Great film, terrible version of it
edison | California, United States | 09/20/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Shaolin Wooden Men is my most favorite of Jackie Chan's early films. However, in my opinion the new Columbia/Tristar DVD version is such a terrible print of the film that I regret buying it. The entire upper 60% of the screen has a horrible pea green cast to it, making everyone look seasick. The contrast has been increased, presumably to 'remove' scratches, but this has darkened so much of the film that you can no longer see any detail in the woodwork of buildings, the shadows of trees, people's hair and faces, etc.
The worst part is this print is missing over 9 and a half minutes of opening footage that showed Jackie demonstrating the five Kung Fu disciplines used in the movie, as well as his first encounter with the wooden men, the opening overture and introductory scenes of Shaolin life.
The one redeeming thing about the Columbia/Tristar DVD version is that it is indeed true letterbox. As such you can truly see the full layout of the film as originally intended. The sound quality is also quite good, considering the age of the film. But despite, this is still the only instance where I've ever preferred a Beverly Wilshire/Telefilms DVD version of a Jackie Chan film (fullscreen, scratches, video artifacts and all) to a remastered Columbia/Tristar DVD version. I am disappointed."
The Best and Most Serious of all Jackie Chan Movies
edison | 01/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie, in my opinion, is Jackie's greatest. He plays "Little Mute", a boy training in kung fu at the shaolin monastery who is tormented by the witnessing of his father's death. Jackie is given a hard time by his fellow students and is ocassionally punished by his teacher for slacking off. Soon after his punishment, Jackie meets the Drunken Monk who teaches him a few drunken kung fu techniques. He then meets a prisoner who agrees to teach him the 'Lion's Roar" technique if he brings him food each day. After nearly mastering the prisoners kung fu he is taught by a nun who practices the "Gliding Snake" kung fu. In result of all his hard work, Jackie is sent on a mission to fight the famous "Wooden Men" and deliver a message. Little does he know that the prisoner has returned to his life of crime and is the true murderer of Little Mute's father
This is without a doubt,Jackie Chan's greatest kung fu movie. If you are used to his kung fu comedies, then most likely you would not enjoy it. There is hardly any comedy at all and is filled with nonstop fighting and training sequences. It offers a typical avenging death plot with plenty of action that would sure to please any serious old fashioned kung fu movie fan. P.S.-Don't buy the Columbia/Tristar version of the film which cuts out the first 10 minutes of the film. It contains a nonstop fighting demonstration and the opening credits."
Wooden Men Is Made Of Gold!
edison | 08/20/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the true Kung Fu fan, nothing makes a movie like great fight scenes, a secret fighting style, and cheesy dubbed dialogue. This movie has it all. With lines like: "..your kung fu is poor. You better go back and practice some more.", you can't go wrong.Jackie Chan is great, as always. But the villian, Phat U: Master of the Lion's Roar Technique, makes the whole movie.Do yourself a favor and pick this one up."
Shaolin Wooden Men (1976)
Chris Zarb | Sliema, Malta | 11/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jackie plays a young man who has vowed not to speak until he avenges the death of his father. In order to learn kung fu he goes to the Shaolin Temple where he finds work as a handyman. After some time the master takes pity on Jackie and starts to him on martial arts. But for a student to leave he must pass the ultimate test of the Wooden Men."