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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Family > Crisis > Illness > Mental Health > Hong Kong > Ocean Heaven (2010/Well Go USA Blu-ray w/DVD)

Ocean Heaven (2010/Well Go USA Blu-ray w/DVD)


Picture: B- & C     Sound: B & B-     Extras: C     Films: B-



Jet Li has been used well in some films, not so well in others and a few films he did were so bad, it was nothing short of exploitive and infuriating.  He has wanted to show he can act and has even expressed doing musicals, but it turns out that he can do serious dramatic acting and the proof is a decent drama from Xue Xiaolu’s Ocean Heaven (2010).


In it, he is impressive as a loving father with a son who is an autistic savant (Lunmei Kwai. when he is a young adult, doing a good job here) who live alone as the wife/mother is gone.  Now, the father is sick and is going to die, putting him in a race against time to find important, specific, special care for his son before it is too late.  Of course this is not easy and though some of these scenes may be familiar from similar films, this is still beautifully done, well acted, well directed and not just some bad TV movie.


The father also works as an aquarium where his son always joins him and loves the aquatic animals.  This is one of many locales where the story decides to reveal itself in visual terms beyond plot and dialogue, making it often an exercise in pure cinema, but it is a drama at heart and this is pretty good overall despite the feeling we have been here before on some levels.  It is definitely worth a look.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Blu-ray looks really good with only minor complains and some soft shots, mixes both Kodak and Fuji film stocks and thanks to the work of Director of Photography Christopher Doyle, H.K.S.C., (Paranoid Park, The Quiet American, Rabbit-Proof Fence, In The Mood For Love) is professional all the way.  There are even a few demo shots here.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD included is sadly much softer and does not do justice to the work here.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is solid, consistent and full throughout with a decent soundfield, though there are many dialogue-heavy moments.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is not bad, but not as warm or consistent as the Blu-ray DTS-MA.


Extras include features a Making Of featurette and trailers for this and many more Well Go USA releases.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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