Kung Fu Hustle: Superbit DVD Review
PictureThen film is given a theatrically correct 2.40:1 aspect anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TV's picture with an average bitrate of 7.62 Mbps. The picture is, in a word, stunning. There are bold, striking, solid colours without shimmer or bleed. With a contrast and brightness level set to give deep blacks and blues and a detail level to everything is pin sharp you have, quite simply, a stunning picture. It looks particularly good during the neon light night scenes where the colours just burst off the screen. With such a modern film there is no print damage, neither did I spot any film grain; gone are the days of dodgy Asian prints I think. Digitally there are no compression problems, nor any edge enhancement either; it all seems resoundingly thick and full bodied as only a high bitrate can look, and this one is as good as I've seen them look, top marks.
SoundThe disc has been given two Cantonese tracks, Dolby digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. It seems just as Chow knows how to fill a frame, so too can he fill the sound. There is hardly a moment going by without some sort of noise from the rear. The many action scenes are all given a full dynamic surround experience, front to back, left to right placing you right in the centre of the action. The classy score too is faithfully represented throughout all of the speakers and makes full use of the speaker range. Dialogue is given direction if needed and always clear and precise.
The Dolby track has a clear full range; the bass never out strips the rest of the range and is as good a Dolby track as I've heard. The DTS is set at a higher volume level and slightly suppresses the mid to high range giving the impression of a top-bass split. It depends on you bass level mindset to which you would prefer, they are both equally as dynamic, equally as deep, equally as involving. If you want a bassier sounding track head towards the DTS, if you prefer a more rounded experience stick with the Dolby, but whichever you choose you won't be disappointed, top marks.
ExtrasAs with all superbit releases the disc contains no extras
VerdictKung Fu Hustle may not be Chow's best film, but there is no denying its impact, with critics worldwide climbing over themselves to praise it, and a sequel already in production, it seems like it can do no wrong. Personally I'd use it as a stepping stone to Chow's other films, they are better written and funnier, especially Shaolin Soccer, even if they are not in the same production league. As a DVD there is no doubt in my mind that this is the best Kung Fu Hustle will ever look and sound on this format. If you care more about how a film looks and sounds than the extras and price tag then this is the version to own, it is amazing.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.92
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