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Bitcoin Heist (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 25, 2017 by  



I love the fact that Well Go USA Entertainment has chosen to release this Vietnamese action film to the US and Ham Tran’s “Bitcoin Heist” is an enjoyable action/heist film that I hope paves the way for more Vietnamese cinema to be released in the US.  Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Old Photo Films LLC. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Bitcoin Heist

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 1116 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 16:9 widescreen, Vietnamese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Well Go USA

RATED: Not Rated

RELEASE DATE: July 4, 2017


Directed by Ham Tran

Story by Anderson Le, Scott Nguyen, Ham Tran

Exec. Produers: Ben Tsiang, Jean Tsien, Chao-wei Chang, Hsiao-ming Hsu

Producer: Ruby Chen

Co-Producers: Guan-ting Yue, Jing Liu

Editors: Jean Tsien, Bob Lee

Music by Tristan Leral

Cinematography by Cong Minh Trang

Edited by Ham Tran


Starring:

Kate Nhung as Dada

Thanh Pham as Phuc

Petey Majik Nguyen as Jack

Suboi as Vi

Jayvee Mai The Hiep as Luhan

Lam Thanh My as Linh

Veronica Ngo as Ky

Teo Yoo as Thomas


Hackers have become the bank robbers in the new world of crypto-currency. In order to catch the most wanted hacker, The Ghost , an Interpol special agent assembles a team of thieves to plan the ultimate heist. But as any good criminal knows, there is no honor among thieves.


Far often, we have seen companies release Asian action films from Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and we are seeing an influx of films coming from Indonesia and the Philippines.

But recently we are seeing companies start to look at action cinema from other countries for release in the United States and Well Go USA has chosen to release “Bitcoin Heist” from Vietnam.

Directed by Vietnamese-American director Ham Tran, “Bitcoin Heist” is an action heist film that has Hollywood action flair and top notch quality that will hopefully pave the way for more Vietnamese cinema to be released in the U.S.  The film was written by Anderson Le, Scott Nguyen and Ham Tran.

The film stars Kate Nhung, Thanh Pham, Petey Majik Nguyen, Suboi, Jayvee Mai The Hiep, Lam Thanh My, Veronica Ngo and Teo Yoo.

For those not familiar with “Bitcoin”, it is a cryptocurrency with a digital payment system.  Transactions take place without any banks or intermediary, and many people have gone to bitcoins to protect their currency from high inflation, taxing or confiscation.  And because of that, while embraced by many companies, many shun it because of its use for illegal activity.

The film begins with a young man named Phuc (portrayed by Thanh Pham) playing chess in the prison courtyard with a gangster and explaining to his opponent of the bitcoin credit system.  Phuc wins against the gangster.

Fastforward and Phuc is being pursued by Vietnamese police led by Dada (portrayed by Kate Nhung), who is trying to take down a ring of international money laundering through bitcoin transactions.

Phuc is being paid by the mysterious Ghost, an IT finance operator managing his bitcoin accounts.  While Phuc and his bodyguard are trying to outrun the police and trying to close on a bitcoin deal, the two split up and Dada pursues Ghost while her boss pursues his bodyguard.

Dada manages to capture Phuc but his bodyguard, trying to get a smartphone with the bitcoin information fixed, walks into a smartphone repair shop owned by Vi (portrayed by Suboi) and her brother Bi.  But when Bi transforms the bitcoin credits from the bodyguard’s phone to his account, he is beaten and shot, and as she is about to shoot vi, police come in time to shoot the bodyguard to death.

Because of the death of an innocent and the failure of the mission, Dada, who happens to be the daughter of the police chief, is forced to resign.  But secretly, she has been taken back on again as an undercover copy whose job is to form a gang of criminals which include Phuc, a thief magician named Jack Magique (portrayed by Peter Majik Nguyen), a thief named Luhan (portrayed by Jayvee Mai The Hiep) and his young daughter Linh (portrayed by Lam Thanh My) and Vi (who wants to avenge her brother, Bi who is laying in a coma) in hopes to bring Ghost down.


VIDEO:

“Bitcoin Heist” is presented in 1080p High Definition. Featuring close-ups with very good detail, the film looks very good as a lot of the scenes were shot outdoors. I didn’t notice any major artifacts, banding or issues with picture quality during my viewing of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Bitcoin Heist” is presented in Vietnamese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Dialogue and music is crystal clear and surround channels utilize ambiance and action sequences through the surround channels.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Bitcoin Heist” comes with no special features.

EXTRAS:

“Bitcoin Heist” comes with the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.


While Asian cinema and group heist films are common, there is something to be said about Ham Tran’s “Bitcoin Heist” that separates itself from similar, banal heist films.

A Vietnamese film with production flair and stylish presentation, “Bitcoin Heist” features a collection of characters, each quite different from each other but yet manage to capture your attention.

A group of thieves led by undercover police officer Dada, the film features bitcoin thief Phuc and together they find a group of thieves that are quite fun to watch.

You have the magician Jack, a man from Dada’s past, often called “Magic Jack” in which he continuously reminds people it’s “Jack Magic” (for those who don’t understand the joke, “Magic Jack” is a popular voIP device that allows people to make unlimited calls without the phone bills and popular among many people of various Asian ethnicities).

You have Vi, the blue haired young woman who wants revenge for her brother being shot.  But the most interesting characters is the older Luhan, father of the chirpy and young teen, Linh.

It’s an odd group but how they managed to plan their efforts with hopes to pull off a major heist on the mysterious Ghost, is rather fascinating and fun.

But just when you think the film has the humor and action as other similar Asian films, you have a twist that takes the characters out of the humor and fun and putting them in a most dark place that I didn’t see coming, but made the film even more entertaining, as you learn what these characters are doing, is quite risky and their lives may be at stake.

The Blu-ray features wonderful picture quality and great lossless audio but unfortunately no special features, so it’s a barebones Blu-ray release.

Overall, I love the fact that Well Go USA Entertainment has chosen to release this Vietnamese action film to the US and Ham Tran’s “Bitcoin Heist” is an enjoyable action/heist film that I hope paves the way for more Vietnamese cinema to be released in the US.  Recommended!






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