Review by Leonard Norwitz
Theatrical: Universe Entertainment
Blu-ray: Universe Digital Entertainment (Hong Kong)
(as verified by the
Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,578,800,740 bytes
Feature Size: 23,784,535,872 bytes
Video Bitrate: 21.80 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: December 10th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 1564 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 1564
kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 1594 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 1594
kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
DTS-HD Master Audio Chinese 2073 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2073
kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), none
• Making Of – in SD/Ltbx (6:22)
• Photo Gallery
REBELLION is set over a single night, as five gang bosses -
Jimmy, Sand, Jupiter, Coffee and Man Ching - break their
uneasy alliance and a vicious turf war threatens to engulf
the city. Over the past few years, these five big brothers
have remained peaceful and amicable with each other,
agreeing to separate territories and keeping violence to a
Po (Shaun Yue) is Jimmy's number one bodyguard and after
[Po] is given the night off to celebrate his birthday, Jimmy
is gunned down in the street and lies in critical condition
in a backstreet surgery. Everybody is in agreement the
assassination attempt was an inside job and the prime
suspect is the hotheaded Blackie (Chapman To), Jimmy's No.2
whose thirst for power is well known.
Jimmy's wife, Cheung Wah (Ada Choi), commands a great deal
of respect but is in Taiwan on the night of the attack.
Blackie should automatically become the new head, but
because of his volatile personality, Cheung Wah elects Po to
oversee things until she can get the first flight back in
Unfortunately, Po has just polished off a bottle of Johnnie
Walker and is blind drunk. Not only is he struggling to
function properly, he is constantly heaving his guts up.
Suffice to say he is not in the best condition to play
peacekeeper. It is up to Po to track down the assassin and
find out who is responsible before Blackie or any of the
other bosses turns Kowloon into a war zone. – James Marsh
Excerpt of review from Twitch located HERE
The Movie : 7
I am of three minds about this movie: The English
translation provided on this Universe Blu-ray is
unbelievably bad. Usage errors abound in every sentence, it
seemed. I'm not sure how, but I thought I got the hang of
this peculiar dialect of Engrish after about 15 minutes,
especially once I convinced myself Rebellion was no comedy.
(I thought this sort of thing was well past us for movies
from this neck of the planet – guess not.) Translation
aside, and right up to the final showdown, I was giving
Herman Yau and company high marks indeed: characters,
performances, photography, movement, choreography of
violence (until the final reel), use of music, suspense. But
then, the whole mousetrap came apart over a game of mahjong,
depending for its success by "forcing" an unlikely play by
the bosses. For a scheme of this nature - with all the time,
money and personnel involved – to come down to the
opposition going along with a demand that I wouldn't have
agreed to, let alone a hard boiled boss (even if tempers and
judgment were fried), spoiled the ending that followed.
captures were taken directly from the
The first number indicates a relative level of excellence
compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale.
The second number places this image along the full range of
DVD and Blu-ray discs.
Universe's AVC transfer makes full use of the 25 GB single
layer disc offered to it. The image is sharp and coherent
with tightly controlled grain. Blacks are solid and shadow
detail goes on forever whenever DP Chan Kwong-hung wants us
to know about it. Color is good, often cyan filtered as
intended. Contrast is excellent, though there is the
impression of some oversharpening and mild edge-enhancement.
CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
The way in which Yau uses Paul Wong's music is what sets
Rebellion a cut above the average HK gangland thriller.
He sets it almost entirely in the background, coming to the
fore only now and then and during the few big skirmishes.
The music is not much more than a blanket pulse that keeps
the suspense up and Po's confusion cobwebby. We expect
things to break into bedlam at any moment, and Lau delays
and diverts that impulse for as long as he chooses.
Surrounds are used primarily for ambiance and localized
effects. Knife thrusts are undistinguished (like old Kung Fu
kicks and body bows), but they do have the necessary edge.
Menu operation is sensible, but my OPPO was unable to access
either of the two non-default Dolby audio choices: the
Cantonese or a Mandarin dub. The other two could be clicked
on, but were silent. The English translation provided on
this Universe Blu-ray is unbelievably bad. While spelling
errors were few, usage errors permeated every sentence, it
seemed. Even one of the producers name's is misspelled as "Daneil
Lam" on the opening credits – that's on the film, not in the
There is a brief six-minute making-of featurette that,
despite its not having English subtitles, did not look
promising. Image quality is SD/Letterboxed and not very good
quality to start with.
The movie makes a very good start, but is marred by an
unlikely turn of events and arbitrary confusion instead of
controlled mayhem. It's worth a look all the same.
Universe's Blu-ray image is good, if unexceptional, the
audio decent with excellent use of music. Worth a look.
March 12th, 2010