Tuesday, September 15, 2009

THE LEGEND OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER (Blu-Ray)

Martial arts film legend Jackie Chan had been working in Hong Kong films for at least a decade before he scored his first true hit with DRUNKEN MASTER in 1978. In 1994, he finally made a direct sequel, which was released in the U.S. by Miramax as THE LEGEND OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER.

Chan plays Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-Hong, a master of a style of kung fu known as "drunken boxing," who finds himself inadvertently caught up in a scheme by foreigners who are stealing China’s ancient treasures and selling them overseas. Filled with humor, fun performances and utterly unbelievable action sequences from a time when Chan was still doing everything for real, LEGEND OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER is a remarkably enjoyable kung fu flick, even as re-edited and re-scored by Miramax/Dimension.

Dimension’s Blu-Ray re-release duplicates the presentation of the DVD, but with a new, razor-sharp 1080p HD transfer in 2.35:1 widescreen. The English-dubbed soundtrack (no Cantonese track is offered) is presented in both 5.1 DTS HD and 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. The only bonus feature is a brief interview with Jackie Chan.

While it would have been nice if Dimension had made the original Hong Kong version available, this new Blu-Ray edition is a significant visual and audio improvement over the standard DVD version. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest giving it a look, and if you’re a Chan fan, upgrading to Blu-Ray is a no-brainer.

Recommended.

BUY: The Legend of Drunken Master [Blu-ray]