With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013

ACF 2048: Jay Chou's colorful, action comedy/musical THE-ROOFTOP will be available tomorrow

Well Go USA
The Rooftop / Tian tai ai qing
Written and directed by Jay Chou
Taiwan/China/Hong Kong, 2013, 120 minutes
Language: Mandarin

The-Rooftop had its international premiere and was given the prestigious position of being the closing night film at the 2013 New York Asian Film Festival. Tomorrow, December 10th, it will debut on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital ((VOD, electronic sell-through, and streaming). This review is based on watching the Blu-ay release.

Taiwanese-born writer, director and star Jay Chou is a major pop star in Asia, having sold more than 30 million albums and received over 350 rewards. Here he plays Gao, one of the denizens of a rooftop community in the imaginary city of Galilee. Gao has gleaming hair with a high pompadour that he keeps in place with a "switchblade" comb. He and his rooftop friends are good-natured, fun-loving types who readily burst into song and dance. (The film features 11 musical numbers.) On the other hand, they're not above engaging in some hard-knuckled kung-fu martial arts action when confronted with bad guys.

This colorful, fanciful and comic tale is a frothy concoction, although last 15-20 minutes do turn dark and serious. As a result, the final scene forms an appropriate bookend with the opening of the film, both taking place at a photography exhibition.

The film is absolutely gorgeous on Blu-ray, and I imagine it looks fine in the other versions. Either a 5.1 or 2.0 Mandarin soundtrack can be chosen. English or Chinese subtitles are available, the latter for non-Mandarin speakers, I assume. The only extras are trailers of the film and of other offerings from Well Go USA.

ACF Rating: 3 out of 4 stars; recommended.