Fist of Legend
Chen Zhen (Li) returns home to learn that his childhood school has been overtaken by Japanese fighters and that they have killed his beloved master. Zhen goes on a quest to bring the killers to justice in an effort to restore honor to his mentor and school.
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Also of note is the sound, which despite claiming original mono, is not. This is a remix, dumped to mono. The soundtrack on the old laserdisc is far superior sonically. The remix, be it presented in mono or 5.1, is shrill and has none of layers inherent in the original mix. And in case you are wondering, the English dubbed tracked does not exist in this dojo!
And finally, there is the issue of the opening credits and close of the film. They are from the American version, so the credits look like they were created on someone's old Macbook in Paint Shop Pro (it's really laughable) and the final moment of the film is removed, which is a shame. As it is a spoiler, I don't want to say exactly what. Those of you who know the film will understand.
Dragon Dynasty never got a single release right prior to this one, so I guess we should have expected them to drop the ball. And they did. What a shame.
Now the real review and the reason for giving the Blu-ray 3 stars overall. Most of the movie looks great, and certainly better than the VHS copy I have been working with since high-school, but that's just what you would expect. The last third of the movie, though, looks pretty bad. There is a light, black line running vertically along the right side of the image in about 5 scenes. During the last fight when Chen ends up in the small courtyard there are artifacts all over the image - it looked like rain at first - but it's just a light dusting of "snow" on the image for most of that scene. And, finally, the subtitles and audio are a major step down from my old copy. I don't speak Cantonese or Mandarin, so I'm not evaluating faithfulness to the spoken language. My beef is with the subtitles being out of sync with the audio and characters having multiple voice actors (it seems!). Also, referring to Japanese swords as "Sabers" seems weird, especially when the person talking is Japanese.
At the end of the day you should be watching this for the martial arts, which are at least worth 4 stars, but when you buy a Blu-ray it seems reasonable to have certain expectations regarding the video and audio. Since those expectations weren't fully met, I give the Blu-ray 3 stars overall. If there were half-star ratings I would give Fist of Legend 3.5 stars.
After paying for the "two disk" version I received a "Special Collector's Edition" on time, no shipping problems, etc.
When I opened the package, I discovered one disk.
So, I emailed Amazon's customer service and received the usual prompt response and corrective action. No problem here.
I told Amazon, I only have one disk when I was promised two. They said keep what you have and we will send you what you ordered.
I, again, received the same item, the one disk version.
I am not filing a claim as I believe the product is mislabeled. Where it reads "two disks" it should read "Special Collector's Edition"
Take note if you purchase the "two disk" version for $5.98 (or close to it) You will only receive one disk.
Still a good movie. (It is subtitled)
Li takes on the Japanese Aikido masters and defeats them to avenge his master's death who poisoned him, and to prove China's superior martial arts skills over the Japanese, and to free China from Japanese occupation. Jet Li yet again paid homage to Huo Yuanjia in his next film "Fearless" in which the underhanded Japanese were seen to poison the Grand Master so that he could be defeated.