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Tai Chi Master (1993)

Jet Li , Michelle Yeoh , Yuen Woo Ping  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Chin Siu Ho
  • Directors: Yuen Woo Ping
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: The Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0016MJ6JC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,594 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tai Chi Master" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive interview with star Chin Siu Ho
  • On location in Chen village
  • Director Brett Ratner and critic Elvis Mitchell on director Yuen Ho-ping
  • Critic Elvis Mitchell and director Brett Ratner on stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh
  • Original home video trailer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Tai Chi Master is the greatest "wire-fu" film from Yuen Woo-ping, best known as the martial-arts choreographer of the Matrix and Kill Bill films. "Wire-fu" films were created during the martial arts film resurgence of the late 80s and early 90s, and in terms of fight choreography, this is arguably the best of the entire genre. Tai Chi Master demonstrated Jet Li’s martial-arts abilities at their most frenetic and fluid, and Li was at the height of his athletic prowess. If that wasn’t enough, it's also one of action queen Michelle Yeoh’s finest performances in a wuxia period piece. Li and Yeoh were supported by an equally athletic cast, led by the remarkable Chin Siu-hou, who plays the nemesis to Li’s hero. Chin manages to steal every scene, even when he is being beaten to a pulp. Li and Chin play best friends Jun and Tien, who grow up in Shaolin Temple during the Manchu Dynasty. Gentle Jun is satisfied with the simple things in life, but hot-tempered Tien craves power and wealth. The film’s exposition pays homage to the 70s Shaw Brothers films (such as The 36th Chamber of Shaolin), and the closing scene in the temple is only the first of a series of spectacular martial arts set pieces. Jun and Tien’s dispositions lead them to two different paths in life; Jun joins the rebellion against the cruel Manchu regime, while Tien joins the army. Here, Yuen treads all-too familiar territory, but the actors still throw themselves into the thin material. The film’s mid-part is weighed down by the usual intrusion of feckless Hong Kong slapstick, but the story quickly recovers when Jun discovers the secrets of tai chi. When Li fires up his tai chi skills, the results are some of the best boxing scenes the genre has ever witnessed. Tai Chi Master established Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh as the best martial arts actors in the business, and Yuen the best choreographer. Though elements of the film are dated, Tai Chi Master remains a landmark in the martial arts genre. --Roberto Azula

Product Description

Superstar Jet Li shows off his legendary speed, power, and agility at the peak of his martial arts prowess in this sweeping action epic. In an age of swordsmen and rebellion, two best friends and fellow martial arts students are expelled from the storied temple of Shaolin, only to meet again on the battlefield one a power-hungry general, the other a freedom-fighting rebel, both mortal enemies. Featuring Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon s Michelle Yeoh and directed by the celebrated Yuen Woo-Ping (action choreographer of The Matrix films), Tai Chi Master is a quintessential martial arts classic.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars to me, an excellent movie, note the dubbing October 30, 2004
Format:DVD
To me, this is one of the best Jet Li movies. Or, may as well call it one of the best movies. It has a lot of humor and wisdom in it. However, as someone jokes that dubbing is the eighth sin, the dubbing in this movie, possibly to match the lip movement, has the script modified. The humor was lost, as well as the wisdom. I compared an Asian release with the US release: the script as well as the English subtitle are modified in the US release. I highly recommend this movie to you, except that it may be best to find the Asian release. I also checked that my Asian release has the English subtitle which is very close to what the actors and actresses say in Chinese. Also one thing about the US release is that the song is taken out from the movie. We usually accept a French song or Italian song in a foreign movie. How come we don't accept a Chinese song in a Chinese movie? The original Chinese song is very suited to the events of the movie. My advice remains: the Asian release of this movie probably can give you more enjoyment than the modified one.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for Tai Chi Master; 4 for Twin Warriors November 18, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If at all possible, get the original Chinese/subtitled version of this film under the name, Tai Chi Master. The U.S. edit version, Twin Warriors, cuts out some short but apt scenes that lend extra continuity and humor to an already fine story. The dubbed dialogue also dulls the storyline, foregoes some subtle humor and stunts some of the character development. O.K., so the English subtitles often lay waste proper (English) grammar, spelling and word useage, but that's part of the charm of this type of movie. (Why don't Chinese producers hire proficient, English-as-a-first-language editors to do a final review of the subtitles? I would be willing to do it part-time, for a modest stipend and free copies of the DVDs. :)

This film plays the classic elements of revenge, loyalty, betrayal, and the clearly emerging delineation, and struggle, between Good and Evil, quite well. Admittedly, some of the wire-work is fantastic, but it adds to, not detracts from, the epic scale of the story. Jet Li portrays the "good guy" extremely well, with Michelle Yeoh in a very good supporting role and contributing one of the movie's best one-on-one fight scenes.

I saw this film at the theaters almost ten years ago, when it was first released, and it is still on my personal, "top 10" list of the best kung-fu movies I've ever seen.
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175 of 204 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I am sick of this!! December 5, 2000
Format:DVD
This movie is good. The fights and unrealistic and stylish, and the story is good. But there is no excuse for what happened to this movie. We live in America. We are one of the most diverse nations in the world. The localizers of this movie seem to think that Americans don't know anything about, and don't care about, Chinese language and culture. As a result all the original language and music has been cut, and there is only a spoken English version. This is inexcusable, especially for a DVD release. I have no problem with a dub, but on a DVD you MUST include both. It is a good movie, but on principle I will not give it a passing grade on this element alone. I bought a DVD player so I would not have any problems getting the subtitled version of a movie, and then they pull this crap! Please do not support dub only releases. Please go to ... the auctions amazon and find a DVD of Tai Chi Master. This is the Chinese version of this film. It will have English subtitles. The image quality is worse, but to have the true language and the real voice of Jet Li, it is worth it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for the movie 1 star for the DVD August 31, 2000
Format:DVD
This is a classic Jet Li film, and I was happy to finally get my hands on it--I mean it's got Michelle Yeoh too!! The problem I have is---Dimension Films is finally releasing these great martial arts films by Jet Li and Jackie Chan, great--but they are keeping no integrity. The names of the films are changed, they're dubbed, packaged and sent out. Why not take care, and use the DVD format--so people can have the option to watch the film with subtitles. It seems the companies are more interested in cashing in on the work of these great stars, than the films themselves. It's unfortunate that the Western buying market is considered that ignorant. The movie itself has some fantastic fight sequences and the story is pretty good. Has to be ranked high in Li's catalog of films. It is in the category of "Once Upon a Time in China" opposed to his less fantastical movies like, "My Father is a Hero" or "Romeo Must Die."
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray, Weinstein Co. is Joking, Right? June 23, 2010
Format:Blu-ray
Do not waste your money on this blu-ray if you already have the dvd. The improvement in the picture quality is marginal at best and indiscernible at worst. This is a complete rip off; it seems no effort was made to remaster this disc and present it in true high definition.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, DVD featuers poor October 11, 2000
Format:DVD
I own both the VHS and DVD versions of "The Tai Chi Master". I've seen many Jet Li films and I enjoyed this one. I liked the action scenes but some die-hard martial art fans may not like it all that much if they don't like 'wire work'. You can read the other reviews if you're interested in the storyline.
The DVD version has much better picture quality than the VHS version and it is in widescreen (the VHS version has the sides chopped sometimes chopping parts of the subtitles!).
The spoken language on the DVD is in English (dubbed), compared with Chinese (Cantonese) with English subtitles on the VHS version. Sadly some of the translation is lost in the English DVD version -- it looks like they made an effort to match the words with the mouths moving, so the translation has been adjusted to fit. This was definately an attempt to help this movie appeal to a widestream English audience rather than just die-hard Hong Kong movie fans.
Dissapointingly the DVD version offers no subtitles or other audio options. I would have liked to see at least the Cantonese soundtrack as well as the English, with English (and other language) subtitles as an option. That way die-hard fans (like me) can watch it in Cantonese and read the subtitles, but the 'main stream' viewers can see it in English.
All-in-all I still enjoyed the DVD version (due to the better picture quality) It makes a nice addition to my Jet Li collection.
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