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Mao’s Last Dancer Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • List Price: $29.99

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Mao's Last Dancer - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby Dts

Purchase Mao’s Last Dancer on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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:4/5]

From director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) comes this inspiring film based on the autobiography of Li Cunxin (Chi Cao). Mao’s Last Dancer follows the story of Li Cunxin, a young child from a poor rural village in China who is chosen by the Communist party to go to Beijing and learn ballet. Growing into one of the school’s most promising students, Li is eventually noticed by the Houston Ballet company on their visit to the country and receives special dispensation from the government to travel to America to study with the company. On his arrival, he is warned against the dangerous influences of Western society by the Chinese officials, but soon he realizes that his new found freedom makes him a better dancer and his relationship with an American girl (Amanda Schull) makes him rethink returning to his native country. He eventually defects, leaving his entire family behind.

The film is filled with beautiful ballet sequences, marvelous music, and heartwarming performances. It is a superb testament to individualism, will and determination. It may not be wholly original, often bogging down in cliché, but it is still an enjoyable film to watch.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Mao’s Last Dancer was filmed on Super 35mm, but, according to the director, only part of the negative was used then the film was blown up in order to achieve a grainier, more classic film look. This 1080p AVC transfer reflects that. At times, the image is grainier than at others and colors are a bit washed out, but these are all intentional. These don’t create the best HD imagery available, but this is a film-like presentation free from processing issues.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The sole audio option is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that uses the surrounds for ambience, supplies clean dialogue and really comes alive when the numerous classical numbers during the ballet sequences are brought to the fore. It sounds smooth, natural and airy.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

There’s a very promotional feeling featurette entitled The Making of Mao’s Last Dancer (2.35:1; 480i/60; 0:19.21) as the only extra.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

An encouraging and uplifting film in an arena often filled with an abundance of materials that can be a downer, Mao’s Last Dancer is a triumph of the spirit. Filled with marvelous performances, enticing dance sequences, and exquisite costume designs, this one is a winner all around.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product]B004WJV6J4[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Mao's Last Dancer - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby Dts

Purchase Mao’s Last Dancer on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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