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10 classics provide visual poetry -- on video

February 27, 2003|Andy Klein | Special to The Times

We'll break our own rule about dubbing to include Jackie Chan's 1994 "Drunken Master 2," which was released by Miramax/Dimension late in 2000 under the name above.

While dubbing is always bad, in this case it's less bad than usual, and the movie is essentially uncut. Lau Kar-leung is the credited director, though Chan took over during production and directed much of the film himself. Chan, approaching 40, got himself in the best shape of his life to do a film with brutal, hard-edged fight scenes.

*

"Fong Sai-yuk"

Tai Seng

Corey Yuen directed this 1993 Jet Li vehicle that is among the most entertaining "wire work" films. Almost all the fights involve outrageous super-human moves that can be created only by trussing up the performers in "invisible" wire harnesses. It may not be realistic but, given its romance, comedy and insane stunt concepts, realism is just about the only thing missing.

*

"Iron Monkey"

Dimension

For once, Miramax/Dimension didn't use dubbing when it reissued this 1993 Yuen Wo-ping film two years ago.

Donnie Yen (from Zhang Yimou's upcoming "Hero") and Yu Rong-Guang star in a period Robin Hood story. The film is a deliriously compact stew of qualities that made film buffs go berserk over Hong Kong cinema in the early '90s. It's funny, heroic, exaggerated and most of all energetic; it speeds along as though afraid of losing audience attention.

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