( aka 'Happy Times' or 'Xingfu shiguang'  )

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/zhang.htm
China 2000

Not unlike some of the more humorous parts of "The Story of Qui Ju", Zhang Yimou's "Happy Times" has its playfulness turn to bittersweet tones. During sequences of this film, I suspect I laughed about as hard as I ever have - and corresponding felt a great pang of sadness in other junctures. Zhang still remains one of my favorite directors and I don't really understand the luke-warm critical reaction to this film. It was such pleasurable viewing from start to finish. His films remain simple with profound interpretational qualities that cause them to linger long after viewing.

A group of sweet, elderly, out of work (semi-retired) friends try to please a passive young blind girl without envisioning the long term effects. out of

Gary Tooze

Posters

 

Theatrical release: Novemvber 10th, 2001 - South Korea (Pusan International Film Festival) 

Reviews      More Reviews     DVD Reviews     The Official Website

DVD Comparison:

Sony - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC

Big thanks to Fred Patton for the Fox - Region 3 screen captures!

(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Sony Classic Pictures

Region 1  - NTSC

20th  Century Fox
Region 3 - NTSC
Runtime 1:42:36 1:36:45
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate:5.31 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.65
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

MGM

 

Bitrate:

Anchor 

Bay

 

Audio Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Subtitles English, French and none Traditional Chinese, English, Korean, Thai and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Classic Pictures

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 anamorphic

  
Widescreen letterbox

Edition Details:
• Trailers :

  • Beijing Bicycle non-anamorphic widescreen 1:55
  • Not One less non-anamorphic widescreen 1:31
  • The Road Home non-anamorphic widescreen 1:48

DVD Release Date: December 3rd, 2002
Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 anamorphic

  
Widescreen letterbox

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: January 23rd, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 15

 

Comments: Quite interestingly this comparison has determined which particular scene was offensive to someone ruling body out there. Almost 6 minutes have been censored in the Fox Region 3 version. It involved the idea of young people escaping (probably behind parents watchful eyes) to the Happy Times Bus-lounge for premarital sex. This was only inferred though, nothing explicit was shown, but I guess someone thought it was  improper for certain eyes to be exposed to. I don't think it really changes the story in one manner or another significantly, but I rebuff censorship and it gives me another reason to choose the Sony Region 1 version. Couple with this the Sony has a slightly sharper image, but I found the skin tones to be a little too red where as the Fox Region 3 has a more muted palette. I prefer the subtitles on the Region 3. The only Extras features on either edition are the trailers on the Sony. Neither edition seems exstensively cropped in comparison to the other. Sharpness, censorship are two reasons enough to but the Sony over the Fox. 

 - Gary W. Tooze

NOTE: (From Doug Sulpy) 

The mainland disc has as a bonus of the original ending of the film... the one that Zhang Yimou was evidently asked to change. Each ending has something of value - but personally I prefer the original to the "he got run over by a truck" ending. Unfortunately, the mainland DVD looks just horrible, as you can imagine (or affirm, if you've seen it), and neither of the other DVD releases saw fit to include it.


Recommended Reading in Chinese/Hong Kong/Taiwanese Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


 



DVD Menus

(
Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 


Subtitle Sample

(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Scene removed from the Region 3

 

 


 Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Sony

Sound:

-

Extras: Sony
Menu: Sony

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Sony Classic Pictures

Region 1  - NTSC

20th  Century Fox
Region 3 - NTSC

 




 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...

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