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All About Ah Long
|     review    |     awards     |     availability     |
Chinese: 阿郎的故事
Sylvia Chang and Chow Yun-Fat
Year: 1989
Director: Johnnie To Kei-Fung
Producer: Raymond Wong Bak-Ming
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Sylvia Chang, Wong Kwan-Yuen, Ng Man-Tat, Wong Tin-Lam
The Skinny: Lauded melodrama starring Chow Yun-Fat and Sylvia Chang which is certainly touching, though more as a function of sentimentality than actual sentiment.
 
Review
by Kozo:

Johnnie To's punishing melodrama gives us Chow Yun-Fat as weíve never seen him before: with bad hair. Chow is Ah-Long, a single father who works as a construction driver and moonlights as a motorcycle racer. He shares a whimsical, fun relationship with his son Porky (Wong Kwan-Yuen). Then mommy (Sylvia Chang) pops up, disrupting everything. Sylvia is now a well-off commercial director living in America and Chow is happy to see her because he still loves her even after ten whole years. Sylvia is shocked at discovering Porky (she thought he was dead, donít ask why), but soon she warms to him and eventually wants to take him back to the States. But she doesnít want to take Ah-Long, which is pretty awful for Chow. 

Subject matter-wise, youíd have to be dead not be be touched by what goes on, and Chow is incredibly charismatic and likable even when he plays a heel with bad hair. However, some of what happens is laughable and the whole motorcycle-racing subplot seems to come out of nowhere simply to provide a dramatic finish to the film. Sure itís affecting and emotional, but given the previous ninety minutes itís also totally gratuitous. In the end, itís not unlikely that youíll feel jerked around. Director Johnnie To apparently never met a montage he didnít like, as can be exhibited by this movie and the montage-fest called Executioners. (Kozo 1995)

 
Awards: 9th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Winner - Best Actor (Chow Yun-Fat)
• Nomination - Best Picture
• Nomination - Best Director (Johnnie To Kei-Fung)
• Nomination - Best Actress (Sylvia Chang)
• Nomination - Best Supporting Actor (Wong Kwan-Yuen)
• Nomination - Best Screenplay (Ng Man-Fai, Philip Cheng Chung-Tai)
• Nomination - Best New Artist (Wong Kwan-Yuen)
• Nomination - Best Original Score (Law Tai-Yau, Lo Sai-Kit)
• Nomination - Best Song ("Ah Long's Love Song", performed by Sam Hui Koon-Kit)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co.,
Ltd.
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc

image courtesy of Universe Laser & Video Co., Ltd.

   
   
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