Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-Infernal Affairs, Breaking News, Shadowless Sword
|Year Of Production||2006|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (46:54)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Johnny To|
Anthony Wong Chau-Sang
Ka Tung Lam
Shiu Hung Hui
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (224Kb/s)
Cantonese dts 5.1 EX (1536Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, Red Bull, anyone?|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Wo has returned to the city of Macau after years in exile for his part in the attempted assassination of Boss Fay. As he arrives, two of his old comrades also arrive to help protect him. Not long after, two more of his old comrades arrive to kill him on Boss Fay's order. After a stylish gunfight that tears apart Wo's new, but thankfully empty, apartment it becomes clear why Wo has returned. His wife has given birth to a son and he does not want to raise him on the run. The four visitors agree to postpone their dispute and agree to help Wo find a way to provide for his family should his assassination attempt be successful.
Meanwhile, Boss Fay has put a price on the life of one of his rival gang bosses, Boss Keung, that would be more than ample to leave Wo's widow enough money to raise his child. Wo and his four companions attempt the hit on Boss Keung, but all does not go to plan. Boss Fay discovers that four of his men are now working with Wo and orders them all killed, forcing the posse on the run.
Exiled is prolific director Johnnie To's follow up to his critically acclaimed breakout hits Election and Election 2. Exiled takes a very different tack to presenting a triad story than the Election series. Where the Election series opted for a gritty look and modelled its characters as realistic human beings who happened to be in triads, Exiled opts for a highly artistic look and the kind of superhero characters we're a lot more used to seeing in Chinese action films. Exiled is also Johnnie To's homage to westerns, although I think he had watched more Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino movies than Sergio Leone movies in preparation for it. The western style becomes a lot more evident as the film gets further along, to the point that our heroes (well, anti-heroes really) march and act as a posse by the end of the affair.
While it is well made, stylish and quite enjoyable, Exiled does little to really set it apart form other Hong Kong action fare. The western theme is certainly a little different, but not enough so to make Exiled stand out from the crowd. Everything the film does it does well and it is definitely worth a watch, but genre fans would do well to hire before they buy.
The film is presented in its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.
The video looks very good. The image is sharp and only a modest level of film grain is visible. There is a good deal of detail visible in dark areas, which is shown off frequently via artistically lit sequences (virtually every shoot-out in the film falls in this category). There are frequent instances of lens flare (eg 4:36, 28:45 and 88:06), but this is a deliberate part of the film's style.
The colours in the film are bold and quite distinctive. Filters are frequently used to highlight yellows and browns and the effect has translated very well to DVD.
The artistic lighting of the film leaves a number of scenes exhibiting mild posterisation, though this fits with the style of the film reasonably well. There are no distracting MPEG compression related artefacts or film artefacts visible throughout the course of the film
The English subtitles are a bold yellow colour. They are easy to read and well timed to the dialogue.
This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs between scenes at 46:54 and was not noticeable on my equipment.
Two Audio tracks are available, Cantonese DTS 5.1 and Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (224 Kbps)
The dialogue is clearly audible and well synchronised to the image.
The music in the film does a good job of melding the western motif with an otherwise standard Hong Kong action movie. A fairly standard score runs through much of the movie, but a lone guitar kicks over the top to bring the western feel to shoot-outs and posse bonding sessions. The score is well represented in the surround channels.
The surrounds are put to great effect throughout. Bullets rattle everywhere to give the shoot-outs an all-encompassing atmosphere. The subwoofer is also put to good effect during the action sequence.
|Surround Channel Use|
Fairly stylish menus with a clip of the score looping in the background.
A short sales pitch for the movie that poses as a making of. This rather pointless featurette consists of interviews with the cast and crew who briefly mention what they did on the movie, how much they love everyone involved with the movie and how great the movie is. This featurette is not worth the effort of watching.
Two trailers for the film, one explains the story a little while the other is a pretty mindless collage of gunfights.
35 promotional shots for the movie that can be scrolled through using the remote. There are some rather cool images in this lot.
After the usual irritating anti-piracy trailer, trailers for Infernal Affairs, Breaking News and Shadowless Sword are selectable.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Exiled is not currently available in Region 1. The Region 3 Hong Kong edition features an additional Making Of Featurette and a Behind the Scenes Featurette, but I am unaware as to whether English subtitles are provided for these extras. Pending any knowledge of the subtitling on the Region 3 edition, I would suggest the Region 4 edition is the version of choice for English-speaking audiences.
A stylish Chinese action movie with a western motif. Alas, for all its style it does little to stand out from the crowd in its genre. Definitely worth watching, but rent this one before you buy.
The video is excellent and captures the artistic bent of the photography beautifully. The audio is excellent also. The extras, however, barely rate a mention.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using S-Video output|
|Display||Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|