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Lost in Thailand (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 17, 2014 by  



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“Lost in Thailand” is the the highest grossing film in China for a reason.  It’s so much fun, so awkward, so unexpected and ultimately enjoyable from beginning to end!  A delightful film that I highly recommend!

Images courtesy of © 2012 Beijing Enlight Pictures Co. Ltd.. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Lost in Thailand

FILM RELEASE: 2013

DURATION: 105 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English subtitles

COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment

RATED: Not Rated

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Directed by Zheng Xu

Written by Ding Ding, Huan Shu, Zheng Xu

Produced by Abe Kwong, Zheng Xu

Co-Produer: Chi-leung Chan

Executive Producer: Xiaoping Li, Chang-tian Wang, Yuang Yu

Music by Howie B., Oue Ge Deng, Yingjun Zhao

Cinematography by Xiofei Song

Edited by Yi Ran Tu

Production Design by Yi Hao

Art Direction by Yi Hao

Starring:

Zheng Xu as Xu Lang

Baoqiang Wang as Wang Bao

Bo Huang as Gao Bo

Hong Tao as Xu Lang’s wife

Bingbing Fan as herself

Ron Smoorenburg as The Russian

Smashing every box office record to date, LOST IN THAILAND is the highest-grossing film in China’s history. Two rival businessmen (Xu Zheng and Huang Bo) must track down their boss at a Buddhist temple to secure a patent on a revolutionary new fuel additive. Xu catches the first plane to Bangkok, where his plans are delayed by the happy-go-lucky Wang (Wang Baoqiang), an unexpected travel companion who will open his eyes to life’s true priorities.

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From the brilliant minds who created the 2010 sleeper hit “Lost on Journey” are back with a followup (non-related) film titled “Lost in Thailand”.

The film marks the directorial debut of actor/producer Zheng Xu (“Crazy Racer”, “Crossed Lines”, “Call For Love”) and stars Zheng, Wang Baoqiang (“Blind Shaft”, “A World Without Thieves”, “A Touch of Sin”) and Huang Bo (“Kung Fu Dunk”, “Guns and Roses”, “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zen”).

The film became the highest grossing film in China surpassing “Titanic”, “Painted Skin: The Resurrection” and “Avatar” which held the previous box office record in China.

And now “Lost in Thailand” will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment.

“Lost in Thailand” begins with scientist Xu Lang (portrayed by Zheng Xu) who has invented “Supergas”, which may revolutionize various industries, as it increases the volume of any liquid to which the solution is applied.  And that can mean great profit for the company.  But in order to make it all happen, he needs the authorization of the company’s biggest shareholder, Lao Zhou, to sign off an authorization for more funding.

He knows that this is the opportunity to be wealthy and he has sacrificed everything to make Supergas, including any family time for his wife and daughter (who wants to divorce him and take their child away).

But as Xu Lang has his eyes set in going to Thailand to meet with ZhengXu, his former friend and now rival at work, Gao Bo (portrayed by Huang Bo), wants to sell the invention to a French company for a quick profit for the company.

Xu Lang knows that Gao Bo is up to no good, so Xu Lang tries to find ways of thwarting Huang Bo from following him.  But knowing that Lao Zhou is in Thailand, he heads to the country.

And he happens to be seated next to an eccentric and naive man named Wang Bao (portrayed by Baoqiang Wang), a scallion pancake cook who is heading to Thailand to fulfill his dream honeymoon (his wannabe wife is actress Fan Bingbing) and wants to go enjoy a Thai spa, fight a Muay Thai master, take pictures of various locations he visits, meet ladyboys but most importantly, plant a health plant (his lucky cactus) in Thailand.

While Xu Lang looks at Wang Bao as very odd, Wang Bao somehow becomes attached to Xu Lang wherever he goes.

But once they arrive in Thailand, Wang Bao will not leave Xu Lang’s site and wants him to add him on the social media site via Weibo and to be friends and keep in contact with each other.  But as Xu Lang is about to ditch Wang Bao, he sees Gao Bo arrive and thinking that he may be traced via his cell phone, Xu Lang ditches his cell phone in Wang Bao’s bag.

Feeling that he successfully ditched Wang Bao and his rival Gao Bo, while heading to his hotel room, Wang Bao seems to have found Xu Lang.  Wang Bao tells him he forgot his wallet in China and that he found Xu Lang’s phone in his bag and wanted to return it.  Feeling bad for Wang Bao, Xu Lang allows Wang Bao to stay in his hotel room for the night.

As the two leave to eat dinner at a restaurant, Gao Bo manages to convince the concierge of the hotel to allow him inside Xu Lang’s room, where he tries to get information on the location of Lao Zhou.

At the restaurant, Xu Lang hears about his success of Wang Bao’s scallion pancake business, he tries to give him advice on how he can make millions by creating restaurants all over China.  While at the restaurant, they see a few ladyboys which Wang Bao tries to take a picture of them, but angers them as they are trying to pickup on a Russian man.

As the two head back to their hotel room, Xu Lang discovers that Gao Bo is in the same hotel.  Xu Lang asks Wang Bao to find the room that Gao Bo is staying and ask him to enter his room and find a way to take his passport away.  He makes up a story that he slept with Gao Bo’s wife and now Gao Bo wants revenge.  Despite being disappointed for Xu Lang sleeping with a married man’s wife, because he and Xu Lang have formed a team known as “The Legends of Thailand”, as a partner, he wants to help Xu Lang.

And as Xu Lang tries to get one step ahead in finding Lao Zhou and sign off on the supergas documents, somehow Wang Bao accidentally interferes, while Gao Bo also getting close to thwarting Xu Lang’s attempt to find Lao Zhou.

Who will get to Lao Zhou first, Xu Lang or Gao Bo?  And will the eccentric Wang Bao, somehow interfere with both men’s chances?

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VIDEO:

“Lost in Thailand” is presented in 1080p High Definition and the cinematography of Xiaofei Song is absolutely gorgeous.  Wide angle shots are breathtaking, capturing various locations of Thailand, may it be the city, a shopping village, jungle area, each scene looks beautiful and captured rather nicely.  Colors are vivid and vibrant in HD.  Closeups offer amazing detail of the actors, skin tones are natural, black levels are nice and deep and the film looks absolutely gorgeous on Blu-ray!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Lost in Thailand” is presented in Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and features a lossless soundtrack that has crystal clear dialogue, music and offers a good amount of surround sound for crowd ambiance and action scenes.   Overall, a lossless soundtrack that is appropriate for this film.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Lost in Thailand” comes with the following special features:

  • Making Of – (16:25) Interviews with the director/actor  Zheng Xu and the cast of “Lost in Thailand”.
  • Trailer – (1:20) Theatrical trailer for “Lost in Thailand”.

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I’ve watched many Chinese films with a lot of humor and while many have that Chinese New Year style, which are funny but not necessarily good films, “Lost in Thailand” is a film that delivers with humor, the most awkward moments and a unique approach that I have never saw in a film.

A film about two total opposites lost in Thailand, the business and serious-minded inventor, Xu Lang and the eccentric and unusual Wang Bao, you can watch this film and literally be captivated because something unknown and unexpected will happen.

Typically, there is a banality with Asian cinema and you know how things will be or how things will end and once in awhile, there is some film that will just surprise you.

But for “Lost in Thailand”, it’s so awkward, crazy and unexpected that just when you think something will slowdown for the two characters, something constantly happens and it’s a style that continually reaches out to you non-stop and makes you wonder, how bad will things get with these two, will Xu Lang ditch Wang Bao? Will these two survive by the end of the film?  How far will Xu Lang’s rival Gao Bo go?

Part of the efficacy of the film aside from its unusual nature is the beautiful cinematography of Xiaofei Song.  Each scene, there is meaning for the location shots rather than for the fact that they found a place to shoot at.  The environment plays an important part for the film.  May it be the two getting caught in the tide of a river.  The two falling from a hill.  The two crashing into a shopping area.  One by one, there is something going to happen and it’s fun, chaotic mayhem.

As Zheng Xu does a great job directing and acting in the film, the person that steals ever scene is actor Baoqiang Wang.  His role as the eccentric Wang Bao is possibly the most far-out character I have seen in a Chinese film.

From his care-free style and appearance, suffice to say, he’s a man full of surprises and often, his naive and not so smart attitude, tends to get Zheng Xu and even Gao Bo into trouble.  But his intentions are never malicious, it’s just how he is.

And because of the success of “Lost in Thailand”, I hope for a third film but I also hope to see a return of Zheng Xu and Gao Bo once again!  These two characters are rather fascinating together and I wouldn’t mind seeing the two characters once again and following the same fun, awkward storyline and being lost in another country.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is beautiful.  Cinematography managed to capture Thailand’s beauty on camera and the lossless soundtrack is quite appropriate with crystal clear dialogue, music and also surround usage for action scenes and ambiance.  As for special features, you get the usual making of featurette and theatrical trailer.

Overall, “Lost in Thailand” is the the highest grossing film in China for a reason.  It’s so much fun, so awkward, so unexpected and ultimately enjoyable from beginning to end!  A delightful film that I highly recommend!

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