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The Burning

The People Under the Stairs


To Live and Die in L.A



Better Tomorrow III, A

original title: Yinghung bunsik 3


  • HK Theatrical Version
  • Taiwanese Version
Release: Jul 02, 2010 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Matar - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the Theatrical version (which is also known as the Normal version) by IVL (HK-DVD) and the Taiwanese long version by WA (China DVD).

Theatrical version: 117:40 min w/o credits (118:53 min with credits) in NTSC
=> which is 112:50 min w/o c. (114:01 min with c.) in PAL

Long version: 122:41 min w/o credits (123:54 w. credits) in NTSC but has a PAL speed.

- 56 cuts and/or extended scenes in the long version
- Runtime of the cuts/lenght of the new material: 610,7 sec (=10:11 min)

=> An additional logo as well as some mini cuts at the end of the long version were not considered.

Some may argue about the quality of the third part of the legendary A Better Tomorrow triology. The bloody antecedents by John Woo stay classic. However, if you are open-minded to get into the prequel which is more a drama, you will find solid Hongkong action.

Like many other classics of the HK cinema, this movie also has an extended and alternative version which is the main aspect of this cut report. This version, which was only obtainable from Taiwan on VHS, was also published on DVD by the known label WA and offers about 10 minutes of additional material which enlarges the movie to a 2 hour flick.

Extended scenes of violence are not included and one can differentiate completely new scenes between the various mini cuts.
Those new scenes do not offer new insights but deepen various characteristics of the actors. The new material does not brake the movie and can be considered as success.
The small but plenty new scenes simply show that the movie had to be reduced in its lenght when released in cinemas. Sometimes it was a good decision but sometimes the scenes raise the movie's level.

All in all the normal version is a good choice. Fans of this silent final movie around Mark (Chow Yun-Fat) should have an open eye for the China DVD which offers English subtitles.
The long version was also released in France on VHS and DVD. The last mentioned one has the better quality, as it is known for the label HK Video. Unfortunately the English subtitles are missing here.

At least some of the longer scenes (runtime about 5 minutes) can also be found as 'Deleted Scenes'in the IVL box from HK and the German box by Laser Paradise - but they have a bad quality compared to HK Video.

Runtime scheme:
HK-DVD in NTSC / China-DVD in PAL speed
The Golden Princess hint is missing on the China DVD.

+ 18,7 sec

40:02 / 38:04-38:33

Mark and Kit are longer in the room and notice a robbery to a helpless guy lying on the ground. Mark yells downstairs and the thief looks up to him. He does not seemed to be impressed but several strollers payed attention and want to help in this situation. The thief runs off. Mark is laughing and turns back to Kit.

28,5 sec

44:43 / 43:03-43:20

Mark gets a luggage car and a mass of suitcases gets stacked.

Mark: "Mun. You go in first. I'll look for Kit."
Mun (Tony Leung): "Fine. Dad, let's go.""

17,3 sec

45:33 / 44:07-44:11

Uncle Ten looks longer at them and the additional take starts earlier: Kit comes from the right.

3,6 sec

52:53 / 51:13-52:11

After Mark got to bed the theatrical version fades off. The long version has a cross-fade and Mark talks to Mun about his chances with Kit.

Mun: "Only a few hours away to a world that is completely different..."
Mark: "Thinking about Kit?"
Mun: "What's the use? What are you to her? You're wasting your time. She is too good for you. But of all the girls in the world she's the one I'll never forget. Actually, all men are alike. We chase after the girls like mad, but once we get them we probably cast them aside."
Mark grinst; "Good luck!"

58,6 sec

54:36 / 53:51-54:03

Ling turns around again and says: "Cousin Mark, if there's anything I can do, just let me know!" zu Mark.
He just answers "OK!" and smiles.

11,8 sec

54:39 / 54:06-54:14

One can see Mark a bit longer and the additional take starts ealier: Ling looks back before she moves to the door.

8,5 sec

54:59 / 54:33-54:38

Mun looks out the window a bit longer, both turn around (before Ling tells something about the car outside).

5,4 sec

45:07 / 54:45-54:48

Two takes are enlarged in the beginning/end (Mark moves outside the room, camera panning at the car)

3,3 sec

57:22 / 56:59-58:55

The conversation on the street is longer. Afterwards one can see a business meeting of Kit as well as a conversation between Mark and Cheung.

Kit: "I feel like I'm a member of the family."
Uncle Ten: "That's good! I'll have Ling make you some nourishing soup. Her chicken soup is great. It's right that you consider this your home. You're much too skinny. You need a few pounds more."
Mun hugs Kit and seems to be uncertain.

Cross-fade to Kit at work, respectively conversation with a client.
Client: "Sorry, but we can't immediately pay back the funds your Evergreen Company loaned us. We're very grateful that Miss Chow understands that. Thanks."
Kit: "Your government is prejudiced against the Chinese. Life & money are problems! If only there was peace."
Client: "We still need to find a place to settle. The British government's no help. We rely on you."
Kit: "I'll arrange passports for you. Once you go overseas, you can start anew."
Client: "Miss Chow, we're really depending on you !"
Kit: "Don't mention it."

One can see Mark and Mun in the hall.
Have you thought about where you want to go ?"
Mun: "What a pain! I've heard enough travel tips. But I still can't decide where to take Kit !"
Mark: "Sit down. You'll get inspired. Think hard. If we don't think of a place before Kit gets here it will be very embarrassing."
Mun: "Yeah, I know. Mark, last night Dad chattered away all night. He asked if we were after the same 'fling'."
Mark: "What else did he say ?"
Mun: "That the same thing happened between him and your Dad, so your Dad refused to attend my Dad's wedding."
Mark grinst und meint: "Your Dad's petty."
Mun: "No, he was just unlucky. So he refused to come and congratulate my Dad."
Mark bleibt hartnäckig: "Your Dad's petty."
Mun: "No, your Dad's petty !"
Mark: "Your Dad!"
Mun grins and adds: "Your Dad's more petty than mine!"
Mark: "No, your Dad's..."
Kit joins them and says: "Hey ! What are you doing? You don't look too happy."
Mark: "Oh. It's nothing. He says that tonight you would bring a black silk scarf. He also said, if he didn't invite you to dance the first dance it would be an insult to his father."
Kit: "Really?"
Mark sagt noch "That's not petty?" und geht grinsend davon.
Kit stellt fest: "We're going dancing ?"
Mun: "He's joking."
Kit: "No, I mean it.
This is the fitting passage to the normal version and the scene at the disco.

115,9 sec

57:56 / 59:28-59:57

Mark watches Kit and Mun while they are dancing. A woman sits beside him and wants to seduce him.

The woman lightens up a cigarette and introduces herself: "Mr. Cheung! I'm Judy the mama-san of Group 38. Why don't you find a hostess to keep your company?"
Mark smiles and Mun watches him while dancing..

29,4 sec

60:00 / 61:56-62:12

The long version explains why Mark comes outside in the following scene: Mun came to his place and persuaded him.

Mun: "Mark, Kit is crying outside. Go and see her."
Mark: "Why is she crying? Did you make her angry?"
Mun: "Of course not. It's you who made her angry. Come on."
Mark: "What's it have to do with me? You said you were taking her home. Go ahead."
Mun demandingly: "Come on" and pulls him up.

16,1 sec

64:21 / 66:22-66:55

The first takes of the conversation at the business table, afterwards Mark and Mun uncover the tablet for their new shop.

Mr. Ho: "For three years I've hidden in Holland. Cheng from Thailand was on my trail. Day and night he had assassins after me. I felt like a caged dog. I was at the end of my rope. Now Cheng has been shot dead... He never dreamt that the bullet in his head is my personal gift to him." Szenenwechsel.

Cut to the shop of our heroes, the tablet gets uncovered and Mark comments: "A brand new start. Grand opening! We've finally made it!"

32,8 sec

64:32 / 67:05-67:07

The take starts earlier when Kit is given a weapon.

1,9 sec

64:41 / 67:16-67:22

Mun receives a red envelope from uncle Ten who comments it with:: "A nice bonus! It's folding money!"

Afterwards the conference starts earlier.

5,7 sec

64:55 / 67:35-67:37

The take starts earlier when Mr. Ho gets up.

2,2 sec

65:18 / 67:59-68:02

The first words (bold) of Mr. Ho can only be heard in the long version.
"Since you've told me so much I won't make it hard on your family""

2,9 sec

65:26 / 68:10-68:13
Again a take which starts earlier when the traitor takes off his glasses and prepares for the headshot.

2,9 sec

66:34 / 69:18-69:20

Mr. Ho can be seen longer and he adds: "I hate people who lack a fighting spirit"

2,3 sec

66:49 / 69:34-69:36

The take starts earlier.

2,6 sec

67:07 / 69:54-69:55

Kit can be seen longer in the end of the scene.

0,7 sec

67:22 / 70:10-70:42

Here an additional scene in which the doctor tries to reanimate uncle Ten. He fails and the body is covered. The people stay beside the bed.

32,4 sec

68:29 / 71:47-71:53

After Mun has been pushed back the long version shows how Mark storms forth to punch one of the guys. Mun sets himself free and punches the head of another baddy to the bonnet (the reason why he is lying on the ground afterwards) and the normal version continues when another baddy pulls out a weapon.

6,4 sec

68:38 / 72:02-72:03

Additional view from below how Mr. Ho aims for Mun.

1,6 sec

69:36 / 72:59-73:03

At the end of the scene there is an additional take: Mr. Ho looks at the unconcious Mark.

3,6 sec

70:46 / 74:09-74:23

The take is longer. Mark looks up and puts back the weapon. He walks through the room. The camera moves along the picture of uncle Ten and the upcoming take starts earlier (the normal version continues when he takes of the picture).

13,8 sec

71:51 / 75:25-75:31

The take is longer, Mark adds "Kit and I have passports good for Canada."

The following take starts earlier.

6,1 sec

72:13 / 75:52-76:25

After Cheung walked out of the room he notices Ling behind him.
A scene follows in which both pack their things.
Cheung says: "Ling, you just got out of Mainland China. Hong Kong should have been a save heaven for you. Now you're being forced to leave. But I can't go with you. In the future, you'll have to depend on yourself. I'm sorry."
Ling nods.

33,4 sec

73:10 / 77:20-77:26

Kit and Mark are kissing each other in a close-up before they continue on the bed.

5,3 sec

73:26 / 77:42-77:48

The last take of the loveplay is longer and there is a soft fading to the city at night.

6 sec

73:53 / 78:14-78:16

Kit can be seen longer at the door, Cheung can be seen earlier.

2,2 sec

73:56 / 78:19:78:25

Kit's shadow can be seen longer, the following take starts earlier.

6 sec

74:05 / 78:34-78:36

The long shot at the end is longer, Cheung looks longer at her.

2,6 sec

74:58 / 79:27-79:32

The take starts earlier: Cheung looks at Kit. No dialogue is missing.

5,2 sec

75:25 / 79:58-80:01

After Kit drove off Cheung loweres his head.

3 sec

76:54 / 81:26-81:32

First there is a view on Kit and Ho (frontal), afterwards only a view on Kit at her window.

6,2 sec

78:03 / 82:38-82:48

Mark can be seen longer when he grabs Cheung at his collar. Intercut to Cheung and Mark releases his grip slowly.

10,1 sec

78:33 / 83:17-83:26

One can see the sign longer, Mark and Cheung are in front of it. Both are also schon from a frontal view. The following take starts slightly earlier.

9,7 sec

78:37 / 83:30-83:31

The same take is slightly longer.

1,1 sec

78:40 / 83:34-83:37

Mark and Mun are longer at the entrance. The following take starts slightly earlier.

3,1 sec

78:45 / 83:42-83:48

An again two takes are longer at its beginning/end.

5,5 sec

78:56 / 83:59-84:00

Mark and Cheung watch back a bit longer before the soldier comes to the house.

1,5 sec

79:10 / 84:13-84:15
Mark looks in an eager way.

2,2 sec

80:15 / 85:18-85:20

Pat looks back to Mark before he puts the toothpick into his mouth.

2,3 sec

80:20 / 85:25-85:53

Mark can be seen longer, he sits down beside Pat and takes an old picture fro his pocket. The remain calm.

27,8 sec

89:24 / 94:35-94:39

The take starts earlier, one can see Mark longer through the glasses of Mun.

3,7 sec

89:24 / 94:47-94:54

Pat can be seen longer, afterwards a take of Kit.

6,7 sec

96:32 / 101:35-101:38
The take starts earlier and Ho says "This world is too unfair..."

3,2 sec

96:44 / 101:50-101:57

Bong answers before Kit can be seen on the floor: "People have to change with the times or die. Mr. Ho, I remember that you once told me. A man can't stay in uniform all his life."

7,3 sec

98:07 / 103:17-103:21

Before the countdown decreses in a close-up one can see Bong in the long version longer and Ho jumps on Kit to cover her up.

3,7 sec

98:34 / 103:47-103:58

Kit adds: "If I have to choose between you, I'd rather die with you and not involve Mark."

10,8 sec

98:47 / 104:11-104:19

Kit asks: "Is there a choice?"

8,4 sec

100:04 / 105:32-105:35

Ho adds; "My Japanese Name is Tokito."

3,2 sec

100:20 / 105:51-105:55

Again he can be seen longer; "Everyone is after revenge."

3,9 sec

100:27 / 106:01-106:03

Two takes ae longer in the beginning/end.

1,7 sec

108:15-108:17 / 113:32

By way of a change the China DVD lacks a scene in which Pat can be seen earlier.

+ 2,1 sec

108:53 / 114:07-114:12

Two takes of Bong, in the meantime Pat gets close to the tank. The take in which the van comes from the side starts earlier.

5,4 sec

108:58 / 114:17-114:21

The take is longer, Mark moves forth.

4,1 sec