4K UHD Review: Mysteries of China

China has always been a mysterious place for many reasons. This ancient civilization hasn’t wanted to be so open to the West. Even now, it’s still not a place that you can freely backpack around as an outsider. But we are curious about this land of emperors and dragons that gave us fireworks and spaghetti. Mysteries of China tackles three of the largest mysteries within the country that link back to its first emperor .

The first mystery is uncovered in 1974 by a group of farmers digging a well. When they went deep into their hole, they uncovered sculptures. Not just one or two but an army of Terracotta Warriors. There were over two thousand warriors and horses in a massive pit. There would be even more found in other locations. What was the point of these six feet tall statues? Was this the first toy soldier collection when it was made 2,000 years ago? The film shows how the archaeologists have been working to uncover everything buried in the sites. The 4K UHD video really gives both the scope of this huge project and the detail in the figures.
The second mystery is the Great Wall of China. The film shows a bit of it’s evolution as it connected dirt walls built by the kingdoms the First Emperor conquered. It was part of his way of unifying the country. The Ming Dynasty upgraded it to the wall with a more

The final mystery is the great mausoleum created by the first emperor. This still remains a major mystery since while they built a complex as larger than the pyramids, he had it covered in dirt so it became a mountain. Fearing that that so much would be lost if uncovered, the Chinese government isn’t just digging away. The film hints at what they’ve discovered so far. The Terracotta Warriors complex is nearby along with mass graves of those who built the place.

The Mysteries of China gives a fine history of the First Emperor. The huge scope of his life is perfect for a big screen. He didn’t do anything small as he created his empire. The Imax view lets you explore these majestic sights without fear of getting in trouble for being too close to the antiquities.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The 4K picture brings out the detail in the Warriors so you can see they weren’t just mass produced. Each one is different. This brings the museum experience home although you can’t see dinosaur bones after the film. The audio is Dolby Atmos that sounds fine in your surround sound system. There’s also French and Spanish dubs in Dolby Digital 5.1. The movie is subtitled in English.

Blu-ray contains all the stuff from the 4K UHD at a lower resolution. There’s also a digital version available.

Behind the Scenes (10:04) allows director Keith Melton explains the mysteries he had to overcome to get the ability to shoot the film in China. There’s footage to show how he was able to get so close to the Terracotta Warriors at the main exhibit hall. He talks about using footage from the ’80s movie The First Emperor.

Trailers (8:55) include plenty of other large format films that are probably playing your local museum including Flight of the Butterflies, Journey to Space, Rocky Mountain Express and Wonders of the Artic.

Shout! Factory presents Mysteries of China. Directed by: Keith Melton. Running time: 38 minutes. Rated: Unrated. 4K UHD Release: December 12, 2017

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