Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 14th, 2013
BluRay released: February 12th, 2012
Approximate running time: 110 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Wi-heom-han gyan-gye or if you prefer under its English language title Dangerous Liaisons is a world renowned story about decadent aristocrat’s corrupting those less fortunate then for nothing more than their perverse pleasure.
Those this story was written over two hundred and thirty years ago in France by an author named Choderlos de Laclos. Not much has since changed in the interviewing years, when this film has been adapted numerous times for the silver screen. At the core of this decadent tale is a story that remains timeless not matter what time period it takes place in.
This brings us to the latest adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons. This Chinese production takes place in Shanghai in the early part of the 1930’s. And while there have been some very minor changes to the source material. Most notably making the film more regional and thus ensuring its translates well with Chinese cinema goers. These changes thankfully are so minor that the core of the story remains and no matter where you come from. This film underlying message of corruption through seduction is as potent as ever.
From a production stand point, this film’s visuals are fest for the eyes that perfectly accentuates the decadent behavior running rampant throughout. At just under two hours pacing is never an issue, as this flawlessly unfolded from one tragedy into the next. And most importantly the performances from the entire cast are exceptional as they as rise to the challenge of putting their imprint on a story that has had countless interpretations. With this film’s most remarkable performance coming from Dong-gun Jang (My Way) in the role of Xie Yifan, a world class womanizer. Another standout performance of note is Ziyi Zhang (House of the Flying Daggers) in the role of Du Fenyu, the object of Xie Yifan’s seduction.
Dangerous Liaisons comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This is a solid transfer that boasts vivid colors, healthy looking flesh tones, strong black and contrast levels and details always look crisp. There are no problems with compression or edge enhancement.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin. The audio mixes provided for this release are both very good as dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include trailers for the film (6 minutes 56 seconds -a anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles), three ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment, the first one with actress Ziyi Zhang the second one with actor Dong-gun Jang and the third one with actress Cecilia Cheung (4 minutes 57 seconds -a anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles) and a ‘Making of’ featurette (16 minutes 22 seconds -a anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles) with comments from the cast the director. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Dangerous Liaisons gets a first rate release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.