The Forbidden Kingdom (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy)
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Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Michael Angarano. A 21st century kung fu movie fan is transported back in time. There he joins forces with two ancient Chinese warriors who must defeat the sinister Jade Warlord and end a centuries-old mission to free the Monkey King. 2008/color/104 min/PG-13/widescreen.
Getting martial-arts superstars Jet Li and Jackie Chan together in the same action film is like a fantasy come true, even if The Forbidden Kingdom is more of a children's movie than an instant kung-fu classic. Yes, Li and Chan square off in a lengthy, acrobatic fight scene that is a lot of fun, though it can't be what such a scene might have been even a decade ago: careful editing now compensates for the 54-year-old Chan's slower moves and reflexes. Still, Chan doesn't disappoint as Lu Yan, a drunken immortal in ancient China who mentors a modern-day American kid, Jason (Michael Angarano), the latter having slipped into the past while in possession of a magical staff that belongs to the imprisoned Monkey King (Li). In order to get back to his own time and help an old friend (also Chan) wounded by thugs, Jason accompanies Lu Yan and a lovely warrior, Golden Sparrow (Liu Yifei), on a journey to return the staff. Along the way, a (mostly) silent monk (Li, again), who has spent his life in search of the staff, joins their mission. He helps Lu Yan train Jason in fighting and adding more muscle to the party as it comes under siege from a violent witch (Li Bing Bing) and pathological warlord (Collin Chou). Screenwriter John Fusco (Hidalgo) and director Rob Minkoff (The Haunted Mansion) have made a slightly chintzy, Western version of a Chinese swords-and-sorcery tale. The gravity-defying, flying-through-the-air-while-fighting choreography looks pretty choppy and graceless compared to, say, the martial arts films of Zhang Yimou. But The Forbidden Kingdom is really aimed at kids, not aficionados of epic fight movies. On that score, the movie aims to please and does so for the right audience. -- Tom Keogh
Beyond The Forbidden Kingdom on DVD
The Forbidden Kingdom Soundtrack
The Forbidden Kingdom on Blu-rayk
Stills from The Forbidden Kingdom (click for larger image)
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- The Kung Fu Dream Team
- Dangerous Beauty
- Discovering China
- Filming in Chinawood
- Monkey King and the Eight Immortals
- Blooper Reel
- Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Rob Minkoff and John Fusco
- Feature Commentary with Rob Minkoff and John Fusco
- Previsualization Featurette with Commentary by Rob Minkoff
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Top Customer Reviews
What a treat to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li, both of them in double roles, work together onscreen, once more demonstrating their skill in their respective versions of martial arts! Jackie Chan continues with the deceptively relaxed style that his fans will always associate with "The Legend of Drunken Master." Similarly, once again we see the incredible precision that is Jet Li's trademark. Relative newcomer at the time of filming, Liu Yifei, as the Golden Sparrow, fulfills all of our expectation in a demanding role covering a range of subtle emotions as well as a smooth agility in martial arts.
Early Chinese martial arts films followed the style of wu xia, in which the leading characters not only were experts at fighting, but also had magical skills. A mystical form of Daoist magic allowed them to fly short distances and perform other skills that go beyond any natural abilities. In the latter half of the twentieth century, films focused more on kung fu fighting skills, as demonstrated by Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and others. The 2000 film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" signaled the return of wu xia, and "Forbidden Kingdom" has shown that the trend has been continuing.
The film is filled with characters out of Chinese mythology, e.g., the Jade Emperor and the Monkey King. Jackie Chan's Chinese character is one of the famous "Eight Immortals" of Chinese mythology, but his name, Lu Yan, though the name of a historical person, is not usually found among the group. His depiction seems to fit closest to Li Tie Guai, the old beggar with the crutch and the bottle of magic medicine, but he could also be one of the versions of Lan Cai He, the drunken derelict.
About the movie, I don't think its for everyone but its on my top favs. movies list, Its a fighting kung fu style movie. The film is about The monkey king,a witch, evil ruler, a kung fu loving teenager, Jackie chan and jet lee! and much more. I personally really like the film alot.
This film takes the legendary Monkey King and a drunken Immortal as well as other characters from the Chinese mythos and attempts to tell the story in an American flick with Chinese martial arts. That idea is still a work in progress, it seems. Still, take it as it is, a Western film aimed at American teenagers and martial arts enthusiasts. Even though most of the action takes place in China and has primarily Chinese actors, I, somehow, don't consider this a Chinese film. The dialogue is also primarily in American English and for me, it seems the film is filtered through American eyes, style, format, custom, fantasy, production and ideals. For the work it is, I give it five stars, although others may not be so inclined.
Anyway, the film has two great living martial arts legends, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. It also stars Michael Angarano who plays the young Bostonian with the martial arts fascination and he actually demonstrates quite a few nice martial arts moves.
Lionsgate sells this movie with a 'digital copy' through Windows Media & Itunes'. THE DIGITAL COPY DISK IS NOT A MOVIE DISK. 'Special Two Disk Edition' doesn't mean two movie disks. Here is what Wikipedia defines a 'digital copy' as: [...]
THE DIGITAL COPY DISK IS A DISK WITH A PROGRAM TO DOWNLOAD A MOVIE. THROUGH LIONSGATE, IT CAN BE EXPIRED WHEN YOU BUY IT! It was expired when we bought it!
You can only use this 'Lionsgate Digital Copy' through the Windows Media program on your computer or and Itunes on your Itunes player (that's IF it hasn't expired). You cannot just stick in this disk and play it. THERE IS NO MOVIE ON THE 'DIGITAL COPY' DISK! The information telling you this is in very, very tiny print on the back of the movie (and supposed to be on attached stickers according to Lionsgate customer support. The advertisements saying you can always have it and play it any time don't tell you this 'little' detail! Here is our response from Lionsgate customer support (because we could not download our 'brand new' digital copy):
Unfortunately, we cannot assist you.
Because the Digital Copy authorization period for this title has expired,
the authorization web page is no longer active and digital copies are no
All Lionsgate digital copy features are available for limited time periods
only, with expiration dates listed on the outer packaging - in stickers
attached to the slipcover front and notations on the back. Products
sometimes remain in retail inventory after the end of promotional periods.
Lionsgate and our retail partners make every effort to avoid that
We appreciate your patronage and hope that you will continue to enjoy
DIGITAL COPY SUPPORT"
The movie is wonderful.. but know you're only buying the one disk of the movie - the blu-ray version - the other is not a movie disk! So 'special two disk edition' is misleading!
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