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Kingdom of War: Part 1 & Part 2 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: Thai DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 2
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 14, 2011
  • List Price: $29.98

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BestBuy.com:
Kingdom Of War Part I & Part II (2 Disc) - Widescreen Subtitle

Purchase Kingdom of War Part 1 & Part 2 on Blu-ray 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]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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:3/5]

Kingdom of War is the story of the legendary King Naresuan the Great who liberated the Siamese people from the control of Burma during the 16th century and changed the destiny of a nation. The film is supposedly the most expensive film production in Thai history and it is told across two parts, over the course of over five hours.

The first part tells of the young Prince Naresuan, taken into the custody of the Burmese King Bayinnaung as hostage after his conquer of the Siamese province Ayudhya. Naresuan spends seven years under the watch of the Burmese king, studying as a novice Buddhist monk, until finally escaping back to his native land. Part 2 tells of his growth as a military leader and the rise of his new found rival in King Bayinnaung’s son Nandabayin.

There are plenty of beautiful images and epic battles to be had in Kingdom of War, but it wants for a good editor and a stronger script. The story is absolutely plagued by facile explanations of Naresuan’s rise to power, clichés, and outright plot holes, for all of its marathon length. It needs to be trimmed; have some of the unnecessary scenes cut out, and replaced with real explanations of historical value, rather than myths and legends.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The lavish, luxuriant costume designs, epic battle sequences, and gorgeously made-up faces of many of the women come across quite well in this 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer. Detail is strong, colors are vivid, and noise levels are rather low. Still, some softness crops up here and there and black levels waver a tad.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

It’s a lively Thai DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack included on the disc that utilizes the surround channels to their fullest during the frequent battle sequences, but the clanking of swords is on the harsh side and quickly becomes fatiguing. Bass is nicely extended down to the upper low frequencies for hefty booms when those cannons start exploding. Dialogue sounds a bit veiled and has a bit of clipping here and there.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

For a film so vast, the supplements provided here seem meager in comparison. Only a few brief and vaguely informative featurettes in standard definition are included alongside a trailer and music video for the film’s theme song.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Behind the Scenes of Kingdom of War (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:08.07)
  • Royal Lineage & Characters (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:11.22)
  • International Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60)
  • The Making of Kingdom of War (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:08.18)
  • Music Video (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:04.21)
  • BD-Live

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Kingdom of War could have been a great historical epic, but instead it is an ode to excess. Perhaps they will one day release an edited version that will improve it, until then, I say skip it.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004TFTE68[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Kingdom Of War Part I & Part II (2 Disc) - Widescreen Subtitle

Purchase Kingdom of War Part 1 & Part 2 on Blu-ray 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]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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