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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, AWESOME special features, dual languages, and enhanced picture quality. If only all kung fu DVDs were like this
Alexander Fu Sheng plays Fong Sai Yuk and Chen Kuan Tai plays Hung Si Kuan in this Shaw Brothers classic. This is one of Chang Cheh's Shaolin Temple movies that he made in Taiwan (funded by the Shaw Brothers). I would say that this is somewhat of a minor Shaw production. When I say minor, I mean for 1974. By this time Shaw Brothers were very well known for having...
Published on April 17, 2008 by morgoth

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3.0 out of 5 stars Review
I forgot how old this film is. The action sequences seem very slow. However, I just bought it so I would have a couple of videos with Fu Sheng starring.
Published 5 months ago by Wesley K. Yamamoto


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, AWESOME special features, dual languages, and enhanced picture quality. If only all kung fu DVDs were like this, April 17, 2008
This review is from: Heroes Two (DVD)
Alexander Fu Sheng plays Fong Sai Yuk and Chen Kuan Tai plays Hung Si Kuan in this Shaw Brothers classic. This is one of Chang Cheh's Shaolin Temple movies that he made in Taiwan (funded by the Shaw Brothers). I would say that this is somewhat of a minor Shaw production. When I say minor, I mean for 1974. By this time Shaw Brothers were very well known for having beautiful sets and stunning outdoor cinematography. Those elements are here, but the story is pretty simple. I can't complain though about the story being simple, because a lot of Shaw movies are too complicated.

The directing job by Chang Cheh is great and in the final battle he uses a cool technique filtering the picture red when someone dies. It's a very nice visual treat. The main villain Zhu Mu is slow and old, but it's hard to notice with all the other great kung fu going on. This was made in 1974, so the fighting isn't blazingly fast, but Chen Kuan Tai is a beast and there is some really good stuff going on in the long extended takes. It's a huge step up from basher movies that were being made at the same time. And I have to mention the theme song in this movie. It's so cool!

Since this is a 1974 Shaw Brothers movie, expect to see a ton of young actors that were just breaking into the film industry. Wong Ching (bucktooth guy in Shanghai 13), Hsu Hsia (does a wicked crane form in Hell'z Windstaff and was The Stick King in Drunken Master), Lee Hoi San, Lau Kar Wing, Tino Wong (snake fist fighter in Hitman in the Hand of Buddha), and Fung Hak-on in a somewhat forgettable role. It also stars Bruce Tong, Feng Yi (the fat Japanese guy with the sword in Bruce Lee's Chinese Connection), and I swear I spotted Kent Cheng, the fat guy who starred with Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China and Bodyguard From Bejing. At exactly the 60:33 minute mark he can be seen.

Movie rating- 3.5/5

When I heard that Media Blasters (Tokyo Shock) was releasing this, I didn't really care. I've seen it a few times, and I had no desire to watch it again. But then I heard that Mike Leeder did a brand new interview with Chen Kuan Tai, and then I heard that Media Blasters was going to put in the Hung Fist Style intro as a special feature. And then the clincher, a commentary from kung fu movie expert Linn Haynes, the most knowledgable kung fu fan I have ever met. He doesn't just know oldschool, Shaw Brothers or moderns. He knows it all. This is the best commentary I have ever heard (no exaggeration), and I can't stand knowing that we will never be able to hear another commentary from Linn. He passed away right after he did the commentary. I have to admit I have tears in my eyes right now and this is not something I am going to be able to get over anytime soon. Not only was Linn the most knowledgable kung fu fan on this planet, he was the kindest person I have ever met on the internet (which is saying quite a lot if you take a look at the list of my awesome Amazon friends). RIP Linn. I miss you so much it hurts. You will never be forgotten.

Sound and picture quality are perfect and the interview with Chen Kuan Tai is great. I got everything I wanted with this DVD release, and more.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first movie in Chang Cheh's "Shaolin cycle", now SWEATIER than ever at 1080p!, August 12, 2010
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This review is from: Heroes Two [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
After some delay, Tokyo Shock (a division of Media Blasters) has finally released the Blu-ray version of the movie that began TS's reissues of classic Hong Kong films from Shaw Brothers; it's their second Shaw BD (Deadly Duo Blu-Ray [Blu-ray], their fourth Shaw DVD, was the first to get the treatment, most likely as a "warm up" to working on this one, which is a smart move), and, with a few reservations, it's their BEST one, yet!

Originally titled "Fang Shih-yu and Hung Hsi-kwan" (before somebody realized those names ALONE wouldn't bring in moviegoers, with inserts of the new title cut right into the original trailer), "Heroes Two" (1974) was the first of Director Chang Cheh's "Shaolin cycle" of movies where authentic martial arts of yore (primarily Hung Fist) would be displayed on-screen. After Cheh and co-scriptwriter Ni Kuang, the two constants in this string of seven movies were stars Fu Sheng (not yet billed with "Alexander" in front) and Chi Kuan-chi (he's a background player in "HT", but he would soon get his share of the spotlight); here, Fu Sheng (as Fang) is paired up with Chen Kuan-tai (Return of 5 Deadly Venoms, as Hung) in a tale of two fugitives (from the now burned-down Shaolin Temple) who are pursued by a faction of Manchus, led by General Che (Chu Mu, The Delightful Forest (Shaw Brothers) (Blu-ray)).

Fang and Hung have not met, so it doesn't take much for the Manchus to convince the headstrong, righteous Fang that Hung is a thief and murderer on the run; Fang unwittingly helps them to capture Hung. Eventually, through the intervention of a band of fellow Shaolin escapees (Wu Chi-ching plays the leader), he sees his mistake; in a matter of time (with much help), he frees Hung from General Che. From there, it all leads up to the big, inevitable showdown; it's the Shaolin rebels versus Che and his men (including some "ringers") to finish out the film in grand style!

NO SPOILERS for latecomers!

The main selling points of the BD version of "HT" are the "Three Styles of Hung Fist" featurette and the film itself, both of which are now TRULY HD. Is this BD an improvement over the Heroes Two DVD (as seen through an up-convert DVD player)? Very much so! The only real lapses in picture here are due to the camera equipment the Shaw cameramen had to use back then (a given with ALL Shaw movies); once you get past this fact, it's evident how AMAZING this looks! As the title of this review suggests, the HD picture conveys more strongly how HOT it must have been (indoors and outdoors) when this was filmed in Taiwan; the sweat really shows! Fans of Fu Sheng will be impressed at how even subtle FACIAL GESTURES pop out more noticeably via the BD experience. This may be as GREAT as "HT" will ever look; trust Brother Fang on this!

The audio options (including the commentary by the late Linn Haynes, who, happily, gets a credit on the packaging) are the same as what's on the DVD. The English subtitles are of a smaller size (still yellow, but of a different font) and do not block the screen as much the ones for the DVD; the content of the subs is unchanged from the DVD, too. The majority of special features from the DVD have been brought over to the BD, but now, even more has been added. The original "Hung Fist" short now can be heard in Mandarin or English; even the Celestial reworking of "Hung Fist" is included with language options, too. The "HT" opening title sequence is newly presented in a version without text and --BEST OF ALL-- the ORIGINAL Chinese version, with Cheh's film company logo included (Chi Kuan-chi's the guy pulling back the bow)!

Now comes the warning: the [un-remastered] English trailer and the original Chinese opening are NOT anamorphic. (One will have to adjust the screen format on their LCD TV more than once in order to view that trailer in a non-distorted form.) That Celestial provided the first version of the opening to TS in a non-anamorphic form (as was the case with the source for the DVD of The Master) is a shame, as I think there are SEVERAL fans of this film who would LOVE to have had the ORIGINAL Chinese opening combined with the remastered film as a playback option.

In conclusion, do not let the non-anamorphic elements of this BD steer you away from this upgraded version of a brutal, but fun, movie! The first of Cheh's "Shaolin" films is flawed in many aspects, but they are part of its charm; for the first outing, cut the man some slack. The fine cast is helped along by the great fight choreography of Lau Kar Leung (who knows Hung fist inside and out) and Tong Gaai that is full of energy and vigor which is riveting to watch, especially at the end (only Chu Mu's fighting comes off as stiff as a board). It doesn't require deep thinking to enjoy "HT", which is its greatest asset, and there's a little more to get out of your viewing experience if you buy the BD version. It's an essential buy for fans of Fu Sheng, Chen Kuan-tai, Chang Cheh and "old school" martial arts movies. A strong motivation for somebody to invest in a Blu-ray Disc player if ever there was one!

All the best, Brother Fang.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It takes Two to temper Tiger Style!, October 17, 2011
By 
Mantis (Michigan USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heroes Two (DVD)
A classic Shaw Bros. film by director Chang Cheh ("5 Deadly Venoms") gets a nice, legitimate release by Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock! All the themes of Shaw films of this era are present but take a backseat to the action as this flick has TONS of fights! Depending on your point of view this may be a film with a little too much fighting! I'm aware of the inherent blasphemy of such a statement but if there are too many characters I sometimes get overwhelmed. Luckily this one was easy enough to follow.

After the burning of the Shaolin Temple by the Manchus, folk hero Hung Hsi Kuan (Chen Kuan Tai, "Dragon Tiger Gate") roams the countryside, kicking the crap out of any and all Manchus he comes into contact with, en route to meeting up with his surviving Shaolin brethren. Folk hero Fang Shih Yu (Alexander Fu Sheng, "8 Diagram Pole Fighter") works his way to the same place, until some Manchus posing as townies dupe him into going after some guy named Hung, who just kicked the crap out of all their dudes! When Fang Shih Yu realizes he helped capture his best ally he is stricken with remorse and must come up with a plan to free Hung Hsi Kuan from the evil Manchu clutches and expert kung fu of General Che Kang (Chu Mu, "The Invincible Iron Palm").

The action is directed by Lau Kar Leung ("One Armed Boxer") and is mostly a Basher flick with some of Lau's genuine Hung Gar to spice it up. The fights are fairly fast and very good for 1974. It would still be a few years before Master Lau would strike out on his own as a director for Shaws and really develop his choreography for authentic Shaolin animal styles. It's fitting for this film to utilize a little Tiger and Crane as the Hung Gar style is rumored to have taken its name from Hung Hsi Kuan.

In addition to Celestial's beautiful remastering of the picture this DVD contains a handful of special features, including a featurette called "Three Styles of the Hung Fist", featuring our two stars with Chi Kuan Chun ("Disciples of Shaolin") and a newer interview with Chen Kuan Tai where he actually talks about THIS movie. The big bonus comes in the form of the extremely informative audio commentary by the late old-school master of knowledge, Linn Haynes. It was Media Blasters intent to have him do the commentary for many of their Shaw releases after this but, sadly, he passed before more could be completed. This is the only one. Even if you end up not liking this particular film but are a fan of the genre, Linn's commentary may be worth the purchase. On the other hand, if you like violent, bloody, old-school fight-fests then this is easily recommended enough!

1974. aka: Bloody Fists; Kung Fu Invaders; Blood Brothers
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3.0 out of 5 stars Review, June 28, 2014
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This review is from: Heroes Two [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I forgot how old this film is. The action sequences seem very slow. However, I just bought it so I would have a couple of videos with Fu Sheng starring.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Looks like it was done in the '90s!, March 26, 2013
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This review is from: Heroes Two [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Not over three decades ago! It looks amazing and I'm still impressed at the film print. The commentary delves heavily into the history of the film and is quite enjoyable too.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movies of the decade a list by A.P, January 12, 2011
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This review is from: Heroes Two (DVD)
One of the most popular movie series of all time comes to dvd.A true landmark asian cinma at its best. The best of best on mine and most critics list. If you like this movie check out these legendary 4 star movies. The one armed swordsman,kingboxer,my young auntie,the 5 deadly venoms,fist of legends and the cult series starring sonny chiba the street fight and its sister series the sister street fight.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shaw Brothers are the best, September 20, 2007
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This review is from: Heroes Two (DVD)
Big fan of Chen Kuan Ti and Fu Sheng it was good to seen them in movie together what makes the Shaws such great film makers is their consistancy.
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Heroes Two
Heroes Two by Chang Cheh (DVD - 2008)
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