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Saving General Yang (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
700
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
91





Studio and Year: Well Go USA - 2013
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Genre: Action/Martial Arts

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): Mandarin/English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Starring: Xu Fan, Adam Cheng, Ekin /cheng, Yu Bo, Vic Chou, Raymond Lam, Wu Chun, Fu Xin Bo, Bryan Leung
Directed by: Ronny Yu
Music by: Kenji Kawai
Written by: Edmong Wong, Scarlett Liu, Ronny Yu
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 10, 2013







"Seven sons will leave only six will return"


Film Synopsis:

Northeast China, early Northern Song dynasty, AD 986. The Khitan army takes its revenge for a past massacre, abducting General Yang Ye (Adam Cheng) and leaving his wife and seven sons to rescue him - and fall into their deadly trap. Led by the first son (Ekin Cheng), the seven - two of whom have never seen combat - set out with a small band of fighters to face an army of thousands, brave the treacherous Wolf Mountain, face the nemesis of their shared history, and find the way back alive - all to bring their father home.

My Take:

Based on the ancient Chinese folklore of the seven brothers who fought against all odds to rescue their legendary warrior father, Saving General Yang is an epic tale about the renowned Song Dynasty’s military defense headed by the clan of Yang against a nomadic Northern nation. Head of the Yang clan is the charismatic old general, Yang Ye, who is also the father of seven sons. The seven young men, each a master of their own kung fu discipline, band together, led by the eldest son, to save their father from enemy forces.

Saving General Yang turned out to be a different film than I was expecting. While its foundation rests upon the action/martial arts genre the story has a familial center that speaks to the relationships between fathers/sons and the bonds of brotherhood. In this case we see seven sons from loving parents in a societal structure where honor, respect and loyalty are held in the highest regard. The threat of an invading army calls for action requiring the emperor to assign a commander to lead their military response. However forbidden love between clans plus the impulsive actions of his headstrong young son place General Yang the most seasoned warrior in the empire under the command of his arch rival. A position he must accept knowing full well that going into battle may very well leave him vulnerable not only to the vengeance seeking General of the invading masses but the blind retribution of his own commander.

This sets the stage for a daring rescue where seven sons ride out against insurmountable odds in order to keep a promise to their mother that they will find and return their father. The storyline leads with a fair setup of the characters and a bit of up front action and introduces elements of drama surrounding the Yang family dynamic. From there it jumps into a series of action set pieces commingled with the convergence of thematic context associated with consequences, fate, and sacrifice as seven sons struggle to keep their promise. Saving General Yang isn’t an original film but I liked the combination of its visceral action and story about the devotion of family. I found it interesting that the sons don’t have names but designations, beginning with eldest son, then second son through seventh son. This initially made them less distinctive but as the story unfolds their characteristics made them easily identifiable and aptly apropos within the narrative framework.

I found myself involved in the film and caring about the characters and wondering how it would all end. The ending is quite good and brings the film to a gratifying conclusion which left me feeling as though Saving General Yang was a worthwhile way to spend an hour and a half.


Parental Guide:

The film contains martial arts action/violence and thematic content.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Saving General Yang comes to Blu-ray from Well Go USA featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has average and constant bitrate 3.7 Mbps.

This high definition presentation has a filmic quality and an intentionally stylized visual design that utilizes a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the films subject matter/time period. The color range is limited to shades of steely blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson. Warm accents are used here and there to break up the film’s monochromatic essence. Fleshtones hold up well against the de-saturated chroma and don’t appear unnatural. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is spot on which empowers whites and grays without washing away detail. Whites are punchy and grays are multi-staged and deep. The use of CGI and green screens softens some elements during wide angle pans but I never found it to be distracting. I found the quality of the video to be high. It’s cleanly rendered with plenty of subtle refinement and delineation that enhance depth and reveal fine detail in objects, clothing, and physical features. Shadow delineation is excellent revealing plenty of detail in low level shots and darkened backgrounds. I didn’t detect any other obvious signs of video related anomalies or artifacts and thought that this presentation looked solid.

The high resolution DTS-HD MA audio delivers the soundtrack’s elements with aplomb. The higher fidelity inherent in this lossless sound mix is readily apparent. I utilized the Mandarin DTS-HD MA track during my evaluation rather than the dubbed English version. Dynamics range is extended which renders the film’s action based sequences with definitive impact and energy. Dialogue is presented with clear intonation, full bodied texture, and excellent room penetration. The sounds of physical contact, swirling objects and clashing swords are reproduced with sparkling clarity. Imaging is spot on as sounds are integrated smoothly via an active surround mix that utilizes the entire system. During the fight sequences the listening position becomes immersed in a mixture of spatial and localizable sound effects that place you within the heart of the action. Low frequency detail is clean, well articulated and authoritative as all points of contact seem to resonate with palpable bass impact. This isn’t a bombastic or overtly aggressive soundtrack but its blend of intricate detail and room filling dynamics make for an engaging home theater experience.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Making of Saving General Yang – 9 minutes

  • (HD) Cast/Director Interviews – 94 minutes

  • (HD) Trailer




Final Thoughts:

Based on the ancient Chinese folklore of the seven brothers who fought against all odds to rescue their legendary warrior father, Saving General Yang doesn’t break new conceptual ground however its blend of action and underscoring familial drama make for a relatively rewarding film that might just surprise you. It comes to Blu-ray from Well Go USA featuring sparkling high definition video and excellent DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound mated with a bland supplemental offering. Saving General Yang is well worth a look for genre fans and makes for a solid rental when you’re up for a little martial arts entertainment.



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 13
Sign me up
post #3 of 13
Saw this several months back. I think i enjoyed it more than i care to admit... rolleyes.gif
post #4 of 13
Thanks for the review. Just ordered it from Amazon. I am a big fan of this genre of film and own many Asian films of this nature.
post #5 of 13
Thanks Ralph! I really enjoy this genre and look forward to seeing this film.
post #6 of 13
I watched this movie the other night - totally enjoyed it!
post #7 of 13
I watched it today and might even have given it 4 stars. Really worth checking out guys!

Also, fun fact-- The Director, Ronny Yu directed Freddy Vs. Jason and Bride of Chucky.
post #8 of 13
I got this the other day but I'm scared to watch it. It's so hard to find a good martial arts movie these days. Man I loved IP Man and the Raid. For the last few months everything I've seen in this genre has been cheesy. How would you guys describe it overall?
post #9 of 13
Don't care much about storyline, but does it atleast have some good fight scenes that aren't so fake looking? smile.gif
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by seabgooglb View Post

Thanks for the review. Just ordered it from Amazon. I am a big fan of this genre of film and own many Asian films of this nature.
8Lw9Te

We watched this one Saturday night. The themes of family loyalty, honor, and respect all played out very well. The fight scenes were very well done, with what I thought was just the right blend of traditional fighting along with some not to overblown wire work. Definitely worth watching again.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmambakila View Post

Don't care much about storyline, but does it atleast have some good fight scenes that aren't so fake looking? smile.gif
Fight scenes were pretty decent. The different styles the sons used were an interesting touch.


Max
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by djbluemax1 View Post

Fight scenes were pretty decent. The different styles the sons used were an interesting touch.


Max

Cool, thanks! Im going to check it out this weekend. I was worried that it might be another really bad martial art movie like what ive been coming across. Man i miss all the great movies from before, hopefully therell be something awesome for 2014 smile.gif
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Greetings,

I am glad to hear others are enjoying this one as well... smile.gif


Regards,
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