THROW DOWN BLU RAY

I really liked both Jonnie To THE MAD DETECTIVE and Eureka’s handling of it. Though not rare to get a good film, its rare to get it packaged and produced well. So THROWDOWN appeared and I was a little excited, to say the least. Legendary Judo fighter Szeto Bo (Louis Koo) gives up the sport he loved and trained hard for. He did so for uncertain reasons and now has descended into a life of alcoholic beverages and abstract gambler in seedy dens.

The pit is deep it seems but To has often made films of heroes pushed low. But the rub is that hardened newcomer Tony (Aaron Kwok) wants a piece of the action. Then of course an old foe Kong (Tony Leung Ka Fai,) demands Szeto finish the war that he started. And this defines an essential component of To cinema. Challenge and opportunity. Redemption and reclaiming control. It has his usual fast paced edits, stark visual placement and interesting compositions. But I think this is To’s most accomplished visual narrative piece.

This might be due to the fairly simple story or it might be that he is getting to his prime. I think for those looking for physical action, you wont be disappointed but if you love film making technique, then you might find this an interesting watch. Proving that China and HK films are on par with Hollywood visually and choreographed.  Indian cinema has a way to go in order to reach this level of skill as an aside.

EXTRAS

The best extra on the set is the Audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng. If you know nothing or something, this will give you everything outside of this. Well researched and punchy enough to be of interest to the amateur, its insightful and expansive. My only issue was it flattened out at the end. Audio commentary by Hong Kong film expert Ric Meyers is almost as good but becomes bogged down with mentioning film after film and context is lost a little. Still good though.

BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES

  • LIMITED EDITION O-CARD SLIPCASE [2000 units]
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray, from a stunning 4K restoration
  • Cantonese and English audio options
  • Optional English subtitles
  • 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 mins)
  • Making of Throw Down featurette
  • Theatrical trailer and TV spots
  • Reversible sleeve
  • PLUS: a collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film

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