A Better Tomorrow

A Better Tomorrow

DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

Read Keith Dudhnath's film review of A Better Tomorrow

This new Ultimate Edition is head and shoulders above the Collector's Edition of a few years ago. The picture quality was so poor then that a plain white shirt looked like it had scales. Thankfully, the picture quality of the Ultimate Edition is vastly improved. It's not perfect, as the source material isn't top notch, but it's unlikely to get any better.

The audio quality hasn't been improved from the Collector's Edition. It still lacks the necessary punch. Thankfully the subtitling has been improved a little from last time. It was so bad before that you would be better off watching the disappointingly dubbed version, rather than watching it in the original language. The subtitling still doesn't feel like it does the film enough credit, but it's better than it was.

Copy picture

John Woo and Chow Yun Fat's interviews were also included on the Collector's Edition, but that also included an interview with Ti Lung. I don't know why you would replicate two interviews but not the third, but they're still just as run-of-the-mill as they ever were, so it's no great loss.

Thankfully, the major two extras are much better. Bay Logan is an expert on Hong Kong cinema. His commentary is an encyclopaedic barrage of facts from beginning to end. He barely stops to draw breath. It won't be to everyone's taste, as it demands every last shred of your attention, but it would be unfair to criticise it for this.

The Crossings feature is absolutely spot on. Rather than focussing on just A Better Tomorrow, it offers insights into the whole of John Woo's career. In most cases, features about one film are too insular, blinkered and are often only created to pad out a DVD. Crossings wouldn't be amiss as a short documentary about John Woo in its own right. Anyone with an interest in Hong Kong Cinema will lap up every last minute of it.

I wouldn't go so far as to call it the ultimate version of A Better Tomorrow, as there is still plenty of room for improvement, but it's much better than the shoddy earlier version.

Reviewed on: 16 Jan 2003
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A Better Tomorrow packshot
A gangster tries to quit the violence and reconcile with his cop brother.
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Product Code: OPTD0188

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0

Extras: Commentary by Bay Logan; Crossings: John Woo - 48 minute feature; interviews with John Woo and Chow Yun Fat.

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