22 February 2011

Movies: Ip Man

Ip Man http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1220719/

Billed as: A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first Martial Arts master to teach Wing Chun. And was Bruce Lee's mentor.

Clearly a Chinese production.

Chinese production, language, english subtitles.


I really liked this movie. Thus far I've enjoyed the (few I've watched) well produced/filmed flicks coming out of China recently.

This one reminded me of Jet Li's Fearless (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446059/) - although Fearless is about Master Ho Yanjia - the founder of Jin Wu.   If you haven't seen Fearless - it has some awesome fight scenes in it - and a good story to boot.

Makes me wonder if Yip Man met Ho Yanija at some point? Although Ho woulda been way older than Yip, by almost 30 years.

 

Back to Ip Man.

Once I got "in" to the story I forgot that I was reading subtitles. Perhaps not quite as polished as Fearless, but still pretty good sets/scenes/wardrobe/acting/etc.  Some blocking and framing issues, a lot of tight set use, and I still can't tell if Chinese people speaking Chinese and acting are good actors or not. The bad ones stand out like sore thumbs, but dang I can't tell the good ones from the really good ones from the awesome ones. I suspect it has a lot to do with not being able to discern the vocal nuances of performance - what is nuanced in Chinese might be indistinguishable to the untrained American ear. That and some emotive mannerisms - subtle emoting seems to work well in most movies - but I have trouble distinguishing subtle from stoic in some of these Chinese flicks.

So I just roll with it. 

 

To me, the story and how it is told outweighed any technical issues one could point out in the movie.  Yes it is a steady-paced movie for the most part. But it didn't seem plodding to me. Just steady. And yes there's a 'cute kid does something to interrupt the grownups' scene. Just get past it.  I survived it.

I just didn't care if there were 'issues' - the story was that good that I could look past them.

 

I felt the same way about Fearless. To contrast the two, however, I would say Ip Man fight scenes were probably less improbable than some of the Fearless fight scenes - however both movies have such awesome fight scenes who cares just see the thing and fwaaaaaaaaugh its freaking kung fu man. and history. together. and yes historical accuracy is probably debatable - but what movie-biopic isn't questionable about its accuracy?

 

4 out of 5 stars, just like I gave Fearless. Sporting a massive 8.2 on IMDB out of 15K+ votes - impressive.

 

seriously. kung fu. see Ip Man. see Fearless. hell - while you're at it watch The Protector for one of the longest and most awesome  no-cuts fight scenes that spans 4 minutes of continuous footage that you'll ever see. And The Protector isn't wire-fu at all - no wires, no stunt doubles. see them all. do it. do it now.


(original post 27 Nov 2010)

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