Blu-Ray Spotlight: Eye for an Eye: The Blind Swordsman
Yang Bingjia directs this wandering swordsman feature, which happens to be his first directorial effort. There’s a comfort of simplicity in Eye for an Eye, and most of it rests on Tse Miu’s performance as the blind swordsman Cheng Yi. There’s a duality in how the film honors the classic swordsman saga films like Zatoichi and Sleepy Eyes of Death, but embraces a much more modern approach of its action sequences.
Eye for an Eye: The Blind Swordsman is presented in its original 2:39:1 scope aspect ratio from an MPEG AVC encoding. Many shots look luxuriously pitched in hue and its use of filters often accentuate the story’s mood, but some plainer shots can appear washed out and lose some definition. But the film is quite colorful distracting the eye after a time. Lifted darks can give way to slight banding on the outer edges but they don’t stay on screen long enough to truly detract, however ghosting during dark interior sequences are noticeable. But the film’s visual strengths come from its naturally lit close-up shots and tighter 2- or 3-shots as well as wider exterior shots in the wilderness, which there are quite a bit of to enjoy.
There are two language options to choose from on this disc, the original Mandarin and a dubbed English track. Both are in a 5.1 surround and stereo offering with optional English subtitles specific to the Mandarin track available.
The film’s sound provides a better sense of place in its exterior shots, that of the wilderness or a market, than its action sequences which tend to have a relatively flat sonic picture. But during these parts the score fills in the space more dynamically and lends the faster paced scenes a greater sense of excitement.
There are only the film’s trailer and other Well Go USA trailers accessible from the menu. Playing the trailer for Eye for an Eye will trigger the other trailers to play automatically afterwards.
Eye for an Eye is a relatively fun outing and Tse Miu’s portrayal makes it easy to get invested even though his character offers nothing different from the standard archetypical blind swordsman. The story offers some interest in what Cheng Yi could be up to in other potential installments even if his story is less interesting than those of the people he helps. This release looks at times stunning but at others a little haphazard, which could be the result of multiple different camera sources or perhaps lighting inconsistencies. But with the film never overstaying its welcome at a 74-minute runtime, its pacing works very much in its favor. Eye for an Eye is worth a look, and this release comes recommended.
Eye for an Eye: The Blind Swordsman debuts on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, November 28 from Well Go USA Entertainment.
Disclaimer: Well Go USA has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.