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The Warlords (2007) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Andy Lau (Actor) | Kaneshiro Takeshi (Actor) | Jet Li (Actor) | Xu Jing Lei (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.6 out of 10 (8)

YesAsia Editorial Description

From He's a Woman, She's a Man to Comrades, Almost a Love Story to Perhaps Love, Peter Chan seems to have perfected the formula for commercial filmmaking. Chan is the rare director who connects with both mainstream audiences and arthouse critics, so it's no surprise that his first stab at the big-budget war epic, The Warlords, has become one of Hong Kong's biggest blockbusters of 2007. Superstars Jet Li, Andy Lau, and Takeshi Kaneshiro star in this grand and gritty tale of war, romance, and brotherhood in 19th-century China. Based on Chang Cheh's Blood Brothers, the film features action choreography from Ching Siu Tung (Hero) and impressive, large-scale battle scenes befitting of the big screen. Jet Li gives the most compelling dramatic performance of his career, departing from his previous image to embody a complex, morally torn character. Also starring acclaimed Mainland actress Xu Jinglei (Confession of Pain), The Warlords is one of the greatest cinematic events of 2007, and Hong Kong has answered its call with record box office numbers.

The Warlords is set during the Taiping Rebellion when the Qing Dynasty was brought to its knees by a militant demagogue who attracted hundreds of thousands of disgruntled insurgents to his cause, thrusting the nation into chaotic infighting and warlordism. Emerging from a field of corpses, Qing General Pang (Jet Li) is the only member of his troop to survive a fatal battle with enemy forces. Wandering through the impoverished land, he encounters young outlaw Jiang (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and ends up joining a gang of bandits led by the brash and brazen Zhao (Andy Lau). Realizing that the only way to survive during such times is to join the fight, Pang, Zhao, and Jiang form their own army and offer their services to the Qing. Bounded by their blood oath, the sworn brothers lay down their lives for victory on the battlefield, but their brotherhood is tested by politics, personal ambition, and rivalry for the hand of Zhao's wife (Xu Jinglei).

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Warlords (2007) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 投名狀 (2007) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 投名状 (2007) (Blu-ray) (香港版) ウォーロード 男たちの誓い (投名状) (Blu-ray) (香港版) The Warlords (2007) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Andy Lau (Actor) | Kaneshiro Takeshi (Actor) | Jet Li (Actor) | Xu Jing Lei (Actor) 劉 德華 (Actor) | 金城 武 (Actor) | 李 連杰 (Actor) | 徐靜蕾 (Actor) 刘 德华 (Actor) | 金城 武 (Actor) | 李 连杰 (Actor) | 徐静蕾 (Actor) 劉徳華(アンディ・ラウ) (Actor) | 金城武 (Actor) | 李連杰(ジェット・リー) (Actor) | 徐静蕾(シュー・ジンレイ) (Actor) 유덕화 (Actor) | 금성무 (Actor) | 이연걸 (Actor) | Xu Jing Lei (Actor)
Director: Peter Chan 陳可辛 陈可辛 陳可辛 (ピーター・チャン) Peter Chan
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2008-07-18
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, 2.35 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM)
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Rating: IIB
Duration: 127 (mins)
Publisher: Intercontinental Video (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1011211470

Product Information

* Capacity: 50GB Dual Layer
* Audio Specifications:
- Mandarin: dts-HD Master Audio 7.1, Dolby Digital Ex 5.1
- Cantonese: Dolby Digital Ex 5.1
* Screen Format: 16:9 Widescreen, 2.35:1, 1920 x 1080p Full HD
* Special Features (40 mins):
- Trailer
- 117 Days: Production Journal
- Deleted Scenes

Director: Chan Ho Sun

It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of ma," a Qing Dynasty (164-1911) story about the killing of general Ma Xinyi. The story was filmed by Zhang Che in 1973 as The Blood Brothers.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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This film has won 3 award(s) and received 9 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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Professional Review of "The Warlords (2007) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"

January 16, 2008

This professional review refers to The Warlords (DVD) (2-Disc Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
Hong Kong movies don't get much bigger than The Warlords, and Peter Chan seems to know it. Hong Kong's canniest filmmaker, Chan brings together an impressive cast in Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Xu Jinglei for this period war epic partly based on Chang Cheh's classic Blood Brothers. The three male superstars play Qing-era warriors drawn into the turbulent history of nineteenth-century China. The Taiping Rebellion has plunged the country into chaos, with General Pang Qing-Yun (Jet Li, in a career-changing dramatic performance) emerging as the lone survivor of a particularly nasty conflict between the Jesus-worshipping Taiping and a Qing company under his command. Pang survived in a surprising and decidedly un-Jet Li-like way: he pretended to be dead and hid beneath the bodies of his slain men. His shame and cowardice haunt him, but that evening he finds solace in a chance encounter with the comely Lian (Xu Jinglei). She comforts him through the night, but disappears the following morning, leaving him alone and without direction.

Pang soon meets Jiang Wu-Yang (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a boyish bandit who works for charismatic bandit leader Zhao Er-Hu (Andy Lau). The gang earns their daily keep by stealing from and sometimes murdering soldiers. It's during such a raid that Jiang discovers that Pang can kick ass, making him a welcome addition to the bandit ranks. Pang makes his own discovery: that Lian is actually Zhao's wife, though there is a discontent with that arrangement that gives him hope. Things change when Qing soldiers confront the bandits, shaming them and taking all their spoils. The bandits are now bitter and destitute, but Pang comes up with a nifty idea: why don't the bandits join the army themselves to earn money, food, and maybe even fame? Zhao and Jiang agree, but since Pang is a newcomer to the bandit group, they ask him to take a "blood oath" to insure that he won't betray his new pals. Pang, Jiang, and Zhao each kill a nameless outsider, and swear to each other to defend their brotherhood until death. Soon, the three begin a quick rise to military glory, highlighted by epic battle sequences and some obligatory male bonding. However, given the moral compromises of war, the treachery of politics, and the thorny issue of women, that brotherhood is soon challenged, with a very high price to pay.

Peter Chan normally creates love stories, and The Warlords is basically a love story, too - it's just about the platonic affection between manly men instead of gooshy heterosexual romance. Chan is pretty damn good at handling the latter, as can be seen in his classics Comrades, Almost a Love Story and He's a Woman, She's a Man, but he doesn't bring any of that expert handling to The Warlords. The love triangle between Zhao, Lian, and Pang is treated in a largely perfunctory manner, serving as a primary reason for the ultimate dissolution of the film's central brotherhood between Zhao, Jiang, and Pang. However, the brotherhood seems very perfunctory too. Even though it's the primary theme of the film, the brotherhood seems to exist solely to push the plot along. Sure, they go through the onscreen brotherhood ritual, and there's some horsing around that implies that they like one another, but the characters aren't felt enough to make their ultimate fall more potent. Both Pang and Zhao seem to be loyal primarily to their own personal codes, and Jiang's adherence to the brotherhood plays like zealotry more than anything else. Despite an abundance of meaty war-related drama to chew on, the characters never resonate enough to make the brotherhood work.

The film also doesn't take advantage of its historical context. Chinese audiences won't need a primer on the film's historical and political background, and may find The Warlords to be richer than it overtly seems, but international audiences could probably use a few hints as to what all these conflicts mean. The Taiping Rebellion has much to do with religion and cultural ideology, but those issues are downplayed for themes of brotherhood and war - a disappointing choice considering some of the symbols and motifs that get employed by the screenwriters. Presumably, the concentration on anti-war sentiments and brotherly betrayal makes the film more universal, and there is some effective drama mired in the brothers' opposing ideologies on war and righteousness. However, the missing cultural details reduce the film's depth, rendering it less effective than it could be. There's plenty to comment on in China's tumultuous past, but the film seems to gloss over its subject matter. Ultimately, the film's historical trappings feel less like history and more like just a setting, meaning it's great for big battle sequences and ornate costumes, but not for anything truly more telling.

In many ways, The Warlords feels like Hollywood-style Hong Kong filmmaking, in that it uses scale, CGI, and strong, but expected drama to create a predictable experience. There's emotional complexity in the characters and their conflicts, but it's all rather rote, and possesses little or no surprise. Intermittent voiceover from Takeshi Kaneshiro is used to force-feed lessons and observations, and there isn't much to be gleamed beyond what's put out there on the screen. A total of eight screenwriters (Aubrey Lam and James Yuen, among them) are credited on The Warlords, making the end credits resemble the written-by-committee crawl you might normally see attached to a Hollywood film. This is a large, impressive production, but The Warlords is dwarfed by its own sense of commercialism. It's got big stars, grand production values, overwrought drama, predictable conflicts, and even a China-safe aversion to tougher themes. This is an easily digestible and very impressive-seeming motion picture, but the ability to impress beyond the expected just isn't there.

Does that make The Warlords a bad film? No, not really, and the commercialism at play isn't very surprising, considering Peter Chan is at the helm. Chan's work in the new millennium has been all about tapping into markets beyond the shrinking Hong Kong one, and he's done it in a variety of ways: international casting, smart co-productions, and above all, the creation of a sellable product. Chan has done just that with The Warlords, delivering a product that both Chinese and international audiences will find palatable, and he's seemingly done all the work for the would-be suits wringing their hands over marketability. The Warlords is exceptionally marketable, possessing commercial qualities that make it sellable all over Asia, and also the apparent prestige and cultural uniqueness that make it attractive to the West. Also, the film has Jet Li, who will sell to audiences beyond your art house cinephiles. Basically, The Warlords has everything it needs to be a desirable event film - except, perhaps, that mega-mega happy ending that will make people in Nebraska like this movie too. If they really wanted to sell this thing, couldn't they have put a kid, a dog, and a wacky sidekick in it too?

Well, that would be pushing the commercialism too far, and obviously Peter Chan knows where to draw the line, choosing to deliver a powerful film that still plays it safe. The Warlords is both a victim and a beneficiary of commercialism; it delivers a predictable experience, but also a peerless spectacle that should please mass audiences. Aside from the excellent art direction and cinematography, the film features terrific battle sequences that feature both heady strategy and spectacular, but not too bloody violence. The action from Ching Siu-Tung isn't the high-flying variety, and stays earthbound in a comparatively realistic, but still very exciting manner. There's plenty of solid impact, hacked-off limbs, and melodramatic battlefield drama to excite mass audiences, and the actors hunker down and deliver as much manly weeping and overwrought emoting as they can possibly muster. The Warlords is not subtle, but it's not embarrassing either, and possesses an air of quality and an obvious commercialism that make it a must-see. Peter Chan made The Warlords for as big an audience as possible, and judging by the film's programmed sense of power and initial box-office receipts, he knew what he was doing. Inclined audiences will choose to see The Warlords, regardless of any naysaying. The majority of those people shouldn't be disappointed.

by Kozo -

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Customer Review of "The Warlords (2007) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.6 out of 10 (8)

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August 30, 2015

Excellent Blu Ray of a masterpiece! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
After watching the American Blu Ray edition of this film, I wisely purchased the Hong Kong edition which is slightly longer yet has a great deal more to offer. Without spoiling the film, the U.S. edition deleted parts that add so much to the movie. I have found that Hong Kong Blu Rays are the way to go in general.

As for the film, it is a dark tale about three bandits who join the military to feed their village and rise up through the ranks only to draw apart in disastrous ways. Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau are excellent as always, but Jet Li shines more than usual. The martial arts films I have seen of his do not show his ability to act like The Warlords does. His performance is truly impressive.

The Blu Ray quality is very good.
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Kevin Kennedy
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August 22, 2009

This customer review refers to The Warlords (DVD) (2-Disc Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Unforgettable war epic Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Among Chinese films, "The Warlords" is the best I've seen at showing the horrors of war and how those horrors can cause even the most noble of souls to engage in ghastly behavior. Filmed on an epic scale, its big battle scenes and, later, its displays of infighting and backstabbing kept me on the edge of my seat. Jet Li delivers a powerful, complex performance unlike anything he's done before. Andy Lau is perfectly cast as the forceful bandit leader and Takeshi Kaneshiro beautifully depicts the anguish of the moral compromises his character makes and rejects. Who knew that director Peter Chan, justly renowned for his superb romance films, could pull off a truly great war movie? Very, very highly recommended.
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July 10, 2009

This customer review refers to The Warlords (DVD) (Director's Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
What is loyalty?? Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
It's only natural that Jet's fans worried that he's really giving up on martial arts movies. Bear in mind there're other ways of incorporating this talent.

I find this movie very touching if you look beyond the star-studded cast and action because not only does it give us a bit of history about how ordinary citizens have to fight to survive during the warring states (which I'm sure is quite true) but also about "the code of conduct among sworn brothers" - taken extremely seriously (especially 'thou shalt not betray thy brother' and 'thou shalt not covert thy brother's wife') . This taking of oath is common even among triads today and it separates the men from the boys.

The movie may start off slow with Takeshi narrating and the audience is left wondering why is this so? However, all is revealed towards the end of the movie.

Jet gave a wonderful performance as the only surviving general after his battalion was wiped out by the overwhelming opposition,and later unkowingly fell in love with Andy's wife. It's his most emotional movie uptodate and he certainly deserves the best actor award. I'd vote for him.

Andy was his usual self as leader of an outlaw gang. Takeshi's character as the loyal 'little brother' and second-in-command gave him more ground to be expressive towards the end of the movie. A good effort. There are a few 'chopping & maiming" scenes but not too violent by today's standards. All said and done, I suppose some will come to the conclusion of "because of that woman......."! But that's life, and it could happen.
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April 3, 2009

This customer review refers to The Warlords (DVD) (2-Disc Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
3 people found this review helpful

One of the greatest Hong Kong movie of all time Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Director Peter H.S. Chan ("Comrades,Almost a love story","Perhaps Love") has proven himself among the best Hong Kong film director with this movie.
Complex of the story line. Multi-layer of the characters. Rich in emotion,details into the setting. It's a "completed movie" I've seen from a Hong Kong/Chinese movie.( beside " Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") All actors/actress have gave a superb performance.
Andy Lau shines. Jet li gave the performance of his live time, proven he can act besides just perform his action stunt (That's something Jackie Chan has yet to proof.... may be with his new up coming Derek Yee's movie. & Bruce Lee never have a chance to do!)
If you find no interest in this movie. No only you missed one of the best Hong Kong/Chinese movie so far. You have proven to yourself you don't know what movie is besides skin deep excitement.
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April 15, 2008

This customer review refers to The Warlords (DVD) (2-Disc Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
2 people found this review helpful

Almost all the way Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
I guess many fans of Jet Li was a bit afraid that he was going to go all bad on screen when he was ending wushu style onscreen. Well after seeing this movie we all know this is not the case.
So instead of using wushu in the film what does he do? he kicks ass with weapons and regular kicks and fists of course!

This movie feels abit like the answer to saving private ryan, band of brothers and simualr films, only that this is dealing with China and the wars between the provinces back in the days. Instead of massive shootings and bombings this movie has alot of swords, cannons and other stuff to make the battle fields turn red.

All in all this movie is really good. Well scripted and well acted from all actors in the movie.
The only thing that bothers me is that it drops in tempo in the middle of the film and becomes a bit dull and then goes up in tempo again.

Anyhow if you are a fan of big battles with swords, kicks, fists and cannons and an angry jet li in general position look no further, this movie is for you.

I shall also add that this movie is semi graphic and shows a few nasty things here and there, which to me is a good thing as Ive become very tired of Hollywoods "no blood, no swearing, no graphic violence" in films, show some realism or don't bother to show it at all.
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  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
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