The character actor is the unheralded star of the cinematic universe. Those familiar faces which regularly pop up randomly in a film and make everything better. Suet Lam fits squarely into this category. In a career spanning over two hundred films, so far, he’s worked regularly with the likes of Stephen Chow and Johnnie To. He’s made twenty films with the latter, arguably Hong Kong’s leading auteur. Masters of Cinema bring two together here in Running Out of Time 1 & 2.
Running Out of Time
Cheung Wah (Andy Lau) is given two weeks to live and decides to spend his remaining days in a rather unusual fashion. Determined to get revenge and lead the police department on a merry dance. Inspector Ho Sheung Sang (Lau Ching-wan) attends a hostage situation at a bank. This cool and calm operator has everything in hand, until he’s faced with the biggest challenge of his career. To’s mix of cat and mouse chase and buddy comedy/drama is a breath of fresh air. The action comes thick and fast, as do the laughs, in this entertaining and good-humoured romp.
Running Out of Time 2
To is joined by Wing-Cheong Law on directing duties for the return of Ho (Lau Ching-wan) and his bumbling boss (Shiu Hung Hui). This time their enemy is a thief (Ekin Cheng) who is completely unflappable. He has stolen three artifacts insured by Teresa’s (Kelly Lin) company, threatening to derail a deal; trying to extort a ransom. The (less than) dynamic duo are determined to stop him. While it contains many of the same elements of the original, it doesn’t quite reach the same heights. All too often choosing style over substance, but remaining an entertaining ride.
- Limited Edition slipcase featuring new artwork by Grégory Sacré (Gokaiju) [2000 copies]
- High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentations of both films, scanned and restored in 2K
- Original lossless Cantonese and Mandarin 5.1 audio options, plus lossless English mono (Running Out of Time) and lossless English 5.1 (Running Out of Time 2)
- Optional English subtitles, newly revised for this release
- Brand new audio commentary tracks on both films by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
- Audio Commentary on Running Out of Time by writers Laurent Cortiaud and Julien Carbon, moderated by Hong Kong Film expert Stefan Hammond
- Archival interviews with screenwriters Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud from 2003 and 2005
- Archival interview with director Johnnie To
- Archival interview with Lau Ching Wan
- Archival interview with composer Raymond Wong
- The Directors’ Overview of Carbon and Courtiaud – archival featurette
- Hong Kong Stories – 52-minute documentary from 2003 by director Yves Montmayeur (Johnnie Got His Gun!) about Hong Kong cinema mythology via Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud’s experience as screenwriters in the HK film industry, working for Wong Kar-wai, Tsui Hark, Daniel Lee and of course Johnnie To
- Making of Running Out of Time 2 – featurette
- Stills Galleries
- A collector’s booklet featuring new writing on both films
Running Out of Time 1 & 2 are released by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on 1 August.