The Rebel (2007)

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Released 12-Feb-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Making Of
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 99:52
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Truc 'Charlie' Nguyen
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Johnny Nguyen
Thanh Van Ngo
Dustin Nguyen
Stephane Gauger
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Christopher Wong


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Vietnamese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Vietnamese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Vietnamese produced films are pretty few and far between, certainly on DVDs released here in Australia. This one was released as part of Roadshow's Dragon Dynasty series a couple of years ago and had completely flown under my radar until now. I have read that this was the biggest budget film made in Vietnam to that point ($3 million) and it is certainly a good quality product both as a martial arts action film and as a story in itself. The film is called The Rebel in English and was produced by Johnny Tri Nguyen who also stars as Cuong and directed the action scenes (which are very impressive indeed).

     The story is set in a similar time to Indochine, 1920s Vietnam, and has quite similar themes in many ways. Cuong is a native Vietnamese but also works for the Colonial power as a secret policeman, hunting down rebels against the French regime. During an assassination attempt against a French official, Cuong and his boss, the seemingly indestructible Sy (Dustin Tri Nguyen), capture a young rebel woman, Thuy (Ngo Thanh Van). They realise that she is the daughter of the rebel leader and torture her trying to get her to tell them where her father is hiding. Cuong has become disillusioned with the regime and helps Thuy to escape and they join forces to escape from Cuong's colleagues and join up with Thuy's father.

     Despite having somewhat low production values and a script which could have used some more work to add clarity, there is a lot to like about this film, especially for martial arts buffs. It is full of well staged, easy to follow and very physical action scenes, featuring all three of the lead actors and many extras. Those who detest wire work will love the action scenes on show here. As well as being a quality action film, it is also quite a good melodrama about the situation in Vietnam under the French. The three leads show good acting chops as well as martial arts skills.

     I enjoyed this film and would recommend it for martial arts fans looking for something a little different.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is good. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio or close to it.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp but was affected by some MPEG artefacts (such as at 84:56) and quite grainy backgrounds in some scenes (e.g., 46:20).The shadow detail was good. The colour is a bit dull and lifeless possibly as a result of a sepia filter and naturalistic lighting being used. There were no other artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English which were clear and easy to read but burned into the picture.

     The layer change causes a very minor pause.

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 Vietnamese and French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and a 2.0 track at 224 Kb/s.

     Dialogue seemed clear and easy to hear but my Vietnamese is a bit rusty. The music by Christopher Wong is very suitable to the material adding appropriate tension and melodrama. The surround speakers were well used for action scenes, atmosphere and music. The subwoofer was used mostly for music support plus some thumps and thuds.

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

Extras

Menu

     The menu was still, silent and easy to use.

Making Of (37:26)

     A long behind the scenes featurette showing the filming of various scenes and special effects. The video quality is poor and the presentation is unimpressive.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 release of this film is a two disc set with significantly more extras including a commentary, deleted scenes are more. Region 1 is definitely the go.

Summary

    A quality martial arts film from Vietnam.

    The video quality is good. The audio quality is very good. The extra is OK.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, March 25, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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