Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hard Boiled revisted


When Martin Scorsese made The Departed was he remaking Internal Affairs, or was he really remaking John Woo's Hard Boiled. A DVD two-disc ultimate edition version of Hard Boiled is so compelling and full of good stuff you are guaranteed two nights worth on entertainment, because that's how long it will take to watch everything.
Hard Boiled was Woo's last Hong Kong film before coming to America (Woo attended UT) to direct Hollywood films. With Hard Boiled Woo pretty much outdid himself. Starring Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung, the story revolves around two policemen with one working undercover. The awesome factor comes from the chemistry Yun-Fat and Leung display on-screen as well as the superb and often knock-out action scenes throughout the entire film.
For those that know their Shaw Brothers and other martial arts classics the name Kwok Choi will ring a bell. Choi choreographed the fight sequences and action explosions have never been the same since.
Additionally the second disc features interviews with Woo, producer Terence Chang, actor Philip Chan as well as Choi. The movie itself has commentary from Bey Logan, who may not be a household name, but this guy knows everyone and everything about the Hong Kong film industry (it is not that big and one person can know everyone). Logan's insight adds a personal touch to his commentary making it one of the best I've ever heard accompany a movie. The Chinese title literally means Spicy Hands and Smart Detective, so yes Hard Boiled is much more of a proper title for this action workhorse. Woo had previously made comedies and martial arts films like Last Hurrah for Chivalry before merging into his unique style of crime actioners like A Better Tomorrow, The Killers and Hard Boiled.