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Nightfall (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 16, 2013 by  



dragon

“Nightfall” is a riveting, revenge, action film for rookie director Chow Hin Yeung Roy.  Featuring a solid performance from both Simon Yam and Nick Cheung, the storyline from “Nightfall” is filled with gritty action but also many twist and turns that will keep interested from beginning to end.  Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2012 Irresistible/Delta Limited. Edko Films Limited. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Nightfall (Daai deoi bou)

FILM RELEASE: 2012

DURATION: 108 Minutes

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

COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment

RATED: Not Rated

Release Date: May 21, 2013

Directed by Chow Hin Yeung Roy

Screenplay by Chow Hin Yeung Roy, Chi-long To

Produced by Ivy Ho, William Kong

Executive Producer: Ryuhei Chiba, William Kong, Dai Song

Music by Shigeru Umebayashi

Cinematography by Andy Lam

Edited by Ka-Fai Cheung

Production Design by Pater Wong

Starring:

Simon Yam as George Lam

Nick Cheung as Wong Yuen-yeung

Kay Tse as Au-yeung Ying

Janice Man as Zoe Tsui/Eva Tsui Yiwan

Michael Wong as Han Tsui

On-on (Candice) Yu as Mrs. Tsui

Gordon Liu as Lung

Felix Lok as Yu

He is a Hong Kong celebrity – a master pianist, adored, sought after by many, an upcoming concert leaving audiences enthralled. He is dead. Found floating in the ocean, embittered and jaded detective Lam (Simon Yam) is called in to find the murderer. Lam quickly identifies a killer from the past – a brutal man just released from prison (Nick Cheung) with possible ties to the family. But what Lam surmises as a clear-cut case of revenge gets murkier, the more he investigates. Suspicion, facts, and the truth become harder, the closer he looks.What unfolds is a crime from the past. 20 years of lies, and a secret so shocking it threatens to pull the entire case down. Who is the victim and who is the killer? From the director of MURDERER and starring two of Hong Kong’s most exciting action stars comes a gritty, brutal story of love, hate and vengeance.

Director/writer Chow Hin Yeung Roy may not have a long list of films in his oeuvre just yet.   With only two films under his belt and having worked as a researcher in “Lust, Caution” and an assistant producer for “Fearless”.

But all it takes is one film to capture the attention of an audience and film critics and in 2012, Roy’s gritty revenge film “Nightfall” (daai deoi bou) did just that.

Starring Simon Yam (“Ip Man”, “PTU”, “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life”, “Election”), Nick Cheung (“Election”, “Breaking News”, “Exiled”), Michael Wong (“Thunderbolt”, “City Hunter”, “Beast Cops”), Kay Tse and Janice Man.

The film would earn director Chow Hin Yeung Roy a “Best New Director” award at the Hong Kong Film Awards and also win a “Best Sound Effects” award at the “Golden Horse Film Festival”, including “Best Actor” nominations for Nick Cheung.

And now “Nightfall” will be released in the United States in May 2013.

“Nightfall” begins with a violent attack featuring Wong Yuen-yeung (portrayed by Nick Cheung) taking on several men in a fight inside prison.  We are then shown how Wong Yuen-yeung went to prison for the murder of an 18-year-old young woman named Eva (portrayed by Janice Mann).

Having served nearly 21 years in prison, Wong is released from prison.

Meanwhile, police inspector George Lam is a man who immerses himself with work.  After the death of his wife who committed suicide and all the years he spent dedicated to his work and neglecting his daughter, there has been once case that has been kept inside that he has always wanted to re-open, the case of the death of Eva Tsui.

As for former convict Wong Yuen-Yeung, he is shown stalking a young woman named Zoe (also played by Janice Mann), who has a strong resemblance to Eva and he begins trying to keep surveillance on her, sneaking into her room to install a bug and listen in on her conversations and watch her from afar with a telescope.

But as Wong Yuen-Yeung spies on the female pianist, he notices her getting verbally and physically abused by her father, master pianist Han Tsui (portrayed by Michael Wong).

We see Wong Yuen-Yeung making preparations for something on a cliff near the sea and not long after, Han Tsui has been found murdered on the beach and his face has been pummeled.

Inspector George Lam is sent to investigate the incident and interview both the victim’s wife (portrayed by Candice Yu) and their daughter Zoe.  As he and his investigative crew continue their investigation, George learns that Han Tsui was the father of a woman that was murdered nearly two decades ago, a case that he remembers.  And how a young man that was accused of murder was being beaten during his interrogation.

Realizing that the young man is Wong Yuen-yeung who was recently released from prison.  Is there a connection between Han Tsui’s death and Wong Yuen-ying being released back onto the streets?

Meanwhile, Zoe starts to receive disturbing messages and phone calls.

As Wong is brought in for questioning, George realizes that the man no longer can speak (severely injured during a brawl in prison).  Can this man be responsible for Han Tsui’s death?  And did society release an evil person back into society?

VIDEO:

“Nightfall” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio).  One of the high points of the film is the use of a Red One camera which brings out amazing detail in the film.  From the orange tinged fight scenes at the beginning of the film, showcasing the violent actions and closeups of a character.  Outside of the opening gritty and violent fight scene, the film uses natural colors.  Natural skin tones and great closeup detail, black levels are nice and deep and for the most part, the film looks great on Blu-ray!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

Unlike the Edko Asian Blu-ray release, Well Go USA Entertainment opted to use a Cantonese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 48 kHz soundtrack instead of the 7.1 lossless track.  I was a bit surprised because the highlight of the Edko Films Blu-ray release was its lossless 96 kHz 7.1 soundtrack.  But for the most part, action sequences and music are utilized through the surround channels and sound crystal clear, especially during the more action-intense sequences.  Also, included is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Cantonese soundtrack.

Subtitles are in English and Chinese.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Nightfall” comes with the following special features:

  • Making Of – (47:42) Featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the making of “Nightfall” and interviews with the director and cast.
  • Theatrical Trailer – (:56) The theatrical trailer for “Nightfall”.

For rookie filmmaker Chow Hin Yeung Roy, “Nightfall” is a pretty satisfying revenge film with twist and turns and a solid performance from both Simon Yam and Nick Cheung that is able to make the film stand out in the plethora of other Hong Kong films with a “revenge” theme.

While Simon Yam has been featured as a supporting actor in films of late, it’s great to see him in the main lead as a detective George Lam who is dedicated to his job, yet knows that dedication has cost him his family.  It’s his discovery and how he evolves throughout the film is rather fascinating.

But even more fascinating is how Nick Cheung was able to embody the character of Wong Yuen-yeung.  Watching this actor evolve from Benny Chan’s 1992 film “Hua! ying xiong” to romantic comedies such as “The Teacher Without Chalk”, since “Runaway” of 2001, he is able to tap into gritty action films such as “Breaking News”, “Election” and the same can be said with his recent film “Nightfall”.

This is probably one of the best films he has acted in that he doesn’t even have to mutter one single word.  It’s all about facial expressions, body movement and physicality.  And with decades in cinema, Cheung doesn’t look like has aged all that much as he is able to play these physical roles with efficacy.

Let’s first talk about what I liked about the film.  I liked how the film sets you up believing this film was a creepy stalker/murder film but then switches gears and then as each layer is stripped off from the main storyline, things change in a different direction and you can’t help but be fascinated by the new developments of the film.  As mentioned, there are plenty of twists and turns along the way and you can’t help but remain captivated and watch how the film ends.

The acting performances by Simon Yam and Nick Cheung is a major highlight of the film and there are some beautiful scenes of cinematography.

What I didn’t like about the film?  Not sure if it’s more unlike but more of it being too farfetched.  You have a mute convict who has not seen society in more than 20-years, coming out to reality but yet manages to garner high end spy equipment.  With what money was he able to purchase a powerful telescope, bugging device.

In one accident scene, both George and Wong take a major fall.  In reality, one would find themselves in the hospital but of course in Hong Kong action cinema, falling from several feet and landing on a tree is enough as a cushion to keep one alive and well.

And no different from previous work from Michael Wong, it’s always hilarious for me to see him speak in English then to Cantonese, then to English.  This is not a distraction and for some it may be a negative but for me, you have seen Michael Wong do this in so many films, you come to expect it and want to see it.

But despite some of the farfetched ideas implemented in the film, “Nightfall” is still a gritty, revenge action film that is able to stand on its own two feet and separate itself from other Hong Kong films with a similar theme.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good but for lossless audio, Well Go USA Entertainment opted for a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 48 kHz soundtrack instead of the very well-received Edko Films 7.1 Dolby TrueHD 96 kHz soundtrack.  But still, the film does sound amazing, especially during the more action-intense sequences.

Overall, “Nightfall” is a riveting, revenge, action film for rookie director Chow Hin Yeung Roy.  Featuring a solid performance from both Simon Yam and Nick Cheung, the storyline from “Nightfall” is filled with gritty action but also many twist and turns that will keep interested from beginning to end.

Recommended!

 






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