Kung Fu: Season 1
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He is a man of peace in a violent land. David Carradine stars as Kwai Chang Caine, schooled in the spirit-mind-body ways of the Shaolin priesthood by the blind, avuncular Master Po and the stern yet loving Master Kan. Caine speaks softly, but hits hard. He lives humbly, yet knows great contentment. He is the Old West's most unusual hero. But hero is not a word Caine would use. He would simply say, "I am a man." He has no gun, no horse… and no equal. Many miles stretch before him. And many lives will be touched by him. Don't miss all the excitement of Caine's adventures in this Emmy®-winning mystical series that became a global phenomenon and brought martial arts to the masses, popularizing the genre that's alive and kicking in today's hit films and video games.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
It appears that the master tape used to make the DVD was not taken from the original series, but from a shortened version that was edited to make room for additional commercials when the show was shown in recent years. The total run time for each episode is 50 minutes.
It is also not "complete" because the top and bottom of the screen have been cut to make it fit a widescreen format.
I purchased the DVD because, although I had recorded the series on VHS, I did not have all the episodes. Therefore, I am happier with the DVD than without it; but I can only give it three stars since this is not the "complete first season." It has been cropped and shortened.
I am all for widescreen presentations of widescreen movies, because I want to see the image as intended. However, in this case, they are doing the opposite, by changing the image to fit new 16X9 monitors, they have destroyed the original composition.
Do not sit still for this. Can you image I LOVE LUCY with the top and bottom of the picture cropped out? The converyor belt scene in the chocolate factory would be ruined....
Widescreen movies and recent widescreen TV shows should be widescreen on DVD, no question.
However, older non-widescreen movies and TV series should be presented as intended, not edited and cropped to placate owners of 16X9 sets who don't know any better. Besides, if those owners want to crop the images to fit their widescreens, they can do so with a button on their remotes.
Cropping a 32 year old TV series? Ridiculous.
I subtract TWO STARS for the cropping. I swear it did not even occur to me to look at the box for the ratio! Who on earth would crop a TV show? Listen, I always check the ratio on films, and I was in the vanguard of widescreen proponents, in the 80's when no one gave a damn about it. But the whole point is to RETAIN INFORMATION, to avoid destruction of the artist's creation. Somebody decided Kung Fu did not deserve that much respect. They were wrong.
So I have mixed feelings. I'm sorry I bought the tattered version, but I have watched a few episodes and they made me as happy as they did in 1972. Clean look, clean sound. If you love this series, buy it and enjoy it. But I am still hoping for an untattered version. If they produce that, I will buy it instantly, and give the widescreen version to an 11 year old.
A brief episode guide:
Pilot: Kung Fu: The Way of the Tiger, The Sign of the Dragon. Caine flees to the United States after killing the Emperor's nephew.
1. King of the Mountain: A bounty hunter looking for Caine endangers a woman rancher and a homeless boy. guest star (gs): John Saxon.
2. Dark Angel: Caine helps a blinded preacher learn to use his other senses. gs: Robert Carradine, John Carradine.
3. Blood Brother : Caine seeks justice for a murdered friend.
4. An Eye for An Eye: A rape victim wants Caine's help to get revenge. (This episode won Emmy's for best director and cinematographer.)
5. The Tide: A woman with an ulterior motive helps a seriously injured Caine.
6. The Soul Is the Warrior: Caine helps a sheriff facing death.
7. Nine Lives: A miner looks for a cat to replace the cat he accidentally killed. gs: Geraldine Brooks.
8. Sun and Cloud Shadow: Caine acts as intermediary between Chinese miners and a mine owner.
9. Chains: Caine escapes from prison shackled to another prisoner.
10. Alethea: A young girl testifies that she saw Caine murder a man. gs: Jodie Foster.
11. The Praying Mantis Kills: A young boy defends the jail against the men who killed his father.
12. Superstition: When Caine is forced to work in a mine, a landslide traps him inside.
13.Read more ›
Unquestionably, they choped the top and bottom (indiscriminately too), and NOTHING extra on the sides.
4 stars for the series: Despite the fact that the fighting looked like it was choreographed by 3rd graders. The wisdom, while clear, was subtle (unlike the 2nd series, where it was done to impress - look at me, I'm saying something you don't understand), the flashbacks were well intergrated, and the stories were just plain great.
2 stars for the DVD: OK, the color was much improved upon over the tape. Unfortuanately it goes downhill fast from there. Artifacts and scratches were not removed. And, after a frame by frame comparison (see above details), it was clearly choped. What's worse, is that there was no effort made to scan up or down when needed.
There are many times when they could have made the cut completely off the bottom, without affecting the scene at all. Yet instead, they decided to just cut off the same distance from top and bottom, and cut off a piece of someone's head!?
All that said, the series was good enough, and the price cheap enough, that I'll probably buy the next two seasons when they come out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great series. I have so many positive memories of this show. I was excited when I found it available after all these years and it made the perfect gift for my boys who... Read morePublished 26 days ago by P. J. Scott
I would have to give this a 5 star for the general quality of the movies EXCEPT the second disc had an area on front and back that would not progress, even after several attempts. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Sunshine
I had been so fortunate to have grown up in the 60s and 70s when this series was made. It was exciting to watch Kwai Chang Caine's adventures in the old west there was nothing else... Read morePublished 2 months ago by lawrence ramirez
Grew up watching this series. Everyone wanted to Kwai Chang. It references religious philosophy..the Tao. If you don't take offense to that, you'll enjoy the first seasonPublished 2 months ago by Scott Jones
As a kid, growing up,I loved this show! I went looking for it, & only found it here. The problem is, even with prime, as old as this damn show is, they still want like $3 dollars... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mikey
Well-written, thought provoking storylines...it doesn't rely on 'blow-'em up' or
the 'shoot-'em up' style storytelling that is rampant on many programs today.
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