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Disciples of Shaolin

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Amazon.com: 11 reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Old School" Fu Sheng finishes out 2009! Nov. 13 2009
By Russell Mariacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Of the four reissues of Shaw Brothers movies with the late [Alexander] Fu Sheng to come out in 2009, "Disciples of Shaolin" may please his fans the most, especially if they felt burned by "Brave Archer and His Mate" (his role, not the roles done by "Venoms" and "baby Venoms").

This effort gets only four stars because the screenplay is highly derivative of Bruce Lee's "The Big Boss" (a little of "On the Waterfront", too? Chang Cheh DID like his Brando); otherwise, it's FIVE stars for the end product.... No spoilers here for newcomers!! With great fight choreography [by Lau Kar Leung], evocative photography and fine acting, it looks and feels [almost] like an "A" picture ("Heroes Two" seems more like 1960's "Batman", by comparison).

From the opening credits onward, it's a Fu Sheng showcase that will please the men as much as the ladies; in some scenes, he comes off like Jackie Chan, and this is BEFORE Jackie became known of in Hong Kong, let alone the world! His performance here gives the best of David Chiang a run for its money, and this remark comes from someone who is partial to Chiang's work, so that's saying a lot. Also, let's not forget Chi Kuan-chi's part as Fu Sheng's older brother; if you liked him in "Showdown at the Cottonmill", you'll like his moves (as well as his acting) here. The [typical] great supporting cast helps keep things moving. The music cues add to the flavor, too; is some of this from "blaxploitation" movies?

Another decent Image DVD (nice new logo, guys) with English and Mandarin soundtracks (subtitles at your command), and add bonus points for the front cover of the case that looks like a comic book cover ("Master of Kung Fu", maybe)! A must-have for Fu Sheng fans, and it would make for a good first stop in starting up a collection of the movies of "Alexander the Great"!

All the best, Brother Fang.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
the "kung fu, rags-to-riches" film that Goldilocks would choose! March 29 2011
By Mantis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Director Chang Cheh ("5 Deadly Venoms") and star, Alexander Fu Sheng ("Avenging Eagle") cover territory previously explored by Cheh in "The Boxer From Shantung" (1972). Apparently not content after this one, the two would later reunite for "The Chinatown Kid" (1977). None are related except by theme and personnel. This is my least favorite of the 3 but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, except Chi Kuan Chun ("Green Jade Statuette") getting FAR too little fight time.

Fu Sheng plays Guan Feng Yi, who moves to the town of his martial brother, Wang Hon (Chun). Guan Feng Yi is poor and gets offered a job in the textile mill that employs Wang Hon. A Manchu-run rival mill across town is roughing up the workers but Wang Hon discourages Guan Feng Yi's involvement, even though both are trained fighters. Eventually, Guan Feng Yi does fight, wastes just about all his boss's enemies, and gets quite the lucrative promotion, including a gold pocket watch (it was digital in "Chinatown Kid") and unlimited brothel access. Is this a good thing or will it cost him his integrity and the friendship of Wang Hon? Or perhaps his life?

If not compared to the other two movies, this is a pretty good old-school fu-flick, and I am perhaps biased, as I saw the other two first. The fights won't blow anyone away but they're fast enough once Fu Sheng starts swingin'. The brawls mostly stay on the Basher side but there are some genuine Hung-Gar moves shown as the fight choreographer is the great Lau Kar Leung ("Legend of the Drunken Master").

Another stellar release from Image Entertainment. I wish they had some special features but, whatever. On the plus side, there are LOADS of sweet Shaw Bros. trailers! The remastering job by Celestial is fantastic, as usual. In Mandarin with English subtitles or English dubbed, just as ALL Shaw Bros. movies released in the U.S. should be! Oh, Spanish subtitles, too! My copy of the DVD has a different cover than the one shown here but, to the best of my knowledge, it's the same release. I'm not going to recommend this with a lot of zeal but fans of classic fu should be happy with it.

1975. aka: Invincible One; The Hung Boxing Kid
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Another winner from Image Feb. 17 2010
By Michael W. Jaworski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The maestro director Chang Cheh remained in Taiwan for 1975 still making movies for his Chang Film Co. It wasn't a Shaw production per se, but it was affiliated with them. He started the year with "Disciples of Shaolin" ("The Invincible One" in the U.S.). This period movie involved the friction between the Manchus and the Hans with Alexander Fu Sheng (as well as Chi Kuan Chun) kicking serious Manchu arse. Like Chang Cheh's earlier "Boxer from Shantung" and 1977's "Chinatown Kid" (also starring Fu Sheng), this is a rags-to-riches tale that shows how too much power and greed can corrupt even the most goodhearted. Chang's themes of morality, brotherhood and retribution are clearly at hand here. The scene where Fu Sheng has a final showdown with Chiang Tao is powerful stuff.

Actually, there are many powerful & emotional scenes here, and they don't all involve fu. Speaking of which, by 1975 the bar on choreography (done here by Lau Kar-Leung) was definitely raised on Chang's pictures, and it rarely dropped below that line from this point on. Good visuals, good kung fu. Great use of shoes & gold pocket watches representing higher echelon status to Fu Sheng. Image did another first-class job here; remastered, widescreen, and a choice between a decent English dub or the original Mandarin with good subtitles. Just as a note of interest, Johnny To remade this film in 1993 as "The Barefooted Kid", an acclaimed film that was also choreographed by Lau Kar-Leung.
Five Stars April 5 2015
By Helen Parody - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fu Sheng is my favorite,so any movie he is in,i enjoy !
Disciples of Shaolin Dec 31 2014
By Freeze - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A great Shaw Brothers classic and good DVD transfer