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Clash of Empires Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 105 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 6, 2011
  • List Price: $29.97

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BestBuy.com:
Clash of Empires - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dts

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Overall
[Rating:2/5]
The Film
[Rating:1.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:1.5/5]

Clash of Empires, or The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines, is a martial arts action adventure film set in the 2nd century, featuring an international cast portraying the early Roman, Chinese, and Malay societies. To call the story and acting subtle would be an overstatement. The plot is so slight, character development so thin, and acting so overblown as to come across as caricatures.

The story follows the adventures of a warrior and descendent of Alexander the Great named Merong (Stephen Rahman Hughes) as he accompanies a Roman prince on his journey to wed a beautiful Chinese princess (Jing Lusi) in order to unite the two powerful empires. But when the Chinese envoy is attacked and the princess kidnapped for ransom, Merong is set on a course that will lead him toward uniting the Malay tribes and heading a vast army to recover the princess.

The film has a few good action sequences filled with swordplay and hand-to-hand martial arts combat, but the low budget special effects, bad dialogue, and almost comic book-like characters make this one more unintentionally amusing than anything else.

Video Quality

[Rating:2.5/5]

The bad special effects do not translate well to high definition, making them look even more cartoonish and ridiculous. Meanwhile, the poor imagery, always drifting into softness and a lack of detail, make this AVC/MPEG-4 encodement one of the poorer-looking ones I’ve seen in recent times.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The sound quality isn’t too bad on this release, but it still doesn’t quite all come together as well as it should. There’s not a cohesive sense of spatial dynamics, even as the surround channels are at times put to use quite well with lots of sounds. There is clean dialogue with no clipping, airy sounding high frequencies and good low frequency extension.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

The only thing included on here is the original theatrical trailer in standard definition.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2/5]

This is one that needs to be left on the shelf, I’m sorry to say. I thought I was going to be in for a, if not great, at least respectable Asian action epic along the lines of Kingdom of War. Instead, what I got was something akin to a bad grade school production.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004KNO77U[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Clash of Empires - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dts

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:2/5]
The Film
[Rating:1.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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