Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Come Drink with Me|
Actor: Chang Pei-pei
Director: King Hu
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
Nearly four decades before Kill Bill, the groundbreaking Shaw Brothers classic Come Drink with Me set the bar for sword-wielding kung fu heroines. "A revelation in martial arts filmmaking" (Ross Chen, LoveHKFilm.com), it s... more »
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Chris W. (kungfudalek)
Reviewed on 8/31/2012...
This movie is amazing! If you ever get a chance to see this, watch it, because the scenery, alone is just stunning. The sword play, and martial arts are amazing! Great Shaw brothers film!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Great wuxia story with good DVD quality
green_bamboo | Huntsville, AL USA | 10/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film, Come Drink with Me (Great Drunken Hero), is one of my favorite Asian movies, and I think it is perhaps comparable to Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai in terms of its contribution to the evolution of East Asian movies during the 1950s-1970s. I first saw this movie in either 1966 or 1967 at a movie theatre in the Far East, and recently I've seen it many more times on this DVD. The storyline takes place during the Ming Dynasty (either the 15th or the 16th century) in China's Two-River Province. The heroine Zhang, also known as Jin Yan Zi (meaning Golden Swallow), tries to rescue her older brother, the head prosecutor of the province, from captivity by the Five-Tiger Bandits. At the same time, a drunken beggar and martial-arts master Fan, called Da-Bei (meaning Big Drink), has to face the monk Liao Kung (Diao Jintang), his sworn older brother from the same Kung-fu league, to keep the Green Bamboo Pole that symbolizes the leadership of the Green Bamboo League. These two subplots merge together to become the overall story of this film: with the help of the drunken master, Zhang gets her brother back by destroying the ruthless bandits, and the evil-minded wushu master Diao, who turns out to be the real leader of the bandits, is also defeated by Fan in the final battle.
The story line appears somewhat simple, but it is meaningful in a sense that a wuxia story is told in a traditional Chinese way. The film is composed of beautifully choreographed sword fight sequences, seasoned with a subtle undertone of a romantic (although platonic) relationship between Zhang and Fan. The carefully designed costumes representing the Ming Dynasty period, combined with the Beijing opera style music embedded in the early part of the movie, give the impression of being in genuine traditional Chinese scenes. The three songs sung by the drunken master in the inn, with background chorus and music performance by ten beggar children, enhance the exotic nature of the film. The first song introduces Fan himself, by revealing his view of life as a vagabond and a beggar, suggesting that life is momentary and empty, fame and fortune are meaningless, and all the sorrows of life can be forgotten by drinking. The second song describes Fan's concern about the current perilous situation of the Two-River Province under the rule of lawless bandits. The third song shows his intention to help Zhang rescue her brother, by providing a hint for Zhang to decode regarding the location where her brother is being held by the bandits. An additional genuine Chinese element of this film is that the two masters of martial arts (Fan and Diao) possess and use a mystical power (ch'i kung) in battle, which commonly emerges in many Chinese wuxia novels. I like the slow pace of the sword fighting in the movie, much better choreographed than the battle scenes seen in many later wuxia films where the super-fast sword fighting sequences give the impression of being fake, artificial, and robotic.
While living in the Far East during the1960s, I became addicted to Chinese movies and saw over two dozen films (mostly dramas, epic and fantasy films by the Shaw Brothers). These included four wuxia films: Great Drunken Hero (Come Drink with Me), Dragon Gate Inn, One-Armed Swordsman, and Golden Swallow, in chronological order. While all these four wuxia films are interesting, Great Drunken Hero is the best made, and in my opinion far superior to over-hyped modern successes in the West, such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. With the role of heroine Zhang in this movie, Cheng Pei-Pei obtained fame almost comparable to that of superstar Li Ching among movie-goers in East Asia during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The quality of this DVD is very good, including well-restored sharp images, in light of the fact that the film is more than forty years old. Having seen this movie in different versions with subtitles in English and other languages, I think the English subtitles in this DVD are clear and straightforward. Personally I don't like to watch a dubbed version of foreign movies, and that holds true in this case, too. You get the impression in the English dubbing of this DVD that words were chosen so that the sound matches the lip movements rather than delivering the literal meanings of the actors' dialogues. One thing I should mention here is that, in the English dubbed mode, the bandits recognize the heroine as a woman from their first encounter. This is erroneous, since the bandits actually do not realize that the heroine is a woman until they meet her again in the temple. You should watch this film in the original Mandarin soundtrack with English subtitles.
I believe this DVD definitely deserves a five-star rating
Shaw Brothers Classic
MMAfan | USA | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dragon Dynasty continutes to deliver great Shaw Brothers films one after the other. The 27th film to be released by Dragon Dynasty and their 6 Shaw Brothers release, you can't go wrong with this one. Widely considered to be one of the best Hong Kong films ever made, one can see why. It carries a great story along with awesome fight scenes and fantastic acting by Cheng Pei-Pei(commentary included with her and Bey Logan) and Yueh Hua.
Special Features include:
Feature Commentary with Bey Lognan/Cheng Pei Pei
King and I-Director Tsui Hark reflections on film
Come Speak With Me-Interview with Cheng Pei Pei
A Classic Remembered-Retrospective with Bey Logan
Return of Drunken Master-Interview with Yueh Hua
From 1966, but much better than you would expect from a movi
morgoth | omaha, NE | 05/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cheng Pei Pei stars as The Golden Swallow, and is known for her great fighting skills. A gang is trying to rescue their leader from going to jail, and they end up kidnapping a man (Golden Swallow's brother) so that they can make him their hostage and trade him for their leader. Some really wicked villains in this, and I was amazed at how well Pei Pei handles herself. She uses double daggers, and it's a refreshing change from the standard straight sword that you see in most movies. Yueh Hua has a good role as the "Drunk Cat". He appears to be the town drunkard, but he's really an expert martial artist. He helps Pei Pei out with anything that she can't handle. Hua is very likable, and plays his role well.
Come Drink with Me is a movie that still holds up today. Back in 1966 it was probably the best wuxia ever made.
Picture and sound are awesome, and there are plenty of special features. I will go over each one individually.
First up is a brand new commentary from Cheng Pei Pei and Bey Logan. Dragon Dynasty once again proves to be the elite company releasing martial arts movies. No one can touch the special features they provide, and this commentary is a Cheng Pei Pei fan's dream come true. This isn't your average commentary from some actor who barely remembers making the movie. Pei Pei knows this movie and the actors very well. Her English isn't perfect, but I could still understand most of what she said.
17 minute interview with Yueh Hua- I was surpised to hear Hua speaking English. He is not the most energetic person as he is pretty old now, but there is a lot of good information provided.
14 minutes with Tsui Hark- Hark gives his thoughts on the movie and talks about King Hu. Great interview with tons of interesting information.
16 minutes with Cheng Pei Pei- It's amazing how well Pei Pei remembers everything. Outstanding interview.
17 minutes with Bey Logan talking about the movie and King Hu- the commentary is mainly for Cheng Pei Pei, so it's nice to see Bey be able to share his thoughts alone. Very nice interview.
Also included are the original trailers for Come Drink With Me and Heroes of the East.