Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Martial Arts Essentials The Films of Yuen Wo Ping|
Actors: Carter Wong, Chan Sing, Chen Kuan Tai, Hwang Jang Lee, Simon Yuen
Genres: Action & Adventure, Sports
Dance of the Drunk Mantis- The follow up to his collabaration with Jackie Chan on Drunken Master. Considered by many to be better than the first film. ... more »
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A good Videoasia release? Well, it does happen sometimes, j
morgoth | omaha, NE | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are some really good movies in this 6-pack. It is a must have for any fan of old school kung fu. Or if you are new to this genre and are looking for some good movies, this 6-pack is a good place to start. I won't give a full review on these movies, because that would be one of the longest reviews Amazon has ever seen. Instead, I will just go over them briefly.
DANCE OF THE DRUNKEN MANTIS (1979)- this is a spinoff of Drunken Master (1978). No Jackie Chan, but that doesn't matter. Simon Yuen (Yuen Woo Ping's real life father) is back as Sam the Seed, and Hwang Jang Lee is back as the villain, this time playing a white haired drunken mantis fighter. Also back is Linda Lin, and she gets to show off her amazing leg work much more than she did in Drunken Master. Yuen Shun Yi plays the hero and does a fine job replacing Jackie Chan. Simon Yuen tries to teach him the drunken style, but the movie takes an odd turn and Shun Yi ends up learning the sickness style from Yen Shi Kwan (Jet Li's opponent in Once Upon a Time in China). The story and comedy are good, and the fights are SPECTACULAR. The drunken fight between Hwang Jang Lee and Simon Yuen (and his stunt double) is one of my top 20 favorite fight scenes of all time. I know I am in the minority here, but I actually enjoyed this movie even more than Drunken Master.
Rating- perfect 5/5
The picture quality is VERY good. I was amazed. And it is partly widescreen. The last version I had (from Groundzero) is almost completely unwatchable.
THE INVINCIBLE ARMOR (1977)- after Ng See Yuen had so much success with Secret Rivals parts 1 and 2, he decided to make a movie with a higher budget. John Liu once again plays the hero, and he teams up with his costar from Secret Rivals 2, Tino Wong. I have way too much to say about this movie, so I will make this as brief as I can. Hwang Jang Lee plays the villain and he is my second favorite martial arts actor of all time, but I was a bit disappointed with his role as the master of the Iron Skin technique. He plays the role as well as he can, but there are many actors who would have done better. But this is a small complaint. Super kicker John Liu gives one heck of a performance, and this is the best performance I have ever seen from Tino Wong. The movie also has fights from Lee Hoi San, Yuen Biao, Yuen Shun Yi, Corey Yuen and Phillip Ko Fei. The fight scenes are not among the best I have ever seen, but still good.
The picture quality is almost as good as the pic quality for DANCE OF THE DRUNKEN MANTIS. It is widescreen, but not quite all the way.
KUNG FU MASSACRE (1974)- this is an awesome old school punch and block movie, better known as a basher. Charles Heung (from Goose Boxer) is the lead actor and gives a solid performance, but the costar of the movie is the real star. His name is a Jin fu Wan and he is a good actor and an awesome fighter. His kicks are some of the best I have seen. There are lots of good fights in this movie, and the story is decent. The story is about revenge and deception, and of course it all leads to a big showdown at the end. Other than Charles Heung, I don't know too much about the other lead actors, but I did spot Yuen Woo Ping, Yuen Shun Yi and Corey Yuen as thugs, but they don't actually have roles in the movie. I enjoyed this movie very much. It is one of the best bashers I have ever seen.
Picture quality is good for a movie from 1974. Full screen, but it only bothered me a few times.
And just to give you some info on Charles Heung, he is an interesting man. He used to be in old school kung fu movies, usually as the lead actor, but for the past 20 years he has been producing movies (including the new 2008 movie Fatal Move starring Sammo Hung and Wu Jing), and he is also listed as the "presenter" of 73 movies. He is known to have Triad connections, but I heard that he is a nice Triad, whatever that means.
TAOISM DRUNKARD (1984)- this is without a doubt one of the craziest movies you will ever see. Yuen Shun Yi plays Master Ruthless and is after a secret document. He is one of the most unstoppable and meanest villains ever to hit the screen. The story moves along too fast and you may have trouble keeping up, but this is a movie you will watch over and over again. And watch out for that Watermelon monster. The Yuen Clan had to be on drugs when they created this masterpiece of crazy cinema.
Picture quality is full screen and looks fine. Pretty much all of the action can be seen.
BORN INVINCIBLE (1978)- if you are a fan of Joseph Kou (the director of 7 Grandmasters), then you know his style. He is not the greatest storyteller, but his movies have fight after fight. This is the story of an Iron Skin stylist played by Carter Wong, and he is very evil. There is a lot less training scenes than most Joseph Kuo movies, but there are a ton of fights. There are fight scenes from Carter Wong, Yuen Shun Yi, Corey Yuen, Lo Lieh, Lung Fei, Alan Chiu (aka Alan Hsu, the guy who played the villain in 7 Grandmasters), Jack Long and Mark Long (he played Ghostfaced Killer in Mystery of Chessboxing). Don't expect it to be a great movie, but it is a great movie if you are just looking for a lot of fun fight scenes.
The picture quality is fine. Full screen, but the action is not affected too much. No complaints from me about the picture quality.
AWAKEN PUNCH (1973)- this is your typical old school basher movie. Henry Yu Yeung is the star, and the villains include Fung Hak-on, San Kwai, Fong Yeh and Tien Feng (Bruce Lee's master in Chinese Connection). This movie bored me to death. Some of the action is good, but most of it is shot too close up and there is a lot of editing.
Picture quality is full screen, but looks decent enough.
Yuen Woo Ping and his brothers (The Yuen Clan) had a hand in directing the action in all of these movies, except for THE INVINCIBLE ARMOR. Yuen Biao and Corey Yuen Kwai directed the action for that, but I imagine Yuen Shun Yi and other people also helped out. And just so you know, Yuen Biao and Corey Yuen are not part of the Yuen Clan, they just happen to have the same name. They went to the same school as Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung, and they took the name of their teacher, Yu Jim Yuen.
Great Movies, Decent Video Quality
Andrew Strawn | ATX | 10/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When you get 6 movies for the price of one you can't expect Criterion Collcetion video quality. The video quality is decent, I can't say much more on these movies than Morgoth already has.
But if you crave some quality old school kung fu at a great price this is your best bet. Worth the price of admission just to see the surreal yet insane Taoism Drunkard, previously released as Drunken Wu Tang."