Ip Man 2

Legend of the Grand Master

 

Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grand Master

Directed by Wip Wai-shun (Wilson Yip)

Action Direction by Sammo Hung

2010


Cast:

Donnie Yen

Sammo Hung

Lynn Hung (Lynn Xiong)

Huang Xiao-Ming

Fan Siu-Wong

Kent Cheng

Darren Shahlavi

Simon Yam


Studio:

Theatrical: Mandarin Films

Video: Well Go (U.S.)


Video:

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Codec: AVC

Disc Size: 44.21 GB

Feature Size: 36.25 GB

Total Avg. Bit Rate: 44.71 Mbps

Avg. Video Bit Rate: 35.00 Mbps

Runtime: 108 minutes

Chapters: 16

Region: A


Audio:

Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0

English Dolby Digital 2.0


Subtitles:

Feature & Bonus: English


Extras:

Disc One

• The Making of Ip Man 2 - (17:35)

• Trailers 

Disc Two

• Behind the Sets (ca. 10 min.)

• Shooting Diary (5:27)

• Deleted Scenes - (3:19)

• Interviews with Director & Cast (ca. 100 min.)


Presentation:

Amaray Blu-ray locking case:

BR x 1 + DVD x 1

Release Date: April 19, 2011



The Movie: 6

Gentleman martial arts master, Ip Man (Donnie Yen, older, wiser, even more compassionate), after standing in for China against the Japanese occupation in the first Ip Man movie, repeats his stand, now against the British raj in Hong Hong.  Mr. Ip has moved his young son and wife, very pregnant with their second child, to Hong Kong where he proposes to set up his own Wing Chun school.  But first he must contend with the fact that he is unknown here and once he and his fledgling, but loyal students are attacked for transgressing on the local boss’s territory, run by the Hung Kuen Nam master, (Sammo Hung, who also directed the action sequences, as he did for the first Ip Man movie).


     

 

Two important supporting characters from the first movie (Fan Sui Wong as the local bully, who now appears as an ally of Ip like any number of criminals once sent up by Thin Man Nicvk Charles are released as redeemed and faithful puppies), and Simon Yam as a close family friend, now homeless and fearful, the result of having suffered a bullet wound to the head escaping from the Japanese) show up here, but are soon sidelined.  Too bad, really, since both held our attention in the original and could have again.

 

On the other hand the presence of Sammo Hung adds gravitas to a story filled with familiar dynamics.  Unfortunately once Sammo and Donnie Yen duel on teetering table tops and come to terms with their differences and common enemy (the British occupation of Hong Kong) the only place the script allows them to go is the way of Rocky IV, with two caricatures of Western bravado: a crooked, sadistic policeman and a muscle-bound, sadistic buffoon named “The Twister” (Darren Shahlavi) who postures like “The Hulk” but isn’t nearly as cuddly.


     


Image : 8/8

Well Go’s Blu-ray of the first Ip Man movie struck me as deliberately desaturated (see my review) especially as compared to the Hong Kong Universe edition.  I don’t have the Chinese version of the sequel to compare, but it would appear that Well Go (or Mandarin Films) has decided to increase color saturation dramatically for the move from the country to the city.  Interestingly, the prologue maintains the earlier film’s filtration and then. Just as Ip Man is working out we see the filter change.  It’s quite dramatic – and, in my opinion, not always satisfying.  For just as the first movie seemed oddly thin with color, the sequel seems peculiarly thick.

 

Beyond this, the image is quite good: it has one of the highest bit rates to pass my way, it’s clear, sharp and, with the exception of some persistent aliasing, without transfer artifacts or mishaps, dimensional, with solid blacks and an extended tonal scale.  The palette tends to the gold, as it should, and remains wherever it settles for any given scene.  All in all, a more satisfying image than Well Go’s first go around for Mr. Ip.


     


Audio & Music : 7/4

Well Go went for three DTS-HD MA tracks: the original Cantonese language (and default), one in Mandarin, and a serviceable English dub.  The lip sync for the Cantonese is close, though it’s pretty clear that most of it is looped.  Effects are well managed, clear and dynamically presented, but the generic, off-the-shelf music score is overused and distracting at times.


     


Operations : 2

For reasons passing understanding, Well Go decided to include on the same disc as the feature film a 17-minute making-of segment in a letterboxed format.  The specs indicate it is hi-def, but clearly it is upscaled at best.  While on the second disc, a DVD, they includes a number of features, all in much better shape than the one on disc one.  Since the material on the main disc is pretty much duplicated on the second, why not simply move everything on disc two to disc one (or vice-versa).  There is plenty of space and it would have been easier on the user.  My only guess is that Well Go thought that a 2-disc set is a more sellable marketing ploy even if it undermines the Blu-ray concept.


     

 

The functions are clearly disposed and easy to use until we get to the Extra Features where there is no Play All for anything, astonishingly not for the 12 cast interviews.  The English translation for the feature film is pretty much error-free and idiomatic, while serviceable for the bonus features.


Extras : 6

(cf. Operations, above)  In the Making Of featurette on Disc One, Donnie Yen and Director Wilson Yip talk about how they conceived of the move from the first Ip Man to the sequel.  Behind the Sets briefly looks at 4 sets: Ip’s rooftop studio, the fish market, restaurant and boxing arena fight scenes. The Shooting Diary is little more than a slightly extended trailer. The deleted material is worthy of checking out.  Twelve (count them!) cast members are interviewed in 3-17 minute segments over some 100 minutes – the longest with Huang Xiao Ming (16:50), Darren Shahlavi (14:10) and To Yue Hong (13:30).  A most worthy piece.


     


Recommendation : 6

Well Go’s Blu-ray image seems to err in the other direction from their first go at Ip Man.  That Blu-ray struck me as bloodless.  If anything, despite its sharpness, the new Ip Man is as oversaturated as the original film was thin and colorless.  Expect for the extensive cast interviews, the bonus features don’t offer much.  The movie itself tries too hard to make a political statement, and after the duel between Donnie and Sammo halfway through the film, the boxing match at the end seems contrived and anti-climactic.


     


 

Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

April 15, 2011


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