THE GRANDMASTER(Blu-ray Region All)
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Special features: movie trailer,Making,The film stills
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Top Customer Reviews
This isn't your typical martial arts movie. Nor is it an outright historical drama or a bio-pic or a philosophical debate or a political thriller or a lovelorn romance. The Grandmaster brilliantly blurs the boundaries between these genres so it's all of the above. And it contains some stunningly shot fight sequences which are both brutal and beautiful in the extreme.
The story is set in China and it starts in the 1930s when the country is invaded by the Japanese. Prior to that, an elder statesman of the martial arts has passed the baton to a younger generation, and in doing so attempts to draw the north and south of his country closer together. War disrupts his noble aim; his family legacy of a unique fighting style is threatened, and the inheritor of his title suffers personal loss, eventually fleeing to Hong Kong. After many years he establishes a martial arts school and a new form of fighting. And makes history.
That bare bones summary doesn't do any justice to the sweeping ambition and subtle beauty of this film. The fight sequences vary in length and intensity. Several of them - the rain sequence, the snow fight, the razor fight, the battle of the bread - offer astonishingly levels of choreography, skill and multi-layered meaning. The personal stories of the protagonists wrap several storylines into the greater plot, highlighting family honour, personal dedication and bitter loss against a backdrop of social and political turmoil.
The result is an intensely satisfying film, one which is far more arthouse than action-adventure. The timeline jumps around to cram in the passage of the years, and I got the impression that the English subtitles were skimping somewhat on the full depth of the dialogue. But overall this is a life story well worth watching.
An all action martial arts movie, or something more?
I hope you'll find this film is more than traditional fare, because it's a very different take...extraordinary - unique.
An episode in [and profile of] the life and times of Ip Man, the real and legendary grandmaster of Wing Chun around the middle of the last century, his trials and tribulations.
It is about love and the devotion to martial arts , it's not a martial arts action movie.
The lasting impression is one of the dedication, determination and denial that the students practice for their art.
A life of discipline - and perhaps, in this case, sacrifice.
In the leading roles, Tony Leung is at his best, Ziyi Zhang is outstanding and both are totally convincing as disciples and skilled practitioners.
But this is a Wong Far Wai movie - visually stunning and thoughtful.
Wong Kar Wai is a perfectionist, exacting director, determined to get what he wants out of every frame.
Time is nothing to him, the result is all.
And as a result this film is one of the most poetic movies I have ever seen.
So take a look with an open mind, to see it for what it is and not for what you think it might be, for this is the work of one of contemporary cinema's grandmasters.
First, I knew a little about Ip Man through some scattered reading references to him over the years. He was an obscure but intriguing figure in my imagination and I wanted to learn more about him.
Second, Won Kar-Wei is the director of the film. His reputation as an auteur, a genuine cinematic artist, precedes him. I respect him and his work.
Third, the actor Tony Leung Chiu-Wai plays Ip Man in the film. There is something about his face, manner and presence (call it charisma, if you will) that exudes calmness, confidence, assurance. He is grounded in his being and if he's afraid of anything, you don't see or sense what it might be. Sizing him up as an opponent is not a confidence booster. You can't picture in detail what will be coming your way but you're disheartened by thinking it will all be bad. He has already beaten you psychologically.
Fourth, history and Sino-Japanese relations interest me. China made Japan. It gave Japan a written language, culture (Buddhism, Confucianism, art, architecture), a bureaucracy, an organized state and a national identity that grew out of such organisation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating story though hard to believe everything in it. Tony Leung is very different from Donnie Yen as Ip Man. Fight scenes well done and artistically well done. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cw Evans-gunther
If you like the IP Man films, starring Donnie Yen,with their mix of action and heart-felt story,then I suggest you steer well clear of this. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. Woods
Stylish cinematic film, but overly moody and atmospheric makes it a marmite experience. I found it pretty dull and personally much prefer the Donnie Yen films on Ip Man.Published 3 months ago by K. Pickering
I'm confused which is an actual portrayal the glitzy Yip man series or this it's quite a sad story though! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr. Robert L. Knight
A confusing mess of a movie, that blows the classic wisdom of show, don't tell. Like the Star Wars prequels, great events happen offscreen - onscreen is people talking, people... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Daniel Garratt