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A view on Blu-ray by Michael Den Boer


Brother's Five (Sword Masters) [Blu-ray]

(aka "Wu hu tu long")


(Lo Wei, 1970)





More Shaw Brothers-Martial Arts-Wushu or related films on Blu-ray reviewed (click review buttons to also see comparisons where applicable):


Review by Michael Den Boer



Theatrical: Shaw Brothers

Blu-ray: Well Go Usa



Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:41:56.376

Disc Size: 22,008,285,326 bytes

Feature Size: 21,328,735,889 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.10 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 27th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080i / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video




LPCM Audio Mandarin 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



English, Chinese, none




• Trailers for The Heroic Ones (1:08; Letterboxed Widescreen), The Battle Wizard (1:03; Letterboxed Widescreen), The Duel of the Century (1:07; Letterboxed Widescreen)



The Film:

Five brothers are separated after their father is murdered by a man named Long Zeng Feng. After the death of their father and with the five brothers in hiding Long Zeng Feng assumes control over the family’s martial arts academy known as Flying Dragon Villa. Several years later with the help of a close family friend named Yen Lai the five brothers regroup and plan their revenge against their fathers’ murderer.

Brothers Five was directed by Wei Lo who also directed Bruce Lee’s first two Hong Kong films The Big Boss and Fist of Fury. Brothers Five also features n a very brief minor role Sammo Hung Kam-Bo playing a security guard who is part of an envoy protecting money they are transporting.

The plot for Brothers Five is you standard martial arts revenge set up. The films main twist of combining the five brothers as once fighting force when they use a secret kung fu handbook titled “Five Tigers with one Heart” sounds cooler than it looks. On their own each brother is an exceptional fighter they are just not good enough individually when opposing their fathers’ killer Long Zeng Feng.

The film’s most interesting character is a female marital artist named Yen Lai who is portrayed by Pei-pei Cheng (Come Drink with Me). Yen Lai spends most of the film tracking down each of the five brothers and then preparing them for their final showdown with Long Zeng Feng. In the last half of the film we finally get to see Yen Lai spring into action after spending almost 2/3’s of the film off in the background.

Each of the five brothers in the film gets a scene to show off their fighting specialty. Even though the story retreads familiar ground it is during its numerous action sequences where this films really excels. Ultimately Brothers Five makes up for it weak story with its wall to wall action.

Excerpt of review from 10kbullets located HERE


Image:   NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Just like their DVD release the transfer for this Blu-ray release is interlaced. Even though the transfer is interlaced the 'combing' is not as pronounced on this Blu-ray release as it is on the DVD release (see in two captures below). The differences between the transfer for this Blu-ray and the transfer for Well Go USA's DVD are minimal with the biggest area of improvement being the image looks sharper. 














Audio & Music:

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Mandarin and removable English and Chinese subtitles have been included. The audio mix sound clean and clear throughout with the sound effects benefiting most from this audio mix. Looking over the English subtitles the good news is that they are not 'DUB' titles. And while they are easy to follow, it should be noted that I noted a few grammatical errors.




Extras are limited to three trailer The Heroic Ones, The Battle Wizard and The Duel of the Century. All three trailers are presented in a letterboxed widescreen, in Mandarin with no English subtitles and in standard definition.



Bottom line:

When I first heard that Well Go USA was going to give some of their Shaw Brother's titles that they had previously released on DVD, a BluRay release. I had high hopes that they would go back and improve and in some instances correct the mistakes from these previous releases. If you already have Well Go USA's DVD release Brothers Five, this release is at best a 'marginally' better release that is not worth upgrading too.

Michael Den Boer
April 29th, 2010



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