Special ID (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
86





Studio and Year: Well Go USA - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 99 minutes
Genre: Martial Arts/Crime

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): Chinese/English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Starring: Donnie Yen, Jing Tian, Hanyu Zhang, Andy On, Colin Chou
Directed by: Clarence Fok Yiu-Leung
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 13, 2014







"Justice. Undercover."


Film Synopsis:

Donnie Yen is Detective Chen Zilong – but the criminal underworld knows him as “Dragon” Chen, a dangerous but effective enforcer. When rivalries explode with the reappearance of an old enemy and a brutal murder, the Triads close ranks and unleash a series of executions – with Chen at the top of the list. Undercover and under attack, he has no choice but to rely on a new partner (Jing Tian) and his knowledge of the streets to get out alive. It’s the only chance he’s got.

My Take:

Action star Donnie Yen returns to contemporary MMA films as a deep undercover police officer in this mob style action film. Yen takes on the role of “Dragon” Chen, a Hong Kong undercover police officer deep within the ranks of one of China’s most ruthless underworld gangs. The leader of the gang, Xiong (Collin Chou), has made it his priority to weed out the government infiltrators in his midst. Struggling to keep his family protected and his identity concealed, Chen is torn between two worlds. Upping the stakes, as Chen’s undercover comrades are being dealt with, one by one, Chen fears his days are numbered. Now, he must risk everything to take down the organization and reclaim the life he lost when he took on this perilous assignment.

I like Donnie Yen and try to check out his films whenever the opportunity presents itself. Special ID caught my eye when I saw its trailer on another Well Go USA title I had in for review. Unfortunately the trailer made the film look better than it actually is. The storyline is scattered and the relationships among the primary characters is weak at best. Yen directed the action sequences which had a few shining moments but otherwise didn’t add anything of note to film’s bland aesthetic. The ending coincided with the overall tone of the film which left an overwhelming feeling that Special ID was a swing and a miss.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence and language.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency effects: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element): attachment.php?attachmentid=109940&d=1210373637


Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Special ID comes to Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.

This high definition presentation was on par with other new release films of its type and generally looked great. Colors were natural looking with a pleasing and reserved quality that capably handled the somewhat limited palette used to represent the various settings and clothing featured in the film. Flesh tones varied a bit with some appearing warm and lifelike while others were sullen with pallid characteristics. Contrast was tamped down but stable and images were well detailed and crisp, with sharp lines and appreciable dimension. Blacks weren’t inky but had good dynamic range and detail in shadowy backgrounds and low level sequences had estimable visibility which enhanced depth. This moderately high bitrate encoding was rendered with pristine quality that didn’t exhibit any overt signs of compression related anomalies or deleterious artifacts.

The Chinese DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack had no trouble rendering clear and well-articulated dialogue. Sound effects had notable dynamic energy so that they sounded full bodied and aurally satisfying. It utilizes the surround platform however the soundtrack doesn’t consistently engage the entire system. When engaged it renders the recordings elements well delivering proper atmosphere, clarity detail. Low frequency effects are used to add solidity to sound effects and the film’s music. I thought the presentation served the source material well and sounded fine.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Making of featurette – 4 minutes

  • (HD) Trailer




Final Thoughts:

Special ID is a poorly scripted action/crime entry that wastes the charisma of star Donnie Yen. It comes to Blu-ray from Well Go USA featuring solid high definition audio/video quality and noticeably lacking supplemental set. Unless you’re a diehard Donnie Yen fan I would say that Special ID is a pass.



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
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Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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