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Tran Quoc Bao
Alain Uy, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Ron Yuan
Writing Credits:
Tran Quoc Bao

Now middle-aged, three former kung fu prodigies attempt to avenge the death of their former master.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 111 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 6/22/2021

• “Behind the Scenes” Featurettes
• Deleted Scenes
• Bloopers
• Trailer & Previews


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The Paper Tigers [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 30, 2021)

For an unusual twist on the kung fu genre, we go to 2020’s The Paper Tigers. Here we meet kids who excel at this form of martial arts.

As teens, Hing (Peter Adrian Sudarso), Jim (Gui DaSilva-Greene) and Danny (Yoshi Sudarso) became star pupils under Sifu Cheng (Roger Yuan). However, they strayed from this path and when we find them decades later, Hing (Ron Huan), Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) and Danny (Alain Uy) live ordinary middle-class lives.

However, this changes when Cheng dies and the “Tigers” suspect murder. They reunite to deal with past personal concerns and find the killer.

If you read that synopsis and came to the conclusion that Tigers offers a comedy, congratulations! You have a major psychiatric disorder!

However, despite the homicide-related story, Tigers indeed leans toward the humorous side of the street much of the time. While it definitely comes with serious moments, it lacks the dramatic impression the plot implies.

Honestly, Cheng’s death feels like something of a MacGuffin, as it exists more to motivate events rather than act as a narrative of its own. Much of the time, the Tigers’ investigation feels borderline superfluous.

Instead, Tigers acts as another story about coping with aging and the contrast with the dreams of youth. We see the three Tigers as they reacquaint and re-evaluate their lives.

With a moderate emphasis on laughs, a factor that leads to tonal inconsistencies above and beyond the notion that a story about a murder investigation boasts so much comedy. Tigers mixes broad humor with introspective character material and suspense.

For the most part, Tigers balances these elements fairly well, though sometimes the shifts can jar. Not all the pieces fit together in an especially smooth manner, and the end result can feel somewhat awkward at times.

Still, Tigers comes with moderate charm, mainly due to the chemistry of the three leads. When we see their interactions, we sense the warmth among the characters and find ourselves invested in their stories.

The occasional fight scenes can feel a bit trite, as they follow a pretty standard path most of the time. We can figure out how most will go, so they lack real inventiveness.

Still, these moments usually work, predictable as they can seem. Tigers brings enough spark to the combat sequences that they add life to the proceedings.

Tigers could use tighter focus and polish, but it still becomes a reasonably engaging character piece. This becomes a likable tale.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio C+/ Bonus C+

The Paper Tigers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pretty appealing presentation.

Overall sharpness appeared good. A few slightly soft shots occasionally occurred, but they remained minor, so most of the flick offered pretty positive delineation.

Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear. I also noticed no edge haloes nor print flaws.

In terms of palette, Tigers went with fairly strong sense of teal and amber. Nothing about the hues stood out, but they seemed fine for this production.

Blacks appeared fairly full and dense, while low-light shots gave us mostly good clarity. Some shadows could seem a bit thick, but those elements usually worked fine. In general, I felt pleased with the transfer.

The film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack accentuated the material. Most of the livelier moments related to the occasional fight elements, and we got enough of those to fill out the spectrum reasonably well. Otherwise, the film emphasized quiet ambience and provided pretty positive integration.

Sound quality satisfied for the most part, though the track seemed overcranked at times. In particular, some low-end elements felt way too loud.

For instance, Cheng’s dying heartbeat at the start threatened to destroy my subwoofer even after I lowered the volume well under my standard level. These overcoooked moments didn’t dominate the mix, but they created distractions.

Otherwise, this was a good reproduction of the source. Music was full and rich, while effects demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy other than those bass-heavy moments.

Speech came across as crisp and natural. The mix seemed to be satisfactory, though it lost points due to its overdone bass at times.

Under Behind the Scenes, we find three featurettes: “A Look Behind the Film” (9:56), “Tai Tung Restaurant” (1:53) and “Production Design” (1:19). Across these, we hear from writer/director Bao Tran, producer Yuji Okumoto, action designer Ken Quitugua, restaurant owner Harry Chan, production designer Wing Lee and actors Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins,

We get notes about story/characters, cast and performances, fight scenes, the restaurant location, and production design. These offer some decent details but tend to feel superficial.

12 Deleted Scenes span 23 minutes, 39 seconds. Some of these show more of the Tigers as teens, but most focus on the older characters.

In particular, we see more of Jim at his job, in story elements that flesh out his role. They would’ve slowed the movie a bit too much but they add some useful material. The rest add a little more to the other characters but also don’t come across as especially valuable.

Finally, a collection of Bloopers goes for seven minutes, 39 seconds. Some of these offer the usual goofs and giggles, but we find alternate lines as well, and those add some value to the reel.

The disc opens with ads for Silat Warriors: Deed of Death, Undercover Punch and Gun and Deliver Us from Evil. We also find the trailer for Tigers.

With The Paper Tigers, we get a reasonably engaging mix of martial arts, murder investigation and character story. Though it melds genres in a somewhat awkward manner, it usually entertains. The Blu-ray brings generally good picture with erratic audio and a handful of bonus materials. Nothing here excels but the movie feels mostly winning.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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