(2008/Well Go USA
B- Sound: B Extras: C+ Film: C+
Ip Man is about the man who created the
self-defense technique Wing Chun, which he is considered the grandmaster
of. He was a mentor to no less than
Bruce Lee and his influence in his field is major, though not as well known as
some others. Yip Way-Shun’s film is a
competing attempt (vs. a TV mini-series made the same year) to give us some
idea of the life of the man.
Chen is the title character, not bad here, but the Edmond Wong screenplay falls
into the usual biopic formula storytelling traps, plus many of those in the
Martial Arts Cycle of the past and over-produced costume epics now. As a result, this is all over the place in
its 106 minutes, but never tells us enough about the man in depth. Turns out there is a sequel, which really
seems like stretching out things just to produce a second, likely unnecessary
film. Genre fans will enjoy this, but it
is somewhat disappointing and I cannot recommend it.
2.35 X 1 digital high definition image was shot in Super 35mm and is on the
weak side, using Fuji
stocks in a way that backfires. Color is
weak and definition an issue, in part because of the way the makers decided to
stylize it. I was not happy with the
result. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
lossless 5.1 mix (not credited on the case or disc) is not bad, but not great
either, even at the peak of any fight scenes.
Extras (included on a DVD as well) include trailers, interviews, Deleted
Scenes, Behind The Sets, Shooting
Diary and a Making Of featurette.
- Nicholas Sheffo