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Long Step Mantis
Long Step Mantis
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
UR     2003


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Movie Details

Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Martial Arts, Hong Kong Action, Indie & Art House
Studio: Ground Zero
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/28/2003
Release Year: 2003
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Great Kung Fu, Poor(est) Transfer
zhuge_liang | Quincy, MA United States | 02/06/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I watch a lot of kung fu movies and have come to expect that the DVD transfer of such films is usually less than perfect, but this one went above and beyond the call of duty to be one the worst DVD transfers of a kung fu film I have ever seen. During the first 20 minutes the film is almost unwatchable as everything takes place in what appears to be heavily-foliaged terrain, its very hard to tell because everything is washed out green with almost no detail visible, even the actors appear to be green when seen in the distance. Also one can see this was transfered from a VHS tape or similar format as it appears that the tracking was being adjusted constantly for the first sequences of the film. The only thing that saves it from getting 1 star is that it has some very good scenes of Mantis Kung Fu, when they're actually visible of course. Here's to hoping they find a better print of the movie someday."
"I'll tell you the truth, I'm the one who killed your wife.
morgoth | omaha, NE | 04/07/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is bad, but worth watching for the fights. The story is too complicated for it's own good. It's not interesting whatsoever. Mark Long plays a young man who wants to learn kung fu. He finds a secret book, and now he has to defeat some villains with his new skills. Blah blah blah. So how are the fights? Not bad, not bad at all. This movie is a perfect example of what kung fu fans in the UK call "shapes". Basically the best way to describe shapes is that when you watch an actor's body you can see them making shapes. Simple as that. Also, when the actors are doing kung fu exchanges, a lot of the time they are fitting shapes together with their arms. Kind of hard to explain, but when you see the action in this movie you will see the style of choreography I am talking about.

Alright, so back to the fights. TONS of fighting, and most of it is pretty good. Lung Fei's the villain, and he rarely disappoints. He uses a cool one hand style where he keeps his other arm behind his back, but I didn't feel that the director made the most out of this. But it's still cool.

The Groundzero version has decent picture quality, but the full screen presentation really affects the fighting. I'm not one of those people who complains about an actor being out of frame while he's talking, but when the full screen affects the fighting, that's when I get mad. The movie deserves a 3 star rating, but this DVD only gets a 2. Seek out a different version.
Not my biography. My manual came from a box of Cracker Jack
Mantis Lake | Detroit, MI USA | 05/16/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Mark Long ("The Mystery of Chess Boxing") plays Xiao Li, a pharmacist who works at his dad's apothecary when an injured man leaves a training manual behind. Turns out that the man and his brother swiped the much sought-after book from their uncle (Tong Ga Kuen) who had been keeping it hidden from evil-doers (Lung Fei & Chuen Yuen) who are now after them. Xiao Li studies the book and seems to master the style in about 3 seconds. Unfortunately his father is murdered and the book is stolen by the two goons.

The humor tends to be annoying but it's not overly abundant. The fights are pretty good and fun to watch, though sometimes they're a little too long. That's usually on the list of assets but fights can get boring if they go on forever and/or occur too frequently. That being said, it's a minor complaint and I enjoyed most of them. On the faster and more precise side of old-school kung fu.

The fullscreen treatment is why I can't really recommend it. I can live with the English dub and the sub-par picture quality but the formatting nearly ruins the final fight. Usually I find fullscreened kung fu to be annoying, but it doesn't bother me too much. Here it does. It's not unwatchable but it could've been so much better. On the plus side, the only special feature is a cool one: Fights from several of Eastern Heroes selections, including "7 Commandments of Kung Fu", "Drunken Arts and Crippled Fist", "World of Drunken Master", "Snake Deadly Act", and "Unbeaten 28". 2.5/5 for this version.

1982. aka: The Dynamite Trio"