Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 16th, 2012
BluRay released: January 10th, 2012
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin, DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Fitting a countries revolution into a mere 99 minutes is not an easy task and so it should not come as a surprise that 1911’s narrative is not without its flaws. And while some of the information overflow is handled by introducing all the main players and important events via the use of text on the screen. There is just simply too much crammed into so short of a running time and along the way some characters that at first appear to be important become nothing more than background fodder. To this film’s credit though, once they establish who the protagonist of this film is a character named Sun Yat-Sen. The story starts to come together and flow more cohesively.
Issues with some of the secondary characters aside, the one area in which this film never falters is the way in which it depicts that violence and carnage that are the by productions of revolution. With this film’s most visually striking moments being those involving the death of revolutionary martyrs. Not to be overlooked is the film’s gruesome battle sequences, which serve up a unflinching depiction of the horrors that are a result of war. Unfortunately the more characters driven moments are not as visually arresting as the battle sequences and death of revolutionary martyrs.
Performance wise the cast do a good job in their respective roles, with the weaker performances being those who are portraying the none Chinese characters. This film’s strongest performance comes from Winston Chao (Eat Drink Man Woman) in the roles of this film’s protagonist Sun Yat-Sen. Of course one of this film’s big draws will be the fact that this is Jackie Chan’s 100th film (The Legend of the Drunken Master, Rush Hour)? And while some might be disappointed that he is not up to his usual antics and that he does not show off his marital arts prowess. Most fans of Jackie Chan will be surprised by how strong of a performance he gives is a character driven role that goes against the characters he is known for.
1911 comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors look vibrant, flesh tones look healthy, black and contrast levels are consistently strong and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with compression, grain structure looks natural and DNR is never an issue.
This release comes with four audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. All four mixes are in great shape as dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Of course the Mandarin mixes, especially the DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin are vastly superior to their English language counterparts. Range wise DTS-HD audio mixes both due a superb job with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow.
Extras for this release include two trailers, a English language trailer (55 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a Chinese language trailer with English subtitles (2 minutes 34 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), six deleted scenes and a ‘Behind the Scenes’ featurette (29 minutes 38 seconds – 4:3 full frame). This ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment is essentially onset footage and not much more, what little talking that occurs is primary background fodder. Also included with this release are trailer for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall 1911 gets a strong release from Well Go USA.
Note: Also included with this combo release is a DVD copy that has all the contents that are included on the BluRay counterpart.