Chocolate (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Magnolia - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 92 Minutes
Genre: Action/Martial Arts

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/Thai DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English & Spanish
Starring: Jeeja Yanin, Ammara Siripong, Hiroshi Abe, Dechawut Chuntakaro
Directed by: Prachya Pinkaew
Written by: Chukiat Sakveerakul & Napalee
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 10, 2009

"She’s sweet but deadly"

Film Synopsis:

A young girl learns to fight from watching TV and the fighters from the boxing school next door. When she finds a list of debtors in her ailing mother's diary, she sets upon a violent quest to collect payment for medical expenses. Her quest is a dangerous one that ultimately leads her to her father, a mafia member of the Yakuza.

My Take:


Naturally armed with lightening fast reflexes and a propensity for information, Zen absorbs devastating martial arts skills from watching television and the Muay Thai boxers practicing next door. Emulating their skills with deadly accuracy and strength, she looks to settle her ailing mother’s debts by seeking out the ruthless people that owe her money. Ferocious yet agile, Zen is a powerful force to be reckoned with and refuses to back down from the gangster tyrants.

I don’t consider myself to be a fan of martial arts films but I have nothing against them either. As a film enthusiast I can pretty much enjoy anything that is entertaining. I have to admit that I am in awe of the technical skills and physicality involved in this sport. Watching the intricate choreography that goes into the making of a film like Chocolate is equally impressive. This movie represents 24 year old Jeeja Yanin’s first feature film and she was awesome. She was selected for her martial arts chops as well as her good looks and the combination worked well. The story isn’t particularly complex and doesn’t call for an in depth dramatic performance from her (although she does portray an autistic teenager). Besides we rarely watch movies like this for their drama, we watch them for the action. Things start off kind of slow as the story is setup but once is gets rolling it picks up nicely. There are several extended fight sequences where Yanin gets to unload and she is incredible to watch. When the film ends there is an outtake segment that shows some of the many injuries that were sustained by her and the cast during the making of the film. While I can’t honestly say that I thought Chocolate (not sure how the title ties in with the movie btw) was a great movie It left me feeling entertained when it was over. I have decided to add it to my collection and watch it again. When all is said and done I guess that speaks for itself.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for pervasive violence and brief sexuality/nudity.

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.**

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

Audio: 94

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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948d=1210373699

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=109946&d=1210373699

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

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

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

Chocolate comes to Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.4 mbps.

This high definition video presentation had a distinctive visual aesthetic that featured a reserved chromatic palette which made use of sepia tones and muted primaries. This applied predominantly to interior and darker sequences. Exterior shots used bolder colors with deeper saturation. Contrast and brightness were nicely balanced and blacks were deep and punchy. Flesh tones were on the bland side but retained enough complexional variety to avoid appearing lifeless. This was related to the filtering applied and not to the encoding. Close ups offered appreciable texture with excellent delineation and subtle refinement. Wide angle shots had excellent depth, with sharp resolute image quality that was rarely questionable. I didn’t notice any signs of compression or video related artifacts.

The high resolution DTS-HD MA audio is of reference quality and delivers the soundtrack’s elements with aplomb. The higher fidelity inherent in this lossless sound mix was readily apparent. I used the Thai DTS-HD MA track during my evaluation rather than the dubbed English version. Dynamics range is extended which rendered the film’s action based sequences with definitive impact and energy. Dialogue is presented with crystal clear intonation, full bodied texture, and deep room penetration. The opening of chapter two is lead by a female vocal performance accompanied by acoustic guitar. The vocals sounded silky smooth, sibilant free and airy through the center channel. The guitar was mixed to the main channels and had defining presence and superlative transparent detail. The sounds of breaking glass, swirling objects and clashing swords was reproduced with sparkling clarity. Imaging across the front of the room was excellent as sounds were integrated with precision. This is an busy surround mix that intelligently utilizes the entire system. During the fight sequences the listening position is actively engaged by a mixture of spatial and localizable sound effects that place the listener in the heart of the action. Low frequency detail is clean, well articulated and authoritative as all points of contact seem to resonate with palpable bass impact. This ramps up during chapters ten and eleven which feature a few deep low frequency transients that bass heads are sure to appreciate. This isn’t a bombastic or overly aggressive soundtrack but it’s blend of intricate detail and room filling dynamics make it a first rate home theater experience.

Bonus Features:

  • Making of Chocolate - 9 minute documentary

  • (HD) Previews from Magnolia HE

Final Thoughts:

Chocolate is an above average martial arts flick that features enough butt kicking action to keep genre fans happy. Newcomer Jeeja Yanin is incredible to watch and offers a great combination of beauty and technical skill. Hopefully we can look forward to more from her in the future. Magnolia HE has done an outstanding job with its presentation on Blu-ray disc as it looks great and sounds even better. The bonus supplements only include a brief making of feature that includes cast/crew interviews and a decent behind the scenes look at the production. If high flying martial arts movies are to your liking then I would recommend that you give this one a spin.


Ralph Potts
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:10 PM
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I saw the trailer online and was very excited to get to see the movie.

When your review came up I immediately Netflixed it and its available!

This is the kind of movie release schedule we need (it was in theaters on the 6th and on dvd the 10th!!!!!!!!!!!)

the movie looks like a hoot. Right up there with Kung Fu Hustle I hope.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:53 PM
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First of all ,I am proud that you gave this film a high level points for this BD.I did'nt like this film,all the movie was about fighting,no brainer.btw.Thanks for rating this my country's film.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:17 AM
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I saw the DVD some time ago and enjoyed it even though it is a pretty typical mindless martial arts action flick. My wife is Thai and she enjoyed seeing a Thai language DVD with decent production values for a change. I think I'll have to buy this on BD.

The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:27 PM
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This was an awsome movie! Definitely a collectors item.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:33 PM
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I thought the preview looked really bad, but after your review I'm going to give this a shot.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:22 AM
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Should I bother to watch it?
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:10 PM
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anyone know if this title is available in Canada??
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:17 AM
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OMG. The movie starts off slow, but picks up when the fighting scene starts. The lead actress looks quiet young. This is the female version of Tony Jaa, not as fast though, but still wicked. The outdoor balcony scene looks like that would hurt, simply amazing. The video quality is surprisingly good.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by atabea View Post

anyone know if this title is available in Canada??

It's on Just do a search for "chocolate blu-ray".
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:32 AM
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My wife and I watched this over the weekend. Do yourself a favor and watch it in Thai. Although the English dub isn't horrific the movie seems to lose a lot of the sincerity in English. As Ralph stated the drama is blah but the fight scenes are very well choreographed. This is one of the few martial arts movies I can recall where the protagonist hits the baddies once they are down to "finish them off".

Great review Ralph as always.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:48 PM
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Nothing better than an asian girl kicking ass!
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:49 AM
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^ You got that right. My girl is Asian and she really does kick ass. We'll be visiting her family in Thailand next month, it will be my second trip there.

The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:15 PM
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Watched this one a few weeks back and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. This girl is very impressive. Some fantastic fight sequences and the audio was awesome I thought, especially during the final battle (which was just insane by the way)! Be sure to watch the credits as there is some behind the scenes type things where some of the scenes got a little more "real" then planned!

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Old 03-18-2009, 06:01 PM
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This has to be one of the worst films i've seen. I no longer have any confidence in you ratings Mr. Potts.
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