TIME AND TIDE
Tyler (Nicholas Tse) tends bar at a somewhat trendy night club and leads what amounts to a relatively normal life. On one particular evening, a young woman comes in, orders a drink and on a dare she and Tyler drink the full compliment of the alcohol the bar has to offer. The following morning, the two wake up to the knowledge that at some point during the prior evening's bender, they had sex... and with each other to boot! Tyler really doesn't have a problem with it but his partner Ah Jo (Cathy Tsui) definitely does. Not only is she a police officer but she's a lesbian as well! After a brief interrogation and pistol whipping session, Ah Jo flees the apartment and checks her calendar to see when she should expect her monthly "visitation". Many months later, Tyler runs into a rather pregnant Ah Jo at the supermarket. Much to her dismay, Tyler is intent on positively impacting his child's life so he sets out in search of a better paying gig. Enter Tyler's Uncle Ji. (Anthony Wong) Uncle Ji runs a bodyguard service without ever actually having had any training in security matters or the like. As such his customers have been rather "low budget" until now. On a particularly security intense operation dealing with a very, very rich client, Tyler meets Jack (Wu Bai) although, that's not his real name. Anyway, Jack's wife, Ah Hui (Candy Lo) is pregnant as well and not in good standing with her very rich and influential father who happens to be the man that Tyler has been hired to protect for this evening's function. It later unfolds that Jack was once a member of a crack hit-squad that assassinated high profile figures for obscene amounts of cash. For whatever reason, Jack left the group and has been living with his wife attempting to create a sense of normalcy for themselves and their unborn child. When Jacks' old mercenary buddies come calling for "one last job", they make the mistake of inferring that if he does not help them pull off this caper, his wife and baby may be in jeopardy. Can you spell M-I-S-T-A-K-E? Not only was Jack a member of this squad, he was the absolute best. When his family is threatened, Jack falls back on his "skills" and takes on his former compatriots. All I can say is that in "Gladiator" when Maximus told his Roman legion to unleash "Hell", he must have been referring to Jack! The fighting sequences and camera work coupled with a very involving storyline make for very enjoyable viewing! Oh Yeah, almost forgot, somewhere in the middle, Tyler ends up protecting Jacks' wife and child and ends up smack dab in the middle of this incredible action with only a plastic toy gun for defense and protection! Time and Tide is really not a movie that you can adequately describe. It's a visceral experience that needs to be seen to be believed!
Time and Tide is presented in several audio formats. Mandarin DD5.1, Cantonese DD 2.0 Surround and English DD2.0 Surround. The Mandarin was absolutely the most powerful of the mixes with great depth and power being punched literally through every speaker. As mixes go this one can best be described as aggressive. The dialogue is easily understood and the effects (and there are many) are effectively deployed throughout the listening area. The Cantonese and English DD2.0 platforms were surprisingly rich as well. They had decent use of the channels in play and a great display of the .1LFE as well. In short, each track provided, worked very well and performed more than adequately within the film's presentation. Time and Tide also features a Director's Commentary with Director Tsui Pronounced- "Troy") Hark. The commentary is extremely informative on many levels but, the most interesting of the facts he presents deal with the action sequences themselves and what went into them to create the final imagery. There are virtually no "dead" spots as he talks throughout the whole of the picture. Between the powerful DD5.1 Mandarin track and the commentary track, the audio for Time and tide can be summed up as excellent. The video portion while generally very pleasing did suffer from a lot of grain in the darker "indoor" shots. The black levels are solid and the color saturation levels are tight as well. Overall, this anamorphically enhanced widescreen presentation delivers very strong imagery and but for the grainy elements would have been 100% crystal clear.
In addition to the commentary track, trailers for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", Jackie Chan's "Miracles" , "Once Upon A Time in China" and "Time and Tide" are included. Lastly, filmographies for both Tsui Hark and Nicholas Tse close out the extras on the disc.
Having recently been bitten by the "HK" bug, I'll admit to being terribly addicted so as to explain the bend of my remarks! Time and Tide is a roller coaster of events that are both stunning and attractive. The characters are genuinely interesting and the plot of the story is very entertaining. I'm sure that "seasoned" HK aficionados have had this disc for some time but, for the uninitiated, this is definitely an entry that can open the door on a genre we may have overlooked. Time and Tide is absolutely worth checking out!