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Muay Thai Giant Blu-ray



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#1 of 1 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

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Posted May 02 2011 - 05:38 PM

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Muay Thai Giant
Release Date: Available now
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray case
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time: 1:41:56
MSRP: $29.98

  THE FEATURE SPECIAL FEATURES
Video 1080p high definition 1.78:1 Standard and high definition
Audio DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1, Thai 5.1 Stereo
Subtitles English, English Narrative, English SDH, Spanish None


The Feature: 3/5

Barney (Nathan Jones), a seven-foot tall, gentle giant from Australia, wins a trip to Thailand but on arrival is drugged and robbed of his possessions. As sisters Dokya and Katen (Sasisa Jindamanee and Nawarat Techarathanaprasert) try to get him back on his feet, they discover their mother's somtum, a spicy papaya salad, makes him go berserk, leading him to unintentionally trash the family beach side food stand. Hoping to make amends, Barney considers fighting to make some money to rebuild, but he proves useless despite Dokya's best efforts to train him in Muay Thai. Instead, Dokya - herself a champion boxer - agrees to a match, but quickly discovers the fight promoter has no intention of paying her what she deserves. The unsavory atmosphere of the fight club also brings a gang of jewel thieves across their paths, forcing Barney to have another helping of somtum to get them out of a now life threatening predicament.

The acting is unconvincing at best and the story is scattershot, but "Muay Thai Giant" has enough spectacle and entertainment value in its numerous fight sequences to satisfy anyone looking for a martial arts action fix. The presentation is not always seamless - techniques like undercranking are often obvious and the principal actors aren't models of precision - but it's easy to forgive when the choreography is so good (in one particularly rousing sequence, the film gives new meaning to the words "food fight"). Of course the caveat of such well staged action is the movie bogs down when it turns its attention to normally critical things like character and plot, which makes the movie both feel long and actually longer than it needs to be. But, if viewers are willing to tolerate what amount to departures into sentiment, they'll find "Muay Thai Giant" delivers more than its fair share of ass-kicking action.


Video Quality: 4.5/5

The film is accurately framed at 1.78:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec. To be honest, I was quite surprised by the quality of the image. Transfers of past Thai martial arts films like "Ong Bak" weren't very impressive, so I was expecting more of the same. However, the image on "Muay Thai Giant" hits all the right notes with deep, accurate colors, solid blacks, and strong contrast levels. Detail is likewise excellent, with no indicators the picture has been subject to excessive digital sharpening or noise reduction tools. There are a few brief moments when the picture looks a little flat, but they appear to be issues inherent to the source elements.


Audio Quality: 3.5/5
The Thai 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is very active, providing support for the film score and a variety of directional and ambient effects. However, I found the levels of the rear channels set a bit too high, so that the score was often distracting or even overwhelming. LFE is used at a few particularly dramatic moments, but otherwise decent bass activity comes from the sometimes percussive film score and the points of contact in the fight sequences.


Special Features: 2/5
The extras provide a look behind the scenes, but are fairly brief and promotional in nature.


The Making of Muay Thai Giant (6:49, SD) is a featurette with interviews of the cast and crew talking about the plot, characters and inspiration for the story.


Behind the Scenes of Muay Thai Giant (9:06, SD) is a collection of behind-the-scenes footage from production, focusing mainly on the stunts and action sequences.


International Trailer (2:47, SD)


Trailers (9:10, HD) run prior to the menu loading and can also be selected once it has. They include "Black Death" (1:58), "Vanishing on 7th" (2:32), "Rubber" (2:25), "Four Lions" (2:13), and a promo for HDNet (1:02).


Recap

The Feature: 3/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3/5


Magnolia Home Entertainment turns in a surprisingly good video presentation but a somewhat problematic audio presentation for a martial arts film whose best asset is its fight choreography. The extras are limited to a few promotional items, but offer some glimpses behind the scenes.


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