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DVD Review: ZU WARRIORS

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PHOTOGRAPHY

ZU WARRIORS

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 104 minutes (original Catonese version)/ 80 minutes (English dubbed version), The Making Of Zu Warriors featurette

STUDIO: Miramax/ China Star Entertainment Group/ 100 Years Of Film Company/ Filmworkshop

RELEASE DATE: 3-7-2006

ZU WARRIORS is a mixed bag. It is too action driven and feels like it goes on for a little too long. Worse the English dubbed version rewrites the story, renames the characters, and changes some plot points. For better or worse, skip the English dubbed version and see the original version of the film. The English dubbed version had me skipping around to see if the train wreck of a rewritten movie got any better. It didn't. They took out the background that made ZU WARRIORS a little bit interesting and try to simplify the plot too much.

Tsui Hark directed and co-wrote this movie about immortal warriors who live in the Zu Mountains in China and their fight against the evil Insomnia. King Sky lost his master (who was his lover) to Insomnia. Years later, Insomnia attacks again and starts stealing the powers of the immortals. Sky King, Red, Enigma, White Brow (the leader of the Omei Clan), and other immortals band together to stop Insomnia. After the failed merging of the Heaven and Thunder Swords, White Brow goes out to seek the third power that has to be combined with two other powers to stop the growing power of Insomnia. To say more will spoil the plot further and it would be wise to watch it if you're interesting in ZU WARRIORS and director Tsui Hark.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Colors and blacks are good. Image detail is nice. The transfer is a good job from Miramax.

AUDIO: Cantonese 5.1 (104 minute version), English 2.0 Dolby Surround (80 minute version)

Subtitles: English (for Chinese version), Spanish (for both versions)

I don't why you would want to watch the English dubbed version, just watch the Cantonese 5.1 track with optional English subtitles. Some of the voice acting for the English dub is bad while other voices don't sound like cliche Asian voice acting for an English dub version of an Asian film.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The only extra is the 16 1/2 minutes long featruette, The Making Of Zu Warriors. It features interviews with the cast and crew, shows behind-the-scenes footage, and a look at the green screen work and CGI in ZU WARRIORS.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Miramax has done a fine job including the original version of ZU WARRIORS along with the English dub that would have been released if the Weinstein brothers were still at Miramax. If you like director Tsui Hark, watch the original 104 minute cut and avoid the 80 minute English dub version like it was the plague.

this review is (c)3-10-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com