Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Secret of Tai Chi|
Actors: Xian Gao, Hoi Yin Lee, Gwok Leung
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Its mainland chinese shaolin martial arts mayhem galore in this exciting kung fu thriller. When a young warrior is being hunted by an evil general for a crime he did not commit he decides to fight back with his only weapon... more »
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Perhaps the greatest Kung Fu movie about Tai Chi Chuan
S. VALE | Northern California | 07/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This video both in DVD and VHS format (I have both, having just purchased a DVD copy), is an English dubbed, panned and scanned, old school Hong Kong cheapie done on a very small budget with mostly unknowns. But it is well worth getting if you like old school kung fu flicks, Tai Chi, and good fighting without wires. It begins with documentary film clips of Chen Xiaowang, one of the greatest Chen style Tai Chi Ch'uan practioners in the world who is from the Chen Family, the creators and preservers of Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan, the "mother" style of all Tai Chi styles. This is interspersed with documentary film clips of another great Tai Chi practioner whose name slips my mind, but trust me, she too is great. The film itself uses the classic cliched kung fu film revenge plot of "you killed my Dad, prepare to die!", but it carries it out with some fresh touches of humor and style and some great fighting sequences. The Tai Chi philosophy and principles are addressed with respect and authenticity. As an amateur practioner of Tai Chi, I can "feel" the "echoes" of genuine Tai Chi in this movie. The locations are sort of haunting and the acting is not bad. There is some classic Hong Kong filmmaking visual "chutzpah", most especially a fight scene featuring dozens of bad guy drones in brightly colored costumes running around in color coordinated circles, conducted by the had bad guy, the evil general. It is like some sort of Busby Berkley nightmare: strangely beautiful, beautifully strange. The dubbing is the typical over-the-top English voice over dubbing, but is not as bad as some and is better than many. It would be nice to have a wide screen version of this movie, but this flawed panned and scanned dubbed, mono print is most likely as good as it will ever get. And again, if you are a fan of this genre, this is a must have--at the very least it is a must see."
"Shaolin Monks think they're so smart, well we will just see
morgoth | omaha, NE | 01/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Secret of Tai-Chi' is a movie I have had sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now. With great kung fu DVD releases coming out all of the time, I have had bad experiences with a lot of Tai Seng's martial arts theater line up though about 30% of them are actually pretty good. Well I looked this movie over for far too long. If you want a movie with a great story, don't watch this. If only you like movies with big budgets that have recognizeable actors, and great sets and costumes, then please don't watch this movie.
If you are a fan of great kung fu movies with tons of great fights, then this is a movie you will watch over and over and over and over again. And over again. It is fight filled throughout the ENTIRE movie. We do get a couple of breaks to see experiences like the young students watching the girls "dancing", but then we find out it is called Tai-Chi. And then of course we see a young man get embarrassed with his flashy and super weak kung fu style. If you are a fan of kung fu because of real styles being used, this movie won't be a total dissapointment. Don't expect anything like Woo-Ping's recent masterpiece of Tai-Chi in the TV series 'Tai-Chi Master' but it does have some real practicioners at the start. The person who wrote the first review for this movie says they are members of the Chen family who practice the Chen style. You can see the elder woman's power from a mile away as it hits you with a bang even when you glance at her. That is as far as the real Tai-Chis goes. You will for sure notice a couple of other applications in the finale against the main villian though mostly it will be a dissapointment if you are expecting it to be applied properly. The styles being shown in the movie are various. There are many mixed together. If you have seen movies like 'Undaunted Wudang', 'South Shaolin Master', or 'Ahrats in Fury, then you will see the same type of wushu style. The fights in this movie are actually longer and better. None have the particular impact that a couple of scenes from those other 3 but they still are all well choreographed.
The movie is your typical revenge flick and is in fact average at very best in it's sorytelling. This is unfortunately a distraction but it takes literally no longer than 5 minutes at any given point for a fight to happen so it all even's out. The general, who the 2 young kids want to kill because he killed their dad, is a great villian. All of the villians are superb. All of the actors in the movie not only have fists of lightining and unbelievable timing in their choreography but they can pull off back flips on to their stomachs and all of that cool stuff. In 'Ahrats of Fury' I remember some cool wire shots but this movie does not have any wires which is just the way I like it. There is no budget for this movie, they just have to rely on the fights being good. My favorite fight has be the part where the villians show up at Shaolin Temple chasing the heroes. The monks who are practicing outside will not let them inside of course and they do all sorts of formations to protect their temple. They are all 3 on 1 and then 4 on 1 fights. You need good villians and this movie supplies that no doubt. The final fight I thought could have been better and the color coded fighters could have been a lot better but there is still a hell of a lot going on and it will take mulitiple viewing to fully take this movie in. The final shot of the movie is classic for the genre.
The DVD release from Tai Seng is full screened and this almost completely ruins the movie. Picture quality is more than watchable though nothing to get excited about. The English Dubbing is alright but the villian is classic. A widescreen version does exist. It does not have quite as good of picture quality but is highly recommended and you just need a region 2 or all region DVD player since it is from Europe."
Exploring the yin/yang of Chinese military generals.
Mantis Lake | Detroit, MI USA | 03/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A cast of talented unknowns star in this very well choreographed fight-fest, a late entry in the old-school kung fu genre. Plenty of action and a good sense of humor without being anything close to a comedy. Yes! The plot seems complicated but it's easy enough to follow.
The film starts with a brief history of Tai Chi Chuan. The viewer is then thrust into a military attack on a small martial clan, as ordered by an evil general. There are 4 survivors, including the Patriarch/ex-general and his two sons, who swear revenge when they find out their Matriarch was killed. When the boys confront some of the attackers, their father is injured trying to bail them out but they are saved by a Shaolin monk. While he lay dying, the dad explains that one of the boys is not his son, and that his real father was also a general who was killed by the same evil general over a case of wicked jealousy. The boys swear revenge again and hide in a cave to train. While out gathering food, the boys witness two girls dancing and sneak in for a closer look. They are caught peeping and the girls inform them that they are actually practicing Tai Chi. The girls' father eventually informs the boys that he too is a former general who is hiding out from the evil general and wishes to train them both in Tai Chi.
While pretty sweet, there is one thing I found particularly annoying: The good guys (and gals) will attack; realize they are outnumbered; then retreat... again and again. This equation plays itself out at least half a dozen times. It does make for more fight scenes and a frequent change of scenery so I probably shouldn't complain. They eventually take shelter in the Shaolin temple, which makes for some awesome scenes when the bad guys show up looking for them. Scenes that make one think this could almost be a mainland Wushu film.
This is one of the better discs offered by Tai Seng's Martial Arts Theater. It is full-screened and English-dubbed with no special features but the picture quality is pretty good with little-to-no squinting during night shots. Other than Sammo Hung's "The Victim", this is the best release of theirs that I've seen and is definitely recommended.
1985. aka: Tai Chi Chun"
Above average martial film
Brian P. Webb | philadelphia,PA USA | 07/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The story line was basic the typical revenge, the characters were fair in their acting ability and the fight scenes were above average some trills. The training sequences were interesting and I liked the villian so 3 stars works for me not a bad movie."