Beautiful widescreen transfer of a great kung fu film
Brian Camp | Bronx, NY | 01/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"7 GRANDMASTERS (1978) is a legendary kung fu film that's been a fan favorite for over 25 years. Good home video copies were impossible to come by until this legit DVD which offers the film letter-boxed, with 16:9 enhancement, enabling most of us, for the first time, to see the breathtaking kung fu action in all its widescreen glory. Licensed to Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters by Hong Kong's Mei Ah, the transfer was made from a high-quality print that may be the best non-Shaw Bros. print of a kung fu film yet released in the U.S. The dual language track includes both the familiar English dub and the original Mandarin track, with English subtitles.
7 GRANDMASTERS is almost a pure kung fu film, combining as it does two plot threads which sum up the essence of the genre. First we have a venerated kung fu champion, Shangkuan Chang, who must renew his status before he retires by traveling through China, accompanied by his daughter and three students, and taking on the grand masters of the title in fair bouts to prove he can still beat them. Second, he trains an eager young novice, Hsiao Ying, who has joined the party early on in the two-year journey and who gradually surpasses his existing students. We see a succession of bouts with other masters, experts in weapons and various styles (snake, tiger, mantis, monkey, etc.), all of whom must confront the Pai Mei Fist technique of Shangkuan. And we also see the young student go through the grueling process of being grudgingly accepted by the master, putting up with abuse from the other students, and practicing hard before developing his own unique style. During the course of it all, we learn of a threat to the master from his past and a hidden agenda on the part of the student.
It's a kung fu classic featuring fight choreography by Yuen Cheung Yan (one of the famed Yuen Clan) and Corey Yuen, who went on to become a top director of HK action films in his own right (YES, MADAM!, FONG SAI YUK, SO CLOSE, etc.). Corey also appears in the film as a weapons expert who is one of the grand masters. The stars are Jack Long as the kung fu master, Lee Yi Min as the new student, and Mark Long as the senior student. All three also co-starred, to great effect, in NINJA CHECKMATE (aka MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING), also reviewed on this site. As kung fu films go, it rarely gets better than this. If I can offer one mild criticism, it's that there are so many good fights throughout the film that when we get to the final bout with the villain from the master's past, it's almost anti-climactic. "
The way old-school should be on DVD.
The Good Doctor | Wilmington, DE United States | 04/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off, the print of this dvd is great for an old-school kung-fu flick. The picture is crisp yet still has that old school feel and it has the orignal dubbed track, not some new dubbed garbage you find on most of the remastered fung-fu DVD's. Also has orignal dialogue for fans who don't like the cheesy dubbed voices.The movie itself is a little over rated as being one of the best ever of the genre, but it is still highly entertaining. Predictable plot and bad hair-wigs galore...but most watch these flicks for the almost super-human fight scenes."
Worth the hype: A true all-action classic, great transfer q
Christopher J. Deasy | Depends on the time of year | 08/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie sets up a good story line to display various kung fu styles. Seven Grand Masters does an excellent job of painting likable characters who have the proper kung fu chemistry. In the future look at the "Original Story Writers" - Kwok Tai Wai's movies are always engaging, and coupled with Joesph Kuo makes it even better. This film has nice cross-over appeal, so even if your friends don't like old school kung fu, they will still thank you for introducing this movie.
One thing though...and I hope Amazon doesn't squash me like a bug for this- I realize that they have some great titles at great prices- HOWEVER you can find this exact copy for several dollars less at Best Buy (if you are close).
The Mandarin Version is much better than the dubbed, and the subtitling not to bad.
The best fight scenes i have ever seen.
L. Graves | Palm Bay, Florida United States | 05/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"this is my all time favorite Kung-Fu flick.
i have seen over 200 Kung-Fu flicks...im not into the flying around with wires and cutting walls in half with 1 punch flicks.but what i do like is the old school hardcore/hard working flicks...(drunken master 1,shaolin vs wu-tang,prodigal son,snake and crane arts of shaolin etc etc..)this movie,IMO if you want to see one of the best fight scenes ever created is for you.the part where Jack Long meets the guy who was so determined to have him assasinated and Jack Long shows up bare fisted,but yet his rival has a whole weapon rack that he uses against him....Jack Long uses each weapon against him until there is no others.this is my favorite fight scene. i dont think any movie will ever match it,the pure skill and precision ( on the original version) is just amazing...no string,no flying just pur hardcore fight seens.the only other movie that i can honestly compare it with is the end fight seen in drunken master 1.this is a must have for any collector.the basic story is Jack Long has to go fight all the 7 masters of the regions to show to his secret rival that he does deserve the title as the grandmaster...each fight just shows how bad ass he is but he was never that popular as an actor,but my favorit with jackie chan being the second.my favorite movie of all time."
An awesome accomplishment
L. Brown | OHIO | 04/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am an advid martial arts fanatic. I have purchased some dummies and some classics. But this movies stands above any of the ones that I have just purchased. I have waited for a long time and with the right price, I got just what the Doctor ordered. This movie, in all its integrity, has what it takes to become an all-time classic. The fight scenes and styles and characters will astound you. THIS IS A MUST FOR ANYONE TO HAVE AND A CONSTANT JOY TO WATCH. I HAVE NOT STOPPED WATCHING THIS MOVIE FOR AT LEAST 12 HOURS. For anyone who knows good KUNG-FU and can relish the quality of good photography, will indeed love it. The quality of the movie in my opinion, rated AAAAA+. Also, get Hell's Windstaff w/ Hwang Jang Lee a.k.a. "The Silver Fox" Another great movie. Hurry! Hurry!"