Lady Cop & Papa Crook (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
March 19, 2010 by Dennis Amith
Sammi Cheng returned to the big screen with “Lady Cop & Papa Crook” alongside fellow pop star Eason Chan. A film that goes back and forth between romantic comedy and serious crime action, the Blu-ray release features awesome picture quality and a wonderful lossless soundtrack.
© 2008 Media Asian Films (BVI) Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Lady Cop & Papa Crook
DURATION: 98 Minutes – Director’s Cut, 91 Minutes – Theatrical Version
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1920x1080p), Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese, Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1, Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese
COMPANY: Tai Seng Entertainment
RATED: IIB (Not Suitable for Young People or Children)
Written and Directed by Felix Chong, Alan Mak
Executive Producer: John Chong, Guizhi Xue
Producer: John Chong
Production Executive: Lorraine Ho, Ronald Wong
Music by Kwong Wing Chan
Cinematography by Yuen Man Fung
Edited by Chi-Leung Kwong
Production Design by Bruce Yu
Art Direction by Stanley Cheung
Costume Design by Steven Tsang
Sammi Cheng as Senior Inspector Maureen Szeto
Eason Chan as John Fok
Tak-bun Wong as Darren
Yong Dong as Zhao Tiahe
Daoyong Lu as Yang
Dongwei Wang as Dong
Buzz Chung as Jimmy Fok
Leonora Pumar as Imelda
Stephanie Che as Vivian
Jo Kuk as Joey
Michelle Lo as Jenny
Conroy Chan Chi-Chung as Michael
A saucy female cop and a ruthless Triad boss form an uneasy alliance when they’re forced to team up to track down the crook’s kidnapped son in this fast-paced mix of action, comedy, and suspense from Hong Kong. Pop diva Sammi Cheng stars along with Eason Chan, Guoli Zhang; co-written and co-directed by “Infernal Affairs” scribes Felix Chong and Siu Fai Mak
Two of Hong Kong’s most popular talent and pop stars – Sammi Cheng and Eason Chan. For Eason Chan, he is still in the main forefront of cinema and music while Sammi Cheng had been on hiatus and taking a break from the entertainment industry.
“Lady Cop & Papa Crook” is Sammi’s return to cinema since her 2005 film “Everlasting Regret” and brings back the romantic comedy side of Cheng and the serious side of Eason Chan films. Fortunately, the film has two talented directors and writers involved with Alan Mak (writer of the “Infernal Affairs” films, director for “A War Named Desire”, “Final Romance”, “Rave Fever”) and Felix Chong (writer for “Infernal Affairs” films, “Tokyo Raiders”, “Initial D”).
The writing duo wanted to create a film that would feature the cops and gangsters having to work together to solve a case and being stuck in one place.
“Lady Cop & Papa Crook” revolves around a illegal diesel kingpin named John Fok (played by Eason Chan). One day as Hong Kong and mainland Chinese were trying to arrest one of his men, the police chase ends tragically as an innocent mother and her son were killed in an accident. Despite being an underground kingpin, John cares for his family including his pregnant wife and his young six-year-old named Jimmy.
Meanwhile, Senior Inspector Maureen Szeto (played by Sammi Cheng) is known for solving cases and busting criminals. Her personal life is not as great as she has been dating a sculptor for a decade and their relationship has not really progressed. In fact, she hasn’t had sex for a long time and she has been waiting for marriage and literally losing her patience.
Both John Fok and Maureen Szeto’s path would cross when Fok’s son is kidnapped. The kidnappers want $80 million dollars while his family members full of members of the Triad or his own organization want to find Jimmy on their own but Szeto who is assigned to the case, reminds Fok that most kidnappings are done by family members and people they know. Chances are that one of the people in his family have some involvement and that the police are known to solve these cases.
Fearing that his child may be killed, John Fok decides to have this uneasy alliance between his family members along with the Szeto and the Hong Kong police. Tempers clash and even the mainland Chinese police force are not too thrilled that Szeto and the HK police are aiding a criminal organization in their case. Will Senior Inspector Maureen Szeto find the young boy in time?
“Lady Cop & Papa Crook” looks gorgeous on Blu-ray. Cinematography by Yuen Man Fung showcases an artistic side as he uses colors to great effect. Each scene, you can expect blues, reds and sometime a filter utilizing grays with color bursting out. Definitely an HK film that utilizes HD quite effectively.
Blacks are nice and deep, I didn’t notice any edge enhancement or major compression artifacts.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Lady Cop & Papa Crook” comes with a crystal clear lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Cantonese soundtrack and also a Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese and Mandarin soundtrack. During the action sequences, you can expect to hear an immersive soundtrack with glass break, vehicles crashing, explosions, etc. Surround channels are used quite effectively throughout the film, especially during the musical sequences. Front channel and center channel feature the dialogue and music and for the most part, dialogue is clear and understandable.
Subtitles are in English and for the most part, English subtitles are well-done with maybe two instances where the subtitles translates “$80 million” to “$80 millions” but having had watched a fair share of Asian cinema with bad subtitling, the subtitles for this film are good and easily readable.
“Lady Cop & Papa Crook” comes with the following special features (note: There following special feature are only in Chinese, no English subtitles):
- Making of Featurette 1
- Making of Featurette 2
- Making of Featurette 3
For those of you who are familiar with HK films, Sammi Cheng has always been an actress known for romantic comedies. If anything, one would wonder since her breakout with films such as “Feel 100%” and “Needing You” if we would see a Julia Roberts style of transition. The ability for her to take on a main lead role outside of her comfort zone and shine.
With “Lady Cop and Papa Crook”, Sammi Cheng plays a police officer and you wonder, could this film be her breakout serious role? But with this film directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, the film tries to incorporate Eason Chan and his scenes being more towards the serious side when showing him working in the Triad and then you get Sammi Cheng who plays the comedic cop but yet worrying about if her boyfriend will marry her?
In other words, you still get the romantic comedy Sammi Cheng during her scenes and then you get the serious Triad film with Eason Chan’s scenes. The film is enjoyable but among Sammi’s films, this is not her best but it’s her best looking film courtesy of it being on Blu-ray.
For the Blu-ray release, included is the director’s cut which has about seven more minutes and the original theatrical cut. The director’s cut has a more fleshed out extended alternate ending that I prefer.
As for audio, definitely really good use with the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track. From the action scenes to the music, surround channels were used and even a little LFE.
But I do have one bone to pick with this release with Tai Seng Entertainment. Why did they forget to include the English subtitles with the special features. You have three special features included and although the subtitle option is there, they don’t work. Sure, this is no different from me having to import the releases since the HK releases tend to only focus on the main film but I figured with Tai Seng and distributing it to the US, they would at least include the English subtitles on the special features and makes me wonder if other Tai Seng Entertainment releases are like that.
But overall, “Lady Cop and Papa Crook” is a fun and entertaining film. And if you can find a good deal on this Blu-ray release and are an HK or Asian cinema fan, it’s definitely worth checking out.
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