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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

87






Studio and Year: LionsGate - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 100 Minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Charlie Young, Shahkrit Yamnarm, Panward Hemmanee
Directed by: The Pang Brothers
Music by: Brian Tyler
Written by: Jason Richman
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 6, 2009







"There's only one way out"



Film Synopsis:


As a hired assassin, Joe (Cage) is the best in the business but the years of stone-cold murder have taken their toll. Joe's plan to make this current assignment in Bangkok his last takes a wild turn when he violates one of the most important rules of the game. Now the hunter is the hunted in this hard-driving, action-packed thriller.




My Take:


I have been watching and enjoying Nicholas Cage's films for years. I have seen him in a variety of them and can't say that I favor any particular genre but I can't think of one of his action based movie that I haven't liked. Unfortunately I can no longer say that as Bangkok Dangerous isn't a very good film. The story revolves around an assassin named Joe (Cage) who comes to Bangkok after being hired by a local gang leader to carry out four hits on various targets. Joe generally operates by using a local as a go-between to run errands between him and the client so that he never meets them face to face. Joe is painted as ruthless, thorough and consistent in his mode of operation which includes never leaving looses ends, getting close to people, or failing to carry out an assignment. Upon arriving in Bangkok he hires Kong (Yamnarm) a local small time pickpocket to be his errand boy/go-between. He carefully explains the rules to him and puts his standard plan into place to eliminate Kong after the job is completed. While carrying out the first hit Joe is accidentally injured and goes to a local pharmacy for antibiotics/medication. While there he meets an attractive local woman named Fon (Yeoung) who works there and happens to be deaf. He is smitten by her and returns later and asks her to go on a date with him. He also decides to make Kong his protégé rather than kill him. Meanwhile Kong (unbeknownst to Joe) has started a relationship with the young nightclub dancer that (the gang is using as their go-between) he has been meeting for each of the exchanges. Joe goes on his date with Fon and their relationship begins to blossom. Joe begins to have second thoughts about what he is doing and that perhaps it is time to get out. They seem to be brought on by his feelings for Fon and he decides that this will be his last job. Things begin to erode quickly when the gang decides that perhaps it isn't wise to leave any loose ends of their own. They decide that they will eliminate Joe once his tasks have been completed, the last of which is to kill a high profile politician.

In the opening segment Joe's narration sums him up in a nutshell. He lives a singular existence by choice which is necessary in his profession. No one can be trusted so he doesn't get close to people. He never leaves loose ends and is a meticulous planner. This is all illustrated when they show him carry out a hit in the beginning which is followed by the killing of his go-between. He gets to Bangkok to carry out four target style assassinations and seemingly with provocation begins to violate the rules that have not only kept him alive but have made him a successful hitman. Some of it was just plain silly and the film completely lost the flow that it had established in the opening segment. The ending was abrupt and didn't seem to fit until I watched the alternate ending in the special features. While it didn't improve the outcome of the movie it was far and away better than the one chosen for the theatrical release. I found this to be a disappointment and certainly not one of Cage's best efforts.





Parental Guide:


The rating is for violence, language, and some sexuality.





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: 90


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 84


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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Bangkok Dangerous comes to Blu-ray Disc from LionsGate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.7 mbps.

This film has a distinctive appearance that uses grain, de-saturated colors and high contrast. There are lots of dark sequences that are filtered so that color saturation is limited. It works well toward setting the mood and tone of the subject material. It does affect the rendering of flesh tones in those scenes as they appear lifeless and devoid of individual characteristics. I noticed that when this is not applied that color balance is much improved which provides better depth, vivid hues and skin tones appear better delineated and tonally divergent. Blacks are deep but on the muddy side which leaves them looking flat. Detail in dark backgrounds and shadow filled areas is very good which give many of the dingy interior shots better depth. Images aren't razor sharp but do offer excellent subtle detail during close up camera shots. The nighttime and wide angle camera pans of the city have less dimensional quality and above average definition that leaves objects in backgrounds looking less resolute. Grain is moderate to heavy at times but it is consistently layered and gives the video a noticeably textured look.

LionsGate's continues to support high bitrate lossless audio encodings that have yielded some high quality multi-channel soundtracks on Blu-ray Disc and Bangkok Dangerous is no different. This 7.1 channel surround mix makes regular use of the entire system and delivers near reference quality audio. This is a well balanced and active soundtrack that features deep, pulsating bass that reaches far into the room to augment the dynamic impact associated with the films action based elements and Brian Tyler's music score. The surround channels are actively engaged with a blend of discretely placed sounds and spatial ambience that weaves an aurally stimulating sound field that traverses the room. Dynamic range is extended and visceral at times when combined with the high level of sonic detail present in the recording. I never had any trouble discerning subtle vocal inflections or the presence of low level sounds that were mixed into the background. The mix facilitated seamless integration of the front three and four rear channels which created a stable and well proportioned listening experience that was complimented by rich, room resonating bass that had excellent palpability and tight extension.



Bonus Features:

  • (HD) From Hong Kong to Bangkok - 15 minute documentary on Hong Kong Cinema

  • (HD) Bangkok Dangerous: The execution of the film - 13 minute making of featurette

  • (HD) Alternate ending

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • (HD) Coming soon from LionsGate - Previews

  • MoLog - BD Profile 2.0 player required

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc - A standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable playback device





Final Thoughts:


Bangkok Dangerous is a below average offering from the Pang brothers that will be a disappointment to Nicholas Cage fans. The script features flimsy action based elements and an insipid plot that genre fans will probably find rudimentary and lacking in practicality. For those who liked Bangkok Dangerous LionsGate has once again treated us to a first rate multi-channel lossless audio presentation on Blu-ray Disc. The high definition video presentation isn't among the best we have seen from the format however I believe that this closely resembles the original look of the film and its quality is solid. The bonus supplements are presented in high definition but offer little in the way of comprehensive content for fans.














Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player

Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier

Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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Thanks for the review Ralph, wish you had put this review up a couple of days sooner as i was unlucky enough to rent this and had to endure it. Even fast forwarding the sequences did not help. One of the worst movies i have seen in recent times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daman S /forum/post/15499080


Thanks for the review Ralph, wish you had put this review up a couple of days sooner as i was unlucky enough to rent this and had to endure it. Even fast forwarding the sequences did not help. One of the worst movies i have seen in recent times.

Greetings,


Sorry about that Daman. I didn't receive it from LionsGate until yesterday and got it done asap...


Cheers,
 

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Thought the movie was ok. But it also felt like it was cheaply made.


Didn't realize this was a remake. Not a collectors item for me.


Cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts /forum/post/15499417


Greetings,


Sorry about that Daman. I didn't receive it from LionsGate until yesterday asap...


Cheers,

I didn't mean to sound like it was your fault Ralph, sorry if it came across that way! I have always enjoyed your reviews and have as a result bought/rented several great movies. So a big thank you for the reviews you put up for us!


I have been going around work & friends in fact and doing the public service of making people aware to keep away from this one
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daman S /forum/post/15499628


I didn't mean to sound like it was your fault Ralph, sorry if it came across that way! I have always enjoyed your reviews and have as a result bought/rented several great movies. So a big thank you for the reviews you put up for us!


I have been going around work & friends in fact and doing the public service of making people aware to keep away from this one

Greetings,


Thanks, but it didn't come across that way at all. I just hate not being able to run reviews prior to street date..




Regards,
 

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is it just me or has Cage hit the wall
 

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Great review Ralph. I loved the audio on this one. Very active and powerfull soundtrack with some punishing LFE throughout, and some very nice surround use for both action and non action scenes. Awesome track!
 

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The review is great. My only issue is with the score. I think you should make it more clear that the score is referring to just the video and audio quality and not the quality of the movie, per se. When I saw this review summary on the main page, I laughed because both the movie and the extras got 2 stars or less and yet it still said 87. Almost all the reviews that show up for any movie here are in the mid to high 80's. It's really at the point that I don't need to actually read the review at all. I just look up the movie in IMDB and then buy it if the movie is good and it says 80+ here in the summary. 80 seems to be the litmus test for whether it's worth buying assuming you already like whatever movie is being "reviewed."


This is just my opinion of course. I could be wrong.
 

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If you look at the number of stars or circles he gives the film its 1 1/2 stars for film.
So he is reviewing the movie separately from the video and audio.
 

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This Thai remake movie is better than I thought,looked cheap as former film shot in Thailand"RAMBO" and also too many violent scenes(amputated limps,body part).The best of this film is DTS-HD MA 7.1 which is active all the time,not a single moment there is no surround sound and there is DTS-HD MA trailer before the film opening(the first?). Worth for renting.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin /forum/post/15505236


Looking forward watching this one don't mind Nicolas Cage.

Franin ;Since you like N.Cage so much.I will tell you his hair is horrible than before.Not a spoiled I think The directors are from HK who lived in Thailand and also directed THE EYE original version,a lover of Cage from HK too not Thai.At the end almost was like LIVE FREE or DIE HARD in stead sad ending.If you like surround,this BD will make you have an earache because too much intense sound almost the time.It's not a SPOILER.
also the story has multiple holes as if Cage shot the bad guys.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin /forum/post/15505236


Looking forward watching this one don't mind Nicolas Cage.


Report back on your opinion of the SQ after you watch if you dont mind
The movie of course is debatable to say the least
, but the sound!
 

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Ralph,


I've been reading and enjoying your reviews for months now and I notice I rarely see you truly trash a flick even those that deserve it and I rarely see a score drop below 80.


Please don't take this negative because you do great but have you ever thought of telling us what you really think and giving some movies a DON'T SEE "ZERO"? I mean one of the first on my list would be "The Fountain" and I thought Hugh Jackman should've paid them to destroy that piece of whiny garbage and was glad to see the tree of life gobble him up and finally end the movie!


Also, have you ever thought of templating each review with a "POLL" where AVS'er's could rate a 1-5 star similar to Amazon and others. My point being is the general public see's reviews and if they always run between 80-100 then the first 79 points are not representative and you may well know many movies deserve a trashing and warning of BUYER BEWARE!


I thought it would spice things up if within each review AVS Members would poll their 1-5 rating (though I believe certain movies deserve a ZERO).


Again it's not a criticism as you put alot of work in presenting us quality reviews but if everything is rated on a scale of 80-100 then where is the validity in the scale when a great number of flicks are material for wiping one's behind. Haven't you just got the urge to sometimes to lay it on the line subjectively and call a Turd a Turd and give that Turd a zero? AKA "Devils Rejects"


I thought it would be interesting to see how AVS'ers reviews would compare via a sideline Poll and a good trashing may help you vent on some of the garbage you may have to review. Thanks for your hard work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 /forum/post/15508818


Ralph,


I've been reading and enjoying your reviews for months now and I notice I rarely see you truly trash a flick even those that deserve it and I rarely see a score drop below 80.


Please don't take this negative because you do great but have you ever thought of telling us what you really think and giving some movies a DON'T SEE "ZERO"? I mean one of the first on my list would be "The Fountain" and I thought Hugh Jackman should've paid them to destroy that piece of whiny garbage and was glad to see the tree of life gobble him up and finally end the movie!


Also, have you ever thought of templating each review with a "POLL" where AVS'er's could rate a 1-5 star similar to Amazon and others. My point being is the general public see's reviews and if they always run between 80-100 then the first 79 points are not representative and you may well know many movies deserve a trashing and warning of BUYER BEWARE!


I thought it would spice things up if within each review AVS Members would poll their 1-5 rating (though I believe certain movies deserve a ZERO).


Again it's not a criticism as you put alot of work in presenting us quality reviews but if everything is rated on a scale of 80-100 then where is the validity in the scale when a great number of flicks are material for wiping one's behind. Haven't you just got the urge to sometimes to lay it on the line subjectively and call a Turd a Turd and give that Turd a zero? AKA "Devils Rejects"


I thought it would be interesting to see how AVS'ers reviews would compare via a sideline Poll and a good trashing may help you vent on some of the garbage you may have to review. Thanks for your hard work!

Greetings,


westa6969, thanks for your post. Just to be clear the numeric rating in my reviews only pertains to the audio/video quality and has nothing to do with my impressions of the film itself. The orange bullets next to the FILM and EXTRAS provide the rating for each and the MY TAKE portion contains a quick overview of my impressions.


As far as the numeric scoring I have been looking into making some changes to that pertaining to what numbers would correspond to average/below average/good/ excellent/reference. I will have to consider the idea of running polls.



Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe /forum/post/15508072


Report back on your opinion of the SQ after you watch if you dont mind
The movie of course is debatable to say the least
, but the sound!

Will do mate, though still waiting for it to arrive.
 

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I was really looking forward to this film; I must say it was a letdown. My wife did enjoy it. I think the Pang brothers had some brilliant ideas that were executed poorly-in a big way.


Cage could not even read his lines with "heart".


The digital editing on this film is the worst I have ever seen. Digital dark colored filters stink and crushed the blacks heavily-it was beyond just bad muddy.


One scene would be cast with a dark red digital filter (loosing black detail with heavy crushing); then another scene would come up and change to green. You could easily see those changes from "red" to "green" between each of the scenes, in what should have been a 100% fade out. Instead you would see dark red muddy and then dark green muddy; between scenes when it should have been 100% black. The next scene to "blue" the next to "yellow".


I'm sorry but worn out VHS produces a much better picture.


I realize that not all films can have complete "utopia" quality of The Dark Knight. But seriously the amateur digital editing in this film is a joke.


btw the DTS HD MA 7.1 was excellent!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonPerson /forum/post/15530835


I was really looking forward to this film; I must say it was a letdown. My wife did enjoy it. I think the Pang brothers had some brilliant ideas that were executed poorly-in a big way.


Cage could not even read his lines with "heart".


The digital editing on this film is the worst I have ever seen. Digital dark colored filters stink and crushed the blacks heavily-it was beyond just bad muddy.


One scene would be cast with a dark red digital filter (loosing black detail with heavy crushing); then another scene would come up and change to green. You could easily see those changes from "red" to "green" between each of the scenes, in what should have been a 100% fade out. Instead you would see dark red muddy and then dark green muddy; between scenes when it should have been 100% black. The next scene to "blue" the next to "yellow".


I'm sorry but worn out VHS produces a much better picture.


I realize that not all films can have complete "utopia" quality of The Dark Knight. But seriously the amateur digital editing this film is a joke.


btw the DTS HD MA 7.1 was excellent!

Damn that bad!
 

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I also thought the alternate ending was far, far better than the theatrical release. Very bad decision. I enjoyed the movie, but it was like admiring the cover art on a book, but never opening it up to read the details. This film explored some interesting concepts, but never had any depth. It also left a lot of questions. Why he started to deviate from his rigid set of rules? How did he have communication with the owners of his contracts?


Cage's black hair was terrible. Looked very strange and reminded me of the Goth crowd.


I thought the picture quality was good, but I can't comment on the sound as my old Denon receiver only does DD5.1


Great review Ralph.


I give it a 3 out of 5 for the movie, and 4 out of five for the video quality.


Dan
 
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