Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Once Upon a Time in China III|
Actors: Jet Li, Cunzhuang Ge, Rosamund Kwan, Shun Lau, Siu Chung Mok
Director: Hark Tsui
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Educational
WONG FEI-HUNG, AUNT YEE, TO WHOM WONG IS SECRETLY BETROTHED,AND SIDEKICK CHUNG ARRIVE IN PEKING JUST AS THE EMPRESS ANNOUNCES A LION DANCE MARTIAL ARTS CONTEST. SEVERAL TEAMSDETERMINED TO WIN THE PRESTIGIOUS CONTEST, LOTS ... more »
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Mary C. from MORENCI, MI
Reviewed on 5/22/2015...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Decent Installment to the Franchise
Mr. JKW | Honolulu, Hawai'i | 05/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the third film in this series, martial arts film legend Jet Li stars as Dr. Wong Fei-Hung, a real life folk hero of 19th century China. Combining solid martial arts action (as you'd expect from a Jet Li movie) with decent storyline which delves into some historical elements, this movie is a decent flick all-around. While not quite as captivating in terms of action or story as the previous films, III still delivers an acceptable performance.THE STORY:It is 19th century China and Western influence is growing. The Empress Dowager, in an attempt to showcase Chinese power to the foreigners, hosts a martial arts tournament, the Lion King competition, pitting the finest martial arts schools against one another. Wong's family's cultural society becomes caught in the middle of the martial arts wars.In the midst of staving off the attacks of their rivals, Wong is also caught in a personal dilemma as he and his secret-lover, his cousin (through marriage) Yee, decide to marry and try to find ways to announce it to their family. Added to this is the arrival of a Russian friend from Yee's past who is infatuated with her himself, showering her with great Western gifts such as the motion-picture camera.Throughout all of this turmoil, things become a bit more interesting as foreign interests decide to use the tournament as a backdrop to a political assassination plot...THE COOL STUFF:If you love martial arts action you've got a good portion of it here. The fight scenes are NUMEROUS as you'll be treated to tons of fighting set in 19th century China in tons of marketplace settings as well as vintage Chinese dwellings and buildings. The sets and costumes are just awesome, particularly all of the Lion dresses. The fight scenes between Wong and the rival martial artists are just awesome. In addition this film does incorporate some humorous moments into it.THE DVD FEATURES:The features of the DVD, while not extensive as most new DVDs are, are perfectly acceptable. Included on this DVD are the following:1. Bonus Movie Trailers for the following: a. Once Upon a Time in China IIb. Once Upon a Time in China Trilogyc. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragond. Miracles by Jackie Chan2. Filmographies for Director Tsui Hark, Jet Li and Rosamund Kwan.THE VERDICT:The most common criticism for most martial arts/action flicks are that the stories [stink]. The redeeming quality for them is, of course, the action. Like its predecessor, Once Upon a Time in China III overcomes these criticisms by delivering solid action and (lo and behold) a decent story. In addition, the film, besides having an awesome story and action sequences also incorporates just the right amount of humor to make it a nice package all around. While not quite as captivating in terms of action or story as its two predecessors, Once Upon a Time in China III still delivers an acceptable performance.Overall, besides oohing and aahing to cool fight scenes you'll also be treated to a great look at a crucial period in Chinese history.Recommended"
Extremely good, almost measured up to the previous two
Mr. JKW | 11/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a excellent movie staring the ever amazing Jet Li, although the final scene could have had more of a one on one fightng theme the overall quality of the movie, as in sounds and picture quality have been drastically improved from the previous two. The induction of Club Foot and an ancient Triad group are also cool. Jet Li is as great as ever. If you enjoyed his other movies, you will love this one as it ranks among his top performances"
Not as it seems
streen2000 | Singapore | 10/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I know that there have been a lot of reviews deploring the relatively lower standards of fight choreography, plot, etc. of this third installment. Yet of the 4, this was the movie that left the deepest impression on this humble reviewer - I remember being moved to tears after watching this as 12 year-old. I do understand, though, why other reviewers might have panned this one - it's much easier to understand tsui hark's intentions from the perspective of someone brought up in a more... "chinese" environment, so to speak.
The theme song of the series (the one with the drums and chinese-trumpets and people chanting "ahhhh... ahhhhhaahhhahhaahhahhh..." - yes, don't you know it) is about a man who wants to become a hero and win glory and honour - he calls others to join him in his quest, and sings of a fire burning in him that is "brighter than the sun" - an example of the sort of nationalistic, patriotic tradition that is very much ingrained into mainland-chinese culture (how much of it is part of a communist government's propaganda-package is anyone's guess). The character of Huang Fei-Hung is the embodiment of all the values inherent in The Patriot: a man unafraid of standing up to oppressive powers (foreign or otherwise) and fighting for the masses. This theme is emphasized throughout the series, and never so well-depicted as in Part III. ***Spoiler*** This episode ultimately ends tragically, as Wong realises that in fighting to "save face" and win honour for his people, he has in reality failed them. As such, the film (in a somewhat didactic approach - it is Tsui Hark, after all) deviates from the stereotypical kung-fu-hero-kills-all-the-baddies-and-saves-the-day ending in an attempt to teach its audience just what it really means to fight for your country - that it isn't just scrabbling for some abstract, pedantic bragging rights, but to be prepared to make sacrifices to bring about change that is real and good.
For those who just want to watch some chop-socking action, catch the first film. But if you're looking for some insight into the source of Chinese nationalistic fervour, and what drives a man to put everything at stake for family and country, this really is one of the essentials."