09/04/2015  
Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1The Goldbergs: The Complete Season Two on DVD Sep 8Catching Faith on DVD Aug 181931 The Front Page on Blu-ray & DVD Aug 11Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks to split from Disney?...
Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13...
Kelly Osbourne congratulates Melissa Rivers on 'Fashion...
The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1...
VMAs 2015: Behind Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj's Onstage...
You have to see BFFs JLaw and Amy Schumer dance on top ...
Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani Shine Together on Red Carpe...
VMAs producer: Miley Cyrus has 'free rein,' no rules fo...
Taylor Swift's 'musical crush' Justin Timberlake helps ...
Taylor Swift and Alanis Morissette slayed 'You Oughta K...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978)

"Twist! Roll! Spin! Turn!"
- Master Chang Cheh (Siu Tien Yuen)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: June 17, 2002

Stars: Jackie Chan, Shih Tien, Hsu Hsia, Chen Yao Lin
Other Stars: Siu Tien Yueh
Director: Yuen Woo Ping

Manufacturer: DVCC
MPAA Rating: PG for (mild violence)
Run Time: 01h:37m:56s
Release Date: June 18, 2002
UPC: 043396084285
Genre: martial arts


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-B-C D-

DVD Review

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is arguably the first Hong Kong film to show the true genius of not only Jackie Chan, but also director/choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping. It set a standard for a lot of the work to follow, and brought back the feeling of quality earlier works in the genre had established. It's obvious that Woo-Ping worked with Chan closely here to try and create something stronger than the average kung-fu movie, and the end result is a classic film, without question. While the Woo-Ping/Chan collaboration Drunken Master (made the same year) is often considered the genesis of modern Hong Kong cinema, Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is much more deserving of that honored place.

Our story is fairly typical of most kung-fu works, and is about one style of fighting (Eagle Claw) trying to wipe out another (Snake Fist). The film begins with Sheng Kuan (Jang Lee Hwang) killing off one of the last great masters of Snake Fist, so that his school, Eagle Claw, will be the most powerful. He knows there are at least 2 Snake Fist members left, so he goes on a quest to find and kill them as well. Meanwhile, at a small martial arts school, Chien Fu (Jackie Chan) cleans floors and does odd jobs while being taunted and harassed by the other school members. One day, he runs into a strange old man (Siu Tien Yuen), to whom he decides to give a temporary home at the school. While Chien Fu befriends the mysterious old beggar, he has no idea that the evil forces of the Eagle's Claw school are moving around town to find this beggar who is, in reality, one of the last masters of Snake Fist.

When the man, known as Cheng-Cheh, sees how poorly Fu is treated at the school, he arms him with knowledge, and begins teaching him Snake Fist style slowly and gradually. Eventually, Fu becomes a Snake Fist master, and just in time, for his martial arts school is threatened by bullies and the Eagle's Claw masters have revealed themselves as well. In traditional, kung-fu fashion, Fu will have to take just about everyone on in order to get peace and justice. Now, one of the things many viewers will almost immediately notice about Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is how closely it mirrors Drunken Master. Siu Tien Yuen plays the exact same kind of dottering, old man character, except he isn't perpetually drunk. Grand Hong Kong film villain and comedic actor Dean Shek plays the teacher who torments Jackie Chan's character in the exact same way as his character in Drunken Master, and of course Chan himself plays a similarly goofy person. Even the sequence in which Fu is trained by Cheng-Cheh is almost exactly like the training sequence in Drunken Master.

It's clear that this was where the formula was proven successful for Chan and director Yuen Woo Ping, and even all these years later it's still an amazingly strong movie. Not only is there absolutely brilliant slapstick comedy, in the true Buster Keaton vein, but the fight sequences are extremely entertaining as well. Interestingly, the level of comedy is quite high, with things being only rarely taken seriously. As a result, some of the unintentional humor in kung-fu flicks with morbidly serious plots is cleverly avoided. All in all, this is a fun package representing some of Chan's best work, as well as a classic of Hong Kong cinema in its own right.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: While the age of the film obviously leads to some damage on the print as well some faded color here and there, the transfer is surprisingly good. Other than the natural problems of the print, there's little to complain about, and the problem with over-sharpening occasionally present on Columbia releases doesn't seem to be an issue here. The only thing qualifying as an annoyance is a grainy, purple-colored distortion present on the print that occasionally bubbles past every few minutes. Being anamorphically enhanced, the image also shows a nicely improved resolution over previous versions I've seen, and the slight artifacts in some of the darker scenes are only noticeable if you're really looking for them.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoCantonese, Englishyes
DS 2.0Cantonese, Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio in these old kung-fu movies has never been their strong suit, and that hasn't changed here. The audio is mono (from a Dolby 2.0 mix), and shows signs of being badly effected by print damage and wear. There's a lot of pops, clicks, and distortions all over the place. This doesn't really effect the movie much, other than mixed musical score which sometimes feels a bit too loud and harsh. Speaking of, some of these films are known for their soundtracks that pick and nibble from other scores, and Snake in the Eagle's Shadow seems to be no different. Apart from traditional Chinese violin music, I was able to pick out a piece or two from John Barry's score to A href="showreview.php3?ID=624">You Only Live Twice and oddly out of place excerpts from Jean-Michael Jarre's album Oxygene.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Drunken Master, Once Upon a Time in China, New Fists of Fury, To Kill With Intrigue, Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Other than some trailers for other martial arts-genre discs from Colombia, there are no additional features.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

While not loaded with extras, this DVD release of one grand Jackie Chan classic is a must-see for any fan of the genre. It's also in original language, and unedited or altered from the original, which is a breath of fresh air. Hopefully, this bodes well for future releases from Chan's catalog of instant, Chinese classics.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, drama, television, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, celebrity, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago, gwen stefani, blake shelton, the voice, adam levine, pharrell williams, music, los angeles microsoft theater, vma awards, garrit english, staples center, concert, taylor swift, 1989 tour, lisa kudrow, selena gomez, justin timberlake, alanis morissette, you oughta know, natalie maines, ellen degeneres, bachelor, jared fogle, subway pitchman, sex with minors, shannen doherty, beverly hills, 90210, breast cancer, law suit, tanner, mainstain, glynn & johnson, steven d. blatt, kelly clarkson, tinder, heartbeat song, jimmy kimmel, celine dion, family, comedy, faith.drama, fresh prince of bel-air, will smith, fuller house, the x-files, twin peaks, gunsmoke, burt reynolds, bruce boxleitner, buck taylor, jess walton, lane bradbury, merry florene, the man from u.n.c.l.e., robert vaughn, david mccallum, guy ritchie, henry cavill, armie hammer, anna faris, mom, chris pratt, jurassic world, redbook, john landgraf, mr. robot, ray donovan, the strain, difficult people, news late night, jon stewart, peter jennings, the daily show, coco, ice t, conan, keith richards, beatles, rolling stones, crosseyed heart, norah jones, paris hilton, emily ratajkowski, stella maxwell, jada pinkett smith, jaden, willow, howard stern, classic, foo fighters, learn to fly, fabio zaffagnini, betty white, walt palmer, cecil the lion, mia farrow

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store