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A Touch of Sin aka Tian zhu ding [Blu-ray]
(Zhangke Jia, 2013)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Xstream Pictures
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 41,035,091,892 bytes
Feature Size: 38,687,784,960 bytes
Video Bitrate: 33.91 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 8th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Chinese 3760 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3760 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• 4 Trailers (for A Touch of Sin - 2:02)
Description: A brilliant exploration of violence and
corruption in contemporary China; (Jon Frosch, The
Atlantic), A TOUCH OF SIN was inspired by four
shocking (and true) events that forced the world's fastest
growing economy into a period of self-examination.
The recipient of the Best Screenplay award at the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival, writer/director Jia Zhang Ke's four-part drama explores the corrosive effects of violence in contemporary China through the eyes of a disgruntled miner, a migrant worker returning home for the New Year, a receptionist who was assaulted by a wealthy client, and a frustrated factory.
For most viewers, though, the subtleties in Jia’s bob-and-weave
narrative will take second place to the blood and gore he puts up on the
screen. People are mad as hell in this film, and the protagonists in
each of its four sub-sets – a miner, a migrant worker, a receptionist at
a spa, a factory worker – are driven, by either despair or existential
recklessness, to commit acts of destruction against others and
A blistering fictionalized tale straight out of China, “A Touch of Sin” is at once monumental and human scale. A story of lives rocked by violence, it has the urgency of a screaming headline but one inscribed with visual lyricism, emotional weight and a belief in individual rights. You can feel the conviction of its director, Jia Zhang-ke — one of the few filmmakers of any nationality who weighs the impact of social and political shifts on people — in every shot. In “A Touch of Sin,” the world isn’t an amorphous backdrop, pretty scenery for private dramas, it is a stage on which men and women struggle to fulfill basic moral obligations, including recognizing one another’s humanity.Excerpt from Manohla Dargis at the NY Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
A Touch of Sin arrives on Blu-ray from Kino. The film was shot on HD (Arri Alexa) and it shows a bit of softness in-motion - as this production format frequently does. The more-than 2-hour film is housed on a dual-layered disc with a very high bitrate. Generally the image is excellent - colors are extremely vibrant and detail impressively tight. It shows the strong visual benefits of this versatile format. The aspect ratio is 2.4:1. Contrast exhibits healthy black levels. Daylight scenes are more impressive but there is no flaring or noise in the darker scenes. This Blu-ray frequently showcases depth and a pristinely clean and dynamic 1080P video presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
A very strong audio transfer is provided - we get a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a healthy 3760 kbps. The film has a lot of aggression and some gunplay but the lossless rendering easily handles exporting powerful depth and a few subtle separations. The score is by Giong Lim (Millennium Mambo, Goodbye South, Goodbye, 24 City) and definitely seems to benefit from the uncompressed track. I could fin no faults at all and the sound was frequently crisp with buoyant range and depth. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.
Only some trailers - including one for A Touch of Sin. Certainly the film deserves some discussion.
March 27th, 2014
About the Reviewer: 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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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