Feb 102021
 

The Man from Hong Kong may not be a top notch 1970s martial arts film and its star doesn’t have the charisma of a Bruce Lee but I had a good old time and some of the fights and stunt work was respectable.

 

 

The Man from Hong Kong
— The Limited Edition Series —
(1975)


Genre(s): Drama, Suspense/Thriller
The Criterion Collection | NC17 – 100 min. – $39.95 | December 1, 2020

Date Published: 12/12/2020 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Writer(s): Brian Trenchard-Smith (written by)
Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, George Lazenby, Hugh Keayes-Byrne, Roger Ward, Ros Spiers


DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1


Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (PCM 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 24.25 GB
Total Bitrate: 23.75 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


Screen Archives Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3¼/5


Plot Synopsis: A Hong Kong policeman (JIMMY WANG YU) who knows kung fu busts an Australian drug lord (GEORGE LAZENBY) who’s not afraid to fight back.

Quick Hit Review: I’ve always maintained the 1970s was an incredible decade in cinema with the obvious movies such as The Godfather I & II, Apocalypse Now, The French Connection and countless others. However, I always forget about those smaller, more independent martial arts flicks like Game of Death and Enter the Dragon. I think I can add this little gem, The Man from Hong Kong (or The Dragon Flies as it was titled in the U.S.), to the list. It’s not a great movie by any stretch with some off ADR and plot conveniences that don’t make a whole lot of sense.

However, I was really entertained from beginning to end. The martial arts/fight sequences were fairly well done and there is a nice car chase that was impressive enough, not quite along the lines of Bullet or The French Connection of course, but considering the budget (approx. $550,000), it’s not at all bad. It was enjoyable in fact. In terms of the performances, Jimmy Wang Yu in the lead is fine and has just enough charisma and can say he’s better than the likes of Britton K. Lee from Ironheart at least.

There’s not a whole lot with these 1970s martial arts flicks, outside maybe ones starring the legendary Bruce Lee (and apparently this film was written to be one of his action vehicles), you’re going to get nonsensical storytelling, half-baked characters and a rather thin plot.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3¾/5


This release is the re-introduction to the Twilight Time Limited Edition series. Inside is a booklet with an essay by Mike Finnegan.

Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Brian Trenchard-Smith, Co-Star Hugh Kenys-Byrne (who passed away in December 2020) and Stunt Director Grant Page.

Also included are interviews (1:21:32) as part of the “Not Quite Hollywood” documentary with Actors George Lazenby, Rebecca Gilling and Roger Ward; Writer/Producer/Director Brian Trenchard-Smith; Executive Producer David Hannay; and 2nd Unit Cameraman John Seale.

Last up is the Theatrical Trailer (3:51).

 


VIDEO – 4/5


Screen Archives Entertainment, under the Twilight Time banner, releases The Man from Hong Kong presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. For the most part, and considering the film’s age and budget, doesn’t look half bad. Detail is a bit too sharp in some areas with, and I assume due to some early green screen work perhaps (?), had a halo effect. In addition, there were a sporadic amount of dust marks, scratches and other film damage but nothing I’d consider extreme or distracting. That being said, colors are fairly vibrant without appearing over saturated and being a 45 year old film, is impressive enough.

AUDIO – 3¾/5


The disc comes with a couple options, the first and default one is a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 and the second a PCM 2.0 track. I watched the movie switching back and forth a couple of times and the 5.1 track is a bit more even in comparison, as the PCM option does top out a time or two, however either one is serviceable for a movie like this as you’re not going to get immense or immersive depth.

 


OVERALL – 3/5


Overall, The Man from Hong Kong may not be a top notch 1970s martial arts film and its star doesn’t have the charisma of a Bruce Lee but I had a good old time and some of the fights and stunt work was respectable. This Blu-ray release from Twilight Time offers up good video and audio transfers and a good selection of bonus features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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