Archer (2012/Lionsgate DVD)
B- Sound: B- Extras: D Film: B
you're a fan of martial arts and kung-fu cinema, then I would highly
recommend checking out the 2012 film (and new to DVD in US Markets)
Judge Archer. Filled with breathtaking fight choreography,
amazing cinematography, and badass archery - Song Yang (who plays the
title character) could easily take on Hawkeye from Marvel's The
Avengers or Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games on in a
bow and arrow match. Judge Archer is directed by Haofeng Xu
(The Grandmaster) who nails expert performances and visual
storytelling down to minimal locations and also tackles the difficult
task of making a period piece effectively.
film also stars Yu Chenghui, Chengyuan Li, and Yenny Martin to name a
Judge Archer - there is no compassion, just martial arts - as he
proves himself to be the only man worthy of the title. Set in 1920s
China, the Judge has the dangerous duty of settling feuds between
rival martial arts schools. Soon, a woman named Yue Yahong (Li),
also a talented warrior, is sent to stop him from assassinating a man
who claims to be more talented than the Judge Archer himself.
film has several impressive fight sequences including hand to hand
combat, spear battles, knife battles, and even historic fighting
methods that have never been seen on film before, which I found to be
pretty stunning. My favorite sequence is a scene where Judge Archer
takes on Yue with two broken hands and ends up beating her by
fighting just with his elbows!
in standard definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the
film looks fine for the DVD format but lacks some definition which
would be more pronounced on Blu-ray. The sound mix is a lossy,
Mandarin 5.1 Dolby Digital track that also sounds fine for the
extras - which the exception of trailers for other films available
from Lionsgate. Which is a shame, because I would love to know some
details on the production.
paced and sure to please fans of martial arts, I would highly suggest
this movie for fans of the genre.