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Ip Man is an award winning adaptation based on the life of Ip Man (Donnie Yen), the grandmaster of Wing Chun and later teacher and mentor to widely influential and legendary martial artist, Bruce Lee. Ip Man is set in the 1930s in Foshan, a hub of southern Chinese martial arts just as the Second Sino-Japan war breaks out. During the war, China is nearly ripped to pieces by racial hatred, nationalistic strife and warfare. Ip Man rose like a phoenix above these ashes as he defied an empire bringing hope to China. Winner of Best Picture and Actor, Ip Man ranks as one of the best martial arts movies of all time!
US Trailer and Theatrical Trailer
"Ip Man is one of the best martial arts films of all time, hands down"! --Twitch Film
"Donnie Yen, who's taking on real star charisma, is aces as Ip Man"! --Variety
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Top customer reviews
Fast forward over 30 years later and many martial arts in between until "Ip Man". I have bought this movie from Amazon over 5 times to give to friends. I have never bought a movie 5 times; the closest was "Good Will Hunting" 3 times. As I write this, I am awaiting a neighbour to get less busy and invite me to his place for coffee and cakes. And guess what I am taking along? You got that right: Ip Man. And guess what I'll watch during the christmas season along with other old classics, Ip Man.
Let's get another thing out of the way:
Loves: Great fights WITHOUT wires (i.e. Hate Wire-Fu)
Likes: Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Martial Arts
Ip Man is a semi-biopic of the Wing Chun style Grand Master of the same name. The plot, well, as with many Kung Fu movies, is all about Kung Fu schools, political intrigue and... well... that's basically it! For being a biopic they don't really delve too much in Ip Man's life but more on the setting... which takes place during the Japanese Invasion (1930-ish). So, ho-hum plot, check. But we don't watch these types of movies for the plot, we watch them for the action and this one delivers! I believe this movie tested Donnie Yen's mastery of martial arts more than any other movie before this one because I'm sure he had to get the Wing Chun fights done right and on most of them he did! Now, if you are thinking: "why did this guy only gave the movie 3 stars?" If you are going to buy this DVD, DON'T DO IT!!! First look at the Product Detail section of the page and notice the following:
NEVER BUY A BONZAI MEDIA MOVIE!!
These guys are just bootleggers (they are part of Red SUN DVDs if I'm not mistaken!) So basically the DVD quality is a joke! You are better of buying the original Region 2 discs! The video quality is so bad, it appears that they ripped it from the original disc at a lower quality (looks like a badly made Divx/Xvid rip!). Audio is not that good either. So Don't buy THIS version but DO buy the movie if you like martial arts, like Donnie Yen and want to watch one of the best ass kicking movies
Donnie Yen does an excellent job of conveying the humility and dignity of the character. I found myself really getting caught up in his struggle to maintain his honor in the face of the wearying oppression of the Japanese.
Of course, the fight scenes were terrific. The sets period costumes were also very well done and evocative, as was the music.
The subtitles, as other reviewers noted, are rather iffy at least in the "Ip Man Dual Subtitled" edition I viewed. However, having lived through the years when the only subtitles available in most kung fu films were the British-mandated ones that old HK companies included in the film print, which were badly translated, and printed in white so it was impossible to read them, well, the bad translation was nothing new to me.
In conclusion, this is a very enjoyable movie that not only features some fantastic choreography, but is also an inspiring and well-crafted Chinese national fable about war and resistance that is not simply a framework to hang some fight scenes off of- the fight scenes really are expressive of the theme and story.