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The Grandmaster (2013) (Blu-ray) Blu-ray Region All

Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Actor) | Wong Kar Wai (Director, Producer) | Zhang Ziyi (Actor) | Chang Chen (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10 (4)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6.4 out of 10 (5)

YesAsia Editorial Description

"Martial arts. Two words: Horizontal and vertical. There's no right and wrong; the last man standing wins."

Over a decade in the making, Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster is finally here! Initially planned as a biography of Wing Chun Grandmaster Ip Man (Best known as Bruce Lee's master), The Grandmaster has since become an epic drama about three martial artists who walk three very different paths in their road to becoming grandmasters. While the filmmaker touches on familiar themes like unrequited feelings and longing between lonely people, he also tries his hand at new themes by exploring the philosophies behind martial arts and the slow decay of that world's long-standing traditions. To accurately depict the various martial arts schools occupying that world, Wong spent several years visiting martial art masters across China to study the ideological and physical differences between each school. He even recruited martial arts scholar/filmmaker Xu Haofeng (The Sword Identity) to serve as a co-writer of the script.

In addition to WKW regular Tony Leung Chiu Wai starring as Ip Man, The Grandmaster also co-stars Zhang Ziyi in a scene-stealing performance as a strong-willed Bagua Quan master, Chang Chen as a mysterious Baji master who wishes to escape his espionage life, Zhao Benshen as a retired grandmaster, Song Hye Kyo as Ip's wife Zhang Yongcheng and Xiao Shenyang as a Hong Kong hoodlum. The three main stars all underwent extensive training in their respective martial arts schools in order to execute the complex action choreography by Yuen Woo Ping (The Matrix, Tai Chi Master). Always the perfectionist, Wong kept the production of the film going for over three years. After the long, delay-filled wait, Wong finally delivered a gorgeous epic that is also one of the most thoughtful explorations of the martial arts world ever put on film. The opening film of the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, the highly anticipated film is also the biggest commercial success of Wong Kar Wai's distinguished career.

Hailing from a rich family, Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) devoted his life to practicing Wing Chun in the city of Foshan. When Gong Baosen, Chairman of the Chinese Martial Artists Union, decides to mark his retirement with a sparring match in Foshan, Ip is thrust into the limelight as Baosen's chosen opponent. Despite objections by Baosen's daughter Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi), Baosen goes ahead with the match and breaks his family's unbeaten record with a rare loss. Gong Er manages to save her family honor by winning a rematch against Ip, and the two even strike up an unspoken bond in the process. However, the Sino-Japanese War breaks out, causing Ip to lose his family fortune and Baosen's disciple Ma San (Zhang Jin) to turn to the Japanese for self-preservation. While Ip struggles to care for his family, Gong Er makes a major sacrifice in the name of revenge. Meanwhile, a mysterious man named The Razor (Chang Chen) attempts to leave behind his life as a spy and heads to Hong Kong...

This edition includes making of, trailers and a stills gallery.

Note: The edition features the original 130-minute Hong Kong theatrical cut.

© 2013-2019 YesAsia.com Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Technical Information

Product Title: The Grandmaster (2013) (Blu-ray) 一代宗師 (2013) (Blu-ray) 一代宗师 (2013) (Blu-ray) 一代宗師 (2013) (Blu-ray) The Grandmaster (2013) (Blu-ray)
Artist Name(s): Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Actor) | Zhang Ziyi (Actor) | Chang Chen (Actor) | Lo Hoi Pang (Actor) | Law Mong (Actor) | Wang Qing Xiang (Actor) | Song Hye Kyo (Actor) | Max Zhang (Actor) | Zhao Ben Shan (Actor) | Xiao Shen Yang (Actor) | Liu Shun (Actor) | King Shih Chieh (Actor) | Liu Chia Yung (Actor) | Shang Tie Long (Actor) | Berg Ng (Actor) | Cung Le (Actor) | Julian Cheung | Elvis Tsui (Actor) | Yuen Woo Ping (Actor) 梁 朝偉 (Actor) | 章子怡 (Actor) | 張震 (Actor) | 盧海鵬 (Actor) | 羅莽 (Actor) | 王慶祥 (Actor) | 宋 慧喬 (Actor) | 張晉 (Actor) | 趙本山 (Actor) | 小 瀋陽 (Actor) | 劉洵 (Actor) | 金 士傑 (Actor) | 劉家勇 (Actor) | 尚鐵龍 (Actor) | 吳廷燁 (Actor) | 黎烈弓 (Actor) | 張智霖 | 徐錦江 (Actor) | 袁和平 (Actor) 梁 朝伟 (Actor) | 章子怡 (Actor) | 张震 (Actor) | 卢海鹏 (Actor) | 罗莽 (Actor) | 王庆祥 (Actor) | 宋 慧乔 (Actor) | 张晋 (Actor) | 赵本山 (Actor) | 小 渖阳 (Actor) | 刘洵 (Actor) | 金 士杰 (Actor) | 刘家勇 (Actor) | 尚铁龙 (Actor) | 吴廷烨 (Actor) | 黎烈弓 (Actor) | 张智霖 | 徐锦江 (Actor) | 袁和平 (Actor) 梁朝偉 (トニー・レオン) (Actor) | 章子怡(チャン・ツィイー) (Actor) | 張震(チャン・チェン) (Actor) | 廬海鵬(ロー・ホイパン) (Actor) | 羅莽(ロー・モン) (Actor) | 王慶祥(ワン・チンシャン) (Actor) | ソン・ヘギョ (Actor) | Max Zhang (Actor) | 趙本山(チャオ・ベンシャン) (Actor) | 小瀋陽 (シャオシェンヤン) (Actor) | 劉洵(ラウ・ション) (Actor) | 金仕傑(カム・シーキット) (Actor) | Liu Chia Yung (Actor) | Shang Tie Long (Actor) | 呉廷燁 (ン・ティンイップ) (Actor) | Cung Le (Actor) | 張智霖(チョン・チーラム) | 徐錦江(チョイ・ガムゴン) (Actor) | 袁和平(ユエン・ウーピン) (Actor) 양조위 (Actor) | 장쯔이 (Actor) | 장첸 (Actor) | Lo Hoi Pang (Actor) | Law Mong (Actor) | Wang Qing Xiang (Actor) | 송 혜교 (Actor) | Max Zhang (Actor) | Zhao Ben Shan (Actor) | Xiao Shen Yang (Actor) | Liu Shun (Actor) | King Shih Chieh (Actor) | Liu Chia Yung (Actor) | Shang Tie Long (Actor) | WU TING YE (Actor) | Cung Le (Actor) | Julian Cheung | Elvis Tsui (Actor) | Yuen Woo Ping (Actor)
Director: Wong Kar Wai 王 家衛 王 家卫 王家衛 (ウォン・カーウァイ)  왕가위
Action Director: Yuen Woo Ping 袁和平 袁和平 袁和平(ユエン・ウーピン) Yuen Woo Ping
Producer: Wong Kar Wai | Jacky Pang 王 家衛 | 彭綺華 王 家卫 | 彭绮华 王家衛 (ウォン・カーウァイ)  | Jacky Pang 왕가위 | Jacky Pang
Blu-ray Region Code: All Region What is it?
Release Date: 2013-04-23
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Thai
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1, 7.1, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital
Disc Format(s): 50 GB - Double Layer, Blu-ray
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Rating: IIA
Duration: 130 (mins)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1033040913

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Making of
- Trailer
- Posters+Photo Gallery

Director: Wong Kar-wai

It starts as the story of Ip Man.
He was born and raised in Foshan. From the time of his youth he took part in contest after contest of skill in and around the Gold Pavilion. Then, one day, Master Gong arrived from the Northeast to hold a retirement ceremony at the Gold Pavilion.

One retires, one steps forward.
But who is entitled to be called a grandmaster? Ip Man Master Gong’s daughter, Gong Er? The self-described ‘rascal’ of the Northeast? Or is it Master Gong, who took the Northern martial arts to the South?
Some are those who are only ever able to start fires and light lamps, and those who observe the currents of a chaotic and war-tom world from the sidelines.

Kungfu, a horizontal and a vertical, falling, rising, charging forward, carrying on. An era, rising and falling scattering, regrouping, counter-attacking, advancing. It starts in Foshan. Its heart is in Dongbei, Its feet are on the ground in Hong Kong. This can no longer just the story of Ip Man.

It is the path of the grandmaster: Being. Knowing. Doing.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Awards

This film has won 21 award(s) and received 27 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Grandmaster (2013) (Blu-ray)"

May 28, 2013

The Grandmaster is Wong Kar-Wai's first Chinese-language feature in eight years — his last was 2046 in 2004 — so high expectations are natural. This is what happens when a director makes instant classics, achieves international fame and then takes too long to complete his subsequent films. Given the ever-present hype surrounding him, disappointment at anything Wong Kar-Wai creates now is understandable. So dial down those expectations for The Grandmaster. It can't be In the Mood for Love because its star character is real-life martial arts master Ip Man, and it can't be Fallen Angels or Chungking Express because it's a period piece that takes place in a time before the MTR, convenience stores and canned pineapple. Like it or not, we're getting a different sort of Wong Kar-Wai movie. That's good news, because while The Grandmaster possesses a pretension and themes similar to previous Wong works, it also reveals potentially exciting growth for the already deified director.

In 1930s China, retiring northern Baquazhang master and Chinese Martial Artists Union chairman Gong Yutian (Wang Qingxiang) takes on a final sparring match against southern Wing Chun practitioner Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), a rich upstart whose smirky demeanor belies a mature inner calm. Not intending to compete, Ip Man is thrust into the limelight by his peers and takes on Master Gong in the Gold Pavilion, an upscale brothel used for hidden martial arts shenanigans and portrayed in a ridiculously ornate fashion by Wong Kar-Wai's long-time production designer William Cheung. The match is short and largely technical, with Ip Man using inner strength and subtle technique to assert his superiority over Master Gong. Incensed at the loss, Master Gong's daughter Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi) issues Ip Man a challenge to avenge her family's previously undefeated record. Their duel is more active, graceful and balletic, like leftovers from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and as the two spar, an emotional connection forms.

A union between Ip Man and Gong Er is forbidden by propriety — he's married to Cheung Wing-Sing (a limited Song Hye-Kyo) and she's engaged — plus larger events keep them apart. In the ensuing years, Ip Man and Gong Er are connected only through intertitles hinting at their affection. Ip Man copes with the Second Sino-Japanese War, which strips him of his fortune and compromises his personal integrity, while Gong Er seeks vengeance upon Ma San (Zhang Jin), her father's former number one student who betrayed their clan. Gong Er's actions require a remarkable sacrifice. Against her father's explicit wishes, she chooses vengeance over a future as a doctor and wife. As she did when she challenged Ip Man, Gong Er chooses the path laid out by wu lin (the "martial world") — a path that ensures that her family honor remains intact even if she must give up her life. Eventually, Gong Er and Ip Man meet again, but time, triumphs and tragedies have taken their toll.

Like other Wong Kar-Wai movies, The Grandmaster is light on narrative urgency, its storyline framed around Ip Man's life but told using key events that aren't always connected spatially or temporally. Despite the presence of a revenge story, there's no real rising action. Instead, what binds the film is the theme of how martial arts and life intersect. Two concepts are used to highlight this theme. One is delivered through voiceover by Ip Man, who describes the characters for kung fu as being composed of the "vertical" and "horizontal", which refers to the outcome of a fight when one combatant stands upright while the other lies defeated. The second concept has to do with three levels that signify the highest achievement in martial arts. This comes through a verbal lesson from Master Gong to Ma San, expressing that while Ma San has achieved the first two levels, he has yet to reach the third and likely never will.

These ideas are explored throughout The Grandmaster, and while the loose structure makes for an uneven experience, there's still a clear and resonant arc for each character. Both Ma San and Gong Er make active choices, with emotions like anger, pride and also love preventing both from ascending to the highest level of kung fu. Ip Man also possesses these emotions – most obviously seen in his hidden affection for Gong Er — but chooses a less resistant or self-aggrandizing path. Ip Man is very passive, but in choosing to rise above ambition or pride he's poised for higher achievement. This is the martial arts world viewed through a humanist lens — a slyly subversive idea and one that's a tweak on the usual Wong Kar-Wai M.O. Unlike other Wong films (notably Ashes of Time), the regretted romance is not the driving force, and is instead a consequence. Using emotions to subvert genre is an old trick for Wong, but in The Grandmaster he raises his game by placing his priority on the world and not the individual.

Wong's trademark style remains lush and pretentious, which is both a compliment and a minor frustration. Wong wastes no time catering to expectations: The Grandmaster is superficially gorgeous, the caveat being that the visuals neatly fit expectations of Wong Kar-Wai and indeed most pop-art Asian cinema post-Wong. There's little freshness in forbidden lovers gazing at one another in slow-motion, and the claustrophobic cinematography fits right in with Wong's self-absorbed 21st century aesthetic. The artifice extends to the kung-fu sequences; Wong combines slow motion impact with overblown art direction and evocative details to create a familiar visual feast. Such style is calculated and without spontaneity, and does less here than in, say, In the Mood for Love, where mood and atmosphere were paramount. Nowadays, in this postmodern movie culture, having warriors battle in the rain at night only seems like visual shorthand for "this is awesome." A different visual direction would have been welcome.

Furthermore, why did this have to be an Ip Man biopic? As presented, Ip Man fits Wong's themes, and the depth of martial arts detail greatly helps to convince. But is this really Ip Man? Or just Wong Kar-Wai's idea of Ip Man — a different but no less fictional one than the puffed up folk hero presented in Wilson Yip's Ip Man movies? Audience familiarity with Ip Man aside, Wong could have crafted a similar film with Tony Leung playing a fictional martial arts master experiencing the same martial world journey, but instead we get an unfocused biopic that detours questionably and too often. Besides the heavy focus on Gong Er, who's arguably the film's real protagonist, we get "The Razor" (Chang Chen), a Chinese spy and Bajiquan master whose journey from assassin to ass-kicking barber makes a nice parallel to Ip Man – and yet he's only in three scenes, two of which qualify as action set pieces. Chang Chen is electrifying when he appears but all things considered, he could have been cut and the film would have been fine.

Wong Kar-Wai has long eschewed conventional screenwriting and filmmaking rules, but that doesn't mean his choices are always correct. There's a patchwork quality to his work that's seductive and dreamlike, and yet one could ask if that's the proper approach to this subject. There's really no right answer, so it may come down to the audience and how they take Wong's elliptical storytelling, the dazzling and artful action by Yuen Woo-Ping, and the collection of talent. Tony Leung is by turns smirky and stoic, and has the unenviable task of playing a man whose passions are so deeply buried that he's basically hidden them completely from view. Leung's performance is an epic bit of underplaying that's easily overshadowed by Zhang Ziyi, who shines brightly as Gong Er. Her character possesses the most complete arc, and Zhang brings a fierce dignity and willful emotion to the role. Zhao Benshan, Shang Tielong and especially Wang Xingqiang impress in supporting roles, while martial artist Zhang Jin balances physicality and performance well. Familiar Chinese cinema faces dot the background, adding some "Hey, it's him!" fun for the inclined.

As always, Wong Kar-Wai movies are not for everyone. The Grandmaster's arty qualities are as pronounced and self-conscious as ever, so if you can't stand pretentious claptrap then don't bother to check in. Western fans of Wong Kar-Wai may fall in line simply because it satisfies the superficial expectations of Wong's films while providing some of that exotic "Asianness" that plays so well on the festival circuit. However, the breakthrough for Wong Kar-Wai may be the film's complete thematic ideas and its appeal to Chinese audiences — who, frankly speaking, have never been Wong's greatest cheerleaders. Wong's work has long been characterized by its self-absorbed characters and emotions — making his films "universal" beyond cultural borders — but The Grandmaster deals with filial piety, humility and other humanist ideals, and implies that perhaps the one who stands upright at the end is merely the one who chose the most decent path. That's not as compelling a theme as "I regret not cherishing the one that I loved most" but it's a far, far more mature one. A maturing, more worldly Wong Kar-Wai? The possibilities are endless.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

Editor's Pick of "The Grandmaster (2013) (Blu-ray)"

Picked By Rockman
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April 22, 2013

Wuxia through Wong Kar Wai's eyes
In Ashes of Time, Wong Kar Wai used Jin Yong's wuxia stories to explore themes like unrequited love, regrets and other emotional demons. It was groundbreaking in the way the auteur created a revisionist re-imagining of the popular author's extraordinary world of warriors and lifelong grudges. It was the most ambitious film of Wong's career, and now it is topped by The Grandmaster.

Conceptualized when Wong was shooting Happy Together in Argentina, The Grandmaster began as a biography of Ip Man. After Wong conducted years of research into various martial art schools, it has since become something much larger. If Ashes of Time is taking a large world to explore small, intimate themes, then The Grandmaster uses three martial artists' stories to explore much broader themes about life in the so-called martial world.

In the final film (both the original theatrical and the upcoming international versions are reportedly about the same), Ip Man's story takes up about half the screen time, and is actually the least interesting plot line of the film. We see him being thrust into the spotlight when master martial artist Gong Baosen (an exceptional Wang Qingxiang) chooses Ip to be his sparring opponent for his retirement match. We also see the Sino-Japanese War's effect on Ip's family, as well as a glimpse of his life in Hong Kong.

Unlike the Ip Man films with Donnie Yen, Wong's portrayal of the Wing Chun master is unglamorous, despite Ip being played by superstar Tony Leung Chiu Wai. While Leung may be the most handsome Wing Chun master ever in the history of cinema, his interpretation of the character is too low-key to make him a convincing martial arts hero. This seems to be an intentional choice by Wong, who suggests that some martial art masters are revered not for their skills, but for being the last one standing after everyone else has fallen. Ip doesn't fight any evil Japanese soldiers or nasty foreign boxers in The Grandmaster; he merely wins in the end by surviving the obstacles life gives him.

Instead, the most interesting plot line in The Grandmaster belongs to Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi), the daughter of Gong Baosen. A fictional take on a real-life character (Jiang Wen reportedly has the film rights to the real-life character already), Gong Er's story will feel more familiar to wuxia fans, with revenge, family pride and sacrifice all offering very effective dramatic momentum to the proceedings. Zhang also gives a fierce performance as possibly the toughest woman in the martial arts world. Wong has always been great at creating memorable female characters in his films, and Gong Er is no exception.

Due to Wong's contractual obligation to keep the film under 130 minutes long, he was forced to cut out much of the story involving The Razor (Cheng Chen), a martial artist who leaves behind his life of espionage by escaping to Hong Kong. Like his two co-stars, Cheng underwent vigorous martial arts training for his role, and most of his screen time is devoted to displaying his hard work. Like Tony Leung's sudden appearance at the end of Days of Being Wild, Chang's appearances will leave audiences wanting more of the Razor.

Despite being the first Ip Man film to go into production, The Grandmaster would've been disappointing if Wong and co-writers Zou Jingzhi and Xu Haofeng had spent years of research and three years of production just to make another Ip Man film. Fortunately, The Grandmaster is more than just gorgeous visuals and graceful martial art moves (choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping). It's a film about long-standing traditions that these masters live by and what these rules mean to them. The dialogue is often dense and packed with multiple meanings, making it difficult for any casual Chinese speaker to understand. Multiple viewings are virtually a must for people to understand everything Wong wants to say, as he finally manages to explore more than just the inner emotional demons and dysfunctional relationships that he has been obsessed with since Days of Being Wild. The Grandmaster is more than just a Wong Kar Wai film or an Ip Man film; it is a beautiful and poetic lament for a world that is long gone, as well as a thoughtful tribute to the philosophies behind martial arts.

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "The Grandmaster (2013) (Blu-ray)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10 (4)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6.4 out of 10 (5)

Paul
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August 30, 2015

1 people found this review helpful

Wong Kar Wai's greatest triumph! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
As the reviews for this film seem divided, I'll offer my thoughts. Being a Wong Kar Wai fan, the first time I saw this film I wasn't sure what to think. It was not what I would typically expect from this renowned director nor what I would expect from a martial arts movie. Since then, I have grown to love this film. It is one of a kind, a film to be understood on its own merits.

Admittedly I have not seen the other movies about Ip Man, but I am content with The Grandmaster. This film shows his life in a beautifully artistic and realistic way. It is not all action, although there is plenty of that. I find the slower, character driven scenes more fascinating, which is where Wong Kar Wai shines as a director.

As for the Blu Ray quality, this would be one of my choices to play for a guest to show off my entertainment center. Visually, this may be the best Blu Ray I own. Also, the Hong Kong edition is considerably longer than the American edition so, as usual, I would recommend the Hong Kong Edition. I have learned to support the Hong Kong Blu Ray market.
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Kevin Kennedy
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August 29, 2014

This customer review refers to The Grandmaster (2013) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition)
Wong Kar Wai's Ip Man film Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Director Wong Kar Wai's "The Grandmaster" is an exceptionally beautiful evocation of the martial arts world in 1930s Foshan and 1950s Hong Kong. (Note: This is a review of the US release of this film.) Tony Leung Chiu Wai plays Ip Man, the leading figure in Foshan's martial arts community. The northern grandmaster Gong Yutian (Wang Qingxiang) has come to Foshan on the eve of his retirement to challenge to a contest the leading southern martial artist. The community in Foshan selects Ip Man to meet the challenge and, in a battle of wits, Ip manages to come out on top. Gong's daughter Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi), a master of the Eight Diagrams Palm style, seeks to avenge her father's defeat. The subsequent contest between Gong Er and Ip Man becomes both an exhibition of wuxia skill and a romantic dance. The unfulfilled yearnings between the two, coupled with the bullying of Ma San (Zhang Jin), Gong Yutian's chosen successor, drive the film's story.

In the DVD's 'Making of' featurette, Wong expresses the importance of the term "gong fu", meaning mastery, in the film's conception. What Wong seems to suggest is that gong fu is a two-way process: as a martial artist masters the techniques of, for example, the wing chun style, the wing chun style in turn masters the martial artist. We see this theme play out in the film, as the personalities of its central characters reflect the martial arts styles with which they are associated. This conception of gong fu as mastering the wuxia master also seems to be reflected in the film's dialogue. No one in "The Grandmaster" ever speaks naturally; the characters issue epigrammatic declamations. This strangely stylized speaking style, coupled with the film's exceedingly deliberate pace distances the viewer from the action and, for me, caused inadvertent laughs, particularly upon a second viewing. It is a testimony to the extraordinary grace with which Leung Chiu Wai and Zhang Ziyi handle their roles that the film in the end packs an emotional punch.

The film's cinematography, art direction, costume design, and action choreography all create a visual feast; there's never a moment of the film that doesn't look gorgeous. However, the measured pace coupled with the pretentious dialogue makes even the 108-minute US version of "The Grandmaster" seem overlong. Imperfect as it is, "The Grandmaster" may be our most diligent and beautiful exposition of the martial arts world and is highly recommended.
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Sam
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September 7, 2013

1 people found this review helpful

Disappointing Transfer Customer Review Rated Bad 2 - 2 out of 10
Serious collectors should stay away from this version. Quality of the blu ray is poor. Looks like transfer from DVD source. Definitely not worth the money. I have a DVD version but decided to buy the blu ray version since I like the movie so much. That was a mistake.
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rblenhei...
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May 25, 2013

1 people found this review helpful

One of Wong Kar-Wai's masterpieces Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
It was finally time for the great iconoclastic Hong Kong director to turn to martial arts action in his intense and atmospheric telling of the great grandmaster teacher, Ip man, and he doesn't disappoint.

Wong Kar-wai brings the poetic beauty of his "In the Mood for Love" to martial arts action executed with a precise rhythmic heightening reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah at his best, bringing out the sensations of living through the Japanese invasion of China during WWII. The cast is magnificent, especially Tony Leung as the Ip man and Ziyi Zhang as Gong Er perfectly embodies a kungfu mistress trying to avenge her father. A masterpiece by Wong to put on a level with his finest work.

My only gripe about this Blu-ray release (which looks stunning in its clarity of picture and color highlighting particularly Wong's penchant for rain and darkness) is that the special features do not have any English subtitling -- so unless you read Chinese you won't be able to know what Wong or his crew and cast are talking about.

A worthy addition to your Blu-ray library.
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Thomas
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May 8, 2013

2 people found this review helpful

A Disappointment Customer Review Rated Bad 2 - 2 out of 10
The Grandmaster has a similar flow and vibe as Ashes of Time. So lots of dialogue with a few dramatic action scenes mixed in . As a martial arts movie it's fairly average, about the same as the rest over the last 5 or 10 years. What makes this movie fail is that it features a character named Ip Man and the timeline of the story follows Ip Man's life. But that's it in regards to Ip Man. The story focuses more on Zhang Zi Yi's character. Tony Leung's character could have been given a different name and with a few small script changes, the movie would be simply another martial arts film with nothing related to Ip Man. On top of that there's really not much in this movie related to Wing Chun, which I would think is something to expect in a movie about Ip Man. When the credits rolled I was completely confused. Maybe the story was changed after Donnie Yen's Ip Man movie was released? I don't know. But I waited for this movie for years and I was really let down.

P.S. the video quality is quite poor. I don't know if it's the bluray transfer or in the original film, but almost all of the dark images are terribly grainy. Really bad. And none of the special features will play.
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