1911 Revolution (UK - BD RB)
Our Marcus watches Jackie Chan's 100th feature film on Blu-ray disc...
Made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution (as well as being celebrated as Jackie Chan's 100th movie) 1911 Revolution takes a straight forward historical approach to the events in Chinese history and provides a look at the many factors involved in it.
1911 Revolution looks dead pretty throughout. Some of the sets and location shoots here look fantastic and the big budget approach to this episode in Chinese history is obviously very much one that is being shown great respect but unfortunately, for the most part 1911 Revolution is also pretty dull.
Very much a lesson into Chinese history, even with text used to add more details to scenes (snooze), this turns out to be quite a mundane approach and despite some solid performances (Jackie Chan offering a very good dramatic turn) I found myself zoning out from time to time as the storytelling became too much about ticking off the facts as opposed to providing a dramatic retelling of events.
Well for a relatively dull film the HD presentation here provides a wonderfully bright and vibrant HD image. Colours are incredible with strong primaries literally popping off of the screen with reds being particularly striking. Deep black shadowing and the a very cinematic look to the film works wonders given the 1080p presentation and the crisp edges, plenty of depth and lighting that sets the whole thing off all works in plenty of impressive ways. This really is a striking transfer and one that has moments that can be considered show off material.
To back up the visuals, the strong and crisp audio adds another level to the impressive presentation. Dialogue is central and very clear in the track and theres a few really thumpy bass elements to the presentation too. There's plenty of nicely placed subtle atmospherics to add a bit of depth to the audio track, particularly a slight throbbing of a spinning fan placed just above the mix adding a nice sense of tension early in the film.
Battle scenes are always multi layered and full of gunfire, falling rubble, shouting and explosions and really set the track on fire as does the strong, emotive score. Sadly none of these highlights are consistent enough to make this an all round powerhouse of a track but even so the audio here is still very good indeed.
Bey Logan's commentary is once again a track full of historical facts, production details and personal stories connected to the film, Logan carries the solo track with ease with his radio friendly sounding voice and offers up a very enjoyable alternative way of watching the movie. In fact I think I got more out of the commentary than I did the film itself.
On top of that, there's an extensive trailer gallry with theatrical trailers and tv spots. The Hong Kong Press Confrence with Jackie Chan, Li Bingbing, and Winston Chao (32:52 SD) is quite good and offers some good interview Q&A's. Adding to that is the 'Interview with Li Bingbing' (05:52 SD) which adds a bit more insight from the actress
The 'Behind the Scenes Gallery'is a selection of raw on set footage videos split down to specfic scenes. There's 11 scenes in total and they run for between 5-10 minutes.
Lastly there's an 'Also Available' trailer gallery featuring other CineAsia titles.
1911 Revolution has its heart in the right place in terms of historical teachings but the drama just isn't strong enough to make this an entertaining watch. Judging by the superb commentary track it's not even all that accurate a history lesson either but the extras are okay, the presentation is top notch stuff and Jackie Chan's performance is quite a worthy one of his "100th Film" even if its not the sort of role most of his audience love him for.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 19th March 2012
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Mandarin, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Extras: Commentary, Press Confrence, Interview,Behind the Scenes Gallery, trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jackie Chan, Li Zhang
Cast: Jackie Chan, Winston Chao, Li Bingbing
Genre: Drama and War
Length: 99 minutes
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