The Lost Bladesman (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Arguably the most renowned warrior-general in ancient China, Guan Yu (a.k.a. Guan Yunchang, circa 160-220) is hailed for his unparalleled bravery and military might, and above all his supreme honor and loyalty, such that he is worshipped to this day as a folk deity among the Chinese people. In a film centering on this magnificent historical figure, there is hardly anyone more suitable to play the saintly Lord Guan than Donnie Yen (Ip Man), the hottest martial arts superstar in the world right now. Add to it Jiang Wen, the charismatic star-director of Chinese box-office megahit Let the Bullets Fly, in a powerful performance as the antagonistic warlord Cao Cao, and you've got the most anticipated historical action epic in recent memory.
Under the helm of Infernal Affairs writer-directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong, The Lost Bladesman is a riveting retelling of a chapter in the classical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms where Guan escorts his sworn brother's wives on a dangerous escape from enemy camp. By portraying Guan as a tragic hero, and reinventing Cao as the manipulative but visionary rival leader who, despite clashing ideologies, has the utmost respect and admiration for the noble warrior, the ambitious film offers rich character drama on top of the varied, spectacular fight scenes. Built around Donnie Yen who also serves as action director, the period blockbuster boasts a solid supporting cast that includes Betty Sun, Wang Bo Chieh, Alex Fong Chung Sun, Andy On, Shao Bing, Wang Xuebing, Nie Yuan, and Chin Siu Ho, besides the scene-stealing Jiang Wen.
In the final years of the Eastern Han dynasty, the Prime Minister Cao Cao (Jiang Wen) is so powerful that even the young Emperor (Wang Bo Chieh) is reduced to being his puppet. Still only a fledgling warlord, the Emperor's uncle and future Shu king Liu Bei (Alex Fong) is defeated in a battle by Cao's forces, leaving his sworn brother Guan Yu (Donnie Yen) with the duty to protect Liu's family who is held captive at Cao's camp. With his unwavering devotion to Liu, Guan resists Cao's every attempt at persuading him to join his cause, including a wicked plot exploiting Guan's secret crush on Liu's concubine-to-be Qilan (Betty Sun). Guan eventually sets out on a long and treacherous journey to be reunited with Liu, taking Qilan with him - but someone isn't about to let him walk away so easily! With wave after wave of killers ambushing him en route, Guan Yu is forced to unleash his deadly blade and slaughter his way out...
Hong Kong Version DVD comes with these bonus features: making-of, trailers, photo gallery, and a character analysis by famous writer Chip Tsao.
|Product Title:||The Lost Bladesman (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 關雲長 (DVD) (香港版) 关云长 (DVD) (香港版) 關雲長 （DVD） （香港版） The Lost Bladesman (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Donnie Yen (Actor) | Jiang Wen (Actor) | Andy On (Actor) | Sun Li (Actor) | Alex Fong Chung Sun (Actor) | Wang Xue Bing (Actor) | Chin Siu Ho (Actor) | Chen Hong (Actor) | Nie Yuan (Actor) | Li Zong Han (Actor) | Wang Bo Chieh (Actor) | Felix Chong 甄 子丹 (Actor) | 姜文 (Actor) | 安 志杰 (Actor) | 孫儷 (Actor) | 方中信 (Actor) | 王 學兵 (Actor) | 錢小豪 (Actor) | 陳紅 (Actor) | 聶遠 (Actor) | 李宗翰 (Actor) | 王柏傑 (Actor) | 莊 文強 甄 子丹 (Actor) | 姜文 (Actor) | 安 志杰 (Actor) | 孙俪 (Actor) | 方中信 (Actor) | 王 学兵 (Actor) | 钱小豪 (Actor) | 陈红 (Actor) | 聂远 (Actor) | 李宗翰 (Actor) | 王柏杰 (Actor) | 庄 文强 甄子丹（ドニー・イェン） (Actor) | 姜文（チアン・ウェン） (Actor) | 安志杰（アンディ・オン） (Actor) | 孫儷（スン・リー） (Actor) | 方中信（アレックス・フォン） (Actor) | 王学兵（ワン・シュエビン） (Actor) | 錢小豪（チン・シウホウ） (Actor) | 陳紅 （チェン・ホン） (Actor) | 聶遠（ニエ・ユエン） (Actor) | 李宗翰 （リー・ゾンハン） (Actor) | 王柏傑 （ワン・ポーチェ） (Actor) | 莊文強（フェリックス・チョン） 견자단 (Actor) | Jiang Wen (Actor) | Andy On (Actor) | Sun Li (Actor) | 방중신 (Actor) | Wang Xue Bing (Actor) | Chin Siu Ho (Actor) | Chen Hong (Actor) | 섭원 (Actor) | Li Zong Han (Actor) | Wang Bo Chieh (Actor) | Felix Chong|
|Director:||Alan Mak 麥 兆輝 麦兆辉 麥兆輝（アラン・マック） Alan Mak|
|Action Director:||Donnie Yen 甄 子丹 甄 子丹 甄子丹（ドニー・イェン） 견자단|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese|
|Place of Origin:||Hong Kong|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.78 : 1, Widescreen|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM), DTS-ES Discrete 6.1|
|Disc Format(s):||DVD, DVD-9|
|Region Code:||3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Publisher:||Edko Films Ltd. (HK)|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1024508816|
- Making Of
- The Lost Bladesman Apocalypse by Chip Tsao
- Teaser Trailer
- Theatrical Trailer
- Photo Gallery
Director: Mak Siu Fai
In the final years of the Han, the court was under the sway of Prime Minister Cao Cao. When his troops defeated those of rival king Liu Bei, They took Liu Bei's two wives, future concubine and other members of his family hostage, as well as Liu Bei's sworn brother Guan Yunchang. Cao Cao greatly admires Guan and wishes to retain him, but Guan's loyalty is with Liu Bei. When Cao Cao finds out Guan was once in love with Liu Bei's future concubine, Qilan, he sets a trap to lead Guan to temptation and betrayal, Guan escapes with Qilan. But to get to Liu Bei, they must cross five passes. Guan who is tired of killing, is forced to fight his away through, leaving a trail of corpses. At the final crossing, they fall into a deadly ambush. Yet Cao Cao treats Guan with respect; Guan is torn between emotional debt and righteousness.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "The Lost Bladesman (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"
With so many Chinese historical epics continuing to clutter up the box office, films are having to offer something increasingly special in order to stand out from the stampeding herd. The Lost Bladesman does just that, being based on the legendary historical Romance of the Three Kingdoms figure Guan Yu and starring the one and only Donnie Yen, a combination which has translated into massive success at the domestic box office. With Yen unsurprisingly handling the action choreography as well as taking the lead role, the film was directed by duo Alan Mak (Infernal Affairs) and Felix Chong (Once a Gangster), who also worked together on the popular thriller Overheard and has an illustrious supporting cast, including acclaimed Mainland actor and director Jiang Wen (who recently helmed the excellent Let the Bullets Fly and the powerful The Sun Also Rises), Betty Sun (Just Another Pandora's Box), Andy On (True Legend) and Chin Siu Ho (Revenge: A Love Story).
The film begins with Guan Yu, then a general in Liu Bei's army, having been taken prisoner by prime minister and power behind the throne Cao Cao (Jiang Wen), who urges him to switch sides. Desperate to bring an end to the fighting, and with Cao Cao holding his beloved Qilan (Betty Sun) hostage, Guan Yu agrees to lend his enemy his mighty skills during a key battle. With this done, Cao Cao apparently grants him leave to return to Liu Bei with Qilan, and Guan Yu sets off on the long journey home, hoping to put the fighting behind him. Unfortunately, Cao Cao's generals believe that in doing so they are unleashing a tiger, and make plans to have him killed.
Attempting any film about a figure like Guan Yu, or indeed Romance of the Three Kingdoms in general, is always an ambitious undertaking given the sheer density and complexity of the material involved. As such, it's not too much of a surprise that The Lost Bladesman doesn't really try to be a proper biopic or origin story, and instead settles for summarising one of the key periods of the great man's life. It does this fairly well, and although it skims tantalisingly over important events, in particular by starting with his funeral and later only referring to his actual death in parting, it benefits from some solid storytelling and pacing. The film certainly doesn't skimp on the historical detail, and while viewers unfamiliar with Chinese history, or who haven't at least seen Red Cliff (both parts) or played a Dynasty Warriors videogame, may well get a little lost at times with all the names of characters and different warring factions, this does give the proceedings a pleasingly substantial feel.
The plot itself holds the interest, and by starting out in the middle of Guan Yu's life it avoids most of the cliche of the usual warrior's journey style character arc. In fact, if anything, Guan Yu comes across as being merely a player in the bigger scheme of things, which seems to be the intent of the film, with him spending most of the running time being manipulated into taking action and essentially struggling against the various forces and loyalties vying for his might. Donnie Yen is on good form in the lead, managing to portray Guan Yu as a righteous though conflicted figure, and the film gives him the chance to stretch his acting muscles a little beyond his usual charisma. However, fittingly enough, the film arguably belongs to Jiang Wen and his Cao Cao, who steals pretty much every shot he appears in, achieving a compelling and persuasive balance between humanity, humour, and cold hearted ruthlessness. Providing the plot with most of its Machiavellian scheming and moral ambiguity, he again shows himself one of China's most talented actors, and his scenes with Yen, whether revolving around banter or veiled threats are undoubtedly the highlights of the film.
Of course, most audiences will be expecting action, and the film certainly delivers, with an exciting mix of epic battle scenes and furious duels. Yen's choreography is as stunning as ever, never relying too much on slow motion and showing a creative use of light and shadow during many of the set pieces. There are several stand-out scenes, with Guan Yu frequently taking on hordes of opponents, with a thrillingly claustrophobic spear battle in a tight alleyway being particularly memorable. Things do get bloody and violent at times, and the film as a whole has a grounded look, whilst still managing some impressive vistas and gorgeous scenery, making good use of its obviously high production values.
All of this suggests that real effort went into making The Lost Bladesman and to doing justice to Guan Yu, both from Donnie Yen and from directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong. The result is one of the better Chinese historical epics of recent years, and one of Yen's more substantial outings, a film which provides plenty of martial arts thrills without dumbing down the story too much or simply relying on his trademark skills and winning smile.
by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com
Editor's Pick of "The Lost Bladesman (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"
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June 30, 2011
Some viewers find it hard to swallow when they see their beloved classics tampered with, and that is usually justifiable. But in the case of The Lost Bladesman, it's exactly the inspired modifications to the commonly accepted story that set it apart from other screen adaptations of Three Kingdoms tales.
The film is mainly based on an episode in Romance of the Three Kingdoms (itself a semi-fictional work) where Guan Yu decides to leave his captor Cao Cao and embark on a long trek across China in order to rejoin his sworn brother Liu Bei in the rival camp, with Liu's two wives tagging along. In the film, instead of his sister-in-laws, Guan brings along Liu's would-be concubine, who happens to be the girl that Guan has long had a crush on. The filmmakers, however, show no intention of exploiting the potential romantic triangle.
The Lost Bladesman successfully breaks the stereotypes associated with certain historical characters, primarily with Guan Yu and Cao Cao. Worshipped for centuries by the Chinese for his unshakable loyalty, Guan Yu here finds himself in constant inner conflicts over his loyalty (to Liu Bei, as well as to the country and the emperor) and his own personal desires (hence his hesitation). He also struggles over the paradox of trying to achieve peace by means of massacre. Traditionally hailed as the "warrior saint", Guan's godly image is replaced by a more human portrayal, and he's more fleshed out than he is in the books.
Cao Cao, on the other hand, is depicted as a charismatic, wise, and eloquent leader rather than simply the cunning boss of the bad guys. He is a man who honors his promises and a warlord with the greater good in mind. He also willingly takes on the villain role to protect Guan's heroic reputation. Cao Cao is the beacon that a lost bladesman needs, and he is such an extraordinary person that choosing him over Liu Bei (who is deliberately hidden in the film) seems quite understandable and reasonable. In the end, it is hard to tell which is sadder: the regret that Cao's admiration for Guan can only be a one-sided affair because of the loyalty Confucianism advocates, or the fact that the "friendly foes" nature of their relationship in the film is often read as homoerotic undertone.
Jiang Wen brings a commanding presence to the role of Cao Cao and makes him irresistibly charming. Hearing him deliver the numerous quotable lines alone is worth the price of the Blu-ray. He is so captivating that even Donnie Yen seems all but outshone in his own starring vehicle. In defense of Donnie, although he is dwarfed by Jiang in the acting department, he absolutely rules when it comes to the action. There are criticisms leveled at Donnie for not resembling Guan Yu in appearance, but he has given us a Guan Yu that is hands down the most badass fighter ever portrayed on screen. He deserves some credit for that at least.
Credit is also due for writer-directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong, who managed to take a rather straightforward story from Romance of the Three Kingdoms and turn it into a compelling drama with complex characterization that is intelligent, ambitious, and often subversive. From the opening scene where Cao Cao laments a world that has no room for the values that Guan Yu represents, to the ending where the very ideals Guan holds onto become questionable with the revelation of the person behind the murderous attempts on him, The Lost Bladesman offers profound ideas and meaty drama for the audiences to chew on. In fact, most of the film's departures from the "canon" do serve an artistic purpose.
Customer Review of "The Lost Bladesman (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: (2)
See all my reviews
July 30, 2011
This customer review refers to The Lost Bladesman (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
donnie back with a blade
|Another swordplay movie. I think there have been way too many swordplay movies lately. There is nothing wrong with this movie and it delivers plenty of action, but its all too familiar. Picture quality is very good on this blu ray. I found the dolby true soundtrack to be a bit over the top at times and so i swapped to the pcm 7.1 track which had a much better balance to it. Give the mainland chinese movies a rest donnie and lets have a few modern day hong kong movies for a change.|
See all my reviews
July 5, 2011
Just another kung fu movie
|If you are a Donnie Yen fan, you should like it. But it's just another commercial kung fu movie just like Red Cliff. There is no story at all.|