25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best Martial Arts Film ever made
I know some of you will disagree and say that Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon", or Jet Li's "Fist of Legend" was the best ever made but I would have to disagree. While Bruce Lee was the best Martial Artist ever, his movies were average in regards to their fight choreography.No one could ever touch him in his films. The fight choreography in...
Published on May 20, 2000 by Louis K. Stevens
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray: Not the best PQ, missing Chinese audio, not the original cut - A definite upgrade from the original US DVD
In 1978, Jackie Chan's "Drunken Master" (or Jui Kuen) was an exciting film that is considered a classic and help popularize the drunken boxing style of martial arts which has been copied on various video games and other films. Over 16 years later, Chan returned for "Drunken Master II" (Jui Kuen II) which was not a direct sequel but followed the character with the same...
Published on September 15, 2009 by Dennis A. Amith (kndy)
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray: Not the best PQ, missing Chinese audio, not the original cut - A definite upgrade from the original US DVD,
In 1978, Jackie Chan's "Drunken Master" (or Jui Kuen) was an exciting film that is considered a classic and help popularize the drunken boxing style of martial arts which has been copied on various video games and other films. Over 16 years later, Chan returned for "Drunken Master II" (Jui Kuen II) which was not a direct sequel but followed the character with the same name, Wong Fei Hung.
For those not familiar with the name Wong Fei-hung (or Hong), the real man lived from 1847 through 1924 and was a master of the no-shadow kick, drunken boxing, the lion dance and Hung fist. The character has been explored in a number of films which include the Jet Li "Once Upon a Time in China" films and for Jackie Chan in the "Drunken Master" films
The film revolves around a man named Wong Fei Hung who travels with his father (a doctor) and a student named Tsao via train after obtaining more medicine to bring back home. But because they must pay duty fees for the items they bring with them, Wong would rather not pay for them (despite his father telling him to) and hides his items through one of the non-Chinese travelers luggage, hoping to retrieve it later on the train (the non-Chinese and the rich Chinese are separated in a luxury style train cabin away from the Chinese travelers who happen to be packed in like sardines.
But as Wong Fei Hung goes to retrieve the item, he discovers another man trying to take the item out of the luggage. We then see that the item the man takes, looks exactly like the item that Wong had. A fight ensues and the older man who is a Chinese loyalist named General Fu (Liu Chia-liang) manages to easily dodge and defend all of Wong's attacks and even calls Wong a traitor (which he has no idea why he is being called that).
Eventually, after the chaos ensues, Wong is able to retrieve the item but it appears that the old man accidentally took Wong's item (a ginseng root) and Wong took the item that the old man was trying to get, which appears to be an old Chinese ancient artifact and now the foreign traveler who own the luggage along with Chinese military are searching the whole train for it. Fortunately, a Counter Intelligence Officer (played by Andy Lau) manages to save Wong from being caught.
We learn that the artifact is part of Chinese traditional artifacts being taken by the British Consul and Chinese gangsters out of the country and now they are after Wong and want the artifact back.
Meanwhile, back at home, we get to see how Wong's stepmother (played by Anita Mui) tends to bail her stepsons from trouble but when those looking for the artifact steal from his mother's friend and even hit his mother in the face, Wong must used the forbidden fight of Drunken Boxing and also drinking alcohol which helps boost his attacks. But when he break his promise to his father, he learns a lesson by being beaten by his father and thrown out to the street when intoxicated, the Chinese gangsters beat him up to send a message that the want the artifact.
Will Wong be able to protect his family, his friends and even his land from the enemies without breaking his father's ultimatum of never to fight or get drunk again?
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"The Legend of the Drunken Master" is one of those releases that one will either love or really hate. First, let's discuss the picture quality. Picture quality is probably the best that this film has ever been seen. The High Definition 1080p (2:35:1) definitely brings out the film with much clarity but by no means is it perfect. You will see occasional dirt and scratches and there are some scenes where either there was change in camera lens but sometimes the film is not consistent at times. With that being said, fans of the film will definitely enjoy learning of how good the picture quality is and because the first version of this film that I owned was a VHS and then an uncut HK VCD, it's great to see the film with so much detail. But for those expecting the best from Blu-ray, you may not exactly be pleased but it is an upgrade from the original DVD release.
As for the audio quality, this is where things begin to look murky and it all depends on the viewer. Audio is provided in English 5.1 DTS-HD (48kHZ/24-bit) and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. For the most part, lossless audio definitely shows major improvement during the action sequences and utilizes the surround channels. Meanwhile, the English voice dubbing can be understood but Jackie Chan's English voice over is sometimes hard to understand. But the biggest surprise is that there is no Cantonese/Mandarin audio track. So, for those who prefer to watch Asian films in their natural language will be upset to know that it was not included.
Second, it's important to let people know that this is the edited version of the film done back in 2000. The music was changed, the special effects were changed and the original ending had a significant scene cut out.
With that being said, for those who don't mind the English dub, were familiar with the 2000 DVD release and don't mind that the film was edited for the US, will definitely find the picture and audio quality to be much, much better than the original DVD release. The picture quality is shows quite a bit of detail and despite the film being made in 1994, there is no sign of excessive DNR (digital noise reduction), the film looks way better than it ever has. The audio is also much better than the previous DVD and there is a good use of the surround channels. But if you want the original Chinese audio, unfortunately, you will not find it on this release.
Subtitles are presented in English SDH, French and Spanish.
"The Legend of Drunken Master" comes with the following special feature:
* Behind the Master: An Interview with Jackie Chan - (6:35) Jackie Chan talks about how he always wanted the film to come out in the US and talks about the stunt choreography of the film.
"The Legend of Drunken Master" is absolutely vintage Jackie Chan at his very best. Jackie Chan is literally amazing to watch as the Smooth, fluid choreography is just outstanding and absolutely wonderful to watch in High Definition. But those battle sequences are just amazing to watch and the fight scenes, especially earlier in the film with Chinese loyalist General Fu (Liu Chia-liang) was just incredible.
Also, impressive was to see the latest Anita Mui (who was the equivalent to music artist Madonna in Hong Kong) and both she and Jackie Chan had awesome chemistry onscreen, even in this film despite Chan being much older than Anita, but everything seems to work quite well. As for Andy Lau's appearance, it was quite a short role. And for Shaw Brothers fans, you can catch the veteran Ti Lung playing Wong Kei-ying.
Again, I want to make it clear that this film has its best looking transfer to date on Blu-ray. Picture quality is very good but not great. But what it all comes down to is the viewer and what they want are expecting from this film.
For those wanting the 2000 English dubbed dialogue, you're going to get an awesome lossless track on Blu-ray as the film's lossless audio is utilizing the front, center and surround channels quite well during the action scenes.
But for those who have been waiting for the uncut release, let alone a release that would include the Cantonese or Mandarin audio, you're not going to get it on this Blu-ray release. And this is a major blow for those who have been hoping that with a Blu-ray release, they would be getting the version they have waited so long for. Even watching the final scene, a viewer is left wondering why it ends quite suddenly with no appearance from Jackie Chan but the truth is that Dimension cut that scene out (the original ending with Jackie Chan is a bit shocking but I'm not going to spoil it for you) because it was deemed in appropriate.
So, needless to say...it's going to be a love or hate release among fans. As a fan of the film, one can either wait and hope that an import uncut release of the film makes it to Blu-ray. Or perhaps maybe purchasing this latest release with the better picture quality, better lossless audio but for the most part only in English, French and Spanish (no Chinese audio dialogue) along with the revisions made back in 2000.
Personally, I want an uncut version with its original Chinese language (ala lossless audio) included and unfortunately, I didn't get it with this release. Otherwise, for those who don't mind the revisions or the English dub, this Blu-ray release of "The Legend of the Drunken Master" is the definitive version to own for now.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best Martial Arts Film ever made,
This review is from: Drunken Master 2 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I know some of you will disagree and say that Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon", or Jet Li's "Fist of Legend" was the best ever made but I would have to disagree. While Bruce Lee was the best Martial Artist ever, his movies were average in regards to their fight choreography.No one could ever touch him in his films. The fight choreography in "Drunken Master 2" was incredible. It was realistic because there were almost no wire stunts involved and the fight scenes were fantastic. The fight scene with Jackie and Liu Chia Liang (Lau Kar Leung) in the beginning was pure poetry in motion. The final fight scene was fifteen minutes of pure adrenaline pumping action. Unique choreography makes this movie a classic. Unlike Jet Li's characterization of Wong Fei Hung, Jackie makes Fei Hung seem more human and vulnerable. Nobody could ever touch Jet Li in the "Once Upon a Time in China" series. Plus some of the moves just look so ridiculously fake. "Fist of Legend" is Jet's best movie because it isn't as fake and he actually has to fight hard to win. However, it is still only the second best film ever made. Not to criticize any other reviewer, but since when does the ability to do 540's and 720's and Butterfly kicks make a martial art film great? I have been involved in Martial Arts for over a 20 years and would love for someone to try to fight me using those kicks. While they look fancy in forms competition, they mean nothing in a real tournment fight and even less in a real street fight. This film is without a doubt the best Jackie Chan film ever and the best ever made. (At least until Jackie and Jet team up to do a film as has been rumored)
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Jackie Chan!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Drunken Master 2 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Not only does this movie raise the bar for fighting choreography, but it has so many other facets that make it a movie to be appreciated by movie lovers of all genre's. I won't dwell on the martial arts aspect. There have been plenty of reviews that have addressed the fact that this movie's fight scenes mark the greatest efforts of a martial arts wonder like Jackie Chan. There is no single martial arts talent in the West that can even compare to Hong Kong greats like Jackie. I would prefer to point out that unlike most martial arts pictures ( and unfortunately this includes some of Jackie's too) this picture has a quality story and great characters too. So much so that I have seen people who can't stand martial arts pictures really enjoy this one. Viewers will be amazed by the martial arts ability while they laugh at the antics of Jackie playing the young mischievous Fei Hung and Anita Mui playing his equally mischievous step-mother. This movie truly represents the range of Jackie's acting ability from humor, to penitant, to unbridled anger. All in all, a movie to be appreciated by everyone.
82 of 105 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunate release of one of Jackie's best movies to date,
Where to begin... It's difficult to put into words the disappointment I felt after watching the first few minutes of this US release of Drunken Master 2 (The Legend of Drunken Master).
Having seen the original movie on the big screen (and also being the proud owner of a VHS copy), I was looking forward to this release on DVD. Unfortunately, I feel this US release destroys what must be one of Jackie Chan's top 5 movies.
The translated dialogue is terrible. Not just the translations, but the voice actors they recruited sound like Chinese actors speaking bad English. If this was a real US release of the movie for US consumption, why not make the dialogue intelligible? As someone who speaks both Cantonese and English, I found the dialogue difficult to follow and just blatantly wrong. They rob the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) comedy which runs through the entire movie. If they couldn't get good script writers to translate it properly, at least they could have used people who spoke with an American accent. I would almost go as far to be insulted by the chop-soky English used in this release.
The soundtrack is also noticably absent. By robbing the fight scenes of their original score, they remove the excitement and drama from the entire movie. You may not always appreciate how much a soundtrack does for a movie, but this US release truly underscores this point.
Believe me, I wanted to like this movie. I was just so disappointed with what they had done to this movie.
I hope you do not buy this DVD. You should look for either the Hong Kong release of the VHS, Laserdisc, or DVD.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where is the original language?,
This is completely ridiculous... I have been waiting TEN YEARS for a domestic release with the original cantonese and when they rerelease this CLASSIC they release the same horrid DUB. Why even bother to release this?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a keeper! Rent it. Buy it!,
This film has several formats. The VHS version from 1994 is the one you want to see! It is the perfect movie! It's also Jackie's perfect movie! This is a sequel, with 20 years between but Chan manages to look and act much younger. It is not difficult to accept him as being "young Wong Fei - hung". The only connection between the two films is Jackie and drunken boxing. Ti Lung is his father and Anita Mui is "Mom" (actually Fei - Hung's mother is dead). Anita darn near steals the show! This is a fantastic film! It is a period film, with unscrupulous people stealing as many Chinese treasures a possible. Chan accidentally gets involved in helping to stop the thefts and ends up taking on some major bad guys including Ken Lo in a steel factory. In my opinion the extended fight sequence is the absolute best, with
"Wheels On Meals" fight with Benny coming in a close second.
The final fight has Jackie battling a number of people before he squares off with Ken Lo. (Lo is a major talent in the kickboxing world and stands out as one of the best.) Jackie had some differences of opinion with the director and the final fight is designed by Jackie and it shows! It is powerful yet graceful..furious but with purpose. It is beyond excellent!
This film has something for everyone. In addition to Jackie's excellent fighting there are plenty of laughs, and more intricate plot than with many of his movies. There is a scene with Ti Lung and Chan that is poignant and feels very real. But it is the fight scene in the steel factory that will have you rewinding a dozen times. I have two MAJOR criticisms of the US release,primarily Disney's decision to throw out the the soundtrack and musical score! The music from the original is perfect and part of the whole feel of the film. There never was a valid explanation from Disney as to why they dumped the original score. Jackie dubbed his voice for Fei - hung, but the dialogue is not the same! Some might be attributed to the difficulty in translation but in some scenes the dialouge has been radically changed. Disney also cut out the very end of the movie as they felt it was offensive. But that leads to an abrupt end to the film. I have no problem with cutting that scene though and it does not change the film.
One of my all time favorite movies! This one should not be missed!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Kung-Fu,
Hailed by many as the greatest Kung-Fu film ever to grace the jade screen, this sequal makes its mark twice in Asian cinema history. First, The Legend of Drunken Master (Drunken Master II) is the sequal to the most important Kung-Fu comedy of all time, the original Drunken Master. Secondly, this film sees Jackie Chan returning to the Period Kung-Fu movie, a genre that he has kind of "ignored" for a little bit more than a decade. Clearly, this film has found its place in history.
Now I'm sure many of you already know the premise by now, so I won't bother describing it for all of you (if you haven't seen this movie by now, shame on you!) The original title of this movie is Drunken Master II and was made in 1994. Disney then picked up the North American distribution rights (Disney...why Disney?!?) and re-released it here as The Legend of Drunken Master, complete with English dubbing and a new soundtrack, although the usual hack job surprisingly hasn't been done here. Jackie returns to his role as a trouble-making version of Wong Fei-Hung, a role that he excels at with his very expressive face. All of the actors are very good, especially Anita Mui and Ti Lung, who both play the role of Jackie's parents. The story is simple and easy to follow, and all of the fantastic fight scenes are all placed logically within the story itself. The action is second to none here, with Jackie and others using various styles of Kung-Fu. But the real selling point here is the incredible final battle between Jackie and his real-life bodyguard Kenneth Lo. This fight took three months to make, and the result is truly breathtaking.
The DVD is quite good, I suppose, for a Disney-released Martial Arts film. The picture quality is really good compared to some of the overseas releases of the original movie. The soundtrack is totally changed, but its not bad at all, although it and the sound effects lack the "punch" of the original. Extras include 12 trailers for various Disney Martial Art re-releases, but for some reason The Legend of Drunken Master trailer isn't one of them. The DVD also includes a short interview with Jackie Chan himself about the movie. Nothing special here.
The Legend of Drunken Master is a masterpiece, no matter how its packaged or titled. If you can get your hands on the original Cantonese version, then don't hesitate to pick it up. But if you're like me and stuck with buying these inferior North American versions, then by all means pick this one up too.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why o Why do we suffer so,
I love Jackie Chan and own most of his original HK movies. I have so much wanted them to migrate to blu-ray in their original form and from HK Flix we are starting to now get that. But why o why is it always a compromise with us fans? If we buy US versions we get bad dubbing and unoriginal soundtracks and horrible criminal MiramAXE edit cuts to Jackie's films. If we buy HK versions we get no choice of English dubbing and varied quality of transfer from good to down right horrible on some disks. The Weinstien Bros (Dragon Dynasty) had it right with their remastered DVDs of PS1 and 2, but what about the rest of the catalogue? Is there no sense in the film industry that these films need to be preserved in the best possible way as originally presented? Unedited, remastered, and transferred in the highest quality to take full advantage of what our blessed blu-ray has to offer? Is there not demand enough from us fans for that? We all agree these are FANTASTIC FILMS we want to watch again and again and again. Why are we fans complaining here and on many other film review comment pages the video quality of this film is no better than the DVD version? Why is there no choice for English dubbing on the uncut HK version? Are video editors uncaring, plain stupid, or just out for a quick buck? Hell even Jackie complains! For goodness sake we finally have the technology and capability to truly show these films at home as they were seen in the theatre and instead we get half of what we want, and 1/2 of what is capable. SIGH SIGH SIGH!!!
I remember when George Lucas remastered Star Wars and talked of the state of the quality of the film they found to work with. How it was falling apart and fading despite its relatively young age. He and Steven Spielberg said it was lucky they caught it in time and rescued master copies of the original film. Luckily they had the money to remaster them and clean them up for us. Will we ever be so lucky with Jackie's films? I hang my head in dismay.
Dear Dragon Dynasty, Dear Kam & Ronson, Dear MiramAXE! please please please listen to your customers; listen to us fans; Give Us JACKIE AS HE WAS MEANT TO BE! Take extra care when you transfer to Blu-ray, clean the film at least, and work to preserve the detail...use the more than adequate space on a blu-ray disk to include multiple SPOKEN languages; STOP STOP STOP CENSORING and give us the UNCUT VERSIONS WITH ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACKS! For Gods sake people this is the 21st century and we can do it. When you buy a Blu-ray it should much much crisper than the DVD version, it should be uncut, it should have loads of features and choices, it should be the ultimate home theater experience not some half baked expensive edited, unadorned transfer of some off the shelf copy.
I WISH JACKIE WOULD TAKE CONTROL AND USE HIS POWER TO PRESERVE IN PRISTINE FORM HIS FILMS AS THEY WERE MEANT TO BE instead of this hit and miss that has always plagued his wonderful films!
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I never saw the Original Drunken Master II,
All I know, is this movie is awesome. I went to see it with my brother who hates Jackie Chan movies, and even he loved it. Its funny, had good acting, and of course is known for the most incredible fight scenes you will EVER SEE in a movie. I don't know anything about the old score, so forgive my ignorance. But I did like the new score, I'm not saying its better cause other might get mad at that, it did make the fight scenes intense and sent shivers up my spine when Jackie did a drunken master pose. This is wicked stuff, no wires, no stunt doubles, nothing else like it in the world. I can't wait for this DVD release, I hope it includes the scene they took out of the theatre release where Jackie is shown at the end to be so drunk and messed up that he collapses. Or so I heard, whether put back or shown as a deleted film I hope it ends up in this package somewhere. So go ahead, buy this movie, and enjoy Jackie at his Ultimate best.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie except for the LANGUAGE CHOICES,
Great DVD, very clear, wide-screen, good movie. But why did they have to ruin it by dubbing it into English? American viewers need to realize that dubbing a foreign movie into English NEVER makes it better. Keep the original language track!
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The Legend of Drunken Master by Chia-Liang Liu (DVD - 2011)