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Blade of Kings Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 106 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio:  Well Go USA
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • List Price: $29.98

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Purchase Blade of Kings on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

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Blade of Kings tells the story of an ancient land where women rule the men. The main woman (Qu Ying) in charge only treats men this way after being scorn by a past lover. Seeking revenge and redemption, she has deemed all men are now slaves. She seems to have everything in control until a prophecy speaks that one day a boy shall rise to become emperor and restore the reign of men. In the hopes of preventing such an event, the empress sends out a decree that any child who may fulfill the prophecy, must immediately die. This event if it will actually occur, will be with an army led by a man known as the Star of Rex. What results is a mostly entertaining film, with a mix of solid action and story.

As martial-art films go, Blade of Kings is entertaining, despite being a bit over-the-top at times. Perhaps because the film is too CGI-heavy, the action, mostly done with wires, can be a bit laughable. Of real question here is the inclusion of both Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan, two of the top (well at one time) martial artists known throughout the world. I suppose after reading the initial script, both may have realized that neither were involving themselves with anything serious. That’s what really makes Kings kind of enjoyable though. The film never takes itself serious and that, ultimately, makes it one worth checking out.

(For a different take, be sure to read Blade of Kings Blu-ray Review by Brandon DuHamel)

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Blade_of_Kings_01

The 2:35:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer is just about perfect. In particular, the film features quite the bright, vivid color palette. Whether the darker interior moments or the brighter exterior moments, nearly all the colors (blues, pinks, yellows, whites, blacks) all pop off the screen. Detail is also rock solid throughout. Character close ups result in accurate flesh tones. Even the varying CGI effects, while a bit cheesy in nature, look fine. My only slight complaint is that some of the contrast levels on the characters seem to have been overly toned up. This can result in some of the aforementioned characters looking kind of washed out, some fake I suppose. Minus that, this is a solid effort from Well Go USA.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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The film’s provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is available in either the original Cantonese language while an English dub is offered in Dolby Digital 2.0. As per all titles of this nature, I went for the original Cantonese offering. Dialogue is easy to understand and simple to read via the included English subtitles. Discrete effects, like that of the varying fight sequences, all help to add to the film’s immersive atmosphere. Pans between rears, whether in the aforementioned fights or during simple background dialogue/effects, are invisible. All in all, this is a solid effort from Well Go USA.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

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The included supplements are presented in SD/HD.

  • Behind-the-Scenes [SD] – This making of runs 12:02 and features a rather run-of-the-mill glance into the film.
  • Trailer [HD] – The film’s trailer (2:11) is shown.
  • Music Video [SD] – Here we get a music video (3:27) by The Twins.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

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As martial-art films go, Blade of Kings tells an entertaining story mixed in with a solid amount of action. Well Go USA, as it seems to be the norm in the titles I’ve reviewed, has brought the film to Blu-ray with a fine V/A presentation. I’d say if you’re a fan of movies of this genre, give this one a shot.

Additional Screen Captures

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[amazon-product]B006P0FIGA[/amazon-product]

Purchase Blade of Kings on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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