[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9135[/img]Title: Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale
Starring: Masanobu Ando, Jun'ichi Haruta, Sabu Kawahara, Lin Ching-Tai
Directed by: Te-Sheng Wei
Written by: Te-Sheng Wei
Studio: Well Go USA Entertainment
Runtime: 154 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: August 7, 2012
HTS Overall Score:80
During the 1930's the Japanese had control over the island of Taiwan. During their reign, the Japanese subjected the Taiwanese people to harsh living conditions and tried to force the Japanese way of life on them. This was especially hard for the Seediq tribal folk of the mountains as they were expected to give up their entire way of life in order to appease the Japanese. The Seediq are a savage people and they are known for their barbarous hunting rituals, but they were forced to become more civil to better accommodate the Japanese ways. As the Seediq clans were forced into submission though, one particular chief, Mona Rudao (Ching-Tai), decides he's had enough and begins to form a rebellion against the local Japanese officials. Growing up, Mona Rudao was known for his fiery spirit as well as his ruthlessness. In order for a man to prove themselves worthy, they must go through a head-hunting ritual where they ultimately bring back a head of one of their rivals. After their successful head-hunting experience they earn their tribal tattoo, which makes them Seediq Bale, or a true man.
The clan following behind Mona Rudao fully expected that their fearless leader would have been plotting something to rid themselves of the Japanese and sure enough he begins to let his plan roll forward. The various other clans of Seediq, though, were widely varied in their opinion on the Japanese. While most of them wanted their freedom, they also feared the Japanese and their modern-day weaponry. Still, most of the clans stood behind Mona Rudao as they began to move forward with their attack. The others who didn't support Mona Rudao, were forced to side with the Japanese and fight against fellow Seediq.
In order to break down the Japanese force, the Seediq needed to ransack all the police stations across their land simultaneously in order to achieve the element of surprise. As they victoriously do so, the military leadership of Japan begins to form their own retaliation against Mona Rudao and the Seediq clans. When the Japanese military begins to strike back, the Seediq begin to lose their families as they either get captured or commit suicide in order to prevent being captured. The numbers of the fighting Seediq begin to rapidly dwindle; however, the fighting spirit of the Seediq only grew more fierce as they continue to oppose the Japanese.
'Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale' really was an intriguing film to watch. The back story of the Taiwanese indigenous people is something I had never heard before. Being Taiwanese/Chinese it was interesting to see this film and especially interesting to hear a dialect that I've never heard before. Still, I can't help but feel that this film had so much more to it as some of the sequences were slightly disjointed from one another. This was only solidified when I remembered a colleague of mine stating that there was a 276 minute version of the film that is available outside of the mainstream market. I can't help but think that the much lengthier version would be the definitive version to watch, because while it was very entertaining film, there was certainly bits and pieces that I felt were missing.
'Warriors of the Rainbow' is not rated for the US, however it's pretty clear this would be an R rating for violence.
The lush mountains of Taiwan where this film takes place provide a very beautiful backdrop for the film. The vibrant greens and browns that are present in almost every single scene really stands out and looks wonderful. Flesh-tones look natural and overall saturation is quite good. The contrast for the film is satisfactory as it provides plenty of dynamic range to give the image some dimension. The black levels are particularly notable and never are crushed. Detail is present even during the darkest scenes. Overall resolution is quite good and textures of the clothing that the characters wear are easily discernible. Long cinematic shots panning across landscapes are also very detailed. While the film transfer has wonderful technical merits, the overall feeling still doesn't seem to reach the mark of perfection. Still, viewers of this film will be pleased and have little to complain about regarding the video transfer.
Nearly all aspects of the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track for 'Warriors of the Rainbow' are pretty impactful. From the get-go the film provides heft as the initial hunt takes place. Thuds and crunches come off very weighty, but never overly so. This is also true as the various action sequences arise in the film. Explosions and gunfire are littered throughout the film and each have their clearly distinct weight. While the low frequencies will not rattle the foundations they still provide the necessary punch needed. The environmental sounds of the mountain setting are very dominant through the film, as well. As rivers and bodies of water run, the sound of the constant flow seems very natural. The musical score for this film is notable because it is pretty unique and really drove the film's emotion for me. Dialog, while being a foreign dialect, comes off naturally and the actor's emotions come across very clearly.
• A Making of 'Warriors of the Rainbow' - Featurette
• Behind The Scenes - Featurette
• Make-up and Visual Effects - Featurette
I enjoyed this film pretty immensely. While it felt a little disjointed, the film was still very entertaining to watch. I thought that the story of the Taiwanese indigenous people was a unique story to tell and I certainly haven't seen much like it. It's not very often that we get to see the protagonistic side of a savage race be told, but it was pretty well done. The audio and video transfer for this film definitely do the film justice. All in all, I definitely would recommend to give this film a viewing.
Recommendation: Watch It!
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