32.2 C
New York
Monday, July 15, 2024
Advertisement

The Tiger Cage Collection (Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film (Tiger Cage)
The Film (Tiger Cage II)
The Film (Tiger Cage III)
The Video (Tiger Cage)
The Video (Tiger Cage II)
The Video (Tiger Cage III)
The Audio (Tiger Cage)
The Audio (Tiger Cage II)
The Audio (Tiger Cage III)
The Supplements (Overall)
Overall

SUMMARY

Three Hong Kong police thrillers featuring all-star casts choreographed and directed by Yuen Woo-Ping (The Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

Estimated reading time: 0 minutes

The Tiger Cage Collection from Shout! Factory includes the three police thrillers, Tiger Cage (1988), Tiger Cage II (1990), and Tiger Cage III (1991). Directed and choreographed by Yuen Woo-Ping (Kill Bill Vol. I & II; The Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) these three films feature high-octane fights, many dazzling gunplay sequences, and all-star casts of Hong Kong stars, including Donnie Yen (Ip Man, John Wick 4) and Simon Yam (Election, PTU)

Tiger Cage follows a group of cops targeting a drug ring only to find that members of their own team have ties to the drug syndicate. Propelled by an excellent performance from Carol ‘Do Do’ Cheng as Insp. Shirley Ho Hsueh-Ling and Simon Yam as Insp. Michael Huang, the film has plenty of twists, brutal fights, and a quick pace.

Tiger Cage II is not a direct sequel to the original film but is more a continuation of the themes of the first film. Donnie Yen (who had a minor role in the original) takes the lead in this one as Dragon Yau, a Hong Kong cop who begins the film having one of the worst days of his life. We meet him as he is in a lawyer’s office with his wife demanding a divorce. While leaving he is caught in the middle of a violent robbery attempt and is framed for the murders.

Dragon must go on the run from the cops and Triads with the very woman, Mandy (Rosamund Kwan Chi-lam), who labeled him one of the criminals. The two unlikely partners try to solve the robbery and the murder of Mandy’s friend. This film seems to up the ante on action over the original film, but also can be a bit more difficult to follow.

Tiger Cage III jumps the shark or nukes the refrigerator. A whole new cast and set of characters are brought on and there is no Donnie Yen. The film follows forthright cop James (Cheung Kwok-leung) who works for the Commercial Crime Bureau. James targets a corrupt businessman Lee Siu-pong (Wong Kam-kong) and comes across information which was being used to blackmail Lee. Lee in turn kidnaps James’ girlfriend Suki (Sharla Cheung Man) and leaves him severely injured in an explosion. Months of recovery later, James once again pursues Lee. The film lacks the same level of thrills and the sort of cast that can carry the somewhat convoluted script, but Yuen Woo-Ping’s direction, choreography, and use of special effects is still top notch.

  • Donnie Yen in Tiger Cage (1988)
  • Carol 'Do Do' Cheng in Tiger Cage (1988)
  • Carol 'Do Do' Cheng in Tiger Cage (1988)
  • Carol 'Do Do' Cheng in Tiger Cage (1988)
  • Irene Wan in Tiger Cage (1988)
  • Irene Wan in Tiger Cage (1988)
  • Gei Shun Wai in Tiger Cage (1988)
  • The Tiger Cage Collection (Shout! Factory)
  • The Tiger Cage Collection (Shout! Factory)
  • The Tiger Cage Collection (Shout! Factory)
  • The Tiger Cage Collection (Shout! Factory)

The Video

All the Tiger Cage films come from 2K restorations by Fortune Star. The films are framed in 1.85:1 and encoded in AVC 1080p. The video quality for each of these films is top notch, provided a good layer of natural grain for each film, detailed appearance, and natural color palette. The shadows sometimes look a little close to being noisy or sometimes show a little washout, but the nuance and detail are not affected.

The Audio

Each film in The Tiger Cage Collection comes with the original Cantonese in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono and the English dub in the same. The monaural mixes are not great or reference by any means, but they get the job done and are free from hiss, pops, and crackle.

The Supplements

Each film comes with new audio commentaries by either by David West who gives an exemplary rundown of the filming of the movies, the director and actor backgrounds, and some interesting trivia. There are also a number of interviews, including one with Frank Djeng of The New York Asian Film Festival.

Disc 1 — Tiger Cage:

Bonus Features:

  • Cantonese and English Cuts of the Film
  • Audio commentary with Critic and Author David West (English Cut) (NEW)
  • An Apex Predator – Interview with Actor Vincent Lyn (1080p; 00:17:52) (NEW)
  • A Tiger’s Tale – Interview with Frank Djeng of The New York Asian Film Festival (1080p; 00:19:56) (NEW)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:03:23)
  • English Trailer (1080p; 00:04:46)
  • Additional Shots from the Taiwanese Cut (1080p; 00:00:36)

Disc 2 — Tiger Cage 2

Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Critic and Author David West (Hong Kong Cut) (NEW)
  • Clawing a Living – Interview with Action Choreographer Bill Lui (1080p; 00:30:06) (NEW)
  • Hunting High and Low – Interview with Academic and Author Victor Fan (1080p; 00:18:31) (NEW)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:04:00)

Disc 3 – Tiger Cage 3

Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Critic and Author David West (NEW)
  • A New Wave of Violence – Interview with Critic James Mudge on the Hong Kong Heroic Bloodshed Boom (1080p; 00:19:57) (NEW)
  • Inventing an Icon – Critic Ricky Baker Discusses the Emergence of the “Heroic Bloodshed” Term (1080p; 00:08:12) (NEW)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:03:48)
  • English Trailer (1080p; 00:04:01)
  • English Credits (1080p; 00:02:53)

The Final Assessment

The Tiger Cage Collection brings this riveting action-thriller franchise to Blu-ray in the U.S. for the first time with gorgeous transfers and a strong collection of new bonus features. Shout! Factory has delivered the goods here and this collection will be very enjoyable for fans of Hong Kong cinema.


The Tiger Cage Collection is out on Blu-ray May 9, 2023, from Shout! Factory.


  • Rating Certificate: Not Rated
  • Studios & Distributors: D & B Films Co. Ltd. | Fortune Star | Shout! Factory
  • Director: Yuen Woo-Ping
  • Written By: Tiger Cage (Wong Wing-Fai, Yip Kwong-Kim) | Tiger Cage II ( Fong Chi-Ho, Yip Kwong-Kim, Yuen Yeuk-Kwong) | Tiger Cage III (Wong Wing-Fai, Patrick Leung)
  • Street Date: 9 May 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English
Advertisement

Related Articles

Join the Discussion on TheaterByte!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
184FollowersFollow
1,710FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment "screeners" and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Three Hong Kong police thrillers featuring all-star casts choreographed and directed by Yuen Woo-Ping (The Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).The Tiger Cage Collection (Blu-ray Review)