Warriors Two (Zan Xian Sheng Yu Zhao Qian Hua) (1978)

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Released 24-Jul-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Bey Logan (Hong Kong Cinema Expert)
Theatrical Trailer-2
Featurette-Making Of-The Way Of The Warrior
Trailer-Hong Kong Legends
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1978
Running Time 91:36
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:46) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Studio
Distributor
Fortune Star
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Billy Chan
Lung Chan
Fat Chung
Hark-On Fung
Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Ching-Ying Lam
Hoi San Lee
Ka-Yan Leung
Chia Yung Liu
Dean Shek
Eric Tsang
Casanova Wong
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    In a village in China local gang boss Mok (Fong Hak On) plots against the village chief in order to allow himself to take over. His plans are overheard by the local bank cashier Wah (Casanova Wong) who tries to tell the village chief but foolishly tells one of his offsiders (Dean Shek), who is in league with Mok. Wah survives an attempt on his life and ends up hiding in the nearby kung fu school run by Leung Jan (Leung Kar Yan), with the assistance of Fatty (Sammo Hung).

    Mok's cronies assassinate the village chief and his bodyguard (Lau Kar Wing) and Mok takes over the village. Wah discovers that his mother has been murdered by Mok's gang in an attempt to lure him out, which almost works but Fatty prevents him from leaving. As his kung fu is not up to scratch Wah begs Leung Jan to teach him the art of Wing Chun.

    This has the standard revenge plot for 1970s martial arts films, involving the hero having to brush up on his skills in order to defeat some skilled bad guys. Where this film differs from many such films is the care with which the actors learned and displayed their Wing Chun talents, and the way in which it is shown. Often I find I cannot follow the intricate moves in kung fu films, but here, as in the prequel Prodigal Son, the movements are very well filmed and exceptionally well executed.

    As usual there is the standard comedy relief which does not travel so well, particularly the overplaying of Dean Shek. But the principal actors, under the direction of Sammo Hung, all have superb skills and so quality of the action more than made up for any reservations I may have had about some elements of the plot.

    There are plenty of familiar faces in the supporting cast, including Lam Ching Ying, Yuen Biao and Eric Tsang, wearing a particularly obvious set of false teeth.

    Like Prodigal Son this is an excellent action film that should be in the collection of every martial arts devotee.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Generally this is a satisfactory presentation of the film, but there are some issues with the digital transfer.

    The transfer appears sharp in static shots, but movement reveals motion blurring which tends to smudge detail, especially on faces. This would be a result of noise reduction which has removed most visible grain. There are also some comet trails noticeable during the occasional zooms out. Colour is bright and rendered well with mainly accurate flesh tones. However the colour palette tends to have the red emphasised.

    There are very few film artefacts, with very infrequent flecks and occasional faint scratches the only issues I noted. There is a lot of low level noise in darker sequences, and even the daytime scenes are noisy in the backgrounds. Some telecine wobble appears during the opening credits. There is plenty of macro-blocking in the action sequences, which I found distracting.

    Optional subtitles are provided which are in clear white font and are well-timed.

    The disc is RSDL-formatted with the layer change placed at a cut at 73:46.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Instead of the original mono soundtrack we get a Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 remix, plus an alternative English dub also in surround. I listened to the former in full and sampled the latter.

    As a surround track this is a bit of a damp squib, as the soundstage is very much a frontal one. Some effects and music is directed to the rear channels. The LFE channel does not get much of a workout. Where I expected punches and kicks to have some low frequency support, the subwoofer remained silent. It did come to life a few times but mainly in support of the music.

    Dialogue, which is entirely dubbed, seems to be clear. The effects vary in quality from too loud to just about right, and some have that hollow mono sound to them. It appears that the soundtrack that Hong Kong Legends have provided has been augmented with new effects in this remix - that is, they added effects to the original soundtrack in order to make the surround mix more effective. This is something that Celestial have also done to many of their Shaw Brothers issues and is no different from tampering with the aspect ratio. Very disappointing that they should do this, but perhaps most viewers will not notice or care.

    The music score is unusual. While it sounds like most of it is stock music, some is overly dramatic while some is just plain dissonant. It seems to fit quite well with the film. Apparently it is not just the effects that have been "augmented". There is a song which has been added to the first scene in the tea house.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

    The menu features some scenes from the movie with music that does not appear to be from the soundtrack.

Audio Commentary-Bey Logan (Hong Kong Cinema Expert)

    The usual enthusiastic and breathless commentary by Bey Logan, in which he imparts all sorts of information. Sometimes he trips over himself when identifying the actors and some stories remained unfinished. Of particular interest are his discussions of the historical background to the characters, some of whom were real people. He also explains why one of the bad guys makes a metallic sound when he is hit.

Theatrical Trailers (5:46)

    The usual pair of trailers, one being for the DVD release and one being an original Hong Kong trailer.

Featurette-Making Of-The Way Of The Warrior (45:35)

    An excellent documentary which goes into considerable detail about the production and also gives some background to Wing Chun. It features interviews with several of the cast and crew, but the interview with Sammo Hung appears to be a lot older than the rest. His English is not that good so it is hard to understand sometimes what he is trying to say. Bey Logan appears occasionally as a narrator and demonstrates his own martial arts skills. This extra is 16x9 enhanced and features forced subtitles for the Cantonese and Korean dialogue, with no subtitles for spoken English. The excepts from the movie have the English dub.

Trailers-Hong Kong Legends (8:29)

    Trailers and disc specifications for other Hong Kong Legends releases. The films are Iron-Fisted Monk, Eastern Condors, Flaming Brothers, Story of Ricky and Prodigal Son.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The UK Region 2 release is the source of the Region 4 transfer.

    There is a French Region 2 release which has the original Cantonese mono track, but has no English subtitles. A Chinese all regions release has a mono Mandarin soundtrack but is not 16x9 enhanced. A Hong Kong Region 3 release has two mono soundtracks in Cantonese and Mandarin, but again is not 16x9 enhanced.

Summary

    A highly enjoyable martial arts film showing off the Wing Chun style to great effect.

    The video quality is problematic but acceptable.

    The audio quality is acceptable, but the changes to the original soundtrack are not.

    Not quite so many extras as on some releases from this company, but the quality makes up for the quantity.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS9100ES, using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS60 LCD Projector projected to 80" screen. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES for surrounds, Elektra Reference power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: Richter Thor Mk IV

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