Saturday, March 15, 2014

Flash Point aka Dou Fo Sin (2007)

Today's installment of SiscoVanilla at the Movies is a Hong Kong Crime/Action movie called Flash Point aka Dou Fo Sin (2007) starring Donnie Yen and Louis Koo as Police Detectives who are trying to bring down a Vietnamese-Chinese crime group led by brothers Tony (Collin Chou), Archer Sin (Ray Lui) and Tiger (Yu Xing). Detective Ma (Donnie Yen) is a kick ass first, ask question later kind of cop whose partner Wilson (Louis Koo) is working undercover within Tony's gang. The martial arts fights in this movie are simple amazing, especially the final fight between Ma and Tony. In case you don't know, Collin Chou is the character Seraph from the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions. In those movies he's the guardian of the Oracle who tests Neo in the playground before letting him in to see her. If you like full blown martial arts sequences in a modern urban setting, you need to watch Flash Point. Now on to the liquor reference.

I say reference for a reason. Many times you'll see different kinds of liquor bottles being shown in films with their labels obscured by lets say other bottles, or by being turned around with the labels facing away from the camera. Some bottles and labels are distinctive though they may not be seen clearly. Not so in this movie. Aside from a brief scene or two where wine bottles are seen (and used to throw at someone's head in a club) there is only one liquor reference in this film: Johnnie Walker Black Label. Now I know that Johnnie Walker Black is the flagship product for the Johnnie Walker line of Scotch Whisky but I find it hard to believe that it is the only scotch that people in this Hong Kong movie drink. 

You have Johnnie Walker in the opening scene at the club front and center in front of undercover Detective Wilson.

Then you have a wall of Johnnie Walker Black Label bottles with labels on them in the lounge where Tony meets some of the Hong Kong Triad leaders. 

Now, this isn't so odd in that there are clubs where patrons can buy a membership which includes a whole bottle that they pay for and can consume at their leisure whenever they visit the club. So I can see where the labels come in but what is weird is that EVERY bottle on the wall is Johnnie Walker Black. 

Fast forward to the birthday party scene for the mother of the Sin brothers. As Tony realizes that something is wrong, Wilson is standing by a table that is full of guess what: Johnnie Walker Black Label bottles.

That is one helluva party if Johnnie Walker Black is the only spirit being consumed. Johnnie Walker is even used as a reference in a conversation between Wilson and his lady friend Julie (Bingbing Fan). About people who created lives for themselves by doing what they wanted. 

Product placement in movies isn't a rare thing. I just find it odd that if Diageo, the company that owns Johnnie Walker paid to have their product placed in this movie, why is it only Johnnie Walker Black that is showcased. As far as I know in 2007 they had the Red, Green and Blue Labels on the market. I'm not sure what other blends they had in the Asian market but it would seem to me that showcasing all the available labels rather than only the Black Label would seem a prudent way to build interest in all the labels. But enough about how Johnnie Walker Black is seen in the movie. Let's talk about Johnnie Walker Black itself. 

According to the Black Label entry on the Johnnie Walker website:
Regarded by experts as the ultimate Scotch deluxe whisky, the benchmark by which all others are measured. With its origins in the 1870s Old Special Highland Whisky, Johnnie Walker Black Label simply became "Black Label" in 1909
Each bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label is two decades in the planning, draws whisky from the finest distilleries across Scotland and is aged in the finest whisky casks. Each whisky is matured in a slightly different way, due to the intricacies of wood, climate and location. The Master Blender's skill is in blending these whiskies together to create a whisky with an extraordinary range of flavor.
Johnnie Walker has the luxury of having exclusive access to Scotland's very best whiskies, ranging from the powerful west coast malts all the way to the more subtle east coast flavors. Black Label draws upon all these aromas to create a unique blend with a smooth, deep and complex character.
The best way to drink it?
It can be enjoyed on its own, with a dash of still or sparkling water, or with soda or ginger ale as a long drink.
Don't take the website's word for it? Why not watch this video with Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador and Master of Whisky Stephen Wilson and learn the best ways to enjoy Johnnie Walker Black and other Labels:

And I would be neglectful to talk about Johnnie Walker Black without showing the spokesperson for that brand here in the United States: Cristina Hendricks

Well, on that note. I guess we're done =) Enjoy!!!

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla