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John Woo:King of Gunfire News Column

Here are some recent news I obtained on John Woo and his future projects.Note:this page not only features news on John Woo but also on actor Chow Yun Fat

25/11/99:Anchor Bay To Release A Better Tomorrow 1 and 2 On DVD
"Anchor Bay has acquired rights to two of director John Woo's early classics. A BETTER TOMORROW and A BETTER TOMORROW II will be released sometime next year with supplements and features to be determined at a later date. It is Anchor Bay's intention to secure the most complete versions of these films for their eventual release." Hmm,it would be interesting to see how this DVD will fare against its' other counterparts (Media Asia, MIA & Jap) I already purchase the MIA UK version which happens to be regionless but have yet to play it as I'm away from home right now (I'm studying in the UK right now) The MIA UK version sounds pretty decent but it's way too limited for DVD as it only contains the original Cantonese version (yes mono 2.0!)with English subtitles.

23/11/99: Criterion's Hard Boiled edition soon to be out-of-print
From Criterion's website:
"From time-to-time it is necessary for us to cease production on a title when our distribution agreement expires. Such is the case now with HARD BOILED. While we are trying to extend our deal, we are no longer able to manufacture any new discs. We are aware, however, of its availability at many on-line retailers."
It should be noted that Mei Ah will release their own Hard Boiled DVD (without the extras on the Criterion DVD) in about 2-4 weeks. The trailer for Hard Boiled has popped up on its Moonlight Express DVD and its DVD demo disc, DVD Megashow. It remains to be seen if it will be the uncut version or if it will be the cut version that appeared on the Hong Kong laserdisc put out by Golden Cinema City.
The news is taken from Hong Kong Films on DVD which is an excellent site for DVD buffs like myself.
My advice is get the Hard Boiled DVD now before the price starts to skyrocket like The Killer. Given Hard Boiled's international appeal the price might even surpass The Killer Criterion DVD, especially when Mission Impossible II opens everywhere in cinemas next year. Don't say I didn't warn you...

30/07/99:Mission Impossible II release date delayed till May 2000
The release date for director John Woo current project, Mission Impossible II has been moved to May 2000, five months from its' initial December 1999. Shooting for the movie has already been delayed several times due to script, budgetary and personnel problems including crew members who opted to work on the Chow Yun-Fat/ Jodie Foster movie Anna and the King.

28/07/99: The Killer MP3 available for download
You can now download the full version of Sally Yeh's beautiful ballad theme song for The Killer from A Website Never Dies

07/07/99: The Corruptor DVD schedule for release on Oct 1999
More on the Corruptor,according to DVD Empire The Corruptor DVD is schedule for release on 8th October 1999 under the New Line Platinum Series. Among the extras promised for the DVD includes Audio Commentary by director James Foley,Original Theatrical Trailer,Behind the Scenes Featurettes and Music Videos from Best Selling Soundtrack. Looks really good, let's hope it does better in home video sales than box-office takings. For more information, check out the DVD Empire

09/06/99: The Corruptor home video released in Malaysia
The Corruptor home video has just been released in Malaysia under the local distributor Speedy Video. It is available in VHS format and Video CD though the DVD which is imported from overseas has yet to come in.
Being impatient to wait for the DVD ( and eager to re-live the action in the film), I bought the Video CD because it came in a really cool collector's box and the picture quality is pretty good, though it can't match the quality of a DVD.
Those living in Malaysia, I definitely recommend you check out home video today at your local video store.
For more information on Chow's second Hollywood outing and my review of the film, check out Chow Yun-Fat: God of Actors

29/04/99:Vinnie Jones joins MI2 cast
Soccer star Vinnie Jones,who made an explosive debut in Lock,Stock and Two Smoking Barrels has been signed on to play a secret agent in the forth-coming Mission Impossible II.The thriller has begun shooting in Australia's new Fox Studio,with John Woo directing.

15/03/99:Return of Hollywood's Cool Caper
The following news on the much-anticipatedKing's Ransom was taken from a recent newspaper:
John Woo,an inveterate film buff as well as a top action director is proud to make a film in tradition of the great '60s capers,which he adored while growing up in Hong Kong.
He believes the genre will only work today by abandoning the dominant reality-based tone of the last couple of decades.
"I find nowadays people need some dreams to get their minds off their troubles",says Woo."I intend to make a very romantic,funny movie to try and give some hope"It would definitely be a departure for Woo.Not surprisingly, given Woo stylistic bravado and unrivalled appetite for cinematic assimilation,he plans on pushing the caper in an entirely new direction. "I'm thinking of using a European style like Jules and Jim",Woo says. "There will be a musical tone with comic-book action.There are two action sequences:the heist itself,in which circus performers utilise their acrobatic skills,and the shoot-out,which resembles a western.
If the heist sounds familiar,it should.Its acrobatic solution is right out of Topkapi ,one of Woo's favorites ,which utilised acrobatic wrestlers to rob the famed Turkish museum.He considers the Jules Dassin film a blueprint for all successful '60s capers."I miss all those kinds of capers movies becuase they were so elegant ,intelligent and romantic,There's no limit to what you can do."
Woo's caper,King's Ransom which is in development at Fox,concerns two violate lovers and former circus performers who steals a special work of art from San Francisco's Deyong Meseum that belongs to their mentor. The film will probably be made after Woo directs the Mission Impossible sequel,like it's Brian De Palma-directed predecessor will flaunt action set-pieces right out of the caper film book.

05/12/98:Updates on the Hard Boiled 2
Regarding a e-mail I recieved earlier,I would like to clear out some things on Hard Boiled 2.
For those fans of Hard Boiled who are eagerly waiting the sequel,don't get your hopes up too high because this rumour sequel is not likely to be made soon,due to several reasons.
Even if the sequel does surface,it will take a long time cos both John Woo and Chow Yun Fat has confirmed that King Ransom will be their re-union project and NOT Hard Boiled 2.
First of all,John Woo is very much interested in several other projects like the musical Phantom of the Opera and the animated film,Blue Planet and these project will likely take more than a year to complete.Woo has already sign on to direct the sequel to Mission Impossible so he will most probably spend 1999 working on the film.
Also,given John Woo dislike for sequel,the chances of Hard Boiled 2 is indeed pretty slim.

But don't get upset over this news as John did mention about Hard Boiled 2 in a recent interview so it's just a matter of time before we hear more about this.


31/10/98:Anna and The King to be shot in Malaysia?
Good news for Chow fans in Malaysia,including yours truly.There has been talks about Chow Yun Fat's next film,Anna and The King being shot in Malaysia. Thailand's Film Board has refused to permit a new version of Anna and The King of Siam to be filmed in the country,saying it insults the monarchy. The new film by 20th Century Fox starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun Fat titledAnna and The King is a remake of the 1946 film.The producers are exploring the option of filming in Malaysia,keep your fingers crossed.


24/10/98-Chow Yun Fat at Omega's Golf Tournament in Crans-Montana,Switzerland
Chow Yun-Fat recently appeared on the 1998 Omega Golf Tournament as one of the spokepersons for Hong Kong along with Full Contact co-star Simon Yam and The Killer co-star Sally Yeh.

Here is the article on Chow from a local newspapers:

"Despite interest in Asian actors in Hollywood these days,it's still tough to break into the American market.Sure,you get to read tons of scripts but very few offer interesting roles for Asian actors" says Chow Yun Fat

The Hong Kong star-who made a name in Tinseltown early this year with his first American moive,The Replacement Killers(alongside Ocsar-winner Mira Sorvino)- is however,not complaining.

After all,Chow who is based in United States has just finish filming Oliver Stone's The Corrupter(with Mark Wahlberg,star of The Big Hit)He will soon begin work on Anna and The King The King and I,which will be helmed by new director,Randy Tenant.

"but even if I keep getting offers to act in action movies in America,I'd continue doing it.Action movies are known to be crowd-pullers so why not take advantage of it?"

"Once the audiences is familiar with the name Chow Yun Fat,I'd then be able to convince the studios that I'm also capable of varrying dramatic roles" says Chow in an interview in Crans-Montana,Switzerland where he was one of the Omega's guests


13/09/98:News on Chow Yun Fat's up-coming film,The Corrupter

Filming has just finished on The Corrupter which teams rising star Mark Wahlberg with Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun Fat.Shot in Manhattan and Toronto(by now the established,cut-priced double means streets of the Big Apple),Wahlberg plays a rookie cop attached to triad-influenced detective Fat.
Although Wahlberg's character goes along with the corruption,he's actually an Internal Affairs officer forced to face the conflict between depending on his partner for life while at the same time,investigating him.This US/HK connection continues with the producers:Chang has produced many of John Woo's films while Oilver Stone stands in the Yank corner.Director's James Foley's previous mixed bag includes Who's That Girl?,episodes of Twin Peaks and Glengary Geln Ross.


12/9/98:News on John Woo/Chow Yun Fat collaboration King's Ransom

John Woo's proposed Chow Yun Fat-collaboration King's Ransom, is being described as a 60s-style heist movie,similar in tone to Once A Thief which also stars Chow Yun Fat.Rumours has it that John Travolta(from Face/Off) or Tom Cruise(Mission Impossible) may star opposite Chow.


12/6/98:Blackjack not aired on Woo Fare

The latest John Woo opus,Blackjack is set to hit the airwaves with Dolph Lundgren in the lead.However even the maestro himself seems to have reservations about his latest small-screen venture,declined to air the pilot at this year Woo FantAsia fest.


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