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Chungking Express Blu-ray

United States
DigiPack / Chung Hing Sam Lam / The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1994 | 102 min | Rated PG-13 | Dec 16, 2008

Chungking Express (Blu-ray), temporary cover art
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.67:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
Cantonese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles
English

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing
DigiPack

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $39.95  
Amazon: $87.95
Best Buy: $34.99 (Save 12%)  
New from: $86.96
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.1
/10
130
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.5 of 54.5
Extras 4.3 of 54.3
Based on 5 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Foreign55%
Romance24%
Mystery14%
Comedy-

83%
popularity
1696
collections
55
fans




Chungking Express

 (1994)

Chungking Express Blu-ray delivers stunning video and audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

Acclaimed Hong Kong New Wave director Wong Kar-Wai presents a kinetic, offbeat look at his city in these two stories. The first concerns a young woman who has been double-crossed in a heroin deal and her budding romance with a lovelorn cop. The second deals with another officer whose girlfriend has left him and the young waitress who tries to help him without his knowledge.

For more about Chungking Express and the Chungking Express Blu-ray release, see Chungking Express Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Starring: Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Valerie Chow, Chen Jinquan
Director: Wong Kar-wai

» See full cast & crew


Chungking Express Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.67:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Wong Kar-Wai's Chungking Express arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

Before we get to the technical presentation, I would like to clarify something that had me puzzled for a few seconds. Immediately after the BD loads up on your TV screen, you will see the tiny Criterion logo in the upper left corner. Please keep in mind that you have to wait approximately 10-15 seconds before your player redirects you to the main menu. Don't panic as I did, and do not immediately eject the disc (for whatever reason I thought that my disc did not load up properly).

Well, I suppose it is official now - Criterion are finally on board, and I have their first Blu-ray release in my hands. It is a stylishly designed digipack that houses a nice booklet plus the actual disc. For those of you wondering what exactly the digipack looks like, I suppose one could argue that it is very close to the thin-packs the studio used for the Agnes Varda collection, only the Blu-ray pack is a bit smaller. It also has a clear holder with the Blu-ray logo on the very top, as well as a nice pocket to hold the booklet. In addition, of course, to the main case which holds the smaller case where the actual disc is. Here are a few photos we've taken for you:

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Pic7

Now off to the transfer. The first thing I would like to point out to you is that the back cover of my Blu-ray disc states: "New, restored high-definition digital transfer with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack supervised by director Wong Kar-Wai." Obviously, this little disclaimer should answer plenty of questions as to whether or not Criterion had Wong Kar-Wai involved with the production of their first Blu-ray release.

The actual transfer on the other hand is simply beautiful. It boasts a healthy dose of grain, great contrast, and a degree of clarity the SDVD does not deliver (yes, I do own the SDVD and for the last couple of hours have been comparing the two extensively). Furthermore, blown through a digital projector the Blu-ray transfer reveals a much stronger composure, and you should be able to see clearly where and how it excels (take the bar scene at the end of the first story, for example, and compare it to the SDVD). Also, I believe that film aficionados will be most satisfied with the fact that Chungking Express boasts a pure, film-like look, which is exactly what we wanted and expected from Criterion.

As far as the film's color-scheme goes, I suppose the fact that Wong Kar-Wai has supervised this transfer puts plenty of the speculations we've seen as of late to rest. Well, at least until the recently announced Artificial Eye Blu-ray release arrives. As of this very moment, however, I personally am completely satisfied with the look of Chungking Express as well as its nuanced color-scheme. (Note: I tested the Criterion Blu-ray disc on my Region-B hardware and I can confirm that this is indeed a Region-A "locked" release, which those of you with Region-B only equipment will not be able to playback).


Chungking Express Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

The back cover for this Blu-ray release states that the audio track for Chungking Express has been supervised by Wong Kar-Wai as well. It also notes that a Cantonese DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is what Criterion have chosen to compliment the impressive video presentation. Strangely enough, unless you see what the back cover reveals, you might have a very difficult time figuring out what audio codec the distribs have opted for as there isn't a dedicated audio section on their disc menu. With other words, you will have to have your receiver do all of the detective work. This being said, the newly restored audio mix is simply gorgeous. Frankie Chan, Michael Galasso, and Roel A. García's original tunes, as well as the cohort of classical songs, come off the speakers with a remarkable clarity, and I certainly feel confident in stating that the Blu-ray disc very much overshadows what the SDVD delivers in terms of audio. Here the music score brings forward completely different qualities which seem to have been lost in previous releases – richer overtones, great balance, and impressive clarity (the sax solo is simply flawless). My only complaint in the audio department is related to the use of the English (white) subtitles, which appear rather big for my taste. .



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Chungking Express Blu-ray, News and Updates



Today on Blu-ray - December 16th - December 16, 2008

Since the days of Laserdisc, the Criterion Collection has dedicated their efforts to collecting the greatest classic and contemporary films from around the world, and make them available to the general public at the highest quality possible. Today, they release ...

Criterion Titles Get Delayed - November 17, 2008

Criterion Collection has announced that they have delayed their first wave of Blu-ray releases by about a month. 'Bottle Rocket', 'Chungking Express', 'The Third Man', and 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' have all been delayed until December 16th, while 'The Last Emperor' ...


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