Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 5 out of 5
The Storm Riders (Feng yun) DVD (1998)

Before "A Man Called Hero", another blend of CGI and martial arts burst out of Hong Kong in the shape of "The Storm Riders". Based on popular comic characters, this blend of "Final Fantasy" meets "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" has wowed audiences in the east, and is now set to do the same over here courtesy of a double-disc DVD release from MIA.

Each disc is reviewed in turn and although there are some minor faults, this should still please most Hong Kong action fans.

Disc A - Original Director's Cut.

Disc A contains the full version of the film as seen in Hong Kong. Presented in 2.35:1, this is sadly not an anamorphic transfer. That said, the quality is good with a generally sharp picture throughout, but rapid camera pans do lead to some shimmering which should not be there.

The 5.1 sound mix is an impressive beast that whips round the speakers with fighting effects and a subwoofer heavy music score. It is at times a little overbearing, but this is not a movie that does things by halves.

Special features include two documentaries, one on the making of the film and the other on the special effects. Both are good, with the latter offering a good look into the operations of Centro Films which created all the digital effects.

Region: 2
Ratio: 2.35:1 (non-anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5:1
Extra Features:Scene selection, making of featurette, special effects featurette, character profiles, cast and crew biographies and filmographies, production stills gallery, trailer gallery, animated menus, and subtitles.

Disc B - International Dubbed Version

Not only is this international version of the film 38 minutes shorter, but it is also presented in pan and scan fullscreen. Despite us purists banging on about the virtues of widescreen, there is a lot of sales evidence to suggest that the average punter does prefer fullscreen. What they get on this disc is a blow-up image with the obvious problems of poorer clarity and grain creeping in to spoil the special effects.

The 5.1 sound mix is every bit as impressive as disc A, except it's dubbed into English. It's a good effort too, and lacks the usual cheesiness that most dubs are burdened with.

Region: 2
Ratio: 1.33:1 (fullscreen)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5:1
Extra Features:Scene selection, international trailer, and animated menus.

End Credits

Director: Wai Keung Lau

Writer: Wai Keung Lau

Stars: Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Sonny Chiba, Kristy Yang, Qi Shu, Michael Tse

Genre: Fantasy, Action

Length: 130 minutes

Cinema: 1998

DVD: 22 October 2001

Country: Hong Kong