Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 8th, 2012
BluRay released: November 13th, 2012
Approximate running time: 131 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Painted Skin: The Resurrection was co-directed by Gordon Chan, who’s other notable films as a director include Royal Tramp, Royal Tramp II and Fist of Legend. The screenplay for Painted Skin: The Resurrection was adapted from a collection of Chinese stories titled ‘Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio’ (Liaozhai Zhiyi) that was written by Pu Songling.
First and foremost, Painted Skin: The Resurrection is a quintessential example of escapism cinema personified. The characters which populate this story could only be rooted in fantasy and the films picturesque cinematography also defies anything that could ever be associated with reality. Of course both of these things are positives and then some. Especially since in more recent years cinema has shifted more towards making films that are more rooted in reality. With that being said, it is refreshing to finally see a film that takes the viewer to unseen vistas and away from the world they are more familiar with.
Content wise, Painted Skin: The Resurrection is a satisfying mix of supernatural horror and melodrama. And while some more character development would have helped fleshed out the story more. What character back-story that does make it onscreen is just enough to get across who everyone is and what they motivations are.
Another area in which this film excels is its extraordinary cast which is anchored by the performance of Xun Zhou (Legend of the Black Scorpion) in the role of Xiao Wei, a thousand year demon that eats human hearts. Not to be overlooked is this films other female lead Wei Zhao (So Close, Mulan) in the role of Pei Rong, a disfigured general that vies for the heart of Wang Sheng. He is also the same man that Xiao Wei is seducing. Other notable performances include Kun Chen (Let the Bullets Fly) in the role General Wang Sheng and Donnie Yen (IP Man, Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen).
In a time when it seems like the majority of films immerging from China are historically based. Along comes a film like Painted Skin: The Resurrection that is at times reminiscent of Hong Kong cinema’s more adventurous era of making cinema.
Painted Skin: The Resurrection comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film are presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This film has a deliberate artificial look and this transfer does a superb job retaining this look. There are no problems with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin. Both audio mixes are in great shape. With the DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin offering up the more dynamic of the two audio mixes. Dialog comes through with crystal clear clarity, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. With the film’s action sequences taking center stage throughout this films audio mix. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 35 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles) and a ‘Making of’ featurette (23 minutes 47 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles). Topics discussed include casting, character motivations, set design, special effects / make-up, the score and other production related topics. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Painted Skin: The Resurrection gets a first rate release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.