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The Viral Factor Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Cantonese Dolby Digital Stereo, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 122 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Well Go USA Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 28th, 2012
  • List Price: $29.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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]

The Viral Factor tells the story of International Security Affairs agent Jon (Jay Chou). After a botched escort mission from Jordan to Norway leaves Jon with a bullet lodged in his brain, as well as his ex-fiancee and fellow agent dead, Jon learns that a former colleague of his has stolen a deadly virus. While trying to hunt down this man, Jon will learn about secrets from his past, involving himself and his family, including one that will ultimately change the exact person he is. What results is a well crafted, action packed affair from Director Dante Lam (The Stool Pigeon).

The real interest in The Viral Factor comes not from the concept of the film, as this idea has been done before. What makes this a film worth watching is the swift direction by Dante Lam. Each sequence is directed with a sense of style, purpose, and wit. Nothing felt out of place, and boy oh boy is the action top rate, never, ever letting up on the gas pedal. It’s this sense of never stopping, that really makes The Viral Factor ever so entertaining. The acting, as well, is quite good especially that of Jay Chou. In each word uttered, we hear and feel the pain he’s suffering after *****SPOILER***** learning that his brother is working for the enemy. Really if you’re looking for a film that just works on nearly all levels, be sure to give this one a spin.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Shot using a wide variety of cameras including Arriflex, Moviecam Compact, and Phantom HD Gold, this 2:35:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer is great. With a wide variety of locales featured throughout the film, the film’s color palette uses these locations to its advantage. Bright blues of the oceans, yellows of the sun, and deep, dark blacks of the night dominate the transfer. Strong contrast levels, flesh tones, and facial close-ups result in a fine, impressive looking image. There is a bit of stuttering in some sequences, but nothing that impacts the image to the point where I’d dock it a 1/2 point. All in all, I was thoroughly impressed with what director Dante Lam and his crew have put together here.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Arriving with either a Cantonese or English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, I chose to listen to the Cantonese mix with the included English subtitles. With that said, the Cantonese audio is downright excellent. LFE is deep and immersive throughout. Whether the quieter moments or the fully involved action sequences, it always seemed like there was activity coming from the .1 channel. Atmosphere is great as well, especially that of the aforementioned action scenes. It’s here that bullets zip by us, and cars crash to the left and roll over to our right. Dialogue is also well reproduced and is easy to understand via the included English subs. I didn’t sample the English dub here, but I’d imagine it’s rather dreadful (like most dubs). All in all, this is a fantastic and fully active mix from the folks at Well Go USA.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

The included supplements are featured in Standard Definition:

  • Making Of – This runs 14:40 in length and offers us some behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the film.
  • Cast & Crew Interviews – Director Dante Lam (9:59), Nicholas Tse (9:55), and Jay Chou (14:55) are interviewed. The 3 speak of topics including why the Chinese title is different from the English translation, and the background of the film’s character.
  • Trailer – The film’s trailer (1:13) is shown.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Simply put, The Viral Factor is just an all-around entertaining film. Well Go USA, as per a majority of their titles, delivers this one with excellent video and audio. I’d say give this one a blind purchase if you’re an action fan, but a strong, strong rental is what I’m going to recommend.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B00864606K[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Viral Factor on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B00864606K[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Viral Factor on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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