Brotherhood of Blades (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
February 8, 2015 by Dennis Amith
For those who love martial arts action films, will want to check out “Brotherhood of Blades”. It’s an exciting, thrilling and action-packed film that I recommend!
TITLE: Brotherhood of Blades
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 130 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen), Mandarin and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English
COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment
RATED: NR (Not Rated)
Release Date: February 10, 20155
Directed by Yang Lu
Written by Yang Lu, Chen Shu
Cinematography by Han Qiming
Edited by Yiran Tu, Li Yun Zhu
Art Direction by Ji-ah Kim
Music by Nathan Wang, Zongxian Wang
Cheng Chang as Shen Lian
Shih-Chieh Chin as Wei Zhongxian
Zhu Dan as Wei Ting
Dong-xue Li as Jin Yichuan
Shishi Liu as Zhou Miaotong
Yuan Nie as Zhao Jingzhong
Qianyuan Wang as Lu Jianxing
Qing Ye as Zhang Yan
Lixin Zhao as Han Kuang
Yiwei Zhou as Ding Xiu
Dan Zhu as Wei Teing
Lu, Shen Lian, and Yichuan. Three sworn brothers, and deadly Jinyiwei Secret Police of the Imperial Guard. The new Emperor s first mission – find and annihilate the corrupt fugitive Eunuch Wei and his followers. But one mistake reveals the truth – the three men are pawns in a deadly game, unleashing a CHAIN of secrets, conspiracies, and lethal consequences.
During the 1620’s, Wei Zhongxian (portrayed by Shih-Chieh Chin), Head Eunuch and Head of the Imperial Assassins, had ruled the Imperial court for eight years. And during that time, seven out of ten court officials were Wei’s followers, and together they were known as “The Eunuch Clique”.
But when Emperor Chongzhen came to power, Wei Zhongxian was relieved of all duties and was sent to a far outpost. The Emperor wanted every member of the Eunuch Clique arrested.
Lu Jianxing (portrayed by Qianyuan Wang), Shen Lian (portrayed by Chen Chang) and Jin Yichuan (portrayed by Dong-xue Li) are sworn brothers and members of the Secret Police of the Imperial Guard who are trying to capture the Eunuch Clique. The three are very close with each other, but each have their own secrets.
The eldest Lu Jianxing awaits to be promoted, so he could be like his father, but it has not happened. He tries to bribe the corrupted Sir Xu with silver and even giving him all the credit for the work that he and the others have done, but yet hasn’t receive a promotion, but Sir Xu wants more silver from him.
Shen Lian is usually the main person leading the raids. He is trying his best to free a woman named Zhou Miaotong (portrayed by Shishi Liu) from the brothel of the Academy but needs to make more money in order to have her freed. So, Shen tends to raid areas and tells them to give him some sort of payment in order to ensure they are never hassled again.
The youngest, Jin Yichuan is actually a former thief who has assumed another man’s name. And he is being blackmailed by Xiu (portrayed by Yiwei Zhou) who threatens to reveal the truth unless he pays up. And despite Yichuan being a wonderful fighter, Xiu is much better than he is.
When Zhao Jingzhong (portrayed by Yuan Nie) who works directly with the emperor arrives, he comes to give the three men a chance to catch Wei Zhongxian, but will the men become successful?
“Brotherhood of Blades” is presented in 1080p High Definition. Picture quality is fantastic as skin tones look natural and closeups featured great detail. The film offers a cooler look throughout the film but the detail is amazing. The costume design is really well-done and this film really showcases the beauty of the costumes. And if anything, while the film looks fantastic in HD. I didn’t notice any artifacts or banding issues during my viewing of the film.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Brotherhood of Blades” is presented in Mandarin and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For a film that utilizes plenty of action, “Brotherhood of Blades” features a strong lossless soundtrack with great use of the surround channels and LFE. The scene where the three are locked inside the courtyard and are ambushed is one of the more impressive moments in the film that really takes advantage of your surround channels and subwoofer. You can hear the arrows flying towards their target, swords clanging and for the most part, one of the better action scenes during the film.
Subtitles are in English.
“Brotherhood of Blades” comes with a theatrical trailer.
“Brotherhood of Blades” comes with a slipcover.
“Brotherhood of Blades” is a martial arts film that may appear to be banal, but thanks to its various plot twists, the film ends up being much better than expected.
The film revolves around three men who want to do the right thing, problem is, even though they are part of the Imperial Secret Army, they only receive 20 taels and don’t make that much.
And money is important as Shen Lian relies on it to save and pay for the freedom of a courtesan, Lu Jianxing should be promoted for his success but because he works for a corrupted official, the only way he will be promoted is if he continues to bribe Sir Xu with more silver. And for Jin Yichuan, he is assuming a fake identity and bribing his friend/rival Ding Xiu in hopes that his secret stays a secret.
The three are desperate for money but they know they must keep working and now their job is to capture the former head of the Imperial Assassins, Wei Zhongxian.
But what happens when Wei Zhongxian offers Shen Lian an enormous of amount of money if he lets him go free. Money he knows that he and his brothers need. No matter which decision Shen must make, either he takes the money and can be killed for working with the enemy. Or be killed by ensuring the death of Wei Zongxian, which will eventually lead to his brothers being hunted down?
As one can expect from a martial arts film, you get excellent fight choreography. Although, the blood is CG, it doesn’t dampen the excitement of “Brotherhood of Blades”. The film is full of action sequences that are very cool to watch and it’s a thrilling film from beginning to end.
On Blu-ray, picture quality is fantastic as the film offers great detail. Lossless audio is also a major plus for this martial arts action film. If there was one low point about this Blu-ray release, it’s the fact that there is not one special feature other than the included theatrical trailer.
Overall, for those who love martial arts action films, will want to check out “Brotherhood of Blades”. It’s an exciting, thrilling and action-packed film that I recommend!
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