3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Happy Times Hotel (2002) [DVD] (DVD)
This is a beautiful film - but it takes you in a lot of different directions, starting off seemingly as an outright comedy but quickly veering into social commentary, then touching melodrama and ultimately... well, that would spoil it for you.
The cover of the DVD says it's "an hilarious look at life and the pursuit of happiness" which is perhaps the worst description I can imagine. Yes it's funny - I laughed out loud on several occasions - but that tag line makes it sound like some bad romcom. It isn't. It's a touching story and if you've not got a tear in your eye at the end there's something wrong with you.
I think I'll be watching this every so often. Best purchase in a long time.
The film cost me about £3 - best £3 I've spent in a long time. And I'm now in love with the leading actress. The DVD transfer looks great. The soundtrack is clear (well, as clear as you can expect if your Mandarin is as bad as mine) and there's sparing but effective use of the surround track.
The disc is bare-bones. No special features at all (although as I rarely make use of those, it's no loss). The menu doesn't seem to work for me - I couldn't tell if I'd turned subtitles on or off so had to do it with my remote to make sure. There's an annoying announcement at the start about how the disc is for retail only and how you can phone a number to turn someone in if they had the affront to rent it to you... why do DVD companies do this? It ruins the whole mood and if I were a film director I'd have the people who make these things shot.