times than I can remember, I've sat down to watch a highly praised
HK movie, only to be let down - The bad taste The
Blade and A Man Called Hero left in my mouth made me despair
of modern Kung Fu films, and yearn for the good-old days ...
So, with this in mind, I ordered Carry On Pickpocket, a 1982 Sammo
Hung movie I knew less than nothing about, and hoped for the best.
I have to be honest here - when I first watched this I felt mildly
Unlike Hung's best efforts, such as The
Prodigal Son and The Victim, Carry On Pickpocket's plot tends
to drag in places, and as such, loses the momentum it creates early
on. Thankfully, the pace soon picks up again and creates a very
satisfying finale to an extremely enjoyable movie. Actually, the
film as a whole seems to improve with each subsequent viewing, and
I came to appreciate different elements each time.
Rice-Pot (Sammo Hung) and Chimney (Frankie Chan) are two expert
thieves who make their living using their well-honed pick-pocketing
skills. Unfortunately, Chimney falls foul of a local gangster and
is "persuaded" to steal 200 ID Cards for him or end up losing more
than just his good looks. This is only the tip of the iceberg and
many a double-cross occur before the final reel...
from the opening scene, which contains a distracting number of scratches,
the print thereafter is reasonably clean. Unfortunately, due to
the prints age, speckles and scratches are prevalent throughout,
though I never found this distracting.
Detail is excellent, with no artifacting
or colour bleeding present, although the darker scenes appear a
bit too bright in places.
Overall, I was very happy with the transfer, and I can't imagine
you'd be able to find this print looking any better.
particularly striking 5.1 remix, as mono sound is sent to each speaker
, but that's not such a bad thing. The audio comes through each
speaker without any tinniness, and whilst sounding harsh at times,
does the job well.
there are occasional grammatical errors, the Subs. are otherwise
clear, very readable, and translate all of the verbal jokes well.
seen this in a shop, I probably wouldn't have given it a second
look. Why Media Asia put a picture of a SWAT team on the front,
when the film contains nothing of the sort, is beyond me.
The overall sleeve design looks pretty muddled with the aforementioned
SWAT team picture , a poor quality shot of Sammo and Frankie, and
what appears to be a severed hand(!?!) jumbled together on the front
trailer, 10 chapter stops and trailers for Return Of The Lucky Stars,
Best Of The Best and Fatal Vacation.
Not exactly groundbreaking, but it makes change from the usual Prodigal
Son and Eastern Condors trailers
found on every other Sammo Hung DVD.
not being in the same class as The Prodigal
Son or Eastern Condors, Carry On
Pickpocket still has a lot to offer. I particularly enjoyed the
smaller touches Sammo incorporated into the movie, such as the nightclub
waiter who's just too funky for his own good, and Rice-Pots' attempts
to woo Deannie Yip with a pair of bread rolls!
Carry On Pickpocket contains enough action, comedy and charm to
wipe the floor with most recent releases, and definitely warrants
a place in any self-respecting HK film fans collection.