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SRP $28.96 1.78:1(16:9) Dolby Digital 5.1 SONY
 

As much as this reviewer has loved some of Director Wong Kar Wai's other films, "ASHES OF TIME",(1994) and "ASHES OF TIME: REDUX,"(a revised (slightly shorter version) are undoubtedly his most confusing and problematic films. While "REDUX" is more comprehensible than the original film, it's still extremely hard to follow and decipher. The film follows various assassins, while utilizing Ouyang Feng, one whom has exiled himself to the desert out of heartbreak, to bridge the various sub-plots, built around the others, visiting him there, to share stories and receive their assignments. While there are some action sequences, the story is built around the theme of love and the heartache it causes, more than anything else.  Those hoping for a visually arresting martial arts film will be disappointed, and even those hoping for a linear, comprehensible storyline. But, for those not afraid of some work in connecting some loose threads, "ASHES OF TIME: REDUX" is a worthwhile and rewarding venture.

SONY has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. Unfortunately, in spite of Wai's efforts at rebuilding the film into something more masterful than it was originally, the actual transfer is less impressive than one would hope for. The colors are never vibrant, and often tinged with an annoying yellow hue. It's hard to believe this was Wai's intent, as it's not visually pleasing, but whatever the case, it's distracting throughout. The transfer is also plagued with grain and noise.  "ASHES OF TIME: REDUX" is one of the most disappointing dvd transfers released so far in 2009.

SONY has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Surrounds are restrained, but ambient effects and music enhance a few of the more intriguing sequences. Dialogue is well balanced and intelligible throughout.

Extras include a lengthy Q&A with Wong Kar Wai, a featurette and trailers.