Anchor Bay Home Entertainment and The Weinstein Company will release on Blu-ray director Wong Kar Wai's latest film, The Grandmaster (2012), starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Zhang Ziyi, Chen Chang, Song Hye-Kyo, Bruce Leung Siu-Lung, and Zhao Ben-Shan. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across the nation on March 4th.
Official synopsis: Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, The Grandmaster is an epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary Kung FU master, Ip Man who
mentored Bruce Lee. The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed
the fall of China's last dynasty, a time of chaos, division and war that was also the
golden age of Chinese martial arts. Filmed in a range of stunning locations that
include the snow-swept landscapes of Northeast China and the subtropical South, The Grandmaster features virtuoso performances by some of the greatest
stars of contemporary Asian cinema.
The Grandmaster: From Ip Man to Bruce Lee
A Conversation with Shannon Lee, Daughter of Bruce Lee
Behind the Scenes Featurette
The Grandmaster According to RZA
*Please note that the official press release indicates a running time of 108 minutes for the main feature.
No doubt some people will appreciate 22 minutes less of Wong Kar Wai-eque moody-ness (I assume the action scenes will be intact), but I won't be purchasing this. I'll hold on to the 2 hour 10 minute version on my hard drive until I can get a decent price on the complete film (prolly from Yesasia).
I do wonder if the Bruce Lee related "special features" address the slight jab taken at Jeet Kune Do, when Yip Man faces a guy in a room of mirrors whose claim to fame is his versatility of styles. Lee had been somewhat critical of traditional forms (the Classical Mess), and this didn't sit well with some folks who noted that he hadn't really trained very long with Sifu Yip.
@Edshugeo: But what are the odds that those people would actually be buying this title in the first place?
The trailer looks great. But, if they've cut it down 22 minutes, I'll have to look for something to import as well. I can't imagine any studio today, being so out of touch with their market that they would deliberately sabotage the release with a condensed version. The internet has made it easy for them to get clear feedback on this and every release that has gone this route has been heavily criticized for doing so. Unless online outcry is not reflective of actual sales, it just doesn't make sense.
Isn't it obvious? They're putting out the cut-down version in the hope that people will buy it so they can have something to watch now. Then six months from now, they'll release a "collector's edition" which will have both versions on it, forcing people to buy it all over again.
Personally, I could go for that rumored 4-hour Director's Cut. I was really intrigued by the International one, but the whole Razor backstory felt totally underdeveloped. This is also the first Wong movie I've ever seen, so I didn't really know what to expect. All in all, it's kind of strange to see a martial arts period piece feel so (aesthetically) artsy (lots of slow frames, which was wholly unexpected) and philosophical. I wouldn't say it's quite on the level of "Crouching Tiger" or "Fearless." But then again, maybe that Director's Cut could achieve that scope.
ditto the first post, plus the Hong Kong BDs of this series are usually supposed to have better PQ, haven't compared myself though. The above post about a 4hr cut is intriguing, unless it's just a workprint or roughcut. I can thank the blu ray format for finally getting me into Wong Kar Wai, VHS and DVD never did his stuff enough justice to make me dig it.
Just do yourself a favor and get the original version from yesasia or dddhouse today if you haven't already. Its region free" No need to wait for this edited version. I've had mine from yesasia since April 30th and watched it three times already. Teach Weinstein a lesson guys. Import!
ordered the Honk Kong import yesterday, is that true about the PQ? Too bad if so. From reading on the threads here, found out the US cut has scenes not in the longer cut, and seems to be a valid alternative, though I would assume the longer cut is the superior one. Looks like an eventual triple dip when a better version of the 130 minute cut comes out.
As I recall the director cut both versions. One is not merely a hacked-down version of the other; they are both complete films with slightly different emphases. I want to see both and I will avoid neither.
@billyearle and mastadge
Yes, Wong Kar Wai cut both versions (as well as the European release). I've seen both the US and HK releases. The US version has some scenes that the HK version does not even though it is a substantially shorter cut (and obviously vice versa). Additionally, the order of some of the scenes is different (less linear in the HK cut).