DVD Rating: **

Reviewed by: James Benefield

Read James Benefield's film review of Warlords

The main DVD features are a 35-minute production journal, a featurette called Reflections On The Warlords, some deleted scenes, a featurette on the history behind the movie, and the UK theatrical trailer.

Most of the special features are in Mandarin with English subtitles. It’s a DVD clearly not made for the English-language market in many ways. Somewhat irritatingly, while the dialogue is subtitled, a lot of the text used on screen (telling you times, places, important facts) do not come with an English translation.

Copy picture

The featurettes are of differing quality. The production journal comprises mostly roughly shot on-set footage and occasional interviews (some on-set, some in a studio) with some of the film’s key players. Also it misses out on pre and post-production material, skipping straight to press conferences at the end of the featurette. Generally speaking, it’s of limited interest, mostly because it’s quite a shapeless half hour; it seems like an arbitrary selection of bits and bobs taken from the film’s four-month shoot. The Reflections on The Warlords featurette is more interesting, being more talking head based. Irritatingly though, it’s actually a compilation of several short featurettes, each lasting between one and two minutes, and it therefore feels extremely choppy.

The quality of the remaining features is also questionable. The deleted scenes are lumped into one 20-minute block, meaning you cannot scroll between them. They are visually stunning, however, if rather slow and occasionally talky (although there is a little action to be had) but are well worth a look. The history featurette is just three screens of text with music; informative text, but text nevertheless. And the trailer is…well, it’s a trailer.

It’s a lazy DVD, and one that also proves the distributors think that its audience in the UK will be fairly niche, due to the lack of original UK material.

Reviewed on: 15 Apr 2009
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Warlords packshot
Nineteenth century battle epic about blood brothers who find their bond is tested.
Amazon link

Region: 2

Ratio: 2:35:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: 117 Days: A Production Journal, Reflections On The Warlords, deleted scenes,

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