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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Bou ying" or "Abduction" or "Retribution")

 

directed by Law Wing Cheong
Hong Kong 2011

 

When businessman Wong Ho-chiu's (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, INFERNAL AFFAIRS) coke-head daughter Daisy (Janice Man, BASIC LOVE) is kidnapped and held for a fifty million dollar ransom, he is uncertain whether it is real or if she has staged it to get more money out of him; however, he airs on the side of caution (more out of concern for bad publicity if Daisy is behind it than for his daughter's safety) and readies the ransom. There are plenty of suspects, including the thousands of employees under him, Daisy's equally drugged-out friends whose parents are no longer supporting their lifestyles, and the residents of a small village who are violently opposed to his buying it for development. His bodyguard Chor (Richie Ren, FIRE OF CONSCIENCE) wants to accompany him, but Wong insists on going alone. He waits at the meeting place, and receives a call to head to another location. While in route, he gets another call ordering him to open the top of his car, which allows a motorcyclist to zip by and grab the money. Chor traces Daisy's watch to the guy who tried to pawn it, who also was paid to snatch her off the street. He leads Chor and Wong to Daisy's suffocated and buried corpse. Wong kills him in a rage. Wong has Daisy cremated and tells everyone that he sent her to Los Angeles to get over the abduction, and Chor vows to track down Daisy's killers so Wong can watch them die (via iPhone).

PUNISHED is a different kind of revenge thriller from the recent Hollywood trend in that the crime takes a psychological and emotional toll on those who committed it and those seeking vengeance. Chor resents his ex-wife keeping him from his child, but he too realizes that he is no role model for his son no matter how much he wants to connect with him. Wong's grief over his wife's death has eroded his relationship with his children, and avenging Daisy not only further erodes his relationship with his son - who wants to attend the Royal Music Academy instead of medical school - and his concerned wife (Maggie Cheung Ho Yee, A BETTER TOMORROW III) - whom he virtually treats as his secretary - but it also takes a toll on his health. He also ignores the continued illegal attempts of an employee to drive the villagers out for Wong's business deal (that eventually costs the underling his life). The confrontation with the last conspirator causes all concerned to question if the cost of vengeance is too high. The film moves a quick clip because both Wong (the actor) and Ren convey a rich emotional complexity throughout (poor Cheung is stuck with variations of "I'm your wife, why don't you let me in?"). The script also does not feel the need to show us whether Wong will repair his other shattered relationships.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 5 May 2011 (Hong Kong)

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DVD Review: Indomina Releasing/Vivendi Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Indomina Releasing/Vivendi Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:33:42
Video

2.36:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.10 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

Audio Chinese Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, French, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Indomina Releasing/Vivendi Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.36:1

Edition Details:
• An Inside Look at PUNISHED (4:3; 1:56)
• Directing the Cast (4:3; 1:56)
• Still Gallery
• International Trailer (16:9; 1:15)
• Start-up Trailers for BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS, CLASH, TRUE LEGEND, FIRE OF CONSCIENCE, DETECTIVE
• DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME

DVD Release Date: January 24th 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Indomina's single-layer, progressive, anamorphic transfer looks good for the most part, barring some instances of edge enhancement and the DI color work (particularly on the "Mirror of the Sky" sequences). The final scene is framed at 2.28:1 and may have been slightly cropped and enlarged to increase the readability of the end credits crawl.

The Chinese Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is the track of choice, but the English dub is more listenable than others. Optional English and French subtitles are available. The slim extras consist of the usual EPK segments (a QR code on the disc face accesses additional extras via smartphone). The international trailer and some start-up trailers round out the extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Indomina Releasing/Vivendi Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




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