Eye For Film >> Movies >> Duelist (2005) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Paul GriffithsRead Paul Griffiths's film review of Duelist
Those who found an instant and enduring appeal in Lee Myung-Se’s Duelist are now treated to a Collector’s Edition of the lyrical martial arts love story. Unlike some self-proclaimed über-editions, this release from Premier Asia delivers on its promises, providing a solidly comprehensive two-disc package that satisfyingly rounds out the film.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that the widescreen presentation renders the film immaculately with crisp line and colour definition. Most importantly, the darker tones and blacks are fathomless, providing impressive contrast to those flashing blades and slow-mo snowflakes. The modernist soundtrack is also wholesomely delivered.
As for the features, the Making Of has lots of on set footage, as is to be expected, often shown with fair chunks of the actual film that pad things out to running time of over 45 minutes. The highlight has to be the lengthy segment dissecting the creation of the iconic and instantly memorable duel along the half-shadow pathway.
The promotional gallery is a comprehensive run down of the films trailers and TV spots, with the maudlin Love Song music video, entirely edited from the film, to boot.
The Production Notes is not an old click and point text facility as its title might suggest, rather four separate featurettes - A Cut Above: Editing, Note Perfect: the Music, Sword Plan: Behind the Scenes with the Cast and Cutting Edge: Creating the Visuals. Together they provide rich texture to the Duelist’s filmmaking process.
The Conversation with director Lee Myung-Se doesn’t actually have much to say about the film itself, favouring at first an interesting presentation of the constructive relationship that collaborators, including film critics, can have with directors. It’s pretty back-slappy at times but leads onto other debates about the art form and Myung-Se comes across as both knowledgeable and more humble than his first comments would suggest. Overall, a different and engaging feature that’s not often found on most releases and which nicely rounds the package off.Reviewed on: 02 Jul 2007