Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 15th, 2012
BluRay released: June 12th, 2012
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Cantonese, Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese, Dolby Digital Stereo Cantonese
Subtitles: English (Forced)
BluRay Release: Shout Factory
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $26.97
Synopsis: The ring leader of a professional hit team that stages murders as accidents becomes increasingly paranoid when those around him start dying under suspicious circumstances.
When one thinks about cinema from Hong Kong three types of films instantly spring to mind, heroic bloodshed, martial arts and in recent years historical themed epics. Every now and then there are films like Accident that goes against the grain of what it currently trendy in Hong Kong cinema.
Rooted firmly in the psychological thriller genre, Accident takes a very interesting premise (hired assassins, who use accidents to cover up their handy work) and runs with it. For a film that requires its main players to perform very task with the utmost detail, it should not come as a surprise that this film’s tightly woven narrative leaves no room for error as every moment has been meticulously laid out.
Even this film’s three acts can be broken down into three distinctively different parts that ultimately serve the same purpose. The first act is all about showing how this group of hired assassins go about doing their job, while the second act shifts focus towards what happens when things start going wrong. With the film’s final act revolving around the growing sense of paranoia that comes from the events which had just preceded.
Content wise, though there are a handful of moments that defy logic and require the viewer to take a leap of faith. These moments function well enough within the grander scheme of things, that they don’t ever derail the atmospheric thriller from ever going completely off the rails.
Performance wise, the majority of the cast are not given that much to do and are nothing more than pieces on a chess board. With the exception of this film’s protagonist Ho Kwok-fai (AKA The Brain), who is superbly portrayed by Louis Koo (Connected, Triple Tap). He spends the bulk of his screen time alone and even when he does interact with other characters, it is from afar.
Accident comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. A few comments about the aspect ratio. The back cover lists that the film is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, when it is actually presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Also when this film was released on BluRay in Hong Kong, the film was presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. A scan between these two releases quickly shows that the image for this release from Shout Factory is cropped and not a ‘open matte’ transfer.
So how does the other areas of this transfer stack up. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Black and contrast levels look good, just never great. Also though there are a few moments in which the image looks soft. For the bulk of the transfer details look crisp.
This release comes with three audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Cantonese, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Cantonese and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Cantonese. All three audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. Obviously the best of the lost is the uncompressed DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Cantonese. Range wise things sound robust when they need too and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Also included with this release are forced English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 30 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Cantonese with English subtitles) and a ‘Making of’ featurette (12 minutes 39 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Cantonese with English subtitles). Extras are rather sparse with the discussion being centered on the film’s plot and all of the main characters are also touched upon. Overall Accident gets a decent release from Shout Factory that leaves plenty of room for improvement.