Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (Blu-ray) (2008)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 3-Mar-2010

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
Trailer
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 102:34
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Daniel Lee
Studio
Distributor
Sundream Motion Pict
Icon Entertainment
Starring Andy Lau
Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Maggie Q
Vanness Wu
Andy On
Rongguang Yu
Quanxin Pu
Lung Ti
Hua Yueh
Chen Zhi Hui
Damian Lau
Case Amaray Variant
RPI ? Music Henry Lai
Daniel Lee
Thomas Chong


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Mandarin DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 EX
Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon charts the rise of the legendary warrior Zhao Zilong (Andy Lau) from a humble soldier to one of the greatest generals of the three kingdoms era in Chinese history and his fall some 20-odd years later to Cao Ying (Maggie Q), daughter of Cao Cao, at which point he was the last remaining of the legendary Five Tiger Generals of the Shu Kingdom. The film skips the bulk of Zilong's life in-between, including the Battle of Red Cliff which was the subject of John Woo's two-part film Red Cliff (which was released around the same time as this), opting to paint a broad picture of the man's personality rather than a complete one.

The story is narrated by a character named Luo Ping'an (Sammo Hung), a character made up for the film, who has purportedly known the General since he first enlisted in the army.

Whilst Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon very loosely retells a couple of very small parts of the classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms the film is really little more than an excuse to choreograph a string of elaborate staff fighting sequences. It makes for a refreshing change from conventional martial arts and swordplay fare. Just about every conceivable configuration of staff fighting fun gets a showing; on horseback, with multiple enemies, with and without bladed tips, and so on. The action is spectacular and beautifully shot.

Fans of martial arts flicks and historic action flicks will certainly enjoy Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio in 1080p.

The image looks good. The picture is sharp and clear, with mild grain visible. The colour palette is quite bold and stylised. These rich colours translate well to the Blu-ray image. There is a good level of shadow detail and black depth.

The transfer is free from any obvious compression related artefacts and film artefacts.

The film features English subtitles to translate the original Mandarin dialogue. The subtitles are well timed, but some of the translations are quite clumsy (occasionally hilariously so), especially towards the end of the film.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The film features a Mandarin DTS HD-MA audio track and a Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 Kbps) audio track. Both tracks sound quite good, although the increased fidelity of the lossless HD-MA track is quite noticeable.

The dialogue is clear and well placed in the mix. Aside from some obvious ADR, the audio sync is good.

The film features an interesting score, composed by Henry Lai, which sounds like a mixture of spaghetti western and traditional Chinese orchestral. This unusual mix suits the style of the film to a tee and is well presented in the mix.

The surrounds and subwoofer each get a solid workout throughout the film, most notably during the frequent action scenes.

Extras

Making Of Featurette

45 odd minutes of assorted on-set footage with no exposition or narrative. There is certainly some interesting stuff here, particularly Sammo Hung training people for the action scenes, but it is a lot of effort to sift through for the interesting bits.

Cast and Crew Interviews

Interviews with stars Sammo Hung (10 minutes), Andy Lau (10 minutes) and Maggie Q (2 minutes), as well as director Daniel Lee (20-odd minutes). Mildly interesting stuff and refreshingly honest (particularly when Sammo mentions how many Three Kingdoms movies he has been in without ever having read the book).

Trailers

A series of 2 trailers and 3 TV spots from the film's Hong Kong release.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Australian Region B release is identical to the UK Region B release (which can be found reasonably cheaply online at the time of writing). There has not yet been a US Region A release. The Hong Kong Region A marked disc is reportedly region free and also includes identical special features.

Summary

    An enjoyable popcorn flick from Hong Kong that offers some of the best staff fights to be seen in recent years.

    Excellent video and audio. Quantity over quality in the extras department, but what is offered is worthwhile to fans.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE