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Category:    Home > Reviews > Biopic > Epic > China > Mongol (Warner Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

Mongol (Warner Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: B+     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Film: B+



It’s nearly impossible to make a biopic film without someone complaining on the accuracy of the film, especially when there is little known about the central character, in this case Temudjin (a.k.a. Genghis Khan).  That being said, Sergei Bodrov’s 2007 film Mongol works on many levels as an epic story on the early years of Temudjin’s life, at least as accurate as possible with certain artistic liberties taken from time to time in order to fill in the missing blanks of history.  Viewing the film from this perspective, rather than a meticulous History buff will allow for more entertainment and enjoyment from the film, rather than treating it like some sort of documentary.


The film is sweeping, beautiful, epic, and portrays both the rugged backdrop of war clashing with a love story and results in a short two hour film that never feels rushed, but at times we will feel that more gaps needed to be filled, the film could easily run three hours and still not fully accomplish this.  I personally found it refreshing to finally get a fairly accurate portrayal of this enigmatic figure, but perhaps the reason why so little is seen of him on the big screen has to do with poorly made versions thus far, like John Wayne’s 1956 film The Conqueror in which he played the role of Genghis Khan…apparently people are always confusing gunslingers from the Old West with Mongolian Emperors.  Others might wonder why Tom Cruise didn’t play the main character here.


Mongol was nominated for a 2007 Academy Award, and while the film did not win, it certainly helps put the film on the map in terms of people taking it seriously.  This Blu-ray and DVD release of the film should secure that as well.



First, the bad…


The film is presented with a Dolby Digital Mongolian 5.1 audio track on both DVD and Blu-ray; this is a big letdown as we receive no lossless audio track option for the Blu-ray.  While the audio presentation is fairly solid, it lacks the depth and resolution that Blu-ray lovers have become accustomed to.  While most people will likely be reading the subtitles, the film does implore a great deal of music and some exceptional effects that are just far too compressed in the Dolby Digital audio track.


Now for the good…


Making up for not having a lossless audio track, the film is presented in a very exceptional transfer framed at 2.40 X 1 scope and anamorphically enhanced, the Blu-ray features the film with a stunning 1080p transfer that showcases the films beautiful landscapes with superb depth, color range, and overall fidelity.  Much of the film is desert terrain and you can instantly see the limitations of these scenes on DVD as much of the finer detail becomes flat, whereas the Blu-ray is able to fully recognize the finer details and give a far more life-like appearance.  Skin tones and darker scenes fair much better on Blu-ray as well.


Unfortunately there are no extras, but a digital copy of the film is included.



-   Nate Goss


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