Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|A Better Tomorrow II|
Actors: Leslie Cheung, Yun-Fat Chow, Dean Shek, Lung Ti, Emily Chu
Director: John Woo
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
"I won't give you nothing, man; I give you shit," sneers charismatic superstar Chow Yun Fat, speaking English (with a De Niro accent) in his role as a New York restaurateur who won't knuckle under to the (Italian) mob. Cho... more »
Great Movie, Disappointing DVD
Jason Lee | Grosse Ile, MI United States | 07/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is the best of the "Better Tomorrow" trilogy and one of John Woo's best Hong Kong releases after "Hard Boiled" and "The Killer". It takes off right after "A Better Tomorrow" with Chow Yun Fat returning as Mark's twin brother Ken. It starts off a little slow, but it's essential to character development (which most action films of this genre lack). The ending has one of the best and bloodiest shootout sequences in the series. Some of the scenes in this end sequence you may remeber being shown in Tarentino's "True Romance".The two stars keeping this movie from getting a five star rating was due to the quality of the DVD. Although the packaging of the DVD was nice, the booklet inside was merely an advertisement and had no information for this movie. To my disappointment there was NO EXTRA FOOTAGE or BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE as advertised and it left me feeling ripped off. The DVD just merely contained actor's and director's files which looked like it was taken directly from the IMDB (www.imdb.com). The subtitles were poorly translated with constant grammatical, spelling and timing errors, which made most the dialogue confusing. The colors were muted and in some of the dark scenes, what was supposed to be black turned a bright blue - yuck!. The only real difference between the DVD and the VHS version was the remastered Dolby Digital sound and widescreen letterboxed aspect ratio (1.85:1).The only reason that I didn't return this version of the DVD is that the only other version is on VHS and it's $13 more than the DVD. So if you are planning on purchasing this, I'd wait, there are plans for a superior version to be released in the fall."
OK gangster movie
Nic | Canada | 03/23/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The movie gives the impression of various parts being put together that don`t have much in common. The action sequences praised by some did not have the explosive quality of the action sequences of A Better Tomorrow I, nor the emotional content. There are only two major shoot-outs in the movie: the first one has chow yun-fat gunning down american gangsters in a hotel with a shotgun (a sequence that is a bit too similar to the sequence in The Getaway where Steve McQueen guns down cops with a shotgun in a hotel (Peckinpah is one of the major influences on Woo); the second one is the final shoot-out and it comes close to self-parody (the baddies are mowed down in groups à la Commando) (Watching it, I even woundered if Woo directed most of this shoot-out - I know there were problems between Woo and Hark during the making of the movie.) The actors have more or less no intensity during the whole movie: they hardly seem to be playing the same characters as in the first one. The first third seems to be a rip-off of the Godfather, then the story is chucked out the window with Chow appearing as the twin brother: the first in a series of cheesy moments. The hit-man that kills Leslie Cheung is an obvious rip-off of Melville`s hitman: Le Samourai (A stoic silent hitman that waits for the other guy to draw before shooting). The movie seems like a waste of the talent of everyone involved.Overall watchable B gangster movie but is no comparison with the original A Better Tomorrow, a mythic melodrama masterpiece."
Just enjoy the ride.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 05/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the accounts I've read, A Better Tomorrow II was a reluctant endeavour on Woo's part to cash in on an extremely personal and extremely successful film (the first A Better Tomorrow) which had made his career and hadn't been intended as a franchise. But a franchise it became, and the corny, nearly nonsensical plotting of this sequel (the comic-book artist is especially ludicrous -- it's the same guy who had been the counterfeit engineer in the first film!) is the result.But where this film good-naturedly flubs on logic, it makes up for in spectacle and just pure entertainment. Chow Yun-fat must have had a ball filming this, with his extended English monologue, almost godlike action choreography, and a mischievous character which taps into one of his most effective traits as an actor, a goofball sense of fun which makes his romantic moments all the more engrossing. Ti Lung's character is somewhat passive this time though the actor does a good job. Dean Shek's over-the-top portrayal of a mind unhinged isn't for all tastes, but his performance in the not-crazy scenes is tip-top, and Leslie Cheung had grown greatly as an actor since the first film.In the end, this film is about an exaggerated staging of the trademark gunfights of A Better Tomorrow, and this sequel delivers on that front in grand style. Once again Chow Yun-fat steals the whole show, dominating both key action sequences (the final demolition of the house and the New York battle against over-the-top slimy mafiosi).The DVD transfer of this film is not all that great. As with the first A Better Tomorrow DVD on Anchor Bay, the trailers are not that remarkable -- this DVD offers "Hong Kong" and "American" trailers, but the Hong Kong trailer has already been available on the pristine Criterion Collection edition of Hard Boiled, and the American trailer is pure trash. There is no commentary, not surprisingly, but the most bothersome thing is that the picture transfer is really not that great. Unbecoming scratches mar the picture, and I suspect it's on the master used by Anchor Bay, not a one-off on my DVD.The film is still lots of fun to watch. Turn off your logic circuit and indulge."
Beautiful transfer for a John Woo classic!
Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org) | South Bend, IN | 01/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're like me, you're used to an old, grainy, pan and scan VHS version of ABTPT2. This disc is a welcome improvement! It is finally in the correct aspect ratio and the colors practically jump off the screen. The transfer is top-notch too (very little "artifacts"). The sound (while mono) has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 for extremely clear audio. Did I mention the NINE different subtitles and dubbing into Cantonese and Mandarin? All this plus some cast highlights and the trailer. Well worth the price, if you even have a fleeting interest in John Woo this is the only way to go!!"