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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Bo ming dan dao duo ming qiang" or "搏命單刀奪命槍" or " Odd Couple")

 

Directed by Chia-Yung Liu
Hong Kong 1979

 

Widely considered the greatest classical weapons movie ever made, Odd Couple stars Sammo Hung, Lau Kar-wing (also directing) and Bryan “Beardy” Leung Kar-yan (Dreadnaught, The Victim) in a classic tale of rivalry and vengeance.

Two ageing masters of the spear and sword engage in an epic mountaintop battle every ten years, but the outcome invariably ends in a draw. Realising that neither one of them will ever outclass the other, they each agree to take on a younger student and train them to champion their cause, thus putting an end to their longstanding rivalry.

Showcasing some of the most intricate and explosive weapons choreography ever seen, this masterpiece remains a quintessential classic from the Golden Age of Hong Kong Cinema, and now makes its UK debut on Blu-ray from a brand new 2K restoration!

***

The titular 'Odd Couple' are Sammo (King of Sabres) and Lau Kar Wing (King of Spears). They compete regularly against each other but every encounter results in a draw! Both decide to recruit young pupils and train them up. The late entry of the real villain, the smoldering Laughing Bandit who sports a big scar, has an even bigger grudge against the Kings of Sabres and Spear.

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 9th, 1979

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:56.959        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,633,934,578 bytes

Feature: 30,586,579,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.18 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Chinese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2130 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2130 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,633,934,578 bytes

Feature: 30,586,579,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.18 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Brand new feature length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) and martial artist / actor Robert “Bobby” Samuels
• Brand new feature length audio commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema
• Archival interview with director Lau Kar-wing (26:55)
• Archival interview with Bryan “Beardy” Leung Kar-yan (22:22)
• Trailers (4:28 / Home Video Trailer - 1:39)
• Limited Edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling
• PLUS: A Limited-Edition collector’s booklet `featuring new writing by James Oliver


Blu-ray Release Date: March 21st, 2022

Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Eureka Blu-ray (March 2022): Eureka have transferred Chia-Yung Liu's Odd Couple to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "brand new 2K restoration". The 1080P transfer is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The image is quite good considering the variable quality we see from these 70's Hong Kong efforts. It shows some inconsistency and weakness in supporting the few dark scenes. But the overall HD presentation is highly pleasing with a slight boldness in the colors and depth throughout. I found this highly positive in terms of video with the minor inconsistencies having no effect on the viewing pleasure.   

NOTE: We have added 28 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Eureka offer the option of a linear PCM mono track in the original Cantonese language or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround bump in an English DUB. Both are 24-bit. Odd Couple has many choreographed fight sequences with the typical exaggerated audio effects sounding more tinny, and predictably flat, in the mono and having some robust depth in the surround with a few notable separations. The lively score is by composer Frankie Chan (Fallen Angels, The Fearless Hyena, Chungking Express, The Prodigal Son) that adds demonstratively to the charm of the comedic moments yet sounding more daring, if commonplace, in the physical conflicts. Eureka offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

The Eureka Blu-ray offers two brand new commentaries. The first is by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) and martial artist / actor Robert “Bobby” Samuels. They cover a lot from the variety of fighting styles, collaborations and many specifics and film references of the performers. I've enjoyed every Frank Djeng commentary I've heard and the pairing with “Bobby” Samuels is no exception. Well worth the indulgence. The second commentary has action cinema experts Mike Leeder (editor of 100% Jackie Chan: The Essential Companion) and Arne Venema. They discuss the comedic style and its place in relation to Shaw, the Gar Bo Films Company, how it evolved plus the other films it would produce and, of course, the martial arts. It is likewise very informative. There are archival interviews with director Lau Kar-wing for 27-minutes and with Bryan “Beardy” Leung Kar-yan for 22-minutes. There are theatrical and home video trailers. The package contains a limited edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling and there is a limited-edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver.

Chia-Yung Liu's Odd Couple is cheesy slapstick reminding me of a Jerry Lewis with a healthy amount of physical comedy. There is some impressive martial arts going on here with extensive effort put into the duels. Sammo Hung is always endearing. For its genre, it is well-realized; fun, more-nuanced-than-usual characterizations culminating in a combative, enjoyable period martial arts gem. The innocence of the films have their own addiction and charisma. Eureka Blu-ray have done this, well-above, average genre effort great justice with the impressive a/v transfer and stacked supplements including 2 commentaries and a booklet. Fans are encouraged to join in the fun. This one's a winner.

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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