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With sensational, nonstop martial arts excitement supplied by the acclaimed choreographer of THE MATRIX and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, IRON MONKEY is the spirited tale of a mysterious and mythical Chinese legend -- now with pristine picture and theater-quality sound on Blu-ray Disc™. In a desperate and unjust land, where government corruption rules the day, only one man -- known as the Iron Monkey -- has the courage to challenge the system and fight back. Under the shadow of night, in the silence before dawn, he fights to give hope to the poor and the oppressed. Although no one knows his name or where he comes from, his heroism makes him a living legend to the people -- and a wanted man to the powers that be. Presented by Quentin Tarantino -- it's the exhilarating action adventure critics everywhere have called one of the greatest martial arts films of all time
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"In its release in 2001, Miramax made several changes that the company felt would make it more marketable to American audiences:
As most Americans are unfamiliar with the story of Wong Fei-hung, his name was removed from the original Chinese title.
The subtitles were tailored to diminish the political context of the story.
Some scenes were trimmed to tone down the violence.
Originally, some fight scenes had been sped up in places through undercranking. The United States release slowed these scenes down to more normal pace.
Several comedic scenes, particularly ones interspersed in the fight scenes, were removed to give the fights a more serious feel. Although such comedic devices are common in Hong Kong cinema, the editors felt that they might appear odd to American audiences.
A new soundtrack was composed that emulated the classical score to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but in doing so, the Wong Fei-hung theme song was eliminated.
New sound effects were dubbed for the fighting to make them more realistic (as opposed to the more traditional exaggerated Hong Kong sounds)."
I ordered a Chinese produced version of the film and it is TOTALLY different. I did have to allow for the less than stellar subtitle translations, but I could still see how much of the message of this story had been removed.I don't know why the political themes of the movie would need to be butchered as they were. This is a historical telling of how the young boy became a great Chinese hero, but a lot of that element and the real sentiments of the movie maker was watered down for us Americans. Its a shame.
I like the Miramax version for the clear coherent properly spelled subtitles and great screen quality, but that could have been done while keeping the full spirit of the film.
Do your research as many of the Chinese language films have versions that are changed and sanitized for our consumption.
WOW. I hit the jackpot! Rough and comic unlike the serious and elegant Hero. Chinese, Chinese, Chinese unlike the Hollywood Jackie Chan Knights. Plenty of martial arts and good natured humor. From the corrupt Governor and his many giggling wives to the evil monk who -- opps there go the many giggling wives -- to Master Fox, the heart of gold police chief, all the bad guys are comics. When the Governor orders that Iron Monkey must be arrested, the police round up an acrobat who jumps like a monkey, a man who sneezes like a monkey, a man selling...someone leans over and whispers, "Don't even say the word Monkey," but he gets nabbed, too. Even the serious Donnie Yen and Rongguang Yu have a playful chopstick fight over a piece of roasted duck.
For those who love flying, there are many scenes with the beautiful antigravity choreography of Woo-Ping Yuen. Probably the most lovely is the first, when the Doctor (Iron Monkey) and Miss Orchid (the nurse) go flying around the room to retrieve a stack of papers which has blown out of their hands at the end of a busy day at the clinic.
Although Iron Monkey's father had been killed unjustly and Miss Orchid's son, born of her work as a prostitute slave, dies at birth, in the present tense no one dies which is as it should be with a good old fashioned folk story. Five stars!