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The Stormriders [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Shin'ichi Chiba, Kristy Yang, Qi Shu
  • Directors: Wai-Keung Lau
  • Writers: Manfred Wong, Wing-Shing Ma
  • Producers: Jessinta Liu, John Chu, Manfred Wong, Zhu An Li
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Mia
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Oct. 2001
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005OW3R
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,098 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Following the advice of his servant Mud Buddah, Lord Conqueror (Sonny Chiba) takes two children - Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok) - into his home and trains them as his disciples. Ten years later, Wind and Cloud have become powerful warriors, but they come to blows over Lord Conqueror's daughter Charity (Kristy Yeung), leading to her accidental death and the loss of Cloud's arm. At this point Lord Conqueror, who is preparing for his long-foretold duel with Sword Saint (Anthony Wong), turns against his two protégés, and the scene is thus set for the climactic final battle - a battle in which four men will take part, but only one will emerge victorious.


The Stormriders transplants Macbeth into a medieval China in director Andy Lau's reinvention of classical tragedy as CGI-laden blockbuster. Officially the source material is a best-selling Manga, and the flying heroes with magical powers and the wild camera angles do indeed have a real graphic-novel flair. As the warlord Sonny Chiba is a commanding presence, while Ekin Cheng as Wind and Aaron Kwok as Cloud are perfect contrasting comic-book warriors. Kristy Yeung is a suitably lovely heroine, while Shi Qi provides irritating comic relief. There is style to burn, with beautiful imagery bearing the influence of Ridley Scott and, in the "blur-motion" duel in a bamboo forest, Wong Kar-Wai; indeed, Lau has served as Kar-Wai's cinematographer. Spectacular yet laden with symbolism The Stormriders is a film to bridge the appeal of Ashes of Time (1994) and The Bride with White Hair (1993) with the Superman (1978) and Mummy (1999) movies. The fights and a romantic flying sequence pay homage to the former, the computer effects update the groundbreaking Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain (1983) with the technology of the latter. Sometimes overly ambitious or just plain bizarre The Stormriders is an emotionally charged darkly romantic adventure which outclasses any comic-book adaptation Hollywood has made in years.

On the DVD: The first disc presents the 127-minute director's cut in its original 2.35:1 ratio with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. While the sound is clean, dynamic and makes great use of all the channels the picture is presented non-anamorphically, so that while well-focused, with strong colours and little sign of artefacting, it is not as solid or detailed as it could be. The main special features are two documentaries, a general "making-of" running 22 minutes, and a 20-minute "featurette" on the special effects. Both are promotional pieces made at the time of the film's release.

The second disc features the US trailer and an object lesson in how to ruin a film, i.e. the "international" version ofThe Stormriders. Cut by 38 minutes, horribly panned and scanned and dubbed, this is a travesty that destroys all the beauty and atmosphere and renders the story incomprehensible. Why anyone would watch it when they have the complete film on the first disc is a mystery. The sound is again Dolby Digital 5.1 and the 4:3 image is fair. --Gary S Dalkin

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike Andy on 8 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD
The DVD insert proudly boasts how this film outdid Crouching Tiger at the box office. This isn't really in the vein of Crouching Tiger - it's a more mainstream, less poetic film, but it's great entertainment, and is a must for fans of this type of Hong Kong cinema. It isn't a pure kung fu flick - there are more special effects than genuine martial arts moves, but it is what it is, and in its uncut form it's great entertainment. Macbeth it isn't, but the plot could have come from Shakespeare. I really wouldn't bother with the heavily-cut 'international' version, but the full director's cut is great. The main criticisms that I would have of this DVD is that although you get the full widescreen picture, it's letterboxed into a 4:3 aspect ratio, so if you zoom it up to watch on a widescreen TV, leaving room for the subtitles which are presented underneath the picture, the picture won't fill your screen and the picture quality isn't as good as it might have been. The English subtitles are also a bit hit and miss. At the end of the day, though, this is a spectacular film with some great action and visuals. And it's got the great Sonny Chiba in it, so it can't be bad.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stuart Chandler on 5 Nov. 2001
Format: DVD
Stormriders, based on a highly popular Manga story, is a true revelation for the uninitiated - blending, as it does, Matrix style special effects and action, with the mystical charms of a tale centuries old.
What appeals so strongly is attention to detail, every scene adding to the plot, characters being developed and used in ways that no other film in this genre does.
A massive box-office smash in Hong Kong, outselling 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' by almost four times, this is certainly worth watching, even out of curiousity. Crazy, fast paced, action packed, tragic, emotional and exciting - StormRiders is a must for all action and HK cinema fans (and fans of film, in general).
The DVD is superb - picture and sound quality are excellent and we have both the original, director's cut of the film, with english subtitles, or the quite lame 'International' version which is dubbed. Featurettes and trailers are also included on both discs (yep - 2-disc set).
Buy it and enjoy!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Nov. 2001
Format: DVD
This movie is a fairytale fantasy for grown ups, although with a 12 certificate it will appeal to younger watchers too. It is crammed full of magical things; fortune tellers, dragons,fruits that heal wounds. The main characters have fighting skills (martial arts) which are enhanced by their special powers. Conquer, a power crazed warlord, played by Sonny Chiba, looks very much as though he has just come to life from the Comic Book that the whole movie is based on. Aaron Kwok plays a wonderfully moody and unfathomable "Cloud", who as the name suggests can do interesting things with water. "Wind", able to fly and conjure up whirlwinds from nowhere is given a more kindly and elegant persona by Ekin Cheng. The leading lady is suitably lovely, and the supporting cast playing the Jester and Mud Buddha are excellant. On top of all this, the choice of scenery is delightful. There is a good variety between castles, caves, waterfalls. Visually its a treat and the special effects - and there are lots of them - have been carefully done so you don't think of them as effects. One obsession in the movie, and perhaps its from the Comic Book, is with swords. The swords have special names, and there is even a sword grave, where the final scene takes place. If you've guessed by now that I liked this film, you are right, but I liked it much better on second viewing. By the way, I've been talking about the DVD Director's (full length) cut, which is subtitled. I haven't tried the international version, but I can't imagine how they could cut a full 40 minutes without losing some good scenes and most of the plot.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos on 4 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
There is poetic elegance in most Chinese films and I am happy to state this film is no exception. It is one of the main reasons I love Chinese cinema. This film has a playfulness and creativity with an exaggeration of certain qualities and characteristics that seems to be the hallmark of Chinese films. It is whimsical, funny, and entertaining. The costumes are very colorful and artistically designed. The hair styles of the actors and actresses are true to each character, some are modern and punkish, others are classically beautiful and elegant. The natural scenery is breath-takingly beautiful: jagged mountains, various green oriental foliage, a peaceful lake, gorges with multi-layered soil that looks like a modern art painting, and lovely valleys. Lok City is done in ancient Chinese splendor. The architecture and carvings of various buildings are stunning. There is one scene in which cherry blossom are frozen on the trees which creates an eerily glistening creatively beautiful effect. Feng Shui is clearly evident within the interior sets where minimal furniture, wall hangings and carved structures speak loudly of the artistry and creativity of the designers.

In this film, Wind and Cloud are martial artists who represent the righteous forces of justice and goodness. When they combine their energy and forces against an evil immortal named Dai-Sik-Tien (DTS) and his followers, fireworks erupt. DTS has captured Mung, the beautiful wife of Wind and put her into a state of suspended animation. She looks dead as she lies in her coffin made of ice while floating on a canopied raft in the middle of a lake. Wind tries to revive his wife without success. DTS offers him a capsule, with two options: he swallows it and dies so that his wife may live or she takes it and dies, so that he may live.
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