Ever since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon received phenomenal success in the West, Chinese films have continued to receive Western releases, in the hopes of becoming the next Crouching Tiger or House of Flying Daggers. An Empress and the Warriors (known as Kong saan mei yan in China) is a 2008 film that has just been released on Blu-Ray. It tells a story of war and love, and while the film isn't quite up to the calibre of the aforementioned titles, it's still a decent movie that's short on depth, but large on action.
An Empress and the Warriors is set in China, in a time when different Kingdoms are battling for control of the country. Yen Feier's father is killed in a deadly battle and this makes her the monarch of his kingdom and of course, the defender of the kingdom. Yen isn't experienced and so she joins with Muyong Xuehu, in the hope that he will help defend her newly acquired kingdom. Unfortunately Yen's cousin has hired assassins to come and kill her.
Overall though An Empress and the Warriors is a good movie. Action fans will generally be pleased and while the storyline will sometimes get in the way of the action, a lot of attention has been paid to crafting a film that is visually stunning.
The transfer for An Empress and the Warriors can be a little hit and miss. The film has received a 1080p 2.35:1 AVC MPEG-4 transfer and most of the time it is clear and looks great, the film does really shine during the battle scenes.
However, at times there is some visible grain and there is edge enhancement in the film. Sometimes the film also looks a little squashed in, something unrecognisable on a smaller screen, but visibly obvious on a big screen.
The only other audio track on the disc is a Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0 track which, naturally, lacks the impact of the lossless track. Naturally the release includes English subtitles however not speaking Chinese we can't say if they're accurate in their translation, but they make sense.
There are no special features on this disc at all, which just makes this seem like a quick release to make a few bucks. Even the menu isn't interactive, the popup menu just lets you change the audio and select scenes, so no effort has been made at all to provide a highly polished Blu-Ray release.
Review By: Luke Van Leuveren