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1. Hard Boiled
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2. Face/Off
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3. The Killer
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4. Hard Boiled - Criterion Collection
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5. Mission Impossible 2
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6. Windtalkers
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7. Hard Target
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8. Bullet in the Head
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9. Broken Arrow
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10. A Better Tomorrow/A Better Tomorrow
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11. Heroes Shed No Tears
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12. Once a Thief
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13. Jean-Claude Van Damme Double Feature
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14. A Better Tomorrow II
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15. A Better Tomorrow
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16. Hand of Death
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17. The Killer-Criterion Collection
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18. Hard-Boiled
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19. Once a Thief
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20. The Killer

1. Hard Boiled
Director: John Woo
list price: $29.98
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Asin: B00004W458
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7412
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Masterful Hong Kong action director John Woo (The Killer, Face/Off) turns in this exciting and pyrotechnic tale of warring gangsters and shifting loyalties. Chow Yun-fat (The Replacement Killers) plays a take-no-prisoners cop on the trail of the triad, the Hong Kong Mafia, when his partner is killed during a gun battle. His guilt propels him into an all-out war against the gang, including an up-and-coming soldier in the mob (Tony Leung) who turns out to be an undercover cop. The two men must come to terms with their allegiance to the force and their loyalty to each other as they try to take down the gangsters. A stunning feast of hyperbolic action sequences (including a climactic sequence in an entire hospital taken hostage), Hard-Boiled is a rare treat for fans of the action genre, with sequences as thrilling and intense as any ever committed to film. --Robert Lane ... Read more

Reviews (125)

4-0 out of 5 stars Superior action sequences; inferior structure.
Though one of director John Woo's cult favourites, Hard Boiled actually ranks on my list as his worst post-1986 Hong Kong film, even after the farcical Once a Thief.

Overlength is Hard Boiled's chief weakness. After spending over an hour in that hospital with flames all around and innumberable men in suits getting shot, it starts to get tiring. Chow Yun-fat is impeccable in the lead and Tony Leung Chiu-wai is excellent, though versatile actress Teresa Mo is wasted in a skin-deep supporting role.

The biggest thing to commend on this video release, however, is the dubbing. I speak both Cantonese and English, personally, and I can tell American viewers that the dubbed script is even better than the original, which sounded stilted (Philip Chan Yan-kin's lines were especially forced in the original). The dubbed voices were acting, not just translating (as in dubbed Jackie Chan movies such as the U.S. release Operation Condor, for example). This was one marvelous dubbing job, and a rare instance in which I would almost prefer the dubbed version to the subtitled. Kudos to Orion for doing the movie justice.

4-0 out of 5 stars Woo's "other" classic
While not quite as tightly plotted or emotionally compelling as John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat's magnum opus "The Killer," "Hard Boiled" is still sure to please fans of that movie. Much of what made "The Killer" such a great film is to be found here: flawed heroes, murky allegiances, and ambiguous morals are once again the order of the day in this tale of cops and criminals living on the edge. At the same time, "Hard Boiled" manages to ratchet up the violence even further from its "sister" film, resulting in the most prolonged and intense action scenes I've ever witnessed, all filmed in Woo's signature frenetic style. A tea house, a warehouse, and ultimately a hospital all become battlegrounds in all-out war as the cops face an enemy that makes the Mafia look like a group of middle-school bullies.

Once again, Chow takes the lead in the protagonist's role, this time portraying relentless Hong Kong inspector "Tequila" Yuen. In true Woo-hero fashion, Tequila can shelter a baby with one arm while shooting up a small army of bad guys with the other. Joining him in his fight against the triads is Tony (Tony Leung) an undercover cop who's spent so much time working among gangsters that the line between the right side of the law and the wrong one is becoming blurred. However, Tony looks like a choirboy compared to the cartoonishly villanous Johnny Wong, an up-and-coming Triad boss who would probably kill his own mother if she got in his way. Johnny also has himself an extremely menacing sidekick in the form of a glowering, nameless enforcer who spends much of the film with a patch on one eye and still manages to give Tequila and Tony a few runs for their money.

It all comes to a head in the climactic showdown in the hospital-turned-arsenal, with the scene gradually evolving from tense standoff to full-scale shootout as the lives of hundreds of hostages hang in the balance. As most of Hong Kong's police force provides support, the two detectives lead the way against Johnny, his cycloptic colleague, and dozens of other gun-wielding menaces. And did I mention they have to make sure no harm comes to the adorable newborn babies in the nearby maternity ward? Yeah, Tony and Tequila sure have their work cut out for them as they fly through the air and unleash zillions of bullets, but it makes for some scintillating watching.

On the whole, "Hard Boiled" is definitely an engaging experience that's more than worth the money I shelled out for it. Much like "The Killer," this movie manages to pack much more psychological depth than the typical Hollywood shoot-'em-up with its portrayals of compromised heroes in harrowing circumstances. And of course, it goes without saying that Woo is nearly unparelelled when it comes to putting together action set pieces. Woo has made some moderately entertaining movies here in the States, but he hasn't managed to reach the level of his twin Hong Kong masterpieces. So check them out, if you dare.

1-0 out of 5 stars FOX LORBER EDITION IS TERRIBLE!
You are looking at an edition by Fox Lorber Films. I love this movie but this particular transfer onto DVD is TERRIBLE. The picture looks horrible and the audio is the WORST I've EVER seen on a DVD. Will SOMEBODY please issue a decent edition of Hard-Boiled or The Killer on DVD (yes I know about the criterion collection but I don't have $250.00 to spend on it now that they are out of print!).

3-0 out of 5 stars great film, horrible transfer
This is simply a great action-packed, incredibly violent film. Woo is a master of the shoot-out scene and there are plenty of them in this flick. The camera work is amazing. It's smooth, it's poetic. Its influence on The Matrix is very clear. However, this DVD is one of the worst film transfers I have ever seen. The quality image is almost unwatchable, at least for my taste. Dirt, scratches, burn marks are everywhere. The film looks like it was dragged across the floor, stepped on, dumped on, then left to sit a few days for the rats, cockroaches, racoons, and other wildlife to trample all over it before it was transfered onto the DVD. Do not buy this DVD. Rent it, or if you can afford it (and find it), buy the Criterion Collection edition instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest action movies ever?
I think so. It's violent, over the top and you'll feel satisfied. John Woo won me over with this one. The gun fights are crazy and Chow-Yun Fat proves to be a badass. Not a no-budget movie, but by no means is it a big-production film. It's gritty and fast paced and well... violent. ... Read more


2. Face/Off
Director: John Woo
list price: $14.99
our price: $11.99
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Asin: 630512762X
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2798
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

At his best, director John Woo turns action movies into ballets of blood and bullets grounded in character drama. Face/Off marks Woo's first American film to reach the pitched level of his best Hong Kongwork (Hard-Boiled). He takes a patently absurd premise--hero and villain exchange identities by literally swapping faces in science-fiction plastic surgery--and creates a double-barreled revenge film driven by the split psyches of its newly redefined characters. FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) must play the villain to move through the underworld while psychotic terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) becomes a perversely paternal family man while using every tool at his disposal to destroy his nemesis. Travolta vamps Cage's tics and flamboyant excess with the grace of a dancer after his transformation from cop to criminal, while Cage plays the sullen, bottled-up agent excruciatingly trapped behind the face of the man who killed his son. His attempts to live up to the terrorist's reputation become cathartic explosions of violence that both thrill and terrify him. This is merely icing on the cake for action fans, the dramatic backbone for some of the most visceral action thrills ever. Woo fills the screen with one show-stopping set piece after another, bringing a poetic grace to the action freakout with sweeping camerawork and sophisticated editing. This marriage of melodrama and mayhem ups the ante from cops-and-robbers clichés to a conflict of near-mythic levels. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (284)

5-0 out of 5 stars Face Off DVD
The DVD of FACE OFF is one of the best, and a must-buy on the format. John Woo, uber director of The Killer (1989), Hard Boiled (1992) and Broken Arrow (1996) proves that even after the move to Hollywood, he still knows how to create fantastic action and Face Off is no exception. Building on the good but not great BROKEN ARROW, this one is a fantastic action ride. The film stars Nicholas Cage as Castor Troy, a villain, and John Travolta as agent Sean Archer, the only man who can stop Castor from unleashing a nuclear device.
Woo's trademarks are all present here: slow-mo gunfights, explosive action and those perennial doves. And both Nic Cage and Travolta are brilliant, especially Cage, whose eccentric performance is one of his most unrestrained and outstanding. One of the best (If not THE best) action films ever made. Excellent.
The DVD extras are sparse, with only a trailer. One hopes a future re-release will come soon...

5-0 out of 5 stars Face/Off
Director John Woo's famous big-budget action-packed flick.This is the film that put John Woo on the map in America.Packed with guns, bullets, bombs, explosions and action scenes that are so original there choreographed like a ballet or a dance routine.

FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta)has been trying to apprehend terrorist, Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) ever since he murdered Sean's son six years ago.Sean apprehend's Castor during a violent shoot-out in an airport and as a result of this puts Castor into a deep comma.Sean then undergoes new surgery involving swapping faces with Troy.He does this to try and find out where Castor has planted a deadly bomb hidden somewhere in L.A.Castor awakes from his comma, with Sean's identidy and takes over his life.Sean(really Castor) disarms the bomb which he planted and becomes an instant hero.Meanwhile Castor (really Sean) is a high-tech prison trying to find information about the bomb from Castor's brother, Pollux (Alessandro Nivola).Since Sean(Castor) has destroyed all evidence about the surgical swap, Castor has to try and break out of prison.Not only does he have to fight for himself but for wife Eve (Joan Allen) and daughter Jamie.

This is a superb film with enough plot to become a series.It does sound far-fethced in places but John Woo makes it believable and real.Great performances all around including the two main stars, Joan Allen and the sexy tough female Gina Gershon.

5-0 out of 5 stars face off
he best movie in the ear 1997 it is perfect action good and adventure good nice acting for john travolta and nice acting for nicolas cage

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite action films!
Place this modern action classic up there with DIE HARD, SPEED, and THE NEGOTIATOR as one of my personal favorite action films.

Before watching FACE/OFF completely, I had taken a look at one of director John Woo's Hong Kong action epics, THE KILLER. I must say, I prefer FACE/OFF better. Sure, both films have that same over-the-top operatic style, but at least FACE/OFF isn't as shamelessly sentimental as THE KILLER was. In THE KILLER, Woo's main characters both demolished hundreds of extras in graphically bloody style, and towards the end it got a bit too much even for me. In FACE/OFF, the gore isn't quite as graphic, and while the body count is still pretty high, it never got to the point that I was disgusted.

I'm not a knee-jerk admirer of John Woo as some people are. That slow-motion technique of his can become wince-inducingly excessive, especially now that many lesser action directors have started to rip off his style. In this case, though, one is too engrossed in the plot and in awe of the high-energy action staging to notice.

Of course, most people probably already have an idea of what the plot is about: criminal Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) dies, but he has planted a bomb somewhere in LA, so obsessive detective Sean Archer (John Travolta) literally swaps identities with his arch-nemesis to go undercover at a high-tech prison to find out where that bomb is. Obviously, this situation leads to various complications as Troy wakes up from his coma, takes Archer's face, kills the doctors who performed the operation, and then tries to find Archer. It's the typical body-switch, and I would be remiss to mention that Troy is responsible for the death of Archer's son many years ago, and thus Archer has a vendetta against him that explains his obsessiveness.

It's a potentially laughable premise, but the actors and director make you buy it. Travolta and Cage are both convincing and have a lot of fun playing each others' characters, and the supporting cast is just as believable. The script, by Mike Werb and Michael Colleary, may have its bum dialogue lines here and there, but it's filled with ingenuity, plot-wise, as Troy tries to fit in with Archer's family and Archer tries to function in a prison. And of course the script gives director Woo plenty of leeway to go all-out with action scenes, and Woo does not disappoint, giving us plenty of stylish gunplay and loud explosions for about three action films, and even an audacious soundbite of "Over the Rainbow" as characters blow each other away. Woo sure lets his inventiveness run free here.

So okay, the film may be a little overlong, and that final gun battle at a church is perhaps too reminiscent of a similar battle in THE KILLER, right down to the flying pigeons motif. But all its flaws are forgivable in this case, since the movie is so thrilling matters of logic fall by the wayside. FACE/OFF may not be Woo's best film ever (I haven't seen HARD-BOILED yet), but it's pretty close to it, and in comparison to other modern action films, it stands pretty high there too. It'll ceratinly forever be one of my favorites. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Action as Art
While the plot of this movie is relatively interesting, this movie is really about two things:
First, the lead actors get to do the characters they do best as fully as they know how. Cage is his typical, neurotic, repressed, and emotionally conflicted self. Travolta hams it up in the outlandish, larger-than-life way that he often does. Despite what could be seen as overacting by both the leads, the almost absurd disparity between them is one of central things that makes this movie work.

Second, this movie has the most beautiful action sequences of any action movie I have ever seen (excluding epic-type movies, i.e. LOTR, Star Wars, Braveheart, etc.). This is a film that knows it's an action movie and revels in it. The cinematography in the fight scenes simultaneously displays the nature of the characters and the intensity of the battle between them. There are so many moments when you will just delight at the visual art that is every action sequence in this film. Needless to say, this movie has all the gunfights, fistfights, chases, and large explosions that one would expect in a serious action film.
If you like action movies, this is the first one I would recommend. ... Read more


3. The Killer
Director: John Woo
list price: $29.98
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Asin: B00004W457
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7491
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (124)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easily John Woo/Chow Yun Fat's best!
The Killer is a beautiful action/drama masterpiece. It is the best work I have yet to see done by both director John Woo and HK superstar Chow Yun Fat(both of whose movies I am familiar with.) The rest of the cast (including Danny Lee and Sally Yeh) are superb. The sheer grace and flair of the seamlessly choreographed gunfights to the poignancy of the gripping story of a professional hitman trying to cut clean, while gradually falling in love with a victim he accidently blinds in a shootout are all executed perfectly. This movie is not your standard action fare, as it goes deep into the mind of the killers, and depicts the characters trying to live a life that is honorable in a world that is so corrupt and sinister. The bottom line of the movie is quoted by CYF toward the beginning of the film: "Not everybody in this world is untrustworthy." Underlying the blazing guns and implied emotional battles, lies a tale of loyalty, trust and friendship. John Woo epitimizes this movie by proving that the action is not present simply for the sake of action, but instead for clean moviemaking and plot. As for the quality of the DVD itself, the picture is very clear for an older movie (1989) and the features and menu setup is very stylishly done... just don't watch the trailers, they do severe injustice to the featured films (The Killer and Hard Boiled) and contain spoilers. For hardcore HK movie buffs, the Cantonese language track with English subtitles is the definite route to take. The English track is butchered and incomplete, not to mention hard to understand and silly-sounding. I highly recomend watching this movie in it's original language (the way it was intended to be heard) as it is much more powerful this way. If you plan on purchasing this movie, though, I would instead recommend you buy the John Woo 2 DVD pack, which includes both this edition of The Killer and also Hard Boiled, another John Woo/CYF compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Hitman with a Heart
Because I'm a 13 year old boy(and a fan of Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo), I was just looking for the best action movie of all time. I ended up with something better, a dramatic, well though-out action film. It may not be "The Matrix", but "The Killer" was awesome. It was a movie filled with mayhem and bullets. And there was so much action. Jeffrey is a hitman with a heart who, during his last hit, accidentally blinds a woman with a gun. Because he's not a cold-hearted hitman, he decides to do one more hit to pay for an operation that will keep her from going blind. Lee is a cop who wants to stop Jeffrey from making his last hit. Jeffrey is betrayed by the mob that hired him and is put in war against all odds. Jeffrey and Lee put aside their differences to blur the line between them. Together they blast through the war leading to a climatic battle that is John Woo's best battle ever. Even though I'm only 13, I know good acting when I see it. This movie has been throned "THE Movie of Mayhem".Don't bother renting it, just buy the DVD.

"One Vicious Hitman. One Fierce Cop. Ten Thousand Bullets."

5-0 out of 5 stars John Woo & Chow Yun Fat...nuff said!
The Killer is the perfect example of cinema in its most powerful form. Expression...every bullet, every conversation & every scene just flows so beautifully & expressively it just blows me away. Unexplainable. Very deep & mythological story, unlike anything ive ever seen! U just have to see it. & see it. It will make u think to yourself, "what the hell is the average Hollywood budget gettin wasted on?? Promotion!!?? " John Woo on the other hand does not need $100,000,000 to truley express himself, hell, he doesn't even need the highest quality celluloid to make his films stunningly beatiful.. The Killer is no exception, John Woo is such a masterful director, no wonder why Hollywood have been ripping him off long before they invited him to join 'em!
& unlike most action films of mindless "invincibilty" plots & stupid reasons for massive shootouts, this has a cause for every piece of stunningly choerographed action...& consequences to join the equation.
If youve only seen Chow Yun Fat in his American films (Replacement Killers & Bulletproof Monk e.t.c), you really havent his true styles & capabilities. Get THE KILLER, & youll know why Hollywood have copied J.Woo's style of genius direction more times than a photo-copier has copied paper!
This is John Woo at his purest form, & Chow in his true style.
The John Woo & Chow Yun Fat combo is like the Sergio Leone & Clint Eastwood combo= Classics!
Get this if u like a deep, moving story, awesome acting, & action that sychronizes perfectly. (Also check out other J. Woo classics, Hard Boiled, A Better Tommorow 1 & 2, & Bullet in the Head!)
.....Nobody does action like Honk Kong...Nobody does Honk Kong like John Woo...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best...action movie...ever!
Filled with grit, emotion, and psychological depth, not to mention lots and lots of blood, "The Killer" is the kind of passion play that is seen all too rarely in any style of film, let alone the action genre. In fact, John Woo's Hong Kong shoot-'em-up masterpiece resembles nothing so much as Shakespeare with thousands of bullets flying around. In this case the role of the tragic hero is assumed by Jeffrey, played in career-defining fashion by Chow Yun-Fat. Jeffrey is an amiable enough sort, who also just happens to be a fearless, unstoppable assassin with a steely glare and a deadly accurate shot. But when he accidentally blinds a lovely torch singer named Jenny while mowing down about a dozen criminals in a crowded bar, Jeffrey finds some new meaning in his life by assuming responsibility for the woman, even going so far as to try to get her a vision-restoring cornea transplant. However, everything is far from hunky-dory for Jeffrey and his ward: after committing one last job to get the money for Jenny's operation, Jeffrey finds himself pursued by a small army of thugs as well as Chang and Li, two relentless detectives. Oh, and his best friend and associate Sidney has (temporarily) betrayed him. With all that's going on, the stage is set for a struggle on an operatic scale, with Chow giving his character just the right mix of warmth and gravity.

As one would expect from a film directed by Woo, with Chow in the starring role, "The Killer" contains more than its fair share of shootouts and chase scenes, all filmed with Woo's signature frenetic visual style. However, it's what happens when the movie slows down that sets it apart from the pack. "The Killer" is as much a drama as it is an action yarn, and it's a mighty good drama at that. There are a bunch of scenes here that got my adrenaline flowing, but even more impressive, some moments practically moved me to tears (emphasis on the word "practically"). Behind the constant action is an often-moving tale of devotion, honor, redemption, and friendship in the unlikely setting of the criminal underworld. The lines between good and bad, right and wrong, cop and criminal, are all blurred in a haze of moral ambiguity and divided loyalties. While Jeffrey and Sidney attempt to restore trust after Sidney's betrayal, an unlikely bond forms between Jeffrey and Li as the detective and the assassin realize they're not that different after all.

As the story unfolds, building toward the inevitable confrontation, the tension and the emotional stakes only rise along with the body count. Woo manages to elevate the crime drama to poetry, whether during a taut action sequence or a subdued conversation scene. The movie's deservedly legendary finale, involving a crazed gun battle inside a church, is the only appropriate conclusion. The viewer certainly needs some catharsis after such a harrowing journey, and Woo more than delivers the goods. "The Killer" is one of the few movies of its ilk that can legitimately be called art.

5-0 out of 5 stars =====Respect Hong Kong Cinema =======
===========Hong Kong action and John Woo should be greatly respected by Hollywood b/c most of his movies like THe Killer, Hard Boiled and The Better Tomorrow Series are being ripped off by Hollywood directors such as the movie "DESPERADO," "RESEVIOR DOGS" and etc. The Hong kong cinema should be credited by hollywood.==================== ... Read more


4. Hard Boiled - Criterion Collection
Director: John Woo
list price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559408677
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 26111
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Description

Violence as poetry, rendered by a master-brilliant and passionate, John Woo's Hard Boiled tells the story of jaded detective "Tequila" Yuen (played with controlled fury by Chow Yun-fat). Woo's dizzying odyssey through the world of Hong Kong Triads, undercover agents, and frenzied police raids culminates unforgettably in the breathless hospital sequence. More than a cops-and-bad-guys story, Hard Boiled continually startles with its originality and dark humor. ... Read more

Reviews (125)

5-0 out of 5 stars John Woo's "Hard Boiled", subtitled, widescreen
Arguable the best Hong Kong crime film produced this decade, John Woo's "Hard Boiled" is a masterpiece of gritty killers and even grittier cops shot in the traditional Hong Kong style. Chow Yun-Fat excells in this fast paced, and quite violent, production. This is a film not to be missed by fans of Woo, or Chow Yun-Fat. You cannot call yourself a Hong Kong cinema fan without seeing this movie. Be sure to view this film in its origional (subtitled) form, otherwise you will be laughing too hard at the rediculous dubbing rather then enjoying the brilliance that is Hard Boiled. Widescreen is also a plus. DO NOT MISS THIS FILM!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Chow Yun Fat does it again!
While Hard-Boiled is a notch below The Killer, it is still one of the best action movies in the past fifteen years. Chow Yun Fat is perfect as the cop who is willing to break the rules and Tony Leung is also great as the undercover Triad who has seemingly crossed the line. John Woo's over the top direction, choreographed gun fights, and wicked sense of humor, makes Hard Boiled a can't miss action flick. Buy it, rent it, whatever. Just strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. The scenes in the Tea-House and the Hospital are too incredible to describe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just the opening sequence will blow you away.
The opening sequence is IMHO the best John Woo's ever done. It might even be the best opening of any action film. Once again, a masterpiece of ballet, guns, bullets and bodies. Once again, the bluring of lines and sympathetic characters. If you like Hard Boiled, watch The Killer and A Better Tomorrow 1 and 2. And the ending of Hard Boiled... half an hour of pure action... unbelievable. And if you liked the lobby shoot out in The Matrix, then you have to watch some John Woo. I'm almost positive you'll like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great gunfighting action... Great directing...
As far as action movies go... I'm as big a John Woo fan as can be.. and I have to say that Hard Boiled, along with The Killer, A Better Tommorow, A.B.T.2, and Face/Off have to be my favorites in the genre. Chow is an amazingly talented actor both in dramatic and action sequences... It's movies like Hard Boiled that keep me playing arcade games with both guns blasting... I can't wait for King's Ransom to come out in theaters!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Action and killling, nuff said!!
One of the most exciting action movies I have ever seen. The drama is non stop and for some reason, nearly everybody dies. If you want low plot but killer scenes and non stop motion, this is it!! ... Read more


5. Mission Impossible 2
Director: John Woo
list price: $14.99
our price: $11.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00003CXDG
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2589
Average Customer Review: 2.99 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (559)

5-0 out of 5 stars Violent as an art form
I was hooked to John Woo's productions since I was a teenager in Asia. His productions were always stylish despite limited budget compared with what he's doing now in Hollywood. Storylines are always kept super simple so that viewers are enticed to enjoy the rest of the movie. Then, I wondered if there were a day when John Woo would leave his trademark in Hollywood & boy, didn't he start with a big bang? MI2 is every bit a John Woo's movie. Having said that, he's more restrained in using those slow motion scenes which he tended to overkill in his previous productions such as Face Off & Hard Target. The perfectly choreographed fighting scenes reminiscened of Asian gangster movies with plenty of somesaults, kicking, fists in the air, gun fights which never seemed to be running out of ammunitions were first rate. If you have seen Replacement Killers by Chow Yuen Fatt, the viewers would know what I mean. The chemistry between Thandie Newton & Tom Cruise was accentuated with the ingenious cinematography of their first encounter in a function amid the commotion of Flamenco dancers with their rhythmic tap dancing, & clapping. Talking about passion! Then, there's the memorable car chases between them in a Porsche 996 Carbriolet & Audi TT. Wow!! Anyway, what made John Woo's movies memorable must be the plot which the hero has to sacrifice himself to save another, or vice versa. In that sense, we really feel for the characters. Moreover, there's always the final confrontation between the ultimate good guy, & the ultimate bad guy. No interruption but fight to the death between two worthy contenders. Smooth!! Remind you of Nicholas Cage & John Trovolta in Face Off in the final slug after the boat crush? Watch out for the bike chase sequence which bettered or matched the car chase sequence in Gone in 60 Seconds. What shouldn't be overlooked is the bolsterous soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer which seemed to bring the movie to a higher level. Hans' contributions in previous blockbusters such as Backdraft and The Rock have proven my point. In addition, there's cameo appearance by Sir Anthony Hopkins (short but memorable) & commendable peformances by Tom's funny but competent side kicks such as Ving Rhames (who only got mad at the baddies after they put a hole through his Versace jacket!) & John Polson (Aussie block to the bone with much usage of "mate" in his vocabulary). This production is definitely first class & slick. Critics can say whatever they want about MI2 being a no brainer but hey, for its entertainment value, it's definitely one of the best action movie for Year 2000. I can't wait for the sequel. Can this mean that this is a threat to 007 franchise? Highly recommended for first timer or repeat viewing. Sydney is definitely coming of age as the Hollywood of the Southern Hemisphere as it has proven in the Matrix, this movie, & the up & coming Star Wars prequel. Good on you, mate!! For viewers who are interested in John Woo's previous works, A Better Tomorrow (with 3 sequels) starring Chow Yuen Fatt is regarded as a classics in Asia. Don't miss them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mission:Very Possible
M:I2 is to say the least a vast improvement over the original 1996 movie. Tom Cruise returns as secret agent Ethan Hunt, a spy that even James Bond would like to have as his partner. The films' opening sequence is to say the least, breathtaking, as Hunt climbs on top of a mountain to receive his new assignment. From this point the action begins.John Woo, as usual, employs his slow motion action sequences, those which are similar to his 1997 classic "Face Off", starring John Travolta and Nick Cage. The Dolby Digital soundtrack will knock your ear drums, to say the least your stereo system will receive a good workout. Although there are some scenes which could have been left on the editing room floor, such as the sappy love scenes, which really des not belong in this kind of movie. Watch for an exciting chase sequence near the film's conclusion involving motorcycles, which takes the film to a new level.In conclusion the film earns four stars for its' clever action sequences and a plot which is easy to swallow, considering the near IMPOSSIBLE to follow plot of the original. Remember, this was the #1 money maker of 2000. Needless to say a dissapointing year at the movies. Where is Star Wars when you need it

2-0 out of 5 stars Mission Failure
Despite a few problems, I still liked the first Mission Impossible movie very much. It's too bad the sequel didn't hold my interest as much as the first film did.

IMF operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise--sporting longer hair) is called away from his vacation by his new boss Commander Swanbeck (Anthony Hopkins in essentially a glorified cameo) to find a renegade agent. Once the mission begins, Hunt finds himself attracted to former agent Sean Ambrose's (Dougray Scott) girlfriend, Nyah Hall (Thandie Newton). These feelings complicate things as Ambrose holds the world hostage, threatening to release a deadly chemical weapon, if demands are not met. Hunt can also count on help from his pal Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) when things get tough.

Director John Woo takes over for Brian De Palma, and with MI2, moves even further away from the concept of the television series. Hunt acts more like James Bond here than he did in first film. The only real difference is Hunt's long hair. Cruise may have the screen clout, but quite frankly is out of his element thanks to a weaker script. If you throw in Woo's trademark and tiresome overuse of doves and slow motion--it's practically a lost cause. As if that were not enough, Scott makes a very poor villian, ala` Aaron Eckheart in another Woo film, the equally poor Paycheck. The only bright spot for me was Newton...wow!

The extras on the DVD, may be more plentifull here, as opposed to those found on the Mission Impossible disc, but that doesn't mean that they are all worth your time. The audio commentary with Woo is OK but can get a bit tedious. The 15-minute "Behind The Mission" features "canned" cast and crew interviews. I did enjoy the Five-minute "Mission Incredible" stunts featurette. You also get to see the group Metallica's music video for the soundtrack song "I Disappear", a rather cool alternate title sequence that would have worked out better and the disc highligt, a very funny MTV Movie Awards show parody, "Mission Improbable" with Cruise, actor Ben Stiller and Woo. There's also a generous amount of DVD ROM material

What a disappointment...

1-0 out of 5 stars Roxburgh too good for this film - he deserves better!
I would have given this movie more stars if Tom Cruise wasn't present in it, and Richard Roxburgh would have done a one man show. The scenes with Roxburgh, and only the scenes with Roxburgh was what kept me alive during the film. Although when that stupid Tom Cruise killed Roxburgh's character the movie ended right there. The scene was when he switched their faces, and I thought Roxburgh's character had beaten the crap out of Cruise's character and they killed him and I was feeling quite happy for the moment, until, they pulled the face off of Cruise and it was Roxburgh instead. I was DREADFULLY upset. And then it showed Roxburgh running, but it was really Cruise since he hadn't pulled off his face yet. He should've left Roxburghs face on (at least he would've looked better), and then he ripped his face off and it was Tom Cruise, thus the movie ends.

5-0 out of 5 stars An action movie that will keep you entertained!
This movie is what action movies are all about. It keeps you entertained from start to finish, and it does pretty well in other ways. The story is still pretty good, nowhere near as good as the first one, but it's still good. Some people may say that the save-the-world theme is old, but that's what action movies are about. Give me one James Bond film where 007 didn't do that. Give me any other action movie without that theme. Lord of the Rings had it. Star Wars had it. So does the fact that M:I-2's story revolves around someone saving the world make the movie bad? No way! It's the kind of plot that makes an action movie an action movie. Moving on. Like others have stated, the purpose of action in these movies is not to seem totally realistic, but to be really entertaining and fun to watch. Actually, it still is pretty realistic. What's all this junk about Ethan hitting all his shots (Which is pretty unrealistic, I'll admit)? Didn't any of you watch the Biocyte shootout? How many of his shots hit one of Ambrose's men? Maybe a quarter of them! He's still human and has down-to-earth abilities, not completely unrealistic superhuman stuff that a lot of people criticize. And besides, until the road chase, it is perfectly reasonable that Ethan didn't get shot! Half the time he was behind a wall or lurking in the shadows, waiting for the moment to go Splinter Cell on a patrolling guard. Anyway, sorry I lingered. The acting in this movie is great. Tom Cruise gives Ethan Hunt a very human qualities. Thandie Newton, who plays Nyah Hall, also does the same for her character. Ving Rhames returns to the comic-relief character Luther (the brilliant computer programmer from M:I), and continues to give Luther the comical humor from the first movie. John Polson is introduced as the Australian helicopter pilot Billy Baird, and also gives a lot of humor to the movie. And by the way, both Rhames and Polson do a great job of acting besides the humor, and bring the characters to life very well. Dougray Scott is the villain in this movie, and does it very nicely. He gives Sean Ambrose the kind of madman look and nicely combines it with cold-blooded intelligence to make the character a very good villain. And finally, Anthony Hopkins is Ethan's new leader, and does a very good support role. What about the music? Well, if you've seen the first movie, the music is just the same with a little metallic feel to it. And if you haven't, then don't worry, you won't be dissapointed. This is a great action movie that will keep you entertained throughout the two hours of the film, and does well in areas that some action films don't quite succeed in, despite what others say. ... Read more


6. Windtalkers
Director: John Woo
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005JK8K
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3454
Average Customer Review: 2.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (214)

2-0 out of 5 stars A great shame.
John Woo films have always had a tendency to rely more on explosive action sequences than masterful acting to pull the crowds. Face Off was loud but intriguing. M.I. 2 was loud but fairly stylishly done. Unfortunately, Windtalkers is really just loud.

The central plot is actually very good. Two U.S. marines must escort a pair of Navajo Indians who are trained to use a secret code to make transmissions to allies without Japanese troops earwigging. A factual plot too-this really happened. So all the potential was there, but the main problem from my point of view is that this movie was simply overdone.

Although the action sequences themselves are well done, nearly all of them are accompanied by dramatic war music which spoils the reality of them. There are also, if you can believe it, too many of them. Great war films like Saving Private Ryan and We Were Soldiers(watch that!) offered respite between the bangs for some thought provoking dialogue. Not so here.

The acting is far too over the top. Nicolas Cage is unusually poor, while Christian Slater barely breaks a sweat. I found that I did not care what happened to the characters-NOT a good sign.

This movie is a prime example of the fact that explosions cannot make a movie on their own. John Woo has made a good effort, but sadly this movie just did not hold my interest. If you REALLY like war films, you may like this movie, but otherwise, it's not really worth the postage and packaging!

ASIN: B00008PBZW

2-0 out of 5 stars emotional, but lacking
i admit, it made me cry - but what ever happened to the lady nurse who helped Joe Enders pass his hearing test in order to be able to go back to war, and was writing him all the time? the characters are static, though the Navajos are slightly more dynamic; there was little background info. too much bombs and shooting throughout, and i especially did not like the melodramatic part when Enders killed Whitehorse along with the Japs and then told Yahzee,"I killed him. I threw a bomb and blew him up," acting so sarcastic, wanting to provoke and die. finally, the code language should have been featured more.

2-0 out of 5 stars ful of stereotypes!
It is a well done typicall Hollywood movie but I have seen all this so many times. Everything is so predictable. The movie with such great actors as Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater doesn't have any material for them to work with. I was shocked that such inventive director as John Woo could make such lame movie. Not recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars I Wonder What the Wind Would Say
First of all I will say that the importance of the concept for this film is necessary and much overlooked. The involvement of American Indians in war is sadly left out of too many history books.

I was hoping this film would be better than it turned out to be. The historical facts should be recoginized along side all of the other celebrations of war heroes. Sadly this film was a complete bomb. The direction was predictable and the action scenes could have been shot by a five year old boy playing "war hero" in the backyard, alot of noise and piles of dust and actors pretending to be dead. All this with the constant drone of a musical score best left for a karoke bar to hum along to.

And what happened to Nicolas Cage? He used to be a great actor with individual style and presentation. It seems that he just keeps slipping away. I just was not convinced of his "hero" ability in this film....and his death scene is almost the most horrendous I have ever witnessed, not for the gore or emotional impact, but because it was simply awful acting!

1-0 out of 5 stars Windtalkers
This DVD is not widescreen . And I need all my DVDs widescreen because I have a windscreen TV. Went to Hasting all of Windtalkers DVD are both widescreen and Fullscreen.
And I went back to my order from you and it show it was widescreen that was order.
What happen? ... Read more


7. Hard Target
Director: John Woo
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: 0783227892
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10845
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (53)

4-0 out of 5 stars Van Dammes High Point
From 92 - 94 Van Damme experienced the high point of his career. This movie, Universal Soldier, Time Cop, and even Street Fighter. Now he has returned to straight to video territory but he still makes more then I ever will. Well anyway this is definitely one of his best. Yes it is true that Woo wasn't at his best with his first American flick, it was hacked up and he had to work with Van Damme (The Belgium Oak), but it still has an incrediable kinetic quality and Woo's style was perfectly matched with Van Damme's athletic ability. It was my first exposure to John Woo after having read about his Hong Kong films and I was impressed. The movie is fast, exciting, and is a fest for the eyes. The action scenes choreography is outstanding and Lance Henricksson is always a plus as the heavy.John Woo has the ability to make the craziest movies work - Face Off - and he does it with this movie. I just watched it a couple of weeks ago and I still found myself engrossed. It's rather depressing to see what has happened to Van Damme's career though.

5-0 out of 5 stars You Must find the Uncut version!
The R-rated version of Hard Target is what happens when censorship gets out of hand. The Uncut verison is so much better, if you can find it than I highly recommend you get it! This film really does belong up there with John Woo's pervious films. It's very violent with lots of action that will surely keep you interested. John Woo is the best! The ending was great, I will not spoil it! but there is one part I didn't really like, that's the whole Shoot than jump in the air kick routine Van Damme did while killing the bad guys seemed really out of place, it's like the kicks were just added because he's Van Damme and I guess John Woo thought most Americans would want to see Van Damme's sissy kicks. As for the actors..... Van Damme is a horrible one, I heard they were going to cast Kurt Russell as the lead instead which would have made the movie 100 times better cut or uncut! But alas! we were stuck with stiff Van Damme, his bad accent on top of another bad accent and his horrible hair. But all is forgiven when sexy Arnold Vosloo (Pik Van Cleaf) makes his way on to the screen, what a wonderful job he did! He literally stole the show from Van Damme with every sence they had together in my book. Lance Herkersion(sp) was also great! all the way through! These two worked great together as the bad guys, they will send chills down your spine, just the thought that there could be guys like them out in the world is really creepy! My favortie sence will have to be the introduction of Pik when he comes in contact with Chance for the first time in Randell Poe's office, the dude looked like the devil standing at that door! A job well done! I will rate this one (R-rated) with 3 stars, but the Uncut one deserves five stars all the way! the difference is, one is a Van Damme film, the other is a John Woo film!

5-0 out of 5 stars Van Damne, New Orleans style
This has to be the top 3 best Van Damne movies, this was made in New Orleans and I live only a few hours away from it, my god, Van Damne in the same state has me and only a few hours away good god and it was such a good movie.Again another awesome Van Damne movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Damme skippy!
The city of Brussels, Belgium is responsible for two crimes against humanity: its sprouts, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

After getting fired as the monster in "Predator," Van Damme broke into cinema with his star turn in "Kickboxer." Or maybe it was "Bloodsport." Big difference. Somehow, Hollywood deemed him "successful," and he graduated to big-budget fare like "Universal Soldier" and that one flick with Patricia Arquette on a farm, where Ted Levine played a bad guy (shocker).

Around the same time, John Woo got sick of working with Chow Yun-Fat, and decided to quit making Hong-Kong-style action flicks in Hong Kong, and make Hong-Kong-style action flicks in America instead.

The two men joined forces, and with Yancy (hic) Butler as the heroine, perpetrated "Hard Target" upon us all.

In a casting/dialogue-coaching stroke of genius, Van Damme is enlisted to play a Cajun named Chance. When asked about the origin of his moniker, he cryptically replies "Mi'mamma Too Kwan." Exactly who this Kwan character is supposed to be, we never learn. Maybe it's a deleted scene with a martial arts master, or something (I'm guessing James Hong played him. James Hong ALWAYS plays guys named "Kwan").

Rounding out the cast is Lance Henriksen, who can check off another entry in his "the movie stunk, but Lance Henriksen was cool" list.

"Hard Target" is basically an urbanized re-telling of "the Most Dangerous Game," where bad guys hunt the good guy. "Surviving the Game," the one with Ice-T, is better. Sort of.

At least "Hard Target" treats us to a scene where two characters shoot at each other from opposite sides of a row of windows...with nary a scratch. It's even funnier than Chance's mullet. On second thought, NOTHING is funnier than Chance's mullet.

The staggering box-office results from "Hard Target" paved the way for such Van Damme classics as "Sudden Death" and...uh..."Friends" -- while Woo busted blocks with "Windtalkers" and "Paycheck."

And I saw this in the THEATER.

5-0 out of 5 stars A BULLSEYE!!!!!!
This is by far one of the better from both director John Woo and Jean-Claude Van Damme. With a good music score from Graeme Revell and interesting story as Yancy Butler seeks her Father who was missing in cohorts with a group of mercenaries who excel at game hunting on the streets. It's filmed in New Orleans, therefore features some great shots of the city and later in the film of the jungle settings. Enter Van Damme as sailor Chance Boudreaux, who she seeks help from, sensing he has an uncanny ability of self-defense.

Van Damme actually delivers a pretty good performance this time around with his usual cheesy one-liners. Particularly where after taken in custody when investigating a crime scene is subdued by cops and taken to the station. A receptionist scolds him about trespassing being a criminal offense. Van Damme points to his bruised forehead with "Yes, that Officer was nice enough to mention that." A very good supporting cast includes Lance Henriksen as sadistic mercenary (he can play this kind of role in his sleep by now) Emil Fouchon and Arnold Vosloo as his sidekick Van Cleef. Add them with a crack team of hitman and that can only spell big trouble in game hunting. Wilford Brimley is a particular welcoming standout as Uncle Douvee.

RECOMMENDED TO ANY JOHN WOO OR MARTIAL ARTS FAN! ... Read more


8. Bullet in the Head
Director: John Woo
list price: $49.95
our price: $44.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305120382
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 15339
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The 1990 film Bullet in the Head engages at every turn. At once a political epic, a story about childhood friends and loyalty, as well as a tale of corruption and war, John Woo's action-packed face-off contrasts '60s idealism--the Beatles and Elvis--against the shifting tide in the East. It's plain that Woo has pulled his trio of heroes straight from Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America as well as Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter, but there are bits of Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause tossed in for good measure. The old Chinese way of life is fading in the face of the emergent Vietnam War and Chairman Mao's Red Army, and Hong Kong struggles under archaic British rule. Three friends--Ben (Tony Leung), Frank (Jacky Cheung), and Paul (Waise Lee)--rub up against gang warfare, capitalism, and opportunism in a life that is strongly tinged by Western culture. Ben falls in love and wants to marry Jane (Fennie Yuen). Frank has borrowed money from a warlord to pay for his pal's bridal bash but a rival group, led by Ringo and his thugs, are hell-bent on keeping loose-cannon Frank from keeping his promise. The boys kill Ringo in a face-off and the cops come looking for them, separating Ben and Jane. The trio escapes to exploited luck-of-the-draw Saigon to make their fortunes. Luck, however, isn't with them. In a violent, balletic dance to honor, greed, and a teenage pledge that is challenged with adulthood, Bullet in the Head is sentimental despite its exquisitely choreographed blood bath; it's steeped in the kind of code-of-ethics morality that has been the glue of buddy films since the beginning of cinematic time. Bullet in the Head is a tale of love and betrayal played out against a backdrop of wartime chaos, and while Woo had made other vital and vibrant movies--The Killer, Hard Boiled, and A Better Tomorrow--none were as impassioned as Bullet in the Head. That it retains its innocence at all is a tribute to this Hong Kong action auteur, who brands his movies with visual flair as well as a palette splattered with blood. --Paula Nechak ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Intense and excessive, but its John Woos best!
This rivals the killer as the best John Woo film. People say this one isn't his best but I disagree.
It's also one of the most violent Hk films I've ever seen, the shootouts are intense and well done, like the nightclub scene, it was very well done with the best part is when Paul guns down about 20 guys with a machine gun in a stairwell.
The acting is pretty good, the best performance goes to Tony Leung of course but Paul (Waise Lee) and Luke (Simon Yam) have some strong stellar scenes, and the so-so award goes to Jacky Chueng who in the POW camp scene makes you want to almost laugh at his suffering. However this version is cut about 18 minutes from what I've heard, and most of the subtitles are wrong and the audio is choppy. The extra 18 mins would probably explain some of the confusing scenes and scenarios (where did they learn how to shoot machine guns and shotguns with one hand?). Too bad this isn't A better tomorrow 3 because Chow Yun Fat would have been EXCELLANT in Luke's Character.
The story goes like this Three lifelong friends find themselves in trouble in 1967 British ruled Hong Kong when. On his wedding night Ben (Tony Leung) and Frank (Jacky Cheung) kill a gang leader in a fight. So they (Including Paul for some reason) get the idea to go to war torn Vietnam to sell illegal goods, but their luck turns sour when there stuff is blown up in a bombing. After that they meet Luke (Simon Yam) who puts their friendship in a downward spiral from there on in. Paul gets greedy when he takes a casket of gold leaves and turns him into a cynical, "stay-away-from-my-gold or Ill kill you" person while the friendships fall to pieces.
The action scenes while heartfelt (In a disturbing way) and gut wrenching are pretty senseless and over-the-top. The POW camp scene is absolutely disturbing almost to the point where I turned it off. To tell you the truth I'd rather see what's in this POW scene then what's in the uncut full POW scene (Yes its THAT disturbing). This film is NOT a heroic bloodshed film there is no heroes in this only people whose lives we must watch fall to pieces. You'll have to be pretty used to disturbing violence to see this so be very prepared. Very very well done and One of my Highest Recommendations ever!
P.S DO NOT let anyone under 12 see this

4-0 out of 5 stars John Woo's finest to date?
Produced in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, John Woo's BULLET IN THE HEAD is both a response to the appalling violence that was taking place in mainland China at the time, and a pointed examination of the director's traditional themes of loyalty and brotherhood and the consequences of betrayal. For all its explosions and gunplay, the film is actually a very human drama, played out against the vast backdrop of the Vietnam conflict, and invested with such a palpable sense of love and compassion for its leading characters and their circumstances that it defies all attempts at categorisation. The cast is pure gold: Tony Leung (superb as the film's tragic 'hero'), Jacky Cheung (giving a revelatory, career-making performance) and Waise Lee play lifelong friends who flee from a murder rap during the civil unrest of 1960s Hong Kong, only to have their loyalties tested to breaking point by their experiences in wartime Saigon. Overall, the film is less an action-thriller than an operatic valentine to Woo's teenage years in HK and to the personal values which have shaped and defined all his films since A BETTER TOMORROW. Only HARD-BOILED comes close to it in terms of greatness, though many people - myself included - would argue that BULLET is not only Woo's finest achievement to date, but also one of the best films ever made, anywhere. In terms of content, the widescreen HK DVD version is virtually identical to Made in Hong Kong's uncut UK video release, though the familiar Golden Princess logo at the beginning of the film has been replaced by Media Asia's insignia. As expected, the increased resolution of the DVD format has yielded a visibly superior image, but the disc's muted color scheme is a disappointment, and the optional English subtitles - though reasonably coherent - are no match for MIHK'S definitive translation. BULLET's effectiveness depends on your complete comprehension of the dialogue, and Media Asia's clumsy subtitles often stumble over the dramatic highlights, thereby diluting their quite considerable impact. Sadly, Media Asia has also remixed BULLET's original mono soundtrack in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround, apparently for no other reason than the fact that DVD technology allows it. Aside from the newly-directional gunshot effects and the magnificent music score (which, amongst other things, transforms Jacky Cheung's poignant farewell sequence into an occasion of shattering heartbreak), the remix adds nothing that wasn't already conveyed in the original version. Bottom line: A fine film, and the DVD is certainly worth a look, but first-time viewers are advised to check out MIHK's UK video version before taking the plunge. Believe me, you WON'T be disappointed...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Film ive ever seen. MUST SEE. Trust Me
IF YOU LIKE GOODFELLAS, CON AIR, SCARFACE, FACE OFF, GODFATHER, DESPERADO, KILL BILL etc. You have to see this, im telling you.
I thought the best film ive seen were one of the above. But no. its defenitly Bullet in the Head.
IT HAS A BRILLIANT STORYLINE. The ACTING WAS MAGNIFICENT. Tony Leung (Hard Boiled/Prison on Fire)is Excelent alongside (Waise Lee (A better tomorrow) and Simon Yam (Full Contact) But The Outstanding Serious Performance which will get to you is Jackie Cheung (as tears go by/Jet Lis Meltdown). Its John Woos personal Favourite. Everybody i Lent it to absoulutely LOVE it. its a Hong Kong Classic which doesnt come on TV. If its available to in your local shops or ebay.co.uk I advice you to Buy It. you wont be dissapointed. If you are then You have BAD TASTE in Movies. No offence.PEACE

2-0 out of 5 stars Exhausted
In "The Killer", perhaps the best pulp/asian thriller of all time, the violence felt full, voluptuous; its excess created a kind of operatic grandeur. In "Bullet in the Head" the violence is so over -the-top, so gratuitous, you want to run for cover (I might have blown up my tv if I had to watch another gangster do a cartwheel as a big explosion lifted him of his feet). This movie proves to me how repetitive a director Woo is, and I got a similar feeling from Face/Off - its like watching a figure skater do figure 8's all night - you want to shout "ok, I get it!"

Loud, irritating and chaotic. Jacky Cheung's shameless overacting and bulgy, beady eyes were as irksome as the excessive violence - give this one a miss - its a wet blanket of sentimentality and schlock.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
This is not only one of the best HK action films ever but quite possibly one of the best films ever. Period. ... Read more


9. Broken Arrow
Director: John Woo
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305280754
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6701
Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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John Travolta is Vic Deakins, a bomber pilot who launches a devilish plan to hijack two nuclear missiles for big-time extortion. Vic never sweats, spews out great one-liners, knocks off money men with glee, toys with killing half a million people... he even smokes!

If you giggled at his "Ain't it cool" line from the trailer, you're in the right frame of mind for this comedic action film. Never as gritty or semi-realistic--or for that matter as heart-thumping--as the original Die Hard, Broken Arrow still delivers. If Travolta is cast against type, everyone else is by the numbers; Christian Slater as Hale, the earnest copilot looking to foil the plot, Samantha Mathis as the brave park ranger caught in the middle, Frank Whaley as an eager diplomat, Delroy Lindo as a right-minded colonel. As with his previous script (the superior Speed), writer Graham Yost moves everything quickly along as Hale and the ranger try to cut off Deakins's plan over a variety of terrains. We have plane crashes, car chases, a pursuit through an abandoned mine, a helicopter-train shootout, and lots of fighting between boys. Each time Hale finds himself perfectly in place to foil Deakins. You're suppose to laugh at the unbelievable situations. That's where Arrow is deceptive: its tone is right for the laughter compared to the mean-spirited Schwarzenegger and Stallone action films with labored jokes. Hong Kong master director John Woo (The Killer, Hard Target) pulls out all the stops--slow motion of Hale and Deakins's gymnastic gun play, nifty stunts, countdowns to doomsday. Woo may know action, but he needs more guidance in creating unique and stunning special effects. This is action entertainment at its cheesiest. Travolta and Woo later reteamed for Face/Off. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (75)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great action flick!
John Travolta is "Deak", a rogue USAF nuclear warrior who steals two weapons as part of a massive extortion plot in "Broken Arrow". Though a riff on the Bond flick "Thunderball", "Arrow" is so distinctively a John Woo flick, you never think of it as anything but original. Christian Slater is Riley Hale, Deak's unknowing co-pilot, and the one man who consistently hampers Deak's attempts to make off with the stolen nukes. When the movie starts, we see Deak clobbering Hale across a boxing ring over a $20 wager that Hale has no chance of winning, mostly because, as Deak notes, Hale has no will to win. That's why Deak never invites Hale to join his little nuke-blackmail scheme - he fears the little loser might actually say "yes". But Hale has a bit of a dark side himself - one hinted to Deak when Hale tries to pay off the wager. Deak refuses his winnings because Hale didn't fight hard enough for it to matter, but Hale is insistent - mostly because he stole the $20 from Deak's locker. Once in the air, Deak commandeers control over the plane and, when he fails to kill Hale, ejects him instead, then drops off the nukes for retrieval in the Utah desert before pointing the plane at a mountain and ejecting. On the ground, Deak meets up with his crew, culled from various special forces and well trained to cover every conceivable step the government may take to retrieve or destroy the nukes. Unfortunately for Deak, Hale survives ejection and links up in the desert with a feisty ranger (Samantha Mathis) and works to secure the nukes.

Most of the movie is a chain of action scenes - guns and kickboxing, but the plot stays confined and never loses sight of its focus. What makes this film really work is that everybody is a bad guy, and you almost find yourself cheering for Travolta and his gang when Deak dishes such potables as "I'm the man!, I'm the Man", "I've never killed anybody in person before...I don't see what the big deal is" and, when Hale tells Deak that he's out of his mind, and Deak replies "Yeah, ain't it cool?" Everything about this movie is meant to give you an impression, then dash it with a few shots to your head (like when Samantha Mathis's character confronts a seemingly nerdish nuclear-weapons engineer working for Deak). Even Hale offers some surprises - you half expect him to walk away with the ransom money. In the end, it's a lot fun, though you may come out at the end feeling a tad punch drunk.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Action Flick
First let me get this out of the way: I'm not what you'd call a John Woo fan or affictionado. The only other movies I have seen by him are MI:2 and Face/Off, and all I can say is I'm not impressed. Of course, I'm very aware that MI:2 is often labled as one of his worst movies, but I digress.

Having said that, I really like this movie. Of course, it's not Shakespeare, but if you rented this movie to see character development or a deep, unflinching gaze into the dark side of the human soul, you rented the wrong movie. Heck, you were probably in the wrong aisle to begin with.

All the actors play their parts very well. Travolta is the oh-so-cocky Major Deakins and Slater plays the straight-laced Captain Hale. Samantha Mathis is Terry Carmichael, the somewhat inexperienced park ranger caught in a crazy situation, and does a god job. The movie has a bunch of great one-liners and some really neat action sequences involving fights on top of a train, helicopter shoot-downs, a hummer chase across the desert, a shoot-out in a mine shaft, and a nuclear detonation. What more could one ask for?

Sure, its got some noticeable plot holes (the really roomy B-3 cockpit, Mathis hiding under a blanket on the motor boat, the still incomprehensible bomb-arming sequences, etc), but they're not so big as to ruin the experience (which is more than I can say for either Face/Off or MI:2). Over all this is a fun little ride in the desert and definately what I expect an action film to be. A rip-roaring gunbattle with energetic characters, a couple of good jokes, wonderful special effects and beautiful scenery thrown in.

5-0 out of 5 stars Travolta makes a great villain
Up until Broken Arrow I hadn't seen a single Travolta film that I had enjoyed but this break from his usual fare was fantastic. He was perfect as the villian. The pacing and special effects are great too. Over all it's a great, fun and fast paced film.

5-0 out of 5 stars Broken Arrow
If ever there was a must see this is it.Broken Arrow is a fantastic film i kid you not.Two military airforce pilots vic deakins(travolta)and riley hale(slater)are assigned a stealth training mission carrying two nuclear warheads.it's supposed to be a routine mission until deakins tries to kill hale and steals the two nukes.What ensues is fantastic action scenes with deakins always being two steps ahead of hale.Deakins is not your ordinary bad guy hes beliavable!!.He's cocky,arroggant and extremely smart whereas hale is naive, decent and honest.From the very first scene we can see deakins is a dark character from the look in his eyes and here he shows his supperiority to hale by kickin his ass in the ring.Deakins also doesn't have pathetic lines such as "im going to rule the world" no we get great lines such as "goddamn what a rush" "would you mind not shooting the thermonuclear weapons?" and "ain't it cool".Its not just the acting or the scenes which are great but the music is great and is the soundtrack.The music encompasses so many elements its sad the full of energy.It has the guitar theme which we first hear when deakins puts on his uniform and looks at himself in the mirror and you just have to laugh because he is the man.John travolta definately delivers the goods as deakins in the film
as a bad guy.Overall this is a must buy as is the soundtrack

4-0 out of 5 stars XCELLENT!!!!!
This is the best John Woo movie ever.It is far much better than face-off believe me!Those who found this movie dissapointing well I don't know what they were looking for.Face off had too much action that's were they ruined it for me.John's portrayal of the villain is impressive.Though he's shady he's a likeable rogue and keeps the film above par.Personally one of the best action movies I saw of the last decade.Goes right up there on the top of my list together wiyh the likes of Speed,Die Hard III,True Lies etc etc ... Read more


10. A Better Tomorrow/A Better Tomorrow II
Director: John Woo
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Amazon.com

A Better Tomorrow is the John Woo gangster classic that started it all, a romantic, violent, swirlingly stylish melodrama about dueling brothers--with a mesmerizing lead performance by Hong Kong's favorite actor, Chow Yun-Fat. In repose, Chow's sleepy magnetism recalls the glory days of Robert Mitchum, Steve McQueen, and Takakura Ken; when he's stepping high, Chow has a unique, ebullient star presence, a man who embraces life so unselfconsciously that he becomes vulnerable to all kinds of suffering and heartache (he endures masochistic megadoses of violence here). The sequence in which Chow's Mark avenges his betrayed best friend---by blasting his way into, and then out of, a Chinese restaurant, twin .45s blazing---is a swashbuckling standout. Woo's film technique may have been more polished in later efforts, but Tomorrow has a direct emotional power that is still unique. Kung fu star of the 1970s, Ti Lung is also terrific here as the 40ish established mobster, relied upon by all, who allows conflicting loyalties toward Mark and toward his younger brother, now a cop, to undermine the stability of his position.

"I won't give you nothing, man; I give you shit," sneers charismatic superstar Chow Yun Fat, speaking English (with a De Niro accent) in his role as a New York restaurateur who won't knuckle under to the (Italian) mob in A Better Tomorrow II. Chow plays the twin brother of the character he played in the original, and the blatancy of that device is a fair indication of the sequel's shortcomings--and of its screwy charm: this is a film that knows no shame. The bond between the natural siblings played by Ti Lung (as a reformed mobster) and Leslie Cheung (as a hot shot cop) still resonate tellingly. As a good-guy ex-thug driven batty by the slaying of his only daughter, real-life Cinema City studio chief Dean Shek gets to play a garishly extended "mad scene," foaming at the mouth, chewing on soup bones. A later episode in which a dying man crawls to a phone booth to call his wife (and newborn daughter) in the hospital must also be some kind of lurid first in the soap sweepstakes. The final 15 minutes could be the bloodiest single shoot-out sequence ever committed to celluloid. The story line hasn't been shaped to any particular purpose here, but the images have a golden Godfather-like glow, and this faintly anachronistic, all-stops-out wish-fulfillment approach to moviemaking still has a lot of power. --David Chute ... Read more


11. Heroes Shed No Tears
Director: John Woo
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Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 29585
Average Customer Review: 2.86 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Foreshadowing of FUTURE WOO (but not quite there!).
This is obviously a rather early John Woo film, made right before A Better Tomorrow, which was his breakthrough epic. Watching it, I felt like it was a foreshadowing of Bullet in the Head (my personal favorite John Woo flick), but not as refined. It has some great action scenes, such as the Sniper Shot scene (mentioned by another reviewer as well) and the swamp fight against the natives. The massive, unrelenting action scenes will leave you at the edge of your seat: but there's still a problem. Being that it is an earlier Woo flick, it isn't (as I've said) as refined as A Better Tomorrow or Hard-Boiled. Also, it DOES lack Chow Yun Fat. The cohesiveness of the plot/ action/ story/ characters/ etc that is found in his later films is missing in this. Often I was left thinking, "Dood. This doesn't make sense." And thrown in is a scene where basically girls get naked: A VERY Un-Woo scene. I was both shocked and dissapointed to see this scene, but again, it is an earlier film so it shall be excused.

If you liked Bullet in the Head, this will dissapoint you, but I think it's still something to watch if you can call yourself a Woo fan. But if you're not really into the Woo style of things, go rent Full Metal Jacket or something instead.

1-0 out of 5 stars Goodbye, Chinaman
It's Woo's Showgirls, or Hook-take your pick. It's hard to believe he made A Better Tomorrow next. It's even harder to believe he did better work with the likes of Dolph Lundgren. There are hints of things to come, and some pretty good hand-to-hand near the end, but that's the only thing good about it. Well, that and it's mercifully short running time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic. . . but overdone
When I first saw this film on television, I laughed my pants off. It's one of those movies that you've seen, time and time again, made fun of, due to its poorly timed dubbing and spiratic violence. The picture quality was horrible, which fit its cheap attitude perfectly, and more than three quarters of the movie was spent using extremely primitive sound-effects. Yet, despite these small glitches, the movie seemed to draw forth more of my attention than it deserved. I couldnt help but revel at how consistant John Woo was through his natorious use of explosions, stunts, and hardened drama. The movie didn't glorify violence, however, but made it almost humorously insignificant. The killing rate was undoubtedly outragous, where ten to twenty "bad guys" in a scene would fall to their death as the hero spray's unplotted bullets everywhere. The drama was very low, as well as unbelievable, and the relationship between characters was poorly stimulated. However, this is the beauty of John Woo's films (and action films in general). He expressed each character through pure violence and tension; nothing more. Most of the drama in the movie derived from such violent siduations, and this tactic proves very effective. Because of this, John Woo unfortunately delivered an excess amount of action; to the point of exaustion. This was the main setback, since it lowered the appreciation of John Woo's poetic action sequences greatly. The cinematography quality was on and off, sometimes exceptional and sometimes very very poor. The script was horrible, consisting of cheap one-liners and poorly thought-out reactions. Never the less, I loved this movie not for its basic script and storyline, but for the attitude that the action sets forth (especially the laughs). Call it cheap, call it trash, but any sane action-movie critic out there will call it classic. I would recommend seeing the movie before buying it, but I would definately recommend buying the movie just for the heck of it. Enjoy!

1-0 out of 5 stars Whether you like John Woo or not, this one's in the gutter.
This was a truly awful effort, one which should be viewed only as an indicator of how lost John Woo became before he focused his genius on A Better Tomorrow and, even more so, The Killer.

Eddie Ko Hung is terrible in the lead role as a soldier of fortune with a soft spot, all the female actors are atrocious in poorly written roles, the action sequences are mundane and lacking in grace (thanks to a cast of workhorse, completely charmless actors), the violence laughable, the villains completely one-sided, and the cinematography a step back to the horrific '70s.

The worst component of this sick excuse for a film is the child actor known on set only as "Friday", according to accounts by a co-producer of the film. Hong Kong has never been known for naturalistic actors or for paying great attention to subtlety of presentation, but this kid deserves a nomination for worst performance of all time. Perhaps they overdubbed his dialogue, for every line he speaks sounds like a 16-year-old voice actor (or a woman -- as they do in cartoons in Hong Kong) trying to emulate a six-year-old child. His face is a hysterical exaggeration, like a theatrical mask, and his aim-for-the-cutesy posing becomes excessively annoying after a while. I found myself cheering when he's trapped in the flames, groaning when he escapes death, and smirking when he loses his mother. Talk about losing an audience member. This film is the first John Woo work I've seen (and I'd seen all of his mostly brilliant post-1986 work, even Blackjack, before hitting upon this pile of trash) to make me cynical to such a degree.

Thank God John Woo has progressed past this. For if he had remained this kind of a filmmaker producing this kind of junk, he's the one who should have his eyes sewn shut.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Just as w/ Hong Kong Face-Off (also by John Woo), I found Heroes Shed No Tears to be one of John Woo's weaker movies. The melodrama was tacky, the characters weakly developed, and the storyline lacking any logical sequence. Missing is that smashing cinematography that we see in later films like Face-Off or Hard Boiled, or the strong character development seen in Face-Off, Hard Boiled or The Killer. If you're merely browsing for a good HongKong action flick, skip this baby. If you're interested in seeing how John Woo's cinematographic genius developed and how he came to be where he is today, go to your local Asian video store and rent this movie. If you're die hard John Woo and wanna just buy anything by him, beware...this film isn't what you'd expect it to be. ... Read more


12. Once a Thief
Director: John Woo
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Asin: B00008J2EC
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 12992
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13. Jean-Claude Van Damme Double Feature (Time Cop/Hard Target)
Director: John Woo
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Sales Rank: 29604
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars It ain't all bad.....
No doubt that these two are Jean Claudde Van-Damme's best films. Bloodsport got the ball rolling, and I actually enjoyed watching Double Team (with Dennis Rodman but don't tell anyone!), but I enjoy watching HARD TARGET and TIMECOP more than the others. Maybe because they've both got two seasoned and professional directors behind the camera (John Woo and Peter Hyams). Your guaranteed an enjoyable double feature with Hard Target, where rich men go on a 'hunt', the prey consisting of mainly homeless people and TimeCop, a Sci-Fi adventure through time where Van Damme is policeing 'time-travel' as people start to bend history to their own greedy needs. It's got some great effects and production design, not to mention the slick photography by DOP and director Peter Hyams (of 2010:The Year We Make Contact and the other fun Van Damme flick, Sudden Death).

As I mentioned above, Sudden Death should have also been included into this package and you could have spent an entire day of explosive action. But since we've got these two, watch out for Lance Henrikson's awesome 'bad guy' performance, John Woo's slick direction (which at some parts, puts M:I-2 to shame because it was R rated and not pg-13), in HARD TARGET and watch for Ron Silver's slimy politician role and the slick effects used in TIME COP (filmed in my hometown of Vancouver). ... Read more


14. A Better Tomorrow II
Director: John Woo
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Sales Rank: 20650
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15. A Better Tomorrow
Director: John Woo
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Sales Rank: 19622
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16. Hand of Death
Director: John Woo
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17. The Killer-Criterion Collection
Director: John Woo
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Asin: B000009EBU
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 15707
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

This 1989 rouser is apocalyptic pulp--the bloodiest, showiest, most shamelessly sentimental specimen of Hong Kong's gangster melodramas. A torch singer named Jennie (Sally Yeh) is accidentally blinded during a slaying in a night club, and Chow Yun-fat's sad-eyed Jeff, a self-lacerating assassin, drags himself out of retirement to take on one last job--rubbing out a major mobster for major bucks--so he can pay for the singer's cornea transplant operation. But Jeff pauses to ferry a wounded child to the hospital during this final outing, and because of this a cop finally gets a good look at him: "He was seen on the job," snarls a saturnine Mr. Big, "and I want him wasted." Armies of thugs converge on the saintly slayer. Some of writer-director John Woo's flourishes are kitsch classics (doves flying upward in a candlelit church), while the action sequences are rapturous. "Life's cheap," a character opines. "It only takes one bullet," but in this case it actually takes about a dozen spewing bullet hits to kill anyone, as soulful triads in mirror shades and duster overcoats blaze away with high-tech weaponry. (A favorite trick involves grasping an enemy by the lapels, pulling him into a waltz embrace, and pumping several slugs into his duodenum.) Danny Lee, Chow's costar in City on Fire, is the intense, young officer who fixates on the killer's contradictory personality. --David Chute ... Read more

Reviews (124)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easily John Woo/Chow Yun Fat's best!
The Killer is a beautiful action/drama masterpiece. It is the best work I have yet to see done by both director John Woo and HK superstar Chow Yun Fat(both of whose movies I am familiar with.) The rest of the cast (including Danny Lee and Sally Yeh) are superb. The sheer grace and flair of the seamlessly choreographed gunfights to the poignancy of the gripping story of a professional hitman trying to cut clean, while gradually falling in love with a victim he accidently blinds in a shootout are all executed perfectly. This movie is not your standard action fare, as it goes deep into the mind of the killers, and depicts the characters trying to live a life that is honorable in a world that is so corrupt and sinister. The bottom line of the movie is quoted by CYF toward the beginning of the film: "Not everybody in this world is untrustworthy." Underlying the blazing guns and implied emotional battles, lies a tale of loyalty, trust and friendship. John Woo epitimizes this movie by proving that the action is not present simply for the sake of action, but instead for clean moviemaking and plot. As for the quality of the DVD itself, the picture is very clear for an older movie (1989) and the features and menu setup is very stylishly done... just don't watch the trailers, they do severe injustice to the featured films (The Killer and Hard Boiled) and contain spoilers. For hardcore HK movie buffs, the Cantonese language track with English subtitles is the definite route to take. The English track is butchered and incomplete, not to mention hard to understand and silly-sounding. I highly recomend watching this movie in it's original language (the way it was intended to be heard) as it is much more powerful this way. If you plan on purchasing this movie, though, I would instead recommend you buy the John Woo 2 DVD pack, which includes both this edition of The Killer and also Hard Boiled, another John Woo/CYF compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Hitman with a Heart
Because I'm a 13 year old boy(and a fan of Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo), I was just looking for the best action movie of all time. I ended up with something better, a dramatic, well though-out action film. It may not be "The Matrix", but "The Killer" was awesome. It was a movie filled with mayhem and bullets. And there was so much action. Jeffrey is a hitman with a heart who, during his last hit, accidentally blinds a woman with a gun. Because he's not a cold-hearted hitman, he decides to do one more hit to pay for an operation that will keep her from going blind. Lee is a cop who wants to stop Jeffrey from making his last hit. Jeffrey is betrayed by the mob that hired him and is put in war against all odds. Jeffrey and Lee put aside their differences to blur the line between them. Together they blast through the war leading to a climatic battle that is John Woo's best battle ever. Even though I'm only 13, I know good acting when I see it. This movie has been throned "THE Movie of Mayhem".Don't bother renting it, just buy the DVD.

"One Vicious Hitman. One Fierce Cop. Ten Thousand Bullets."

5-0 out of 5 stars John Woo & Chow Yun Fat...nuff said!
The Killer is the perfect example of cinema in its most powerful form. Expression...every bullet, every conversation & every scene just flows so beautifully & expressively it just blows me away. Unexplainable. Very deep & mythological story, unlike anything ive ever seen! U just have to see it. & see it. It will make u think to yourself, "what the hell is the average Hollywood budget gettin wasted on?? Promotion!!?? " John Woo on the other hand does not need $100,000,000 to truley express himself, hell, he doesn't even need the highest quality celluloid to make his films stunningly beatiful.. The Killer is no exception, John Woo is such a masterful director, no wonder why Hollywood have been ripping him off long before they invited him to join 'em!
& unlike most action films of mindless "invincibilty" plots & stupid reasons for massive shootouts, this has a cause for every piece of stunningly choerographed action...& consequences to join the equation.
If youve only seen Chow Yun Fat in his American films (Replacement Killers & Bulletproof Monk e.t.c), you really havent his true styles & capabilities. Get THE KILLER, & youll know why Hollywood have copied J.Woo's style of genius direction more times than a photo-copier has copied paper!
This is John Woo at his purest form, & Chow in his true style.
The John Woo & Chow Yun Fat combo is like the Sergio Leone & Clint Eastwood combo= Classics!
Get this if u like a deep, moving story, awesome acting, & action that sychronizes perfectly. (Also check out other J. Woo classics, Hard Boiled, A Better Tommorow 1 & 2, & Bullet in the Head!)
.....Nobody does action like Honk Kong...Nobody does Honk Kong like John Woo...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best...action movie...ever!
Filled with grit, emotion, and psychological depth, not to mention lots and lots of blood, "The Killer" is the kind of passion play that is seen all too rarely in any style of film, let alone the action genre. In fact, John Woo's Hong Kong shoot-'em-up masterpiece resembles nothing so much as Shakespeare with thousands of bullets flying around. In this case the role of the tragic hero is assumed by Jeffrey, played in career-defining fashion by Chow Yun-Fat. Jeffrey is an amiable enough sort, who also just happens to be a fearless, unstoppable assassin with a steely glare and a deadly accurate shot. But when he accidentally blinds a lovely torch singer named Jenny while mowing down about a dozen criminals in a crowded bar, Jeffrey finds some new meaning in his life by assuming responsibility for the woman, even going so far as to try to get her a vision-restoring cornea transplant. However, everything is far from hunky-dory for Jeffrey and his ward: after committing one last job to get the money for Jenny's operation, Jeffrey finds himself pursued by a small army of thugs as well as Chang and Li, two relentless detectives. Oh, and his best friend and associate Sidney has (temporarily) betrayed him. With all that's going on, the stage is set for a struggle on an operatic scale, with Chow giving his character just the right mix of warmth and gravity.

As one would expect from a film directed by Woo, with Chow in the starring role, "The Killer" contains more than its fair share of shootouts and chase scenes, all filmed with Woo's signature frenetic visual style. However, it's what happens when the movie slows down that sets it apart from the pack. "The Killer" is as much a drama as it is an action yarn, and it's a mighty good drama at that. There are a bunch of scenes here that got my adrenaline flowing, but even more impressive, some moments practically moved me to tears (emphasis on the word "practically"). Behind the constant action is an often-moving tale of devotion, honor, redemption, and friendship in the unlikely setting of the criminal underworld. The lines between good and bad, right and wrong, cop and criminal, are all blurred in a haze of moral ambiguity and divided loyalties. While Jeffrey and Sidney attempt to restore trust after Sidney's betrayal, an unlikely bond forms between Jeffrey and Li as the detective and the assassin realize they're not that different after all.

As the story unfolds, building toward the inevitable confrontation, the tension and the emotional stakes only rise along with the body count. Woo manages to elevate the crime drama to poetry, whether during a taut action sequence or a subdued conversation scene. The movie's deservedly legendary finale, involving a crazed gun battle inside a church, is the only appropriate conclusion. The viewer certainly needs some catharsis after such a harrowing journey, and Woo more than delivers the goods. "The Killer" is one of the few movies of its ilk that can legitimately be called art.

5-0 out of 5 stars =====Respect Hong Kong Cinema =======
===========Hong Kong action and John Woo should be greatly respected by Hollywood b/c most of his movies like THe Killer, Hard Boiled and The Better Tomorrow Series are being ripped off by Hollywood directors such as the movie "DESPERADO," "RESEVIOR DOGS" and etc. The Hong kong cinema should be credited by hollywood.==================== ... Read more


18. Hard-Boiled
Director: John Woo
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Asin: B000067J46
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Sales Rank: 44837
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (125)

5-0 out of 5 stars John Woo's "Hard Boiled", subtitled, widescreen
Arguable the best Hong Kong crime film produced this decade, John Woo's "Hard Boiled" is a masterpiece of gritty killers and even grittier cops shot in the traditional Hong Kong style. Chow Yun-Fat excells in this fast paced, and quite violent, production. This is a film not to be missed by fans of Woo, or Chow Yun-Fat. You cannot call yourself a Hong Kong cinema fan without seeing this movie. Be sure to view this film in its origional (subtitled) form, otherwise you will be laughing too hard at the rediculous dubbing rather then enjoying the brilliance that is Hard Boiled. Widescreen is also a plus. DO NOT MISS THIS FILM!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Chow Yun Fat does it again!
While Hard-Boiled is a notch below The Killer, it is still one of the best action movies in the past fifteen years. Chow Yun Fat is perfect as the cop who is willing to break the rules and Tony Leung is also great as the undercover Triad who has seemingly crossed the line. John Woo's over the top direction, choreographed gun fights, and wicked sense of humor, makes Hard Boiled a can't miss action flick. Buy it, rent it, whatever. Just strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. The scenes in the Tea-House and the Hospital are too incredible to describe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just the opening sequence will blow you away.
The opening sequence is IMHO the best John Woo's ever done. It might even be the best opening of any action film. Once again, a masterpiece of ballet, guns, bullets and bodies. Once again, the bluring of lines and sympathetic characters. If you like Hard Boiled, watch The Killer and A Better Tomorrow 1 and 2. And the ending of Hard Boiled... half an hour of pure action... unbelievable. And if you liked the lobby shoot out in The Matrix, then you have to watch some John Woo. I'm almost positive you'll like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great gunfighting action... Great directing...
As far as action movies go... I'm as big a John Woo fan as can be.. and I have to say that Hard Boiled, along with The Killer, A Better Tommorow, A.B.T.2, and Face/Off have to be my favorites in the genre. Chow is an amazingly talented actor both in dramatic and action sequences... It's movies like Hard Boiled that keep me playing arcade games with both guns blasting... I can't wait for King's Ransom to come out in theaters!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Action and killling, nuff said!!
One of the most exciting action movies I have ever seen. The drama is non stop and for some reason, nearly everybody dies. If you want low plot but killer scenes and non stop motion, this is it!! ... Read more


19. Once a Thief
Director: John Woo
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Asin: 6305120366
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Sales Rank: 31402
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20. The Killer
Director: John Woo
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Asin: B000067J45
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Sales Rank: 42032
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (124)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easily John Woo/Chow Yun Fat's best!
The Killer is a beautiful action/drama masterpiece. It is the best work I have yet to see done by both director John Woo and HK superstar Chow Yun Fat(both of whose movies I am familiar with.) The rest of the cast (including Danny Lee and Sally Yeh) are superb. The sheer grace and flair of the seamlessly choreographed gunfights to the poignancy of the gripping story of a professional hitman trying to cut clean, while gradually falling in love with a victim he accidently blinds in a shootout are all executed perfectly. This movie is not your standard action fare, as it goes deep into the mind of the killers, and depicts the characters trying to live a life that is honorable in a world that is so corrupt and sinister. The bottom line of the movie is quoted by CYF toward the beginning of the film: "Not everybody in this world is untrustworthy." Underlying the blazing guns and implied emotional battles, lies a tale of loyalty, trust and friendship. John Woo epitimizes this movie by proving that the action is not present simply for the sake of action, but instead for clean moviemaking and plot. As for the quality of the DVD itself, the picture is very clear for an older movie (1989) and the features and menu setup is very stylishly done... just don't watch the trailers, they do severe injustice to the featured films (The Killer and Hard Boiled) and contain spoilers. For hardcore HK movie buffs, the Cantonese language track with English subtitles is the definite route to take. The English track is butchered and incomplete, not to mention hard to understand and silly-sounding. I highly recomend watching this movie in it's original language (the way it was intended to be heard) as it is much more powerful this way. If you plan on purchasing this movie, though, I would instead recommend you buy the John Woo 2 DVD pack, which includes both this edition of The Killer and also Hard Boiled, another John Woo/CYF compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Hitman with a Heart
Because I'm a 13 year old boy(and a fan of Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo), I was just looking for the best action movie of all time. I ended up with something better, a dramatic, well though-out action film. It may not be "The Matrix", but "The Killer" was awesome. It was a movie filled with mayhem and bullets. And there was so much action. Jeffrey is a hitman with a heart who, during his last hit, accidentally blinds a woman with a gun. Because he's not a cold-hearted hitman, he decides to do one more hit to pay for an operation that will keep her from going blind. Lee is a cop who wants to stop Jeffrey from making his last hit. Jeffrey is betrayed by the mob that hired him and is put in war against all odds. Jeffrey and Lee put aside their differences to blur the line between them. Together they blast through the war leading to a climatic battle that is John Woo's best battle ever. Even though I'm only 13, I know good acting when I see it. This movie has been throned "THE Movie of Mayhem".Don't bother renting it, just buy the DVD.

"One Vicious Hitman. One Fierce Cop. Ten Thousand Bullets."

5-0 out of 5 stars John Woo & Chow Yun Fat...nuff said!
The Killer is the perfect example of cinema in its most powerful form. Expression...every bullet, every conversation & every scene just flows so beautifully & expressively it just blows me away. Unexplainable. Very deep & mythological story, unlike anything ive ever seen! U just have to see it. & see it. It will make u think to yourself, "what the hell is the average Hollywood budget gettin wasted on?? Promotion!!?? " John Woo on the other hand does not need $100,000,000 to truley express himself, hell, he doesn't even need the highest quality celluloid to make his films stunningly beatiful.. The Killer is no exception, John Woo is such a masterful director, no wonder why Hollywood have been ripping him off long before they invited him to join 'em!
& unlike most action films of mindless "invincibilty" plots & stupid reasons for massive shootouts, this has a cause for every piece of stunningly choerographed action...& consequences to join the equation.
If youve only seen Chow Yun Fat in his American films (Replacement Killers & Bulletproof Monk e.t.c), you really havent his true styles & capabilities. Get THE KILLER, & youll know why Hollywood have copied J.Woo's style of genius direction more times than a photo-copier has copied paper!
This is John Woo at his purest form, & Chow in his true style.
The John Woo & Chow Yun Fat combo is like the Sergio Leone & Clint Eastwood combo= Classics!
Get this if u like a deep, moving story, awesome acting, & action that sychronizes perfectly. (Also check out other J. Woo classics, Hard Boiled, A Better Tommorow 1 & 2, & Bullet in the Head!)
.....Nobody does action like Honk Kong...Nobody does Honk Kong like John Woo...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best...action movie...ever!
Filled with grit, emotion, and psychological depth, not to mention lots and lots of blood, "The Killer" is the kind of passion play that is seen all too rarely in any style of film, let alone the action genre. In fact, John Woo's Hong Kong shoot-'em-up masterpiece resembles nothing so much as Shakespeare with thousands of bullets flying around. In this case the role of the tragic hero is assumed by Jeffrey, played in career-defining fashion by Chow Yun-Fat. Jeffrey is an amiable enough sort, who also just happens to be a fearless, unstoppable assassin with a steely glare and a deadly accurate shot. But when he accidentally blinds a lovely torch singer named Jenny while mowing down about a dozen criminals in a crowded bar, Jeffrey finds some new meaning in his life by assuming responsibility for the woman, even going so far as to try to get her a vision-restoring cornea transplant. However, everything is far from hunky-dory for Jeffrey and his ward: after committing one last job to get the money for Jenny's operation, Jeffrey finds himself pursued by a small army of thugs as well as Chang and Li, two relentless detectives. Oh, and his best friend and associate Sidney has (temporarily) betrayed him. With all that's going on, the stage is set for a struggle on an operatic scale, with Chow giving his character just the right mix of warmth and gravity.

As one would expect from a film directed by Woo, with Chow in the starring role, "The Killer" contains more than its fair share of shootouts and chase scenes, all filmed with Woo's signature frenetic visual style. However, it's what happens when the movie slows down that sets it apart from the pack. "The Killer" is as much a drama as it is an action yarn, and it's a mighty good drama at that. There are a bunch of scenes here that got my adrenaline flowing, but even more impressive, some moments practically moved me to tears (emphasis on the word "practically"). Behind the constant action is an often-moving tale of devotion, honor, redemption, and friendship in the unlikely setting of the criminal underworld. The lines between good and bad, right and wrong, cop and criminal, are all blurred in a haze of moral ambiguity and divided loyalties. While Jeffrey and Sidney attempt to restore trust after Sidney's betrayal, an unlikely bond forms between Jeffrey and Li as the detective and the assassin realize they're not that different after all.

As the story unfolds, building toward the inevitable confrontation, the tension and the emotional stakes only rise along with the body count. Woo manages to elevate the crime drama to poetry, whether during a taut action sequence or a subdued conversation scene. The movie's deservedly legendary finale, involving a crazed gun battle inside a church, is the only appropriate conclusion. The viewer certainly needs some catharsis after such a harrowing journey, and Woo more than delivers the goods. "The Killer" is one of the few movies of its ilk that can legitimately be called art.

5-0 out of 5 stars =====Respect Hong Kong Cinema =======
===========Hong Kong action and John Woo should be greatly respected by Hollywood b/c most of his movies like THe Killer, Hard Boiled and The Better Tomorrow Series are being ripped off by Hollywood directors such as the movie "DESPERADO," "RESEVIOR DOGS" and etc. The Hong kong cinema should be credited by hollywood.==================== ... Read more


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