Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
4K UHD
International DVDs
In Theaters
Reviews by Studio
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Savant
Horror DVDs
The M.O.D. Squad
Art House
HD Talk
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum

Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

Columns




Children of Huang Shi, The

Twilight Time // R // July 17, 2018 // Region 0
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Twilighttimemovies]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted October 30, 2018 | E-mail the Author



http-equiv="content-type">
The Children of Huang Shi Blu-ray Review


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
Children of Huang Shi
is a 2008 drama which is based upon a
real
historical context surrounding actual events which occurred following
the Japanese occupation within China during the 1930's. Set during a
time in which China was in a state of turmoil, the film explores an
important story about heroic acts. From executive producers Lillian
Birnbaum (Central Station) and Taylor Thomson, The Children
of
Huang Shi
explores a little told story about an effort
undertaken
to save orphan children during this time.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Set
in Nanjing, China in 1938, the story begins with British adventurer
and journalist George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) coming to China.
This journalist with a thirst for telling a story about the events
taking place in China ends up helping to care for and ultimately save
the lives of children orphaned by war alongside the help of nurse Lee
Pearson (Radha Mitchell).


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Hogg
also gets aid by a resistance fighter, Jack (also known as Chen)
(Chow Yun-Fat), who saves Hogg's life at one dramatic point during
the story and who also offers his guidance, advice, and support
throughout the events of the story. Another key character is Mrs.
Wang (Michelle Yeoh), a wealthy businesswoman whom Hogg ends up
negotiating with throughout the story to try and get vegetable seeds
for growing a garden with a harvest needed for the children.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">From
a production standpoint, The Children of Huang Shi
actually
does have some noteworthy elements. The music score by David
Hirschfelder (The Dressmaker, Elizabeth)
is quite
lovely and serene (although it seems sometimes uncharacteristic for
the serious subject matter). The music is beautiful and enjoyable and
hard to fault for some of the film's other flaws. The cinematography
by Xiaoding Zhao (House of Flying Daggers, The
Curse of the
Golden Flower
) is staggeringly beautiful and one should
expect no
less from a master of his craft like Zhao.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
screenplay for the film was written by Jane Hawksley (Whatever
Lola Wants
) and James MacManus. Unfortunately, the story
isn't
particularly well told. This film drags on with a quite mundane pace
and poor characterizations. The script has cringe-worthy dialogue and
heavy sentimentalism which doesn't feel genuine at any point during
the story. (For the record, I'm someone who actually love
sentimentalism in film when properly implemented. Here, it is not.)


color="#222222"> style="font-style: normal;"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Directed
by Roger Spottiswoode (
color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">48
Hrs.
color="#222222"> style="font-style: normal;"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">,
color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
6
color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">th color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">
Day
color="#222222"> style="font-style: normal;"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">),
color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
Children of Huang Shi
color="#222222"> style="font-style: normal;"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">
is a rather sappy, overlong, and under-cooked film which feels
altogether misshapen and badly formed from beginning to end. It's
sort of like experiencing a film that sounds appealing (like a
potential Oscars-worthy film) but getting a B-movie masquerading as
an A-movie instead.


size="3">The Blu-ray:




size="3">Video:


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
Children of Huang Shi
is presented on Blu-ray in the original
theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. The
Blu-ray release is presented with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded
presentation with a high bit-rate encode. The presentation quality on
this release is
uniformly excellent with impressive color reproduction, fine film
grain, and overall clarity. This is a well done Blu-ray presentation
with no problematic banding or compression artifacts.


Audio:


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
audio for The Children of Huang Shi is presented on
this
release with two lossless audio options: DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
Stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround. The dialogue clarity is
clear and crisp. The film's score music sounds impressive with clean,
clear reproduction.




size="3">Extras:


size="3">Included with the
release is a booklet featuring an essay written by Twilight Time's
Julie Kirgo.


size="3">The film includes
an isolated lossless score track.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
Challenge of Huang Shi
(SD, 12 min.) is a behind the scenes
featurette featuring interviews with the cast and crew including
director Roger Spottiswoode and cinematographer Xiaoding Zhao. The
piece focuses on the production of the film and the views of the cast
on the narrative and story.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; line-height: 100%; widows: 2;"
align="left">
color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Theatrical
Trailer


size="3">Final
Thoughts:


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; line-height: 150%; widows: 2;"
align="left">
The
Children of Huang Shi
is based on a true story. The story being told feels important to tell in it's exploration of the story of journalist George Hogg helping orphaned children during a turbulent
war time. Unfortunately, the film's execution behind-the-scenes leaves something to be desired with a lackluster script and ineffective direction.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 100%; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
Twilight
Time does deliver excellent picture-quality on the release. In that
regard, this is a quality presentation worthy of some merit.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 100%; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">
Rent
It.



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.


C O N T E N T

V I D E O

A U D I O

E X T R A S

R E P L A Y

A D V I C E
Rent It

E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Popular Reviews
1. Apache
2. Blade: The Iron Cross
3. I Start Counting
4. The Return of the Musketeers


Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links