House Of Fury DVD Review
PictureThe anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 image is pretty impressive, with all the usual superlatives perfectly suitable - sharp, detailed, fantastically clean looking, yep they all work. Edge enhancement? Er, what's that?! Mpeg artefacts? I didn't notice any. Shimmering, interlace problems, colour bleeding, video noise... nope, nada. In fact, the only small criticism that I could level at the House Of Fury's door is, like the afore-mentioned Matrix, a bit of a green tint that was often apparent and ever so slightly disconcerting. That aside, Fury has been given a superb transfer that really lends itself to the biggest of screens. Top stuff.
SoundOoh, three tracks to compare! Listening to the Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps) and DTS (768Kbps) offerings reveals some subtle differences. Interestingly, I found the rear effects channels better used on the Dolby track. As usual though the few really deep, sub-woofer moments were ruled by the DTS version. A few straight-palm punches really had my giant beanbag vibrating!
I found the dubbed Mandarin a little off putting - it's clear that this is a dub, but despite being unable to understand any of the audio tracks the subtle lip sync differences still distracted me. Compared to the original Cantonese, this Mandarin track comes over deeper, with a more menacing feel to it. I suspect that if I understood Mandarin this would be my preference. As I don't, I chose to listen to the DTS track included here.
ExtrasThe first thing I noticed when I received this review disc was its weight and chunkiness - it was really padded. Only the first batch of DTS releases from YesAsia come like this, including - outer slipcase; a postcard sized calendar; four glossy coasters sporting stills from the movie; four glossy photo style cardboard cut-outs and, the piece de resistance, a Kung Fu jacket mobile phone cleaner! Japanese Kill Bill box sets eat your heart out! Ok, enough of the paraphernalia, onto the DVD extras proper...
Disc one merely has a choice between playing all the action scenes on their own and a couple of trailers - the bulk of supplemental features are on disc two. Sadly none of the extras come with subtitles, so the Making Of, Interviews and Top Secret files remain largely indecipherable. The Photo clips don't need subtitles of course, and the menus themselves are nice and simple to navigate despite the lack of English language headings.
If I understood Cantonese I suspect I would be mightily impressed with these extras, although in that case a director's commentary would have been nice. Ultimately, useless as they are, I really like the glossy cards included... and that sealed Kung Fu jacket mobile phone cleaner. Can't wait for my next delivery of YesAsia DVDs!
VerdictReviewing DVDs isn't simply about movies, and this edition of House Of Fury is a prime example of a complete package, with a good movie being enhanced by some glossy and novel extras. Some may regard the lack of English subtitles in the supplemental features as a bit of a let down, but after a while actually watching these extras becomes something of a hypnotic experience! Overall, House Of Fury gets a “Recommended” tag from me - and at around £8.00 I reckon this is a bit of a Billy bargain!
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