SHADOW 4k Ultra HD Review

With SHADOW, director Zhang Yimou (HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) once again pushes the boundaries of wuxia action to create a film like no other, masterfully painting a canvas of inky blacks and greys punctuated with bursts of color from the blood of the defeated. In a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander has a secret weapon: a “shadow”, a look-alike who can fool both his enemies and the King himself. Now he must use this weapon in an intricate plan that will lead his people to victory in a war that the King does not want.

SHADOW is a Chinese film directed by Yimou Zhang. He has directed some amazing films such as HERO and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS. In this, the action and images are as responsible for telling the story as the dialogue. There is action, a great cast, and gorgeous settings.

VIDEO QUALITY:

The video is a 2160p HEVC presentation that brings out the beauty in this film. The imagery is like moving art with the color being either blood or the actors’ skin tone. I hate to draw this comparison (and this is only to get my point across) but the color splashes remind me of THE SPIRIT. The details are sharp and show in the textures of every individual object. The clarity makes the video appear to have some depth that is seldom seen in movies lately. This is simply a beautiful transfer.  

AUDIO QUALITY:

The audio is a Dolby Atmos mix. The sound is intense with the movement from the fighting and action. The movement is also fluid and even. The environments and weather also utilize the speakers; especially the overhead. Effects and dialogue are prioritized well. 

SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING

-Making of:
About the Double
The Director
The Unknown Side of Zhang Yimou
Behind the Scenes
Heroes
Deng Chao
Zheng Kai

-International Trailer

-US Trailer

  Disc Details
2-Disc Set w/ 1 4k UHD and 1 Blu-ray

  Running Time
116 mins

  Edition Ratings
Unrated

  Region Coding
Region Free

  4k UHD
Video Resolution
2160p HEVC HEVC H.265
HDR: HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

  Audio Mixes
Mandarin Dolby Atmos
Mandarin Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1

  Subtitles
English SDH
Mandarin (Simplified)
Mandarin (Traditional)

  Blu-ray
Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio Mixes
Mandarin Dolby Atmos
Mandarin Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1

  Subtitles
English
Mandarin (Simplified)
Mandarin (Traditional)

THE BOTTOM LINE:

This movie surprised me with how amazing it is for the simple reason that I didn’t know about it. After seeing its credentials, I’m honestly not surprised. It is entertaining and the action is incredible. The release itself gets top marks with the perfect audio and video. The extras are decent. Overall, I’m impressed with Well Go USA’s debut in the 4k UHD format. I highly recommend this film.

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale Collectibles and vinyl collectibles to movies and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...