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DVD Review by David Blackwell
DETAILS:  94 minutes, featurette, director Q&A, theatrical trailer
VIDEO:   1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:   Cantonese, French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles:   English
STUDIO:   SPHE/ Sony Pictures Classics/ Block 2 Pictures/ Scholar Film Co. LTD/ Jet Tone Productions/ Beijing Film Studio
RELEASE DATE:   3-3-2009

Writer/ Director Wong kar Wai has a unique style to his films. His films are very internal and romantic. The scenes are presented in a beautiful way. 2046 was my introduction to him. I started to explore his other films like CHUNGKING EXPRESS (quite good) and MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS (it's OK- just not wuite as good as his non-English language films). I still have to watch IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2046 is a sequel in a way) and watch other films by Wong Kar Wai. Now i have seen ASHES OF TIME REDUX (I never seen the original version). ASHES OF TIME is one of Wong Kar Wai's early films. People in China love it. Years after it's release, he received a call to retrive all the negatives and stock for the film before the film lab it was stored at was taken over (as assests of the people who taken possession of the lab after it went belly up). The negatives were in bad shape including some parts in pieces. They went overseas to get prints from old theaters and the distributors. A four year restoration effort began as the film was expanded and the music redone a little to include music by Yo-Yo Ma.

ASHES OF TIME REDUX has the trademark character types seen in any Wong Kar Wai film (characters with broken hearts and ones who seek to be loved), beautiful landscapes (they shot it in Western China),and a a music score that perfectfully compliments the film. it revolves around Ouyang Feng, a middle man living in the desert, aheart broken and cynical man who looks back at his life as his story weaves with the lives of his cilents, old friends, and the woman he left behind. He reflects on how he became so isolated while the film also goes into the lives of the people he encounters. This film is another masterpiece from a unique director. ASHES OF TIME is responsible for HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, and maybe even getting CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON made.

BORN FROM THE ASHES: THE MAKING OF ASHES OF TIME REDUX is full interviews from cast and crew from Cannes in 2008 as they talk about the film and how it was reborn. Still the 41 minute Q& A with WONG KAR WAI is even more intersting (although the interviewer seems too much in awe of his idol).  also included is the theatrical trailer and previews for other films.

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you loved HERO and films like that, go back and see the film responsible for those films- ASHES OF TIME. This restored version is worth watching.

this DVD review is (c)3-3-2009 David Blackwell and cannot ber reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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