Battle Of Wits

Battle Of Wits

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Battle Of Wits

Packaging DVD extras into one long Making Of featurette is only worth it if the producers take the trouble to put it together with sensitivity and skill. They have.

Avoiding the public relations technique of having actors gush and crew members gabble, this mini-doc does not shrink from talking straight, or showing scenes of devastation, even panic, when one of the sets burns down.

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Jacob Cheung admits that he’s not happy directing an action film (“I think it is too dangerous”). Lead actor Andy Lau hurt his leg during a shoot that might have closed everything down. Working with a cast and crew of 1000 in Inner Mongolia, Cheung found them difficult to coordinate. “I don’t speak Mandarin well.” As a result, he stayed close to his actors, “going through thick and thin with them,” including immersing himself in an icy tank during the water prison sequence.

Lau says the director never goes back and reshoots. “He’ll film a scene from beginning to end. He makes it feel very real, like a way of making a documentary. I think it is very special.”

Reviewed on: 08 Jan 2009
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Battle Of Wits packshot
The art of surviving a siege in ancient China.
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Product Code: MTD5429

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Making Of featurette; international trailer; UK trailer

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