Nightfall (2012)

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Released 2-Jan-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Eastern Eye x 4
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 103:12
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Chow Hin Yeung

Madman Entertainment
Starring Simon Yam
Nick Cheung
Janice Man
Michael Wong
Kay Tse
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Shigeru Umebayashi

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Cantonese dts 5.1
Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, both opening and closing credits

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Plot Synopsis

     Inspector George Lam (Simon Yam) of the Hong Kong Police, whose wife committed suicide 5 years ago leaving him with a teenage daughter to bring up, is unable to let cold cases go, keeping files and pictures of the victims on his walls at home. Twenty years ago Eugene Wong (Nick Cheung) was gaoled for the rape and murder of 19 year old Eva Tsui. Now paroled, he watches the household of the Tsui family, including 20 year old daughter Zoe (Janice Man) who bears an uncanny resemblance to the murdered Eva. Zoe’s father Han (Michael Wong) is very possessive of his daughter, and is capable of striking her in a rage if she receives phone calls from boys. When Han’s mutilated and disfigured body is found in the sea, Eugene becomes the prime suspect and Inspector Lam begins to think that the two crimes, 20 years apart, are linked. They are indeed linked, but in ways the police do not even start to suspect.

     Nightfall (Daai deoi bou) is the second film of writer / director Chow Hin Yeung and his co-writer To Chi-long following the bizarre and off the wall, but very entertaining, Murderer (2009). Perhaps in response to some of the criticism of the twists in Murderer, Nightfall is rather more straightforward than Murderer but still delivers a number of twists, a fractured narrative, some brutal and confronting violence and some excellent acting from Simon Yam and especially Nick Cheung, whose character is mute following a failed suicide attempt in gaol. As such Cheung has to make do with his deep and chilly stare and his body language and he is very effective, not to say frightening. The film also looks great, using beautiful widescreen photography of Hong Kong to good effect, courtesy of veteran cinematographer Ardy Lam, whose credits over the years include working with Hong Kong greats John Woo (Bullet in the Head(1990)) and Tsui Hark (Once Upon a Time In China (1991)). Nightfall is also blessed by an impressive score by prolific Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi, responsible for a diverse range of film scores including House of Flying Daggers (2004) and Trishna (2011). For a director in only his second film Chow has certainly managed to amass some great talent behind the scenes.

     Nightfall is more narratively sedate than Murderer, but this does not mean that Nightfall is straightforward; it’s not. Perhaps also in response to reaction to their first film, Nightfall also makes sure that it ties up all the loose ends, perhaps too comprehensively, leaving nothing to the imagination of the audience. However, this is a minor issue: Nightfall is an intriguing, intelligent and beautiful looking film, a psychological, character driven thriller with great acting from Simon Yam and Nick Cheung.

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Transfer Quality


     Nightfall is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     This is a beautiful looking print. Detail is good and sharp, but the highlight is the colour palate that is deep and rich with blues and reds particularly vibrant. Pause at 9:28 for a beautiful scene of Hong Kong for example. Blacks and shadow detail are fine, brightness and contrast consistent.

     Other than some minor aliasing on surfaces such as grills, and some ghosting with motion, artefacts were absent. There was a fair amount of shimmering with the end titles however.

     The layer change at 62:35 resulted in a slight pause.

     English subtitles are in an easy to read yellow font. They seemed to be timely and I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors. The only issue I had was that the subtitles remained on when English sentences were spoken. There were a few, and the subtitles were distracting

     A very good print, without issues.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is a choice of either Cantonese DTS at 1509 Kbps or Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps. I listened to the DTS, and sampled the Dolby Digital. Both were good, although the DTS seemed crisper with better separation.

     Dialogue was clear and centred. The surrounds were a revelation right from the first scene in the shower block: the thud of the body hits were loud and reverberated, the music and effects fled around the speakers and the water falling from the showers filled the sound stage. A lot of the film was not action oriented, and did not require the same aggressive sound design, but the surrounds remained active with effects and music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Teaser Trailer (1:03)

Theatrical Trailer (2:00)

Eastern Eye Trailers

     Trailers for Headshot (2:08), Motorway (1:33), Life Without Principle (2:24), and Outrage (2:05).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There does not seem to be a Region 2 UK version of Nightfall at present, and the Region 1 US is not due for release until 21/5/2013. The Region 3 HK version includes the teaser and trailer we get, but adds a “making of”. However, the aspect ratio is listed as being 1.78:1, not the correct 2.35:1. The Region A HK Blu-ray contains the same extras as the HK DVD but seems to have the correct 2.35:1.

     For DVD our release seems a good choice.


     Nightfall is an intriguing, intelligent and beautiful looking film; a psychological, character driven thriller with some interesting twists and great acting by Simon Yam and Nick Cheung.

     The video and audio are very good. Trailers are the only extra.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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