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Release Date: December 12th, 2017 Movie Release Year: 2016

IMAX: Mysteries of China - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

A tribute to China’s rich past and vibrant present! 

Mysteries of China captures one of the great archaeological events of the modern age, telling the story of Ancient China, the First Emperor, and the literal foundation of the China we know today. Through the lens of this groundbreaking discovery, viewers explore an ancient time when a fierce warrior brought together a warring nation and how an accidental discovery changed everything we know about China’s past. 

The discovery of the Terracotta Warriors and the Tomb of the First Emperor offers a unique time capsule into the past, revealing many things about this great country, which tells a larger story about the growth of China into a true superpower. From modern China to ancient China and back again, Mysteries of China is a visual adventure, using beautiful aerial photography and cutting-edge time lapse techniques to reveal great majesty, tragedy, splendor, and growth in a nation that continues to excel quickly into the future.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Ultra HD/Blu-ray/Digital HD
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
Spanish: DTS-HS 5.1 MA
Release Date:
December 12th, 2017

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Mysteries of China is part of the IMAX movie series that was filmed specifically for IMAX and big screens. With a runtime of only 40 minutes, this documentary takes a beautiful look at how China became the big powerhouse country it is today. Narrated by former Star Trek captain, Avery Brooks, who sounds a lot like James Earl Jones here, the film gives us a glimpse at how ancient China turned into the modern, technological society it is today.

Mixed with documentary footage, re-enactments on a big scale, and vintage photos, Mysteries of China shows how several archeologists have uncovered a massive amount of artifacts dating back thousands of years that bridge great gaps between the old world and this new one. With the many old weapons and six foot clay statues that were found, the archeologists realized they discovered the old Terracotta Warriors and the actual Tomb of the First Emperor.

As Brooks narrates, we see re-enacted footage of wars in both animated and live-action form, as well as the ancient artists making the six foot statues -- each with a unique face in look and form. It's a magnificent looking documentary that shows how these ancient Chinese rulers provided the foundation of how China operates still to this day. It's quite a fascinating and quick watch. 


The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Mysteries of China comes with a 4K UHD Disc in HDR as well as a standard 50GB Blu-ray Disc from Shout! Factory and is Region A Locked. There is an insert for the digital download code as well. The discs are housed in a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.

Video Review


Mysteries of China appears on 4K UHD with an optional HDR encode that is simply fantastic in 2160p, along with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. When you have a brand new 4K UHD Television or Digital Projector and you want to show your friends and family just how excellent 4K and HDR can be, you're going to want to pop in Mysteries of China -- because it's the perfect 4K UHD advertisement in just how great detail and color can look nowadays. Yes, I'm saying this is high-end reference quality video that will blow you away, which isn't that surprising since this comes from IMAX.

Colors are incredibly bright and illuminate the entire screen and even room you're in at all times. There is even several examples of when the screen will show a very rustic looking image of all the sandy and worn-out six foot tall clay statues sitting in a pit, but then overlays the real colors of the uniforms and their skin, which is simply outstanding. You'll get a first-hand look to see just how bright and deep these colors can go. When the camera is set in modern day China with all of its neon lights, fireworks, and other colorful billboards, the screen shows every nuanced color to a tee. Nothing is washed out or muted. It's as if you are actually there and can reach out and touch these objects. Even the older re-enacted footage looks incredible here.

Details show up in the dirt pits and detailed clay statues. Even the ancient wardrobe shows delicate textures and every thread. The individual scraggly hairs in the long beards can be seen easily, too. There are some fireworks on screen as well, with each spark being showcased without any halo effect. Black levels are deep and inky, devoid of any crush and skin tones are very natural. There are no issues with this video presentation whatsoever. This release is reference quality for sure.  

Audio Review


This disc comes with a good Dolby Atmos mix that provides some great atmospherics throughout the short run-time. There are no big action sequences or big explosions here, but the track does a good job for a documentary. There are quick flashes of sound that come from the height speakers in the form of ambient noises, but other than that, it's a front-heavy audio mix. Sound effects are excellent during the wartime scenes, and the score is presented well, too. There is a bit of heft with bass that gives the audio track a lot of depth and the narration by Avery Brooks is deep and powerful -- free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and shrills. 

Special Features



Final Thoughts

Mysteries of China is a fascinating and informative documentary from IMAX that shows the old world China up close and personal through ancient findings and re-enactments and how it laid the foundation for the modern world. The film is only 40 minutes long and is fun to watch. The video presentation in HDR is out of this world and reference quality. This is the disc you'll want to show off to friends and family for sure. The Dolby Atmos track sounds good, but is no big-budget action movie audio track. There is one extra that is worth watching if you want to see how they filmed the re-enactments and how close they came to all of the artifacts. Highly Recommended!