FOREVER ENTHRALLED blu-ray review

China Region-free blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 2.35:1

Mandarin: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English, Mandarin

IMDB

MOVIE: 8

VIDEO QUALITY: 9.5

AUDIO QUALITY: 9.5

ENGLISH SUBTITLES: 8.5

EXTRAS: 2

 

Forever Enthralled is a biopic of the famous Chinese opera singer Mei Lanfang. This film follows a similar pattern to Milos Forman’s Amadeus – a lot of great Peking Opera scenes mixed with a strict jealous mentor who doesn’t let him live a life that he wants. Forever Enthralled is a very good film for a biopic – it’s long, but it covers pretty much his whole life – very epic. Kaige Chen is a great director and his film moves along at a very entertaining pace. The acting by everyone is excellent as well. The scenes with Leon Lai and Ziyi Zhang, as well as the scenes with the young Mei and old master, are really exciting – great chemistry from the whole cast.

The Chinese blu-ray is excellent. The video is clear, crisp, and colorful. Outdoor day scenes as well as indoor dark scenes are equally very good. The presentation really enhances the rich detailed fabrics of the costumes, make-up and scenery. Sharpness is very solid from the close-ups to the long-shots.

The DTS-HD 7.1 sounds great as it fills up the entire soundfield with excellent depth and clarity. Dialogue is also perfect and nicely balanced throughout. Surround use is used nicely. Discrete effects are common in just about every scene with audience chatter, applause, rain, street scenes. This audio is perfect for this type of epic biopic.

The only extras are a widescreen trailer (English subtitled) and a short featurette on the real Mei Lanfan (non-subtitled).

I was a bit worried that the English subtitles were going to be poor since this a mainland Chinese blu-ray, but fortunately the English subtitles were very good – better than a lot of the English subtitles on current HK blu-rays.

Forever Entralled is an entertaining, epic biopic with great Peking opera scenes – it feels like a long movie, but it’s never boring. Kaige Chen delivers another solid piece of filmmaking!

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