12 items from 2009
Before we get to this week's poll results, I think it's worth mentioning that there was some heated discussion over what exactly constitutes a "martial arts movie". The truth is, I have no idea... I was thinking of just about any action movie in which the majority of the combat uses some form of Asian fighting style. Clearly that's a pretty broad way to categorize it, but some people felt that a movie like Seven Samurai should not qualify, probably because it has a little more to it than simply fighting for the sake of fighting. Either way, Bruce Lee came out on top, although the number of votes seemed to correspond largely to how well-known a movie was (ie. the more obscure "classics" ended up getting the least number of votes). Do you agree that Enter The Dragon is the greatest martial arts flick of all time? What are »
To git into the swang of thinks I decided to git drunk to rearview this one, hiccup. Well, not really, but Jackie Chan finds that his arts are more martial when he has a drink or ten so order up another round. The folks at Buena Vista might.ve have one too many as well since they did the Drunken Masters no favors on Blu-ray. Wong Fei Hung (Jackie Chan) is a practitioner of Zui Quan (style of the Drunken Fist). Meaning that the more alcohol he drinks the more ferocious his kung fu, that is unless he drinks too much. His father Kei Ying (Ti Lung) is a respected doctor and doesn.t appreciate his son.s style of fighting. »
- Jeff Swindoll
DVD Playhouse—September 2009
The Human Condition (Criterion) Masaki Kobayashi’s epic (574 minutes) adaptation of Junpei Gomikawa’s six-volume novel was originally made and released as three separate films (1959-61), and is rightfully regarded as a landmark of Japanese cinema. Candide-like story of naïve, good-hearted Kaiji (Japanese superstar Tatsuya Nakadai) from labor camp supervisor, to Imperial Army solider, to Soviet Pow, and Kaiji’s struggle to maintain his humanity throughout. Unfolds with the mastery of a great novel, beautifully-shot, and a stunning example of cinematic mastery on the part of its makers. Four-disc set bonuses include: Interview with Kobayashi; Interview with Nakadai; Featurette; Trailer; Essay by critic Philip Kemp. Widescreen. Dolby 3.0 surround.
State Of Play (Universal) Russell Crowe stars as a veteran Washington D.C. political reporter investigating the murder of an aide to a rising congressional star (Ben Affleck), who also happens to be an old friend. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Jackie Chan made a lot of really fun kung fu films. However, Mr. Chan also made a lot of mediocre films in the process. The Legend of Drunken Master has a few standout moments of kung fu action, but overall it’s not amongst his best. However, for Jackie Chan created comedy alone, it’s easily one of his funniest. The final decision of purchasing The Legend of Drunken Master isn’t going to come down to the quality of the picture or sound, because they received no bump at all in the transfer. No, instead you’ll have to decide whether or not you value the comedy of the Chan man enough to make up for his lesser action scenes.
One of the basic conventions of kung fu (and especially film kung fu) is the numerous different forms. Crane. Tiger. Praying Mantis. The titles are endless and their styles distinctly unique. »
- Lex Walker
To the typical American mainstream movie fan, The Ultimate Force of Four Blu-ray box set may be a treasure trove of remastered “Kung Fu” flicks. Though not the best the genre has to offer, it does contain some of the biggest hits on these shores since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon first arrived and opened the eyes of an unsuspecting populace.
Included in the Blu-ray set is the 1994 Jackie Chan film The Legend of Drunken Master which was released in the States in 2000. Directed by Chia-Liang Liu, Chan defends the honor of the Chinese people by kicking, punching and leaping off buildings in order to stop the heinous transfer of Chinese treasures by the evil British. Though The Legend of Drunken Master, isn’t the best example of the genre nor Chan’s best, it’s a favorite for easy Sunday afternoon movie watching. Considering Chan’s energy and dynamic action »
- Erik Buckman
Chicago – Attention martial arts fans, Buena Vista Home Video recently released a wave of martial arts films on Blu-Ray under the title “The Ultimate Force of Four” box set, including one of Jet Li’s best films, the spectacular “Hero,” from director Zhang Yimou. “Hero” is easily the highlight of the quartet of recent HD releases but “Iron Monkey,” “The Legend of Drunken Master,” and “Zatoichi” will all satisfy fans in 1080p (as long as they’re not purists about audio tracks).
Three of the four titles are merely HD imports of special features and films already available on standard DVD. The exception is “Hero,” which includes an all-new featurette and a digital copy, but is actually one of the most divisive Blu-Rays of the year. Miramax/Buena Vista has made the baffling choice to include a higher caliber quality of audio for the dubbed tracks on “Hero,” “Iron Monkey, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
So, this week on top of seeing Jennifer's Body, Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which I already reviewed right here, I didn't exactly watch an overwhelming amount of movies at home. As a matter of fact, it boils down to the following three movies and one TV show. As always, remember you can keep tabs on my personal Netflix queue right here. Now, here's the recap of my week in movies... Iron Monkey (1993) Quick Thoughts: In my weekly DVD and Blu-ray column I mentioned I was going to try and take in all four of the martial arts films in Buena Vista's "The Ultimate Force Four" Blu-ray pack, but I only ended up watching all of Iron Monkey and then the first half of Jackie Chan's The Legend of Drunken Master before I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. However, I »
- Brad Brevet
For the film fanatic, there was an evolution. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Hong Kong cinema came to a prominence because of the great works of filmmakers like John Woo and actors like Jackie Chan. This was the second boom of the industry after Bruce Lee invigorated youths in the 70’s, but died all too young. And from that there was also a loyal following for the Shaw Brothers from some, and an interest in Chan - among others - but you had to live near a Chinatown or have a kick ass video store to find this stuff. Not everyone was so lucky. The crossover appeal was there, but mostly for film nerds willing to watch some shitty ass copies of great films. As time progressed Asain cinema of all stripes made a huge dent in nerd culture, with Japan and Korea following, as filmmakers like Takashi Miike, »
- Andre Dellamorte
Now available on Blu-ray for the first time from Buena Vista Home Entertainment are a quarter of kung fu films: The Legend of Drunken Master, Hero: Special Edition, Iron Monkey and The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi. One lucky reader will take home all four of these films on Blu-ray. Two runner ups will receive the new Hero: Special Edition on DVD. For a chance to win, send in the completed entry form below. If you want better odds, return any or every day the contest is active and enter again. Good luck! »
DVD Links: DVD News | Release Dates | New Dvds | Reviews | RSS Feed X-Men Origins: Wolverine I wish DVD and Blu-ray sales were more readily available, because it will be interesting to see what kind of business this title does. Fanboys seemed to hate this film across the board, so I can't help but wonder how many of them will buy it on the down low and hide it under their bed when their friends come over. I, for one, actually didn't think it was all that bad. It was, at the very least, entertaining. This isn't to say I think you should buy it, but it works as a one-time watch. The Ultimate Force of Four
Hero / Zatoichi / Iron Monkey / The Legend of Drunken Master Buena Vista Home Entertainment sent me these and I am going to be watching all four and bring you a review hopefully by the end of the week. »
- Brad Brevet
Miramax has finally decided to open their Asian films archive and announced to release Hero, Kitano’s Zatoichi, Iron Monkey und Jackie Chan’s moving alcoholic drama The Legend Of Drunken Master on Blu-ray Disc in the Us on September 15, 2009! All four films will also be available in a “The Ultimate Force of Four” box set on the same date.
Hopefully Miramax will have better source material (or technicans?) for Hero than Highlight/Constantin had so we can finally enjoy Zhang Yimou’s masterpiece in an appropriate quality. And please, don’t try to screw us with some crappy cut versions of Drunken Master and Iron Monkey, Miramax!
[via The HD Room, thanks to r3d-3agl3!]
Kung Fu is kicking its way onto Blu-ray in a big way September 15 with the release of Hero, Zatoichi, Iron Monkey and The Legend Of Drunken Master on Blu-ray Disc. Zatoichi, Iron Monkey and The Legend Of Drunken Master will be offered individually with a retail price of $39.99. Hero, also available in a new special edition DVD, will retail for $44.99 thanks to one new bonus feature, Close-up of a Fight Scene, a new transfer, a slip-case and a digital copy -- none of which the other three films boast. All four films will be offered bundled together in The Ultimate Force of Four box set priced at $109.99. Hero in this set will not include the digital copy, unlike the standalone version which will. The whole package will include a slipcover. Expect lossless audio and 1080p video across the board. Bonus features, aside from the new Hero featurette, will likely be »
12 items from 2009
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