Movie News

MORIARTY Meets Jackie Chan and Talks DRUNKEN MASTER!!

Published at: Oct. 20, 2000, 8:14 a.m. CST by staff

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

It's been a long evening here in the Labs of comforting a broken-hearted friend. You know how it is. We've all been in that position, and it's always hard because there's nothing you can say to make the pain easier. All you can do is offer up your shoulder to cry on and ride out the rollercoaster with them. I may be Evil, but I'm not hardhearted. It's exhausting, and because of that, I'm going to let Knowles off the hook regarding his entirely unseemly and factually inaccurate introduction to my TIME MACHINE piece yesterday and just get down to business.

When I saw THE LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER almost two weeks ago, then went to meet Jackie Chan for breakfast the next day, I was told that I wasn't allowed to write about the film until the day of release. Rather an odd restriction for a film that's been out since 1994, but entirely understandable considering the reaction I had to this particular version of the film. To be honest, it's taken me this long to figure out what I thought of the thing, and I'm still not sure I've sorted it out.

Let me share an e-mail with you that I got in earlier today from one of our readers. This is the reaction of someone who had never seen DRUNKEN MASTER II, and it's interesting to see his reaction to seeing this for the first time. GravyAkira... take it away.

Whats up Moriarty. Its been a long time since I have had a chance to put a review on the net for. My good old theater here in my hometown decided to show a film today. A film experience I have never experienced in my life. The man who runs the theater got to show The Legend of Drunken Master early before it is released wide on Friday. Now I was talking to a guy on aintitcool a while ago, and we got into a Jet Li Jackie Chan argument. Now I am one of the biggest Jet Li and Jackie Chan fans alive. I stated that I felt that Jet Li is a better martial artist and that Fist of Legend is the greatest martial arts film ever made. He then mentioned a film of Chan's called Drunken Master 2. Now I had seen Drunken Master. It was good. But I had never seen Drunken Master 2. I didn't know one existed. Skip forward a couple of weeks and aintitcool mentions the re release of Drunken Master 2 into the theaters. I would finally be able to see this film. My local video stores do not have the tape so my only way of seeing it would be in the theaters. About two weeks ago I was watching the premiere of that sorry ass excuse for a show Dark Angel. I was bored out of my mind when a commercial for Legend of Drunken Master appeared on TV. Looks cool, I still don't see how this is going to beat Fist of Legend. Then Tuesday arrives and there is an ad in the paper for a special screening for this film. Lets see how Jackie can top Jet. Not a lot of people were there. I say about 15 at most. The movie started and then my world changed.

Now a lot of you are still amazed by the Matrix. When I first saw the film in the theater, I was blown away. I waited like a mad man for the DVD, and when it was released, I bought it first day. It was not the same film as in the theater. I still love the film, but its still in my opinion, overrated. With Drunken Master 2, that problem will not take effect. Jackie Chan's skill is just amazing. Every fight scene is so fluid, fast, and beautiful, it made me want to cry. By the time the final 15 minute drunken brawl was taking place, the small crowd was pumped. I have never gotten into a film like this. When I first saw the Matrix, I was very pumped for the fight scenes. And they were also amazing. But that was 6 months of training, wires, and special effects. What Jackie does, no change that, what all the main characters in Drunken Master 2 do, took a life time to develop, and it pays off. By the time this film ended, I and the rest of the people in the theater had so much adrenaline in us we just felt like killing ourselves trying to do the things done in this film.

I have not seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon yet, but if creates even half of the heat pounding martial arts action as Drunken Master provides, it will be great. I still love Fist of Legend. And I still like Jet just a little more than Jackie, but that has nothing to do with overall talent. I just like the menacing look of Li when he fights. But as much as I love Fist of Legend with all its bone breaking action and lightning fast Jet Li, it has to move over to the new champ, with the most amazingly genius choreographed fight scenes ever filmed, Drunken Master 2(Legend Of Drunken Master) is the Citizen Kane of martial arts movies. For anybody who have not seen this film, do yourself a favor and tell as many people as you can to see this film. Get as many film geeks as possible, and go see this masterpiece on the big screen. Make an event out of it. I am serious when I say this, along with Fight Club, are the best experiences in a movie theater ever. Be ready. See ya!

I know I had much the same reaction the first time I saw DRUNKEN MASTER II. That was on laserdisc about four years ago. I had to watch the thing four times in a row just because I couldn't believe some of what I was seeing. When Harry Lime came with me to see this new release version, he had the same kind of reaction that GravyAkira had. He lost his mind. He was stunned. So it was strange to walk out of the theater with him irritated by what I'd just seen. I don't want to sound like a kid complaining about the wrong kind of wrapping paper on the world's best Christmas present, but that's sort of the position I find myself in here. Yes... it is marvelous to see this film on a bigscreen. But as Sony prepares to release CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON in the original language and subtitled, it strikes me as somewhat gutless for Miramax to release this film in what can only be described as a laughably bad dubbed version with an atrocious score grafted onto the film. I think we've reached the point as audiences where we are fully capable of reading subtitles and enjoying a film like this. There's a fundamental disrespect for the original picture that seeps through when pointless cuts are made and when things that made the film a classic are tampered with for no good reason.

I know that, for me, Anita Mui's performance is damaged beyond repair in this release. It's one of the funniest female performances of its type I've ever seen... broad in one beat, subtle in the next, and a large part of what makes it work is Anita's vocal work. Her fake crying, her little noises of surprise and indignation... it's all part of the palette for a comic performer, and the actress who dubs her isn't 1/10th the comic that Mui is. All I can hope is that people will see this, love it, and seek out the original to get the experience that they were intended to have.

When I showed up at the Four Seasons the morning after seeing the film, I was feeling a fair amount of trepidation at my reaction to the new cut of the movie. I didn't want to hammer Chan about it, since I knew it wasn't his fault. To be honest, I was amazed they got him to do press for a film he did in 1994. Jackie makes roughly 800 movies a year, so it must be hard for him to remember what he did last month, let alone six years ago. When I arrived, they were still setting up, and they offered breakfast to myself and the couple of other journos who had arrived. I found myself having a conversation with a woman who thought RUSH HOUR was the best film Jackie's ever made, and the sheer ridiculousness of that idea combined with the early hour kept me quiet.

We finally got shown into the room where we were to chat with Jackie, and as we walked in, we were each introduced to Jackie's producer. If anyone said the gentleman's name, they didn't say it to me, so I apologize to him if he reads this. He asked each of the reporters which outlet they were from. When he asked me and I said "Ain't It Cool," he broke into a wide smile.

"You've been very nice to Jackie on your web page," he said.

"Well, it's not hard. Jackie's one of those guys... one of those icons."

"What name do you have on the web page?" he asked.

"Moriarty."

He nodded, still smiling. "You wrote about this movie before. You put it on your list."

I was impressed. He was right. I included the original release version on my Best of '94 list. "Yes, I did."

Without breaking his smile at all, he said, "So when are you going to finish your '90s Lists?" I tried to stammer some lame explanation about how much work goes into each one and how I'm working on them, but by that point we were all being ushered to our seats. Great. So now I'm being prodded about my tardiness on an international level.

I had just basically sat down when Jackie Chan was ushered in. The first thing that struck me upon meeting him was how compact he is as a person. You sit through that amazing final fight with Ken Lo in DRUNKEN MASTER II, you can't help but find him physically imposing. But standing there in front of me, he seemed trim, even slight. Until the handshake. As soon as I felt his hand clamp mine like iron, I had to smile. It's not just a show. There's crazy power in that grip.

Most of the questions asked of Jackie in the painfully brief moment we had with him were inane. "Who made the suit you're wearing?" "Is it hard to do a fight scene?" Knowing how much press Jackie's done around the world in the course of his career, I am amazed at what an engaging personality he is, no matter what's thrown at him. He answered each question with that same bouyant energy, that same basic charm.

I brought up SNAKE IN EAGLE'S SHADOW, one of the kung-fu films we saw on Kung-Fu Night at QT Quattro this year. If you're lucky enough to be able to play UK DVDs, find this one, since it was just released there. It's the film he made just before the original DRUNKEN MASTER, and in it, Siu Tien Yuen plays an old martial arts master who disguises himself as a beggar. He becomes Jackie's teacher in the film. It's a pretty common archetype. Hell, QT showed Harry and I another kung-fu film with Siu Tien Yuen playing almost the exact same role called JADE CLAW here in LA. I asked Jackie if he sees himself playing those roles at some point in the future, or if he thinks he's going to move behind the camera exclusively at some point.

"Behind the camera, definitely," he said. "I want to make films with other people, and I want to open a school here to train stuntment to make movies like we do in Hong Kong." Cool idea. We're seeing Eastern culture coopted by Western filmmakers now more than ever before. Why not make sure our stuntmen are trained by the people who perfected these styles of action?

Jackie began to excitedly talk about how deceptive the fight scenes in his movies are. "The stuntmen... they help me, you know?" When Jackie runs up against an idea that he can't quite express verbally, he seems only momentarily frustrated. In this case, he jumped up from his chair and grabbed me by the arm, pulling me up from my seat. He started to talk again to the other reporters about how the stuntmen are actually doing tricks to make him look better during their fight scenes, and as he did so, he moved me so I was standing in a ready stance, arms up.

I hope my smile wasn't too obvious as Jackie suddenly turned and came lunging in at me, whipping punches off on either side of my right arm, which stayed ready, held in the same position he placed it. I heard him say something about "support," and then he suddenly threw his whole weight forward, catching himself on my arm, using his forearm to hold himself up.

For a moment, Jackie stood there, his whole weight leaned forward and balanced precariously on my arm, and I almost laughed out loud. This is the real reason Miramax and the always lovely, always charming Peggy Malloy invited me to this breakfast. They knew that Jackie is an irresistable force in a room. I doubt they had any idea they'd be giving me one of those indelible memories that, as a film geek, I will treasure, but sometimes you just get lucky.

Jackie finally leaned back and I took my seat again. I was all set to ask Jackie about what I considered a butchering of DRUNKEN MASTER II when he began to talk about how long that film's been sitting on a shelf here in America and how proud he is to finally have some form of it in theaters and how Miramax had bought it and then just sat on it for so long, and I realized that hammering Jackie with hard questions about the film would be pointless. He's just happy to finally have some of his best work available to the American public. As he talked about taking four months to shoot the final fight sequence... yes, that steel mill showdown with his real-life bodyguard Ken Lo took four full months to choreograph and photograph... I could hear the pride he still takes in what he accomplished. He spoke about how much more latitude there is when making a film in Hong Kong to just sit and contemplate things on a set, as opposed to on an American film, where the producers would kill him if he took that long with one scene. Based on the final work produced, I think there might be something to letting him have that extra breathing room.

Other things Jackie revealed over the course of the interview included the fact that he's going to be reuniting with Owen Wilson for SHANGHAI NIGHT, a film that Jackie promises they'll have much more control over. He evidently hit it off with Wilson, and the two of them have ideas for the sequel and how to make it bigger and better than the original. That's great to hear, since the main thing that works about the first film is the chemistry between them.

He spoke very briefly about how insane the rest of his year is, including the RUSH HOUR sequel he's about to start work on, and then the interview was over. It was less than 20 minutes total that we spent with him, and it seemed like the blink of an eye while I was there.

In the end, do I recommend seeing THE LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER in theaters? Hell, yes, I do. It's a staggeringly great movie, even with what Miramax has done to it. For purists, it's an affront, but they're purists... whatcha gonna do? For many audiences, this will be their introduction to a film that I consider absolutely vital to its genre, one of the greats. And if you do see it for the first time, and you fall for the film and its many virtues, then do yourself the favor of searching out an original language version of the movie so you can see it as it was released in the first place. Maybe Miramax will grow the stones to release films like this the same way they released THE POSTMAN or LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, respecting them enough to subtitle them, preserving the integrity of the experience instead of ghettoizing them as "action movies" that aren't worthy of that treatment. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9 a.m. CST

    Great stuff Moriarty

    by jclin524

    Not sure whether I can handle watching a dubbed DMII, but thanks for the great review!!! :P

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9 a.m. CST

    Jackie Chan can kick Jet Li's butt!!

    by wire-fu

    It's about time we get a real Jackie Chan movie in the USA. I'm getting tired of corny looking wire-fu Jet Li and Matrix crap. I want that old fashioned raw Bruce Lee kind of kung-fu and only Jackie can do it for me right now. Who cares if the movie isn't subtitled. I only like anime subtitled and also the bad dubs can be funny. Even the dubs in Drunken Master 1 made me laugh more than usual.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9:09 a.m. CST

    All I have to say is: Moriarty, the rest of your life is very po

    by Andy Travis

    Seriously, I'm glad you didn't push Jackie on the Miramax cut. I agree, he's just happy to have it released. Sure I wish it was subtitled, but for some reason American audiences are whiny spoiled children who don't want "to read" a movie. I once went to a special showing of La Femme Nikita (where I'm sure most of the people there were expecting the USA T.V. show) and as I bought the ticket the guy in the box-office wanted to "warn me" that the movie was subtitled! I don't see that narrow-minded way of thinking going away in this country any time soon...

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9:10 a.m. CST

    BTW, anyone seen Drunken Master III?

    by jclin524

    I don't recall that the character Fei-Hung is in this movie, starred Andy Lau and it sure has a lot of actions even though Jackie isn't in it :P

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9:17 a.m. CST

    On the topic of subtitle...

    by jclin524

    I grew up reading subtitles, Chinese TV shows and entertainment stuff has subtitles, watching Taiwanese puppet shows like "Legend of Sacred Stone" I have to read subtitles, even watching American films with subtitles, I guess that's why I can't handled dubs, except for Cantonese movies dubbed in Mandarin :)

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9:20 a.m. CST

    First timer

    by wr05141

    I've been a movie geek for about 20 years now(I'm 30), but not of the kung fu genre like you guys. I'm seen a little of Chan on TV and all, I'm totally impressed with his physical and comic talent and his personability in interviews, but I've never seen a movie of his (or any other kung-fu) in a real live theater. From what I'm hearing from you guys, I can't wait to see this one. However, I'm torn, have I saved the best for first? Aw, hell with it! It's on the big screen now, I'm goin'!!!

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Wow, grats Moriarty

    by Mylow

    I know that being used as a prop by Jackie would definitely make one of the top 10 coolest moments in my life. You lucky weasel. =)

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 10:26 a.m. CST

    I was sadden greatly...

    by IAmLegolas

    when I finally saw the TV commercial for Jackie Chan's "new" movie "Legend Of the Drunken Master". I can't even imagine the changes made in this Americanized HK classic of "Drunken Master 2". I heard rumors of the soundtrack being completely different....are they going to have Snoop Doggie Dog and N'Sync or some generic techno band blasting during the fight scenes??? Even if Jackie supervised and had final say on all the changes NOTHING beats the epic little music piece they play during the scene where Jackie is "crucifixed". That has to be one of the best little music pieces in a film EVER.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 10:53 a.m. CST

    NUXX

    by NUXX

    1. GUNDAM SUIT - 2. BRUCKENHEIMERS HEAD ON A SILVER PLATTER - 3. BAY

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 11:13 a.m. CST

    i was lucky...

    by speed

    I was lucky enough to see the the real version of drunken master II back in 94 at my local cinema in australia. having seen most of the chan stuff on video my brother and i decided to head off to see this drunken master II film. to say that i saw this film in all its glory the way it was intended to be on the big screen has been one of my cinematic highlights. my brother and i walked out stunned. we went back the next day and then the next week we took as many friends as possible. I like kung fu films but not obsessed with them. this really is something special. i really can't remember a time when i have walked out of a cinema completely stunned into silence. and now i am going to be silent.....

  • Saw it at a screening last night. The biggest problem with this new release is of course the dubbing and the music - the music is not nearly as bad as some of the generic stuff tacked onto other American releases of Hong Kong films, but it's definitely not that good, either. I can't remember any of it, and that's never a good sign - it's just there. The original score was a fantastic score - it held the movie together - made it seem more coherent and more epic. The loss of the original score is a serious, serious blow to this film - what would Star Wars be like without its music? And not only does the score change affect teh film, but the PLACEMENT of the music in the film is different as well, and to often dreadful affect - many scenes that had music under them in the original now have no music at all - and as the scenes were obviously directed to be parts of musical sequences(like the whole opening on the train), now, without any music, they just sit there - lifeless. I have no idea why they tampered with the placement of the music in this film - the filmmakers knew what they were doing, and their use of music made their version much more lively and effective. The dubbing is of course bad, as you lose so much from the original - but as dubbing goes, it's a pretty solid dub job(still, I'd NEVER watch a movie dubbed if I had the choice). New sound effects are mostly great, but they missed some key moments where they didn't put sound, and some of the new sounds are too subtle for the action. Still, despite these problems, and the fact that the musical issue HUGELY affects the whole mood and feel of the film, making it much less of an experience than the original - it's still Drunken Master II - and you can't even imagine how incredible those fight sequences are on the big screen. I'd seen them all millions of times, but seeing it that large allowed me to catch so much - it was like seeing it for the first time. It made me yearn to see more "true kung fu" movies(not action movies with Kung Fu in them), in the theaters... What a treat this is - but oh how much better it would've been if they'd left it the way it was... I can't even imagine how cool and powerful THAT would've been. Oh yeah - remember how one of the arguments for the new score was that people "could tell the old score was Chinese"? Well this new score is all traditional Chinese instruments - so there's no excuse for them rescoring it - they could've easily just rerecorded the original with less trouble. The new stuff may be Chinese sounding, but it doesn't have ANY melodic power or any repeating themes that tie the movie together like the original does...

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Anita Mui is a great comedienne. Has anyone seen Justice My Foot

    by twindaggerturkey

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 12:21 p.m. CST

    The "low-ceiling" fight in DM2

    by 855K Scoville

    is one of my all-time favorite movie fights. The scene shows that, just as Jackie Chan can fight using household furniture, he can fight even in a very confined space using (presumably) the same kung fu. That's one of the cool things about martial arts. So many of the same motions and concepts are used for spear, staff, sword, knife and unarmed fighting. The weapon really does become just an extension or a part of yourself; there is no difference.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 12:49 p.m. CST

    JavaDevil - My Stunts thing

    by Dagan

    Hey JavaDevil - I agree with most of what you say, but I must disagree with what you were saying concerning "My Stunts". I didn't get that Jackie was telling the viewer that they only attack one at a time... In it, he talks about how in the OLD DAYS in films, people would only attack one at a time, and everybody else would run around in the background, but then Jackie thought - "Why don't they all come at once?" Well, the reason they didn't before was because that's just so dang hard to choreograph, but Jackie had the genius talent to be able to pioneer a style where multiple attackers truly act like multiple attackers. There's often scenes in his movie where its shows wide shots of him getting attacked by two or three people at once, and he's dealing with them all at the same time. My Stunts did show how his stuntmen have a "grunting" system to announce to Chan when they're coming from behind, and that kind of thing - and they certainly arrange it where he's dealing with primarily one guy at a time, by knocking others away - but still, often more people than one will come at him at once, and his choreography turns it into a one on one situation later.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Thank you...

    by marla singer

    ... for last night, for being an amazing friend. And again - sorry about batch 16.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 1:04 p.m. CST

    The Butchery Issue

    by Dagan

    Concerning the "butchery" of this film: No - I didn't notice a single edit in any of the fight scenes, if they were, they were so minor that they escaped my detection - they only edit comes at the very, very end of the film, but we knew that was coming. However, while there are no visual edits - you cannot underestimate the impact of the loss of the original soundtrack - the dubbing speaks for itself in this regard, but the new music and the PLACEMENT of that new music really does "butcher" the film in many ways. It feels like a totally different film with this new score, and the change isn't for the better. Gone is the epic feeling and musical energy of the opening - it's now replaced with just a few very brief musical spots, and mostly no music at all, turning a scene that was directed and edited for music into something that just sits there, dead and lifeless. Gone is the driving, badass rythms and mythic feel of Wong Fei Hung's Drunken Boxing themes, and his percussive showdown in the climax, which had a somewhat serious feel in the original, but here just seems like another fight scene(even if it is a brilliant one). Basically, the original music tied the film together and created its original tone so well that you won't believe how different the movie is without it. And the tragic part is that there was ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT ALL FOR MIRAMAX TO CHANGE THE ORIGINAL SCORE HERE... None whatsoever. Their original reasoning was - "people can tell the music is Chinese" - which is simply crap times ten, and even moreso now since this new score is very "Chinese"(though still bland as heck) anyway. Their second reason was - "we can't find the original music". Also crap. There's CDs of the soundtrack all over the place out there - and even if they couldn't find the source materials, wouldn't it have been easier to re-record an existing score than to write a whole new score??? It's utterly mind-boggling why they'd take such a wonderful score off this film and replace it with something so generic. Especially since it no-doubt cost them more to have a new score written in the first place. The loss of the original music is simply a staggering loss to the whole tone and mood of this film(and not only in overall tone, but also in action and comedic scenes), and the fact that they play many scenes that previously had music WITHOUT music now... Well, that's just crazy. And I'll bet they won't give us the option for the original soundtrack on the DVD, either - even though that would drive many more sales - I don't know how many fans will buy this version when they already have their own, but those same fans would jump at the chance to have this high quality print on DVD - WITH THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK. Of course this would be easy to do, and respectful to the fans and the film, but will we see it - almost certainly not. Why? No real reason. They'll say "we can't find the source soundtrack..." Crap. Pull it off somebody's laserdisc. You didn't cut the film, it will sync up fine - we don't care if it's in high quality Dolby Digital - just put it on there and give us the option to switch to it. The film is MUCH better in its original form, afterall. Still - despite the new soundtrack wrecking much of the grandeur of the original - the visuals in this film still speak for themselves - seeing those fight scenes on the big screen is nothing short of breathtakingly phenomenal. Go see it, enjoy it, but keep your fingers crossed that Miramax actually has respect for Jackie Chan and his fans and releases the DVD with the original soundtrack as well as their new one.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Cuthbert, are you for real?

    by Tar Heel

    Jackie Chan, no talent? Are you on crack? Read Ebert's review at suntimes.com. He puts Chan's physical abilities right up there with Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Yeah, and those guys had no talent, either.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 1:05 p.m. CST

    The Butchery Issue

    by Dagan

    Concerning the "butchery" of this film: No - I didn't notice a single edit in any of the fight scenes, if they were, they were so minor that they escaped my detection - they only edit comes at the very, very end of the film, but we knew that was coming. However, while there are no visual edits - you cannot underestimate the impact of the loss of the original soundtrack - the dubbing speaks for itself in this regard, but the new music and the PLACEMENT of that new music really does "butcher" the film in many ways. It feels like a totally different film with this new score, and the change isn't for the better. Gone is the epic feeling and musical energy of the opening - it's now replaced with just a few very brief musical spots, and mostly no music at all, turning a scene that was directed and edited for music into something that just sits there, dead and lifeless. Gone is the driving, badass rythms and mythic feel of Wong Fei Hung's Drunken Boxing themes, and his percussive showdown in the climax, which had a somewhat serious feel in the original, but here just seems like another fight scene(even if it is a brilliant one). Basically, the original music tied the film together and created its original tone so well that you won't believe how different the movie is without it. And the tragic part is that there was ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT ALL FOR MIRAMAX TO CHANGE THE ORIGINAL SCORE HERE... None whatsoever. Their original reasoning was - "people can tell the music is Chinese" - which is simply crap times ten, and even moreso now since this new score is very "Chinese"(though still bland as heck) anyway. Their second reason was - "we can't find the original music". Also crap. There's CDs of the soundtrack all over the place out there - and even if they couldn't find the source materials, wouldn't it have been easier to re-record an existing score than to write a whole new score??? It's utterly mind-boggling why they'd take such a wonderful score off this film and replace it with something so generic. Especially since it no-doubt cost them more to have a new score written in the first place. The loss of the original music is simply a staggering loss to the whole tone and mood of this film(and not only in overall tone, but also in action and comedic scenes), and the fact that they play many scenes that previously had music WITHOUT music now... Well, that's just crazy. And I'll bet they won't give us the option for the original soundtrack on the DVD, either - even though that would drive many more sales - I don't know how many fans will buy this version when they already have their own, but those same fans would jump at the chance to have this high quality print on DVD - WITH THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK. Of course this would be easy to do, and respectful to the fans and the film, but will we see it - almost certainly not. Why? No real reason. They'll say "we can't find the source soundtrack..." Crap. Pull it off somebody's laserdisc. You didn't cut the film, it will sync up fine - we don't care if it's in high quality Dolby Digital - just put it on there and give us the option to switch to it. The film is MUCH better in its original form, afterall. Still - despite the new soundtrack wrecking much of the grandeur of the original - the visuals in this film still speak for themselves - seeing those fight scenes on the big screen is nothing short of breathtakingly phenomenal. Go see it, enjoy it, but keep your fingers crossed that Miramax actually has respect for Jackie Chan and his fans and releases the DVD with the original soundtrack as well as their new one.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 2:38 p.m. CST

    I haven't seen it in theatres yet, but...

    by HAGTATT

    My first exposure to Drunken Master II was when my friend Scott (hey, Sleeper!) brought over a videotape of all the fight scenes he had recorded from the Laserdisc he had bought. I was completely blown away! Since then, I have purchased the subtitled videotape at my local video store, but unfortunately the subtitles (Cantonese AND English) are so damn small, even on a 32" TV. Not a problem. I usually don't watch Jackie Chan films for the story. As long as I can enjoy the beautifully choreographed fight scenes time after time, I'm a happy boy. If all some of you can bitch about is the change in music, as bad as that can be, and the chopped ending, then this flick must be as great as the original cut. For those of you who'll say that this isn't how Jackie wanted the film to look or feel, there'll be just as many, if not more, people who will be seeing it for the first time and will be blown away just as much as those of us who saw "the original".

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Hey! I have a question to ask about the Video CD version of thi

    by Miracleman

    I have been unable to get my grubby hands on a copy of Drunken Master II for VHS or Laserdisc, so I decided to just say "what the hey" and get the Video CD version of this film. I found a few places on the internet that sell Video CD's online, and they all carry the original, subtitled Hong Kong version of Drunken Master II on Video CD (I'm not too sure if it's in widescreen or if it's even possible to have widescreen on Video CD, but I'll check). Now, I just wanted to know: Has anyone here seen the Video CD version, and if so, can you tell me if the quality (video, audio) is good or bad (or terrible, or awful, or atrocious)? I thank whoever answers this question in advance. www.cbldf.org www.minibosses.com

  • As if American films don't get dubbed most of the time when they go overseas. The lousy dubbing on Rumble In the Bronx, Operation Condor, Twin Dragons, etc didn't hurt my enjoyment of any of those films, nor did the weird rap soundtrack on Supercop. And to that Cuthbert guy who said Chan has no talent, you are stupid and just plain WRONG if you think that. But then, you probably think everything in The Matrix was real.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Chan IS a modern-day Buster Keaton.

    by Fatal Discharge

    It's idiotic to complain about the lack of drama or acting in Chan's films. He simply plays himself Jackie Chan - a charismatic, funny and unbelievably great stuntsman/fighter. What you see in real life is what you get in his films, a man who is always upbeat and brings a smile to those around him. There's a reason he doesn't play villains - because Jackie Chan is not a bad person. I believe it's in Woody Allen's film Manhattan where Woody is so depressed about his life but when he goes to see a Marx Brothers comedy, all his problems drift away because they bring out pure and simple joy in life. That is what Jackie Chan does for me. I saw "Mr. Nice Guy" yesterday (the score and some of the dubbing also sucks in this one) and even though it is forgettable for the most part, there are instances (like in all his films) where I sat in awe open-mouthed at the artistry this man shows in giving his audience these moments of joy.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Cuthbert?

    by Monkey Lord

    <stares blankly> I am befuddled. I cannot imagine a human being saying anything so blatantly outrageous... Jackie Chan has no talent? None?!?!!? Go back to Hong Kong??!?!? Riiiiiight... To me, this registers in the same area of the brain that stores such phrases as "Einstein was an idiot", "Kepler was off his rocker", and "Doo Doo tastes good." Cuthbert, why don't you just sit on the keyboard the next time you post a message? Your butt probably has more constructive and sensible things to say than the rest of you... Jesus. Laughable...truly laughable.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Cuthbert, you silly bastard

    by vroom socko

    Cuthbert, whoever you are, whatever you are, please do us all a favor and actually watch a Jackie Chan film before braying to the world that he has no talent. Just take the day off, lock yourself in a room with a tv/vcr and copies of the DUBBED Drunken Master II, City Hunter, and Project A, watch them until your eyes bleed and don't leave that room until you GET IT!!!!!

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 6:02 p.m. CST

    why is hollywood so damned stupid?!?

    by Recker

    Why are they so stupid? It's obvious that they're just dumping DM2 into theatres in an attempt to recoup any money they spent in acquiring it during the first rush of Jackie's north american popularity. Why can't they realize that there's never been a better time to release this film properly, what with the upcoming release of CTHD? That movie will get a full media blitz and it will do very well at the box office. It would have been simple to put together a decent trailer representative of the film, make some reference to the Chinese heritage involved, and use that angle to hook the media, regardless of it's obvious status as one of the best HK movies of all time. With a minimum of effort, they could have opened it wide to a very strong box office, made some decent money on it. Instead, they give it the Twin Dragons treatment, toss together some half-rate poster, dump it into a handful of theatres and pencil in a video release. Idiots. I had the good fortune of seeing the original language print as part of the Fantasia Filmfest in Toronto a few years back, thanks to programmer Colin Geddes. It was shown two nights to --no lie-- the best turn out the theatre had ever seen for any movie in it's history. I overheard someone working there that they were planned to let people sit in the aisles so that everyone could see it. And the crowd reaction was overwhelming. Hell, we drove over two hours to see it. All I can say is see it if you haven't seen it before. If you have see it again, and bring anyone you know who enjoys movies. They will like it. I have never shown DM2 to anyone ever who did not like it. I plan on bringing 10 friends tonight, none of which have seen it before, all of which are caught up in my obvious enthusiasm for it. And I know they will enjoy it. Cuts and dubbing and all. So I hope anyone who has scrolled through this diatribe goes out and sees it and most importantly just enjoys it. And remember, the water that floats the boat also can sink the boat. Or something like that.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 6:21 p.m. CST

    a videotape of all the fight scenes

    by 855K Scoville

    sounds great, HAGTATT. I've always wanted such a tape because the stunts and fights are definitely the best parts of most Jackie Chan movies. (I love Jackie Chan movies, but I must admit that many of them have lousy plot and acting.)

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Anita Mui kicks ass!

    by sinople

    Anita Mui rocks in Johnny To's Justice My Foot and The 2 Heroic Trio movies. I can't wait to see them work together again! I refuse to say ANOTHER WORD about the US version of DM2. It's just too sad. At least MIRACLES didn't suffer a similar fate. Hopefully the rumours aren't true about Miramax getting the rights to John Woo's best film. I shudder to think what Harvey Scissorhands would do to A BULLET IN THE HEAD to make it "safe" for American audiences.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Too bad DM2 is a rip-off of Jet Li's trademark films

    by su12345

    The hard truth is Jackie went back to his "period movie root" simply beause of the success of Jet Li's OUATIC and Fong Sak Yuk. Hell, even some fight scenes in DM2 are direct rip-off of Fong Sai Yuk. Before OUATIC, modern action flicks ruled HK box office Jackie made DM2 to satisfy audience's lust of seeing half bald men in dresses killing each other (however Jackie remained his tradmark bowlcut hairdo). It turned out to be Jackie's best work. Irony is a bitch, ain't it?

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 8:14 p.m. CST

    The REAL truth about Drunken Master II

    by devious

    Jackie Chan made this movie with Lau Kar Leung to raise money for the Hong Kong Stuntmen Association just as Twin Dragons was made for Hong Kong Directors. In other words, Drunken Master II is a CHARITY film. Plus, the Kung Fu boom that started with Once Upon a Time in China in 1991 was dying out during 1994. Sorry, but I don't get the connection between Fong Sai Yuk and Drunken Master II? Just because Drunken Master II WAS a Wong Fei Hung movie, doesn't make it a rip off. If so, then OUATIC and Fong Sai Yuk I and II are direct ripoffs of Kwan Tak Hing's Wong Fei Hung and the Fong Sai Yuk films in early Chinese cinema.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Devious is right...

    by Kampbell-Kid

    Devious is right. Any HK film fan/collector knows that Wong Fei Hung movies are about as much as you see another damn vietnam movie made in the US. It's a pulp culture character in China. Wong Fei Hung is a legendary chinese folk hero with tons upon tons of films made with many different staring actors playing that charachter starting as way back as the 1940's and 50's. Jet Li just rebirthed the Fei Hung genre early 90's, he didn't franchise it. Know your facts before you embarrase yourself nationally on ain't-it-HYPE-news. :)

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 9:25 p.m. CST

    To Dub Or Not To Dub...

    by VidMan

    Unfortunately, the number of people willing to shell out money to see a movie with subtitles is so small that studios tend not to release them this way. The die hard fans who have no problem watching a movie with subtitles underneath can not equal in dollar amounts the number of seats that can be filled with even a poorly dubbed movie. Is America ready to watch movies in their original language? No. Too many feel that it takes too much effort. And for the most part, these people wouldn't notice a difference between the two anyway. They're just interested in watching Chan kick ass. The best thing that the studios could offer, that they could do, would be to offer the original soundtrack, the original language with subtitles, on the DVD release when they get ready to turn it loose. This would keep the die hards happy and the who cares satisfied as well. Seems we fans have one thing that we keep forgetting. As artful as a movie might be, as cultural abn event as it might inspire, it is still a product destined to make money. And the versions released will be the ones most likely to make the most money. A sad but true tale.

  • Oct. 20, 2000, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Drunken Master II was hardly butchered.

    by nolanliang

    Now I'm a HUGE Chan fan. I've seen every movie and own the DVDs, VCDs, tapes(legit copies, not pirates) of most of them. I took part in two different Chan mailing lists, I've read his autobiography, I've read numerous books about him. In my "expert" opinion, Drunken Master II was handled VERY well by Miramax. Actually, I was disapointed by the lack of marketing, but the movie itself turned out well. For one thing, only the very ending was cut and I can see why they would do that. It was the type of scene that would illicit groans out of the audience. Secondly, the score was not bad at all. I've heard people bitch and moan about them replacing the "epic score", but you know what? Try listening to the soundtrack sometime. The instruments sound a bit too synthesized for a classic period piece. Keep in mind as well that the new score fits just fine with the time and situations of the movie. I would have preferred a new recording of the original socre(with real instruments), but the new one is hardly bad. Finally, the only other change from the original is the dubbing. We should all have realized that this would be a given. Unlike Moriarty, I thought the actress portraying Anita Mui sounded good. Moriarty, your bitching about the butchering of DMII is unjustified. I'm going to go Rickie Oh on you.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 2:18 a.m. CST

    More Chan massacres

    by Dellis

    I was fortunate enough to see Who Am I? at it's theatrical release in Malaysia and there's a very good scene in the movie that was not shown in cinema here in Australia, nor on an International flight to the States and is not included on the DVD release. When he is at the African village there is a scene where Who Am I (Chan) is walking around the savannah with a boy from the village. Chan finds a lion cub and picks it up. He then finds another one and is cuddling the cubs with joy on his face. At the same time the young boy has run away in fear of the lion that must be around somewhere.... Suddenly there is a roar from behind Chan. He turns, sees the lioness and runs for his life. There is a fantastic visual of Chan running from one side of the screen to a tree on the other with the lionees in hot pursuit. Chan scrambles monkey-like up to the top of the tree with the lioness inches away... It's one of the most edge-of-your-seat scenes in the whole film and has been cut for some reason. Why, oh why? Has anyone else seen this scene?

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 2:19 a.m. CST

    Forgot to mention that DM II

    by Dellis

    is one of my all-time favourite Chan movies. The fight scenes are awesome and it's going to be great to watch in the theatre, but hard to watch when I am so used to the original language version.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 2:51 a.m. CST

    question: is there wire work in DM2?

    by lilgorgor

    I just saw the new version tonight. The music changes sucked, I guess I can do without the last seen, but it was so worth it to be able to see it on the big screen that I can deal with that crap. Anyway, there are several tricks that Jackie does in DM2 that look impossible. To my knowledge I haven't seen Jackie use wires in anything else... did he break tradition and use them for DM2, or is he just that fucking amazing that I THINK he's using wires?

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Jackie's wire work

    by nolanliang

    Actually, Jackie uses wires in many many movies. The reason it doesn't seem like it is because he only uses them to enhance movements. The fact that you didn't notice them is a testament to how well he knows how to use them.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Drunken Master II

    by makai

    Ok, First time for me to post here, but I had to get it off my chest. Moriarity, WOW, VERY cool that you got to meet Jackie and not only that, be his "stuntman" for a while. Must have been the thrill of a lifetime. BUT I disagree with you when you say DMII was butchered. I have plenty of Jackie's films. I much prefer the subbed films over the dubbed. But this one wasn't bad at all. I thought they did a pretty good job. YES I missed the epic score. YES I missed Jackie singing at the end (a WHOLE LOT) But I really thought they did a good job with the film. Hardly what you would call butchered. The only part I might feel so inclined to call butchering would be the zany Rumblesque electric guitar over the outtakes. What a slap in the face. But over all, a good job. A FINE movie. Hopefully it will find its way into the hearts of people intolerant of subtitles, and make them seek out films like this, and eventually break down the subtitle barrier.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 5:46 a.m. CST

    enlighten us cuthbert

    by vroom socko

    If I were to assume that Jackie Chan is a hack, Cuthbert ol' pal, then what action star is worth my time? That hulking mongoloid Swarzenegger? That idiot Van Damme? Do you even enjoy action movies at all? Do you have any basis in calling Chan a hack other than you being a bitter, insignificant wrech of a man? C'mon, tell Uncle Socko how a man who's pushing fifty and still does all his own stunts can suck. Either back up your assertion or shut the hell up.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Ignore Cuthbert...

    by Wesley Snipes

    His clumsy trolling is so obvious.. Why are you taking his bait? Just point out his trolling and then ignore him. I mean what a sad sack he must be if he has nothing better to do than to try to annoy strangers he can't see or hear! **** Anyway, yeah, go check out the Ebert review. Good stuff. And if you think about it, Chan at this age could probably make another one of these before he could make another Operation Condor or Project A2. He doesn't actually have to do much falling out of buildings or crashing around. It's "just" fighting. And you'll notice that his first opponent in the movie is senior citizen Lau Kar Leung, who matches Chan brilliantly. I understand Chan's problem now isn't his speed as much as it his knee and ankle joints being worn down from all the insane falls and similar abuse. Time for more fighting..

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 10:20 a.m. CST

    MIRACLE MAN...

    by bluelou_boyle

    Yes I have the dm2 vcd, from www.importworld.co.uk The picture is actually ok, though not as sharp as DVD, and the sound is adequate, though obviously not dolby digital surround 5.1 etc. A classic movie, will jackie make another like it? Lets hope he teams up with yuen biao and sammo hung again. They want to, apparently its a scheduling problem. Brad allen,chan's opponent from 'gorgeous', is one hell of a kicker, so let's hope jackie lets him shine some more.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 12:02 p.m. CST

    WalterP99 is way way off

    by Castor777

    First off I have to say I did just see Drunken Master II in theatres regardless of owning the subtitled version for over a year now. There are so many Jackie fans on here that I'd be surprised if most of you haven't seen it yet but for the ones that haven't seen it in a theatre MUST. It was absolutly amazing, and the movie had a standing applause - I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be a big hit after all. Anyway I read WalterP99 comment and it was far from correct. Drunken Master II may of been released in 1994, but the shoot went on for a long time over 1993, the year Fong Sai Yuk was released. The fight scenes share no resemblence between the two - especially for the nonstop wires Jet Li used in Fong Sai Yuk. The comedy is far different in both films; I have to say I like Jet's performance in Fong Sai Yuk but Chan's comedy is far more physical so share any resemblence there. If Fong Sai Yuk shared any resemblence with any of Chan's movies it would be the original Drunken Master; considering they are both about a man out to kill the father of the hero. But if you look at it that way (I'm not by any means) than I guess Jet Li is the one who is ripping off Chan. And that wouldn't be a surprise since they used to be rivals back in Asia and Chan seemed to always have succeeded over Jet on all counts. Jet Li is a great great martial artist made famous for his OUATIC series but beyond there he dosen't compare to Jackie and Jackie would have no need to ever rip him off - he is and has been the most famous man in Asia since the 80s. Oh and for the question about Jackie using wires, only for certain movements; not the way Jet Li uses them in his films. When Jackie nails someone and sends them flying, that's wires. When Jackie is hanging from a helicopter, he has wires to protect him. When Jackie does the amazing spinning head butt move in Drunken Master II, no wires. Just a lil trick photography, he most likely only spinned once or twice and they just put to takes together and there you have it. Bottom line, Jackie is the man.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Chan and Wilson..and the slaughter of kung fu

    by iaido

    First off, the comments on Chan and Wilson really getting along is crap. In every interview i saw or read about Shanghai Noon (including a "making of" thing somewhere) they both stated how they really didnt get along- Wilson said he attributed it to the lang barrier because when Jackie was around his stunt guys he laughed and talked a lot. Jackie gave the impression that he just seemed to not get Wilson or find him particularly appealing. Does that mean they cant be a team onscreen? Hell no, look at Abbot and Costello, Monty Python, Cook and Moore, the list is endless; just wanted to point out that they arent chums......As far as the "butchering" issue, i guess growing up in the days of NOTHING but dubbed and edited kung fu theatre, i accept that it goes on. It is annoying in this day and age of subtitles and foriegn film popularity that kung fu gets no respect, but it also is the still living up to standard that has been in place since the 70's. They need to change these policies, but i dont expect any Disney controlled company to really give a shit.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 1:52 p.m. CST

    wires, Wong, and Fong...(sorry for the double post)

    by iaido

    Something about DrunkenMaster 2's history people havent mentioned, in relation to the wirework. Lau Kar Lueng (the director, and the old man pole fighting Jackie on the train) originally wanted to make and anti-wirework film because of all the Once Upon a Time in China and other period setting films that used outlandish choreography (so that cancels all this trying to be Jet Li discussion some of you have brought up). Jackie decided that the final fight scene needed to be punched up, Kar Lueng disagrreed, so Jackie re-shot much of the final fight scene himself and used wirework to enhance his nitro fueled, drunken master-fu in the end. That was one of the reasons that the final fight took so long, because Jackie had to fire Kar Lueng and go about re-doing much of the scene himself. Its pretty much common knowledge to serious Hong Kong film fans, suprised no one mentioned it.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 7:40 p.m. CST

    I LOVE ENGLISH DUBBING

    by Robertblood

    Growing up, all I saw were english dubbed kung fu films, and that, in and of itself, was a great charm for them (and the only redeeming virtue of the really bad ones). I recently bought the '36 Chambers of Shaolin' on VHS, with subtitiles and I can tell you that after 10 minutes of watching it, I stopped reading them and just waited for the fight scenes. Drunken Master 2 (or legend of) may be the 'citizen Kane' of martial arts films (as I now believe it to be), but it is no 'Citizen Kane'. It's plot and characters service the fighting, not the other way around. Give me my dubbing any day.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Dubbing? Come on!

    by Dagan

    Give you your dubbing any day? How does the subtitles take away from the fight scenes - if you think that's all these films have to offer... But DMII is a great example of why dubbing sucks - all the comedic and dramatic value of the original is totally lost in the dubbing. You simply cannont dub a film into another language and keep any coherent scene structure and pacing, and the dubbed voices make everything instantly cheesy. Yes, the fights may be the best thing about DMII, but there's also lots of other great things in the movie - Chan and Mui's comic performance, for instance, that is barely recognizable in the dubbed version - all the sparkling crackle of those scenes are just gone. And in a more serious-toned film like Once Upon a Time in China I and II, the dubbing is even more devastating, as you can't have anything remotely close to "serious" in a dubbed film, and the political themes and character relationships in the OUATIC series are great for any film of any genre - the dubbed version of those are simply awful - and I can't imagine seeing a dubbed version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - the drama in that film is fantastic - and I'd hate to see the film ruined by dubbing. Yes, martial arts films are primarily about fighting - but when you dub the films you assure that that's all they can ever offer you - the films that aspire to be more than just fighting - The Stormriders, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Once Upon a Time in China I and II, Duel to the Death, and yes - Drunken Master II, have their guts absolutely ripped out when you dub them.

  • Oct. 21, 2000, 9:44 p.m. CST

    OH.....MY......GOD.......

    by XF1

    I just saw and you know something? I don't care about the dubbing, the music or any of that. I just saw the flat-out greatest Jackie Chan movie of all time and one of the best martial arts movies of all time. I must have muttered "DAMN!" at last thirty times, twenty during the last fight scene. The scene with Chan fighting all those guys in the cafe was incredible and the final brawl was the most amazing fight I've ever seen. Screw the Matrix and Charlie's Angels and all the high-tech kung-fu crap. Give me the real thing. Jackie Chan.

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 3:32 a.m. CST

    CUTHBERT

    by JP3183

    Before you judge Chan as talentless, I suggest you try to jump on another building, roll on burning charcoal, walk on top and under a moving vehicle, create elaborate fight scenes, win lots of awards, and have millions of fans anticipating every project you do without getting killed first. If you can't, then you can shut the hell up!

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Drunken Master II

    by Cugel

    The only version of DMII I have is dubbed into German, as are all movies here in Germany. I'm a film purist & all for subtitles myself and have long been annoyed by some European countries' insistence on dubbing everything they can get their hands on, but after hearing what was done to the score in the U.S. re-release, I'm not feeling so bad anymore; at least that wasn't tampered with. Can't comprehend why that would've been altered: that score is outstanding!! As a few posters have mentioned, it really complements the (mindblowing) fight scenes and gives the film much more of an epic tone - which when you think about it is pretty surprising, given the high level of comedy-style elements in the movie. Never knew the genre 'Comedic Epic' existed, but I guess Jackie created it! Anyway, haven't yet seen this on the big screen, butchered version or no, but I presume Legend of DM will be out here in Europe in 3 months time so will spread the word - everyone who's never seen this flick has a real treat in store.

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Jackie vs. Jet

    by JP3183

    I would agree if any of you should say that Jet is a better actor than Chan because he can play a good guy or a bad guy and still be loved by fans. Jackie's acting relies on his facial expressions, and if he becomes a bad guy the fans will be outraged. BUT can Jet exist in the big screen without his choreographers and his wires? Chan can create a fight scene by his himself without wires and with style. I've never seen a Jet Li movie where he uses an animal style in his kung fu rather than wires. Chan created the drunken fist with sheer genious. BUT I would really love to see these two work together someday. It's either they're both good guys or (since Chan can't be a bad guy) Jet will be the bad guy.

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 1:12 p.m. CST

    DMII on DVD

    by Gwailo

    First of all... Cuthbert: go home and watch another Van Damme movie if you want to see non-entertainment in it's highest form. I'm sure you have your copy of Legionnaire all primed up. Although dubbed, DMII is definitely worth the watch on the big screen. The fight scenes can't be explained... they have to be witnessed. The final showdown between Jackie and Ken Lo is absolutely incredible. For the DVD, check out eBay... they usually have 1 or 2 copies of the imported version available. I was lucky enough to get one of these, and although it doesn't the video quality of an American release, it certainly is far better than the Tai Seng VHS version or the VCD. Optional English subtitles are also included, as well as a final scene that got cut from the American release because it's a little un PC. Hopefully Miramax will include the original Cantonese audio track on the DVD, but I doubt they'll put the scene back in.

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Re: Jackie/Jet

    by Cugel

    From what I've heard I think it's pretty unlikely there will ever be a production starring both Jet Li and Jackie Chan (while dreaming, throw in fight choreography by Yuen Wo Ping), as much as every martial arts fan on the planet would give to see such a clash of the titans. There is some mutual respect there I think, but even so it's never gonna happen. Re: JP - it is true that the majority of Jet's movies have involved heavy wire-fu but there is no question that he doesn't need it to be successful on the big screen. Get a copy of 'Shaolin Temple' if you don't believe me .. not a wire to be found. For another example, take a look at the ever-brilliant 'Fist of Legend' - there's a little wire-work but not much - most of that movie is Jet as a one-man demolition squad, doing what he does best. In terms of the 'Citizen Kane' of martial arts movies, I think most fans would vote for either Fist of Legend or DM II as contenders for that cult title (how about a poll to test that idea, Harry?). Two very different type of movies but equally astounding ones, starring the two top-notch martial artists in the business.

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 2:27 p.m. CST

    All right Cugel I'll give you that

    by JP3183

    Still I wish that Jet and hollywood directors would loose the wires. It's fucking annoying.

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 2:50 p.m. CST

    wired

    by Cugel

    JP - it's true, when wire-fu is done badly (eg 'Black Mask') it does look damn silly. But if Jet ends up in the Matrix sequels, the effects coordinator for those sequels (Gaeti?) has already stated he's going to get away from wire-fu acrobatics .. or at least the wirework that we're used to seeing (and getting tired of). I haven't seen 'Crouching Tiger' yet, but I hear that even folks who can't stand "puppet-fu" have to admit it's done impressively in that movie.

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 5:58 p.m. CST

    The missing sound of Drunken Master II

    by Ragsnomore

    I enjoyed your artical on Drunken Master II, it you got to meet Jacky. I Work os a girp in New York. I work on A lot of TV Shows and big budget movies. But nothing was as exciting as working with Jet Li and Samo Hung in Texas. And Living my dream of being a bad guy in a hong kong movie. I was the Mexican bandito that blew up the town and fights Club Foot at the end of the movie. Okay My personal pain with the new American version of Drunken master too. They changed the sound efects for the new release. The fist time I saw Drunken master in China Town on the big screen, I was captivated by the rythm the sound efects created, they help tell the story of the fight. I have spent the last 15 years studing and tring to learn from the masters of Hong Kong film making. I have learned that the sounds, Misses and hits, Blocks. They give the actors power and make them bigger then life. They pull the audiance into the movie, it makes them feel the action. The audiance knows if its a miss a block or a killer blow by the sounds EFX. They cheated the American movie going public of this exprience. They all so did it to Jet Li on Romio must die, with out the sound EFX it looks like he is pity pat the bad guys, your only getting half the movie. Thats it, I could bitch all day and night about this. but with my bad spelling I should stop here. Thanky bye Roberto

  • Oct. 22, 2000, 11 p.m. CST

    I guess Cuthbert really did shut the hell up.

    by JP3183

    Thank you God!

  • Oct. 23, 2000, 1 p.m. CST

    OK now...

    by vroom socko

    Cuthbert, I have to give you an ounce of respect for admitting that your main bias is against all action movies period. Of course, I then have to take away a pound of respect after you called me and everyone else on this talkback a child molester. God, are you one bitter fucker. As to your comment that CGI is better than actual human achievement, that is the most inane comment I have heard in my life. A CGI version of THE NUTCRACKER must be right up your alley. Me, I'll take Baryshnikov any day. This is why I didn't buy into all the hype around THE MATRIX, it had a decent story, but most of the action was ridiculously painful to watch. As to Jackie's dozens of fans; I have met Jackie Chan. I met him on a trip to Hong Kong as a member of the US branch of his fan club. Pay attention here Cuthbert, this is important. I was there as part of a fan convention and public exibit on Chan. At he club dinner, there was nearly 1,000 in attendance, half that number was the Japanese fan club alone! The exibit, over three days, took in over two million visitors. This man is the biggest movie star in the world, bar none. If you don't like him, if you don't enjoy hos kind of movies, fine. Just don't read about him on this site. And for God's sake, don't insult his fans. Reffering to his fans as child molesters; I take this as a personnal attack, a low blow, and if I knew who you really were outside of this talkback, I'd sue your ass for defamation of character. Harry, ban this guy, he's too bitter for his own good

  • But let me get this straight. You don't like action films, you hate Jackie Chan and his fans, yet you read the review and the talkbacks and posted a moronic response. Then you had the guts to tell us that you weren't looking for attention. If you're not interested in seeing action films, then quit boring yourself by reading the reviews. I know the talkback was created for posting opinions, but I suggest that you post a response to a topic that you're interested in so that you won't end up being a jackass. One of my suggestions to you was to have millions of fans anticipating every project that you do before you can judge Chan. Instead you have millions of people ready to reject everything that you have to say. I think you earned the attention you craved.

  • Oct. 23, 2000, 5:33 p.m. CST

    "ooops"

    by JP3183

    (Yes, saying that you have millions of people thinking you're a jackass is an exageration, but so is saying that you have only less than a dozen)

  • Oct. 26, 2000, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Jackie Chan is a genius

    by obsessed27

    After reading cuthbert's opinion I thought maybe he's temporarily insane. But then he wrote that roger ebert is not that great a reviewer, so now I think you're TOTALLY insane. What's next? Michael Jordan is not very talented, and Madonna doesn't have millions of fans? Jackie Chan is in superb physical condition and has enormous imagination and creativity to combine everyday objects with the wide range of possible body movements to create entertaining fights. There is always something new in his movies, it's something to admire. He's not talented at all? See who else could have used a ladder to fight like he did in First Strike! You're free to give your opinion, but we think you're totally insane and don't respect you at all.

  • Oct. 26, 2000, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Did Cuthbert finally shut the hell up?

    by JP3183

    If there's a god in heaven please don't let him post again.

  • Oct. 27, 2000, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Dubbing, and things others haven't touched on.

    by KillrShru

    Firstly, about dubbing. I don't think that this is a bad thing in all cases like some people here have said. A perfect example of this is the original Drunken Master. I've seen both the subtitled and dubbed versions of this movie, and I've yet to find someone to disagree with me that the dubbed one is better. There's something about the voice acting that just puts a huge smile on your face. The characters are so whiney, and the dubbing somehow depicts this so well that I think I may have laughed harder than the average Chinese moviegoer would have seeing it in its regular form. When I first saw the film, I thought the irregular dubbing was done purposely. It matched the image of the film perfectly. It's a kung-foolery that sets out do do none other than make the audience laugh and amaze them with terrific martial art scenes. Even the most "dramatic" scene in the movie made me laugh. When the main enemy defeats Jackie, telling him, "I wouldn't hire you to wipe my ass," and then making him crawl through his legs and so forth. I found this to be hilarious in the dub, but overly dramatic in the sub. Of course, the bad dubbing wasn't done purposely(I think), and Drunken Master was an incredibly low budget movie(about $150,000, correct me if I'm wrong). Nevertheless, Drunken Master is a great movie, and I consider it the best as far as kung-fu comedies go. So all of you dub-haters out there please find a dubbed Drunken Master and tell me if I'm out of line or not. Secondly, I would like to know if anyone can give me a good reason as to why "Legend of..." is rated R? Is there any point in the movie that justifies this rating? The sexual innuendo was nowhere near as bad as anything on Seinfeld, and the one single four letter word can hardly make for a good argument. Plus, there is a reason why it's called a "martial art." I fail to see anything violent enough in this film to constitute an R rating. The only reason I can come up with is Hollywood's fear of a intensely Asian film doing well in their American market. And the fact that this movie got practically no advertising whatsoever only helps this theory. Anyone beg to differ? "Legend of..." only made less than $4 million, and finished in fifth place on its opening box office weekend. If you were smart, you would have seen it in theaters already. If not, then expect to see the movie in one of the smaller screens at your theater because Blair Witch 2 will definitely be taking the biggest screens on Friday for larger audiences. It's really a shame this movie bombed. Hopefully this won't ruin our chances of getting more of Jackie's best movies released in American theaters.