Eye For Film >> Movies >> Flaming Brothers (1987) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Keith Hennessey BrownRead Keith Hennessey Brown's film review of Flaming Brothers
While Flaming Brothers comes across as more a curio than a genuine classic, it's pleasing to see that Hong Kong Legends has not skimped on its presentation of the film on this Region 2 DVD.
Image quality, while not outstanding, is more than adequate, being another decent 16:9 anamorphic enhanced (re)mastering job that is essentially free from scratches, damage and artefacting - other than a slightly distracting line across the image near the end - and which presents the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
The English and Cantonese tracks have both been given the 6.1 treatment, a move which added an extra element to the gunplay scenes, while the English subtitles are legible throughout and mercifully free from translation goofs.
Bey Logan's commentary is, as usual, of a high standard. Though he rambles a touch at times, there is no disputing that he really knows his stuff, providing all manner of background detail on the film, its cast and crew and the heroic bloodshed/gangster genre in general. Fans will get a lot out of it.
The interview with director Joe Cheung runs 45 minutes and splits into two parts.
The first discusses Flaming Brothers and, while inevitably reiterating much of what is in Logan's commentary, such as the use of Macau because the architecture in Hong Kong changes too rapidly for there to be many period buildings left, it is worthwhile in its own right for providing insights into the filmmaking process from the director's perspective.
The second focusses on the present situation, where Cheung is heavily involved with the Hong Kong Film Director's Guild, an organisation that is attempting to develop the organisation and infrastructure of the industry in the hope of improving on its present somewhat parlous state and get back to something more akin to the glory days of the Eighties. Here, he talks about the problems of piracy, low-budget copycat productions, forcing the good films out of the market, and the need for the industry to move away from its overemphasis on pretty boy pop idol types with little or no training and/or ability as actors.
While the casual fan might not find such discussions terribly interesting, they do illustrate HKL's genuine commitment to its product; one that would put many of the bigger studios to shame.
The UK and Hong Kong trailers for the film, along with a showcase gallery for other HKL product round off a nice package.Reviewed on: 15 Jun 2003