TAI-CHI MASTER (AKA TWIN WARRIORS)
o Feature Commentary By Hong Kong Cinema Expert Bey Logan
o Exclusive interview with star Chin Siu Ho
o The Birthplace of Tai Chi - On location in Chen Village
o Director Brett Ratner and critic Elvis Mitchell on Director Yuen Wo-ping
o Director Brett Ratner and critic Elvis Mitchell on stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh
o Original Home Video Trailer
Starring JET LI and MICHELLE YEOH
Directed by YUEN WO-PING
After having been expelled from the temple of Shaolin, two childhood friends go their separate ways. Little do they know that they are destined to meet again as bitter enemies on opposite sides of the law. Jet Li, Chin Siu Ho, and Michelle Yeoh star in Yuen Wo-ping's Tai-Chi Master!
Tai-Chi Master is a thrilling martial arts action film. The stars all do a fine job and the action is, for the most part, top notch, but Yuen Wo-ping's direction seems a bit broad. The film's first half is heavy on slapstick humor, only to spin around to heavy drama during the final half hour. Intentional or not, this drastic shift in tone makes for an uneven result, which gives Tai-Chi Master the distinct feeling of being less a cohesive story and more like Yuen Wo-ping's video resume.
As for all of that thrilling action, Tai-Chi Master does feature a great deal of wire work and imaginative fight choreography that also helps to move the story forward. The action sequences alone make it worth a look. The story itself is rather simplistic, with one of its protagonists turning to "the dark side", while the other must fight to restore order and balance, but Tai-Chi Master does entertain wonderfully on a purely escapist level. Recommended to serious Hong Kong action fans!
A.J.'s Movie Rating: 3 Stars (Good Stuff!)
DVD FEATURES REVIEW:
Street Date: July 29, 2008
Number of discs: One
Rating: Not Rated (martial arts action)
Run time: 96 Minutes
Language: Cantonese Dolby 5.1 / Original Cantonese Mono / English 5.1
Subtitles: English and Spanish / English Closed Captioned
Feature Length Commentary By Hong Kong Cinema Expert Bey Logan: A non-stop feature commentary by Bey Logan, covering virtually every aspect of the story, acting, directing, stunts, sets, and shooting of Tai-Chi Master. An incredible amount of information for martial arts film fans!
Nemesis - An exclusive interview with star Chin Siu Ho: A very good interview with the action star, including great moviemaking stories, his inspiration and favorite films of the past, and behind the scenes anecdotes about the making of Tai-Chi Master. Runs apx 20 minutes.
The Birthplace of Tai Chi - On location in Chen Village: A nice travelogue style short about the history of tai-chi in Chinese culture. Includes a great training demonstration of Chen style tai-chi! Runs apx 15 minutes.
Meditations on the Master: Director Brett Ratner and critic Elvis Mitchell on Director Yuen Wo-ping. Good insight about Yuen Wo-ping from Elvis Mitchell, but I found that I wasn't the least bit interested to hear what Brett Ratner thinks - about anything. Runs apx 13 1/2 minutes.
Twin Warriors: Director Brett Ratner and critic Elvis Mitchell on stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh. Yep. I was right - Brett Ratner is annoyingly shallow. My advise: ignore Ratner; listen to Mitchell. Runs apx 14 1/2 minutes.
Home Video Trailer: Hey, it's an old 4:3 aspect television commercial for the original VHS release of Twin Warriors! Did I really need to see this? Apparently so!
A.J.'s Final Words: So, we get over an hour of good features (minus the time Brett Ratner is yammering away), and a very detailed feature commentary. That's a solid special features presentation! Tai-Chi Masters will surely be of interest to serious martial arts action buffs and to fans of Yuen Wo-ping's later choreography works (The Matrix Trilogy).
A.J.'s DVD Rating: 3 Stars (Good Stuff!)