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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Yong zhe wu ju" or "Dreadnaught")

 

Directed by Woo-Ping Yuen
Hong Kong 1981

 

Directed by legendary action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping (The Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Dreadnaught expertly blends majestic action sequences with superb physical comedy, courtesy of stars Yuen Biao, Bryan Leung Kar-yan, and Yuen Shun-yee.

A violent criminal known only as ‘White Tiger’ (Yuen Shun-yee; Iron Monkey) is hiding amongst a theatre troupe, murdering anyone who discovers his identity (as well as anyone who happens to annoy him). Mousy, a timid laundry man (Yuen Biao; Project A), crosses paths with White Tiger several times but always manages to escape. When the killer instead targets his friend (Bryan “Beardy” Leung; Warriors Two), Mousy must overcome his cowardly nature and acquire the skills necessary to defeat the White Tiger.

Notable for being the final film in which Kwan Tak-hing portrayed folk hero Wong Fei-hung (and, oddly enough, for its famous laundry scene being directly referenced in Batman Forever), Dreadnaught is a cult favourite amongst martial arts fans.

***

A short-tempered, violent criminal named "White Tiger" is on the run from the police and joins a theater troupe for disguise, killing anyone who angers him or who suspects his identity. One person he unsuccessfully tries to kill several times is a cowardly laundry man named "Mousy" who manages to escape mostly by running and hiding. When a very close friend of Mousy's is killed by the White Tiger, Mousy overcomes his cowardliness enough to seek revenge. Spectacular martial arts and acrobatics highlight the film, including a well choreographed fight between two pairs of men in dragon costume.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 5th, 1981

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:54.498        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,377,524,904 bytes

Feature: 32,105,168,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Chinese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,377,524,904 bytes

Feature: 32,105,168,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Brand new feature length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) and Michael Worth
• Brand new feature length audio commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema
• Archival interview with actress Lily Li (21:44)
• Trailers (4:51 - Home Video Trailer - 1:33)
• Reversible sleeve design featuring original poster artwork
Limited-Edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver [First Print Run of 2000 copies only] |
Limited Edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling [First Print Run of 2000 copies only]


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 25th, 2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside  O-Card slipcase

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Eureka Blu-ray (April 2022): Eureka have transferred Woo-Ping Yuen's Dreadnaught to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from "a brand new 2K restoration". It looks modest - a function of the original production. There are segments to impressive clarity occasionally there is an inherent softness. Colors look true and this is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The worry-free image is clean, there is some depth and the 1080P and it seems like an authentic representation. Quite good. 

NOTE: We have added 40 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Eureka offer three linear PCM mono track (24-bit) options. Firstly, in the original Cantonese, plus a 'Classic English DUB' and a 'Classic English Home Video DUB'. I stuck with the original but it's nice to have the options. Dreadnaught has plenty of aggressive fight sequences. It's all quite authentically flat and hollow with overemphasized whiplash effects - but that is something we nostalgically recall from the genre. The score is by composer Frankie Chan (The Odd Couple, Fallen Angels, The Fearless Hyena, Chungking Express, The Prodigal Son) that adds further to the charm of the comedic moments yet sounding more intense for the physical conflicts. Eureka offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The Eureka Blu-ray offers a two new commentary tracks. The first has Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) and actor, martial artist Michael Worth. Frank has been doing a number of these commentaries and he offers so much in terms of the genre, the time it was made, the stars - notably Biao Yuen - and much more. Michael Worth also added some value as a knowledgeable fan and as someone working in the industry. The second commentary has Mike Leeder (editor of 100% Jackie Chan: The Essential Companion) and Arne Venem who have fun and focus on many details while working well together. There is an older 20-minute interview with actress Lily Li (Mousy's sister.) She discusses her training and time at Shaw Studios. There is a long trailer and shorter 'home video' trailer plus the package has a limited-edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver, a reversible sleeve and the LE O-Card slipcase.     

Woo-Ping Yuen's Dreadnaught is well above-average for its lovable genre. The film is action-packed with inventive scenes involving the innocent 'student' with a laundry-drying sequence right out of 'Cirque du Soleil' and humor - the acupuncture administering and subsequent brawl that is intricately choreographed. Dreadnaught is bizarre and fun - another great piece of the wushu/kung-fu 80's Hong Kong cinema. The Eureka Blu-ray keep coming out with these - to many fan's delight. Even outside the Shaw umbrella - we get a fully entertaining film experience plus the extras, two commentaries, booklet etc in a wonderful package. Absolutely recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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