|Index||9 reviews in total|
Okay , first i would like to say that i have waited for a long time to watch this movie , it was always checked out at my rental store so i finally decided i was gonna buy the DVD , it was totally worth it and i am glad i made the decision of buying it . What can i say? Its the same guy who brought us the action from The Matrix , Crouching tiger and hidden dragon , Kill Bill and more . Cant go wrong with that, it was an enjoyable movie packed with breathtaking action scenes with cutting edge special effects , although fighting scenes are well choreographed there was no need for any cgi , genuinely great. Thanks Master Yuen. Thanks
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw the full TV series in Chinese (that series doesn't have
subtitles nor is it dubbed) and despite the many slow sections loved
the whole thing, especially the fight and duelling scenes. This 128 min
film version has a lot of the personal drama cut out leaving the action
scenes, so scene changes can sometimes be a little mystifying. The full
story development is missing in this film version. If you understand
Chinese and you've enjoyed this and want more, find the full TV series.
-little spoiler alert from here-
The overall story is cutesy: a bit of a love story (cross-dressing, combat-ready Amy Fan), and, in a nutshell, is about a young guy (Wu Jing (Jacky Wu-English name)) determined to learn Taijiquan so spies on classes forbidden to village outsiders of which he is one. He's caught but is allowed to continue and becomes an incredible fighter yet retains humility, honour, and the virtues and ethics of true martial arts. No boorish egotistical attitude from him. This is the story of how Yang of Yang style TaiJiChuan started on his martial arts journey.
You have Baguaquan, Staff fighting and more; and especially the incredible "flexible steel rod wrapped in cotton wool" qualities of Taijiquan (Chen style here) displayed at their best. Truly superb action sequences in especially 1. the pagoda fight, 2. the duel vs an honourable but no-holds-barred Baquaquan fighter (Xu Xiang-Dong), and 3. the final one vs. Billy Chow.
Billy Chow is a great bad guy, and as for Yu Hai, it's wonderful to see him back in kick-butt action here as the head of the Chen village. Both Yu Hai and Wu Jing have worked together before in the Shaolin series and are very comfortable together here and bring a bit of comedic lightness to the production. The actors are real trained martial artists not actors trained in martial arts moves.
If you want to see possibly the best "internal" style martial arts on screen: 1. get this; 2. do a set of Taijiquan to put you in the mood; 3. now watch it and weep with joy at the effective, deadly, beautiful moves of Wu Jing, Yu Hai, Xu Xiang-Dong and the rest of the cast.
8 for the holes and missing plot from the cutting but 10 for the beautiful fights and the phenomenal Wu Jing.
(this is a rewrite of my own review i posted on HKFLIX)
It's confusing as Yuen Woo-Ping has been involved in three productions
called "Tai Chi Master". The first in 1984 (now known as "Drunken Tai
Chi") was a comedy that featured Tai Chi basketball. The more famous
Jet Li film was from 1993 and then there's this late 1990's TV series
that was edited into a 2 hour feature in 2003. I'm not sure what Yuen's
actual knowledge of Tai Chi is but this production is certainly the
closest to real Tai Chi Chuan of the three.
Essentially the story of how a young man, Yang, becomes a student of the closed door Chen family Tai Chi style and defeats Master Chen's enemy, a vicious warlord. This movie claims that Yang learned much of Chen Tai Chi by disguising himself as a haystack and spying on classes or by sparring with Chen's daughter who is disguised as a boy. This is the Yang who created the famous Yang Tai Chi style that's popular around the world but don't expect to see much of it here. It's probable that the historical element is on the fanciful side. However the movie offers frequent and well done fight scenes with a lot of actual Tai Chi techniques on display. The actors are excellent athletes and can actually do lengthy takes at full speed. Much like the old school movies from the Shaw studios. After the initial fight scenes which are not wonderfully filmed, the movie takes off and everything else is very well done.
Shot in standard PAL TV, the production is good and you get used to the TV look after a while. I have an aversion to many shot for TV kung fu dramas but this one is an exception. It's as good if not better than many shot on film kung fu movies. The biggest problem is the plot which is very choppy at times but I've seen feature films that are worse.
Enjoy, it's a real old school kung fu flick
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For any lover of Chinese kung fu films, you can"t go wrong with this film. When I tell you the fight scenes are good I mean GOOD!!! This was originally a "made for t.v." movie in Hong Kong and it has that look and feel to it. I saw one reviewer complain about the lighting but this extra bright t.v. look added to the films charm. Also the plot is pretty good considering this was a multi week broadcast spanning several hours long and has been edited down to two hours for U.S release. Don't miss this one. Good authentic Tai Chi at its best. The last fight scenes were our hero has to fight masters of many different styles was a total rush.
The DVD movie version of this is a little bit incoherent as one person mentioned, this is due to the fact that it actually was not originally a movie but a TV series in china. They did the best they could editing it down into a movie format. The fight scenes they left in the movie are very well done. The lighting as the one bad reviewer mentioned is weird but it's basically a Soap opera style lighting format made for TV series and not movie lighting. This is basically an imaginative version of the story of how Yang Lu Chang spied on The Chen Family village to learn their Tai Chi and was later accepted as the first non family member student of Chen Style Tai Chi then later modified it and refined certain techniques to make them his own and eventually created the Yang Style of Tai Chi and decided to teach it to many which is why it is now the most well known form of Tai Chi in the world. He was also known as Yang the Invincible supposedly taking on over 20,000 matches with zero losses. This particular movie / TV series depicts his development as he increases in ability and technique, which veers a little from the reality that he was already a very accomplished martial artist before learning tai chi and perhaps a bit older as well. But as with all films they take a few liberties. The techniques in this series and the fight philosophies and principles of tai chi are more authentic in this series than in any other I've seen so far and a few of the scenes are very entertaining as well making this an instant favorite Kung Fu movie for me. One particular concept of Tai Chi that they mentioned in the movie is a very important concept that will help any martial artist... "Light on Top... heavy on the bottom" which to me translates as be yielding but rooted... like a tree which sways in the wind if it's too rigid on the top or it's roots aren't deep enough into the ground it will be knocked over in the wind. The same goes for a martial artist if you are too unwilling to yield to an attack and would rather fight force with force you will eventually run into something too powerful for you to meet head on. It's real world concepts that they mention throughout the movie and watching stuff I have personally used before as well as a few things I never thought to use in sparring that really make this even more worthwhile for true martial artists.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Full Screen, shot-on-video format caught me by surprise, but I quickly got used to it. In fact, THE TAI CHI MASTER often holds up favorably when compared to bigger-budget Film fare. Because of the extended running time (over two hours), it's more engaging than most martial arts movies: we spend more time with the characters, and get to know and like them better as a result. The one complaint I have (as usual) is the cgi: it's so out of place in such an emotionally involving story that it detracts from it- one finds oneself almost laughing out loud at the lousy wirework and crummy cgi. Yang's ascension to the top of the pagoda (straight out of Bruce Lee's GAME OF DEATH) could've been handled more dramatically WITHOUT the intrusion of cgi wirework. The humor helps a lot (it's never out of context) and the performances all around are noteworthy.
For all fans of Fung Fu cinema, this is another gem. The action scenes are amazing and the Tai Chi techniques used for the fight choreography's are very impressive indeed. This is a must for you if you are a Chinese cinema collector like me. The only problem I see is the bad edition changing from one situation to another and also the fact that is too long, but on the other hand, you get so many fighting sequences that will give you enough Kung Fu for 2 months!. This is a good movie, shot on video format, something that makes me remember that wonderful TV series "The Magic Palm of Buddah" back in my child wood in Venezuela during the 80's. Buy it now, if you are a Fung Fu cinema fan, you won't be disappointed. Yuen Wo Ping co-directed, so, you already know what does that mean.
Well, this movie looks like low-budget and also quite old, so I had some trouble to resolve the puzzle with names (against 1993 movie with Jet Li aka "Twin Warriors") but Yuen Wu Ping is also there among directors and this movie is a must for anyone practicing Tai Chi or other martial arts. There's a light comic and lyrical storyline telling us about the founder of the famous Yang Tai Chi style Yang Lu Chan - how he got into Cheng family and took Tai Chi out of ancestral family protection to the wide world. What is real great in this movie is the amount and quality of fight scenes, it's 2 hours of superb martial arts work. I bet fight choreographers put in this film more job than anyone else in the movie. And the level of performers is also very high. Besides group scenes with general plans we have a number of one-on-one fights where much of moves are shown in slowed details. It's a very good inspiration for all practicing people. I watched it twice in two weeks since I have it at home and already 4 in two month, and it doesn't get me tired, only gives taste for more practice. Not to speak about the wonderful character of Yang Lu Chan, whom everybody calls "kid" and his ever-smiling eager or serene face shining with purity of heart, along with charismatic Cheng Chang Xing teacher and other bright characters like master Tan Han Ching (bagua master) and lots of others (kinda hard to remember all their names) should be able to make this movie enjoyable not only for fight scene reasons and bring good cheerful mood to everyone!
I love kung fu movies. Usually, the cheesier the better. And it is in
deed cheesy (a line in the movie actually says "I don't think your kung
fu is better than my kung fu"). This does not apply unfortunately to
this movie. The Tai Chi Master is simply unwatchable. Not the plot,
which is par for a Kung-Fu-Film, but the technical aspects are simply
The movie looks like it was filmed with a camcorder, and the lighting equipment appears as though it was bought at sears. If this was a student film from a 20 year old attending community college, I would give it an A. But its not a student film, its a professional production. Which is simply sad.
The movie appears to be a parody, but its not. Very sad indeed.
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