Kujaku “ DVD Review
PictureAlthough having undergone digital remastering, The Peacock King still shows its age here in the digital arena. Opening shots are weak, with poor black levels and very soft detail. Thankfully, things pick up as the film progresses; colours become fuller, and detail increases somewhat, although neither truly comes alive on screen. Considering the sterling work done of earlier HKL releases, this is perhaps as good as it gets for this movie. The picture certainly isn't bad per se; there is little print damage or digital artificing. Unfortunately the print just looks a little tired, and not up to the standard of a lot of other films dating from the same era.
SoundPresented in a 5.1 soundtrack, the audio is acceptable but obviously struggling to perform in this format. Sound is clear and dialogue is nicely represented, although the track sounds very much like a standard stereo mix stretched to 5.1 format. Given the opportunities presented through the film there is a disappointingly weak contribution from the rears and the LFE channel. Adequate, but by no means astounding.
ExtrasAs befitting Hong Kong Legends reputation for producing exhaustive releases this disc attempts to offer a comprehensive selection of features, but alas the generous listing seems to be a case of the Emperor's new clothes as there really isn't a great deal of worthwhile material here. The main problem appears to have been locating relevant materials, as two of the features here only indirectly relate to the film itself. There are a couple of engaging enough (although brief) interviews with Yuen Biao, although one relates to another of his films 'Zu Warriors' and has little to do with this movie. Likewise, the supplement 'Fantasy Comes to Life' is a compendium of scenes from other HK films that incorporate fantasy elements, and again links to this movie are tenuous at best. Rounding off are a couple of trailers, making this an adequate selection, albeit a disappointing one given HKL past record.
VerdictWhilst flawed and dated, The Peacock King has an infectious energy and 'anything goes' attitude that endears, and its ham-fisted special effects and off kilter storyline should appeal to nostalgia hounds, or anyone looking for a less traditional brand of Asian action movie.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £16.99
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