on March 31, 2015
DVD Review: "Excuse me! Can you translate my English to him so that his English can understand mine?" Ugh! Stupid Dimension Films. And on a further note: I hate a lot of Chinese music soundtracks, particularly the montage stuff so the Americanized music was a lot better. But still the English dubbing was abysmal mostly due to incoherence. But eh well!
Blu Ray Review: The CMS Media Limited version. Excellent video transfer and the picture quality is good. The sound is good and in original Chinese form. I HATE THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK but oh well. And it plays on American Blu-Ray just in case you have some level of doubt. And no extras other than a dumb-a$$ trailer.
Movie Review: This movie may not live up to the standards of some Jet Li fans as the fight sequences have a more American feel to it kinda like Bloodsport (Van Damme) or something. Or perhaps the story and its satirical tone will f*** people up and make them insane. Unfortunately, I liked it. It does have that Tsui Hark touch of inconsistent tone. Example: Having a cute and funny moment then suddenly have a grisly blood splatter scene in the next but if you know Tsui Hark, you know his level of eccentricity. AND I LOVE IT! The story was good and consistent, some characters were good as others should of died from the word "GO", the action scenes were fun to watch but is not in traditional Chinese kung fu choreography, and all that. I did, however, HATE the soundtrack and the stupid montage. Montages NEED TO GO AWAY in Chinese cinema because they annoying and they suck!!!!!
Conclusion: 4 1/2 for the Blu-Ray, 3 for the Dimension Film DVD version and 4 stars for The Master.
on November 2, 2015
Jet Li, clearly on the low point of his career after Born to Defense, starred in this fish out of water martial arts movie in 1989, only to have the thing not released til 1992 after Once Upon a Time in China and Swordsman II came out. Tsui Hark also directed it, but it's hard to tell, because it's not the same competent directing as Once Upon a Time, but rather the rather cheap B-grade HK action directing you'd expect out of someone else.
Jet Li plays the Marital arts student of Yuen Wah (Playing against type, since Wah had a habit of playing nasty bad guys, like in the same year he played the utter monster bad guy in Iceman Cometh. Played the nasty bad guy gangster in Dragons Forever, and was Panther in Police Story 3 Supercop, one of Chaibat's thugs and the one of the vampires in Mr. Vampire.), who travels to Los Angeles to visit his former master and finds that his shop has been trashed and his Master has disappeared into hiding somewhere. Li's Master was defeated by scumbag former student and mullet-head Johnny played with gusto by Jerry Trimble who also in the process destroys his shop.
What ensues is a rather weird version of Way of the Dragon and a proto-Rumble in the Bronx. Li goes around getting into trouble with gangs,bad Taxi Drivers and not being able to understand English or speak it. Finally they settle in the revenge against former student and gigantic ham Johnny plotline with the help of a gang of Hispanic toughs that aren't exactly politically correct, Crystal Kwok and somewhat Anne Rickets.
Yes the fights aren't as good as some of the later ones Jet would produce during the 90s, but the whole movie is rather fun, if not a B-Movie, very cheap looking, though it looks like it was actually filmed in Los Angeles. The language track is rather different than usual, as half of it is in English or to say, dubbed over English. The result is rather cartoonish with the English voices being ridiculously done, the rest of the dialogue is yes in the native language of Cantonese, though Jet was probably speaking Mandarin on the set, and again, he's dubbed by someone else.
Jerry Trimble is the funniest of the group as he alternates between a Cantonese dubbed voice and a English dubbed voice, both ridiculous. As the Cantonese voice is way too deep for this guy to have.
Miramax/Dimension, bought The Master up and trimmed a lot of scenes out of it and English dubbed it to the nines, though there was still the phone gag featuring different languages was apparently trying to keep the original cut's feel of lost in translation, but failing miserably at it. Yuen Wah and Jet Li repeatedly say they don't really know English in the Miramax Dub, but then proves themselves wrong a minute later in a scene. It was a typical Weinstein hack and chop and sell job, a obscure 1989/1992 production starring Jet Li, released to the USA as a new movie from the action hero? I'm sure most were not fooled when they watched the movie ultimately. The rather 80s fashions are noticeable, including Rick James haircuts and mullets. The Dub Job is OK I guess, can't match the hilarity of the original track with it's rather outrageous English voices. The rather memorable quote from the Dub is the awful " We came here to Throw Down" line, plus a odd reference about Queen Latifah from the bad guy which sounded out of place considering this is clearly the late 80s. The score is also tampered with, a rather turgid, late 90s/early 00s Garage Rock band score with some Hip Hop beats put in. This clearly replacing the 80s-sounding score that Yee Tat Lam gave the movie that including a Canto Song during part of the movie that was replaced with Garage Rock band music from some forgotten artist.
The Universe DVD is the not the best option to watch the movie, but it is the only Region Free option. Other, better restored versions are through Region 2, 3 and Japan, but the Universe DVD is easily accessible. If not for the fact it is cropped to Full Screen from it's 1.85:1 aspect ratio. But at least still uncut compared to the Dimension edit that does away with some of the Character scenes and comedy scenes. Anne Rickets's character for instance is gutted basically in the Dimension version.
Not Jet Li's Best, but still a good movie anyway. Though I could understand at the time why the movie was held from release in 1989, this probably would have done Jet no favors at the box office in 1989. Though not quite the disaster many reviewers of the movie online have referred the movie to be.
on August 25, 2001
i know that a few people thought this movie didnt have enough fight scenes or what they were looking for. you cant expect fight scenes every 10 minutes in every single movie he was in. if you relax and just enjoy a good movie....then i think you can appreciate this movie for what it is. i thought it had a good amount of fight scenes with great humor. i laughed through out the whole movie. for those of you who does understand cantonese would probably understand the humor more....but to those who doesnt...there is english subtitles. the quality of the movie is not that great...it looked like it was transferred from vhs..because this is kind of an older movie. this movie is about a sifu(kungfu teacher)who gets challenged by his ex-white student who had no respect for his teacher and wanted to take over. when the sifu gets attacked....jet li. his student from hong kong comes to america and finds out what happened and teaches them a lesson. jet li is awesome as always. this movie really showcased some of his wu shu style...his real fighting skills that are masked up by newer movies like romeo must die, etc. i wish hollywood would make a movie with him showcasing his real skills to the american audiences who have never seen his real fighting abilities. i love this movie....and i plan to buy the dvd. i recommend to all to watch even if you dont plan to buy the dvd. jet li is hot as alway ;D
on May 3, 2000
This movie definitely does not meet any expectations. The acting is horrible, the plot is simplistic, the action leaves a lot to be desired. Not Jet's best work. I would consider this a D movie, let alone a C or B movie.
Definitely check out any/all of the following: 1). Fist of Legend 2). My Father is a Hero (The Enforcer in USA) 3). Fong Sai Yuk 4). Once upon a time in China (all 4 of them) 5). Swordsman II
Some of his other descent works: Hitman, The New Legend of Shaolin, High Risk, Black Mask,
on June 4, 2012
Usually anything with Jet Li in it is great. In this dvd I am not sure if I would classify this one as great, maybe more along the line of good. Jet Li plays a young guy from China trying to locate his Kung Fu Master that has moved to the states, but when he gets here the master's business is destroyed and he is no where to be found. The action revolves around Jet Li looking for his old master. A lot of good fighting scenes all through the movie. The old master and Jet Li find each other but Jet Li decides to return to Hong Kong, but his old master hides his passport so he is unable to return.
on October 22, 2012
How could this be a movie written, produced and directed
by the great Tsui Hark and starring the great Jet Li?
They both were either desperate for a quick buck,
under some kind of contract pressure to put out a product
or cynically misunderstood American sensibilities
and attempted to adjust their art to suit it.
Do not watch this movie.
It is a complete waste of time.
Everything that can be bad in a movie
is bad in this one.
It has small bits of Hark movie style
and Li martial arts, but not enough to make
it the least bit interesting.
Bad acting, bad plot, bad editing, humor that does not work
etc., etc. etc.
The only way to appreciate Jet Li and Tsui Hark
and is to watch their Chinese productions.
What they do does not translate.
They are fish out of water in this one.
on September 2, 2002
Some people had strong criticisms of this film. I thought the film was entertaining though. Yeah sure, I'd agree that there was no wire work, and that the fight scenes wern't quite as spectaculor as his more recent films. But that dos'nt make it a bad film.
It's set in the late eighties and in LA. Why should it have wire work? It would'nt fit. The fight scenes are filmed fairly well and look down to earth. The plot is fun and quite humourous. Especially Jet Li's American counterparts. Jet Li is his usually respectable self looking out for the under dogs.
There's a skilled American villan, Jonny, with a signature late eighties hair cut. He does a good job of playing the over confident jerk. (similar to the cocky kid in the Karate Kid) There's several confrontations between Jet's crew and Jonny's student lackies until the finale at the end.
In the end this film should be viewed as a fun down to earth Kung Fu flick. It was'nt meant to be the next kung fu master piece. If watched in the right light it should be a fun and familiar(if from the US and LA in particular) addition to your Jet Li collection.
on July 15, 2008
This movie is the 2nd straight garbage movie I bought starring Jet Li.I guess all good actors have to play in a few crappy movies as well.I also bought Red Shaolin and I dont know which one was worse between this one or that one.I bought it for 16 dollars and tried to trade it back in only to find it was worth 2 dollars.Anyways back to this movie.
The translations and dialouge is completely horrendous,the fight scenes arent good, and the storyline is corny.What the heck do you people see in this movie?If Fearless is a 5 then this is even below a 1.DO NOT BUY THIS MOVIE!It is simply garbage and you're talking to someone that loves kung fu movies.All I watch is kung fu,action,and comedy.But of course mostly kung fu.It is not worth buying because you will be disappointed.You have been warned!