Friday, August 30, 2013

The Grandmaster

PG-13 / 1 hr 48 min / Action - Biography - Drama

What is it about?

This is the story of the legendary Ip Man.  He was an influential martial arts teacher in China in the first half of the 20th century.  He is continuously billed as "The man who taught Bruce Lee Kung Fu".  The movie follows his rise, fall, and reemergence in China. 

You will like it if...

You like movies that have a bit of everything or are a fan of Woo-ping Yuen.  As expected with Woo-ping Yuen, the fight scenes are fantastic.  Normally if they used jump cuts with in close zoom, I would be very angry with the director.  In this case they mix it with slow motion to make some amazing shots.  Other directors and editors should take notes.  This is how you successfully use the quick jump cuts in fight scenes.  I still prefer the wide shots, but they did an enjoyable and artistic job with the fight scenes. The main 2 actors, Ziyi Zhang and Tony Leung Chiu Wai, both do a good job dialing up the drama.  One of the main problems with the movie is how they break it up so there is no real transition between stories.  They resort to putting text on the screen.   For those of you who are looking for a fast action movie, this is not it.  As wonderful as the fight scenes are, the rest of the movie kind of drags along as some Chinese dramas do.  The movie moves like a snail surrounded by salt hills at times.  I enjoyed the movie for what it was, but overall it's just slightly above average.

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