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A Simple Life Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Chinese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit). Chinese Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: NR
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 118 Mins.
  • Studio: Well Go USA Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • List Price: $29.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Based on a true story, A Simple Life chronicles the story of Hong Kong filmmaker Roger Lee and his maid. A touching, heartwarming story, the film showcases the story of how maid Ah Tao (Deannie Ip) who served Roger’s (Andy Lau) family for 60-years and raised him almost like he were his own child has a stroke and, out of a sense of honor and altruism decides to retire into a home for the elderly. Rather than leave her alone, Roger decides to care for Ah Tao, paying for her care and visiting her regularly, letting everyone believe that he is her godson, to save her the embarrassment of being known as a maid. Directed by Ann Hui and written by Susan Chan and Yan-lam Lee, the film is a moving look at how people can create family out of many different types of relationships. Roger, after he comes to realize just how essential Ah Tao has been in his life and to his family over the years, slowly becomes ever more attached and loving toward her as she obviously moves toward the end of her years, even as she refuses to relinquish her position as caregiver. It’s fantastically shot and enjoyable to watch despite its 2-hour runtime. Hui effectively uses imagery and light and little moments to lighten up what is really a very heavy subject, the inevitable death we all must face.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

A Simple Life was shot on the Red One camera in high definition and comes to Blu-ray in AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement. Detail is strong and the image is clean all around though there is some very slight banding here and there. Contrast is good and shadow extension is strong. There are no post processing issues to speak of.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The Chinese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is straightforward and dialogue-driven, presenting a rather front-heavy mix. It presents clean dialogue without any clipping and a rather strong amount of atmospheric effects in the surrounds such as street noises and the general din of the nursing home.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

We just get the theatrical trailer (1080p) and additional Well Go USA trailers.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A Simple Life is one of the most moving films I have had the opportunity to view so far this year. Well Go has a winner with this Blu-ray. Andy Lau and Deannie Ip are fantastic in their roles and the film is touching without being overly saccharine or playing at our heartstrings.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]


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