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A view on Blu-ray by Michael Den Boer

 

The Delightful Forest (Sword Masters) [Blu-ray]

(aka "Kuai huo lin")

 

(Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao, 1972)

 

 

Review by Michael Den Boer

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Shaw Brothers

Blu-ray: Well Go USA

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:32:16.998

Disc Size: 23,527,654,854 bytes

Feature Size: 22,451,925,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.10 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 27th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080i / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Chinese 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, Chinese, none

 

Extras:

• Trailers for Brave Archer and His Mate (1:01; Letterboxed Widescreen), Holy Flame of the Martial World (1:06; Letterboxed Widescreen), Journey of the Doomed (1:03; Letterboxed Widescreen).

 

 

The Film:

The plot revolves around a young man named Wu Sung who is sent to prison after he kills his adulteress sister in law and her lover. Shortly after his arrival at Meng Chou, the wardens son approaches Wu Sung with a chance to regain his freedom. All he has to do is remove the thug who now occupies the warden's son's restaurant 'The Delightful Forest'.

The Delightful Forest was co-directed by Cheh Chang (The 5 Deadly Venoms) and Hsueh Li Pao (The Battle Wizard). The Delightful Forest is the second of four films in which actor Lung Ti (A Better Tomorrow) would portray the Wu Sung character. The other three films are as follows, The Water Margin, 7 Soldiers of Kung Fu and Tiger Killer.

He gives a remarkable performance as Wu Sung, who single handedly killed a tiger with his bare hands. The Wu Sung character is given plenty of obstacles to overcome throughout the film and these moments are where the film is at its best. Lung Ti's most memorable moments include the scenes leading up to his showdown with the thug that now occupies 'The Delightful Forest'. Along the way the Wu Sung drinks wine at every inn that he passes. While most men would be hampered by so much alcohol consumption. Wu Sung somehow fights better when he is inebriated.

The film's exceptional action sequences where choreographed by Chia Yung Liu (He Has Nothing But Kung Fu) and Chia-Liang Liu (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin). The film's stand out action sequences is the bloody finale in which Wu Sung takes on everyone who has done him wrong. The score features music from Ennio Morricone score for the film Once Upon a Time in the West. Ultimately The Delightful Forest is a solid martial arts film that has languished in obscurity for far too long.


 

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

Yet another interlaced transfer from Well Go USA that is plagued by 'combing' which is most noticeable during horizontal pan action sequences. When compared to Well Go USA's other Shaw Brothers Blu-ray's, Brothers Five and The Heroic Ones. This transfer also only offers a 'minimal' improvement over the transfer for Well Go USA's DVD release. It should be noted that I noticed a few instances where the image pixilated. Well Go USA is aware of this defect and have issued this response.

It has come to our attention that The Delightful Forest Blu-ray release, UPC 812491011126 is defective. The replicator has tracked this to a glass master problem and takes full responsibility for the subsequent QC issue. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Corrected discs are being replicated now and will be available next week.

INSTRUCTION FOR REPLACEMENT:
1.) Return to original point of purchase.
IF consumer is UNABLE to return to original point of purchase due to a sellers Return/Exchange Policy, then proceed to the following:
2.) Well Go USA will make replacement copies available to consumers who cannot return to original point of purchase. You can obtain a new copy by sending in your defective (disc and packaging) to the following:

ATTN: TDF - DEFECT
Well Go USA, Inc.
1601 E. Plano Pkwy. Ste 110
Plano, TX 75074

Please note that a new copy will not be issued until we receive a defective disc first. Include with your mailing:
Name
Address
Phone #
Email Address
For further inquires, email info@wellgousa.com

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music:

This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Mandarin and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Removable English and Chinese subtitles have been included. The two audio mixes are in very good shape as dialog is always clear and the action sequences sound robust. The English subtitles don't appear to be 'Dub' titles. Just like many of Well Go USA's other Shaw Brother release, the subtitles for this release have a few grammatical errors.

 

 

Extras:

Extras are limited to three trailers Brave Archer and His Mate, Holy Flame of the Martial World and Journey of the Doomed. All three trailers are presented in a letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with no English subtitles and in standard definition.

 

 

Bottom line:

The Delightful Forest is yet another disappointing Blu-ray release from Well Go USA that fails to use the full potential of the Blu-ray format.

Michael Den Boer
May 3rd, 2010

 

 




 

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