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IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Old 02-16-09, 02:40 AM
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IP MAN DVD Mini Review




IP Man, IP Man, IP Man....I don't know where to start with this film.

I think I've seen a good amount of Asian martial-arts films to figure out the gold from the crap. I've seen a lot of martial-arts films from the 1960s to the present. I have seen some supposedly good martial-arts films get dated fast, and I've seen some other ones get better and better over time. I'm sure I'm missing quite a few, but I would say that the best Asian martial-arts films in the past 40 years are: Bride with White Hair, Bichunmoo, Come Drink With Me, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Enter the Dragon, Fist of Legend, Drunken Master 2, The Blade, Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Iron Monkey, My Young Auntie, Fearless, Red Cliff, Once Upon a Time in China 1 & 2, Ong Bak, The Protector, 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Kung Fu Hustle, Zu Warriors From Magic Mountain. And there have been some great martial-arts films outside of Asia (Matrix, Fighter, Brotherhood of the Wolf), but I'm just going to stick with Asia for now...

I love Yimou Zhang's HERO. I'm 32 years old now, and HERO has been my all-time favorite Asian martial-arts film. I thought it had a perfect mix of everything - good story, acting, action, emotions, arty, style. It's been the only Asian martial-arts film that I totally got pulled into and wasn't watching the clock. Before HERO, I thought that IRON MONKEY was the best martial-arts film that I had ever seen, but it's more or less a cartoon movie. You can't take it too seriously. Before IRON MONKEY, I always thought DRUNKEN MASTER 2 was the best martial-arts film ever, and that's even more cartoony. And then before DRUNKEN MASTER 2, I thought that ENTER THE DRAGON was the best film, which is a classic but it is actually a pretty cheesy film now. And before that film, I was just a little kid and I loved the poorly-dubbed Shaw Bros films that I watched on Saturday mornings. All of these films have been my favorites and still are. But I never expected an Asian martial-arts movie to be better than Yimou Zhang's HERO. Almost a decade has passed since HERO, and I think it has finally been surpassed...That film is IP MAN.

IP MAN is a PHENOMENAL FILM! The last action movie that had just really blown me away, leaving my mouth open, was THE MATRIX. I got the Matrix reaction watching IP MAN. Where did this film come from? I've seen the films by Wilson Yip and always thought they were fair, but nothing special (SPL is decent, but not special). The screenwriter of IP MAN, Edmond Wong, had just written the worst movie ever previously - Dragon Tiger Gate. Why would IP MAN be so good? I just don't understand it... Donnie Yen is the man. He is now better than Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Donnie Yen has been in now three of my favorite all-time films - Iron Monkey, Hero, and now Ip Man. I always thought that Donnie Yen wasn't a great actor, but when they have the Chinese Oscars this year, Donnie Yen should win Best Actor. He is really that good in this film. Donnie Yen's presence is just amazing. He pulled a Mickey Rourke. While watching this film, I couldn't believe that Donnie Yen was making a character so real and genuine. Besides Donnie Yen, everyone else in this film is excellent and has well-written characters. Although this bio-pic film is sort of a combination of realism and cartoon, with the reality probably getting stretched with these crazy fights - it all works and all the aspects of this film create the best Asian martial-arts film that I have ever seen. IP MAN sort of reminded me of a Chinese version of BLACK BOOK and GLADIATOR. The combination of realism and cartoon worked. Besided IP MAN being a totally amazing action movie with "holy shit" choreographed martial arts (thanks to Donnie and Samo Hung's choreography), this film is fucking emotionally draining. IP MAN is one intense tear dripper of a flick. It has really nice quiet nice moments with Donnie Yen's character and his wife. Eventhough it's a drama, any funny small scene that appears in this film is gold - and there were quite a bit of them. And then the violence in this film is just built up perfectly. With each action scene, it builds up and up all the way to the climax. I'm not going to even talk about the martial arts in this film. The action is perfectly filmed and edited. After watching well-filmed action in IP MAN, it just reminds me to shout out "FUCK YOU PAUL GREENGRASS and MARC FOSTER!" (with their sloppily filmed/edited Bourne movies and the last James Bond film) Don't watch any clips on Youtube and don't watch the trailer - the martial arts action in this movie makes me see Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Tony Jaa look very small and insignificant (I still love them too though). There are many martial-arts scenes that don't involve Donnie Yen. There are some other masters and villains that fight it out. I don't know the name of the actor, but there is a trouble maker in this film that is so awesome, tough, and scary - his scenes are awesome (he's the one in the bottom left in the poster shown above). And then there are some great Japanese villains. There is just so much good stuff in this film, I don't want to say any more. If you don't see this film, you will be seriously missing out on the best Chinese martial-arts film ever. At least right up there with the rest of the best!


There are two dvd versions of this film. There's a 1 disk version and a 2 disk version. I got the 1 disker. The 2 disk version has a sticker on it that says "125" and then chinese text. I asked a lot of NYC Chinatown salespeople what that number represents, and it's still not clear - some salespeople say it's just more extras, while others say it's a longer cut of the film. (the theatrical cut and my DVD version is 107 minutes). So if someone can clarify that, please do. Either way, I'm glad I got this version, since it is a perfect film.

The DVD is NTSC All-Region, Anamorphic and DTS-ES and DD 5.1 EX.

The extras on the 1 disk are just trailers, some quick making ofs, a photo gallery, deleted scenes (interesting to watch, but it was very smart of them to cut those scenes from the film), english text about cast, crew, and history of Ip Man and wing chun. The extras on the 2 disker have some more making ofs, but I can't comment on those since I don't have that version.

The English subtitles are fair, but should be perfect for a film like this. This film will be even better with grammatically correct subtitles. I will definitely buy this DVD again if a Western company releases the movie on DVD. I'm sure the English subtitles are the same as on the Blu Ray, so you might as well stick with the cheaper DVD version because this is the type of film you WILL upgrade for a better dvd version.

MOVIE: 10
DVD VIDEO: 8 (a bit grainy at times - there is a Blu Ray of this film though!)
DVD AUDIO: 10 (wow, wow, wow!)
ENGLISH SUBTITLES: 7
EXTRAS: 5 (more extras on the 2-disk version)




I'm going to be very disappointed if Ip Man does not get nominated for Best Foreign Film in next year's Oscars. I feel weird saying it since I totally didn't expect it, but IP MAN is the best Chinese martial-arts film ever!

Last edited by toddly6666; 02-16-09 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 02-16-09, 05:21 AM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

The 125 is the length of Special Features on disc 2, all subtitled in English. My copy should be arriving in the mail any day now. a Blu-Ray is also available.
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Old 02-17-09, 06:11 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

DDDhouse sent my BD copy last Friday. I can't wait to see it again.
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Old 02-17-09, 06:27 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Waiting for my BD from DDDHouse and hope it's as good as a lot of people say.
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Old 02-20-09, 01:35 AM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Excellent movie, an 8/10 for me. I really think Toddly's video grade is too high. I give the video quality of the DVD a 6/10. A lot of shimmering backgrounds, some soft moments, it's a little disappointing for a new film.

The DTS track isn't as kick-ass as say, Hero or Shaolin Soccer, 2 I use for good reference, but still good.

About to check out disc 2.
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Old 02-20-09, 04:05 AM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by manicsounds View Post
Excellent movie, an 8/10 for me. I really think Toddly's video grade is too high. I give the video quality of the DVD a 6/10. A lot of shimmering backgrounds, some soft moments, it's a little disappointing for a new film.

The DTS track isn't as kick-ass as say, Hero or Shaolin Soccer, 2 I use for good reference, but still good.

About to check out disc 2.
I'm glad you liked the film..a 6 out of 10 for video? That's like a "D". I'm definitely going to buy a US release of this film with better video quality, but I don't think the video was that poor at all - just what we usually get with new Hong Kong DVDs. 8 is more than acceptable in my book... I still think it's pretty good - probably worse on bigger screens I guess. It's a bit grainy though in dark scenes...Definitely needs better English subtitles, right?
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Old 02-24-09, 02:12 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

To my untrained eyes the BD looks fantastic as is the audio. The running time is exactly the same as the SD DVD.
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Old 02-24-09, 02:25 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
To my untrained eyes the BD looks fantastic as is the audio. The running time is exactly the same as the SD DVD.
when you watch it, tell me how the English subtitles are on the Blu ray...
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Old 02-24-09, 03:48 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post
when you watch it, tell me how the English subtitles are on the Blu ray...
It was nice and clear but I think there were a couple of grammatical errors but they were negligible. I skimmed through the supplementary materials and most have English subs except for the really short ones.

Spoiler:
There were about 5 outtakes and I think they should have kept the 3 which depicted the final fates of the Northern fighter, the interpreter and Japanese General. The other two in which Ip is riding a bike in a field (I don't know where that would fit in) and another which looks like a duel in the restaurant where he brings his kid (a baby in this scene) along.
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Old 02-26-09, 01:25 AM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Surprisingly region A locked for the Bluray
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Old 02-27-09, 10:48 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by manicsounds View Post
Most legit Asian studio Blu-Rays are region locked (piracy is rampant as you know). It might be locked, but you do realize that Region A encompases all of The Americas (North and South)? So if you live in that area and speak English you're absolutely safe ordering this as there's an English sub track on it.

Thanks, I ordered my Blu-Ray copy from DDDHouse.

Last edited by Eric F; 02-27-09 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:43 AM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

All right, I was going to put in an order to DDDhouse soon anyways, so it looks like this one will go on the order.
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Old 03-01-09, 07:25 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Here is a positive review of the blu-ray edition:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/movies...26&show=review

I was just going to get the standard 1 discer, but after that review I just ponyed up the extra coin and ordered the bluray (which was close to 40 beans !!).
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Old 03-01-09, 07:58 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by JHosk View Post
Here is a positive review of the blu-ray edition:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/movies...26&show=review

I was just going to get the standard 1 discer, but after that review I just ponyed up the extra coin and ordered the bluray (which was close to 40 beans !!).
It was only $32 shipped from DDDhouse and that's the same review Manicsounds linked to.
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Old 03-01-09, 08:11 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
It was only $32 shipped from DDDhouse and that's the same review Manicsounds linked to.
Ahh...should have qualified that.....$40 CDN. 32 USD is roughly 40 for us canucks. A little pricey, but I'm sure I'll get some replay value as I really enjoyed Donnie Yens last few flicks.
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Old 03-01-09, 10:40 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by JHosk View Post
Ahh...should have qualified that.....$40 CDN. 32 USD is roughly 40 for us canucks. A little pricey, but I'm sure I'll get some replay value as I really enjoyed Donnie Yens last few flicks.
You'll enjoy it. Hopefully, the sequel with a young Bruce Lee will be good, also.
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Old 03-17-09, 09:28 PM
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Finally got around to this as my copy was being held hostage as part of my order for THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD. All things considered I thought it rather average-to-good, par for the course I suppose, and rather paint-by-numbers. The action is solid and body-crunching most definitely...perhaps a hair more wire-assistance than I was expecting. Still, I was more impressed by the action in something like SHA PO LANG. I remember next to nothing about FEARLESS, and though this was better, I don't know that it will leave a lasting impression either. As far as it carrying emotional weight as a biopic, it really didn't do a lot for me. And I don't think Donnie Yen had much on-screen chemistry with the actress who played his wife. Yes it was enjoyable - pass the popcorn - however my connection to it dispersed quickly once the credits started to roll.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:20 AM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Weinsteins might get a hold of this, hack it up, and give it a limited release. But I'm sure at some point it'll hit the US home market. It has with SPL and FlashPoint (or Kill Zone or whatever they ended up calling it.) I greatly enjoyed this movie and decided to get the Blu Ray from DDDHouse, so I should have that in a few days. If it does get released in the US, I'm sure we won't see it until way later this year.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:35 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

My blu-ray edition finally arrived. This is definitely my favorite Wilson Yip - Donnie Yen flick. I liked how they spread the action out evenly accross the run-time, as opposed to flashpoint and spl which had the bulk of the action near the end. This is a film which can be rewatched from beginning to end without much need to hit fast forward (most times I just watch the fights in SPL and Flashpoint).

I'm not 100% sure the drama and other elements are as great as the OP stated, but I'll reserve final judgement until I give it another viewing.

Bluray disc was pretty solid in terms of AV quality. Fights scenes packed some decent punch....but did anyone else notice some of the talking segemts were kind of low ?? Maybe it's just me (my receiver is new and I'm still playing with the settings).
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Old 03-31-09, 05:29 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by manicsounds View Post
Excellent movie, an 8/10 for me. I really think Toddly's video grade is too high. I give the video quality of the DVD a 6/10. A lot of shimmering backgrounds, some soft moments, it's a little disappointing for a new film.

The DTS track isn't as kick-ass as say, Hero or Shaolin Soccer, 2 I use for good reference, but still good.

About to check out disc 2.
Yep, I agree with your assessment of the video quality---was expecting better for such a new film. As far as the movie though, I was not disappointed at all. I thought it was fantastic! When the three soldiers started to go after his wife---whoa!
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Old 04-02-09, 03:12 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

The video quality on the Universe disc is a little underwhelming, but their blu ray is solid and a huge improvement. The movie itself is very good and one of Donnie Yen's best efforts.
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Old 04-02-09, 03:50 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

I haven't watched it yet, but the DVDBeaver's lacklustre review of the blu-ray seems somewhat of a letdown, they weren't impressed with the hidef transfer/mastering.
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Old 04-10-09, 12:59 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

i watched it today. damn good movie. lot of fighting scenes throughout the movie.
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Old 12-07-09, 05:56 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

I'm watching the Blu now.

Terrific stuff.
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Old 12-09-09, 02:36 PM
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Re: IP MAN DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by Harlock415 View Post
The video quality on the Universe disc is a little underwhelming, but their blu ray is solid and a huge improvement. The movie itself is very good and one of Donnie Yen's best efforts.
Image is underwhelming but the subtitles are worse. Not horrid just kind of hilarious. Wonder if the UK DVD/BD feature improved translation.
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