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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Jing wu ying xiong" or "Fist of Legend")

directed by Gordon Chan
Hong Kong 1994

 

A stunning reinvention of Bruce Lees timeless 1972 classic, Fist of Fury, Fist of Legend delivers scene upon scene of intense and magnificently composed martial arts action, and is now considered by many to be the greatest Kung Fu movie of all time! In the most electrifying performance of his celebrated career, international superstar, Jet Li, plays Chen Zhen - the matchless number-one student of Chinas preeminent Kung Fu master, Fok Yun-gap. Upon returning home to Shanghai after a period of study abroad, he discovers that his homeland has been devastated by a brutal Japanese occupation, and that his once proud martial arts academy has fallen into disarray following the untimely demise of his beloved Master - allegedly in a challenge match with a member of the Japanese Black Dragon Clan. Disgusted by the official verdict on his teachers death, Chen embarks on a heroic and uncompromising one-man quest to uncover the true killer and restore dignity to his fallen people-a journey that will bring him into deadly confrontation with Japans most formidable fighters. Fist of Legend is a brilliant martial arts masterpiece that has been awarded iconic status by fans and critics worldwide.

***

The story is a classic one that has its roots in Chinese history -- the defeat of Master Huo at the hands of the invading Japanese. Chen Zhen (Li), is in a race to save his master's honor and his own pride. The IMdb comments ring loudly:

'Best pure Kung Fu scenes EVER.'
'Simply put, Fist of Legend is one of the very best martial arts films ever made.'
'Purely amazing. This is definitely the greatest martial arts movie that I've ever seen.'
'Never in the history of the universe has anyone ROCKED as much as Jet Li in Fist of Legend. Easily the BEST kung-fu movie of the 90's.'

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 22nd, 1994

Reviews                                                More Reviews                                        DVD Reviews

 

Review: 88 Films Region 'B' Blu-ray / Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also available on 4KHD with this Blu-ray included:

Distribution 88 Films - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:42:06.370        
Video

1.85:1 MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Disc Size: 49,619,319,849 bytes

Feature Size: 32,217,483,264 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray

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

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

LPCM Audio Cantonese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio Cantonese Mono with alternative Music Cues 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -31dB

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
88 Films

 

1.85:1 MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Disc Size: 49,619,319,849 bytes

Feature Size: 32,217,483,264 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

Audio commentary with Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng

 

88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Audio commentary with Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng
A look at Fist of Legend (9:37)
Interview with actor Chin Siu-Ho (23:19)
Interview with director Gordon Chan (35:37)
Interview with actor Kurata Yasuaki (29:42)
Karate Seminar with Kurata Yasuaki (26:33)
Deleted Scenes (5:08)
Theatrical Trailer (2:48)
Reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Sam Green & original poster

Double Walled Silver-Board Slipcase with artwork by Sam Green
A3 Fold-out Poster
28 Page Booklet notes with new writing on the film by Tom Cunliffe


4K Ultra HD Release Date:
July 6th, 2022
Black 4K Ultra HD Case

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: 88 Films 4K UHD (June 2024): 88 Films have released the Hong Kong theatrical release of Gordon Chan's Fist of Legend to 4K UHD. The package includes a second disc Blu-ray with the feature in 1080P and more supplements. We won't be able to obtain 4K 2160P captures, probably, till after the release date (today) - a function of the encode. This is presently true of many 4K UHD transfers - sometimes we get lucky - not here. We will try to add them here when they are accessible. The 1080P should give you an idea of the rendering as it will be from the same source - cited as being from a "Brand new 4K Remaster from the Original Negatives presented in Ultra High Definition". It has Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range (HDR10 Compatible.) We compared the Mei Ah (VCD), the Dragon Dynasty (Weinstein) two-disc Ultimate Edition DVD, a Dimension DVD and a Dragon Dynasty (Weinstein) Blu-ray of Fist of Legend back in 2010 HERE. We have compared them to the 88 Films 1080P below. It is an obvious improvement over the SDs and is also superior to the 14-year old Weinstein Blu-ray. There is better color balance, contrast (richer black levels) and it supports some pleasing texture. It is fairly evident that this 2024 transfer is the best. What you get with the 4K UHD is another bump in the contrast layering, depth of colors and visible grain support.   

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages recently: American Gigolo , The Long Wait (no HDR), Bound (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Valiant Ones (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mute Witness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Narc (software uniformly simulated HDR), Peeping Tom (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Terrors House of Horrors (software uniformly simulated HDR), High Noon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Picnic at Hanging Rock (Criterion) (software uniformly simulated HDR), I Am Cuba (no HDR), The Demoniacs (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Nude Vampire (software uniformly simulated HDR), Nostalghia (no HDR), Werckmeister Harmonies (no HDR), Goin' South (software uniformly simulated HDR), La Haine (software uniformly simulated HDR,) All Ladies Do It (software uniformly simulated HDR), Old Henry  (software uniformly simulated HDR), To Die For (software uniformly simulated HDR), Snapshot (software uniformly simulated HDR), Phase IV (software uniformly simulated HDR), Burial Ground (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dark Water (software uniformly simulated HDR), Fear and Desire (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf (no HDR), Paths of Glory (software uniformly simulated HDR), Southern Comfort (software uniformly simulated HDR).

On their 4K UHD, 88 Films offer linear PCM 2.0 channel tracks (24-bit) in the original Cantonese language with a choice with alternative music cues. "Fist of Legend" has Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and English and there are DUB'ing issues with some syncs being off or mismatched. It is something you get used to. Obviously this martial arts extravaganza is filled with various types of violence. They are whiplash sharp and have penetrating bass. Many punctuate scenes but remain authentically flat. The, often uplifting, score was by Joseph Koo (The Skyhawk, Slaughter in San Francisco, Lady Whirlwind, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon) and adds to the drama and close-ups before and during conflicts. 88 Films include optional English subtitles on both discs - and the 4K UHD, is region FREE, playable worldwide, while the 88 Films Blu-ray is Region 'B'-locked.

On the 4K UHD and the Blu-ray, is a commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) who did the commentaries on Mr. Vampire II and Vampire vs. Vampire in Eureka's Hopping Mad boxset with John Charles (The Hong Kong Filmography, 19771997.) We have heard Djeng's expertise on commentates for Eureka's Blu-rays of Slaughter in San Francisco, Magic Cop, Angela Mao: Hapkido & Lady Whirlwind, Knockabout, The Shaolin Plot and Dreadnaught, among many others. He is the go-to man. He describes that this is the full Hong Kong theatrical version differencing from the Taiwanese version being about 2-minutes longer. He describes that it is considered one of Jet Li's best films - was directed and co-written by Gordon Chan, featuring action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping (who's work on Fist of Legend attracted the attention of the Wachowskis,) and produced by Jet Li, who also stars as protagonist character Chen Zhen. Frank includes extraneous details of the production - occasional wires used - many of the performers and their careers, shooting in Beijing and so much more. It is at his usual comprehensive and informative fashion.

The Blu-ray includes the commentary as well other extras staring with a ten-minute "A Look at Fist of Legend" with critic and commentator Elvis Mitchell (Film Scholar and lecturer at the UNLV) and director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Red Dragon) giving their separate input on Fist of Legend's impact and legacy. There are almost two hours of interviews with actor Chin Siu-Ho (Huo Ting'en in Fist of Legend), with director Gordon Chan, with actor Kurata Yasuaki plus a 'Karate Seminar' with Yasuaki who holds dan ranks in karate (7th degree), judo (3rd degree), and aikido (2nd degree). There are also 5-minutes of deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Sam Green, double walled Silver-Board Slipcase with artwork by Green, an A3 fold-out poster plus a 28-page booklet notes with new writing on the film by German film maker Tom Cunliffe.    

88 Films
4K UHD release of Gordon Chan's Fist of Legend is quite a package. Jet Li took the screen by cool storm as the unflappable hero Chen Zhen - a Chinese martial artist from Shanghai, who attends Kyoto University as an engineering student. The actor is a multiple (Chinese National Wushu Team) world champion in many areas including changquan and fanziquan. It is hard to deny his strong screen presence. Although an early 'western exposed' film for him, in "Fist of Legend" it was obvious that he had honed the bridge of athletic prowess with cinematic charisma as good as we have seen in the genre since Bruce Lee. Jet Li is a Buddhist, who believes that being famous is not something within his control and does not care about it. His final conflict in Fist of Legend with Billy Chow as, Terminator-like, General Gō Fujita is one for the ages. I loved seeing this again in the best possible home theater quality. Commentary, interviews make this the package to own. Very strongly recommended to fans of the genre. 

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY and 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

NOTE: the large Dragon Dynasty Blu-ray captures have disappeared ?!?

 

1) Mei Ah (VCD) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Dragon Dynasty (Weinstein) Two-Disc Ultimate Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Dimension Home Video - Region 1- NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Dragon Dynasty (Weinstein) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Mei Ah (VCD) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Dimension Home Video - Region 1- NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Dragon Dynasty (Weinstein) Two-Disc Ultimate Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Dragon Dynasty (Weinstein) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also available on 4KHD with this Blu-ray included:

Distribution 88 Films - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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