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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE WARLORDS

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  113 minutes, deleted scenes, making-of documentary

VIDEO:  2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  Mandarin, English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  English, Spanish

 

STUDIO:  Magnolia Home Entertainment/ Magnet Releasing/ Six Shooter Film Series/ Media Asia Films/ Morgan & Chan Films/ China Film Group Corporation

RELEASE DATE:   6-29-2010

THE WARLORDS is an anti-war film.  It shows how war changes people and how the people in charge manipulate war for their own power.   Pang (Jet Li) is a soldier left for dead in a battle for the Qing Dynasty.  He befriends two bandits, Erhu (Andy Lau) and Wuyang (Takeshi Kaneshiro), and he convinces them to join the Qing army to stop the Taiping Rebellion (after Pang takes a blood oath to his new blood brothers).   General Pang also wants to stop General Ho who betrayed him.   He sees a future where the poor and civilian are protected from the abuses that armies inflict on cities after they conquer them.     He falls for the wife of Erhu, Liansheng, which starts a love triangle that plays out through the film.   Liansheng has tried to run away from Erhu many times only to come back.  

 

THE WARLORDS is an epic film about brothers in blood that ultimately become changed by war.   It is a sweeping and gripping film- a film that doesn’t offer happy endings.   The detail that went into the production is astounding.   The battle scenes and production design are on par with RED CLIFF, but RED CLIFF is still the better film while THE WARLORDS is the more grim one.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

THE WARLORDS 117 DAYS: A PRODUCTION JOURNAL- a behind-the-scenes documentary that looks at the making of the film from the challenges and delays to how the cast coped with a long shot.   It is a very well put together making-of doc.

 

27 minutes of deleted scenes show scenes cut for pacing.   Some are of interest while others don’t add anything.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   THE WARLORDS is a grim war epic that is anti-war and believes that happy endings aren't easy to come by.

 

this DVD review is (c)6-22-2010 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com