Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 21st, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Thailand, 2009
Director: Rashane Limtrakul
Writer: Sompope Vejchapipat
Cast: JeeJa Yanin, David Bueno, Marc Nghi Hoang, Roongtawan Jindasing, Chris Kulanusorstit, Sompong Leartvimolkasame, Saroch Ruampaothai, Nui Saendaeng, Boonprasert Salangam, Kazu Patrick Tang
BluRay released: April 12th, 2010
Approximate running time: 114 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: DTS HD 5.1 Thai
BluRay Release: Cine Asia
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £24.99
Synopsis: A young woman named Neu is targeted by a human trafficking ring. She narrowly escapes being abducted. When a young man named Sanim who’s fiancée was abducted by the same people, rescues her and takes her under his wing. She quickly forms a bound with Sanim and his three friends who teach her a drunken martial arts style called Mayraiyuth.
JeeJa Yanin quickly solidified her position as the first lady of action with her acting debut Chocolate. One thing trap that so many action stars who have come before her is that they often rehash familiar territory. Instead of expanding their horizons as performers. Thankfully Raging Phoenix takes JeeJa Yanin into a new direction as a actress. In Chocolate she had very little dialog and relied more of her is psychical presence. This time around she is given a more rounded character. Also even though her character begins the film as a novice when it comes to martial arts. By the end of the film her character is just as imposing fighting wise as the character she portrayed in Chocolate.
The plot starts off strong and does a good job setting up who everyone is. Unfortunately by the final act the plot starts to lose steam when it is revealed why the kidnappers are abducting women. Even though this revelation takes away from the momentum built up to that point. The film’s resolution helps soften the this momentary speed bum. Pacing wise the film keeps thing moving along by doing a good job mixing up more character driven moments with its actions set pieces. In a film where every actions et piece stands out. My favorite action set piece was a scene where the kidnappers attack Neu and Sanim while wearing stilts with blades which the bounce around on. Also the training sequences with Neu are one of the more memorable moments in the film. When all is said and done Raging Phoenix is a solid action film that features another mesmerizing performance from JeeJa Yanin.
Raging Phoenix comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors look vibrant and nicely saturated, flesh tones look healthy, black levels are strong and details look crisp throughout. DNR and edge enhancement are kept in check.
This release comes with one audio option, DTS HD 5.1 Thai and removable English subtitles have been included. The audio is in great shape as everything always sounds clear and balanced throughout. The audio mix excels the most during the action sequences. The subtitles are easy to read and error free.
Extras for this release the film’s theatrical trailer (3 minutes 26 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), the film’s UK trailer (1 minute 43 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD), B-Roll action scene footage (6 minutes 51 seconds – 4:3 full frame) and interviews with director Rashane Limtrakul (4 minutes 16 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame), actresses JeeJa Yanin (4 minutes 22 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame), Roongtawan Jindasing (2 minutes 47 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame), actors Sompong Leartvimolkasame (2 minutes 39 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame), Boonprasert Salangam (2 minutes 19 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame), Nui Saendaeng (2 minutes 17 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame), Kazu Patrick Tang (5 minutes 12 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame) and action choreographer Weerapon Poomatfon (3 minutes 24 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame). The interviews cover similar ground with the actors & actresses discussing their character, while the interviews with Rashane Limtrakul and Weerapon Poomatfon are more production related. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Chocolate (3 minutes 11 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD), Flash Point (1 minute 18 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), House of Fury (1 minute 14 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), Shinjuku Incident (1 minute 49 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD), The Myth (1 minute 32 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), Kung Fu Dunk (55 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), IP Man (2 minutes 6 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD), Machine Girl (1 minute 31 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), Fatal Move (1 minute 35 seconds – letterboxed widescreen) and Robogeisha (2 minutes – anamorphic widescreen – HD). Overall Raging Phoenix gets a strong BluRay release from Cine Asia.