Undiscovered Tomb (2002)

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Released 8-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Sex Medusa, Chinese Heroes, Snake Charmer
Trailer-The King Boxer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 90:53
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Douglas Kung
Studio
Distributor
My Way Film Co Ltd
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Yoko Shimada
Marsha Yuan
Shi Xiao Long
John Zhang
Ken Wong
Koinuma Miyuki
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.70:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    This Hong Kong film is, shall we say, "inspired" by Tomb Raider. An archaeologist, Ivy (Yoko Shimada), mounts an expedition to the border between China and India to locate a tomb where some immortality pills may be found. However, also involved are a group of evil guys who want to get hold of the pills for themselves. Ivy hires a couple of female assistants well versed in the martial arts for the expedition to find the tomb of terracotta warriors. Much fighting and typical bad Hong Kong humour ensues.

    This is a fairly silly and not very entertaining film, filled with lots of wirework and the usual stupid female characters to be found in Hong Kong cinema. Obviously feminism has a long way to go in this part of the world. Some of the martial arts are okay but mostly I was just watching the clock waiting for this film to end. If you have seen a few 1990s Hong Kong wuxia films, you have seen everything that is in this film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.70:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. The IMDb seems have bypassed this film so I am not sure what the original aspect ratio was, but I am guessing it would have been 1.85:1 like most Hong Kong films.

    Despite the lack of 16x9 enhancement, the film is reasonably easy to watch. The image is sharp though not as good as it would have been with an anamorphic transfer. Shadow detail is adequate.

    Colour is also fairly good. Colours are not especially accurate or rich, and black levels are likewise not especially black, but the colour is good enough for a single viewing, and is much like many other films from Hong Kong in appearance. If you are used to seeing these films on VCD or poor quality VHS tapes, you will be pleased with the look of the film.

    Aliasing is present throughout the film, and while it is not excessive it is noticeable. There is also a reasonably high level of grain. And there is some judder from time to time.

    The print used was clean, with only the occasional speck and dirt visible.

    No subtitles are provided on this single layered disc.

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

Audio

    The sole audio channel is English Dolby Digital 2.0. There are some stereo effects but there is no surround encoding present.

    Being dubbed into English, audio sync is terrible. The audio quality is not so bad. While the acoustics generally do not match the on-screen action, this is the sort of audio track that is neither bad enough nor good enough to draw attention to itself.

    The music score is fairly generic and unmemorable.

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

Extras

Theatrical Trailer (2:11)

    Like the feature this is not 16x9 enhanced, and is also dubbed. Not a particularly distinctive trailer.

Trailers - Sex Medusa, King Boxer, Chinese Heroes, Snake Charmer (6:29)

    The usual batch of trailers as per these Force Video releases. All are widescreen but not 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    The film is slated for an August release in UK Region 2, but other than it being a widescreen edition no information is available on the contents.

    The US Region 1 has Cantonese and Mandarin audio tracks with English subtitles and is a widescreen version, so it would be the release of choice. I have not been able to determine if it is 16x9 enhanced, however.

    There does not appear to be a Region 3 release.

Summary

    A fairly dull adventure film in the tradition of Tomb Raider.

    The video quality is adequate.

    The audio quality is acceptable, but the dubbing hurts.

    The extras consist of just a few trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Sunday, July 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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