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A view on Blu-ray and DVD video by Leonard Norwitz

 

Look for a Star [Blu-ray] (aka "Yau lung hei fung")

(Andrew Lau, 2009)

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

 

Review by Leonard Norwitz

 

Production:

Theatrical: Media Asia & Huayi Brothers Media

Blu-ray: MegaStar (Hong Kong)

 

Disc:

Region: ALL (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:57:10.000

Disc Size: 24,552,523,866 bytes

Feature Size: 22,283,390,976 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.02 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 8th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 1899 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 1899 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps

 

Subtitles:

Traditional & Simplified Chinese, and English

 

Extras:

• Making of

• Trailers & Promo

 

 

The Film:

Hong Kong mega-star Andy Lau teams up with Infernal Affairs director Andrew Lau again for the sleek romantic comedy Look for a Star. Andy Lau turns on the charm opposite the always beautiful Shu Qi for a modern-day fairy tale born in the quaint colonial streets of Macau. Drawing both laughter and tears with a witty and moving screenplay from James Yuen (Crazy N' The City) and Ming Tang (Needing You), the film's earnest portrayal of budding love between a tycoon and a club dancer easily strikes a chord thanks to the easygoing humor and thoroughly charming performances from the leads. Golden Horse Best Actor Zhang Hanyu (Assembly) and popular singer Denise Ho co-star as Look for a Star's second pair of hesitant lovers, along with a supporting cast that includes Lam Ka Wah (Invisible Target), Zhang Xinyi (The Longest Night in Shanghai). Shaw Brothers star David Chiang, George Lam (The Pye Dog), Maria Cordero, and comedic regular Cheung Tat Ming. - Yes Asia.

The Movie: 7
While echoes of Pretty Woman and Slumdog Millionaire dance in our heads, Andrew Lau, the director of Infernal Affairs (2002), The Storm Riders (1998) and Initial D (2005), pulls out all the stops for this unabashedly romantic fairy tale. Andy Lau plays billionaire developer Sam, who comes to Macau for a stay at the MGM Grand where he and his two closest assistants (Denise Ho and Lam Ka Wah) make a pact to not walk away from love. It's a hard contract to keep since each of them, and their would-be counterparts have the usual rationalizations handy to keep them single and, in a couple of cases, miserable. Sam meets Milan (Shu Qi), a nightclub dancer and croupier, and pursues her, keeping his identity secret. When he finally fesses up, she balks. The two other pairings are not going so well either until someone gets the bright idea to enlist the aid of a popular television show. Andy Lau and Shu Qi sparkle, but it is the more knotty relationship between Sam's #2 in the company (Ho) and the hotel handyman (Zhang Hanyu) that turns in the more poignant story.
 

Excerpt of review from YesAsia editorial located HERE

 


 

Image: 9/9   NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The first number indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale. The second number places this image along the full range of DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Consistent with the romantic storyline, the pictography here is vibrant and clear. No gauzy imagery for this time fairy tale. The high definition image does the intent justice with color, especially flesh tones in the right light, the cabaret dancers on or off stage, and Macau at night. There may be a judicious amount of DNR just to wipe away the last vestige of reality, but it seemed to work here. It didn't seem to affect dimensionality. I spied no other artifacts or edge enhancement. Blacks are super, and high values are not washed out.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music: 6/8
The audio mix is clear enough, it's only that the recording and sweetening of the dialogue fails to agree with the location (indoors or out, closed or open spaces, etc.) and the looping is off just enough to notice. The music is awesome, both in content and spaciousness when demanded. Hotel and casino sounds make use of the surrounds for ambience but there is no urgent attempt to maintain accuracy of direction except when cars and such whiz by.

 


 

Operations: 4
The subtitles have more spelling mistakes than I've seen in recent years, but a more difficult problem is that they sometimes are on screen too briefly to take them in. There's so little to the Making of piece that it passes understand why it was felt necessary to divide it into three five-minute segments - without a Play All.
 

Extras: 3
Very little here: a couple of trailers in SD and one brief (like a minute) promo piece in fancy-schmantzy HD. The Making of featurette is all of 15 minutes and lacks subtitles. I suspect it doesn't say much. Image quality is less than par.
 

 

 

Bottom line: 7
I rather liked this movie, and can imagine revisiting it someday when the mood is in the seventh house – or is that moon. The image is attractive and pops nicely in all the right places. The dialogue, as with many Chinese feature films, isn't looped with care. Good thing we have subtitles to distract us. Oh well, this never stopped Fellini. I'd like to have given this release a more enthusiastic endorsement, but the fine points make it not so. I hasten to add, however, that the price is not very steep for this title – less than $20 at YesAsia.com just at the moment.

Leonard Norwitz
June 27th, 2009

 

 

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...


 

About the Reviewer: I first noticed that some movies were actually "films" back around 1960 when I saw Seven Samurai (in the then popular truncated version), La Strada and The Third Man for the first time. American classics were a later and happy discovery.

My earliest teacher in Aesthetics was Alexander Sesonske, who encouraged the comparison of unlike objects. He opened my mind to the study of art in a broader sense, rather than of technique or the gratification of instantaneous events. My take on video, or audio for that matter – about which I feel more competent – is not particularly technical. Rather it is aesthetic, perceptual, psychological and strongly influenced by temporal considerations in much the same way as music. I hope you will find my musings entertaining and informative, fun, interactive and very much a work in progress.


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