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Iron Monkey (Hong Kong Legends)

by Martin Cleary

DVD Info
Hong Kong Legends Release
Content : One Disc
Format : Letterbox
Languages: Cantonese, English
Audio: Stereo, 5.1
Subtitles: English, Danish
Region: 2 + 4

DVD Review
Iron Monkey is a fantastic film and Hong Kong Legends have provided a very good transfer. This version is the original, uncut Hong Kong version, not the re-edited version released in the US a few years ago. The picture quality is excellent, the colours and blacks are strong and clear. There seems to be no damage to the print, no scratches, muck or anything – this looks like it was made yesterday. The sound is equally impressive, clear and loud – although the english dub is a bit quieter but, come on now, you don’t want to watch this with the dub do you? There’s a few special features including interviews with Donnie Yen and Yuen Woo-Ping. These are proper quality interviews filmed a few years after the release of the film (apparently very recently in Donnie Yen’s case) and both discuss their careers in Hong Kong cinema.

The picture and sound quality of the interviews is also very good. There’s a ‘Biography Showcase’ for both Donnie Yen and Yuen Woo-Ping and this is the only slightly naff part of the disc. Both biographies are scrolling text articles, read out loud by a dodgy voice-over man. Who is this guy and why does he read so slowly? Also included is a ‘Production Photo Gallery’, consisting of stills from the film and is okay, although slightly pointless. There’s also the original theatrical trailer which is subtitled, but it’s a misleading trailer as it sells this as a straightforward Wong Fei-Hung film. There’s also the UK trailer and HKL’s trailers for various Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films. I would definitely recommend this original HK version of the film over the re-edited US version which trimmed down the sub-plots. The extras on this disc are okay, but there is also another release of this film as a two-disc version from the same company which includes an audio commentary and additional features, so if you really like the film I would go for the
2-disc version.

Rating
Presentation (Cover / Menus): 8/10
Picture: 8/10
Subtitles: 9/10
Special Features: 6/10
Disc Overall: 7/10 – Fine for the film itself, but go for the 2-disc version for the Special Features

Screen Captures


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