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Criterion Collection: Chungking Express [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details) Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

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Product details

  • Actors: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Faye Wong, Valerie Chow
  • Directors: Kar Wai Wong
  • Writers: Kar Wai Wong
  • Producers: Jeffrey Lau, Pui-Wah Chan, Yi-kan Chan
  • Format: AC-3, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Cantonese Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Nov 2008
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EOQCK8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,763 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Chungking Express tells two stories loosely connected by a Hong Kong snack bar. In one, a cop who's been recently dumped by his girlfriend becomes obsessed with the expiry dates on cans of pineapple; he's constantly distracted as he tries to track down a drug dealer in a blonde wig (played by Brigitte Lin, best known from Swordsman II and The Bride with White Hair). Meanwhile, another cop who's recently been dumped by his girlfriend (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, from John Woo's Hard-Boiled and A Bullet in the Head) mopes around his apartment, talking to his sponge and other domestic objects. He catches the eye of a shop girl (Hong Kong pop star Faye Wang) who secretly breaks in and cleans his apartment. If you're beginning to suspect that neither of these stories has a conventional plot, you're correct. What Chungking Express does have is loads of energy and a gorgeous visual style that never gets in the way of engaging with the charming characters. The film was shot on the fly by hip director Wong Kar-Wai (Happy Together, Ashes of Time), using only available lighting and found locations. The movie's loose, improvisational feel is closer to Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless than any recent film--and that's high praise. Quirky, funny, and extremely engaging, Chungking Express manages to be experimental and completely accessible at the same time. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 4 Mar 2006
Format: DVD
Chungking Express is a film about time and coincidence... a continuation of the themes and images developed in the director's first masterpiece, Days Of Being Wild, and a precursor to the ideas and cinematic ideologies that will carry through to his greatest films, In The Mood For Love, and 2046. Unlike those two projects, which seem completely internal in the way in which they blur the emotional points-of-view of their characters - by slipping between the various narrative layers - the basic set-up here is simple... two Hong Kong cops, consumed by melancholic romanticism, wander through a labyrinthine city like Ghosts, haunted by their individual, though ultimately quite similar memories of lost love. Their paths cross on two separate occasions, but never intervene. Instead, the two stories are presented separately, one after the other, with each story presenting various echoes of a theme that ripples throughout.
The style of the film is very much indebted to the style of the French New Wave of the early 1960's, with Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle making great use of the available lighting and mobile, handheld cameras, to capture the action in a very fast, very kinetic kind of style. Thus, those only familiar with Wong's more recent films (which benefit from larger budgets and longer periods of production) might be surprised at how ramshackle and idiosyncratic this earlier work is... with Wong pretty much devising the whole film during a break in post-production on his epic historical piece, Ashes of Time, and apparently writing most of the scenes in the afternoons, then hitting the streets to film them that same night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Engel on 18 Oct 2007
Format: DVD
This irresistibly enjoyable and untried Hong-Kong film directed by the ingenious Wong Kar-wai ultimately shows us that idealistic demands can be altered and routines can be broken. Its concern with time is in line with Wong Kar-wai's other films'. Its episodic style and intersecting plotlines are bound by coincidence--the character's chance meetings in the street--and relate in an abstract fashion. Faye, officer 663's love interest after his failed relationship with an air-hostess, ends up being the condensed embodiment of all the other women in the story. She works to mainstream music as the bargirl does, wears sunglasses and puts her hand to her chin like the drug-smuggling, murdering blonde and replaces the flight-attendant in 663's life, becoming one herself. The blonde is the most world-weary character, in contrast to the others' naivety. She becomes officer 223's love interest, after his unsuccessful affair with a girl named May, who we never actually see. The drug-lord and bar owner the blonde was mixed up with before meeting the lonely officer 223 is full of brutal sex appeal, which he trains on his voluptuous girlfriend (the bargirl mentioned earlier). Out of jealousy and anger, the blonde shoots him. Wong Kar-wai seems to be saying that rough sexuality is fruitless and ends in death, whereas a more patient, deep love comes rewarded through things sometimes as simple as 223's epiphany, in which the future seemed full of possibilities thanks to a woman's momentary kindness and the beauty of reminiscence. The film's symbolic obsession with expiry dates is very important in that it demonstrates a fear of change shared mainly by the two principal male characters.Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Holden on 14 Dec 2003
Format: VHS Tape
A delicious little film. Two halfs, two romances, three tunes. The film is not necessarily a coherent whole, but works like a book containing two very good short storys. The second is far superior, with California Dreaming and that good song the Cranberries did combining with New Wave like cinematography and a rather beautiful love story. Tony Leung is as superb as ever and is involved with the stunning and vibrant Faye Wang. He is a cop and she is a shop girl, not much tends to happen between them apart from her serving him hot dogs. But the chemistry is brilliantly captured along with the general dreaming of betterment, captured by dreams of escape and the classic California Dreaming. The film will certainly leave you smiling and thinking of the east in a new light.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Feb 2014
Format: Blu-ray
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of "Chungking Express".

At present this movie is available on BLU RAY in the States and Europe.
But therein lies a problem for UK buyers - which issue to buy?

Unfortunately the desirable USA Criterion issue is REGION-A LOCKED.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the nicely presented REGION B issue will play on UK machines.

Check you’re purchasing the right issue before you plumb for the pricey and non-returnable Criterion release...
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