This review of “The Warrior’s Way” and “Das Boot,” new on Blu-ray and DVD, originally appears on KTKA-49.
“The Warrior’s Way,” out now on DVD and Blu-ray, stars South Korean megastar Jang Dong-gun as an Asian assassin who ends up in the American West in the 19th century after taking mercy on the child of his sworn enemies. He tries to start a new life in this washed-up carnival town, and even though he’s got Kate Bosworth as a potential love interest, his violent past threatens to catch up with him.
Shot almost entirely on greenscreen with computerized backgrounds like “300,” “The Warrior’s Way” is basically a standard fish-out-of-water Western, all jazzed up with stylized violence and whiz-bang surround-sound effects. The main character never emotes, so he’s a blank slate that everybody else puts their emotions on, and watching the movie is a pretty passive experience. Some of the martial arts fighting-on-wires stuff is mildly interesting, but the story that recycles every cliche in the book–not so much.
An action movie of a different type, however, is also now on Blu-ray. The 2-Disc Collector’s Edition of “Das Boot” contains both the three-and-a-half hour Director’s cut and the original two-and-a-half hour Theatrical Cut so you can choose which version of this thrilling and claustrophobic war movie you want to experience.
The entire film takes place in a German submarine patrolling the Atlantic, yet somehow it manages some of the most tense and suspenseful scenes ever put to film.
Rather than showing the big picture of World War II, the story is about the U-boat and its crew. “Das Boot” actually makes you feel like you are in the sub’s cramped quarters and the 5.1 DTS soundtrack spotlights all the frightening sounds that the crew hears; one of the only ways they have to interpret their fate.
Some behind-the-scenes docs and a featurette on the battle of the Atlantic round out this excellent Blu-ray release.