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Look for a Star(2009)
Sam (Andy Lau), the most eligible bachelor in town has already divorced three times and finds himself crawling back to the game of love sooner than he expected. Falling in love with Milan (Shu Qi), a part-time poker dealer and a full-time cabaret dancer at a Macau casino, he decided to marry her. While Milan is being groomed into a society woman by experts galore, Sam is starting to have cold feet and signs a prenuptial agreement without consulting Milan. When she is asked to sign the document, she is flabbergasted and leaves him.
For more about Look for a Star and the Look for a Star Blu-ray release, see Look for a Star Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on June 5, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Andrew Lau
Writers: James Yuen, Ming Tang
Starring: Maria Cordero, John Chiang, Zhang Xinyi, Dominic Lam, Andy Lau, Shu Qi
» See full cast & crew
Look for a Star Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, June 5, 2009
A predictable romantic comedy, Chinese director Lau Wai-keung's "Look for a Star" (2009) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Hong Kong-based distributors MegaStar. The film unites Asian superstars Andy Lau and Shu Qi. English-friendly and Region-Free.
"They say that in the beginning Happiness was a large crystal ball. The Gods used to play with it. One day, while they were asleep, Happiness fell on Earth and shattered into millions of tiny pieces. People were so fascinated with their beauty that they immediately began collecting them. Some gathered a lot, others found only a few. No one, however, could collect them all."
Self-made real estate billionaire Sam (Andy Lau, Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon) is a bachelor. He has achieved everything in life other man only dream about – enormous wealth, status and recognition. He is, however, a lonely man with a heart aching for that special one. During a business trip to Macau, Sam encounters the beautiful Milan (Shu Qi, If You Are the One), an exotic dancer with an irresistible smile. He asks her out and she accepts. The two have a great time and eventually meet again. However, Milan has no idea who Sam is – she believes that he is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life.
Sam's chauffeur, Tim (Lam Kar Wah, Dog Bite Dog), is also a bachelor. He is hardworking and loyal but incredibly shy around women. Realizing how lonely he is, Sam sets him up on a blind date with Shannon (Zhang Xinyi, The Equation of Love and Death), a single mother looking for a good man.
Sam's secretary, Jo (Denise Ho, Hidden Track), is a bachelorette. She is also successful and good looking. Jo dates single men as often as she could, but her self-confidence typically intimidates them so much that they always feel the urge to end their date as quickly as possible. After a night out in the city, Jo bumps into Lin Jiu (Zhang Hanyu, Assembly), a lonely construction worker from the Mainland, who has just found a job in the building where she resides.
Chinese director Lau Wai-keung's Look for a Star is a film that will not surprise you with an original plot. On the contrary, it will likely remind you that there isn't much that could happen between a man and a woman that has not already been filmed.
So, why should one see Look for a Star?
I can think of a couple of reasons. The film is a notable change of pace for Asian pop superstar and actor Andy Lau. In recent years, he has been involved primarily in big budget period action films and Look for a Star is the first project in awhile where he does not have to kill those who disagree with him. With other words, it is refreshing to see that Lau is as good as a single man looking to find happiness as he is as a fearless warrior determined to defeat his enemies.
Shu Qi, the stunningly beautiful Taiwanese actress, who began her career as a soft-core sex model, would probably be enough of a reason for many to consider Look for a Star. Qi's character is not overly convincing, but seeing her manipulate the billionaire Lau plays is at times quite entertaining. I wonder how good these two would be in a film with a serious script.
For me, however, the film's greatest attraction proved to be Macau. Johnnie To chose the former Portuguese colony as the setting for his terrific gangster drama Exiled (2006) for a good reason – the city's colonial buildings are breathtakingly beautiful. We don't see much of them in Look for a Star, but there are a few terrific panoramic vistas that make this film a bit easier to endure.
All in all, if you like romantic comedies, and Lau and Qi happen to be two of your favorite actors, you certainly do not want to miss Look for a Star. This is a decent though rather predictable feel-good film, most appropriate for a Sunday afternoon viewing.
Look for a Star Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Look for a Star arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Hong Kong-based distributors MegaStar (please note that an exact replica of this Blu-ray release is available through US distributors Tai Seng Entertainment).
The basics for this transfer are intact. Contrast is acceptable, clarity adequate and detail mostly stable. The color-scheme is also mostly convincing – yellows, reds, blues, greens, whites and blacks are all natural looking. Furthermore, I did spot a few tiny bits of edge-enhancement popping up here and there but, for the most part, they did not affect my viewing experience. This being said, the transfer for Look for a Star appears slightly compressed. For example, during a lot of the nighttime scenes, the video loses its edge. Additionally, some key colors occasionally look slightly desaturated. Still, I doubt it many of you will be disappointed with how Look for a Star looks. For the record, I did not detect any disturbing scratches, debris, dirt, or stains to report in this review. (Note This is a Region-Free Blu-ray release. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Look for a Star Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1, and Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1. I opted for the Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track and later on did a few random comparisons with the Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 track for the purpose of this review.
Look for a Star is not a film with an overly aggressive soundtrack and, understandably, the Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track is not overly impressive. It certainly gets the job done – the dialog is crisp, clear and very easy to follow and the surround channels used adequately – but, overall, it is not one that you would remember. Additionally, Chan Kwong Wing's soundtrack blends well with the dialog and I most certainly did not detect any disturbing dropouts, pops, or cracks to report in this review.
The Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 track is of good but equally unexceptional quality. During the few scenes that I tested, the dialog was just as crisp and easy to follow as it is on the Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track. Frankly, aside from the slightly more potent sound during key scenes (specifically when Andy Lau's character attends the night clubs), I don't think that the Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track separates itself that much from the Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 track. As expected, I did not detect any disturbing dropouts, pops, or cracks to report with the Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 track either. Finally, MegaStar have provided optional English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, the subtitles appear inside the image frame.
Look for a Star Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Trailers - two trailers for Look for a Star, both 1080p and subtitled in English.
Andy Lau Wonderful Shanghai - a very short promo piece about the pop star's upcoming CD, DVD, and Blu-ray releases of his Pan-Asian tour. (1080i, 1 min).
Making Of - a standard featurette broken into three parts where cast and crew members discuss their involvement with the film. (480/60i, 15 min).
Look for a Star Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
If one is a fan of Shu Qi and Andy Lau, Look for a Star is easy to recommend. The problem is, if one isn't particularly interested in the two Asian stars, this film could be very difficult to endure. This being said, the Blu-ray release herein reviewed is of acceptable quality. Still, I would recommend that you find a way to rent it first before considering a purchase.
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