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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 (98 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 (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305604819
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,459 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Mask" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interactive Game
  • Music Video

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Description

Black Mask

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 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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13 of 15 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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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies with Jet Li! September 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD
The effects are really great. However, I don't like the rap-like music. Jet Li plays Tsui Chik (Michael in the American version), an ex-member of the 701 Squad, who has his nervous system removed through surgery, along with the other 701 members. Tsui had excaped from mainland China and moved to Hong Kong under another identity (this movie was filmed in 1996, at that time, Hong Kong still belonged to the UK). That's when he realizes that the 701 Squad has caused devastating crimes there. He realizes that he must do something to stop them, or the whole world is doomed.
My favorite scenery is the one near the end, when Tsui Chik battles the leader of the 701 Squad, the guy with the long hair and dark glasses. As stated earlier, both of their nervous systems were removed, so they fought without pain. Pretty awesome, huh?
If you haven't seen this movie, please see it (despite the fact that it's rated R).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good pre-Matrix action film August 26, 2004
Format:DVD
"Black Mask" is one of several Hong Kong action movies that immediately predates the Matrix trilogy, and influenced the trilogy on a superficial level. It stars Jet Li (who's done much better things) as a superpowered vigillante, and features lots of camera trickery and wirework. The characters tend to wear black trenchcoats, fight kung-fu in midair, and several important showdowns occur on rooftops in the rain (just like in "The Matrix")! I enjoyed this fun film a lot, due to its extremely fast pace and incredibly clever stunts. I would recommend, however, other Jet Li films such as "Once Upon A Time in China" and "Romeo Must Die" if you are new to Jet Li's movies.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This movie blows~ December 25, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I'm a great fan of Jet Li, and I've seen most of his movies since I love his action scenes and his acting: whether it's serious, hillarious, good, or evil. I own some of his movies, and I recently purchased this movie thinking it would be somewhat like "Batman." Well, my expectation was completely off, but in a negative way. Since I bought a Chinese version, which did not contain the "rap" other people were talking about, the sound effect was ok. It was the plot and action scenes that blew. Jet Li had few fighting scenes throughout the film and those were quite disappointing knowing his abilities from previous movies. The director, Tsui Hark, who also teamed up with Li in OUTIC series, "High Risk," and so on, was able to display great fighting scenes and good plot. This film, which was particularly aimed at American viewers, was a disappointing one. It's not worth buying, but it would not hurt to watch it to see if you want to see Jet Li getting beaten up :) If you want to see Jet Li's good movies, watch "Fong Sai Yuk I & II," "Fist of Legend," "My Father is a Hero," "Bodyguard from Beijing," and the movies mentioned above. Thank you for taking your time viewing my review^^
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 10 days 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 7 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 8 months ago by Rick
5.0 out of 5 stars Jet Li Soars
great action from Jet Li in this martial arts action flick. Not much of a plot, but that's not why I bought it
Published 8 months ago by Ronald Francis
1.0 out of 5 stars What is wrong with the world
Not worth my money. Number one fan of Jet Li but this one of the worst movie I ever seen. I'm not going to get those 90 minutes back.
Published 12 months ago by Pen Name
3.0 out of 5 stars another kick movie
Wasn't as thrilled with this movie as I would have but it is still a good movie for a friday night when you are bored.... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Lisa
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie
good movie. i love this movie actor Jet li. i have many his movie dvds i want buy more lol
Published 14 months ago by becky elledge
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