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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Eat Drink Man Woman (Yin Shi Nan Nu) (1994)

Eat Drink Man Woman (Yin Shi Nan Nu) (1994)

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Released 22-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Interviews-Crew-A Feast For The Eyes - Ang Lee In Taipei
Trailer-The Best Man's Wedding; Taste Of Others
Trailer-Read My Lips; Respiro
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 124:16 (Case: 123)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (78:43) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ang Lee

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Sihung Lung
Yu-Wen Wang
Chien-lien Wu
Kuei-Mei Yang
Sylvia Chang
Winston Chao
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music MADER

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Chinese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Chu is a lonely widower and renowned master chef, whose three young daughters are approaching that certain age where they find partners and leave home. Suffering from the age-old lack of communication between fathers and their daughters, the family's only regular get-together is the ritualistic Sunday dinner, lavishly over-catered by their father and dreaded by his girls. Each of the three daughters differs vastly from the others. The eldest is puritanical and a religious school teacher, who wears her sad history and failed relationships like a suit of armour to justify her disinterest in the opposite sex. The middle daughter, Jia-Chien, is a successful career woman and workaholic, juggling several relationships at once. She has a passion for cooking but is banned from her father's kitchen, wasting her potential as a great chef. The youngest of the three sweats over a deep fryer in a fast food outlet and is beginning to show interest in her best friend's disenchanted boyfriend.

    As well as extracting excellent performances from the entire cast, Director Ang Lee has placed an exciting focus on the kitchen scenes - the complex art of Asian food preparation is always a joy to watch. In the interview included in the extra material, Lee explains that it was his intention to display the cooking photography in a sexual manner, to excite the audience and get them salivating without ever actually seeing food eaten. He certainly succeeded.

    I'm familiar with a number of people that love this film, all for different reasons. Whether you're interested in Chinese culture, outstanding cinematic cookery or a great comedy-drama, Eat Drink, Man Woman has something for any open-minded movie lover.

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Transfer Quality


    This isn't a bad transfer to watch, but some flaws are noticeable.

    The video transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with 16x9 enhancement.

    The level of sharpness is very good in most instances, particularly in facial close-ups where the skin texture is quite beautiful. Shadow detail is great. I noted only a few dimly lit scenes and these exhibited noticeable detail in the shadowy backgrounds. There was no noticeable low level noise present.

    Colours were well rendered throughout the transfer and showed no signs of bleeding. In particular, scenes that displayed an array of fresh food on the table have some excellent contrasting colours, and had me reaching for the wok. Skin tones appeared consistent throughout the transfer.

    Considerable intermittent aliasing problems were my main issue with this transfer. These were very noticeable throughout and of a generally distracting nature. I first noticed this artefact at 14:17 on a building, then again at 24:42 on a detailed bed cover. I'm sad to note that this problem continued to rear its ugly head until the end of the film. Telecine wobble was well controlled in the transfer, apart from one minor instance at 86:27. Tiny positive and negative film artefacts were visible during the transfer but were in no way distracting.

    English subtitles are burned into the video stream, and unfortunately cannot be turned off. The selected font style is white with a black outline and is very easy to read. Since I don't speak Chinese I can't vouch for their accuracy, but they certainly seemed to follow the pace of the dialogue well.

    This disc is dual-layered, with the transition placed in the feature at 78:43 in a quiet and unobtrusive moment.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    This is a good audio transfer for a dialogue based drama.

    There is only one audio track on offer, the original Chinese language, presented in Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Dialogue was always easy to hear, and although I don't speak a word of Chinese, the vocal enunciation, emotion and shifts in tone were clear.

    There were no problems with audio sync, with the exception of one scene in which an actress clearly mimes a karaoke performance (67:50).

    The soundtrack music is credited to MADER and consists of a range of styles, from traditional and classical Chinese instruments to percussive jazz. Some great percussive pieces are used in the frantic kitchen scenes, and the more mellow scenes contain some beautiful, relaxing melodies. Altogether, the blend of various musical styles lends the film a rich texture.

    Surround activity is an almost constant drone of ambience from street noise and rainy weather to the echoes of a busy, cluttered kitchen. On-screen vocal presence is kept to the front centre channel at all times. This isn't a spectacular audio experience, but it certainly is subtly immersive and very effective.

    The subwoofer was used to add a little bottom end to the soundtrack music, but was not called upon to any great degree.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    We have a couple of little extras here to round off the package.


    The silent and static menu is 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette - A Feast For The Eyes: Ang Lee In Taipei (14:13)

    A brief interview with Director Ang Lee and co-writer James Schamus, discussing the complicated scripting process and how the story was developed for the screen.

Trailers (4)

    Presented under the title World Cinema Collection, these include The Best Man's Wedding, A Taste Of Others, Read My Lips and Respiro.

Cast and Crew Bios (7)

    This covers the six main actors and Director Ang Lee, giving a brief history and a basic filmography for each.

Photo Gallery (19)

    A brief collection of production photos and shots taken on the set during filming.

Theatrical Trailer (1:22)

    The American theatrical trailer for our feature, presented with 16x9 enhancement. This clearly milks the success of Ang Lee's previous film, The Wedding Banquet.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Region 4 misses out on:

    Region 1 misses out on:

    The Regional differences are primarily soundtrack and subtitle options. I examined reviews of both the Region 1 Canadian and the Region 1 US releases and there is no mention of the video transfer problems that I detailed, and neither of the Region 1 releases have subtitles burned into the video stream. Our Region 4 release is adequate, but is not likely to impress anyone who speaks Chinese. Even though we have superior audio, I would suggest you purchase this wherever you find it cheapest.


    Eat Drink, Man Woman is a wonderful film, and a treat for the appetite. Some love it for its engaging drama, but I can't get past the brilliant cookery! The film has received a mediocre Region 4 release.

    The video transfer suffers from some noticeable aliasing issues and has English subtitles burned into the video stream.

    The audio transfer is quite immersive for a dialogue-driven film, although the same could have been achieved with a basic Dolby Surround track.

    The extras are simple, and with the exception of the brief interview don't add any great value to the package.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Friday, August 15, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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