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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake [Blu-ray]

 

(Herman Yau, 2011)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: National Arts Films Production

Video: Funimation

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:54:17.000

Disc Size: 35,113,700,795 bytes

Feature Size: 31,866,728,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.63 Mbps

Chapters: 22

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 15th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1550 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1550 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -3dB)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Mandarin/Cantonese 2526 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2526 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -5dB)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English,none

 

Extras:

Making of (22:39)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From director Herman Yau (The Legend is Born - Ip Man) comes the thrilling story of one woman who dared to fight for her ideals, even in the face of certain death. Filled with intense scenes of martial-arts action, The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake burns with the fires of revolution. In late-19th century China, Qui Jin was many things: a defiant rebel armed with both blades and guns; a paramilitary leader dedicated to overthrowing an unjust government; a non-conformist who boldly donned men's attire in spite of tradition; a radical poet whose words inspired the oppressed; a heroic martyr whose views on equality altered history. Her steadfast resolve to improve the plight of women and her bravery in the face of tyranny led her to the executioner - but her determination to topple the status-quo changed a nation forever.

 

 

The Film:

The film tells the story of Qiu Jin and her involvement in revolutionary uprisings against the Qing Dynasty in Anhui province. Influences on her life are shown through a series of flashbacks. As a child, Qiu Jin resisted having her feet bound according to common practice, and instead pursued her interests to learn horse riding, martial arts and literature with her father and brother. Through her poetry, she expresses the her sorrow at the weak state of the nation and the repression of women. Finding other like minded women in Beijing and then travelling to Japan to study reinforces her view that nationalist action is required to reform China.

Excerpt from WikiPedia located HERE

The ever-prolific director Herman Yau has been on a cracking run of form recently, whether casting a discerning eye over the plight of sex workers in the city, spinning popular TV characters into bankable summer vehicles or producing modest but consistently entertaining period bio-pics of famed martial artists.

For his latest effort, Yau turns his attentions to revered feminist, revolutionary and poet Qiu Jin, a prominent figure in the early stages of the anti-imperialist revolt that would eventually materialise in 1911 and topple the Qing Dynasty once and for all. Born into a relatively affluent family, Qiu Jin quickly recognised, and was appalled by, the sexist inequality in Chinese society, where girls of a young age had their feet bound - to keep them dainty and immobile - and were wholly at the mercy of their fathers and husbands.

Excerpt from James Marsh review at TwitchFilm located HERE

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

Nice image - a little glossy for my own tastes but I'll gather this is what The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake looked like theatrically. The Blu-ray seems heavy with teal but other colors (reds etc.) are quite vibrant.  Skin tones seem accurate - contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. There are plenty of positives with the video appearance.  This is dual-layered and sports decent-to-strong detail and some infrequent depth. Its a typically gorgeous Asian period film with a lot of expense in set production. I can't see anyone being disappointed - it gave me a notable visual presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Not heard as often these days we have a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 in both original Mandarin and or an optional English DUB. Fight effects can be very crisp and there is some notable separation. Chun Hung Mak composed the score which is never intrusive. The range and depth exist but not as abundantly as you might expect. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'.

 

Extras :

Only a 22 1/2 minutes 'Making of...' that seems to have come from another Hong Kong disc. It has interviews and details on history, and martial arts practicing by the performers with behind-the-scenes footage. There are also some previews.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I wasn't really into The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake. Less the fault of the film - and more my mood. I've never been much for period piece of this nature - I suspected heavy poetic license with the historic aspects of title character. I could easily be wrong and the film does have a few good action sequences. The Blu-ray is adept in all the right areas and for those wishing to see it in their Home Theater - this should prove to be the best option. 

Gary Tooze

May 7th, 2012


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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