Rich and Famous (Gong woo ching)/Tragic Hero (Ying hung ho hon)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Year Released: 1987, 2023 Eureka Video Blu-ray
Runtime: 3h 20m
Director(s): Taylor Wong
Writer(s): Stephen Shiu, Manfred Wong
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Andy Lau, Alex Man, Siu-Fung Wong, Carina Lau
Language: Cantonese with English subtitles
Where To Watch: available July 24, 2023; pre-order now here www.eurekavideo.co.uk, or www.amazon.co.uk
RAVING REVIEW: Imagine stepping into an unexplored realm with suspense and intrigue where two captivating narratives unravel. These are none other than the creations of Taylor Wong: RICH AND FAMOUS and TRAGIC HERO. This pair of movies unspools an intriguing tale of the gritty underworld, showcasing a relentless pursuit of power among Hong Kong's most notorious gangsters.
First, we have RICH AND FAMOUS, where we plunge into the tumultuous world of the Hong Kong mafia. We witness the intense journey of two brothers, Tang Kat Yung, and Lam Ting Kwok, brought to life on-screen by the raw talents of Alex Man and Andy Lau, respectively. The plot thickens with the introduction of Li Ah Chai, a formidable mob boss, chillingly portrayed by the iconic Chow Yun-fat. The duo's voyage through the dangerous maze of organized crime is littered with treachery and violence, causing a ripple effect of fluctuating loyalties and simmering grudges.
When you believe the ride has eased, TRAGIC HERO cuts in and doesn’t let go. This sequel impressed audiences with its adrenaline-pumping action sequences and blockbuster aesthetics. The narrative seamlessly takes off from where the first left, with Yung's fierce ambition to dethrone Chai, who now craves tranquility as a businessman. As tensions rise and assassinations disrupt the equilibrium, the movie sets the stage for an unavoidable showdown.
Amidst this chaos, Andy Lau's Kwok reappears from the abyss, hoping to restore harmony. However, Yung's decisions lead to a chain of personal tragedies for Kwok, killing any chances of diplomacy in their tracks. What unfolds is a narrative that rides the turbulent tides of revenge, culminating in a finale drenched in retribution.
Even though RICH AND FAMOUS and TRAGIC HERO channel the golden age vibes of triad cinema, they struggle to escape the shadows of some genre clichés. TRAGIC HERO, in particular, sees Yung's character arc advance predictably. Yet, the grand culmination of TRAGIC HERO provides a fitting compensation. Amplified by the echoing power behind the score, the ultimate confrontation rockets the saga to a pulsating, edge-of-the-seat conclusion. Together they effectively portray the grim realities of the Hong Kong underworld. The narrative heartbeats are the themes of ambition, betrayal, and redemption, skillfully woven into these film tapestries.
RICH AND FAMOUS and TRAGIC HERO deliver a raw, gut-wrenching exploration of the chaotic world of organized crime. The narratives would have benefited from a broader deviation from some traditional stereotypes and more sophisticated character evolution. Nevertheless, these movies hold their ground as significant entries to the genre of crime sagas. They are backed by compelling storytelling, standout performances, and memorable scores that resonate.
– Limited Edition slipcase featuring artwork by Grégory Sacré (Gokaiju) [2000 copies]
– 1080p presentations on Blu-ray from new restorations of the original film elements
– Original Cantonese audio tracks
– Newly translated English subtitles (optional)
– Brand new audio commentaries on both films by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
– Brand new video piece looking at the dubbing of Hong Kong films into English during the 80s, featuring an interview with Simon Broad, who was the voice of Chow Yun Fat for the English language releases of many of his films
– Interview with Manfred Wong (archival)
– Interview with Michael Mak (archival)
– A collectors booklet featuring new writing on both films by James Oliver [2000 copies]
**All Extras subject to change
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[photo courtesy of EUREKA VIDEO]