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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Legend of Drunken Master [Blu-ray]'
(Jackie Chan, Ho-Sung Pak, et al / DVD / R / (1994) 2009 / Miramax Films)

Overview: Jackie Chan was 40 when he stepped back into the role of young Wong Fei Hung in this sequel to his 1978 breakthrough comic hit, Drunken Master. Chan returns Wong Fei Hung to the mischievous youth of the original film, an impetuous rascal with the skills of his healer/martial arts master father (Ti Lung of A Better Tomorrow) and the impulsiveness of his conniving, fun-loving mother (Anita Mui).

DVD Verdict: "The Legend of Drunken Master" is absolutely vintage Jackie Chan at his very best. Jackie Chan is literally amazing to watch as the Smooth, fluid choreography is just outstanding and absolutely wonderful to watch in High Definition. But those battle sequences are just amazing to watch and the fight scenes, especially earlier in the film with Chinese loyalist General Fu (Liu Chia-liang) was just incredible.

Also, impressive was to see the latest Anita Mui (who was the equivalent to music artist Madonna in Hong Kong) and both she and Jackie Chan had awesome chemistry onscreen, even in this film despite Chan being much older than Anita, but everything seems to work quite well. As for Andy Lau's appearance, it was quite a short role. And for Shaw Brothers fans, you can catch the veteran Ti Lung playing Wong Kei-ying.

Again, I want to make it clear that this film has its best looking transfer to date on Blu-ray. Picture quality is very good but not great. But what it all comes down to is the viewer and what they want are expecting from this film.

For those wanting the 2000 English dubbed dialogue, you're going to get an awesome lossless track on Blu-ray as the film's lossless audio is utilizing the front, center and surround channels quite well during the action scenes.

But for those who have been waiting for the uncut release, let alone a release that would include the Cantonese or Mandarin audio, you're not going to get it on this Blu-ray release. And this is a major blow for those who have been hoping that with a Blu-ray release, they would be getting the version they have waited so long for. Even watching the final scene, a viewer is left wondering why it ends quite suddenly with no appearance from Jackie Chan but the truth is that Dimension cut that scene out (the original ending with Jackie Chan is a bit shocking but I'm not going to spoil it for you) because it was deemed in appropriate.

So, needless to say...it's going to be a love or hate release among fans. As a fan of the film, one can either wait and hope that an import uncut release of the film makes it to Blu-ray. Or perhaps maybe purchasing this latest release with the better picture quality, better lossless audio but for the most part only in English, French and Spanish (no Chinese audio dialogue) along with the revisions made back in 2000.

Personally, I want an uncut version with its original Chinese language (ala lossless audio) included and unfortunately, I didn't get it with this release. Otherwise, for those who don't mind the revisions or the English dub, this Blu-ray release of "The Legend of the Drunken Master" is the definitive version to own for now. [DAA] This is a Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Behind the Master: An Interview with Jackie Chan - (6:35) Jackie Chan talks about how he always wanted the film to come out in the US and talks about the stunt choreography of the film.

www.miramax.com





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