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Triad Underworld [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Andy Lau , Jacky Cheung , Ching-Po Wong    DVD

Price: 6.64
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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Night With Murder In The Air--A Twisty Hong Kong Gangster Epic For Fans Of The Genre 11 Sep 2011
By K. Harris - Published on
In the realm of Asian crime drama, the Hong Kong thriller "Triad Underworld" (Gong wu) has never been considered a stand-out in a very overcrowded genre. Maybe that's why this 2004 release hasn't had a North American distribution deal until now. It's a shame really--far less interesting movies have made that leap in a much quicker timeframe. Nevertheless, those that enjoy the genre should find this an appealing addition. In truth, nothing in regard to plotting hasn't been covered in countless other films--but the movie succeeds with a narrative sleight-of-hand that is very effective. It's a surprisingly clever film with impassioned performances and good action set pieces. That makes it an easy recommendation for fans of Triad mayhem. If these Asian shoot-em-ups, however, are not you're cup of tea--you might want to start with some of the classic examples of the genre to get your feet wet.

One of my favorites, Andy Lau, plays the mob boss. When a hit is ordered on his life, the grounded leader must contend with his volatile best friend (Jacky Cheung) and a trio of opportunistic associates. Lau and Cheung, having grown up together, have very different management styles and there is heated discourse about the best way to handle the complexities of the night before them. The scenes between the friends have an escalating tension that is riveting. The highpoint of the entire movie is a dramatic discussion at a dinner table that seems to be floating through the air. It's a simple visual device that ratchets up the drama in an extraordinary way. In addition to this story, we also see a young gangster who agrees to take on his first hit. As a single evening unfolds, everyone must contend with the violence that being a part of the Triad brings--and a final bloody showdown is orchestrated with precision.

More than anything, the film's screenplay holds the tale and its intricacies in check. It is smart and twisty enough to entertain even the most jaded of fans. All the performers are terrific, but I especially enjoyed the ferocity that Cheung brings to the table. It is a great counterpoint to the more level headed Lau. The movie begins on a very chaotic note as it introduces all of its characters. In fact, it took a little while for the film to find the right balance--but once it settles into the main story line, the actors are allowed to really sell the narrative. I quite enjoyed "Triad Underworld." Once it takes hold, you'll go with it until the bloody and surprising finale. KGHarris, 9/11.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mesmerizing and Visually Stunning Film by Ching-Po Wong 10 Sep 2011
By Grady Harp - Published on
TRIAD UNDERWORLD is a little masterpiece of cinema. Though it was made in 2004 it is only now available in this country courtesy of Palisade Tartan Asia Extremes, but the wait was well worth it. Not only is the story (as written by Chi-Long To and Director Ching-Po Wong) mesmerizing through out the film, but the fact that it pulls a Guy de Maupassant-type ending that takes the audience by complete surprise. The aspect that makes this film an art work is the extraordinary creative cinematography by Charlie Lam and Kenny Lam: every frame of film is like a masterpiece of lighting and brilliant use of colors that give clues to the characters and the story - shots taken from beneath a glass floor during a fight, interludes of a near blank black screen except for windows of carefully suggestive color and luminous lighting, extensive use of slow motion photography during the very choreographed fight sequences all contribute to the mood of the Hong Kong underworld in the finest manner. The musical score by Mark Lui also deserves special recognition: often soundless mayhem is accompanied by ballades using both Eastern and Western thematic material.

The story seems rather straightforward: Triad leader Hung Yan-jau (Andy Lau)'s wife gives birth to a baby boy, and event that causes Hung to consider considers leaving the world of the gangsters. Hung's closest lifelong friend Left Hand AKA Lefty (Jacky Cheung) reminds Hung that Hung has always said he would leave the crime world if he had a wife and child. Lefty is more the playboy and both Hung and Lefty own spectacular restaurants. Should Hung decide to leave, taking his wife (Chien-lien Wu) and newborn son to New Zealand then the head of the Triad would pass to Lefty. Despite disagreements the two men stick together, especially when it becomes known that two young members of a rival gang Wing (Shawn Yue) and Turbo (Edison Chen) are out to become the next leaders of Hong Kong's famous 'jiang-hu' underworld and they are ordered by the competitive gang to Triad to kill Hung. There are brutal encounters and balletic street fights that take place outside the seeming quiet elegant restaurant dinner being observed by Hung and Lefty in honor of Hung's newborn boy. And at the denouement the roles of all concerned are revealed in a terrifically exciting manner! What had seemed to be action inside and outside is actually an amalgam of past and present!

The cast is uniformly excellent and the pace of direction is impeccable in arriving at the surprising ending. But the true glory of this film is the cinematic magic: a more artistic use of film would be difficult to imagine. This is one of those movies that should be part of the libraries of audiences who love fine thrillers and art lovers who are keen on performance art. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 11
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing 19 Oct 2013
By Mangavideo - Published on
Definetly not the Triad Gangster flick I was expecting. Boring, the characters outside of Hung were weak, forgettable, Lefty (turbo) was the sterotypical loose cannon gangster we've seen a 1k times, and done far better . The script, at least how it was translated, was weak. Cinemetography was OK, pacing was erratic. In all, this is a watch once, rent but don't buy proposition unless you need filler for your DVD/Rack and can get it under $3-$4
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Confusing 21 Feb 2012
By Moonbaby345 - Published on
This movie is one of the most confusing and boring movies I've seen.By the end of the movie your left with alot of questions and not many answers.The movie is not that long but it felt like it dragged on forever.I only stuck it through for Andy Lau.I'ts worth seeing it for free if your a Andy Lau fan and if you've already seen most of his other movies,otherwise I can't recommend it.
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