- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
- Audio Codec: Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Madarin Dolby Digital 2.0
- Subtitles: English, Chinese
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: NR
- Run Time: 131 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Digital Copies: N/A
- Studio: Well Go USA Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: November 13, 2012
- List Price: $29.98
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)
This lavishly shot supernatural epic from director Wuershan (The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman) is a sequel that reunites the stars of the original, Xun Zhou (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate) in her role as Xiawei and Wei Zhao (14 Blades) as Princess Jing. Starting off in an interesting way, the story is almost like a fairytale about a fox demon (Xun Zhou) banished to an icy prison for centuries for breaking the rules who is released by her sister the bird demon (Mini Yang). She sets off on a quest to turn herself into a human, but she must find the heart of a man given to her willingly before the coming solar eclipse passes in order to transform. She crosses paths with the masked, scarred beauty Princess Jing who she discovers has a heart warm enough to melt ice. Trying to seduce Jing into granting her her heart becomes the fox demon’s priority, but meanwhile the Princess is hopelessly in love with General Huo Xin (Kun Chen; Flying Swords of Dragon Gate). Xiawei the fox demon sees an opportunity to seduce Huo Xin into falling in love with her beauty in an effort to convince the Princess to swap bodies with her. Given the past between the Princess and Huo Jin, it’s an effort that doesn’t take much work, especially with the Princess’ insecurities about the scars on her face. An impending threat from a neighboring kingdom forces the action, however, and Princess Jing must quickly decide if she wants to be a demon forever by the side of the guard from her past who failed to protect her once or be forced to marry a man she doesn’t love.
Here is where the film gets rather flaky and difficult to follow, to say the least. The motivations for characters are thrown right out the window at various turns. Not to give much away, but Xiawei is treated both sympathetically and as a minx who literally rips men’s hearts out and kills them. One minute she wants to be a human and the next, not so much. Princess Jing uses Xiawei’s body to test Huo Jin’s affection’s for her, you know, to see if he can see beyond the scars on her face or if he just wants the beautiful Xiawei. It never seems to occur to her that a demon that powerful might actually be manipulating the both of them, though.
After the first hour of the film which is actually rather attention holding and beautifully done, Resurrection completely breaks down and turns into some sort of caricature of bad martial arts films with silly over-the-top characters, big battle sequences, and an endless third act. There’s the wizard, the giant, the wolf slaves – need I go on? This thing needed to be edited down and trimmed of a good 40-minutes to be a solid film. Instead it’s a chaotic mess with a decent film trying to get out.
The film was done in high definition with the Red One at 4.5K resolution and this Well Go USA AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement is nearly flawless in representing it on Blu-ray. There are only a couple of spots, mainly some underwater sequences, where some banding and posterization can be spotted. Otherwise, the image is clean with lots of detail, strong contrast, and vibrant color reproduction.
Well Go offers up a reference quality Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack for Painted Skin that is perfect for showing off the best sound systems. From the very opening sequence to the last it is pretty aggressive in its use of the surround channels and has extended low frequencies that help beef up everything from the galloping of horses to the thud of kicks or the landing of a broad sword hitting the ground. Effects are well spaced across the front and off to the sides, the score has good dynamics and is nicely blended in with the sound effects while dialogue is clean and natural.
There isn’t much here, but the ‘making of’ featurette does provide a decent amount of information with plenty of behind the scenes footage.
- Making of Painted Skin: The Resurrection Featurette (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:23:47)
- Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive Word
There’s plenty of eye candy and spectacular sounds in Painted Skin: The Resurrection and, surely, the performances of the lead actors are strong, but the film loses its way by the halfway point and drags on for far too long. Plot holes abound, characters lose focus and, frankly, despite all the bombastic action, it gets boring. I’d say rent this one first to be sure you want it in your library permanently.
Additional Screen Captures