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This review is from: 14 Blades [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a very traditional foray into the territory of the Chinese martial arts epic, with all the expected elements; wire flying, improbable stunts, glorious battle scenes, incredible sets and scenery, and (spoiler alert!) no happy endings. If there's anything in that which you don't care for, you probably won't like this film. If, on the other hand, you have enjoyed the likes of House of Flying Daggers, Battle of Wits, or Red Cliff, this is definitely one to watch. The script actually makes a lot more sense than most of these genre movies, and ignore previous reviewers - the subtitles are perfectly comprehensible (there are one or two slips in use of English, but nothing you can't easily correct for yourself) and I never found them to interfere with the fight scenes. There is no dubbed version on the blu ray, but if you can read you can enjoy this anyway. Unlike another reviewer I did not find the sound effects overdone at all, can't help wondering if they have something wrong with their sound system; there are some instances where sound is deliberately heightened for a specific impact in a scene, and I found it a clever use of sound and as appropriate as the occasional use of slow motion to enhance a scene. The music is excellent, very stirring at appropriate points, and romantic at others. The cast are superb, and fulfil their roles to perfection. On blu ray, the sound is sharp and clear, and the picture quality is really stunning. One or two times I was a bit dubious over whether a particular visual effect was intended, or some unexpected consequence of the transfer, but having seen the same part on a friend's dvd copy, it was intentional and another of the innovative uses of sound and visual by the director. I found this a real treat, even if there was nothing very original in the plot; a banquet for the eyes and ears, and a very satisfying experience.