Tai Seng Video Marketing
Cast: Cherie Chung, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang
Extras: Synopsis, Trailer, Biographies
During the 80s, Hong Kong brought forth a good number of fantasy films and especially spurred by the success of Tsui Hark’s 1987 ’A Chinese Ghost Story’ other films meddled with the same themes. ’Golden Swallow’ is one such film, released in 1988. It blends many elements of ’A Chinese Ghost Story’ with other legendary elements, such as the story of ’Green Snake’ – put on screen in 1993 also by Tsui Hark. As a result the film sometimes comes across as a tad uninspired since very little new is introduced and the pacing of the film is a bit sluggish. Nonetheless, fans of the genre will certainly enjoy this film and love the ethereal ghost scenes with backlit sheer flying all over the place and a romantic love story that is touching at the very least.
Tai Seng is presenting ’Golden Swallow’ as an import disc here. The widescreen transfer is not anamorphic but nonetheless renders a good-looking image with fairly good definition. The image is noticeably soft throughout, however, as a result of the low bitrate used to run the video stream. Sadly the print is showing excessive speckles at times – especially during the film’s opening – and throughout minor blemishes are evident. Still, I had no trouble enjoying the film, though the image quality could certainly be improved upon. Colors are strong and the transfer is mostly free of distracting compression artifacts.
The DVD contains the movie’s original Cantonese language track alongside a Mandarin dub. Both tracks are well produced and have good frequency response without distortion or sibilance. Surround usage is limited but well integrated whenever coming into play. A variety of subtitles are also part of the release.
A brief synopsis of the film as well as cast biographies are also included on the DVD as the only extras.
’Golden Swallow’ is a solid film for genre fans. It has some great humorous moments and a solid cast of characters. Some martial arts and swordplay as well as many cool flying and ghost scenes make it a very entertaining film.
This DVD is currently not carried by most retailers. In order to obtain a copy of ’Golden Swallow’ you may want to visit Tai Seng’s website directly at http://www.taiseng.com