Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 14th, 2011
BluRay released: May 3rd, 2011
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $26.98
Synopsis: Orphaned shortly after his birth and raised by the owner of a martial arts school. A young man is forced to make it on his own, after a bar brawl leads to his expulsion from the martial arts school that he was attending. Homeless and distraught, a chance encounter introduces him to a small time hustler, who gets him a spot on a university basketball team. Though he is new to the sport, he quickly becomes the most dominate player on his team and he uses his celebrity status to help him find his birth parents.
Kung Fu Dunk, like far too many martial arts films in recent years sacrifices substance, for style. Sure the action set pieces are top notch. And the way in which martial arts and basketball is intertwined is also pulled off with great effect. Unfortunately these are just a few things that this films does well. On the other hand, the story at hand is nothing more than your standard underdog sports themed film. With the majority of the characters coming off as one dimensional. And even when the film does try to venture into more serious subject matter, like some of the moments between Fang (the orphan who becomes a basketball star) and Zhen (the small time hustler who befriends him). It often comes up short in creating any emotional moments that resonate.
Plot and character development aside, there is no doubt that this film has been built up around its leading man Jay Chou (The Green Hornet), who more than deliver when it comes to the action set pieces. Perhaps the most interesting performance comes from Eric Tsang (Internal Affairs) in the role of Zhen. Unlike the majority of the cast, who often have martial arts to fall back on in the film. His
performance is predominately rooted in drama and for the most part his performance succeeds. The film also throws a love interest in the mix and cast as Fang’s love interest is Charlene Choi (Robin-B-Hood). And while there are several performances that are disappointing in this film, it is her performance that ends up being the most forgettable. Overall Kung Fu Dunk is at best is a mildly entertaining film that has a satisfying mix of comedy and action.
Kung Fu Dunk comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look very good and details generally look crisp. There are no problems with compression and DNR is kept to a minimum. Overall this is a good transfer, that at times looks great.
This release comes with four audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Mandarin, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. All four audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. With the two Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mixes serving up slightly more oomph. Range wise there is good channel separation and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Also included with this release are English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 30 seconds, in Mandarin with English subtitles), three behind the scenes segments ‘Action’ (7 minutes 10 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles), ‘The Stunts’ (4 minutes 2 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles), ‘Training with the Bus’ (2 minutes – letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles) and interviews with actors Jay Chou (11 minutes 52 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles), Chen Bo-lin (3 minutes 16 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles), Eric Tsang (4 minutes 36 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles), Kevin Chu (5 minutes 26 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles) and actress Charlene Choi (7 minutes 34 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles). The interviews included with this release are fairly standard stuff and anyone looking for anything exhaustive about this production, should look elsewhere. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available on DVD and BluRay from Well Go USA. Overall Kung Fu Dunk gets a well rounded audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: Well Go USA are also releasing Kung Fu Dunk on DVD.