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Black Mask (1999)

Jet Li , Ching Wan Lau , Daniel Lee  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jet Li, Ching Wan Lau, Karen Mok, Françoise Yip, Kong Lung
  • Directors: Daniel Lee
  • Writers: Hark Tsui, Ann Hui, Chi-Ming Pang, Joe Ma, Koan Hui
  • Producers: Hark Tsui
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305604819
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,114 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Mask" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Black Mask

Amazon.com

Take the art direction and set design from The Crow and Batman. Add a male-bonding element reminiscent of The Killer or Hard-Boiled. Stir in a plot line about some top-secret near-invincible bionic-man superwarriors taking over the drug trade in Hong Kong, with only one man who can stop them. Season with a high body count, lots of explosions and running gun battles, and spectacular hand-to-hand fight sequences. Top off with a soupçon of cheesy comic relief and a generous helping of atrocious dubbing. Bake for too long, then remove from oven and allow to cool until thoroughly stale. The result: Black Mask. Sure, it's a preposterous recipe (bet you didn't know that LED readouts will show up on an X-ray), but it's stylishly prepared and presented, with high-octane editing, wild camera angles, and a neo-Goth feel all around. Of course it's all about the remarkable Jet Li, the fight scenes, and the postindustrial art direction. Those who come expecting a high-concept, intelligent thriller will be left with indigestion, but Hong Kong action fans who live and die for insane stunts and head-spinning martial arts scenes will have their appetites sated by this dish. It's very interesting to see the influence that John Woo's hand continues to have on American and HK action thrillers, years after his seminal films with Chow Yun-fat. It'll be even more interesting to see how films like Black Mask hold up in the future. Just don't take it too seriously and this movie works just fine. Oh, and the title? It comes from when Jet Li switches from his mild-mannered librarian persona to butt-kicking superhero, complete with mask and hat à la The Green Hornet's Cato. --Jerry Renshaw

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rent it first! - before buying September 3, 2008
Format:Blu-ray
This is a review for the blu-ray version of this Black Mask movie. I was really looking forward to this movie coming out on blu-ray and was very disappointed in it when I finally got the chance to watch it. I loved this movie when it came out on dvd with its "campy" storyline and martial arts action. This blu-ray version is barely an improvement over the dvd. I watched this on a PS3 system and hdtv with an Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver and a decent set of surround sound speakers so I was able to take advantage of the 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack available on the disc. The video was very "grainy" looking and barely looked "cleaned up" at all. I put in my standard dvd version of this movie and could hardly see any difference at all between the two. The sound wasn't much of an improvement either. The background music sounded pretty flat throughout the movie and the only improvements were in the explosions and some of the higher action sequences. Whoever did the blu-ray transfer of this film really "dropped the ball" on this one. As far as the movie itself, if you have never seen it, you are in for a treat and a fun ride with this one. For those of you who have seen the movie and were looking for a high-quality upgrade, I would recommend renting it first to see how you like it before shelling out the bucks to purchase a copy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Sometimes I wonder why American studios even try to make action-packed martial arts thrillers; they just cannot compete with the great films churned out by Hong Kong studios. Black Mask is an underappreciated, high octane, exhilarating motion picture. How could it not be, as it combines the untouchable martial arts skills of Jet Li, the directorial genius the great Tsui Hark, the fight choreography of the renowned Yuen Woo Ping, the comparatively high Hong Kong budget of ten million dollars, and virtually nonstop action? Granted, the film was given an audio makeover on its way to America, but the dubbing is very well done and the hip-hop soundtrack keeps your blood pumping even when no one is fighting. This is not to say I would have preferred to see the film in its original format, with subtitles, but Black Mask delivers more bang for the buck than anything coming out of American studios. Originally released in 1996 as Hak Hap, this movie made the jump to America three years later, just after Jet Li had made his American debut in Lethal Weapon IV. The film does have a comic-book superhero feel to it, thanks largely to the Kato-like black mask the hero wears, but the storyline is actually quite impressive and easy to follow (although the master plan of the baddies seems a little out-there) . Some reviewers don't seem to care for Black Mask, but I thought it was terrific.
Jet Li plays Michael, a former member of an elite, genetically enhanced fighting group known as the 701 Squad; after helping his fellow soldiers escape, he wants nothing more to do with killing. Now adopting the name Simon, he is a mild-mannered librarian perfectly content with his new life. Then the killings start.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fights! October 9, 1999
By Panio
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is incomparable. I saw it three times in theaters and each time converted a new, previously sceptical friend. Jet is as endearing as ever, but more importantly, the fight scenes cannot be matched. They had to write Jet's character's superhuman background into the story simply to justify how fast he moves. You won't be disappointed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hong Kong Superhero movie done good March 9, 2006
Format:DVD
I can’t remember ever seeing a superhero Hong Kong action movie. You would think it would be something obvious to do considering the dynamic action styling of Hong Kong action films. Sounds like a good idea? Well The Black Mask delivers on that idea. Combine insane stunt work and martial arts choreography along with a masked crime fighter and you get a superhero movie with action that will put Hollywood to shame.

As with many superhero movies the plot isn’t what you call complex or involved. It is just a simple super-villain-with-a-master-plan kind of affair here. The interesting thing about Black Mask is what they do in between the fight scenes and evil plots. You get a good look at the relationships between our hero and his friends and co-workers. Things like a fledgling romance and conflicts of interest with friends actually work here. After a bit of character development the plot thickens and the bullets start to fly. This isn’t high art on the script side, but then again if you shouldn’t be expecting that in the first place. Hong Kong action films aren’t known for gripping stories, just high-flying action. At least here you get a solid story, solid back story, with all the action goodness.

Okay lets get to the nitty gritty. The Black Mask is a martial arts film at its core, and I gotta tell you the martial arts rock. The choreography done in the fight scenes are not only tight but they are fast and furious. Jet Li definitely shows his stuff on this one along with a few other martial artists. It puts just about every fight scene from Hollywood to shame. This movie obviously pays homage to Bruce Lee’s Kato character from the Green Hornet television shows.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fine item, fine service, fine seller! Highly recommended.
Published 6 days ago by Guilan
5.0 out of 5 stars Vegengance has a new Mask
International sensation martial artist Jet Lee does it again with Black Mask. I would recommended this movie to anyone who like martial arts or has a collection as I do. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Yonet Vargas
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good movie Jet Li is Jet Li
Published 21 days ago by GORDON R CARTER
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome movie, I love the selection of low priced Jet Li films here on amazon.
Published 1 month ago by Gene
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie - Awesome Choreography
A lot of the moves here later made it onto The Matrix movie. It was choreographed by the same awesome kung fu choreographer - Yuen Wo Ping. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Julius C. Willis III
5.0 out of 5 stars Jet Li
I always enjoy his action packed movies from this one to the One, Romeo must Die and all of his movies over the last few years. great actor
Published 5 months ago by Roosevelt
4.0 out of 5 stars Kicking it up
Jet Li is one of my favorite martial artists. It's been awhile since I've seen the movie, but it's a good movie and has some good action scenes in it.
Published 6 months ago by Chevy
3.0 out of 5 stars Stick to the DVD
Not jet Li's best but still fun. I bought this for nostalgic reasons since I use to really love this film when I was younger.. that said, I really expected more from a BluRay. Read more
Published 6 months ago by J Gillespie
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Mask
An old classic but goodie especially if you are a fan of Jet Li. It's got romance, action, Kung Fu, gangsters, and just about everything else you can throw into one movie lasting... Read more
Published 10 months ago by B. Beechner
4.0 out of 5 stars an update to a decent film but it is not complete
I bought this to add to my collection of Martial Arts films. the movie is decent. I am happy with the purchase. one thing of note though. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rick
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