Firstly, a HUGE thanks to our Patreon supporters. Your generosity touches me deeply. These supporters have become the single biggest contributing factor to the survival of DVDBeaver. Your assistance has become essential. We are always trying to expand Patron benefits... you get access to the Silent Auctions and over 5000 unpublished screen captures (in lossless PNG format, if that has appeal for you) listed HERE. Please consider helping with $3 or more each month so we can continue to do our best in giving you timely, thorough reviews, calendar updates and detailed comparisons. Thank you so much. We aren't going to exist without another 100 or so patrons.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Yau doh lung fu bong" or "Throw Down")

 

Directed by Johnnie To
Hong Kong 2004

 

In this visually arresting action drama from acclaimed director Johnnie To (Mad Detective, Election), legendary Judo fighter Szeto Bo (Louis Koo; Flash Point, The Legend of Zu) unexpectedly gave up the sport and now lives the life of an alcoholic gambler who runs a pub. However, cocky Judo newcomer Tony (Aaron Kwok) wants to challenge him, while old foe Kong (Tony Leung Ka Fai, Ashes of Time) demands Szeto to finish the match that never took place, Soon Szeto s pub becomes the ultimate arena where the greatest Judo fighters challenge one another.

Filled with brutal, no-holds-barred Judo fight scenes, Throw Down is director To s ultra-stylish homage to the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, and is an emotional tale of one man s determination to rediscover himself and win at all costs.

***

Hong Kong director Johnnie To pays tribute to the films of Kurosawa Akira with Throw Down, an uplifting comedy-drama about how to make lemonade when life keeps giving lemons. Louis Koo, Aaron Kwok, and Cherrie Ying star as three troubled souls who find hope in their respective lives when they find each other. Taking place in a surreal alternate reality where all conflicts can be solved with a good judo match, Throw Down is about the importance of finding joy and honor in doing what you love. To, who still calls Throw Down his favorite film in his filmography, uses every single directing trick up his sleeves to create exhilarating set pieces that prove he's one of Hong Kong cinema's greatest stylists. In addition to Milkyway regulars Lo Hoi Pang and Eddie Cheung, Throw Down also co-stars Grasshopper's Calvin Choi, Tony Leung Ka Fai, and a cameo by Jordan Chan.


Szeto (Louis Koo) is a failing bar manager who spends his mundane days wandering around in a drunken state. Mona (Cherrie Ying) is an aspiring pop singer who has run out on her unfair record deal. Tony (Aaron Kwok) is a drifter who spends his days challenging people into judo matches to prove that he's the best. Eventually, Tony and Mona become regulars at Szeto's bar for their own motivations - Mona wants a job as a bar singer, and Tony wants to challenge Szeto, a former judo champion, to a match. Deep in debt and hiding a secret of his own, Szeto refuses to climb out of his shell. However, the encouragement from his two new friends and a powerful challenger (Tony Leung Ka Fai) will help him overcome his personal demons.

Excerpt from YesAsia located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 8th, 2004

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema - Spine #230 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:41.324         
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,496,539,855 bytes

Feature: 32,354,006,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Chinese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DUB:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,496,539,855 bytes

Feature: 32,354,006,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Brand new and exclusive feature-length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
•Audio commentary by Hong Kong film expert Ric Meyers
•Lengthy interview with director Johnnie To (40:03)
•Making of Throw Down featurette (10:56)
•Theatrical trailer and TV spots (5:31)
Reversible sleeve
PLUS: a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film


Blu-ray Release Date:
May 18th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema Blu-ray (June 2020): Masters of Cinema have transferred Johnnie To's Throw Down to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "4K restoration" and looks very impressive on a dual-layered Blu-ray with a max'ed out bitrate. The darker scenes have well-nuanced contrast and colors (neon lights, balloon, Judo placard etc.) appear strong with consistent depth. It looks beautiful utilizing the 2.35:1 widescreen very effectively. I was extremely pleased with the image quality.

NOTE: We have added 66 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Masters of Cinema use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original Cantonese (with some Japanese and Taiwanese) and an optional English DUB. The Judo fighting sequences don't have extensive effects but what is there carries depth. There is a score by Peter Kam (Perhaps Love, Isabella), with some performance singing from Mona (Cherrie Ying). It all sounds clean and crisp. Masters of Cinema offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray offers a older (15-years?) commentary by Ric Meyers and Frank Djeng that identifies some common Johnnie To signatures like everyone being a loner. I didn't think it had a great flow as they appeared to be on different wavelengths on what to discuss. I really enjoyed the NEW commentary by Frank Djeng, alone, as he covers many facets of the lesser exposed themes and identifies specific street locations in the film as well as Throw Down being To's homage to Kurosawa, and his favorite of his own films, Sanshiro Sugata (Kurosawa's first directorial feature) theme playing in the opening and further references to him throughout the film. he discusses the other perfumers and much more. It gave me a much stronger appreciation of Johnnie To and Throw Down. There is also a 40-minute interview with director Johnnie To where he discusses his intent, style and production. Also included are a 11-minute Making of Throw Down featurette, theatrical trailer and TV spots plus the package has a reversible sleeve and a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film.

I thoroughly enjoyed Throw Down and can see why it is Johnnie To's personal favorite. It's not a full-on martial arts film - which probably conflicted with some viewers expectations, but it deals more with dreams, desires, achieving goals, being trapped by your circumstances etc. There are humanist subtexts that are very much in line with Kurosawa's cinema. I also loved the full use of the 2.35:1 frame by DoP Cheng Siu Keung. There is plenty to enjoy about Throw Down which shows the director's versatility, and subtle implementation of his craft. The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray is another of their complete and excellent packages and the commentaries + booklet add another layer to the appreciation. We give this a strong recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema - Spine #230 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!