There are some movies that can only be seen, felt and experienced on the big screen. Home theater and/or home video just will never do them justice like its projected film version. Tsui Hark throws bold colors, jolting sound design and an overall assault into every spec of The Blade’s celluloid to such an extent that any home video releases will ultimately fall way short of recreating it. Days of Heaven from Terrence Malick certainly comes to mind as a similar type of movie going experience with a projected film print. Criterion while certainly doing an admirable job with its release of Heaven, still fell way short of offering up the power it yielded when unspooled from a film projector on the big screen. I long to see this on the big screen again with only one viewing of its powerful film print under my belt.
In an age of home video overload it takes the best of cinema pumping out of film reel after reel in the dark of the movie theater to remind us how powerful a movie going experience can be. The Blade is one such movie that only truly lives and breaths as a film print. Home video concerns itself more with neat presentation and commercial availability whereas film prints when screened offer up and concerns itself solely with experience. Like any cinephile I’m greatful for home video to register a movie but I long for film print viewings that allow me to actually experience it.
The Blade is hands down one of the best martial arts movies ever made that most people sadly have yet to see. Tsui Hark, wherever you are out there… I can’t thank you enough for making such a true action classic.
Official artwork that was used in the original Japanese poster for the film.
::: IMDb Profile