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Woo-ping Yuen's TRUE LEGEND DVD Mini Review [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Woo-ping Yuen's TRUE LEGEND DVD Mini Review


toddly6666
05-07-10, 02:00 PM
http://i44.tinypic.com/21kfriq.jpg

Woo-ping Yeun has returned to directing after not directing a film since the 1990s. TRUE LEGEND has some of the most exciting martial arts scenes since 2008's IP MAN, but the movie slightly falls apart in the third act. It's really not a bad thing because the first two acts of the film are really one film with a beginning, middle and end. The third act is like an extended epilogue. TRUE LEGEND is a very strange film because the first two acts are excellent - it's written well, there is a story with characters that are developed nicely, and it's totally exciting with not one piece of filler. I thought I was watching an excellent combination of action, good acting, and story (such as in Crouching Tiger, Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and Ip Man). And then comes the third act which throws it a bit off. It still isn't really that much of a big deal, because the third act is not boring, it's all action, and features David Carridine in there (not fighting). It's a shame because the movie needed a stronger ending and it could have been a great film if it was written better at the end.

This is a great comeback film for Vincent Zhao. I hadn't realized that he hasn't been in films for a while as well. And if I didn't check imdb, I didn't realize that he was the one that starred in Tsui Hark's masterpiece, THE BLADE. He really shines in this film. BLACK MASK 2's Andy On also is pretty amazing in this film as he plays the villain. He has some great action scenes versus Vincent Zhao.

Eventhough the third act is a bit jarring, TRUE LEGEND is a good martial arts film. It's exciting, has awesome action, and it has some great cameos from Gordon Liu and Michelle Yeoh (both non fighting roles). It was great to see Michelle Yeoh in a film that's not a stinker for a change! Jay Chou has some good action scenes in this film as well and he wasn't annoying as he usually is in his other films.

The NTSC Region 3 Edko DVD is pretty good quality. This is my first DVD review since buying a blu-ray player, so of course I now see DVD video quality as inferior to blu-ray as I feared. But for the people that buy Hong Kong dvds, this DVD looks and sounds great! The anamorphic widescreen is very nice, and the DTS-ES Mandarin is super active! There is also a DD 5.1 EX Mandarin, and a Cantonese DD 5.1 dub. The English subtitles are pretty good with some mistakes here and there (some one says something like, "I don't want to loose you." That was the only spelling mistake that stood out!). The extras are:
- Theatrical Trailers
- making of
- Photo Gallery
- Music Video
- Cast and Crew Filmographies

MOVIE: 7.5
DVD VIDEO: 8
DVD AUDIO: 9
EXTRAS: 5

I still think Woo-ping Yeun's IRON MONKEY is his best and most balanced film, but he has matured as a director, and there is some touching stuff and emotions in TRUE LEGEND that is lacking in his 1990s films. I totally recommend this film.

I was impressed with this film enough to make me want to buy the eventual blu-ray (I hope!).

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RaMMaR
05-07-10, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the great review, toddly6666! i was disappointed that there wasn't a BD release in conjunction w/ the DVD. Could it be that they're fixing for a 3D-BD...? i want to see this in theaters - curious to see how Woo-Ping's use of 3D comes off - but haven't found anything regarding a NA release date. Maybe the HIFF fall showcase will have a screening.

toddly6666
05-07-10, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the great review, toddly6666! i was disappointed that there wasn't a BD release in conjunction w/ the DVD. Could it be that they're fixing for a 3D-BD...? i want to see this in theaters - curious to see how Woo-Ping's use of 3D comes off - but haven't found anything regarding a NA release date. Maybe the HIFF fall showcase will have a screening.

I vaguely remember reading about 3D with this film? Was it during the whole film or just during the action scenes? This film would be much more awesome in 3D actually!

I read that Edko is usually slow with their Blu-ray releases compared to other companies.

dleedlee
05-07-10, 03:39 PM
I vaguely remember reading about 3D with this film? Was it during the whole film or just during the action scenes? This film would be much more awesome in 3D actually!

I read that Edko is usually slow with their Blu-ray releases compared to other companies.

From the Hollywood Reporter review:
Shot partly in 3D, it takes the novel approach of flashing little icons up on the screen to tell viewers when to put on their 3D specs, a device which allows the costume drama and the rural landscapes of the bridging scenes to be filmed in lush traditional widescreen, while the 3D fireworks are reserved for action sequences.

JHosk
05-11-10, 12:09 PM
Thanks for the review. I've been holding off picking this up, in hopes of a blu-ray annoucement, but I may just have to bite the bullet and get the dvd.

squidget
05-18-10, 11:23 AM
That looks bad ass! thanks for the review man, I'm totally going to pick this up

flixtime
05-18-10, 05:44 PM
I enjoyed the movie. I was pleasantly surprised by the retro, martial arts fantasy feel of things (during the film's 77-minute main section). As toddly commented the structure is a rather odd fusion where you basically get a relatively stand-alone film via the 77-minute opening. And then you get a 30-minute "extra" short film which feels like it was shot on sets left over from Jet Li's FEARLESS from a few years ago. I didn't mind the curious structure because it felt like added value and that I was getting a little something more for my money. I do wonder if by moving the 30-minute section from the end to the beginning of the film instead, if that might have given the 30-minute segment a better feel of being integrated more into the main film.

The guest appearances made for enjoyable viewing. The highlight of the film for me though was the main villian from the 77-minute section. He was a fun character, and I also offer praise to whoever created the look (costume/makeup) of the villain.

As much as I enjoy/have interest in films such as TRUE LEGEND, 14 BLADES, LITTLE BIG SOLDIER, THE WARRIOR AND THE WOLF, BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS, etc., I do find that they evaporate rather quickly from my memory. Nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't mind a little more resonance such as I felt with HERO.

toddly6666
05-19-10, 10:05 AM
As much as I enjoy/have interest in films such as TRUE LEGEND, 14 BLADES, LITTLE BIG SOLDIER, THE WARRIOR AND THE WOLF, BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS, etc., I do find that they evaporate rather quickly from my memory. Nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't mind a little more resonance such as I felt with HERO.

Ha, tell me about it. This is why I don't buy Japanese, Korean, and HK movies as much as I used to. Most of them are entertaining, but not worth rewatching. So if I know I'm not going to rewatch it, I just end up not buying it. That would be nice if they had more resonance like Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and Ip Man...

OutRun2
02-05-11, 10:49 PM
What an absolute fantastic film! Agreed that the last 20 or so minutes felt tacked on. Could have done without it but otherwise a praiseworthy effort.