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121 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Stunts, No Wires, No CGIs, Just Actions; Just Amazing
You like Jackie Chan films? Or remember Bruce Lee? If so, don't miss this one from Thailand, where the film industry is thriving more than ever. And remember the name of Tony Jaa, stunt-turned-actor (incidentally, he was a stunt in the second 'Mortal Kombat' film, and his then co-worker was Ray Park, 'X-Men') Jaa's martial arts skills based on Muay Thai (Thai-style...
Published on February 14, 2005 by Tsuyoshi

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning about Subtitle
The DVD is pretty good. There are some interesting extras, particularly The Movements of Muay Thai. I watch a lot of non-english movies and prefer listening the original audio track with subtitles, rather than watching it dubbed. But, I have a bone to pick with this release. As far as I can tell, there is only a closed caption "dubtitle" track rather than a true...
Published on August 31, 2005 by Geoffrey Gallagher


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121 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Stunts, No Wires, No CGIs, Just Actions; Just Amazing, February 14, 2005
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
You like Jackie Chan films? Or remember Bruce Lee? If so, don't miss this one from Thailand, where the film industry is thriving more than ever. And remember the name of Tony Jaa, stunt-turned-actor (incidentally, he was a stunt in the second 'Mortal Kombat' film, and his then co-worker was Ray Park, 'X-Men') Jaa's martial arts skills based on Muay Thai (Thai-style fighting) are simply astonishing.

[NO STUNTS, NO CGIs] Strangely titled film 'Ong-bak: Thai Warrior' is, as the title says, an exciting Thai actioner starring Tony Jaa (real name Panom Yeerum), who plays the hero Ting living in an apparently sleepy country in Thailand. Not exactly, you soon see. In this interesting opening scene, you see these scantily dressed guys climing up one big tree, and during the fighting, they fall one by one onto the ground. This is actually a kind of festival, or ritual, of the hero's village, but what you should realize is, the film uses NO CGIs, NO WIRES ATTACHED.

[FORGET THE STORY] Story? Need one? OK, Tony Jaa's hero has to track down the theives who cut off and stole the head of the sacred statue in his village. With this mission, he goes to town, where he meets one middle-aged man George, and his friend (perhaps girlfriend) Muay. Before you know it, they all got in troubles for the thugs start attack them.

[ACTIONS] Then, actions begin, which are simply eye-poping. One example: in the cat-and-mouse chase scene in the market, running away from the bad guys, Tony Jarr jumps over the tables, stalls, and cars (!) with Jackie's comic timing. And look how he slides into UNDER an RV! To add to them, he leaps through a ring of barbed wires (real ones, I suppose), and comes out unharmed, never stopping a moment!

Himself a Muay Thai fighter, Tony Jaa (or his character) joins in several illegal boxing bouts. You might say you have seen this kind of bloody, bone-crunching fight sequences in the past. Not Tony Jaa's high-kicking that strikes the opponent at the speed of lightening. This sounds like cliche, I know, but it is true, his agile movement reminds me of the deadly power of Bruce Lee and the ultra-fast speed of Jet Li.

And that's not the end, for Jaa does many, many other actions, which I refuse to write about here, for you should see them for yourself in theatres. Again, I say, Tony Jaa uses no stunts, no special effects or no strings. Of course, he will not win the Oscar for acting the hero of this film, but when he can fight like Lee, Chan, and Li, who cares?

My advice: 'Ong-bak' is a must for any fans who love action films. Watch it, and be surprised.
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82 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blunt-force Trauma as High Art, September 1, 2005
By 
Tome Raider (California, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior (DVD)
I saw this movie recently at the Acadamy Theater in Pasadena, California. I was feeling a little under the weather. There were about 20 other somber people in the theater, including my five year-old daughter who I brought with me despite my concerns about the R rating.

Suffice it to say that about thirty minutes into the movie the entire audience was visibly activated and energized by this stone-cold classic-for-eternity. My health had suddenly returned, I was pumped up on massive doses of epinephrine. Folks, this movie succeeeds on every level. I'm not a huge martial arts expert like many of the reviewers, but I was a kid in the late 60's when Bruce Lee (and Jimi Hendrix) ruled the world, and rightly so. This is the only fighting movie which I've seen since which even comes close to one of the better Bruce Lee movies. I will even contend, with some reservation, that it surpasses the Bruce Lee classics: there is humour, dramatic and sophisticated tuk-tuk chase scenes, foot-chase scenes, splendidly convincing archeological sights, and obviously, absolutely SAVAGE multiple fight scenes where good defeats evil with satisfying Dirty Harry righteousness. The fight scenes in this movie are certified artistic masterpieces and deserve their own special place at the Smithsonian. And, even the soundtrack is good, with a pulsating techno-style music that really builds the tension. This movie delivers the goods.

Having been to Thailand several times and loving that country, I was very happy that this movie pays such a fitting tribute to their culture, the Thai kickboxing sport as well as the gentle and happy demeanor of the Thai people.

I should mention that by the end of the movie I had nothing but pleasure in having had my daughter watch the movie and share this unique experience. Goodness prevails over evil. Bad guys die a deserved death. Disciplined boy saves his village through courage, honor, persistence and skill. Wayward soul (Ting's cousin who has gambling debts and other character...flaws) is reminded of his roots through observing the integrity of his friend, and he finds spiritual redemption through his efforts at becoming a good guy once again.Boy returns to village having honored his family and completed the mission...I'm afraid Sesame Street could not teach a better lesson about life and its struggles.

This movie will almost certainly become more famous as time goes on and people outside of the martial arts community learn about it. I left the theater stunned and enthralled. Just awesome.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sizzling Martial Arts Action and Compelling Drama, February 10, 2007
This review is from: Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior (DVD)
From a small Thai village the statue of the revered deity Ong Bak is vandalized ... his head is stolen. The film shows how the eight moves of Muay Thai are executed by Ting, the best maritial arts fighter in the village who is sent to the city to find and return this sacred object. The local priest admonishes Ting to use only peaceful means because the moves can be deadly. Ting is given money and valuables by the villagers who aresimple and poor but faithful he will succeed ... He is advised to seek the help of a cousin, who lives in the city. Ting finds his cousin who is less than enthusiastic to receive a visitor from his village. The cousin is ashamed of his village roots, he has taken on an American name and has a girlfriend whom he likes to impress that he is "cool" ... unfortunately, he also has a gambling habit that has gotten him into deep debt with the underworld bosses.

After the cousin stole Ting's money and gambled it away, Ting ends up fighting goons sent by the local gangster to put fear into his cousin, essentially pay up or risk permanent injury. Ting's fighting prowess impresses his cousin who gets the idea to have him fight at a local arena against the best fighters where betting takes place. The cousin is certain he will recoup his losses ...Ting agrees on the condition afterwards his cousin will help find Ong Bak. While the story line is basic, the fighting scenes captivate and capture the viewer's attention and hold it throughout the film.

The scenes where Tony Jaa jumps over several produce carts during a chase in the city while knives are thrown at him is astonishing. Another phenomenal scene involves a huge number of three wheeled taxis which are driven by Ting's would-be captors as he fights them off while he is riding in a moving taxi. When they come to the end of the freeway there is an unexpected drop off ... like the edge of a cliff, the freeway is under constructed and incomplete. There is an explosive ending related to the capture of the gangster boss and the *surprise* location of an unprecedented number of Buddha heads which were stolen. This DVD has great extra features, such as a live performance of martial arts by Tony Jaa on stage in Paris during the opening of his film. It also has a rap music video which incorporates phenomenal martial arts performed by Tony Jaa. Some behind the scenes footage features the creation of specific stunts within the film. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, February 19, 2005
This one is well worth catching at the big screen if it happens to be playing close by, the action is very well done. If you like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee or Jet Li, than this action adventure flick with plenty of fighting scenes will not disappoint. The lead character, a young man named Ting, has to leave his village and go to Bangkok to try and track down a religious relic stolen from his village, when he gets there, he, as we might expect, gets more than he had bargained for running into a criminal gang.

While the production was behind our modern standards here in the states, and certainly wasn't as refined as movies like Hidden Dragon or other modern Jackie Chan flicks, it easily competes with early Kung Fu movies and is on the same level as earlier Chan flicks that were done in China.

The athletic abilities and grace demonstrated by the lead were very skilled, and while some of the action sequences were obviously influenced by some of Chan's work, including inventive use of props and adding some humor to action, there was a lot here that was original in its form, at least to my eyes, and I think there is a big future, perhaps in American films, for the star.

My five star rating is based upon its place in this catagory of film, some of the acting is a bit cheesy, and being subtitled hurts a bit, however, in this genre it's easily a five star flick and I highly recommend it to fans of marital arts movies.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars careful not to get the red sun version, July 15, 2006
This review is from: Ong Bak Thai Warrior (DVD)
It may be uncut, but the 20th century fox version has much better picture quality and good subtitles too. The only thing you are missing out on is a couple mroe parts in the village. It is just not needed. If the story was actually good, it might matter. But the reason to watch this is the stunts. The fights are some of the hardest hitting stuff you will ever get but Tony Jaa's stunt work is second to none. If you are a fan of watching great action movies, check this out casue it is the best one that has come out in a while.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, only bad editing, September 9, 2005
This review is from: Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior (DVD)
Sometime about a year ago my roommates and I were watching this clip on the television over and over again. It detailed a fighter who was doing a bunch of kung-fu-y spinny moves, then advances towards an opponent who...

Roommate: "He stepped on his face."

Me: "Wow. It's like a kick, only--"

Roommate: "Only he stepped on his face."

Me: "How's that possible?"

Roommate: "I don't know..."

The opponent is Tony Jaa, the star of this film.

In a small, farming village, a young man named Ting is training to be ordained by the monk of the village until a local of the village, who had moved to the city and was visiting, steals the head of the Ong-Bak, the village Buddha. Considering the village's drought and other bad luck, this last problem leaves them with no chance, so Ting embarks out to the big city to recover the treasure.

Once there, he meets up with another from the village, Hum Lae, who has gotten in trouble with some local thugs. Hum Lae promises to help Ting, but only after they deal with Hum Lae's debt and the mysterious shady man who hides behind a glass wall and has his hand on some artifacts.

As kung fu movies go, this one is a stunning example. In a world currently dazzled with wire-fu and long, invested imagery of colors, this one is much more simplistic and as a result, dirtier. Tony Jaa's martial arts are great not because he can spin around seven million times in a second, but because his moves are relatively simple and pack quite a punch. Nearly every hit in this movie looks like it hurts, and the action only gets more and more violent.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the action scenes are very cleverly built into the script, they're also a bit too long... not because they're never ending, but because the director felt the need to show every important move two or three times over again. Sometimes an action is finished, such as Ting splitting a biker's helmet with an elbow, and then it's shown again, and then again, all in slow motion. It really adds nothing to the movie and gets annoying and tedious.

Still, the tagline of this movie, "No stunt doubles, no computer images, no strings attached" definitely helps explain why most of the action in this film looks like it hurts. Together with a really involving story line, it's a film that's definitely worth the watch.

--PolarisDiB
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TONY JAA ROCKS, September 8, 2005
By 
Woopak "The THRILL" (Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior (DVD)
This movie has the makings of a great martial arts film. Typically, movies like this have a weak plot but then again, fans of the genre aren't there to watch the plot. You want a good drama, WATCH SOMETHING ELSE!!

The stunt/fight scenes are phenomenal. The movie is non-stop action throughout. It would start with a simple prelude then after you see the fight club/arena fights, the movie LITERALLY grabs you. It really has JAW-DROPPING ACTION SCENES!! When I watched it in the theaters, the audience had expressions of WOOO!! or TAKE THAT!! Talk about participation.

The fight scenes are on par with LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER, NAKED WEAPON and KISS OF THE DRAGON. I loved it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new legend on the horizon!!!, October 5, 2005
By 
Vegeta (San Salvador, El Salvador) - See all my reviews
I'm Kung-Fu expert, and believe me when I say "this guy is next action superstar", he combine cualities from past legends: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li, all in one character, the man is "the new man in martial arts movies".

I'm also a tv producer, and I highly recomend this movie for the great story(not a regular one)that inspired you deeply, the action is awesome and well balance, the stunts and fights have everything and a lot of new stuff never seen.

And one last comment:

NO WIRES, REAL FALLS, REAL KICKS ON THE FACES, REAL NEW CLASIC.

I dont mind if you guys give me one copy as a gift!

Luis Dordelly
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie! Not so awesome blu-ray!, February 3, 2010
If you're looking at this item, you probably already know all about Ong Bak. Awesome fight sequences that are about as real as you can get - no stunt doubles, wires or CG, just pure action. Seeing some of the moves in the film is really amazing, and it introduced many to the incredible Tony Jaa. I've been a big fan of it for years and was really excited to hear about a Blu-Ray release was coming.

Unfortunately, this one just doesn't make the cut.

First the specs on the disc - BD-25 (single layer), 1.85:1 widescreen, English and Thai 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks (up from Dolby Surround English and Dolby 5.1 Thai on the DVD). English/Spanish subtitles and 18MBPS bitrate AVC.

I had a feeling there were bad things to come when the Blu-Ray was announced 12 days before it's release (to coincide with Ong Bak 2 on Blu-Ray). My feeling were correct and it seemed like a last-minute effort to port it to Blu-Ray for some extra sales.

Popping in the Blu-Ray, you see some nice, clear visuals/menus.. until the movie starts. At that point everything turns to heavy grain, some rainbowing can be seen, and overall you get a pretty unclear/un-sharp image that suffers from some crushed blacks (when darks get to a point that they lose all detail). A very ugly picture, and something that seems more of a DVD-quality release (and in fact, many DVD's seem to be even sharper/more detailed than this). It's almost as if the camera was out of focus throughout the film. I'd rank it near the bottom tier of Blu-Ray picture quality, and this movie is only from 2003! Fox has had a history of releasing some sub-par quality blu-ray's, and this is no exception.

Now I'm sure you're asking - that's horrible! Why did you give it 5 stars??

Well, after seeing how badly it looked I decided to pop in my Ong Bak DVD - at that point I realized just how much of an improvement there was. The DVD had terrible edge-enhancement, artifacting and other obvious problems. It really made the Blu-Ray seem like a vast improvement, despite how badly it looked. It's hard to say where the issue lies - is it with the filmmakers (poor quality film/handling?) or Fox (for poor mastering?) Either way, it's unlikely we'll see anything better in the future, and for that reason (and the noticeable improvement over the very-poor DVD), I'd recommend it. (tip: Fox titles tend to drop in price - keep an eye out for sales to pick this one up)

It's also worth noting that this is still the "international" cut of the film (with soundtrack changes, storyline changes). A nice extra would have been to have the original cut included (but maybe the rights just aren't owned by Fox), similarly to how Ong Bak 2 has 2 different cuts of the film on the Blu-Ray.

The extras from the DVD appear to have been carried over to the Blu-Ray.

I hate to recommend the product when it's 3-4x the cost of the DVD, but as bad as it looks there is a noticeable improvement over the DVD. Just don't expect to see "Blu-Ray Quality"
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning about Subtitle, August 31, 2005
This review is from: Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior (DVD)
The DVD is pretty good. There are some interesting extras, particularly The Movements of Muay Thai. I watch a lot of non-english movies and prefer listening the original audio track with subtitles, rather than watching it dubbed. But, I have a bone to pick with this release. As far as I can tell, there is only a closed caption "dubtitle" track rather than a true subtitle track. Personally, I can stand these kind of tracks with their "audience shouting" and "man shouting". If there was a normal subtitle track I would give it atleast a 4. Anyway a heads up.
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Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior
Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior by Prachya Pinkaew (DVD - 2005)
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