The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Magnolia - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 77 minutes
Genre: Martial Arts/action
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English/Thai DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Nuntawut Boonrubsub, Sasisa Jindamanee, Phethai Wongkhamlao, Navarat Techaratanaprasert, Johnny Nguyen, Arun Bhavilai
Written & Directed by: Kridsanapong Radchata
Music by: Kanisorn Phaungjin
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 8, 2010
"Give evil a knee to the face!"
Pint-sized Woon and his older brother Woot live at a Muay Thai school with a few other students. Suffering from a failing heart, Woon is hospitalized and in desperate need of a transplant. A viable heart becomes available, but the donated organ is locked up in a hospital that has been overtaken by a lethal terrorist faction. With only four hours to perform the surgery, Woot and best friends Pong, Cat, and Jib, armed with Thai boxing skills and determination, race to the hospital to take on the terrorists and save his life.
Power kids is an action/adventure film with a martial arts based theme that revolves around a group of adolescent kids that live at a Muay Thai gym/café where they receive martial arts instruction by their teacher who also happens to be the uncle of two of them. Woot and his younger brother Woon along are very close and enjoy spending time with friends Pong, Cat and Jib. Woon has a degenerative heart condition which requires a transplant but manages to keep up with the antics that occasionally get the group into trouble with their teacher/uncle. A hospital a few towns away has a viable heart for Woon but the donor's family hasn't signed off on its releases yet. When the kids runs afoul of a local group of bullies at an RC car racetrack Woon collapses and has to be hospitalized until the heart becomes available. The donor family releases the heart however before it can be sent to Woon a group of terrorists takes over the hospital where it is being prepped for shipment. Once removed the heart is only viable for 4 hours and there isn't another one available. With Woon's life hanging in the balance Woot, Pong, Cat, and Jib hitch a ride to the hospital with a plan to retrieve the heart and bring it back for Woon. This will be easier said than done as the hospital is under siege by heavily armed mercenaries who won't stop until their demands are met. Woot and company are determined and will have to rely on their wits and high flying martial artistry if they are to succeed.
Power kids is a martial arts based action film geared toward younger audiences and is reminiscent of the type you might find on TV on a Saturday afternoon. It reminded me very much of the Power Rangers (minus the costumes) a popular TV show that my kids watched when they were little. The plot is elementary with bits of drama, peril, and levity mixed in with the action. It was cute and would more than likely appeal to adolescents although the level of violence might be a bit much for young kids. The martial arts choreography/action sequences were a bit repetitive but I was impressed with the technical proficiency exhibited by the actors, especially Nuntawut Boonrubsub and Sasisa Jindamanee (Woot and Cat) who trained for two years in preparation for the film. It moves along at 77 minutes and doesn't drag much. It would be fair to say it held my attention however diehard genre fans would find the action to be rudimentary and the plot to be a little inane. I think it attempts to send a positive message for young viewers (outside of the large scale butt kicking/violence) about devotion, friendship and the use of martial arts for good.
The rating is for violence and some 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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Power kids comes to Blu-ray disc from Magnolia HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.3 Mbps.
This is a low budget production which is partially reflected by a high definition presentation that doesn't lend itself to vivid eye catching colors or polished image quality. The video has a cooler overall perspective with muted colors and drab looking flesh tones. Resolution was stable but lacking in the kind of resolute definition that brings out subtle articulation and lucid depth and dimension. Exterior sequences such as those at the racetrack and hospital offer better depth but never rise to a level that looks much better than good standard definition. Blacks are not especially deep and detail in low light and dark areas is discernible but not definitively so. Contrast is stable and slightly elevated which occasionally boosts brighter onscreen elements making them punchier. Grain is present and provides a noticeable texture that while prominent at times isn't intrusive.
The DTS-HD Master Audio presentation does a nice job rendering the film's soundtrack. I utilized the Thai DTS-HD MA track during my evaluation rather than the dubbed English version. Dialogue could have been a bit more prominent with the front soundstage but was always intelligible. This is a well balanced surround mix that quite often engages the entire system. Dynamic range is very good and the audio has open expression that penetrates well into the room. Surround activity isn't abundant however the action based sequences provide an enriching level of immersion. The assault/take over and fight sequences at the hospital contain near field sound effects, robust dynamics and active LFE. The audio presentation easily trumped the quality of the video and sounded terrific in comparison.
- Making of Power Kids - 8 minute featurette
- Behind the scenes footage - 4 minutes
Power kids is a martial arts based action film geared toward younger audiences and is reminiscent of the type you might find on TV on a Saturday afternoon. Its elementary story and rudimentary action probably won't appeal to diehard enthusiasts but it attempts to send a positive message for young viewers (outside of the large scale butt kicking) about devotion, friendship and the use of martial arts for good. Its high definition video presentation doesn't offer impressive imagery but its lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack packs plenty of punch. The meager bonus supplements include behind the scenes footage and a brief making of documentary. If you're curious a rental will suffice but otherwise I would skip this one.
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