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The Master
The Master
Actors: Chen Kwan Tai, Wang Lung Wai, Yuen Tak
Director: Tony Liu
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Animation
UR     2008     1hr 32min

"Martial arts master Jin Tianyun (Chen Kuan-tai) decides to punish a trio of miscreants called The Three Devils who have been terrorizing the countryside. However, he is betrayed during the ensuing battle and must flee. Me...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Chen Kwan Tai, Wang Lung Wai, Yuen Tak
Director: Tony Liu
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Animation
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Animation
Studio: Tokyo Shock
Format: DVD - Color - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/13/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Cantonese, English, English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Non Anamorphic
S. mcnutt | 05/22/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Great Movie. Poor execution. The disc is letterboxed and is NOT anamorphic. To bad for me as I preordered it. To my surprise it is not 16x9 enhanced. If I knew that before ordering I would have passed on this purchase. If Media Blasters continues this practice when their Shaw Brothers titles they will not only loose me as a customer, I am sure they will loose many more. Hint hint.

Heroes Two is a great disc, they got it right. How that managed to drop the ball on this fun title escapes me.

I suggest to PASS on this as this is 2008 and EVERY movie should be released as an anamorphic disc.

How can a company go so wrong in this day and age."
Michael W. Jaworski | Fairfield, NJ USA | 07/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember first seeing this in the mid-80s as a kid on Channel 5's now-defunct "Drive-In Movie" under the title "3 Evil Masters". Under any title, this is a classic from the latter-days of the Shaw Brothers. This is arguably the best movie director Lu Chun-Ku has done. Hsu "King of Sticks" Hsia's choreography, along with his "Five Superfighters", is absolutely amazing. Not only are Chen Kuan-Tai & Wang Lung-Wei in top form (their fight near the end of the movie is a definite highlight for me), but Yuan Tak (a.k.a. Chiang Lin) is amazing. He ought to be though, he was one of the "Seven Little Fortunes" along with Jackie Chan, Samo Hung & Yuan Biao. His climatic end fights with each of the "3 Evils" are incredible.

Great supporting performances by Candy Wen Hsueh-Erh, Lin Hui-Huang, Liu Hok-Nien, Wang Ching-Ho & Ching "knife-thrower" Chu; look for him in a crazy, "jiggly" brothel scene (cut from TV prints, 'natch). There's also great music here; I know it's stock music, but Eddie H. Wang (as usual) picked out the best tracks. Great story, awesome old-school fu, incredible acting & impressive directing.

Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters did a fantastic job with the transfer, some people are complaining that it's not enhanced for 16:9 televisions. Look, before this version came out I had to settle for a bootleg, pan & scan, edited VHS copy of this classic. Now, there's this remastered, widescreen, uncut DVD complete with subtitles or a decent English dub, so stop complaining and buy this. I read that Media Blasters has three more Shaw classics in the works; Chang Cheh's "Deadly Duo" & Lau Kar-Leung's "Challenge of the Masters" & "Martial Club", can't wait. It was great to see my old friend, Tom Fardy, in the "special thanks" list at the end. It was touching to see the dedication to the late Linn Haynes, who unfortunately couldn't grace this DVD with the same excellent commentary he did with "Heroes Two" due to his untimely passing from this world. Rest in peace."
A blade in the braid and a pile of tile
Mantis Lake | Detroit, MI USA | 09/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The great Chen Kuan Tai ("Heroes Two", "Executioners From Shaolin") plays Chin Tien Yun, the title character in this nifty little Shaw Brothers classic. After he is injured by 3 nefarious fighters, he comes into the care of young kung fu student Kao Chien (Yuen Tak). After he feels better, he realizes that the boy's master (Lau Hok Nin) isn't doing a very good job at martial instruction and teaches the lad a thing or two. Meanwhile, the bad guys are searching the nearby town for clues to his whereabouts.

Though some of the fights are a little slow, most of them are excellent. I don't know that Chen Kuan Tai's kung fu has ever looked this solid. Johnny Wang Lung Wei ("Return of the Master Killer", "Instructors of Death") is great as the main bad guy who sports the obligatory white wig. I didn't recognize his two cohorts, but they both do a great job. Yuen Tak is also more than capable of handling his role, even when it requires a little cross-dressing. Which reminds me that this movie has some nudity and a fair amount of blood. Not for the kiddies.

Now for the drawbacks: A lame sense of humor (standard issue); a couple of annoying and sycophantic characters; a musical score that ranges from excellent to completely absurd; and Yuen Tak's immense improvement in fighting techniques just by punching ceramic tiles in a bucket of water. If you can get past these things, you're in for a treat. Those of us who love old school kung fu movies have learned to deal with, and eventually even appreciate, the genre's less desirable proclivities.

I love owning legitimate Shaw Brothers' releases, this one courtesy of Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock. Celestial's beautiful remastering job (as per usual) and widescreen presentation is more than adequate for my modest television set. The English dub is pretty good, and the sound can also be heard in Mandarin and Cantonese. Special features are limited to a couple of trailers (including one for "Heroes Two") and a brief, informative interview with Chen Kuan Tai. RECOMMENDED.

1980. aka: 3 Evil Masters"