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H D - S E N S E I
A view on Hi-def discs by Gary W. Tooze
Opium and the Kung Fu Master (aka 'Hung kuen dai see') [Blu-ray]
(Chia Tang, 1984)
Review by Gary Tooze
Studio: Shaw Brothers
Video: Navarre Corporation
Region: 'A' (probably FREE)
Feature Runtime: 1:30:04.065
Feature film disc size: 13,844,631,552 bytes
Disc Size: 17,247,448,136 bytes
Average bitrate 20.50 Mbpss
One single-layered Blu-ray
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 6th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
• Interview with Hoi San Lee (17:10 - SD, 4:3)
• Interview with Kuan Tai Chen (12:00 - SD, 4:3)
• Interview with Tak Law Mak aka Robert Mak (8:29 - SD, 4:3)
• Trailer 14 Amazons 3:54
• Trailer Opium Kung Fu Master 3:51
• Trailer Life Master 3:18
• Photo Gallery (in HD!)
• 12-page Liner Notes booklet - Ric Meyers essay, images (posters etc.)
Product Description: Tang Chia is considered one of the greatest kung-fu choreographers ever. He directed three movies on his own and his last, is not only his greatest, but one of the greatest ever. Ti Lung, in one of his finest performances, stars Tieh Chiao-san, head of the Ten Kwangtung Tigers, who falls victim to opium, the drug which crippled China. The tragedies and drama that ensue are as stunning as the kung-fu, created by a superlative team of six martial artists. It leads to a truly unforgettable climax, as a trembling Tieh, still weak from going cold turkey, must face the gangsters who have ruined his town while he was addicted. A legitimate masterpiece and one of the finest, most effecting martial arts movies Shaw Brothers ever produced. Also starring Chen Kuan-Tai (Heroes Two) and Phillip Ko Fei (Enter the Dragon)...
Tang Chia is considered one of the greatest kung-fu choreographers ever, but he only directed three movies of his own. This, his last, is not only his greatest but one of the greatest ever, as the leader of the Ten Kwangtung Tigers falls victim to drug addiction. The tragedies and drama that ensue are as stunning as the kung-fu, created by a superlative team of six martial artists. A legitimate masterpiece and one of the finest, most effecting martial arts movies Shaw Brothers ever produced.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
With BCI / Eclipse seemingly gone under (see our Blu-ray reviews of Sister Street Fighter (1+2)and Killing Machine/Shogun's Ninja) it seemed like a long wait for the likes of Shaw Brothers classics to be rendered to 1080P disc. Ta-da! - Navarre Corporation to the rescue. I'd always been suspicious of the label but am truly impressed with both the film and the transfer here. It is quite spotless and detail and colors are far superior to what BCI was releasing in martial arts hi-def. Although this is a darn sight better than SD it doesn't quite rival modern transfer Blu-ray discs - but it is not that far off either. I see a smooth consistent image that even exhibits depth and no manipulations rearing their head at all. Black levels and contrast are decent with the majority of the film being shot in static sets. The single-layered disc (feature taking up 13 Gig) is probably as good as you will see this film outside of theatrical. It has a nice even crispness that should impress most. The Blu-ray image transfer should be a strong encouragement for indulging if you are interested in the film.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
January 4th, 2008
Introduction: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze