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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 (48kHz/16-bit), Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: NR
  • 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:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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]

The 2004 film Blade of Kings from directors Patrick Leung and Corey Yuen has an original Hong Kong title of The Twins Effect II (Chin gei bin 2: Fa dou daai jin) and was essentially a vehicle for the Cantonese Pop duo Twin, consisting of Charlene Choi (“13th Young Master”) and Gillian Chung (“Blue Bird”). The martial arts adventure follows the story of a quest to find Excalibur in the land of Amazon, near China where the evil Queen (Ying Qu), because of a betrayal by her lover in the past has oppressed all men, turning them into slaves, and denied everyone the chance to love. It has been prophesied, however, that a man, the Star of Rex, will uncover Excalibur, topple her rule and free the people to love.

Under these circumstances the slave trader 13th Young Master (Choi) and a spy for the Queen, Blue Bird (Chung) set out at first with two different tasks. Young Master wants to find a man to present to the woman who is holding her stock of slaves to pay back a debt. Blue Bird (Chung) is looking to hunt down the Star of Rex and stop him before he can find Excalibur. A turn of events brings them together over two hapless men performing in a traveling show, Blockhead (Bolin Chen) and Charcoal head (Jaycee Chan). The four begin the quest looking for the “treasure” following a prophetic stone tablet that will lead them straight to the Excalibur and reveal the Star of Rex.

Along the way, they must survive the Ghost Forrest and will encounter Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Donnie Yen), a martial arts master determined to overthrow the Queen and restore balance between the sexes. There may also be love in the air for the four young adults – if they can get over their differences.

While Blade of Kings is certainly no epic adventure, there is enough entertainment value here to make it more than worthwhile for any martial arts fan. A good bit of wirework, special effects and well choreographed martial arts is enough to overcome some of the less than perfect acting on the part of Choi and Chung while appearances by Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen lift Blade of Kings above the crowd.

(For a different take, read our Blade of Kings Blu-ray Review by Brendan Surpless)

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Apart from some softness that creeps in every time the visual effects are most prominent, Blade of Kings looks generally good, even if just a little on the grainy side. Foreground detail is strong, but it does tail off rather quickly when moving into the backgrounds. Colors show strong saturation, sometimes a little too much, while shadow detail is nuanced.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

There are Cantonese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) surround mixes as well as Cantonese and English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mixes provided. I chose to listen to the original Cantonese 5.1 track with English subtitles engaged. Apart from some occasional grammatical errors and typos, this was a pretty good experience. There are big, if somewhat boomy, sounding low frequencies and a wide dynamic range. High frequencies are just a little too edgy, but dialogue seemed clear enough with no hint of clipping.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

Everything but a trailer is provided in standard definition. There’s a brief behind the scenes “making of” and music video outside of the trailers, neither of which is a must watch.

The supplements:

  • Behind the Scenes (1.33:1; SD; 00:12:02)
  • Music Video (1.33:1; SD; 00:03:27)
  • Original Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Trailer (2.35:1)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A fun and above average martial arts adventure with appearances by martial arts legends, Blade of Kings may not be a classic, but it is fun to watch nevertheless. Definitely worth renting for fans of the genre.

Additional Screen Captures

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

BestBuy.com:
Ice Quake -

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

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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