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City Under Siege Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH
  • Region: A (B? C?)
  • Rating: Unrated
  • Run Time: 110 Mins
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 27th, 2011
  • List Price: $29.98

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BestBuy.com:
City Under Siege -

Purchase City Under Siege on Blu-ray+DVD at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

City Under Siege tells the story of Sunny (Aaron Kwok) who dreams of following in the footsteps of his father, a former knife thrower. His father’s prime claim to fame was the lethal Flying Dagger technique. Sunny, a lowly circus clown, trains with his uncle learning the finer arts of knife throwing. As per films like this, Sunny is ridiculed by friends and family members who claim he’ll never amount to anything. Determined to prove them wrong, Sunny secretly tags along with his cousins to a mysterious cave. It’s at this cave that he discovers a crate, which (unbeknownst to Sunny) contains a canister of gas formally used during WWII. With the help of Angel (Shu Qi), Sunny seeks out to find out just what these canisters were all about. What results is a fairly entertaining action film that does have a few cheap moments, but isn’t the biggest waste of time.

What City Under Siege has going for it is how the film uses its action to help progress the story. The action doesn’t feel out of place or forcefully thrown in, but felt like it had a purpose. While the concept of semi-zombies (i.e. mutated humans) seems to be way too played out lately, perhaps because this was a foreign film, I didn’t find this to be that annoying. Yes, this film isn’t anything brand new in concept, but overall City Under Siege works.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The 2:35:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer is quite good at times. Detail is impressive, in particular that of close ups. Take a look at the first screenshot below. Notice the beads of sweat on Sunny’s face. It’s items like that and the generally strong black levels that make this transfer a solid one. Other colors, like that of the grays and blues of the sky, are equally good giving the image a kind of natural, realistic look and feel. Grain is kept in check with only a slight layer applied to give that film that gritty feel. The film’s print is in fine condition as well. All in all, this is a good transfer from Funimation.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

There are two provided audio tracks, one in the original Cantonese language and one ‘Dubbed’ into the English language. I chose to watch the film with the Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix with English subtitles. With that said, the provided TrueHD mix is quite solid. Dialogue is well reproduced here via the center channel. Atmosphere is solid, particularly during any of the heightened action sequences. It’s during these moments that discrete effects like gun shots and varying other effects ring throughout the room. LFE offers up some deep, booming bass as well. In the end, this is a fine effort from Funimation.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

The included features are shown in FULL HD:

  • Making Of – Running just shy of 23 minutes, Director Benny Chan sits down to offer up some background info on the making of the film. The feature itself is interesting enough, but does tend to wear its welcome after some time as I found Chan tended to repeat bits and pieces.
  • Trailer – The film’s trailer as well as trailers for other Funimation titles are shown.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

While the film isn’t perfect, I still found City Under Siege to be entertaining enough to warrant a viewing. Plus Funimation’s Blu-ray features solid video and audio. Recommended for those fans of Funimation’s work, and a solid rental for the rest.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005NQSA4O[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
City Under Siege -

Purchase City Under Siege on Blu-ray+DVD at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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