Happy Times R1 DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kin Ho, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. Kin Ho

    Kin Ho Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 5, 2002
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    Happy Times
    Released by Sony Pictures Classics
    US/Canadian R1 (R0)
    NTSC Colour
    103 Mins
    OAR 1.85:1 Anamorphic
    Mandarin DD5.1
    English and French Subs
    - 3 Trailers (Beijing Bicycle, The Road Home and Not One Less)
    A good solid anamorphic picture and despite charging a DVD-9 price for the DVD I have have no complaints about this barebones DVD-5 disc.
    Directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Zhao Ben-shan (The Emperor and The Assassin) as the eccentric retiree and making her debut Dong Jie who plays the blind girl.
    The lead actor is desperate to find a wife to keep him company through old age that he would even consider an overweight mother of two to keep him toasty and warm and night. However, he is completely penniless and he is force to keep up an act of deception if he has any hope of marrying her.
    Inbetween trying to impress his bride to be with stories of his "hotel" business Zhao gets to know her blind step daughter.
    ... I don't like given away plot details or describing characters and situations ... spoils the film ...
    Firstly this is by far Zhang Yimou's funniest film and I found myself laughing through 2/3rds of the movie ... this is no doubt due to the performance of Zhao and his ragged bunch of support characters. The actors play their parts with a low key presence which help to make the performances funnier than the script allows them to be.
    It isn't long before you become wrapped up with everyone on screen and you will laugh and cry on cue as the characters do ...
    This would be a top 3 Zhang Yimou film if it wasn't for the ending which I didn't like at all ... I found it predictable and a little patronising but the ending is still unconventional and thats a plus point ...
    Worth seeing just for the comedy ... An excellent and different Zhang yimou film.
  2. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

    Jul 3, 2000
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    I saw it a little different that you Kin Ho...
    Happy Times, China 2000


    The Sony Classic DVD is film-sourced and exhibits vibrant (as usual Zhang Yimou films) true colors, deep blacks but I have seen sharper detail. It is not extremely bad, but I think it could have been better as it has a tendency to look hazy/soft at times. There are no extras, unless you include 3 trailers of previous Zhang Yimou films distributed through Sony. 3.5/5
    Full Review with screen caps, bitrate chart etc. is HERE
    By the way,m I agree about the film... a total masterpiece. I laughed and cried... Zhang Yimou is my favorite director!

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