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Breaking News [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Kelly Chen, Nick Cheung
  • Directors: Johnny To
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan Asia Extreme
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Mar 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GL17HI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,919 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From the director of Fulltime Killercomes one of the most explosive and unrelenting action films to ever come out of Asia. After a televised bank robbery is dangerously mismanaged by the Hong Kong police, five bank robbers escape, leaving a bloodbath behind them. Taking refuge in a labyrinthine housing complex, the criminals are quickly surrounded. In order to regain credibility, ambitious Commissioner Rebecca Fong attempts to manipulate the media to her own advantage. But the robbers are also able to draw on the power of the media... High octane and visually stunning, Johnnie To's Breaking Newsis a fascinating look at the power of today's media. Extras: Behind The Scenes / Original Theatrical Trailer / Film Notes

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 22 July 2006
Format: DVD
Breaking News is one the most satisfying of Johnny To's films so far. What starts out as an above average cop movie soon turns into a satire on spin. The police respond to the bad publicity from a failed stakeout that turns into a running battle by televising their investigation and resulting siege. They even hire a film director to re-edit their footage only for the media savvy crooks to put the footage they shot on their mobile phones on the internet, leading to a game of psychological one-upmanship - the crooks cook a meal for their hostages and show footage of them enjoying it, so the police buy meals for all the reporters; the crooks manage to bluff their way out of their hideout being stormed, so the police wheel out Jackie Chan (well, an unconvincing lookalike) to show his support for the force.

Lots of neat touches (such as the bad guys accidentally rescuing a pair of killers who are hiding out in the same building), a neat use of occasional split screens and an incredibly impressive opening sequence shot in one technically astonishingly difficult but remarkably fluid uninterrupted take add to the show. Expect an American remake in the near future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Nov 2010
Format: DVD
One of Johnny To's most satisfying recent films, what starts out as an above average cop movie soon turns into a smart satire on media spin as the police respond to the bad publicity from a failed stakeout that turns into a running battle by televising their investigation and resulting siege. They even hire a film director to re-edit their footage only for the media savvy crooks to put the footage they shot on their mobile phones on the internet, leading to a game of psychological one-upmanship - the crooks cook a meal for their hostages and show footage of them enjoying it, so the police buy meals for all the reporters; the crooks manage to bluff their way out of their hideout being stormed, so the police wheel out Jackie Chan (well, an unconvincing lookalike) to show his support for the force.

Lots of neat touches (such as the bad guys accidentally rescuing a pair of killers who are hiding out in the same building), a neat use of occasional split screens and an incredibly impressive opening sequence shot in one technically astonishingly difficult but remarkably fluid uninterrupted take add to the show.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. G. Sturdy on 1 Nov 2008
Format: DVD
So-so action movie. Spoilt by a bad script that even Michael Bay would leave behind as too ridiculous. It's enjoyable enough in its own way, and the action set-pieces are good. But make sure your brain is switched off for this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Reality TV in Hong Kong: Tightly-Wound Action with Stylish Camera (Don't Miss the Opening!) 24 Jan 2006
By Tsuyoshi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
After very humiliating defeat of Hong Kong police, young and ambitious Inspector Rebecca Fong (Kelly Chen seen in `Infernal Affair') proposes one daring plan - that is, to bring the TV crew to the crime scenes, and let them broadcast how the `real' police are doing their jobs, risking their lives to protect the people from criminals. When another inspector hot-tempered Cheung (Nick Cheung) finds out the hideout of the criminals (and the very criminals that undermined the dignities of the police), Inspector Fong is assigned a job to show the police work on the air. What Fong didn't know is that the criminals are much more resourceful and cleverer than she thought.

Johnny To takes up the idea of reality TV shows, and uses it in the unique way. Not that the idea itself is original - you know so many TV shows following the real-life police officers, or Robert DeNiro film '15 Minutes.' It is the way how the criminals led by the leader Yuan (Ritchie Ren) fight back and tries to escape that is really intriguing.

(ULTRA-STYLISH, GREAT OPENING) Johnny To is known for his prolific career and stylish camerawork, and in `Breaking News' he again shows his great skills in creating the tension and beauty while shooting the action scenes. The opening seven minute sequence is just brilliant. It is shot in one take, and shows us that shoot-out scenes can be so intense without using many fast cuts.

Some may find the film slightly confusing because of the police organization in Hong Kong. Fong belongs to OCTB (Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, and Cheung is a cop from CID (Criminal Investigation Department). Another unit PTU is also mentioned (and PTU played a central role in To's previous film `PTU' starring Simon Yam and Suet Lam, both also seen in `Breaking News), but all you have to do is to keep in mind that Fong and Cheung are from different sections of the police.

I think the ending is a little weak, and cast-against-type Kelly Chen is not convincing. And probably the idea of reality TV could have been more explored. But with the intriguing characters and situations, some of which are humorous - Have you seen the `bad guys' cooking in the kitchen? -- `Breaking News' is riveting throughout.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very Good Hong Kong Crime Drama! 4 Dec 2006
By Ernest Jagger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is a very good crime-drama, which takes place in Hong Kong. When the local television coverage show the police in an embarassing defeat by 5 bank robbers; the police department resolves to show the public that their police department is well equipped to handle any situation. And further, they resolve to prove to the public that their recent debacle shown throughout the city of their embarrassing defeat by five thugs was just an abberation.

However, things get a little more complicated than they wish. The HK Police department decide to videotape the apprehension of the suspects with their own coverage--complete with policemen wearing small video cameras on them when they attempt to take down the bad guys. Easier said than done however. Detective Cheung (Nick Cheung) who is relentless in his pursuit of the criminals accidentally stumbles across the criminals in an apartment building. What ensues is both controlled and uncontrolled chaos. Now the police find themselves with a public relations nightmare on their hands, as the criminal take hostages.

The criminal in charge of the five man gang is named Yuen (Richie Jen) and when he realizes he is up against thousands of police, he resolves to use the citizens and building as his way of escape. Also holed up in the building is another criminal group, who believe the police are after them. The HK police wind up taking on more than they can handle. In addition, the HK Police inspector, Rebecca (Kelly Chen) tries to allay the publics fears by showing breaking news stories with her police in the best of light. [under controlled media coverage] This is a very smart film, and highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A cops and robbers movie with a twist 26 April 2007
By morgoth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
After a thrilling shootout that seems to be inspired by Michael Mann's 'Heat', killer thieves are on the run from the police and hideout in a large apartment building. While we do get more exciting shootouts, the movie takes a huge turn and focuses more on the media side. The police decide to put cameras on all of their special officers and look to give the people the most exciting news experience possible. After the police manipulate the footage covering up their mistakes, the bad guys send their own information to the media, and police and reporters are surprised to say the least.

Leave it to Johnnie To to take a different turn on the average Hong Kong cop bloodshed movie and make a near masterpiece. The movie drags a bit at the end but is a fun ride almost all the way through.

3.5/5

The DVD from Palm Pictures has excellent picture quality and good 5.1 sound. Special features include a deleted scene and a 3 minute making of.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This Was Surprising 31 May 2007
By Keith A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
What's most interesting about "Breaking News" is that it starts out with a cool shootout between the cops and robbers. A group of robbers catch the police on the wrong day as they get tied up in a web of media scandal. The Hong Kong police want to use this group of robbers as an example and gain a reputation. The police are using the media to broadcast every moment of their attempts to capture the robbers. The thing the cops don't know is that these robbers are pretty darn smart and constantly trying to outsmart them. When the police finally get the five robbers cornered in an apartment building it becomes a showdown between the two to see who can use the media best but only one side will come out alive.

I actually rented this movie because the cover looked interesting but I wasn't really expecting much from it. This is a hard one to review, just when you think the film has shown you all it's got it gives you some more. I like the whole feeling of it, the pacing and especially the camera work. This had great camera work, the director shows scenes that you may see in any other action film but shows it from such good angles that it exceeds the regular action film and looks better. You're given plenty of room to see everything so you won't miss a thing. For a actor to truly work well their character has to be written well and every character is written well in this movie.

When the well-written characters were put with this talented cast the acting turned out pretty good. The story is very cool and it developed wonderfully. There is a great hero villain duo in Nick Cheung and Richie Jen and they truly keep the movie going. Nick plays a great tough nosed cop that just won't stop until he gets the bad guys and his performance was great. From beginning to end this is one movie that will definitely hold your attention. I really love that the bad guys had great plans and were not stupid. Plus Richie Jen was playing his character so well I started rooting for him to win.

For me the only problem with "Breaking News" is that the action and gunplay could of been a bit better. The explosions could've been a little more realistic and bigger. Even the beginning shootout could have had a bit more oomph I think but again the camera work helped it look good. Over all this is definitely a film that is worth watching, it has few flaws but will exceed your expectations. This has plenty of shootouts but is not all gory so if your looking for something like that this won't work but otherwise try it out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This actually happened in Hong Kong last week! 6 Jun 2014
By Dwight - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Reporters showed police moving around an apartment building trying to apprehend a criminal and the press coverage allowed apartment dwellers and possibly the criminal to see the policemen's whereabouts unfortunately.

This is a very entertaining, charming and manipulative movie. It makes you like and admire the criminals for their skill and their charm (former Chinese military who become bank robbers).

Usually, I am black and white about criminals but I think this movie was designed to allow the audience to sympathize with everyone unlike Drug War which really makes you angry at criminals/cop killers.
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