Bangkok Dangerous (1999)

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Released 21-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Seamless Branching-Open The Eye
Theatrical Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Trailer-Piracy Ad, The Eye, The Grudge, Ong Bak, Bichunmoo
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 101:15
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:58) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Oxide Pang Chun
Danny Pang
Studio
Distributor
Film Bangkok
Madman Entertainment
Starring Pawalit Mongkolpisit
Premsinee Ratanasopha
Patharawarin Timkul
Pisek Intrakanchit
Korkiate Limpapat
Piya Boonnak
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Orange Music


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Thai dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Since the smash hit success of The Eye throughout Asia and its cult success throughout the rest of the world, The Pang Brothers (twin brothers Danny Pang and Oxide Pang) have been shamelessly plugged as the next big thing. Before The Eye rocketed the brothers to fame they had made only one other film together, Bangkok Dangerous. While not nearly as memorable as their breakthrough, this action drama carries much of the visual flair of the brothers' later work.

    Kong (Pawalit Mongkolpisit) is a deaf mute hitman operating in the underworld of Bangkok. All his life he had been picked on for his disability until he was discovered by Joe (Pisek Intrakanchit), a mob hitman, who became like a brother to Kong as he trained him to be a hitman like himself. Alas, Joe hasn't been the man he once was since a 'workplace injury' and Kong is mostly left to support the pair.

    Joe's relationship with his girlfriend Aom (Patharawarin Timkul), head dancing girl at the underworld club they operate out of, has been on the rocks since the injury. That all changes when Aom is brutally attacked and Joe sets out for revenge on her behalf. Meanwhile, Kong is a step behind as he is having girl troubles of his own after his girlfriend inadvertently find out about his occupation.

    Bangkok Dangerous is high on concept, but falls down in the execution of those concepts. There are too many story elements and none of them are really sufficiently fleshed out. A lot of what is fleshed out is fairly derivative of countless Hong Kong films (yes, this is a Thai film, produced by Hong Kong filmmakers), but done reasonable well. A lot of these shortfalls are made up by the stylish action sequences and ultra-cool, albeit shocking, climax.

    Bangkok Dangerous is not likely to win too many new fans for The Pang Brothers or modern Asian cinema, but is likely enough to tide over existing fans until something new comes their way.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video is presented in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. The transfer is of a reasonable standard, certainly adequate for the film.

    The image is generally soft, but even throughout and free of noticeable grain. There is not a good deal of depth to the colour in the transfer and many darker scenes lack finer detail in the image. Scenes set in the underworld nightclub (like the one at 20:30) are the worst affected.

    The colours are a little washed out in some of the brighter scenes, but are fairly even throughout.

    The film suffers from frequent, small film artefacts such as dust flecks. Some scenes go overboard on fake film artefacts to denote that they are flashbacks, but the genuine film artefacts are noticeably different to the fake ones. Some scenes, particularly ones with open flames such as at 54:40, suffer from noticeable moire patterns, but this is mostly contained to the background of the image.

    The subtitles are both well timed and a bold yellow colour that makes them easy to read.

    The layer change occurs discreetly at 57:58, as the screen goes black between scenes.

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

Audio

    Two audio tracks are available, a Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) track and a Thai DTS (1536 Kbps) track. Both tracks are fairly clear, but the Dolby Digital track suffers occasional brief dropouts in the left speaker (e.g. at 54:30) and mild crackling (not clipping from loud noises, but a mild crackle that was likely introduced in the transfer).

    Dialogue is generally clear and no audio sync issues are evident.

    The score is largely over the top, but generally fits the film fairly well. One significant point where I couldn't take the score seriously was at an emotional part of the movie (at 34:10) where the score manages to inexplicably work in the melody of Jingle Bells.

    The surround channels are used frequently and to reasonable effect, but quite clumsily. There is no subtle use of the surrounds, but there are frequent big pans to them. The subwoofer gets a good workout from the score, but not so much from the action effects and gunshots.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Pretty standard animated menus, but the audio sure pumps the bass. Don't leave this menu running if someone is asleep in the next room!

Seamless Branching - Open the Eye

    This extra is a novel approach to presenting some generally dull behind the scenes footage. When in Open the Eye mode, a little Eastern Eye logo appears in the top right corner when extra content is available. Pressing enter at that time seamlessly branches to a a minute or two of raw behind the scenes footage and returns to where the film left off when it is finished. There are 8 such segments throughout the film. Great concept, but pretty forgettable content (like the film in some respects). This feature would have been much better if there was some narration or subtitles explaining or expanding on the raw behind-the-scenes footage.

Theatrical Trailer

    Fairly standard theatrical trailer. The transfer suffers from a significant number of film artefacts.

Gallery-Photo

    A non-event, even for a stills gallery. 15 low resolution promo shots, all are partially obscured by the DVD menus.

Trailers - The Eye, The Grudge, Ong Bak and Bichunmoo

    Inexplicably opening with every moviegoer's most hated Would you steal a movie ad, trailers for four other Madman titles are presented in a variety of aspect ratios.

R4 vs R1

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

    A full frame bare bones release with no special features is available in Region 1.

    The single layer disc Region 2 UK edition includes Star And Director Filmographies (just lists their films, nothing more) and Mark Wyatt Film Notes (who?!) but misses out on:

    The Region 4 disc is the winner, mainly for its technically superior presentation.

Summary

    A stylish, but unoriginal action drama that has been given a reasonable DVD transfer. Anyone interested in checking out the early work of The Pang Brothers is not likely to be disappointed, but this is unlikely to set their world on fire. The extras are not particularly noteworthy.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDLG V8824W, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D512
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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