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Shadowless Sword (DVD-9) (China Version) DVD Region All

Choi Ji Woo (Actor) | Yoon So Yi (Actor)
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Shadowless Sword (DVD-9) (China Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 4 - 4 out of 10 (1)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.2 out of 10 (12)

Technical Information

Product Title: Shadowless Sword (DVD-9) (China Version) 無影劍 (DVD-9)(中國版) 无影剑 (DVD-9)(中国版) 無影劍 (DVD-9)(中國版) Shadowless Sword (DVD-9) (China Version)
Artist Name(s): Choi Ji Woo (Actor) | Yoon So Yi (Actor) 崔 智友 (Actor) | 尹素怡 (Actor) 崔 智友 (Actor) | 尹素怡 (Actor) チェ・ジウ (Actor) | ユン・ソイ (Actor) 최지우 (Actor) | 윤 소이 (Actor)
Release Date: 2006-05-03
Language: Korean, Mandarin
Subtitles: Korean, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: China, Japan
Picture Format: PAL What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.77 : 1
Sound Information: DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Publisher: Zhong Guo Lu Yin Lu Xiang Chu Ban Zong She
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004276113

Product Information

* Screen Format : 16:9
* Sound Mix : Dolby AC-3, DTS
* DVD Type : DVD-9


  926年﹐東餘因真留人的侵入﹐大部分王子均被殺害﹐已到達滅絕邊緣。如今﹐渤海最後的希望只能寄托於自小卷入戰爭過著逃竄生活的王子‘大正賢’。而營救最後王子的重要任務落在了武藝超群的‘燕小霞 ’身上。 自小在軍營長大的‘燕小霞’是東餘武功高強的女武士。為了扭轉東餘命運、守護最後的希望‘大正賢’﹐她拔出了無影劍。另一方面﹐真留人亂黨頭目‘ 軍和平 ’其心腹‘梅英玉’正在日夜拼命追殺他們。
  為了家仇與野心﹐背叛國家甘願充當真留人走狗的武將‘軍和平 ’心中正燃起謀害王子的復仇之火。
  誓死服從‘軍和平 ’命令的‘梅英玉 ’是位身懷高超劍術的女劍客﹐為打敗‘燕小霞 ’成為天下第一﹐亦在拼命追殺。東餘人的最后希望‘大正鉉’與‘燕小霞’能否破除真留人勢力重圍﹐順利回到東餘﹖


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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Shadowless Sword (DVD-9) (China Version)"

January 23, 2007

This professional review refers to Shadowless Sword DTS
Director Kim Young Jun's (Bichunmoo) new project started with a question. What if another 'last Prince' of Balhae existed, other than Dae Gwang Hyun? Another Prince, capable of restoring the Royal line and leading the Balhae Dynasty to a new tomorrow? This time Kim didn't have a famous manhwa to base his story on, and historical records concerning the periods were not only rare, but also filtered through the Chinese world view or too ambiguous to fully trust (especially records from Russian and Japanese sources). The Bichunmoo manhwa might have been a big success, but there weren't really too many scenes you could use in a wuxia, as the difficulties in making the story flow showed. The need to balance traditional wuxia characters with some sort of relation to Balhae created quite a few problems, but Kim was helped by a few legends and historical facts. Dae Gwang Hyun escaped out of the country after its collapse. This created the basis for Dae Jung Hyun (Lee Seo Jin), and the old folk tale of female warrior Hong Ra Nyeo was the perfect foundation for Yeon So Ha's character, played by Yoon Soy. But while the legend is rather well known in Korea, Kim's influences were much closer to home: he always wanted a female warrior protecting our hero, but one of his major inspirations was from the Terminator series, it was as simple as that.

He didn't simply take that concept hook, line and sinker. He adapted it to a more Korean setting: if you look at So Ha and the other 'female warrior protecting a man', Mae Young Ok (Lee Gi Yong), then an interesting contrast emerges. So Ha is clearly the soft on the outside, strong on the inside type. Despite her impressive martial arts skills, she doesn't look intimidating on the outside, something that instead jumps at the viewer instantly, the moment they see Mae Young Ok, with her 180cm frame. She's the opposite, a strong outside, soft inside kind of girl, putting up a very intimidating front, but then suffering inside because of her situation. Shadowless Sword takes these characters - Balhae's last Prince and his female 'protector', the general now working for the Khitan Gun Hwa Pyeong (Shin Hyun Joon) and Mae Young Ok protecting him - and catapults us into 927 Balhae, just one year after the big defeat against the Khitan.

The first piece of the puzzle added to the film was Action Director Ma Yuk Sing, who despite all the difficulties worked well with Kim in Bichunmoo, and what's even more important, the two developed a sincere friendship over the years. Also, to avoid any of the problems which plagued the production of the 2000 film, the actors (Lee Seo Jin, Shin Hyun Joon, Yoon Soy and Lee Gi Yong) trained for four months in Korea before joining the shoot in China. The interesting thing is that director Kim trained with them, not only because he's always been interested in this kind of activity, but to better understand what the actors were going through, help them sharing the same pain and difficulties, and also get that 'rhythm' you only understand after training with professionals in this field. The partnership with Ma is not a case, as Kim had always been more of a Ching Siu Tung than a Yuen Wo Ping fan, and Ching was actually his first choice for Bichunmoo, but his protege Ma joined instead, as Ching was too busy back then. Of course there's plenty of good action directors in Korea, and Jung Doo Hong is certainly world class.

But such intensive use of wires, not only in terms of action made by actors but also 'cinematic action' (think using wires for arrows or similar thing) required people used to the job, not just talented action directors adapting to new experiments through their style. Another interesting factor influencing the making of Shadowless Sword was New Line Cinema of the Lord of the Rings series. After a quick look at the script and a basic promo tape, they liked the idea so much they funded a good 30% of the film, which led to new records in foreign distribution sales, and might actually pave the way for a successful run in the US market. This is when Kim decided to break from the currently accepted norm, and offer something a little different, a sort of throwback to the classic wuxia he grew up with, by focusing on power and speed instead of grace and elegance. This was also reflected in the film's art direction, costumes and the choice of weapons.

It would be silly bringing up historical distortion talking about a wuxia, but the shadowless sword we see featured so prominently in the film is mostly well produced fiction. Closer to Northern European models (Viking maybe?), that kind of sword was never used in Balhae, as before late Goryeo/early Joseon the focus was on smaller, more flexible blades than the imposing longer swords. But then again, the concept wasn't that of recreating historically accurate weapons, but to make something that would fit with the character's personality. And it's not just weapons, even the style of action used by the four major characters (plus Mabul) follows their character traits. Art direction and costumes followed the same concept, as they got closer to road movie sensibilities than anything resembling a wuxia. Since So Ha only wears one costume for the entire film that has to underline her personality and inner strength to protect Jung Hyun at all costs, we focus on lighter colors giving a sense of familiarity. Jung Hyun, who goes from a runaway scoundrel to a King in the making, slowly but gradually changes his image becoming more and more refined. The costumes for Lee Gi Yong's character are particularly impressive, moving away from the usual graceful robes found in leading ladies of the genre.

But of course the calling card of films like these is the action. Although there are a few problems, which tighter editing could have dealt with, the wirework is satisfactory, and the frenetic and powerful pace given to the action scenes fits well with Kim's initial theme. If you don't see too many penetrations or blood flowing it is because Kim is using concepts from the early Wuxias before the kung fu revolution. We are dealing with chi (or Gi, since it's a Korean film) and its tremendous power, not necessarily the action/reaction and technique found in the mano y mano fights of Kung Fu and their subsequent Wirefu offspring. Although editing is only average during the 'rest' of the film, when the action choreographers take over the action scenes, the film turns very powerful, fast and frenetic, effectively supported by Kim Joon Seon's percussion-heavy score. As I said before, I'm not interested in technique for action scenes, and all I care about is maintaining that flow, that rhythm of cinematic action. And on those terms, Shadowless Sword fares quite well.

There are a few problems, things which could have been dealt with given time. The cameos are completely throwaway, especially a wasted Kim Soo Ro and the usual embarrassment from Choi Ji Woo, who in director Kim's mind was going to act out a Brigitte Lin-like figure, but in the end just feels like Choi Ji Woo getting ready for an Andre Kim show, and feeling awkward on some wires. Again, some of the supporting cast stands out for all the wrong reasons. Park Sung Woong's Mabul is quite an interesting character and looks a million dollars, but once he opens his mouth, he looks like an annoying little prick waiting to amuse us with his diabolical laughing ways. Gun Hwa Pyeong's character could be developed a little better, despite Shin Hyun Joon's usual charisma. But those are just minor gripes in a rather accomplished film. First the leading couple, Lee Seo Jin and Yoon Soy, show remarkable chemistry. Lee looks born to act in a Sageuk or Wuxia setting, and I hope he'll continue. And Yoon confirms she's one of the most exciting young talents in the country, if Goodbye Solo wasn't enough. Lee Gi Yong's character could stand on two pages of dialogue, but she handles it impressively, with metric tons of screen presence which will probably land her many more roles in the future (I hope). But my favorite performance is that of Jo Won Hee, a very underrated actor who also recently appeared in Holiday. He's the key to making the final fifteen minutes of the film work.

Kim Young Joon promised an 'upgrade' with this film, and that is exactly what Shadowless Sword is. It's not a great film, but it's a lot of fun, it's reasonably well acted, the action is well choreographed and executed, and production values are predictably very good. Those are all things which Bichunmoo couldn't achieve, so Kim clearly learned something in the last four years. Considering the country's total indifference towards Wuxia, he's one of Chungmuro's last hopes in the genre. I hope it won't take four more years to see another of his films (that's why Shin Hyun Joon jokes he's a 'World Cup director'), and his next film might not even be a Wuxia, but this film has won me over. It's nothing more or less than a very nice throwback to the days when wuxia was a genre and not an excuse to make vapid exotica. The action works, the drama (mostly) works, and it never tries to be more than that. I don't know if he finally fulfilled his but now I can definitely call Kim that: Korean Cinema's 'action kid'.

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Customer Review of "Shadowless Sword (DVD-9) (China Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 4 - 4 out of 10 (1)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.2 out of 10 (12)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

June 16, 2007

This customer review refers to Shadowless Sword DTS
1 people found this review helpful

Eye-popping action Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
"Shadowless Sword" tells of a subjugated people reaching out to their former prince to lead them back to power and glory. The film focusses on a lone warrior, played by Yoon Soy, leading the reluctant prince back to his people and on the challenges they confront along the way.

Yoon Soy delivers a riveting performance, looking absolutely gorgeous and showing some real athletic grace in performing her spectacular martial arts stunts. The rest of the cast looks great and performs well, although the film would have benefitted from a leavening of humor.

Amid the practically unceasing astonishment of the film's jaw-dropping martial arts action, "Shadowless Sword" successfully develops its themes of loyalty, duty, and fulfilling one's purpose in life. Highly recommended for action film buffs.
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July 15, 2006

This customer review refers to Shadowless Sword (DVD) (DTS) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
Director's Cut? Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
I've watched and enjoyed the original version of this film...would someone tell me what is special about this Director's Cut (eg. add'l minutes, development of characters, etc...)...I still don't know the value of purchasing this special version...there's no details of it in the description, nor by any reviewers so far...
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June 30, 2006

This customer review refers to Shadowless Sword (DVD) (DTS) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
A little too cliche Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
The storyline was really really simple. However the fight scenes were awsome! Especially for a Korean film. However, for some reason Korean Directors are trying really hard to make their movies "stylish". Imagine, Hero + Crouching Tiger + Jack Sparrow(Pirates of the Carribean) + Drama stars = Shawdowless Sword.
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June 26, 2006

This customer review refers to Shadowless Sword DTS
1 people found this review helpful

English Speaker Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
... in the style of crouching tiger hidden dragon ...

I really enjoyed Crouching Tiger, and if you did too then you will like this one.

Good acting and Chinese style martial arts. Not too mystical and dreamy with great action. The scene in the water was a bit much.

I am interested in watching Korean movies with English subtitles to help me learn the Korean language. This film is interesting enough to watch over and over in an effort to learn Korean.
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June 24, 2006

This customer review refers to Shadowless Sword (DVD) (DTS) (Director's Cut) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Pretty good Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
The only problem I had with this movie is that the actors did not do a good job on the wires. They did too many unnesessary spins so it looked kind of funny. The actors were were ok and all but I would of prefered real Martial Artist to come and play the roles. Aside from all of this it was pretty good. I like it when Chinese and Korean people work together to make a movie.
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