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'Born Wild' DVD Review

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'Born Wild' DVD Review

Old 10-28-01, 08:05 AM
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'Born Wild' DVD Review

Brief Sypnosis of Film

Tide (Daniel Wu) finds out on his 26th birthday that his twin brother Tan (played by Lois Koo) has been found dead. As he hadn’t known the whereabouts of Tan for a while, and because the police can’t give an exact course of death, he sets out to find out what Tan had been up to and subsequently how he had died. He finds out how his brother was killed through finding his brother’s best friend Mann (Patrick Tam), and girl friend Sandy (Jo Koo, whom he meets in his brothers house), and in the process becomes Mann’s new best friend and Sandy’s new boyfriend. The next step, of course, is that he decides to take revenge.

The story is told through many flashbacks, which show various stages leading up to Tan’s death. How Tan met Sandy and Mann, how he became involved in the underground kickboxing ring, and then how and why he was eventually killed. There is also flashbacks to the childhood days of Tide and Tan, which shows how Tan developed his open desire to prove himself constantly, and how Tan kept everything to himself. Cliché stuff, really.

The fight scenes are well staged, at least using some decent and fairly realistic sounding effects for once (too many Hong Kong films still seem to use the same sound effects from the Hong Kong action films of the 70’s and 80’s). However, the director seems more concerned with using special effects and flashy edits rather than going for realism and brutality (like, say, ‘Fight Club’) which lessened the effect for me.

Although ‘Born Wild’ is unoriginal in its story telling and characters, and not hard hitting enough in its action sequence’s, it’s still a fairly watchable movie, with some nice cinematography and solid (if slightly run of the mill) performances from the lead actors and actress. And it’s definitely miles better than Patrick Leung’s previous boxing/kickboxing melodrama ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’.

DVD Details

Distributed by ‘China Star’.

Widescreen approx. 1.85:1 and enhanced for 16:9 displays. Stunning transfer again from ‘China Star’ (who in my opinion have now become the best DVD producer in Hong Kong), made all the better with the anamorphic enhancement. Good detail, strong blacks and no distracting artifacts. Easily comparable
to Region 1 DVD’s.

Cantonese and Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1, and Cantonese DTS. Only listened to the DTS track. Sounded very good, with plentiful bass and usage of the rears in the action sequences. The quieter sections were as they should be, with the dialogue sounding full and uninterfered with by the surrounds. Well balanced overall. (I think it always helps when the film was originally shot in 5.1 sound, and this was according to the end credits).

English and Chinese removable’s. No problems with the subs.

Short ‘Making Of’ without English subtitles (about 5 minutes long), trailer and cast and crew information.

108.94 minutes in length, according to the box. Didn’t notice whether this was right or wrong. Seems about right.

Overall, an above average film on an outstanding DVD. It’s technically the second best Hong Kong DVD I’ve ever seen from one of the independent DVD production company’s. I think ‘Shaolin Soccer’ is slightly better overall as the DTS track is one of the best I’ve ever heard, and there is more extensive extra’s (although I do think ‘Born Wild’ has a slightly better picture, being less soft than ‘Shaolin Soccers’).
Old 10-29-01, 11:46 PM
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Thanks - I picked this one up and haven't gotten around to watching it yet... Now I'll bump it up on my list I think.

Oh - and welcome to the forum.

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