Dynasty (Kino Lorber) 3D/2D Blu-ray Review

Studio: Kino Lorber
Release Date: September 1977 (theatrical)
                           April 13th, 2021 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 34 minutes 2 seconds
Region Code: A
Picture: 1080p (2.35:1 aspect ratio)
                3-D Blu-ray Polarized 3-D
                Anaglyphic (red/cyan) 3-D
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (Original 4.0 Quadrophonic Mix)
               English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (Original Mono Optical Mix)
Subtitles: English
Slipcover: No
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Tao-Liang Tan, Ying Bai, Kang Chin, and David Wei Tang
Written by Kuo-Hsiung Liu
Directed by Mei-Chun Chang
Rating: R (martial arts violence)




What's It About?

In the last days of the Ming dynasty, a heroic martial artist battles the evil chief of the palace guard.

Film Review

I did not like DYNASTY. There is a lot to like here. The fight scenes are pretty good and the film is well shot, in terms of shot composition, but man is there a lot to hate too. First, the film is ugly as sin. There is almost no color to it and when color is introduced, it is flat and ugly. I know that I keep saying the word "ugly" but this film is just that. Watching the film in 3-D makes the film a little bit more bearable to watch, but the film is ugly to begin with and you can't fix that with a dimension switch. I did find the 3-D to be really well done with things flying at the screen often. I will say that anaglyphic 3-D is well done to the point that it is watchable, but only for so long. There is some doubling up on some of the images when viewing the film this way, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The polarized 3-D is the way to watch the film, but the anaglyphic 3-D is a nice substitute for those who don't have access to a 3-D tv. I can't recommend this film, though, as it isn't very good.


DYNASTY does not look good. At least in 2-D that is. The 2-D version of the film is flat and ugly with scratches and warps and whatever else you can think of being all of the place, but you get used to it. Being a kung fu movie fan, you know that these films aren't always kept in the best of conditions, so they aren't always going to look good. My expectations going in weren't that high and I have to say that they were met. The 3-D makes the film look better, but not everyone has access to a 3-D tv, so they are going to be stuck with the ugly 2-D version of the film. It's a shame, but this is how these things are with kung fu flicks. 

The film was presented in theaters with a 4-channel quadraphonic soundtrack and it is one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard for a kung fu movie. The sound is very robust filling every speaker with sound, creating a very immersive listening environment. I was blown away by this soundtrack. There is a 2.0 track that sounds pretty good, but it can't even hold a candle to the primary track.


We start out with a featurette about the 3-D process that was used to shoot DYNASTY and 5 other films in the 70s. We learn all about how the process came to be (Michael Findlay, whose wife directed BLOOD SISTERS, came up with the idea) and why it didn't last for very long. We also learn why DYNASTY doesn't look all that great which helped me assess the film a bit differently from how I usually look at a film. The last film to use the 3-D process was THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE in 1983. 

Next up we get a comic book in 3-D. This is a nice little addition and the 3-D works quite well here. Following this is an animated music for the song "Go Away I Like You Too Much" about a guy who is constantly trying to get away from a girl. It's cute. Next, we have a featurette about consumer 3-D photography on the 1950's with plenty of photos taken during the time. Finally, we have a featurette about the 3-D photography that was done for the Titche-Goettinger department store in the 1950s. All of these extras are available in 2-D and both 3-D formats. 

Special Features:
  •     Super-Touch 3-D Lens System (2-D Only) (10m 23s, HD, 1.78:1)
  •     The House of Terror 3-D Comic Book (1m 49s, HD)
  •     Go Away I Like You too Much (2m 41s, HD, 1.78:1)
  •     Sold on Stereo, Commerical 3D in the 1950s (8m HD, 1.78:1)
  •     Inside a Mid-century Department Store (4m 52s, HD, 1.78:1) 

DYNASTY comes to us in a single disc, non-eco friendly, blu-ray case featuring the film's original theatrical poster as its artwork. The disc art is the typical Kino Lorber artwork. There is also a single pair of red/cyan 3-D glasses. The menus are static and there is really only one with a few overlays for the different sub-menus. The one thing that I didn't like about the way the menus are set up is that they ask you which 3-D version you want to watch (polarized or red/cyan) without giving you the option for 2-D. At first, I thought there was no 2-D version of the film on the disc. It wasn't until I selected the polarized version that I was asked if I wanted to watch either the 2-D or 3-D version. This is poor menu design. I can see people turning this thing off because they don't think to select the 3-D option that they can't watch in order to access the 2-D version of the film.


While I don't like DYNASTY, I have to give credit to those who made this blu-ray possible as well as to those who keep 3-D alive. The work done here by the 3-D Archive is worth seeking out. The 3-D is really impressive and the special features are interesting. 

Anaglyph 3-D








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