silly. The film has very little cohesion. This film doesn't have Andy Lau. Basically only one actor returns in this one and he isn't even playing the same part as in the previous two. It's a totally different movie rather than a sequel. Anyway - this one has lots of kung-fu (some pretty decent stuff too), lots of gambling and lots of silly moments. This movie is still pretty good, but it's nothing like the others and stands on its own.

I have to mention the title sequence - it was very well done. This movie had quite a bigger budget than the first 2 - there was alot of CGI in it. I don't know what to say other than it was well made.

No sense in me telling you what it's about... gambling in Tokyo with some drama and action and kung fu and a guy who can throw playing cards with deadly accuracy. I found it enjoyable for the most part. As a whole, the movie is a mess... as individual parts, each part of the movie is good. Well for a wacky Wong Jing film with a budget - I guess I give this a 6/10 (overall - 4/10, scene by scene - 8/10)... I give it a reluctant :up: - I'll keep it in my library cuz there's alot of great stuff in here.

gabegarwick 07-01-02 09:22 PM

Cool! Thanks for the repost Trigger, very relevant.

You suggested watching The Ring before Conmen in Vegas...
Is it *really* scary? And is it available with English subs? If so, please point me in right direction. :)

Thanks again,

Trigger 07-01-02 10:09 PM

If you can play PAL dvds, it's available in europe from several online places. Ring, Ring 2 and Ring 0 all available through places like bensonsworld and other england etailers as well as places like pokerindustries. There's a few ring threads if you date your search back far enough. let me know if you need more info than that - i'm watching a movie right now. ;)

roseart 07-02-02 06:50 AM

Originally posted by gabegarwick
Is it *really* scary? And is it available with English subs? If so, please point me in right direction. :)

Don't go into Ring thinking it will be *really* scary. I was let down. I think mostly because of all the hype. It was good, just think I was expecting to much. I am glad I saw it, it just wasn't a keeper for me.

Bensonsworld is the cheapest place I have found, cause of their free shipping.

Ring (Subtitled) (Wide Screen) (DVD) 15.99 or $24.44USD

Ring 2 (Subtitled) (Wide Screen) (DVD) (Same Price)

The transfer on Ring 1 is god awful. Looks like they rubbed the print across the sand, but it is still the only way to see this movie on DVD with English subtitles.

Trigger 07-02-02 07:04 AM

I thought the transfer on Ring 1 was fine. I have a better TV now though, so I should try watching it again on that just to make sure. Ring 1 and 2 are good I thought and they both scared me good. I posted reviews of all 3 Ring movies here:


Ring 0 is the longest review and it's at the very bottom.

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