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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Biopic > Biography > Ip Man (2008/Well Go USA Blu-ray)

Ip Man (2008/Well Go USA Blu-ray)


Picture: 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.


Donnie 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.


The 1080p 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


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