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Thread: The Bund 《上海灘》

  1. #141
    Senior Member almo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    That's what charisma is all about...a quiet authority that permeates the entire room through the force of sheer presence. A loud voice isn't necessary; just being there conveys that aura of authority.

    Chow Yun Fat really was The Man when he was on THE BUND. Why doesn't he bring that level of charisma and skill to his work today, I wonder?
    Hey now don't bash CYF's movies! hahaha. I know ur not into John Woo, but CYF's acting was brilliant in A Better Tomorrow. There's more to that movie than dual pistols. CYF's scene in the bar was classic. City on Fire and Prison on Fire were also great.
    "If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put it in a bottle it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water my friends.

  2. #142
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almo89 View Post
    Hey now don't bash CYF's movies! hahaha. I know ur not into John Woo, but CYF's acting was brilliant in A Better Tomorrow. There's more to that movie than dual pistols. CYF's scene in the bar was classic. City on Fire and Prison on Fire were also great.
    I've seen all of those, and I thought they were...OK. They didn't blow me away.

    Yeah, I think John Woo is responsible for every bad Hong Kong action movie cliche' of the past twenty years. All that melodramatic, walking in slow motion, flying through the air shooting two pistols stuff just doesn't do it for me, ESPECIALLY since it's been copied to death over the past two decades in Asia *and* the West. It was more flash than substance to begin with, then everybody started doing it. *Yawn*

    I prefer THE BUND's action, which was gritty and realistic. No slow motion, no physics-defying acts of agility. Just solid action in old school style.

    Which brings me to another point about action and violence in THE BUND. Watch the fight scenes in THE BUND and compare it to other Hong Kong series and movies, both of the 1980s and today. Most movies and series feature very "soft" action. People flail about alot, but the blows don't even look like they'd hurt. That wasn't the case in THE BUND. I swear director Chiu Jen Keung must have told the actors in THE BUND, "When you hit that guy with the stick, REALLY hit him with it. Make it look like it hurts," because that's the sense you get when you watch THE BUND's fight scenes. The actors put some real feeling into the action: they hit each other like they really did hate each other and wanted to kill each other. But it was done dramatically rather than *melodramatically*; the fight scenes in THE BUND were choreographed like an old John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movie. They were manly and gritty.

  3. #143
    Member Xin Zhi Zhu's Avatar
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    Hey, after reading all these about the show, i'm really interested in getting the show. The bund's vcd has 16 disc, and 32 episodes in total. Since some of the scenes in the show seem to be pretty violent, are these scenes cut in the vcd? Are the scenes in the vcd badly cut? ( considering that TVB cut alot of scenes from Jinyong's wuxia classic!!)
    I love the golden 80s period of TVB!!!
    Michael Miu + Barbara Yung = MOST FAV COUPLE

  4. #144
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xin Zhi Zhu View Post
    Hey, after reading all these about the show, i'm really interested in getting the show. The bund's vcd has 16 disc, and 32 episodes in total. Since some of the scenes in the show seem to be pretty violent, are these scenes cut in the vcd? Are the scenes in the vcd badly cut? ( considering that TVB cut alot of scenes from Jinyong's wuxia classic!!)
    I'd wait for the DVD. The VCD was horribly butchered...not necessarily due to violence, but because of...well, I don't know why, really. The way that TVB edited THE BUND for VCD was arbitrary, random, and above all UNNECESSARY. This was one series in which you couldn't afford to lose a frame, and I swear the VCD must have cut 30% of the series out at random spots, killing its dramatic power.

    I only recommend the VCD if you want to get a little taste of what THE BUND is all about; for the full experience, you'll need either the original VHS tapes (if you can still locate them somewhere) or the DVD, which hopefully TVB will get around to releasing before the next Ice Age.

  5. #145
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Ken, great job on your analysis of The Bund. I too loved this series and its multidimensional characters.

    HMK - I just love this character so much. He's intelligent, extremely calm and collective in the face of danger, and always guards his true feelings and thoughts. He's not much of a talker but when he does express his feelings, they're just so wonderful!!! I enjoyed all of the scenes w/ him and DL. They had great chemistry and their "brotherly" relationship was wonderful. I espeically loved the part where HMK betrayed FGY and DL found him in the old house that resulted in HMK losing his pinky...that whole scene was sooo emtional and sad I cried!!!! It was just beautifully done.

  6. #146
    Member Xin Zhi Zhu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    I'd wait for the DVD. The VCD was horribly butchered...not necessarily due to violence, but because of...well, I don't know why, really. The way that TVB edited THE BUND for VCD was arbitrary, random, and above all UNNECESSARY. This was one series in which you couldn't afford to lose a frame, and I swear the VCD must have cut 30% of the series out at random spots, killing its dramatic power.

    I only recommend the VCD if you want to get a little taste of what THE BUND is all about; for the full experience, you'll need either the original VHS tapes (if you can still locate them somewhere) or the DVD, which hopefully TVB will get around to releasing before the next Ice Age.
    Thanks for your advice!
    I love the golden 80s period of TVB!!!
    Michael Miu + Barbara Yung = MOST FAV COUPLE

  7. #147
    Senior Member almo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xin Zhi Zhu View Post
    Hey, after reading all these about the show, i'm really interested in getting the show. The bund's vcd has 16 disc, and 32 episodes in total. Since some of the scenes in the show seem to be pretty violent, are these scenes cut in the vcd? Are the scenes in the vcd badly cut? ( considering that TVB cut alot of scenes from Jinyong's wuxia classic!!)
    Don't get the VCD. I tell you why. The first batch of TVB VCD's were edited so bad. Each disk would have 45 mins even though you can have over an hour on each VCD if you use the whole capacity. So the Bund has 16 disks at 45 mins each, which means 9 full episodes were cut out because the original was 25 episodes.

    Same thing for Police Cadet 84. The original show had 40 eps, but the VCD came with 32 disks meaning 8 eps were cut out. It wasn't until later that TVB used the whole disk, but they still cut things out.
    "If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put it in a bottle it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water my friends.

  8. #148
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almo89 View Post
    Don't get the VCD. I tell you why. The first batch of TVB VCD's were edited so bad. Each disk would have 45 mins even though you can have over an hour on each VCD if you use the whole capacity. So the Bund has 16 disks at 45 mins each, which means 9 full episodes were cut out because the original was 25 episodes.

    Same thing for Police Cadet 84. The original show had 40 eps, but the VCD came with 32 disks meaning 8 eps were cut out. It wasn't until later that TVB used the whole disk, but they still cut things out.
    Those VCDs were so bad that I almost think we'd have a case if we sued TVB for fraud.

  9. #149
    Registered User yearning's Avatar
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    One thing I didn't understand about Sunny Chan's version--how he even fell in love with Ching Ching in the first place...didn't make much sense at all. Nadia Chan was kind of annoying as Ching Ching as well. I liked Noel Leung as his wife though, and I thought the guy who murdered Noel Leung was pretty good.

    I still enjoyed the storyline when I watched it..when I was like 12 years old lol.

    All this rave makes me kinda want to see the old version...though I don't know if it's worth it when I already know the storyline. Why does the Ding Lik dude look SO OLD in the 1980s version? He looks like an uncle, not a friend of CYF.

    I didn't like the Xu Wen Qiang and Ching Ching love story at all--found it utterly boring. I preferred Ching Ching's friend and that guy where they had different pen names...too bad it was so tragic.

  10. #150
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yearning View Post
    All this rave makes me kinda want to see the old version...though I don't know if it's worth it when I already know the storyline. Why does the Ding Lik dude look SO OLD in the 1980s version? He looks like an uncle, not a friend of CYF.
    You mean Ray Lui? Maybe it was the moustache, but even with the facial hair, he looked a year or two younger than Chow Yun Fat (which I believe Ray is).

    If you want to see a "too old" Ding Lik, check out the guy who played him in the 2006 NEW SHANGHAI BUND (Huang Xiao Ming version).

  11. #151
    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Batman View Post
    In the original broadcast version and VHS of the series, there's a great transition scene from the party inside Fung's mansion to the image of those bloodied corpses lying there on the street in the dark night. An ominous, disturbing version of the main bars of THE BUND theme song played slowly on strings (cellos and violas, most likely) underscores the dark, frightening violence of the scene...contrasting the horror of the dark side of Shanghai with the elegance upon its surface. This was a masterfully done scene that lasted only about seven seconds or so, but was so powerful...it gave you the creeps, and made you realize what a dark and brutal place Shanghai really was under all the opulence.

    In the DVD, however, they only bother to show you about two seconds (if that) of the sequence...you see it, but it's so brief that you just go "huh?" rather than feel the ominous vibe of that scene. What a waste! That scene, brief as it was, was one of the most memorable and masterfully done scenes of the series! It's a shame that TVB trimmed it so much (maybe because it was too "violent").
    Yeah i just saw that scene. They show only about 1 second of those dead corposes with the cello music about to begin and then it abruptly changes to the mahjong scene. That's the scene you're talking about right? I hope they didn't edit out all the "violent" scenes in this series. I thought episode 3 began kind of weird as well. On the dvd it suddenly shows the credits without any music intro. It also seems that each episode so far is less than 40 minutes. Is that because they took out the previews at the beginning of each episode or did they just edit out the "violent" scenes at the end of episode 2? The DVD box says 65 x 45 mins so i was expecting each episode to be 45 mins in length.

    So far so good. I'm enjoying the gritty atmosphere of the Bund
    Last edited by Ghaleon; 02-27-09 at 04:19 AM.

  12. #152
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    Yeah i just saw that scene. They show only about 1 second of those dead corposes with the cello music about to begin and then it abruptly changes to the mahjong scene. That's the scene you're talking about right?
    Yeah, it's terrible that they did this because the original scene was *very* creepy. The camera lingered on the wide-angle shot of the corpses as the cellos played, while overlaid on top was a close up of each corpse before one final lingering moment on the wide-angle shot of all the corpses. When I was a kid, I was afraid to watch that scene. Even as an adult, I find it very chilling.

    But the DVD, unfortunately, destroyed the artistry of that scene. Ugh.

    I hope they didn't edit out all the "violent" scenes in this series.
    I hope not too. One of the great things about THE BUND was its unflinching scenes of violence. They didn't sugarcoat it. The violence looked real enough to be scary. Even in the wuxia adaptations, you sometimes laugh at the violence because it seems so phony. In THE BUND, you never laugh at the violence; the way it's shown makes it look real...and PAINFUL.

    I thought episode 3 began kind of weird as well. Nn the dvd it suddenly shows the credits without any music intro. It also seems that each episode so far is only around 36-37 minutes. Is that because they took out the previews at the beginning of each episode?
    Episode 3 is the one that begins with Hui Mun Keung and Fung Ging Yiu clinking champagne glasses, right? If so, then yeah, the edit was weird. The way it began on the broadcast/VHS version was with the cars screeching to a halt in front of the KMT gang. The gunmen then come out of the cars and start shooting. The shooting scenes are intercut with scenes of well-heeled people happily dancing the night away inside Fung Ging Yiu's luxurious mansion. It really showed the contrast between the bright, shiny surface of Shanghai society and its dark underbelly. A masterful scene of contrast. Only after several cuts between these two contrasting scenes did we get to Hui Mun Keung and Fung Ging Yiu clinking glasses (and yes, it was silent in the original version too; deliberately, no music was used for this opening frame...also by dramatic design - see how thoughtful and intricate the direction was in this series...down to every last scene? It was amazing!).

    Unfortunately, it looks like the scene got truncated. Argh! Those editors didn't get the idea that this entire series is an artistic WHOLE where every *frame* counts!

  13. #153
    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    I hope not too. One of the great things about THE BUND was its unflinching scenes of violence. They didn't sugarcoat it. The violence looked real enough to be scary. Even in the wuxia adaptations, you sometimes laugh at the violence because it seems so phony. In THE BUND, you never laugh at the violence; the way it's shown makes it look real...and PAINFUL.
    I hope the edits (if there are anymore) doesn't affect new viewers

    Ging Yiu clinking glasses (and yes, it was silent in the original version too; deliberately, no music was used for this opening frame...also by dramatic design - see how thoughtful and intricate the direction was in this series...down to every last scene? It was amazing!).

    Unfortunately, it looks like the scene got truncated. Argh! Those editors didn't get the idea that this entire series is an artistic WHOLE where every *frame* counts!
    Yeah as a new viewer my reaction is like 'okay.' it didn't really creep me about because they practically edited it out. So the corposes didn't leave a lasting impression on me at all. I might even forget about it few episodes down the road. The shooting though came out of nowhere. That was tiny bit shocking.

    I can also tell that they spent lot of time depicting each scene with the music, lighting, etc. to really create the right mood. They really paid attention to all the details. That's really impressive considering there are TONS of scenes in a 65x45 minutes drama. For its time i think they did a great "artsy" job in the design of the scenes. You don't see that anymore in modern 'TVB dramas. Practically every scene *feels* the same (i.e. happy happy bright bright mood). I can't imagine the artistic effort they spent on creating The Bund compared to the (nonexistent) effort nowdays.

  14. #154
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    I hope the edits (if there are anymore) doesn't affect new viewers
    So do I. I haven't earnestly begun to rewatch the series again (I'll do that after I wrap up DGSD '81 after next week), but those scenes of violence are essential to the feel of THE BUND. Tampering with them weakens the series.

    Yeah as a new viewer my reaction is like 'okay.' it didn't really creep me about because they practically edited it out. So the corposes didn't leave a lasting impression on me at all. I might even forget about it few episodes down the road. The shooting though came out of nowhere. That was tiny bit shocking.
    Yeah, that scene has lost much of its effectiveness on the DVD due to the dubious decision to cut the lingering scene of the corpses. It sucked the horror right out of that sequence. You get the initial shock of the shooting itself, but the horror and revulsion that you're supposed to get in seeing the aftermath is compromised.

    So thumbs down on that edit.

    I can also tell that they spent lot of time depicting each scene with the music, lighting, etc. to really create the right mood. They really paid attention to all the details. That's really impressive considering there are TONS of scenes in a 65x45 minutes drama. For its time i think they did a great "artsy" job in the design of the scenes. You don't see that anymore in modern 'TVB dramas. Practically every scene *feels* the same (i.e. happy happy bright bright mood). I can't imagine the artistic effort they spent on creating The Bund compared to the (nonexistent) effort nowdays.
    TVB was much more resourceful in those days. They had fewer resources to use (less material available and less money to buy material with), but they made much better use of the material that they had.

    One thing you'll want to pay attention to as well is the costumes worn by the characters, particularly Hui Mun Keung and Ding Lik. These costume changes aren't just random or done only to look good. There's symbolism in their clothing choices. As the characters change in the development of their lives, their clothing evolves with it. There's a reason why each character looks a particular way in each different phase of the series. I'll elaborate on this in THE BUND's own dedicated thread after you've finished watching Part 1 of the series.

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    Hey Batman, maybe you could capture that rare corpse scene from your old vhs version and upload it to youtube? I really get curious about it now that you have talked so much about it Frankly, I never noticed this was cut before. I thought it was deliberately filmed like that, to show us the shocking glimpse of the opposite the bright world in Fung's mansion, you know like when something spooky suddenly happens in a horror movie hehe.

  16. #156
    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    @Batman,

    I'm a litle bit worried that the lead-in sequences may be missing. At the end of episode 3, we hear a gun shot from CYF"s car. And then suddenly the DVD changes abruptly to episode 4. So the freeze frame with the face of the corpse is showing with the music. So we *LOST* the sequence where CYF drives to the corpose, gets out of his car and walks right up to the dead body! I hope i'm missing something here because i think they edited out the lead in

    it's very very awkward during the transition from the previous episode to the next. I hope i'm mistaken and it's meant to be like this.

  17. #157
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetDragon View Post
    Hey Batman, maybe you could capture that rare corpse scene from your old vhs version and upload it to youtube?
    Wish I could oblige, but I haven't got the skills or equipment to hook up my VCR to my PC. If I did, I'd love to post the segments for everyone to compare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    @Batman,

    I'm a litle bit worried that the lead-in sequences may be missing. At the end of episode 3, we hear a gun shot from CYF"s car. And then suddenly the DVD changes abruptly to episode 4. So the freeze frame with the face of the corpse is showing with the music. So we *LOST* the sequence where CYF drives to the corpose, gets out of his car and walks right up to the dead body! I hope i'm missing something here because i think they edited out the lead in
    Unfortunately, that's precisely what happened.

    Let me tell you how it was presented on TV/VHS: Episode 3 ends, as you described it, on a freeze frame of Hui Mun Keung's face at the moment he hears the gunshot that kills the unnamed assassin/hostage-taker. Episode 4 was supposed to start from precisely that moment. Hui Mun Keung then drives to where the hostage-taker's body lies. TVB did the same thing it did with all those dead KMT thugs. Do you remember how, just before the end of Episode 3, Hui Mun Keung saw in the car's rear-view mirror the legs of many unidentified Fung Ging Yiu thugs chasing after the hostage-taker? Well, as Mun Keung's car approaches the corpse of the hostage-taker, Mun Keung (and we, the audience) also sees the thugs that murdered the hostage-taker fleeing in the distance. It was also an incredibly creepy scene (like the KMT shooting) that's been truncated by these weird edits. We never saw the faces of those assassins...only their legs and their backs...and only from a distance at that. They were there, and then they were gone.

    But with this edit, we don't see any of that subtlety.

    "Sigh." The Butchers of TVBI strike again!

    it's very very awkward during the transition from the previous episode to the next. I hope i'm mistaken and it's meant to be like this.
    No, it wasn't, and while these edits aren't nearly as bad as the hack jobs that the VCDs were, they're still extremely annoying because they're cutting into alot of the little things that made THE BUND the Greatest Series Ever Made.

    Even without these scenes, THE BUND is *still* the GREATEST SERIES EVER MADE, but unless they give us a truly uncut version in the future, the DVDs are giving you only 95% of the original effect.

    That's better than the VCDs, though, which gave you only about 60%.

  18. #158
    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Thanks again as always for posting a description of the scene!

    So does that mean that all the lead-in sequences before an episode starts are gone since episodes "begin" right at the freeze frame?

    That means whenever an episode ends, and another begins, we're missing valuable plot-related scenes? I'm hoping this is just an isolated incident for these beginning episodes. because initially i thought "only" the previews were gone. i didn't think they took out the lead-ins as well.

    If we're still getting 95% of the series i'm happy (esp. when i hear that the vcd is only 65 %).

  19. #159
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    Thanks again as always for posting a description of the scene!

    So does that mean that all the lead-in sequences before an episode starts are gone since episodes "begin" right at the freeze frame?
    I haven't rewatched the entire series on DVD yet, so I can't say for sure, but it looks like all the episodes that pick up directly where the previous episode left off (i.e. the exact moment) will probably suffer from this. Fortunately, not every episode of THE BUND ended on a cliffhanger, so there will likely be a number of episodes where the opening sequences remain intact if only because the episodes didn't always directly pick up from the last scene of the previous episode. The beginning of Episode 5, for example, was a really clean break from the end of Episode 4. Clearly, time had gone by between the two episodes, so it was a fresh start on a new plotline.

    But if there's a cliffhanger ending, then..."sigh."

    If we're still getting 95% of the series i'm happy (esp. when i hear that the vcd is only 65 %).
    Yeah, the majesty of the series is still intact, even if its considerable subtleties have been compromised a bit. That's way better than the VCD, which was simply an abomination.

  20. #160
    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Batman View Post
    I haven't rewatched the entire series on DVD yet, so I can't say for sure, but it looks like all the episodes that pick up directly where the previous episode left off (i.e. the exact moment) will probably suffer from this. Fortunately, not every episode of THE BUND ended on a cliffhanger, so there will likely be a number of episodes where the opening sequences remain intact if only because the episodes didn't always directly pick up from the last scene of the previous episode. The beginning of Episode 5, for example, was a really clean break from the end of Episode 4. Clearly, time had gone by between the two episodes, so it was a fresh start on a new plotline.

    But if there's a cliffhanger ending, then..."sigh."

    Yeah, the majesty of the series is still intact, even if its considerable subtleties have been compromised a bit. That's way better than the VCD, which was simply an abomination.
    well i'm glad to hear that not every episode ends with a cliffhanger lol. I think they made a bad decision when taking out the previews. They forgot about about the lead-in sequences for cliffhanger-continuation episodes. I wonder if they bother watching the actual DVDs straight through after they finish their editing jobs. It's not like the DVDs can't hold enough information for the intro sequence of the episodes. This is especially annoying since the box advertises 65x45 mins when in fact each episode is less than 40 mins long.

    Despite all that, the actual series is great. I'm really drawn into the atmosphere and all the subtle artsy details they add to the scenes. When was the last time a TVB serial was considered "art"? sigh. one thing i like about the old tvb series is that they look like a stage-play. the new tvb series may have better scenery and props but there's something about the old look that is just more fun to watch.
    Last edited by Ghaleon; 02-27-09 at 07:56 PM.

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