The Grandmaster [Blu-ray]
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Which version is this? (how long is it?)
(Wikipedia says: "There are three versions of the film that has been released. First is the domestic "Chinese Cut" of the film that runs 130 minutes. Second is the version of the film that debuted at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival at 123 minutes. The third is the version released by The Weinstein Company that runs at 108 minutes." Note NTSC<->PAL conversions _may_ produce running times that differ by a handful of minutes; even so running times would make it clear which version/cut a disc contains.)
Well, finally the highly anticipated biopic about Ip Man directed by Wong Kar-Wai has finally arrived. A little different from his usual films, as the film goes for refreshing ideas and themes rather than decadent emotions, it is a film that has a lot of hype as with any other film directed by him. People should be aware that one needs to temper their expectations with Wong Kar-Wai's "The Grandmaster". It is a film about a true-to-life figure and is a period piece that brings the concept of how martial arts can apply to living. Wong Kar-Wai takes on a premise that he has not done before that his fans would have reason to celebrate. This review is based on the 130 minute film released in Asia, I have heard that another cut of the film was debuted internationally.
1930s China. Ip Man (Tony Leung) is a rich, young martial arts master who does not want to compete and yet he finds himself thrust into the limelight as his peers push him into a sparring match with Chinese Martial Arts chairman Gong Yutian (Wang Qingxiang). The match was more technical than a display of skills as Ip Man asserts his inner skill to get the best of Yutian.Read more ›
It was finally time for the great iconoclastic Hong Kong director to turn to martial arts action in his intense and atmospheric telling of the great grandmaster teacher, Ip man, and he doesn't disappoint.
Wong Kar-wai brings the poetic beauty of his cinematic genius displayed in such works as "In the Mood for Love" to martial arts action executed with a precise rhythmic heightening reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah at his best, bringing out the sensations of living through the Japanese invasion of China during WWII. The cast is magnificent, especially Tony Leung as the Ip man, and Ziyi Zhang as Gong Er perfectly embodies a kungfu mistress trying to avenge her father. A masterpiece by Wong to put on a level with his finest work.
My only gripe about this Blu-ray release (which looks stunning in its clarity of picture and color, highlighting Wong's penchant for rain and darkness) is that the special features (unlike the feature itself) do not have any English subtitling -- so unless you read Chinese you won't be able to know what Wong or his crew and cast are talking about. The feature does, however, have full subtitling.
A worthy addition to your Blu-ray library.
PS: One other reviewer criticized the editing of this film which, to me, smacks of putting down the film for not being more conventional. Sometimes it is difficult to put aside expectations of what one wants a film to be in favor of what the actual film on the screen is. "The Grandmaster" is, in fact, brilliantly edited. Wong is, if nothing else, a perfectionist in taking years to mold his assembled footage into his own personal rhythmic poem, idiosyncratically emphasizing downbeats and rests as precise as a great composer.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are into the subtleties and metaphors of tradtional kung fu movies then this is great for you. I love the Ip man films and this one is my favorite. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Nathan
This is not an original copy. Screen quality is bad. How do they copy? Is allowable in US?Published 1 month ago by chung
As a martial artist still learning this movie is very deep but I wouldn't say this is I was an average person .Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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When I ordered the bluray version of this film it stated that the film was 130 min. When I received the film I noticed that it was only the 108 min version of the film. Amazon has corrected the description but not before the item was ordered or shipped. Feeling a little cheated.
Mar 6, 2014 by Sandra L. Sea | See all 2 posts
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