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No Tears For The Dead (Blu-ray Review)

No-Tears-For-The-DeadFrom the creator of the internationally-acclaimed action thriller The Man From Nowhere,comes the heart-pounding box office hit NO TEARS FOR THE DEAD.  A hit man traumatized from accidentally killing a young girl during a job is given the mission to eliminate her mother and begins the ultimate fight to save her life. The film’s all-star cast includes superstar JANG Dong-gun, KIM Min-hee, Brian Tee, KIM Hee-won and KIM Joon-seong. Blu-ray and DVD bonus materials include director’s commentary and the featurette “The Making of No Tears for the Dead,” while bonus materials exclusive to the Blu-ray release includes an interview with Brian Tee, deleted scenes, a “Behind the Scene” featurette, action highlights and two character spots.

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Film 

Abandoned by his mother shortly after immigrating to America, Gon (JANG Dong-gun) is raised by the mafia and grows up to become a cold-blooded hit man. Though usually flawless in taking out his targets, Gon makes a terrible mistake of killing an innocent young girl. A flood of guilt takes over his life and the situation becomes worse when his boss assigns him the job of killing the young girl’s mother. Gon’s new target, Mogyeong (KIM Min-hee), is a risk manager at an investment firm and has buried herself in work to bury her grief. She is completely unaware of her role at the heart of a dangerous conspiracy. Finally, she meets the man who wants to tell her the truth behind the death of her child.

A quick glance at the box for this movie and they want you to know that this is gonna be just as groovy as The Raid 2.  Not the first one, mind you, the second one.  That makes me chuckle.  Anyway, its really no lie, as the action is plenty impressive and on that level.  The only difference between the two, is you have to wait for this one to open up and start actually doing action to see it in place.

The film opens with a really well choreographed and shot opening of a hit at a night club.  You’re instantly hooked and given an emotional gut punch to conflict with your violent adrenaline rush.  But, afterward, it delves into the main objective of the film, which is interesting, but its done in a pretty generic mob/gangster fashion.  A situation where the behavior and characters are all types and tropes we’ve seen before.  We also have a brooding hero who we’re kind of ticked at because he just shot and killed a little girl.

Once the film gets into its second hour, punches start flying, knives start swiping and guns pop off at every corner.  It has a real sense of awe and pain with its fights.  They do the important thing in an action movie, they make sure that the audience feels the blows, be it good guy or bad guy.  There are some really cool and fun situations to watch the characters play around and reek havoc in.  And they do seem to save some of the best of it for last, although the middle of the film has a sweet sniper sequence.  Oh, and this film is nice and bloody as well.  You’ll get your buckets of blood, as both knives and bullets splatter aplenty.

No Tears For The Dead is a solid movie with a decent plot, but excels in the action spectacle.  If you’re looking for something to get that fix that great modern action movies deliver, be it The Raid or John Wick, this is a nice little compliment.  It doesn’t provide the same amazement as those, but sure does deliver enough and will open your eyes nice and wide more than once.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/Detail:  No Tears presents a very luscious and vibrant image.  The transfer brings a razor sharp picture that reflects strong detail.  Clothing detail like suede, strings and other texture pulls through as if you could touch it.  Surfaces reveal every scratch, scuff and pattern with the ability to count the wood grains.

Depth:  Some good depth work.  There are some great overhead crane shots, especially one of an exterior elevator that gives such a big feeling.  There’s also on minimal or intended blurriness between foreground and background.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and accurate.  Some great shading and definition comes from the black levels.  No detail is really hidden at all as people with dark hair and dark clothing are quite discernible.

Color Reproduction:  Colors pop as need be.  Nothing bleeds, it has restraint and is able to make the colors rich and accurate.  There’s a bit of a green filter through some scenes in this film.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones appear natural and consistent throughout.  Wrinkles, pores, sweat beads and scratches all look as if you’re seeing them through a window.  Impressive.

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 LPCM, Korean 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Korean 2.0 LPCM

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  Please note, that the audio tracks as well as the subtitle track are locked in and unable to be surfed on or off.  You must use the menu to switch between tracks.  Also of note, the film features a mixture of English and Korean dialogue.  The Korean still maintains the English dialogue in English.  Also, the English audio tracks do not contain subtitles.  That said, this is an awesome and powerful track.  Your viewing area will come rocking to life and you’ll almost want to grab a shotgun and join the action.  Truly great stuff here.

Low Frequency Extension:  Gun shots, explosions, destruction, car engines all get an awesome boost from the subwoofer.  Everything in this movie gets some life, pop and excitement.  The gunshots give you a jolt as if you were actually there hearing it shot.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Very very impressive work here with movement.  The front channels accurately pick up every volume and placement on screen.  The rear speakers provide ambiance but also good placement of action and things going on.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is crisp, loud and clear.

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Extras 

Making Of No Tears For The Dead (HD, 27:12) – The interviews in this all appear to be from the press junket for the film.  They go over the song “Danny Boy” sung in the movie and few select sequences (Stunts and dramatic ones) in the film including its finale.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 6:51)

Director’s Commentary (HD, 3:19) – This is not really what it says it is.  Its a quick promo video featuring some interview clips with the director about taking on the project.

Brian Tee Interview (HD, 2:05) – The “Asian Kyle Gallner”, as I have always referred to him as, gives a brief but energetic interview about the protagonist, director and playing a bad guy.

Character Spot: Mogyeong (HD, :51) – A character-specific trailer

Character Spot: Gon (HD, :52) – Another character-specific trailer

Behind The Scenes (HD, 3:19) – A very brief “Making Of” that features some different interviews from the film’s stars and the same one from the director in the previous featurette.  With the much longer one included here, there’s really no reason for this one.

Action Highlights (HD, 2:01) – A compilation of some of the films best fights.

Trailers – No Tears For The Dead, The Divine Movie, Friend II: The Legacy, The Admiral: Roaring Currents

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Summary 

No Tears For The Dead is a pretty good, above average action thriller.  While it takes a while to get to the goods, once the first shot goes off, this thing starts running and doesn’t stop.  This Blu-ray features an absolutely superb presentation with knock out video and an audio track that truly blew me away.  There’s a nice long list of bonus features to keep the show going after the credits have rolled as well.  Fans of the film should be pretty happy with little complaint on this release.  Those curious about the film would probably be pleased with blind buy.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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