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Good Blu-ray for average Confucius film
on 16 March 2011
In spite of only giving this 3 stars, I'm not saying it's a bad film. It's just I think it could be a lot better with a slightly different treatment, e.g. a director's cut.
As stated elsewhere here, some of the subtitles - even though they convey very important historical information and signpost milestone plot moments - appear on the screen for only a fraction of time. If you are not already familiar with the historical Confucius (I'm not) then this is a real wasted opportunity to let the film convey this information, without the need for independent research (or the need to watch a different film).
Still, what's here is sensitively handled. By which I mean, the film is not all balletic, epic fight sequences that I worried it might be (though there are one or two) and is mainly about politics and character development. Chow Yun Fat is great in it too. Not overplayed. Not overdone. A very nice, respectful, believable rendition.
As I say, I feel I missed a lot of important information throughout, so the film didn't have the impact for me that it might have. Lastly, I found the text put up right at the end of the film, kind of like an epilogue tribute to the legacy of Confucius, was a little overdone. It's not that it was factually incorrect (on which I'm not fit to judge) but rather that the film had already left me with a positive appreciation of Confucius of my own, so I found this a bit forced/jarring.
Lastly, the Blu-ray presentation is good. Crisp and colourful images and good sound (in the original language).