PTU BLU RAY REVIEW

As we draw breath again after LINE OF DUTY and MARE OF, we can reminisce about classic crime dramas from the world. Hong Kong. A city that is 100 miles per hour, it never sleeps, it never gives an inch and always takes. So a stolen police gun, floating in the realm of criminal underlings, will lead to a darker truth about this place. It triggers a destructive series of events. Sergeant Lo lost the gun and he wants its back, fast. The problem is that after having his car totalled and his face beat, he lands in between two gangs on the brink of war. Vice Squad and Homicide Units are sniffing around and his gun is in the hands of one of them. When a maverick Police Tatical Unit squad appear, they could help him and stop the violence. Or of course they could just escalate everything further.

Noir thriller. That is what Johnnie To’s PTU is framed as. A bit on the nose if you were to ask me or possibly him. It is obviously inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s STRAY DOG, which was infused with a noir aesthetic, one that was of the time common but executed with grace and menace. PTU stands tall beside it, though it is more focused on the aspects of criminality within those fighting it (and the obvious temptation). The dependence on chaos of both and how enforcing and encroaching on the characteristics of either is regular. I have not seen this from To, but I love his work. He often reveals the male eye for power and violence. He always edges his world with a fresh bite. So here he has done something interesting again. On par with his contemporary MIIKE, who is another director of men at war with a world they control.

The Masters of Cinema Series again bring us some gems and two blahs. The 1080p print scales up the standard def version that is floating around on DVD. It might leak and have a green tinge but its nice. The best piece on the disc and a gem, is Asian film expert Frank Djeng commentary. Defending the body of work of To fairly, factoring the current and past relationship of the audience to the piece and filled with detailed. Simon Yam interview is the most interesting because he talks. Another gem is the new writing by David West (NEO Magazine).

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Grégory Sacré (Gokaiju) [2000 units]
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray
  • Cantonese audio (DTS-HD MA 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 options)
  • Optional English dubbed audio
  • Optional English Subtitles and English SDH
  • Brand new feature length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
  • Archival interview with director Johnnie To
  • Archival interview with actor Simon Yam
  • Archival interview with actress Maggie Siu
  • Trailers
  • A collector’s booklet featuring new writing by David West (NEO Magazine)

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