White Haired Witch (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
May 10, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“White Haired Witch” is a film for those who want a romantic action film that will keep you occupied for under two hours. Not a great film, nor a bad one. But if you are a Fan Bingbing fan, then by all means, if you want to see her in an action role, then give this film a chance!recommended!
TITLE: White Haired Witch
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 104 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen), Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 5.1, Subtitles: English
COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment
RATED: NR (Not Rated)
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Directed by Zhang Zhilliang
Written by Yusheng Liang
Produced by Jianxin Huang
Fan Bingbing as Lian Nishang
Huang Xiaoming as Yihang Zhuo
Xinru Li as Coral
Zhao Wenzhuo as Jin Duyi
In the twilight of the Ming Dynasty, the Imperial court is plagued by corruption as tyrants rule over the land. With the Manchurians preying on a weakened empire, war is imminent. To save the victims from their suffering, sorceress Jade Raksha fights the soldiers that oppress people for their own gain. As payback, local government officials decide to pin the murder of Governor Zhuo Zhonglian on Jade, turning her and the members of her cult into wanted fugitives for a crime they didn’t commit.
From director Zhang Zhilliang comes his 3D action film “White Haired Witch (a.k.a. “The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom”). The wuxia-fantasy film is based on Lian Yusheng’s novel, “Baifa Monu Zhuan” and would earn over $64 million worldwide.
The film would star Fan Bingbing (“Iron Man 3”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “Bodyguards and Assassins”, “Battle of the Warriors”) and Huang Xiaming (“Ip Man 2”, “American Dreams in China”).
It was a film that actor Huang Xiaming would be injured after a wire accident sent him falling many feet below, which broke his foot and would eventually would need surgery to fix the problem, but despite being in pain, Xiaming still shot the film while in a wheelchair and on one foot. So, the film that was shot in 2012 would eventually end in 2013 and released in theaters in Asia in 2014.
The film is set in the Ming Dynasty, with corruption rampant through the Imperial Court, the empire is weak and the Manchurian soldiers are preying on the innocents.
To save those victimized by the Manchurians, a sorceress named Jade Raksha (portrayed by Fan Bingbing) fights the soldiers along with her people.
But the problem is that Governor Zhuo Zongjian was murdered and local government officials decide to pin the murder on Jade Raksha (Lian Nishang) and her tribe.
Meanwhile, Yihang Zhuo falls for her and the two become a couple. As the two are deeply in love, when he finds out that the Governor Zhuo Zongjian was murdered and Jade is accused for the murder, he leaves her to find the truth on who was responsible for the murder.
“White Haired Witch” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality is fantastic as skin tones look natural and closeups featured great detail, including the exquisite costume design. CG elements look OK but for the most part, the film looks very good in HD.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“White Haired Witch” is presented in Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For a film that utilizes plenty of action, ” White Haired Witch” features a strong lossless soundtrack with great use of the surround channels and LFE. Dialogue is crystal clear.
Subtitles are in English.
“White Haired Witch” comes with the following special features:
- Supplements – (20:04) Featuring the making of the film plus interviews and more.
- Trailers – (1:39) Theatrical trailer for “White Haired Witch”.
“White Haired Witch” is a film that I am a bit split on.
There is a big part of me that loves the film simply for watching lead actress Fan Bingbing in an action film but then I have the otherside of me who knows that “White Haired Witch” is not a great film, but simply a dramatic film about neverending love and the loyalty of one’s troops to fight for their leader.
In this case, Fan Bingbing plays the character of Jade Rackshasha, fighting for the people along with her crew.
She and another man named Zhuo Yihang fall in love but because she is accused of killing the Yudang Chief General, she becomes the wanted and her lover becomes the accuser and in the process, the beautiful woman’s hair turns white and she becomes spiteful, when she finds out that Zhuo finds another woman.
Granted, the plot about miscommunication and corruption among leadership is often banal in Asian films and the sudden shift of lovers to enemies to lovers is like watching a Chinese drama, but in this case a two hour film.
The action sequences look good, it’s just that the plot is not all that great.
For me, if you take away Fan Bingbing and the film becomes more or less a basic, banal film that is worth watching for its romantic/action moments, thus more or less a popcorn action film with dramatic elements.
While “White Haired Witch” looks very good on Blu-ray and dialogue is crystal clear, special features are short but considering that many companies don’t include special features in their Asian Blu-ray releases, the fact that this film does have special features is positive.
But overall, “White Haired Witch” is a film for those who want a romantic action film that will keep you occupied for under two hours. Not a great film, nor a bad one. But if you are a Fan Bingbing fan, then by all means, if you want to see her in an action role, then give this film a chance!
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