Monday, February 15, 2010

[DVD] Ip Man (2008)


One of the main reasons I decided to pop this movie into the DVD player to rewatch the film, is none other than the debut of this Teaser Trailer release of the sequel to the highly successful Ip Man. Sammo Hung has moved from behind the camera as action director in the first film, to starring as quite the bad ass as seen in the clip below. Yet another one on one duel with Donnie Yen, this time with the latter executing the lightning fast Wing Chun moves, I only hope that this gets released here soon enough, since the extremely short clip has whet my appetite through and through.

You can read my review of the film here.

The 2-Disc Collector's Edition of the film released by Universe Laser & Video Co. Limited comes Region Free, and is presented in gorgeous anamorphic widescreen, where you can re-watch the movie just as it was intended on a proper screen aspect ratio. As for sound, you can get to choose between Cantonese DTS-ES 6.1, Cantonese Dolby Digital EX 6.1 or Mandarin Dolby Digital EX 6.1 The choice is clear to go for the former 2, and even then, the Northern Chinese speak Mandarin, and everyone in the south speaking in their Cantonese tongue. If only the version shown in the theatres here then could have been in the original language track, that will be bliss. Otherwise, get to experience it with the proper DVD release at the very least. Subtitles are available in Traditional Chinese and English, and scene selection is available over 15 Chapters.

The Special Features in Disc 1 are quite limited since Disc 2 are where they are parked under, but nonetheless, it contains the Teaser (2:20, letterbox) and Trailer (1:17, letterbox), which I thought could be a possible mix up in labels.

There's not much difference between the Pre-Production (2:02, letterbox) section and the Shooting Diary (3:28, letterbox) section, since both contain a random mix of behind the scenes clips. The more interesting one will be the former, which has the press conference from the announcement of the project, where you can see the original title - Yi Dai Zhong Shi - included in the stage backdrop, which of course due to some wrangling with the other production (currently shooting) helmed by Wong Ka-Wai, that title was dropped for the more simplified - Ip Man.

The Deleted Scenes (4:46, letterbox) consists of a total of 5 scenes which have not gone through post-production yet, sometimes with key sound missing from what you see here. Containing English and Traditional Chinese subtitles where available, the scenes left out are (with spoilers of course):

  • Ip Man cycling through a field, which doesn't add much to the plot anyway
  • Ip Man doing battle in a tea house, with incomplete audio and the video presentation not coloured corrected. I can't quite figure where this scene could have taken place, but with Simon Yam's Zhong Qing Quan cradling Ip Man's child, my guess would be to place it in Hong Kong after they escape, and Ip Man continuing where he left off with the propagation of Wing Chun. After all, Ip Man did have 2 children, and this could be the 2nd child.
  • Master Jin (Fan Siu-Wong) meets up with General Miura (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) and Li (Lam Ka Tung) to tell them that Ip Man has something to do with the cotton mill. This would have taken place after the bandits' losing battle at the location, and just before Li runs to Ip Man telling him to take cover. Li continues his habit to misinterpret what the Chinese has to say, much to his own detriment, and the ending of this scene obviously suggests Master Jin's a goner, which runs contrary to the re-use of the character in Ip Man 2.
  • An extended scene with the mob invasion after Ip Man is shot, it gives a more sympathetic view of Li's plight of being mistaken for a traitor, and being beaten to death by the mob. I suppose the filmmakers wanted to keep Li from certain death as seen here, hence it's removal.
  • Japanese General Miura commits Hara-kiri after presumably losing to Ip Man publicly. A more definitive finish here, other than the crippling moves that Ip Man had delivered on him. Probably removed since whatever bones were broken in his duel with Ip Man would have left him paralyzed at least.

Photo Gallery contains 20 stills from the movie.

Rounding up Disc 1 is an About the Movie section which offers an English and Mandarin text based coverage of The History of Wing Chun, and biographies of Master Ip Man and the cast and crew of leading man Donnie Yen, action director Sammo Hung and director Wilson Yip together with their filmographies.

Give Me More!

Disc 2 is the dedicated features disc, presented in letterbox format with English and Traditional Chinese subtitles for all segments.

The Making of (18:36) is standard behind-the-scenes with cast and crew talking about the creation of the film, as well as talking about their involvement at various levels. For instance, we learn how Donnie Yen never had any experience with Wing Chun and had to devote 9 months to studying the martial art and practicing on the wooden dummy whenever he had time, and the decision to have Sammo Hung come on board as action director since he had experience in Wing Chun. Plenty of nuggets of information, although more details could be gleaned from the individual interviews of the cast and crew in a later segment of the disc.

Major Scenes celebrates the art direction and the details which you would probably miss when focused on the characters and the action sequences. Split into 3 dedicated sections, we have Simon Yam introduce the Cotton Mill (2:24) which was a set created in a 30 year old abandoned factory, Fan Sui-Wong introducing the Fo Shan Main Street (2:00) and Mo Goon Gai (Martial Arts Street) where his character went from school to school to challenge the masters, and director Wilson Yip himself introducing the details to Ip's Residence (2:04) which is filled with a 30s decor with East and West influences.

Interviews with Director & Cast is probably the highlight of the disc, split into individual subsections with the interviewees sharing candid information about their roles in the film, and talking about working with their co-stars, the director, and for some, their working experience with the action director Sammo Hung. Segments here include those with Wilson Yip (23:11), Sammo Hung (8:03), Donnie Yen (22:08), Xiong Dai-Lin (7:48), Simon Yam (2:53), Hiroyuki Ikeuchi (7:45), Lam Ka-Tung (8:55) and Fan Siu-Wong (4:49).

Ip Chun. Director. Sammo (3:27) segment has the trio Ip Chun (son of Ip Man), director Wilson Yip and action director Sammo Hung talk about Donnie Yen as an actor and their joint admiration in how he's a natural in combat and action scenes, interspersed with behind the scenes clips.

Disc 2 concludes with some clips from the Gala Premiere (1:51) which was held in Hong Kong on 16 Dec 2008 at Causeway Bay.

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