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Incredibly Ever After(2011)
In ancient China, superhero Huan falls in love with a female superhero called Red. They decide to retire and move to a small village for the sake of starting a family. Five years passes and they now live a happy and quiet life until a martial arts competition is being held in the very village they live. They plan to leave the village for good but end up being tangled in a conspiracy to murder the champion. To find out the identity of the mastermind, Huan and Red must don superhero costumes one more time in the name of justice.
For more about Incredibly Ever After and the Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray release, see Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on November 16, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Louis Koo, Chapman To, Sandra Ng Kwan Yue
Director: Vincent Kok
» See full cast & crew
Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray Review
Look, up in the sky, it's Brad Bird!
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, November 16, 2012
The Incredibles was one of the most charming films in the Disney – Pixar canon, their first film to use an "outside" writer-director (Brad Bird), and a superb blend of humor and action which followed the adventures of supposedly retired superheroes who suddenly found themselves called back into the service of a not very enthusiastic Mankind. It's probably no mere coincidence, therefore, that this 2011 Hong Kong production which traverses much the same territory has a version of Incredible in the title, and which becomes even more transparent when the original title of the film turns out to be Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. The names have been changed (not necessarily to protect the innocent), the setting and time period are different, but the same basic plot machinations are firmly in place, as we meet two retired superheroes who attempt, none to successfully, to blend in with ordinary humans as they also attempt to ferret out exactly what a "normal" lifestyle might be. This is a film that is charming enough on its own modest merits, but which so openly invites comparison to one of Disney – Pixar's finest that it becomes a case of, if not exactly déjà vu, a pale imitation that tries to change certain salient elements but which ultimately can't escape the rather formidable animated shadow in which it dwells. (We don't even need to go into other live action fare that at least flirted with this same basic premise, films like Kick-Ass, since Incredibly Ever After has a sweet, childlike ambience which is more in keeping with a childlike cartoon rather than a young adult graphic novel.)
In a sort of drowsy Chinese village, we meet local couple Mr. and Mrs. Flint, who in "real life" (that being a decidedly relative term in an outing like this) are actually Gazer Warrior (Louis Koo) and Aroma Woman (Sandra Ng), super powered crime fighters of yore who have become domesticated in their middle age and settled down a life that is, well, frankly kind of boring. Mr. Flint has assumed leadership of the local quasi-militia, except that there's no conflict and nothing to protect the village from. Mrs. Flint has gone entrepreneurial, operating a beautiful little tea house that nonetheless is more a place for gossip than any grand commerce. The dull, repetitive nature of their lives becomes somehow more poignant when they discover that the potential cause of their infertility may be due to a lack of excitement (other than the amorous kind). A cure seems only obvious—a return to their super powered crime fighting ways.
The overriding issue with Incredibly Ever After is that it plays exactly like a live action cartoon, which begs the question as to why it wasn't just done as an animated feature to begin with? The humor is also kind of slight at times, with a lot of sight gags that are giggle worthy but never really hilarious. A typical example would be when Mr. and Mrs. Flint go shopping for a new home, find the perfect place but don't want to pay too much for it, and Mrs. Flint tells the realtor (yes, evidently there were realtors in ancient times) that the fireplace has a crack in it, at which point she hits the chimney, sending a huge fissure slithering up the structure. Of course they get the discount, but then realize they're going to have to pay for repairs. Not exactly side splitting comedy, no matter how well played it is.
There's an amiable quality to Incredibly Ever After, and the film is quite fanciful, even whimsical, in its own way, but is that really enough, especially when this territory has been so artfully covered in other, better films? Writer- director Vincent Kok almost seems like he thinks he shooting the pilot for some Asian sitcom, but then suddenly realizes that, no, it's a big budget feature film and it obviously needs some showy special effects and big battle scenes. That sets up the curious dialectic in the film where we have kind of silly little "at home with the Flints" sequences, and then a couple of big set pieces where the Flints become their alter egos and decimate various villains.
The film's episodic nature does have some benefits, however. Any particular audience member who isn't laughing at the comedy or getting a little adrenaline rush at the martial arts need only wait for a moment, and there's something new on the screen. Ng and Koo make for a very charismatic lead couple and strike a decent balance between bringing a dash of verisimilitude to the "human" elements of the story (like wanting to settle down and raise a family) while never eschewing the obvious comic book ambience of the entire project. The film itself is rather evocatively designed as well, something that helps it to achieve its own peculiar level of surreality. The Flints' gorgeous mid-century modern cottage (I didn't say which century) set at the end of lake where the moon is always impossibly large is a perfect example, but the whole film has some nice attention to detail with regard to the costumes and sets.
Western audiences who are more used to the ultra-stylized approach of films like Kick Ass may not cotton to Incredibly Ever After's more low scale, unabashedly silly approach. The film has almost a vaudevillian feel to it, with a lot of shtick and physical comedy that may not appeal to those who don't adore franchises like, say, The Three Stooges. That said, there's such a genial quality to the bulk of this enterprise that it's hard to really get very worked up about its shortcomings. It may not in fact be The Incredibles, but it's at least The Above Averages.
Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray, Video Quality
Incredibly Ever After is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.35:1. FUNimation seems to really be branching out into live action fare all of a sudden, with at least a few recent non-anime titles to its credit, including Lost Girl and Athena: Goddess of War. These are really interesting choices for FUNimation—personally, I'd expect a Canadian series like Lost Girl to come from Entertainment One, and Athena: Goddess of War certainly seems to be more Well Go USA material. Incredibly Ever After is another title I'd tend to associate with the Well Go USA brand, a nice looking Chinese film that boasts good clarity and stability, with appealingly saturated colors and some decent if not superb special effects, including some good wire work. The look of this film is rather shiny and colorful, obviously redolent of comic books, but fine detail is excellent in the film's many close-ups, where some of the sillier aspects (like Koo's ridiculous beard) really pop with a lot of precision. The film's beautiful production design also benefits from this nice looking high definition presentation, where everything from the pill on some costumes to the textures of the fabric hanging on some of the sets can easily be made out even in midrange shots.
Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Incredibly Ever After's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is a study in contrasts. A lot of the film has relatively low key, quiet dialogue moments, and a number of those are only between Mr. and Mrs. Flint. The track is expectedly spacious if not overly directional in these sequences. But then the film suddenly explodes into its action set pieces, and all bets are off (in a good way). Suddenly the surrounds come fully alive with great effects (some of them goofy but funny), with some nice discrete channelization and equally forceful bursts of LFE. Fidelity is excellent and as indicated dynamic range is unusually wide.
Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Incredibly Ever After is probably too derivative to even be taken very "seriously" on its own wacky terms. But that doesn't mean there isn't an affable quality to the film, one fostered by its own inherent winking quality that suggests that Kok and his crew knew exactly that some audience members at least were going to be thinking of at least one other film with a form of Incredible in the title. This outing often plays like a gussied up sitcom, though the humor is awfully slight at times and never really rises to flat out hilarity. This is one of those generally charming but kind of bland features that is an amiable enough time killer but doesn't really provide any lasting impression. If accepted on that level, this Blu-ray certainly offers great video and audio, so it comes Recommended.
Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Incredibly Ever After Blu-ray - September 1, 2012
FUNimation Entertainment has revealed that it is planning to release a combo pack edition of director Vincent Kok's Mr. and Mrs. Incredible a.k.a Incredibly Ever After (2011), starring Louis Koo, Sandra Ng, and Chapman To. The preliminary release date set by the ...
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