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Corey Yuen
Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Rothrock, John Sham
Writing Credits:
James Clouse, Barry Wong

After two unlucky thieves break into a just murdered man's hotel room and steal his passport with a hidden microfilm wanted by a triad boss, two hard kicking female cops from HK and UK get the case.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Cantonese DTS-HD MA Monaural (Theatrical)
Cantonese DTS-HD MA Monaural (Home Video)
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $99.95
Release Date: 5/16/2023
Available As Part of In the Line of Duty I-IV Collection

• Audio Commentary from Hong Kong Film Expert Frank Djeng
• “Export Version” with Classic English Dub
• “A Team Player” Featurette
• Select Scene Commentary with Actor Cynthia Rothrock and Hong Kong Film Expert Frank Djeng
• Interview with Actor Michelle Yeoh
• “Battling Babes” Featurette
• “Ladies First” Featurette
• Posters
• Booklet


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Yes, Madam! [Blu-Ray] (1985)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 2, 2023)

Fresh off her Oscar win for 2022’s Everything Everywhere All At Once, Michelle Yeoh’s career seems at its peak. That makes this a good time to look at her early days via her third movie, 1985’s Yes, Madam!

Low-level thieves Asprin (Mang Hoi) and Strepsil (John Sham) break into a hotel room and steal a mix of items. These belong to Richard Nornen (Michael Harry), a recently-murdered man whose passport happens to harbor an important piece of microfilm.

This sets many wheels in motion to track down the pilfered items. While various criminals pursue these, Hong Kong Inspector Ng Lok-Sai (Michelle Yeoh) teams with Scotland Yard Inspector Carrie Morris (Cynthia Rothrock) to deal with the crime – a task made more personal because Ng dated Nornen.

A cop movie that revolves around female leads seems rare circa 2023, so the concept would’ve been even more exotic 38 years ago. In addition to the novelty of a very young Yeoh, this gender twist adds intrigue to Madam.

Unfortunately, the film fails to live up to its progressive premise. This becomes the case mainly because Madam spends far too little time with its leads.

Not that Ng and Morris become non-entities in their own story. As it happens, they get a fair amount to do along the way.

However, I can’t help but think the filmmakers diminished their presence due to gender. At its core a buddy cop flick, I can’t imagine a male-oriented version would leave its main characters on the sidelines as much as Madam forgets about Ng and Morris.

This seems like a shame for a number of reasons, but primarily because Yeoh and Rothrock show good chemistry. The film kicks to life when it pairs them, as even with the cliché “mismatched partners” theme, they connect well.

Instead, Madam spends an awful lot of time with the male supporting characters, and these scenes tend to feel like filler. The film rambles with seemingly endless semi-extraneous sequences.

The plot simply never gets into a groove. It meanders and fails to manage a natural flow.

Madam also suffers from an inconsistent tone, mainly because it leans comedic at perplexing times. This seems especially true because one would expect Ng’s personal connection to the dead man to add intensity to the story, but instead, it seems essentially forgotten as a plot point.

We do find some pretty good action along the way, though to my surprise, most of it stems from Rothrock. Not that the movie doesn’t use Yeoh in that manner, but her co-star gets the best scenes – including a memorable introduction at the airport.

These sporadic moments of excitement can’t compensate for the flawed storytelling and general refusal to explore the film’s gender-related twist. Madam deserves attention due to its historical value but the movie itself doesn’t really work.

Footnote: at one point, the film directly steals the theme from 1978’s Halloween. If the producers avoided a lawsuit, I have no idea how.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio D/ Bonus B

Yes, Madam! appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film came with satisfying visuals.

Sharpness usually worked well. A bit of softness impacted occasional wider shots, but the majority of the film boasted appealing accuracy.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt light but reasonably natural, and I witnessed no print flaws.

Madam opted for a broad palette, with some emphasis on lively Miami Vice influenced tones. These tended to feel vivid and full.

Blacks appeared deep and dense, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. All in all, the movie looked pretty terrific.

On the other hand, the film’s DTS-HD MA monaural audio aged terribly. Indeed, I’d expect better for a release from 1935, much less one made in 1985.

Distortion became the main culprit, as everything here sounded rough. Speech maintained a persistent edginess that made the looped lines sound even worse than anticipated.

Effects also seemed harsh, while music appeared shrill and discordant. This turned into an awful soundtrack.

Note that the disc also included a “home video mix”. Also DTS-HD MA monaural, it provided a significantly cleaner affair.

Though maybe too clean, as it tended to sound canned and artificial. Of course, given the looped nature of the dialogue, some of that became inevitable.

However, effects suffered from iffy foley. While they showed fairly good reproduction, they didn’t blend well and they never suited the action in a smooth manner.

At least music showed reasonably nice range. Though the “home video mix” came with its issues, it still fared substantially better than the miserable theatrical track.

The Blu-ray also offered a DTS-HD MA 5.1 English soundtrack. I don’t do dubs in non-native languages and skipped it, but I wanted to mention its inclusion.

As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from Hong Kong films expert Frank Djeng. He presents a running, screen-specific look at cast and crew, genre domains and connected films, action and stunts, sets and locations, and related areas.

Djeng tends to stick with cast/crew nuts and bolts here much of the time along with notes about Hong Kong films that bear a link to Madam. While Djeng offers an engaging presence, I’d like to get more about the actual production than we do, so this becomes a likable but not wholly satisfying discussion.

A second cut of Madam appears here, as the disc provides an Export Version with Classic English Dub. It runs one hour, 27 minutes, 36 seconds.

Djeng refers to a few scenes cut for the “Export” version, but he doesn’t go into detail. Since I never saw Madam before the receipt of this disc, I don’t know it well enough to detail the differences.

And to be honest, I don’t know if I’d expend the effort anyway, as the inclusion of “Export” seems like a novelty meant to satisfy fans who grew up with it. The original Hong Kong version remains the go-to cut.

A Team Player goes for 17 minutes, 50 seconds and provides an interview with actor Cynthia Rothrock.

She discusses how she got into martial arts and her experiences in that domain as well as her casting on Madam and memories of that production. She offers a good collection of memories.

We hear more from Rothrock and Djeng in two Select Scene Commentaries. One lasts four minutes, 30 seconds and focuses on the movie’s airport sequence, while the second goes for eight minutes, 27 seconds and views the film’s finale.

Rothrock and Djeng mostly discuss fight choreography and execution. Nothing scintillating emerges but these come with some good notes.

Called Ladies First, we locate an interview with actor Mang Hoi. It spans 13 minutes, 46 seconds.

Hoi discusses his career as an actor and his experiences during Madam. This becomes a fairly useful chat.

An Interview with Michelle Yeoh spans 15 minutes, five seconds and looks at how she got into movies as well as aspects of her work over the years, with a little about Madam. Yeoh gives us a mix of worthwhile thoughts.

In addition to the film’s Hong Kong trailer, we finish with a featurette called Battling Babes. It runs 10 minutes, 23 seconds and involves Rothrock an actors Sophie Crawford, Michiko Nishikawa, Yukari Oshima, Moon Lee, and Kathy Long.

As implied by the title, "Babes" looks at female action actors. It provides a decent overview.

Note that this Blu-ray for Yes, Madam! comes as part of a four-movie In the Line of Duty I-IV collection. It also includes 1986’s Royal Warriors, 1988’s In the Line of Duty III and 1989’s In the Line of Duty IV.

This means a mix of non-disc-based materials that apply to all four movies. Two double-sided posters emerge. One advertises Royal Warriors on both sides, while the other shows Yes, Madam! on one side and promotes all four films on the other.

A 100-page booklet comes packed with credits, photos, art and a mix of essays/interviews. It acts as a terrific complement to the package.

As one of the earliest films to star Michelle Yeoh, Yes, Madam! comes with appeal, and the flick occasionally sparks to life with lively action. However, it suffers from erratic storytelling and fails to click on a consistent basis. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture and a nice roster of bonus materials, but audio seems weak. Despite the flawed sound, this nonetheless becomes a pleasing reproduction of the film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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