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Warlords, The - Magnet Releasing Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Chris Mayo   
Thursday, 01 July 2010

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Directed by: Peter Ho-Sun Chan
Written by: Xu Lan, Chun Tin Nam, Aubrey lam
Produced by: Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Andre Morgan, Huang Jianxin
Cinematography by: Arthur Wong
Editing by: Christopher Blunden
Music by: Kwong Wing Chan, Peter Kam, Leon Ko
Cast: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Xu Jinglei
Year: 2007
Country: China, Hong Kong
Language: Mandarin
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 53 min

Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment, Magnet Releasing
Official Website: The Warlords

There is a powerful scene in The Warlords which uncompromisingly depicts the true severity of war.  In this scene the Chinese city of Suzhou is taken captive by the Imperial Ching Army.  Four-thousand starving soldiers gather in a courtyard and plead desperately for bread.  They beg for their lives to be spared.  Unable to provide enough food for even their own army, the Imperial Army orders their archers to slaughter every last one of the ravenous soldiers.  The archers cry and vomit as the four-thousand bodies amass in pure genocide.

Peter Ho-Sun Chan's The Warlords is a film of epic proportions.  It takes place during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860's and follows General Pang (Jet Li, Fist of Legend) who barely survives battle by "playing dead."  Rising from the ashes of his defeated army the gutless General is nursed back to heath by a woman named Lian (Xu Jinglei, Shinjuku Incident).  He then meets a group of bandits lead by Er Hu (Andy Lau, Infernal Affairs) and Wu Yang (Takeshi Kaneshiro, Red Cliff) who band together to protect a defenceless village.  After fending off attackers General Pang convinces Er Hu and Wu Yang to join the Ching Army and the trio make a blood oath to stay loyal to one another until death.  With the reluctant support of the Imperial War Council the trio are given a small body of soldiers to add to Er Hu and Wu Yang's outlaws and together they rise from adversity to take over larger armies in the cities of Suzhou and Nanking.  However, bureaucratic corruption and a love triangle between Pang, Er Hu and Lian cause their lives to quickly unravel.  Thus proving that the rise to power is a slippery slope and the blood oath does not run as deep as some might think.

The Warlords is a period film about a country depleted by war.  It is a story of loyalty, love and also deceit.  It depicts the rise and fall of power and the government's complete control of the people and it isn't too far from the realities of some countries today -- some 150-years-later.  The film is violent and stirring.  The war scenes showcased are brutal and ambitious.  It goes without saying that The Warlords is highly recommended.

Magnolia Home Entertainment and Magnet Releasing bring The Warlords to Blu-ray with a 1080p 16X9 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  The transfer looks stunning with vibrant saturations of color.  However, it also is accompanied by some digital grain and noise (but nothing too drastic).  The audio is presented with Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as an English dubbed DTS-HD Master Audio option.  There is also the option of English, English SDH and Spanish subtitles.  The extras contain a bunch of 'Deleted Scenes', a 39-minute 'Making of The Warlords', a 35-minue 'The Warlords 117 Days: A Production Journal' featurette and 'The Warlords: Behind the Scenes Special' running 18-minutes in length.  Rounding out the disc is the 5-minute ' HDNet: A Look at The Warlords' an international trailer and trailers for Survival of the Dead, District 13: Ultimatum, Mother and Red Cliff.



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 Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 16x9 1080p AVC
 Region: A
 Audio: English, Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio

 - Deleted Scenes
 - Making of The Warlords Featurettes
 - The Warlords 117 Days: A Production Journal
 - The Warlords: Behind the Scenes Special
 - HDNet: A Look at The Warlords
 - International Trailer

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