Tai Chi Hero (Blu-ray 3D) (2012)

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Released 15-May-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Martial Arts Menu Animation & Audio
System Setup
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 102:35
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up ?
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stephen Fung
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Yuan Xiaochao
Qi Shu
Tony Leung Ka Fai
Angelababy
Eddie Peng
Daniel Wu
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Mandarin DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Just a month or so ago I reviewed the first film in a planned trilogy of Hong Kong martial arts/comedy/historical action epic films, Tai Chi 0 (Tai Chi Zero). You can find my review of that film here . I described that film as fun to watch, despite its flaws. Unfortunately, this film, Tai Chi Hero only retains the flaws mentioned in that statement, most of the fun has gone.

     This film continues straight on from the end of the previous film (after a confusing first scene which introduces a new character who plays only a small role in the rest of the story). The mysterious stranger who arrives in the village at the end of the first film turns out to be the long lost older brother of Yu Niang (Angelababy), the heroine of the first film. He, Chen Zai Yang (Feng Shaofeng) was sent away from the village in disgrace as a teenager. The family are happy to see him except his father, Master Chen (Tony Leung Ka Fai) who has not forgiven him. He quickly starts trying to turn the village against our hero, Lu Chan (Yuan Xiaochao). The baddie from last time, Feng Zi Jing (Eddie Peng) also makes a return still trying to take revenge on the village, this time with more soldiers.

     The director seems to have used all his visual ideas and interesting situations in the first film because the first hour or more of this film is quite tedious. There is only one really interesting fight scene right at the end of the film. There are some more steam punk elements but none of them are overly interesting. Two other new characters are introduced, Prince Dun (Yuan Wen Kang) who as I mentioned above seems disconnected to the story (maybe it comes together in film 3) and Duke Fleming, an East India Company official (played by Peter Stormare with a very silly accent) who schemes behind the scenes with Feng. The funny sequences are gone as is most of the action and interesting visual ideas from the first film.

     The disc contains both the 2D and 3D versions of the film.

     There is not much to say about this film except that it is tedious and does not bode well for the third film in the trilogy.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout with lots of detail. Shadow detail was very good.

     The colour was very good but was obviously intentionally colour graded.

     There was some mild blocking during motion, which is disappointing for Blu-ray and there was also some shimmer at times.

     There are automatic subtitles in English which are clear but sometimes flash by too quickly and have occasional errors. The subtitles try to translate much of the onscreen Chinese text. The subtitles are for the Chinese dialogue only not for the occasional English sections.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good.

     This disc contains a Mandarin/English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1. Most dialogue is in Mandarin however some characters speak in English.

     Dialogue seemed clear and easy to hear and understand.

     The music is a strange mixture of classical music, Chinese rap and Heavy Metal which is another reminder of Quentin Tarantino. The score itself is by Katsunori Ishida. It sounds good on this transfer.

     The surround speakers are used for significant amounts of surround effects and for music and atmosphere. There are some quite obvious effects (probably linked to 3D moments) however there is one scene towards the end of the film where the sound is very impressive (86:30).

     The subwoofer supports the action sequences and the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    No extras except a DTS sound check.

Menu

    The menu included music.

R4 vs R1

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

    The US version of this Blu-ray is due for release in July and a Hong Kong version is available but seems very similar to ours. Buy local.

Summary

    A tedious follow up to a fun and entertaining martial arts action comedy.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are still at zero.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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