The Sword With No Name Review
The FilmPolyester is a very useful fabric. It's a real boon to manufacturers of shiny suits and static laden sheets. It can look classy in the packaging before it feels rather second rate next to your skin. You might buy the best polyester suit that could have been helped into existence by the greatest tailor, yet it is still polyester - unnatural, not as nice as cotton or linen, and, all in all, quite inferior.
You do get an interesting story of a forward thinking queen and the devotion she receives from a persistent and enamoured guard. You could enjoy echoes of the ideas of personal sacrifice in tension with political goals that featured so strongly in Yimou's wu xias. You might see further parallels with the use of a heroine with principles and intelligence much like that director's most interesting films. But then I dare you to continue that train of thought by identifying when Yimou has ever mounted a sword fight with no choreography or dramatic soul other than CGI blurs.
And these huge flaws happen because this epic movie is shiny polyester when cotton or linen would have been better. Where celluloid and lo-fi effects would have complemented period and feel, the polyester quality gives us gaudy video and dreadful animation. The shiny fabric, the cackhanded visuals and the lack of a true moral grasp leaves simple pop video theatrics and dumb romance to fill the vacuum.
Technical SpecsPresented on a region free BD 50 with about 60% of the capacity used, the transfer takes up 27.4GB. Contrast is pretty poor and night time sequences lack detail and show poor black levels. Throughout colours seem gaudy, skin-tones overly pinky and the overall image is thoroughly artificial looking. This is an underwhelming transfer.
Special FeaturesLots of standard definition trailers are included of the Cine Asia range. The making of featurette is 10 minutes of footage from the shooting of key scenes which are far from enlightening but are at least subtitled. The interview featurette catches the two main leads together and then the female lead on her own. This is a very stilted polite piece where little is said of interest or of a revelatory nature.
SummaryIt's competent enough but lacking any originality or depth. I would point you in the direction of far better historical epics from Asia or if you want an enjoyable Korean action romp then Bichunmoo is far more worthy of your time than this rather average affair.
4 out of 10
4 out of 10
6 out of 10
4 out of 10
Last updated: 14/05/2018 14:49:46