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DVD Review: ONG-BAK THE THAI WARRIOR

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PHOTOGRAPHY

ONG-BAK THE THAI WARRIOR

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS:   105 minutes, rap music video, behind-the-scenes stunt footage, trailers, live Tony Jaa performance, and promo video

STUDIO:  FOX/ EUROPACORP/ and others

RELEASE DATE:   8-30-2005

ONG-BAK is a knock-down impressive martial arts movie.  Who cares if the plot is good or not because the action sequences are fantastic (including the Taxi chase).   Toony Jaa plays Ting (a religious monk) who must venture to Bangkok to retrive the stolen head of the Buddha Ong-Bak in the village of Pardue.   He ends up fighting many crazy fighter guys and Thai mafia scum in his efforts to get the head back.   You don't need to know anymore than that because you will be paying more attention to what Tony Jaa does in every martial arts scene.    He uses no wires and no stunt doubles.   I do wonder why Thai Mafia bosses are so creepy (this one is in a wheelchair with a electro synth voice device).

VIDEO:   1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail is OK, but many of the scenes do have lots of grain.   Then some of the colors appear washed out.

AUDIO:   Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Surround

Subtitles:    Spanish, English Captions

Choose the Thai track over teh English track.  It is disappointing we get a captions track instead of a true English subtitles track.

SPECIAL FEATURES:     The assortment here is OK, but the only good ones are the six trailers for ONG-BAK (two English, two French, and two Thai) and the B Roll fooatge from three action sequences (good behind-the-scenes stuff).   Other extras are the 8 Movements of Muay Thai, a Rap Music Video with Tony Jaa and a Making of the music video, a Promo Video, and  live performance with Tony Jaa and stuntmen in front of a French audience.

I have read the Hong Kong release of ONG-BAK features tons of extras not on this DVD like deleted scenes (and an alternate ending) interviews with some of the fighters in ONG-BAK, and a behind-the-scenes documentary on the film.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  Rent ONG-BAK for the impressive action sequences.  if you want extras, hop that FOX release a better edition with the additional extras that are in the Hong Kong release (and the uncut version of the film instead of the edited version released here).

this DVD Review is (c)8-28-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia