Bad Blood Blu-ray Review
'Bad Blood' is presented in widescreen 2.35:1 with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p coding.
Initially I was pleased with the transfer on this release, as the presentation was solid with some nice definition on display. There's a depth to the majority of the scenes and everything in shot appears nice and crisp. However, things began to go slightly awry in the latter stages of the presentation as scenes of a lesser quality begin to arise. These scenes appear to be a little drained of colour and are also a little soft around the edges. I'm not too sure if this was as a result of intentional filtering choices by Law but it leads to a disjointed presentation. There was also one scene that was of very poor quality (a close up of Dumby), which is a disgrace for such a recent release. I also noticed a few scant instances of edge enhancement (and some ringing) but I had to move closer than my normal viewing position to pick these up. That being said, there was one scene (where Calf travels on his jet ski to meet Audrey) which has some very obvious ringing but again I cannot be sure if this was intentional, as this particular scene is presented with a monochrome background.
The contrast ratio is initially impressive but as the presentation progresses the blacks become washed out and are nowhere near the levels of inky depth that BD is capable of. Shadow detail is very strong for the majority, with the many dark locations featured never appearing indistinguishable or muddy. The colour palette, although pretty solid overall, does suffer from the strange filtering choices, with cool blues dominating. While I can understand the director's intentions, his efforts don't appear to tie in with the on screen activity. During the scenes where natural lighting is used, the image reverts back to crispness and sharpness but the heavy handed use of filters and other techniques is at the dinstinct detriment of the picture quality.
This release does have its moments to shine but the inclusion of washed out scenes (intentional or not) and other artefacts means that I have to mark this release harshly. If this was an older movie I would have been more lenient but for newer release there's no real excuse for poor picture quality. A high six is granted, but a six nonetheless.
The subtitles are well positioned are always easy to read although some of the translation does leave a little to be desired.
'Bad Blood' is comes with a 5.1 dts HD Master Audio surround track.
All of the impacts (be it fist, foot or weapon) are granted completely over the top “thwacks” (foot meeting face) or “swooshes” (lead pipe winging through open air). While these are presented with clarity and accuracy, they sometimes don't really match the type of impact being depicted on screen, leading to an air of falseness. Still though, for the majority, the effects are pretty cool and the almost constant surround involvement (during these portions) makes them a little more tolerable (well at least in my book). The surround channels are also active to a lesser extent during the more subdued moments, with some whispering wind breezing around the listening position. Vocals are locked to the centre channel for the duration and are never difficult to follow. There are a couple of explosions which bring the sub to life but this channel never really comes to the forefront to dominate. That being said, the score can bring forth some moments of deep bass, which makes up for its short fallings at other times.
Opening with a funky theme based around a guitar riff, the score attempts to exude an essence of “cool” while also implying danger (during the fight scenes). The score then moves to more orchestral based intonations, with double bass, trumpets and other instruments, providing almost 'Godfather' like themes at times (although nowhere near as impressive). The score also takes a meander through the realm of funky techno beats; an aspect I felt didn't quite sit right with the source material. Stereo reproduction is very good, as is surround bleed. As mentioned, the bass aspect is well represented, with a few moments that will rattle your living room.
All in all this is a solid mix that does well with the source material, even if there's nothing in here that will blow your socks off!
Please note that although the BD cover for this review states 7.1, this release is a 5.1 release.
The extras portion most definitely lacks substance, with a single “making of” feature standing as the only real additional supplement on the disc. At least English subtitles are provided, even if these are hard coded with Cantonese subtitles, but points are lost for no high definition content.
Making Of 'Womb Ghosts' (SD 12mins) - This feature takes a look behind the scenes from the set of 'Womb Ghosts'. There are plenty of interviews with the director and cast, with b-roll and test footage included. Although the premise for this movie seems completely sick and twisted, all the cast appear to be on board. They speak about their characters and the evil nurse who is accompanied by seven goblins (!), as well as other aspects of the plot. Interesting if you're planning on seeing this movie......I am not! I also found it slightly strange that a “making of” for a completely different movie was included in the additional supplements but I suppose that this is a PR exercise by Law (he also directed 'Womb Ghosts'). Be warned though, this feature does give away many of the more shocking aspects of 'Womb Ghosts' and I would consider it somewhat of a spoiler.
Making Of 'Bad Blood' (SD 8mins) - In a similar style to the previous feature, this “making of” focuses on 'Bad Blood'. Again plenty of b-roll and behind the scenes footage is included, as well as lots of interviews with the cast and director. The focus of the feature is the many complex fight sequences which feature heavily in the movie and we get to see the rehearsals which took place prior to filming (unsurprisingly there were a couple of injuries). Disappointingly, there's not a whole else discussed (other than the fighting) but I suppose that this aspect does form the core of the movie.
Trailers (SD) - Included here, for you viewing pleasure, are trailers for 'Womb Ghosts' and 'Bad Blood'.
'Bad Blood' was released this year (2010) and was written and directed by Dennis Law. Most famous for his martial arts based releases and his work as a producer on the 'Election' series of movies, Law attempts to combine both in his latest effort. While the kung fu aspects of this movie are pretty exciting to begin with, they begin to lose their lustre. The plot is a clichéd mess and script leaves a lot to be desired. The cast, which includes Simon Yam, do their best but they collectively are sliced ham. There are a few unintentional laughs to be hard but Law has placed all his chips on the action portions, which are nothing that we have not seen a million times before. Fans of his previous releases may enjoy this movie but I was not impressed.
The transfer initially appears crisp and well defined but a few scenes of poorer quality began to creep in. Blacks lose some of their depth and the colouring can appear washed out. This may be a factor of Law's filtering choices but it leads to a somewhat disjointed looking presentation. The uncompressed surround track does an admirable job, with some nice surround involvement and stereo reproduction during the kung fu sequences. The extras portion contains only one additional feature worth mentioning but at least there are English subtitles. Overall this is an average BD release and for fans of Law's work only.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £18.59
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