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The Forbidden Kingdom (Two-Disc Special Edition, includes Digital Copy)
The Forbidden Kingdom
Two-Disc Special Edition, includes Digital Copy
Actor: Jet Li
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG-13     2008     1hr 44min

Genre: Action/Adventure Rating: PG13 Release Date: 9-SEP-2008 Media Type: DVD
     
     

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Movie Details

Actor: Jet Li
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Martial Arts, Jet Li, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/09/2008
Original Release Date: 04/18/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 04/18/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Lou B. from PALMDALE, CA
Reviewed on 9/25/2011...
I thought it was a fun movie. Jackie and Jet do a good job with the fight scenes. If you like movies like crouching tiger, you will like this movie.
Liz F. (monkeygirl) from INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Reviewed on 5/27/2009...
I love and adore this! I like to think of it as a kung fu classic. There is so much about this movie that seems to keep me coming back for more!
Jet Li & Jackie Chan worked out very well! I never doubted it for a second!! I thought their on-screen performances were perfect which is why it's such a shame they haven't done more work together. But this film is a fantasy that takes us beyond a view of what it is like to understand the concept of kung fu from both Jet and Jackie's perspective - it also takes us on a journey into a mystifying set of ancient China where anything can happen. It is seemingly like a mixture of other classic martial arts tales but at the same time it has become a work of art, it was magical.

The film's score kept up some pretty catchy themes, there were several beautiful landscapes applied, the sets were amazing, the plot was good, there was plentiful martial arts action, humor and even a few thrills. It is very possible to become attached to the characters the more you watch it and of course - once those remember that a second film has already been considered.
It doesn't matter if this film may not seem adult enough regarding it's PG-13 rating - many can still enjoy this title for what it is.

I'd like to think everyone who worked on this film did a great job. Aside from having my share of Jackie and Jet films to favor this one really packs a punch and a kick!
Fans of Jet Li or Jackie Chan or those who just love martial arts films should put this one in their collection.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A westernized Kung-Fu movie for everyone to like
M. B Cole | Las Vegas, NV | 05/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Pop........POP.... POPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOP!

Ok take that popcorn out of the microwave, grab your cola, and set the lights down low and get ready for some kung-fu action.

At first glance, the movie seems to be full oh wired choreographed fight scenes which I pretty much loathe. But the movie took the scenes and made them `ok'. It was like it was telling us "Yes, we know you know it's wires, but you and we are ok with it". And I was. It starts with The Monkey King kicking some butt up on top of a fake looking mountain top, and then *poof* we find out that it was all but a dream. Jason Tripitikas wakes up and heads to his favorite pawn shop down in Chinatown to pick up some more kung-fu movies. As Jason is heading out of Chinatown, he gets stopped by some local thugs/bullies. They make fun of him about his kung-fu movies and then show him some of their own fighting style. After the beat down they tell him to take them to the pawn shop so they can rob the place. The old man, knowing a few moves himself, takes it to them, but only cheated out of the grace of fighting like a man, by a single bullet. Jason runs from the thugs with a staff that the old man hands him. As Jason tries to get away, he falls and lands...

...in a different world in a different time. He comes across a man named Lu Yan (Chan) who tells him about his staff. That it once belonged to powerful man named The Monkey King. The Monkey King was tricked into a non fair fight and before the King was imprisoned he sent his staff away so that someone could come rescue him with it. They assume it's Jason, but is it? As they travel to where the Monkey King is imprisoned they come across Golden Sparrow. A girl seeking revenge for her family's death. They also come across The Silent Monk (Li), who is also on a mission to free the Monkey King. With their journeys intertwined, we can only hope for some sweet Kung-Fu action. And boy do we get it.

Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li was truly fun to watch. We all know it could've been MUCH better if they were probably 10 or 15 years younger than they are, but come on, it was still a great fight scene. Praying Mantis, Snake, Tiger, Crane, all types of Kung-Fu was used. It was definitely something to witness.

The Monkey King vs. The Jade Emperor, even though CGI enhanced and wire enhanced, was pretty awesome. It made the fact that they were godlike characters more believable. The CG used for this was spectacular and looked close to being real.

And there were many more scenes where Lu Yan, The Silent Monk, the Golden Sparrow are fighting all types of people. You won't be bored with a lack of Kung-Fu.

I also liked how there was a white haired woman bounty hunter after them. When she fought her hair became part of arsenal along with a whip she carried. Now I've seen some Kung-Fu flicks with people using their long hair before and the way it seems fake, always made it great. In this movie, when she starts to whip her hair around, it's CG looking (but once again this does not hurt it), until it hits the person. For instance on one scene it's got Lu Yan grabbing her hair and looks totally fake, but at the same time amazing. It felt like a throwback to some of the older movies. Man I loved it.

Some people are complaining that this was too kiddy. Well, I can see where they are coming from because there isn't a deep story here. It did feel like it was more geared towards a `not really having to think about it' crowd. And you know what. GOOD. I don't always have to think about stuff when I'm watching a good action flick. I actually had a blast watching this because I think if it took itself to seriously, most of the fight scenes would have been `eye rolling' instead of fantastic.

In the end I would say grab this movie up as soon as you can and sit the kids down with a large Papa Johns pizza and have a fun time.



P.S. The way the story was set up, with the kid going from reality into an almost storybook tale, to come back into reality with things he learned... it sort of makes me think of The Never Ending Story but with Kung-Fu instead of a gigantic flying dog.
"
Surprisingly good!
04/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"So the commercials all promote Jackie Chan and Jet Li. What they neglect to do is mention, I dunno, the **main character** of the film, a young Boston kid named Jason Tripitikas (played by Michael Anganaro).

So the movie's basically a kid film. You have a reluctant hero who gets sent to a fantasy version of China, and along the way he learns martial arts and Eastern philosophy.

What did I like about it? The fight scenes are, for the most part, fantastic. They start off a little weak, get better over time, and then get absolutely fantastic when you have both Jet Li and Jackie Chan in the film. The fight scenes are weakest when there's too much CGI in them -- but most of them are purely physical, and quite good.

The Chinese fantasy aspects are authentic, if not accurate (much in the same way the HBO series Rome is not a completely accurate recounting of events, but an authentic recreation of the tone of ancient Rome). They throw in things like The Monkey King and his golden staff, soldier monks, drunken immortals and even The Bride With White Hair. And the Chinese philosophy, for those familiar with it, is spot on.

Jackie Chan and Jet Li are fantastic not only as fighters, but comedically as well. (There's a scene involving rain that had absolutely everyone in the theater laughing hard.) Anganaro puts in a surprising turn physically -- he looks like he got a lot of martial training. Yifei Liu is heartbreakingly lovely.

It's probably a little scary for young kids -- there is some intense violence in the beginning, for instance. And there are sappy moments, as you would expect for a kid's film. But it means well. I have to say that I had a bit of trouble making out the English of some of the Chinese actors sometimes, tho -- and I'm Chinese-American! I worry others might have even worse problems.

Still, overall, I liked it."
3 - Stars: Entertaining and "Family-Friendly" Action-Fanta
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 06/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Jet Li and Jackie Chan: two of Hong Kong's most renowned superstars. Who would win in a fight? Who's faster and more agile? This question has been in every Martial Arts fans' mind and this project has been a long time in the making, Asian film fans have all but given up on the idea after the little melee in 1995 called "High Risk" wherein Li would play a bodyguard to Chan. It was said that Chan turned down the project because of his character's lack of creative depth, while someone I know who worked with him said it was Li who didn't want to work with Chan. Chan attempted to break into the Hollywood fold via "The Big Brawl" but it wasn`t really until "Rumble in the Bronx" and "Rush Hour" did he really get noticed. Jet Li stole the show in "Lethal Weapon 4" and enjoyed "Kiss of the Dragon`s" box-office success. Those projects were about ten years ago. "FORBIDDEN KINGDOM" may not be the best film to have them show their stuff and the two may have their best roles behind them, but hey, they can still duke it out like no one else.

Jason is a young man who is very obsessed with Asian Martial arts films. Most of the time, he spends his time in a pawnshop owned by a kindly old man in the hunt for rare Asian Films. One day, he crosses paths with a gang of bullies who intend to rob the old man. The old man asks Jason to take the staff away from all the chaos and as if by some stroke of fate, Jason find himself in another world, another time. A mystical world ruled by the evil Jade warlord (Collin Chou) who wants the very staff given him by the old man in the pawnshop. Supposedly the staff is the key to power in the kingdom and must be returned to its rightful owner; the Monkey King. He meets up with a drunken man named Lu Yan (Jackie Chan), a pretty young woman bent on vengeance named "Golden Sparrow" (Crystal Liu Yifei) and a stoic monk (Jet Li). Together they challenge the forces of the warlord led by a lovely silver-mane woman named Ni Chang ( Li Bing Bing, Dragon Heat) or perish in the attempt--

The film may be America's tribute to Asian cinema and surprisingly, the film is directed by Rob Minkoff; yes, the same director who gave us Disney's "Haunted Mansion". No big-shot Hong Kong director takes the helm but an American director. Don't worry, at least the filmmakers were smart enough to get the services of a legendary Martial Arts director; Yuen Woo-Ping. The film has a lot of references to Asian cinema, quite a lot that would put even Tarantino to shame. Ni Chang is lovely and looks like a tribute to the Wuxia epic; "Bride with White Hair". While Golden Sparrow is a tribute to Cheng Pei Pei's "Golden Swallow"; she even quotes "Come Drink with me", a Cheng Pei Pei film. The bamboo forest looks reminiscent to "A Touch of Zen" and "House of flying Daggers". Scenes of "A Monkey goes West" is even seen in Jason's Television screen. I was ready to bash this film until I saw it for what it was; an American-kid's tribute to Hong Kong cinema. Someone who loves Chan and Li, who would give Asian cinema the respect it deserves. The filmmakers had good intentions and as an Asian film fan, I applaud them for their ambition.

The film's showstopper lies in its hyper-kinetic action sequences. Yuen Woo-Ping (also responsible for Kill Bill, Kung Fu Hustle) knows his stuff and it is no surprise that he is Asia's premier fight choreographer. The fight between Chan and Li was fairly long and the film's main draw. Sure, the intensity isn't as hard-hitting as the climactic battles in "Legend of Drunken Master" and "Fist of Legend" but nonetheless, it was still masterfully done. Use of "wire fu" is obvious and the fight was well-executed and cleverly choreographed. It was very "family-friendly" as was its intention. The battles with Collin Chou (Donnie Yen's opponent in FlashPoint) was more bloody than the other fights but it still maintained its limits. There are quite a decent number of fight sequences that die-hard fans of Martial Arts films will be at home.

The performances are good for the most part; Li's performance isn't on his "The Warlords" caliber but it'll do as the quiet(?) monk. Chan's character is more witty and sharp-tongued. Chan's humorous appeal helps the film's pace and assists the scenes without any exciting action. Collin Chou's Jade warlord seemed a bit too underwhelming as the villain (the mascara has to go). However, his aid, Ni Chang (Played by Li Bing Bing) is so lovely that she eats up the screen with her whip-wielding, white-haired charisma that will undoubtedly strike a familiar image to Asian cinema fan boys. Sparrow may be the epitome of the ultimate Asian-woman; she has that intensity but maintains a girl next door look. Michael Angarano plays Jason; he may look very awkward at first but his character grew on me after awhile.

"Forbidden Kingdom" does have its share of problems but somehow, it overshadows them. The Yuen Woo-Ping directed fight sequences is the film's main strength, along with Jackie Chan's humorous appeal and it doesn't hurt to have Jet Li around either. The film is a bit too family-friendly for my tastes but thankfully, the filmmakers made it work. The plot is a bit too simple but it knew exactly what it wanted to do. Its execution may be lacking at times but the appearance of the classic "Golden Sparrow" and "Ni Chang" characters with Chan's character reminiscent of his "Drunken Master" days and Jet Li as a monk, reminiscent of Shaolin Temple; the film is an enjoyable affair. I give the American filmmakers credit where its due; they managed to get these two superstars together--something HK cinema wasn't really able to do.

RECOMMENDED! [3 ½ - Stars]
Stallone and Schwarzenegger together?

I own the 2-disc HK release from JoySales. (same transfer should be utilized)
VIDEO/AUDIO: 2.40 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is amazing. Sharp, very detailed and clean with radiant colors. If the U.S. release sports the same transfer, it would look very impressive. I also hope that it would include the 6.1 DTS-ES audio as well as the 5.1 Dolby Digital track.
Features: Trailers--Cast/Crew interviews--Premier--Behind the scenes--Photo Gallery
The U.S. release should have a Digital copy.


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