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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Martial Arts > Swords > Battles > War > The Master (2011/Lionsgate DVD)

The Master (2011/Lionsgate DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D Film: C

Lionsgate has released 2011's The Master (aka Choi Lei Fut or True Master), directed by Zhou Ke. It stars Hongbo Shi, Ni Cheng, Tianlong Shi and Jintong Mai. The film has breathtaking cinematography, choreography, and exquisite locations. One look at the cover and you would expect something akin to Hero or House of Flying Daggers, however, the action is surprisingly low and the film centers more on its historical figures than action set pieces.

In 19th-century China, during the infamous Qing Dynasty, the population is suffering at the hands of greedy landlords, corrupt officials, and unwelcome invaders. Hoping to unite his people, martial arts master Chen Xiang opens a school integrating techniques from both the North and South. But after Chen refuses to join the armies of the Qing Prince, his mother and his students are seized. To save them, Chen has only one path: all-out war.

Lionsgate presents the film in standard definition with an anamorphic 16 X 9 widescreen image that could definitely benefit from a Blu-ray release to etch out more details. As for audio, Mandarin with English and Spanish subtitles. It also includes an English dubbing, which is good for a few laughs.

The only other features are trailers of other films, which Lionsgate has a knack for doing. All in all, unless you are really itching for a new kung fu epic this is a film you can take or leave. There are other films in the same genre that are better than it and the fact that the film is just not being released may raise some eyebrows.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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