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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Epic > Action > Crime > China > The Lost Bladesman (2011/Anchor Bay DVD)

The Lost Bladesman (2011/Anchor Bay DVD)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: D Film: B+

War of the Three Kingdoms General Guan Yu (Donnie Yen) was a prisoner, general and hero. General Minister Cao Cao recruited Guan Yu to fight the Emperor against his own kingdom. After his service, Cao Cao promised Guan Yu to be released, and while Cao Cao and Guan Yu are men of honor and kept their word, Cao Cao's generals and commanders were less than virtuous. As Guan Yu returns home, he is ambushed and attacked by traitors and turncoats whom he once call brother's in arms....all under orders of the Emperor to kill him in Felix Chong & Alan Mak's The Lost Bladesman (2011).

Guan Yu was a prisoner under Cao Cao, but he was also know as a peerless fighter, greatest warrior of the land and fought with honor. Armies under his command would win under impossible odds. The only reasons Guan Yu worked under Cao Cao was that he promised to bring peace to the lands and to release him ...and his beloved sister-in-law afterwards. Even after his service, Cao Cao tried to recruit him (but was rejected) and granted him amnesty ...but the rest of the army didn't.

This was a martial arts fill movie about an invincible warrior under the sun. Based on historical events, Cao Cao was know as a General of China who sought to unify China under one nation, but like all history, there are very few soldiers/warriors who could be truly said who fought with honor, much less respect for their enemies. Guan Yu was a man who fought for family, honor and peace, Cao Cao promised him those things ...but how could he do that when the rest of the nation didn't?

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 was shot in the Super 35mm film format on Kodak Vision 3 negative film stocks and issued on Fuji 35mm prints. This looks as good as it can in the format, though a Blu-ray is sure to reveal more. The same for the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix (originally with an extra EX track and allegedly also in 7.1 elsewhere) which is as good as it can be, but we bet a lossless presentation would be finer and more soundfield-consistent. There are no extras.

- Ricky Chiang


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