If you would like to read my review of Throwdown and the Tai Seng dvd release I am using as a comparison click here
After what feels like an age, the blu ray of Johnnie To's Throwdown has arrived. Despite some trepidation about ordering another Kam & Ronson blu ray after poor experiences with Iron Monkey and Bullet in the head, I decided to take a chance anyway based on the theory of it being a more recent film. Earlier this week I was buoyed by Phantom of pulp's enthusiastic recommendation of K & R's Running out of time blu ray. I've taken a good look at the Throwdown blu ray and compared it against the Tai Seng dvd.
I'm really pleased to report the disc looks fantastic, projected onto a 90 inch screen the difference between the two discs is night and day. Which is how it should be of course when stepping up to blu ray, but unfortunately often isn't the case as far as Hong Kong releases are concerned.
The contrast is significantly better than the dvd image and the colours have a remarkable vibrancy to them. The print has a few blemishes here and there but certainly nothing to worry about, if anything they give the transfer an even more film like appearance.
As well as the significant increase in image quality, the audio receives an impressive upgrade via a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack. Comparing this with the already very good DTS track on the dvd, the TrueHD track has a more open and natural sound with better channel separations.
Subtitles (from memory) appear similar if not the same as the ones on the HK dvd and are inferior to the re-translated subs on the Tai Seng dvd. Extras wise the blu ray is missing some from the dvd, with only the trailer and a making of included.
The hit and miss nature of Kam & Ronson's Hong Kong blu ray releases continues. Luckily the Throwdown release is a hit. One of my favourite Johnnie To movies has a blu ray to cherish, and one to aspire to for future releases. Now if only we could see similar releases for The Mission and A Hero never dies!