(aka 'Tai ji: Zhang San Feng' or 'Twin Warriors' or 'The Tai-Chi Master')
Directed by Woo-ping Yuen
Hong Kong 1993
Portraying legendary tai chi chuan founder Zhang San-feng in this wire-enhanced kung fu extravaganza from screen fighting master Yuen Woo-ping is Jet Li who joins Michelle Yeoh in a vicious fight against a eunuch overlord (Sun Jian-kui) and his ruthless lieutenant as played by MR. VAMPIRE star Chin Siu-ho. Through a sometimes uneasy mixture of the Yuen Clan’s nonsense humor and endlessly creative and intense high-wire action emerges an entertaining yet lightweight martial arts actioner that serves as a warm up to the matured Yuen-Li collaboration in Ronnie Yu’s superior FEARLESS.
Theatrical Release: November 18th, 1993
DVD Review: Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.47 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (original mono) DUB: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Subtitles||English (CC), English, Spanish, None|
• Commentary by Hong Kong Cinema Expert Bey Logan
• Featurette: The Birthplace of Tai Chi - On Location in Chen
Firstly, this shouldn't be confused with the excellent 2005 Master of Tai Chi television series starring Wu Jing available HERE. There was also an Image Entertainment DVD of this 1993 film released HERE - but has been out of print for a long while. It couldn't hold a candle to this edition though.
NOTE: This was originally going to be a two-disc affair - entitled Ultimate Edition - (as you can tell my the Amazon cover) but it was probably found to fit comfortably on one disc and is now called a 'Special Collector's Edition'.
We've seen some pretty spectacular transfers from Dragon Dynasty and I'd rate this one about middle-of-the-road. The film is 15 years old but has held up pretty well. The disc is dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive - coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. It has some noise but it's fairly fine and resembles grain. Contrast is quite strong and detail has some healthy moments. This is not pristine but I'll wager is as good as this film will look on SD... which is above-average for its age.
Audio consists of clean and clear Cantonese at a bumped unremarkable 5.1, plus options for the original mono as well as a 5.1 English DUB. There are English (standard and hearing impaired) and Spanish subtitle options. NOTE: The subtitle font is a shade thick and high on the screen - but maybe that's being picky.
Supplements are extensive - firstly we have another entertaining commentary from Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan. We've heard Logan on many of these Dragon Dynasty packages and he definitely is 'the man' digging deep and imparting extensive knowledge. There are also some featurettes and interviews. Nemesis is an interview with star Chin Siu Ho which runs just over 20 minutes and has some keen moments of anecdotal interest. Kind of lame was the featurette: The Birthplace of Tai Chi - On Location in Chen Village and it runs only 15 minutes. Director Brett Ratner and critic Elvis Mitchell discuss, in two separate featurettes - one on director Yuen Wo-ping for almost 15 minutes where they gush at his iconic status (entitled Mediations on the Master) and the second on stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh running 15 minutes. Finally an R-Rated 49 second home video trailer is included. There are no liner notes.
These Dragon Dynasty packages are a real godsend for fans of the genre and this film is a quintessential example of one of the films those individuals would want done to the 9's. But that's not the biggest come-on - it is on $13! For the film, over an hour's worth extras, plus an expert commentary - I don't know how anyone could complain. Recommended for all martial arts fans!