on 28 February 2010
I stumbled upon this blu-ray at the video store and almost didn't get it since it was hyped as the "film about Bruce-Lee's master". I thought it was just going to be a cheaply made and dumb kung fu flick riding the coat tails of Bruce's success. What I got instead was one of the best films I have seen all year, kung fu or no. The film is very well made, the emotional aspects very well acted out and integrated throughout the film. The characters are all very believable and IP Man is definitely the people's hero.
The film and story in itself is just a treat to watch as we follow Master IP Man's life just before and during World War II including the Japanese occupation. The Kung Fu fight scenes are just incredible. I had to watch each one a number of times because they were so cool. I can't fault anything about the choreography or the style as it is just fantastic from start to finish. Donnie Yen does an excellent acting job and shines in the fight scenes.
The film makes you feel good, although some of the fight scenes are a bit brutal and bloody. In the end, it turned out to be a movie that I am going to buy.
The blu-ray has great picture quality and great sound. Neither are reference quality but still worth the blu-ray. The story is what will induce you to buy this epic film though.
on 31 October 2009
'Ip Man' is based on the life of the martial artist, Ip Man who was the real life Kung fu master of Bruce Lee. The movie concentrates solely on the events, which occurred around Ip Man in the city of Foshan (China) between 1930 and 1940 during the 'Second Sino-Japanese (China/Japan) War'.
In the movie, the main form of martial art that is displayed is Wing Chun, which specializes in close-range combat. Ip Man was the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun openly.
Ip Man is one of the finest martial arts movies produced by the Hong Kong movie industry. It was released in December 2008 to a widespread deserved critical acclaim and box-office success. The movie was nominated for 12 Hong Kong Film Awards, winning awards for Best Picture and Best Action Choreography.
The star of the show is the really underrated Donnie Yen who enacts the role of Ip Man. He is simply underrated because he has not been involved in many high grossing movies, whereas the likes of Jackie Chan and Jet Li have. Donnie Yen, if not better, is equally as talented as Chan and Li. In the movie, the way he performed the action scenes is worthy of an applause, simply jaw dropping. Yen performs the action scenes with natural ease making the fighting look beautiful and artistic. Now, coming to the acting, this is clearly Yen's career best performance as he portrays both a 'Hero' and a 'Wounded lion' with total conviction and raging aggression. The way he expresses his emotions both facially and physically is SUPERB. Ip Man is a Donnie Yen show from beginning to end.
The character of the main villain is portrayed by the Japanese actor, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi. His portrayal of the formidable Japanese general is impressive.
The movie is directed by Wilson Yip who provides excellent direction, succeeding in keeping the audience glued to the screen until the end. Ip Man is the fourth collaboration between Yen and Yip after the brilliant 'SPL: Sha Po Lang (aka Kill Zone)', the enjoyable 'Dragon Tiger Gate' and the entertaining 'Flash Point'. All these movies are of the action genre and showcase the chemistry and talent of the duo. All three movies contain stunning martial arts especially 'Sha Po Lang', which was hailed as a return to the classic Hong Kong action cinema. Ip Man is the best effort from the duo to date.
The stunning action choreography, which is a treat to watch is provided by the legendary Sammo Hung (Hong Kong Actor/Martial Artist/Director) who has starred in classic movies like 'Wheels on Meals', 'Project A' and also 'Sha Po Lang'. The beautifull choreography by Hung is displayed on screen by Yen's martial arts skills with finesse. The fight scenes, which are real and brutal are the best I've ever seen and will leave your heart-pounding.
Another hero of the movie is the background music score, which is composed by the Japanese composer, Kenji Kawai. The music is moving and compliments the narration and Yen's action scenes with sheer perfection. The music combined with the martial-arts display by Yen simply inspired me to learn Wing Chun, but after carrying out a reality check, I think I'll leave the martial arts to Yen.
The Blu-ray quality is excellent, providing crystal clear picture and heart-thumping sound. The screen resolution for the Blu-ray disc is 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan), the sound format is HD MA 5.1 Dolby Digital, the audio language is only in Cantonese and the subtitles, which are non-removable are only in English. The disc is in PAL format and region B.
Ip Man is not a normal martial arts movie as it contains all the essential elements of an out-and-out entertainer. It's one of my favourite movies as it has a moving/emotional story, with a great narration, brilliant action, terrific performances and to round it all off, soothing and inspiring music.
It's an inspiring feel-good movie with Ip Man being portrayed as the real 'Peoples Hero' who fought for his people. Once the movie gains momentum you'll be rooting for Yen subconsciously and in the process you just might discover the 'Hero' within you.
Ip Man is strongly recomended as it is one of the greatest Hong Kong movies ever. As a result of the movies success Ip Man 2 is currently in the making and is being planned to be released in 2010, can't wait.
Once Ip Man receives international recognition (for some reason it hasn't yet) it'll become an instant classic.
This is undoubtably one of the best Kung Fu type martial arts films I have seen. I am not going to go over the story as this is covered in numerous other reviews. I will say however that I found the Blu-ray quality more than acceptable but not cutting edge. Considering that the Blu-ray disc is only a couple of £ more than the DVD I would definitely recommend the Blu-ray.
In my opinion Donnie is the nearest to Bruce Lee that you will see today. He is visually very impressive, better than Jet Li or Jackie Chan. With martial arts choreography by Sammo Hung. The supporting cast includes Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, Lam Ka-tung, Xing Yu and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi. I would also recommend the follow up Ip Man 2 (Special Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] also starring Donnie Yen and takes up the story where the first one left off. The sequel centers on Ip's movements in Hong Kong, which is under British colonial rule. You may also be interested in The Legend Is Born: Ip Man [DVD] staring Dennis To in the title role, who gives a very credible performance. One of the highlights of the film is a special appearance by Ip Chun, son of Ip Man, who plays Leung Bik in the film. The film focuses on Ip Man's early life and the story of how he learned the martial arts style of Wing Chun.
If you like your Martial Arts films ala Bruce Lee rather than Chinese Flying Circus style then you will love these films. Try out Ip Man, I am sure you will want to watch the others afterwards.
on 2 July 2011
Despite loving this film and giving it 5 stars, I'd like to contradict other reviews and say that this is not first and foremost a martial arts film, so if you are looking for a simple action movie and don't want to think, look elsewhere. If however, you are looking for a beautifully crafted, cinematic gem then watch Ip Man. For me, the focus of the film was the superb acting skill of Yen in the title role. His gentle demeanour and exquisite expression lift this film above the norm. It is primarily the story of a man of peace and humanity, plunged into the chaos of war and fighting only to protect his family, friends and country. The cinematography is beautiful and the use of colour for the opening hour, switching to an almost black and white feel punctuated by the red of the Japanese flag as a counterpoint during the latter stages when Japan invade and occupy China, is a powerful visual move. The film has moments of humour and pathos and some scenes which will bring a tear to the eye. Yes, the fight scenes are amazing and beautifully choreographed and performed but do not overly dominate what is essentially a story of the triumph of the human spirit. The film has obvious political messages in it's style and particularly at the end, which extols the virtues of China and the Chinese people to the extent that it has an undertone o communist propaganda, but it does not detract from what is a brilliant movie.
'Donnie Yen' plays legendary Chinese Martial-Arts Master 'IP Man'
'IP Man' lives with his wife 'Cheung Wing-Sing' (Lynn Hung) and young son in the city of 'Foshan' they are wealthy and
live in their own home.
Their World is turned upside down in the late 30's when the invading Japanese invaders over-run the city leaving the
couple homeless and having to scrape a living.
The occupying forces are indeed a brutal regime, many residents have fleed 'Foshan' those that remain struggle to find
enough to feed themselves ad their families.
Because of the struggle for food gangs emerge adding to the strife of the residents....
IP Man's reputation has gone before him, the Japanese commander a martial-arts expert himself seeks to have his kung-fu
guards trained-up in the art of 'Wing Chun' by 'IP Man' something he is reluctant to do, ultimately the Commander will seek
to match his skills against that of his Chinese counter-part.
'IP Man' will do everything he can to protect his fellow citizens from the gangs, but more importantly will inspire his fellow
citizens to stand up to their Japanese overlords.
This is quite simply a very good film which has a strong story-line in addition to the well enacted fight sequences, there are
moments of tension and indeed moments of an emotional nature along the way that all combined will engage your attention
Trailer Gallery featuring Wilson Yip, Donnie Yen, Lam Ka-Tung, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, IP Chun, Fan Sui-Wong, Xiong Dai-Lin, Sammo
Hung, Simon Yam.
Making of Gallery (x5 Featurettes)
Location/Set Design Gallery (x3 Featurettes)
Deleted Scenes Gallery (x5)
*World Exclusive - From IP Man to Bruce Lee - Tracing the Legacy
on 10 August 2011
For many, Bruce Lee was their introduction to the `Kung Fu' genre, I'm more of a Jackie Chan man myself, but even I understand the impact that Lee had on martial arts in film. So what has Lee got to do with period drama `Ip Man'? Not much really, except for the fact the film tells the story of Ip Man, the creator of the Wing Chun martial art style that Lee went on to learn and use. Put aside your preconceptions of what a martial arts film is as, although `Ip Man' contains its fair share of action thrills and spills, it also contains a lot of emotion that make it transcend the genre.
Set just before and during the Japanese occupation of China, `Ip Man' is as much a story of a country as it is a man. The treatment of the Chinese people at the hands of the Japanese is not particularly well known in the West, but to many in China and Hong Kong it is a memory that lives on. At the beginning `Ip Man' is a light-hearted tale of a town that specialises in martial arts and the jewel in their crown is their Wing Chun master. However, when war breaks out Ip Man is humbled like the rest of the population and must scramble for a living; can he keep his wife and child safe from the oppressive Japanese forces?
In terms of action `Ip Man' is classic Sammo Hung choreography, well crafted and overblown fights that highlight the nuances of combat. However, it is the emotional impact that gives the fighting strength. This is a war film were people die and men are weakened. The final two fights are deepened by the events leading up to them, making them more than just emotionless fisticuffs. Donnie Yen as Ip Man is brilliantly stoic and carries the film - it is worth watching for his performance alone. `Ip Man' is a rare mixture of drama and martial arts that works. There is none of the pretensions that made the likes of `Crouching Tiger' dull for my tastes; `Ip Man' caters for lovers of drama and kung fu alike.
on 6 February 2011
Ip Man: Follows a storytelling Of A Real Life Legend "Master Ip" pronounced "yip".
This Legend was a Top WING CHUN master and is more well known in this day and age for being Bruce Lee's Sifu (martial arts teacher)
The Film itself is nothing short but Brilliant!
It's a story that loosely follows the early life of Master Ip in the 1930's just before and during the Japanese Invasion of China - set in Foshan.
Although not historically accurate, It somewhat retells the story of this respected master very very well! Also some of those that knew the real master and his legacy worked closely within this title.
Donnie Yen plays the leading role. with Yen having to have trained hard, be on a strict diet and even remained in character after the camera stops rolling - just so he could give the role he is playing the justice it deserves!
Sammo Hung is taken on as the stunt and martial arts Choreographer. Which is clearly shown here, as the fights and choreography are nothing short but of absolute Brilliance!!!
The Film showcases how a very confident man can also be rather humble and know when to say "no" when something affects even his own family.
Ip Man: has a very deep story that leaves YOU the Viewer cheering on the main character in everything he faces.
It shows emotions, pride, hardship, respect, mercy, excellent fight scenes, and authentic characteristics all rolled into one compelling heart-felt and heart-pumping story.
This Is A MUST BUY!!! It shows that the best kung fu movies has not died out completely! and this marks the return of decent kung fu/martial arts movies.
A sequel has been made which is understandable. Because this film really is that GOOD!!!
on 8 August 2011
The sumptious look of Ip Man only enhances the enjoyment you will have from this beautifully crafted and well choreographed martial arts film. The story centres around the legendary Ip Man and his struggle with the Japanese forces. The film starts with Ip Man living as a local legend in a city well known for its martial arts clubs. Life seems pretty rosy until the Japanese decide its time to invade China. The city is left in ruins and the townspeople are struggling to feed themselves and their families. The film starts off bright colourful and then becomes grey and dull when the invasion happens. This subtle change in lighting and colour goes a long way in making the viewer experience the oppression felt by the residents. It makes it easy to cheer for the hero of the piece. The fight scenes are among the best commited to screen, showing flair and skill whilst keeping it all within the realms of realism. The story as a whole successfully treads the fine line between heroism and cheesiness by anchoring the story around a very composed and likable lead in Ip Man. Full of heart and soul and with some comedy thrown in for good measure, it would take a hard heart not to enjoy the ride.
on 29 October 2009
It has been said this movie has a slow pace, but Ip Man kept me interested till the very end, that in itself says everything about the acting, characters, fight scenes and set design. Everything has been done so well it's hard not to be impressed with what you're watching. The storyline itself for me was the only weak point, but that will depend on your experience. As a fan of Asian cinema over the last 25 years, the story of 'Yip Man' is something I feel I have seen many a time; Jet Li's Fearless and Ip Man for example share many similarities in story, even if they aren't based on the same person. The storyline just struggled to leave a lasting impression on me. As Ip Man is not an all action fight fest some viewers will focus on the movies fairly straight forward plot. When a fight scene comes along though it's well worth the price of admission. The fighting is mostly grounded in reality, you can see the use of some wire work during intricate maneuvers or when someone takes a hard hit for example. But it's mainly to emphasise the impact, rather than exaggerate it.
Donnie Yen plays the role of Ip Man wonderfully, switching from peaceful and content Husband and Father, to Master Ip Man with relative ease. He really gives the impression that he would either give you the coat off his back, or choke you to death with it. The supporting cast also pull their weight, and it's good to see Simon Yam (Full Contact, Full Time Killer) in such a big budget production.
Now, the Bluray. The picture is superb, and it really shows off the amount of effort that went into the sets, lighting, choreography and camera work. Often a several man fight scene can be blurred amongst the rapid movement on screen, here it's captured in all its glory. At times I thought the contrast may have been a little bit too high, but that's a very minor quible in all honesty, this truly looks great. The DTS HD Master Audio track was fantastic too, every thump, wallop and crash recorded to perfection.
There is also a very nice array of extra features to sink your teeth into. We have several making of featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes and 'Tracing the legacy: From IP Man to Bruce Lee'. This is in HD as well, and looks great. The extras are rounded off with trailers from CineAsias other Bluray releases. The back of the Bluray indicates that there is approx 144 minuts of extras, so plenty to sink your teeth into once you have watched the movie, and another reason it deserved the 4 star rating i've given it.
So, a good movie on a very good Bluray, well worth purchasing if you've any interest in the genre whatsoever.
on 18 July 2015
I grew up watching Chinese Martial Arts films in the early 1980s and kept up the interest into my adult years.
Having watched many beautiful Martial Arts films, it would not be conceit if I declared that Donnie Yen's "Ip Man" is easily my favourite Martial Arts film ever. It is no wonder that I have recommended it to almost all my friends and even bought this DVD several times in order to offer it as a gift.
The movie's brilliance in my view centres on 3 key aspects;
1. A philosophical outlook on the amazing character of a Wing Chun Grandmaster, who is unassuming and friendly but incredibly skilled. The character is fully developed with a sweet disposition yet is ready to explode if need be. This character is also charismatic owing to Donnie Yen's good looks, coupled with unsurpassed skill in the art of Wing Chun Kung fu.
2. Amazing choreography. The movements in this movie are graceful and realistic. This makes the film, riveting.
3. The film has a sombre and realistic atmosphere as it is loosely based on events that took place during the domination of China by the British Empire. This adds to it's appeal owing to the "based on a true story" genre.
This is simply my best Martial Arts film yet.