Shaolin

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to the biggest edition of This Week In DVD yet! Twenty two titles are covered below, but this isn’t just a matter of quantity. All but one of the releases are worth watching, with a whopping seven of them being solid BUY recommendations. This week’s releases run the gamut from comic book blockbusters (Captain America) to docs on Pearl Jam and Peter Gabriel (Twenty and New Blood) to a controversial black comedy (A Serbian Film) to a Finnish family holiday film (Rare Exports) to a thrilling Hong Kong action flick (Fire of Conscience) to… well, you get the idea. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Ballad of Narayama (UK) A small village in the Japanese mountains is the setting for this rumination on life, death and family that plays like the movie The Tree of Life should have been but with a narrative instead of dinosaurs. Village law dictates you head up the mountain to die at the age of seventy, and as Orin approaches that milestone she rushes around trying to set her children straight to ensure their future. The film is a harsh look at a time and place, and it uses images of animals alongside the characters to highlight our own innate nature. As cruel as it seems though the film ends up being as uplifting an ode to humanity as you could imagine or want. **NOTE – This is a region2 DVD which requires […]

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China in the early twentieth century is a land of strife, starvation and feuding warlords. Hao Jie (Andy Lau) is one of the strongest and most ruthless among them, even going so far as to kill an enemy within the walls of the sacred Shaolin temple. Together with his right-hand man, Tsao Man (Nicholas Tse), he murders and maims his way across the country with impunity. But his greed reaches its limit when bloodthirsty ambition combined with an act of betrayal destroys his family and leaves him for dead. Wounded and emotionally devastated, Hao takes refuge with the only people that will have him… the Shaolin monks. He can’t hide from his past forever though, and soon the new man he claims to be is forced to face the world of bloodshed he once called his own. Joining Hao in the fight are the honorable, ass-kicking monks and a wise-cracking cook (Jackie Chan), but will they be enough to defeat the new warlord hellbent on their destruction?

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Shaolin is a new film from director Benny Chan that stars Andy Lau as a vicious warlord whose wicked ways come to an end when he’s double-crossed and he loses his family. He finds redemption with the monks of the Shaolin Temple, but when past deeds and associates return he’s forced to defend his new home and the innocents around him. The good news is I’ve just finished watching the movie, and it’s pretty damn fantastic. The even better news is that Shaolin‘s distributor, Well Go USA, is offering up one hell of an awesome prize pack consisting of SIX Blu-rays and TWO posters for one lucky reader. And this isn’t simply a matter of quantity trumping quality… four of the titles (Ip Man, Ip Man 2, Legend Of the Fist, and The Man From Nowhere) are absolutely stellar action films, and the remaining two (Little Big Soldier and Brothers Five) are fun little flicks. Keep reading to find out how you can be the lucky winner…

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These days when people think of monks the image that comes to mind invariably falls into one of two categories. Some imagine docile men in robes chanting Gregorian tunes, and others probably picture Tony Shalhoub washing his hands. But once upon a time monks did far more than sell millions of cds and/or solve crimes. Once upon a time they used their meditative, agricultural, and martial arts skills to stand up against tyranny. Or maybe they didn’t. I have no clue in the matter, but if the trailer for the recent blockbuster, Shaolin, has any truth to it these men were bad ass mothers when push came to shove. The film is set in the 1920′s after China’s last imperial Dynasty has come to an end. Warlords control the land, and none are more ruthless than Hoe Jie (Andy Lau), but when he’s betrayed by one of his own and left with nothing he’s forced to seek solace and redemption at the legendary Shaolin Temple. He learns a new attitude and appreciation for both life and the living, but when his enemies return to finish the job they started he’ll stand with the monks in the most important battle they’ve ever faced. Check out the new trailer below for CineAsia’s upcoming release of Shaolin.

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