Review by Leonard Norwitz
Theatrical: Saha Mongkul Films & Pappayon Hunsa
Disc Size: 25,013,544,264 bytes
Feature Size: 23,364,390,912 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.98 Mbps
Case: Standard U.S Blu-ray Case
Release date: May 11th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080P / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Thai 2323 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2323 kbps
/ 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2150 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2150
kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
English & Spanish
• Making of Legend of the Tsunami Warrior (9:10)
• Behind the Scenes Footage (5:00)
Description: You’ll be very pleased to learn that this story
has nothing whatever to do with tsunamis. I haven’t come up
with a suitable title, but “Stingray vs. Black Ray” would
have been closer to the mark. The international title
"Queens of Langkasuka" might lead you to think there is more
than one queen in play. There isn't. But there are
princesses of some importance, so perhaps the Thai's don't
make the same distinction as we in the West.
The story begins with a 17th century Dutch ship on route to
Thailand with giant cannons for the queen’s defense that is
inadvertently sunk by pirates (blithering idiots!) In time,
a young boy, Pari, is introduced to a wizard and
practitioner of Du Lum: White Ray (Sorapong Chatree). As a
young man, Pari (Ananda Everingham) learns to be spiritually
connected to the creatures of the ocean, while elsewhere the
pirates continue their efforts to raise the cannons from the
bottom of the sea.
Queen Hijau (Jarunee Suksawas) is interested in replacing
the lost cannons and seeks their original inventor as two of
her sisters are kidnapped by the pirates. Pari continues his
training in Du Lum with White Ray in a way reminiscent of
Luke Sywalker and Yoda. White Ray is concerned that Pari's
repressed rage against the pirates for having murdered his
family earlier in the story will lead him to the dark side,
as it has done with him. In the final half of the movie, one
of the rescued princesses develops a romantic attachment to
Pari while he and Queen Hijau’s most trusted commander,
Prince Jarang (Chupong Changprung), prepare for a showdown
with the pirates.
Perhaps the name, Nonzee Nimibutr, is unfamiliar to many on
this side of the planet, but avid filmgoers might know him
as the producer of two of the more interesting films to come
out of Thailand: Tears of the Black Tiger and Last Life in
the Universe – both unique and worth owning if you don't
already. Alas, Legend of the Tsunami Warrior is not up to
their standards nor does it live up to the promise of Nang
Nak or Jan Dara, two films that Nimibutr directed to some
acclaim early in his career.
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.
The image quality for this movie on Blu-ray seems to vary
with each scene. I doubt that much of this is due to the
transfer, but rather production choices made by the
filmmakers. There are scenes in the wizard's cave and pirate
hideouts where blacks are crushed and shadows have little
detail, while others in and around the palace glitter with
the reflections of high gloss metals. Scenes on the ocean's
surface are thin and bright, while shots beneath it seem to
have about the right density. On the other hand, the film's
gold-bathed color is consistent (except for the underwater
shots which are, appropriately enough, aqua), lending the
proceedings a timeless antiquity.
CG effects are particularly weak: Check out the screen cap
of the pirate ships: the lack of definition is staggering.
Explosions and fire are well handled, never blowing out
detail or overwhelming darker parts of the frame. Capture #9
with the dying man in the pirate cave with fires burning in
the background is a good example. Edge enhancement is used
rarely and sparingly.
CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
Dialogue is clear enough (in either the Thai or English mix)
and there is generally a sensible balance between speech,
music, and effects. As in many action/adventure movies,
hand-to-hand combat is louder than the blast of a cannon or
the crash of a wall. For a film as recent as this, it is
disappointing that kicks and body blows are so similarly
applied, reminding us that the old chop-socky effects die
hard. The final duel of the cannons is particularly
disappointing in its lack of bass and weight.
For those who require an English language audio track you
will be pleased to know this Blu-ray has one, and in
uncompressed DTS-HD MA to boot. The bad news is that the
rhythms of the Thai language do not translate well if you
are determined to synch the dub with lip movements. The
resultant pauses in English speech are often laughable,
making the movie seem even campier than it is in its native
language. Under the original Thai audio track, the English
subtitles work better, but the translation remains clumsy.
The feature film is divided into only 12 chapters – hardly
There are two pieces here: The five-minute "Behind the
Scenes Footage" is hardly worthy of a Blu-ray, as if shot on
an iPhone (no offence, Apple), nor is its content remotely
professional. The "Making of Legend of the Tsunami Warrior"
on the other hand is a sober analysis of the production by
its director, Nonzee Nimibutr, with assists by several
members of the cast.
Legend of the Tsunami Warrior has little to recommend
it despite a budding romance and a cleverly realized
identity shift between White Ray and Black Ray. The CG
effects are shoddy and the story is too choppy to be
compelling. On the other hand I think it would make for a
fun rental if you’re in the mood for an unintentional
comedy. The movie’s climactic duelling cannons will have you
falling off your chair.
May 16th, 2010