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THE WARRIOR'S WAY ($40) is a mixture of martial arts films and spaghetti westerns, which is told through modern synthetic filmmaking techniques. Sure, it’s simplistic and derivative of other genre films, but I still liked visual qualities that made THE WARRIOR'S WAY seem as though it were an action movie fable for adults. South Korean actor Jang Dong-gun stars in THE WARRIOR'S WAY as Yang, a nineteenth century warrior assassin, who has trained all his life to become the greatest swordsman in the world. Upon achieving his goal, Yang remains empty and devoid of emotion. Even eliminating nearly all the members of an enemy clan seems to bring no satisfaction. However, when Yang comes face-to-face with the last remaining member of said enemy clan- an infant girl, something inside Yang changes, forcing him away from his lifelong vocation.

Refusing to kill the girl and becoming the infant’s protector, Yang becomes an enemy to his own clan… and a hunted man. Fleeing with the infant girl to the American southwest, Yang hopes to put down the sword and leave his past behind him. Making his way to the same desolate western town that an old friend previously relocated, Yang finds himself inheriting the friend’s laundry business and forming relationships with the carnival folk that call the place home. Amongst the oddball assortment of locals are Lynne (Kate Bosworth) and Ron (Geoffrey Rush), both of whom have their own tragic pasts… and do what they need to do to cope in their present circumstances. Of course, like any clichéd lawless western town, a villain plagues the populace, with The Colonel (Danny Huston) and his men descending just as Yang gets himself settled. Unfortunately, having to pick up the sword again to defend his new friends from The Colonel, Yang attracts the unwanted attention of his former clan. The cast of THE WARRIOR'S WAY also includes Tony Cox, Lung Ti and Analin Rudd.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made THE WARRIOR'S WAY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Featuring a marvelous 1080p presentation, THE WARRIOR'S WAY is terrific example of synthetic filmmaking that has been beautifully realized in high definition via Blu-ray disc. Everything appears wonderfully sharp and very nicely defined. Additionally, the picture is quite dimensional, in addition to displaying a wonderful level of fine image detail and texturing. Some intentional softness works itself into certain sequences to help stylize the visuals. Hues tend to be very strongly saturated and very vibrant, plus the flesh tones are healthy and appealing. Blacks are inky and whites are completely stable. Contrast is excellent, as is the level of shadow detail. The elements from which THE WARRIOR'S WAY has been transferred are from defects. A modest amount grain/noise is present in the image and provides an organic quality to the presentation.

THE WARRIOR'S WAY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, THE WARRIOR'S WAY sports an aggressively mixed sound design that complements the film’s stylized action visuals. All the outlying channels are effectively implemented, with sound effects slicing their way throughout the sound field. Swords cut through the air, gunshots ring out from everywhere and the sounds of galloping hooves threaten to overrun one from their favorite easy chair. Sure, there are quieter moments, which are also done with a sense of finesse. Fidelity is quite marvelous, with both the music and the sound effects benefiting from the lossless encode. The bass channel is deep, weighty and provides plenty of impact. English dialogue is always crisp and easy to understand. A French 5.1 Dolby Digital channel track is also present. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Deleted Scenes and a short Behind the Scenes Montage are the extent to the standard extras. Disc two offers a Digital Copy of the film.

THE WARRIOR'S WAY is far from a perfect film, but as I stated above, I did like the visual qualities that made it seem as though it were an action movie fable for adults. The video and audio qualities of the Blu-ray were highly impressive. THE WARRIOR'S WAY is definitely worth a peek.


The Warrior's Way [Blu-ray] (2010)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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