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Divergence DVD Review (Region 0)

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Seth Gecko, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><FONT STYLE='font-size: 18px'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Divergence/DivergenceR0.jpg' ALT='DIVERGENCE DVD cover artwork' ALIGN='RIGHT'>DIVERGENCE</FONT><br>Reviewed July 2005 by <A HREF='search.php?do=process&query=Seth Gecko&showposts=1&forumchoice[]=107&forumchoice[]=197' target='_top'>Seth Gecko</A>.</P><P><B>The Movie : 8</B></P><P>Diverge, the definition in the dictionary is the following :</p><P>1.To go or extend in different directions from a common point; branch out. 2.To differ, as in opinion or manner. 3.To depart from a set course or norm; deviate, swerve. 4. Mathematics. To fail to approach a limit.</p>Therefore, Divergence is the act of extending in different directions from a common point – however, here the common point is worked to and not from. The movie opens with a woman walking home late at night after visiting a store. She gets the feeling that she is being followed by someone and is fortunate to bump into someone she knows. We soon see she is indeed being stalked, by a sinister looking male. Just when you think that equilibrium has been restored, the male is garrotted from behind. This opening scene doesn’t initially make sense, but over the next 100 minutes, everything starts falling into place.</P><P>We are introduced to our three protagonists, Suen Siu-yan (Kwok), a police officer who was made famous by hosting a TV show yet harbours a constant cloud over his head, due to his girlfriend having mysteriously disappeared 10 years ago, To Hou-sung (Cheng), a lawyer who seems to specialize in getting guilty clients off the proverbial hook, including one that Suen has been chasing in particular and Yiu Ting-chung (Law), an assassin who we first see killing the witness that Suen has been accompanying. Suen, suitably distraught soon attacks the client Hou-Sung is currently defending, a rather important crime boss. This all happens in the first ten minutes. Soon, we learn of an intricate plot, where everything isn’t quite what it seems and that all three of our central cast have a lot more tying them together than initially meets the eye.</P><P>So that’s the start of the movie, but I’m not going to say more than that because I’m a firm believer in not spoiling films. This is quite an intense movie, in so far as the plot doesn’t let up – it hooks you and keeps spiralling, weaving its web until the final showdown, where all the plot threads come together and give us a not completely satisfying, yet entirely fine climax. We have some fine acting work on hand, although Angelica Lee is woefully underused, especially as she was excellent in “Koma” but the three main leads are very convincing indeed, in particular Kwok, who although in one scene seems to be overacting, given the circumstances of the event that triggers this, I can’t help but wonder if I’d react the same way or indeed in some other, similar manner. The initial start of the movie, to me, was rather spectacular; it actually made me think for the first time ever that the production values were on a par with a Hollywood production, which was a little bit of a shocker. However, these values were a little up and down during the movie, at one point we have what I’d say is the worst green screen effect I’ve seen in a long time. There are also a few picture issues (more on that later) which ruined the initial reaction too. On the plus side this does have a superb, frantic chase scene, on foot no less which culminates in a showdown between policeman and assassin. Absolutely superb stuff – Hollywood take note, you don’t always need to have people driving cars for a decent chase scene! Not to mention, although you can eventually see where this is going, it is actually quite engrossing stuff to watch – movies like this are the reason why more people are slowly switching on to Asian cinema, because it’s frankly less insulting to your intelligence compared to something like the frankly dreadful Bad Boys 2. I admit this isn’t the next big thing, but if the calibre of the productions improve just a little more (green screen effect in particular) then Hollywood won’t have to worry about stealing movies to remake – it will have a genuine threat.</p><P><B>Picture : 7</B></P><P>Unusually for Asian movies, at least the majority of the one’s I have seen, this is shot in 2.35:1 and is presented anamorphically. For the most part the transfer is great, with no colour bleed or noticeable edge enhancement. Colour wise, initially is has a green hue to it ala The Matrix, but it soon settles down to a more normal palette. Blacks are dark and deep and for the most part the detail is good, with occasional slips into exceptional. However, during one of two of the flashback scenes, the film gets particularly grainy. Now I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not, but it didn’t do it for every flashback, or at least to a lesser extent on some over others, but I felt that it was too inconsistent. Other than that, I’m not complaining but it does somewhat take the gild off the edge.</P><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Divergence/DivergenceR0_1.jpg' ALT='DIVERGENCE'></P><P><B>Sound : 7</B></P><P>Coming complete with original Cantonese tracks in Dolby and DTS, as well as a dubbed Mandarin track (Why?), this disk has a reasonably engaging soundtrack, with music engaging the rear channels for the most part, although during some of the set pieces they certainly become lively. LFE gets a great workout during the aforementioned chase sequence with cars whizzing by, you get a nice deep rumble. Dialogue is nice and clear and is never drowned out during the movie. Sadly the Dolby mix, to my ears is inferior to the DTS. Ignoring the clear differences in volume, the Dolby lacks the presence and detail apparent in the DTS track – for example during the opening, the rain is clearer and more encompassing, the orchestral arrangement of the music is more natural sounding with more resonance, the LFE more engaging and finally, some of the more subtle sounds are easily heard. I even boosted the Dolby volume by 10db to give it more equal footing and these criticisms are still very much apparent, so I have to say, if you can play DTS, then choose this soundtrack.</P><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Divergence/DivergenceR0_2.jpg' ALT='DIVERGENCE'></P><P><B>Extras : 6</B></P><P>This 2 disc set contains a plethora of extras, from a director’s commentary track to trailers – you can see all the extras in the relevant section of the review. Only problem is, all of them are in Cantonese, so I can’t understand anything at all. However, the making of lasts for 15 minutes and looks interesting (well, that’s all I can gauge it on) as do the other features. I wouldn’t have expected them to be in English in all fairness, so I have rated them for perceived content as fairly as possible. The photo/postcards included are a nice touch though.</p><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Divergence/DivergenceR0_3.jpg' ALT='DIVERGENCE'></P><P><B>Trivia</B><br><P>For user information we use Bitrate 1.4 to scan the disk for the video bitrate, which also calculates the average bitrate. Below is a graph illustrating the bitrate of the disk, including the average bitrate reading. This disk averaged at 8.95 Mbps.</p></P><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Divergence/DivergenceR0_Bitrate.jpg' ALT='DIVERGENCE'></P><P><B>Verdict : 7</B></P><P>Although you can probably work out where the movie is going two-thirds of the way through, that doesn’t make this any less of a good movie. In fact it is probably in need of some padding out, such is the plot and briskness to which things play out, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Entertaining, great chase scene and decent plot makes this definitely a movie worthy of your time. Hollywood – that knock at the door you are hearing is getting louder.</P><div ALIGN='CENTER'>Review Disc Supplied by <a href="http://global.yesasia.com/assocred.asp?W7QIPXOV+/en/prdTransfer.aspx/pid-1004021841" target=”_blank”><img src="http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/SuppliersLogos/YesAsia.jpg" Align="absmiddle"></a><br>Please support us by using our review sponsors.</div><TABLE border='0' CELLPADDING='0' CELLSPACING='2' WIDTH='100%'><TR><TD COLSPAN='2'><B>DIVERGENCE (2005)</B></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Genres</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=ACTION' target='_blank'>ACTION</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=CRIME' target='_blank'>CRIME</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Director</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=director&search_for=BENNY CHAN' target='_blank'>BENNY CHAN</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Stars</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=EKIN CHENG' target='_blank'>EKIN CHENG</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=AARON KWOK' target='_blank'>AARON KWOK</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=GALLEN LAW' target='_blank'>GALLEN LAW</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=ANGELICA LEE' target='_blank'>ANGELICA LEE</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65'><B>Region</B></TD><TD><B>0</B> <FONT>(HONG KONG)</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Supplier</TD><TD><FONT>Universe. Released Wednesday 15th June 2005</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>SRP</TD><TD><FONT>$17.99</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Discs</TD><TD><FONT>2</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Format</TD><TD><FONT>DVD9</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Time</TD><TD><FONT>100 mins.</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Chapters</TD><TD><FONT>9</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Picture</TD><TD>Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1&nbsp;</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Sound</TD><TD>Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1<BR>Cantonese <IMG SRC='http://www.totaldvd.net/images/dts.gif' ALIGN='ABSMIDDLE' border='0' ALT='DTS Soundtrack'> 5.1<BR>Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Subtitles</TD><TD>English, Traditional Chines, Simplified Chinese</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Case</TD><TD>Amaray with Slipcase</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Extras</TD><TD>Directors Commentary<BR>Making of<BR>Gala Premiere<BR>Star’s Files<BR>Trailer<BR>Photo Gallery<BR>More Attractions<BR>Photocards</TD></TR></TABLE><P STYLE='text-align: center'>If you would like to comment on this review, please reply below.</P>
     

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