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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

( aka 'Yao a yao yao dao waipo qiao'  )
China 1995


The last joint work of director Zhang Yimou and actress Gong Li is marked by a mediocre effort in relation to the marvelous collaborations of their past. 'Shanghai Triad' is an interesting story taking place over a turbulent week in the life of a country youth who has come to the city on his uncles bequest to be employed as a servant to the overly pampered moll of a Shanghai mobster. A competent film by the standard we would judge most directors but for Zhang Yimou this is surely less you could have hoped for. Still, I was interested and watched keenly. It communicates to the audience, if not particularly forcefully or with deep impact. The story does not focus on one central character drifting between dim and innocent Shuisheng (the youth) and dislikable Jingbao (the moll). This may be the underlying flaw of this film. With as impressive a track record as Zhang Yimou I was glad I viewed it. A modest effort but one not worthy of one of the world's greatest living directors - a moniker I still revere Zhang by even if this is the least powerful of his films.



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Sony Classic Pictures  Region 1 DVD

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Distribution Sony Classic Pictures Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:47:32  
Video 1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.56 mb/s

NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s



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

Bitrate: Sony Classic Pictures


Audio Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Theatrical Release Date: December 22, 1995

Aspect Ratio(s):
Widescreen letterbox - 1.85:1 16X9 enhanced


Edition Details:
• Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
• Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Widescreen
• Production notes

Unrestored poor quality Pan and Scan trailers:

•  'Shangahai Triad' Trailer 4:3 / 2:18
•  'Bizet's Carmen' Trailer 4:3 / 2:10
•  'Orlando' Carmen Trailer 4:3 / :45
•  'The Emporer and the Assasin' Trailer 4:3 / 1:30

• Talent Files: Static screen for Zhang Yimou and Gong Li
• Widescreen letterbox format

DVD Release Date: December 12th, 2000
Keep Case
Chapters: 28


Although anamorphic this is not a quality image. There is visible edge enhancement, it is overly dark and hazy and there appears to be a yellowish tinge to the print they used. The subtitles are fine and the sound is adequate but the disc is bare bones except for 4 very poorly done trailers and 'Talent Files' of Zhang and Gong Li. Although the film may not be of the same caliber of 'The Road Home' or 'Not One Less' ( two other Zhang Yimou films released on DVD by Sony ) it deserves better treatment than this. the film is captivating enough but the DVD quality detracts from it. Poor show Sony/Columbia Tri-Star!


Gary Tooze

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DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Sony Classic Pictures Region 1 - NTSC

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