Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 2nd, 2012
BluRay released: September 4th, 2012
Approximate running time: 138 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
White Vengeance was written and directed by Daniel Lee, who’s other notable films include, Black Mask and 14 Blades. Key collaborators on White Vengeance include cinematographer Tony Cheung (Legend of the Drunken Master, Mulan) and composer Henry Lai (The Stool Pigeon, The Lost Bladesman).
The plot for the film is loosely based on an actual event known as the ‘Banquet at Hong Gate’, in which two rival leaders of insurgent forces where pitted against each other in their quest for a prominent position in the immerging Han Dynasty. Besides this event which anchors that story at hand. It is what makes up the rest of the story that appears where an artistic license had been applied for cinematic reasons.
Without a doubt this film’s most enjoyable aspect is how it approaches the story at hand as though it were a chess game. With each of the main players trying to manipulate the outcome to benefit them. This approach to the narrative greatly aides the mounting tension that culminates in a jaw dropping climax.
From a production stand point there is not an area of this production that is lacking. The cinematography is rock solid and pacing is never a issue. Of course the battle sequences are all exceptional. especially this film’s final battle sequence. If any area was lacking that would be the sub plot involving a female character named Yu Ji, who serves as a love interest for Xiang Yu, he is one of two insurgent leaders at the heart of this film’s story.
Performance the entire cast are very good in their respective roles. With this film’s stand out performance coming from Leon Lai (An Empress and the Warriors) in the role of Liu Bang, this character is Xiang Yu’s rival. Another performance of note is Anthony Wong Chau-Sang (Ebola Syndrome, Taxi Hunter) in the role of Xiang Yu’s bind adviser and right hand man Fan Zeng.
Though some may be disappointed that this film is not 100% faithful to actual historical events. The majority of those who seek this film out with be more than satisfied by the end result. Because this film makes it clear very early on that it is more interested in entertaining its audience and not educating.
White Vengeance comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Details look clear throughout, colors look nicely saturated, black and contrast levels look very good and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin. There really is no comparison between these two audio mixes. With the DTS-HD 5.1 mix being the superior of the two by a long shot. Dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and this audio mix shines the most during action sequences. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow.
Extras for this release include a English language trailer for the film (1 minute 40 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a the International release trailer for the film (1 minute 6 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles), a lengthy ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment (54 minutes 27 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles) and interviews with cast & crew (36 minutes 3 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles). Topics discussed include what draws audiences to movies, each of the participants in these interviews discuss their role in the ‘Making of’ this film, the script and various other production related topics. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall White Vengeance gets a first rate release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.