Bullet In The Head
MEGA STAR
 
Starring:
Directed By:
John Woo
Year:
1990
Run Time:
126mins
Producer: Mega Star
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Languages:
CANTONESE 5.1, Mandarin 5.1
Subtitles:
Removable Chinese (S+T), English, Japanese, Malaysian, Korean, Spanish
W/S Subtitles:
No
Ratio:
1.85:1 Non Anamorphic
Region:
Dual Layer NTSC 0
Genre:
Heroic Bloodshed - II
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MOVIE
10/10

As you may have noticed from some of my previous reviews, I tend to be drawn to films which have a certain emotional depth to them, so the opportunity to pick up Bullet In The Head, on DVD, couldn't be missed.
Now, I could give you a brief write-up of the plot, but that would be be missing the point - this is a film about the pain, suffering, greed and selfishness of three friends.
As with many of John Woo's films, the themes of Loyalty, Friendship and Betrayal are explored, and the effect that these have on the main characters. However, where Bullet In The Head differs, is the sense that the main characters never have any control over their own destiny, and are forced into making decisions which have dreadful repercussions on themselves, and others.
The standout scenes are not the ones containing over-the-top shoot-outs or stunts, but the ones which examine the consequences of these actions...

READ THE DVD COMPARISON HERE

PICTURE
5/10

One large flaw in the print is a glitch, which causes the picture to jump up fractionally throughout the running time.
I personally didn't notice it when I was watching the film, but if you're skipping about, it does become more noticeable.
The picture, whilst being quite clean, doesn't have enough sharpness for my taste and should contain a lot more detail. Colours, however, are strong and well contained, although night scenes are sometimes too bright, and reveal artifacts.

SOUND
4/10

An extremely disappointing, and overly-mixed 5.1 mix. Sound effects, music and dialogue are left sounding "tinny" and "hollow"
Surround effects also seem out of place, and contain the same tinny quality.
A disappointing, and sometimes off-putting remix.

SUBTITLES
9/10

Whilst not being quite as good as the Made In Hong Kong video, they are still very good, never falling behind the dialogue, and generally being free of grammatical and syntax errors.

MENUS
7/10

Very clear, professional presentation featuring Bios. on John Woo, Jacky Cheung, Waise Lee and Tony Leung, as well as the Theatrical trailer and 9 animated chapter stops.

CONCLUSION
6/10

Bullet in the Head is not a film you'd ever describe as being "entertaining" to watch, and is often a disturbing experience, but one that should not be missed.
If you already own the Made In Hong Kong video, I wouldn't recommend upgrading. The picture and sound deficiencies make for a disappointing release, and if, as rumoured, there's an Anchor Bay version I'd wait for that.
A film this good deserves a DVD to match, and unfortunately Mega Star hasn't provided it...

MOVIE 10/10
PICTURE
5/10
SOUND
4/10
SUBTITLES
9/10
EXTRAS
3/10
MENUS
7/10
PACKAGING
7/10
OVERALL
6/10

**Please also note that this version is CUT.
Key scenes in the night club have been removed, as have some other smaller ones.
For a full break-down of what's missing, visit the excellent page at A Website Never Dies*