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When a Hong Kong celebrity is found brutally murdered, his body floating in the middle of the ocean, hardheaded detective Lam is called in to take charge of the investigation. As Lam zeroes in on a killer from the past, the murder appears to be a straight forward case of revenge. But the more that Lam pursues his suspect, the deeper he falls into a web of lies. To find the truth, Lam must dig into a 20 year-old case for answers, the one link tying the suspect to the celebrity. But in doing so, Lam will uncover a dark secret so shocking, it will turn the investigation upside down. Who is the victim and who is the killer? Just as Lam believes he has everything figured out, he will discover that there’s a fine line between love and hate.
For more about Nightfall and the Nightfall Blu-ray release, see Nightfall Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on April 17, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Simon Yam, Nick Cheung, Mike Leeder, Michael Wong
Director: Roy Chow Hin-Yeung
» See full cast & crew
Nightfall Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, April 17, 2013
Roy Chow Hin-Yeung's "Daai deoi bou" a.k.a "Nightfall" (2012) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Hong Kong-based distributors Edko Films. The supplemental features on the disc include original trailers for the film; making of featurette; and a collection of stills from the film. In Cantonese, with optional English and Traditional Chinese subtitles for the main feature. Region-A "locked".
Nightfall opens up with an impressively shot prison fight in which a skinny man (Nick Cheung, Election, The Stool Pigeon) kills three gang members. Some of his kicks and jumps would have been perfect for the fancy clashes in the Matrix films. There are some terrific close-ups and plenty of red paint. Twenty years after the fight the skinny man is released from prison.
In present-day Hong Kong, a local artist (Michael Wong, Knock Off) is brutally murdered. Detective Lam (Simon Yam, Exiled, Vengeance), a widower with a drinking problem, is immediately asked to lead the investigation. While he gathers information about the artist, the skinny man reappears and begins following closely the artist's very beautiful daughter. While she plays the piano in a local music school, he leaves her notes assuring her that he will always be close to her.
Eventually, Detective Lam tracks down the skinny man and begins chasing him around the city, convinced that he is responsible for the artist's death. But the more he digs into the artist's family history, the more he begins to realize that he might be trying to catch the wrong guy.
Despite a number of different twists, Roy Chow Hin-Yeung's latest film is frustratingly predictable. Large portions of it focus on events whose only purpose is to redirect the viewer's attention, and this quickly becomes painfully obvious. This repetitive practice has a particularly negative effect on the manner in which different relationships are observed.
Different flashbacks are used to align all the scattered pieces of what should be a fascinating puzzle, but they only confirm what is already obvious. On the other hand, the occasional glimpses of Detective Lam's private life are also clearly underdeveloped and misplaced as they only reconfirm that he is a man who has suffered and found peace in his work. Why and how much he has suffered remains unclear. It is also unclear why it might have been important to know more about Detective Lam's personal life as absolutely nothing that happens there has any significant impact on his professional life.
Despite its shortcomings, Nightfall often impresses with spectacular visuals. Shot with the Red One camera, the film consistently looks incredibly sharp and vivid. Many of the daylight sequences, in particular, boast outstanding colors. The nighttime panoramic shots from downtown Hong Kong are also terrific. The film was lensed by cinematographer Ardy Lam, who has worked on many now considered classic Hong Kong action films, such as John Woo's Bullet In The Head (1990), Tsio Hark's Once Upon a Time in China(1991), Kirk Wong's Crime Story(1993), and Ringo Lam's The Adventurers (1995).
The film was edited by Ka-Fai Cheung (Wilson Yip's Ip Man and Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster). The production designs are by award winning artist Pater Wong (Peter Chan's Perhaps Love, Dante Lam's Stool Pigeon).
Note: In 2012, Nightfall Best Sound Effects Award (Kinson Tsang and Chi-Hung) at the prestigious Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei, Taiwan.
Nightfall Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Roy Chow Hin-Yeung's Nightfall arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Hong Kong-based distributors Edko Films.
Shot with the Red One camera, Nightfall looks quite impressive on Blu-ray. Detail and clarity are very pleasing, even when light is restricted or when a strong red filter is used for some of the flashbacks. The daylight footage is notably crisp and vibrant (see screencapture #4). Colors are lush and stable, never looking boosted or manipulated. Contrast levels are also stable. Only during the flashbacks there are some small but obviously intended fluctuations. There are no serious compression issues to report in this review. There is one sequence early into the film where I noticed light banding in the upper right corner, but the effect very quickly disappears. All in all, this is an impressive presentation that should please fans of Nightfall. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Nightfall Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (96kHz/24-bit) and Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. For the record, Edko Films have provided optional English and Traditional Chinese subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they appear inside the image frame.
This is the first Blu-ray release with advanced 96K upsampling to reach my desk, and I must admit that I am very impressed with it. The Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track is hands-down one of the most aggressive I've heard in a very, very long time. It has a tremendous range of nuanced dynamics and surround movement truly is elevated to an entirely different level. The sound is also razor sharp and clear. This being said, I wonder if some viewers may feel that the extreme dynamics are changing the sound design of the film. Some of the action sequences are truly testing the limits of what I believe is appropriate for home viewing. Hopefully, I would be able to experiment with more discs featuring 96K upsampling so that I could get a better idea of what some distributors are trying to accomplish.
Nightfall Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Nightfall Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Roy Chow Hin-Yeung's Nightfall is an impressive looking and sounding film, but I think that with the talent involved it should have been a far better polished film. Indeed, there is a lot that could have been done much better. It is possible that Nightfall might appeal to Simon Yam and Nick Cheung fans, but casual viewers will be underwhelmed by it. On the other hand, Edko Films' Blu-ray release is quite impressive. I think that it can test the muscles of a number of different audio systems. RENT IT.
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