February 02, 2006


Tsui Hark's 2001 film, LEGEND OF ZU, now retitled ZU WARRIORSA sharp-eyed reader points out that Buena Vista is listing a DVD release of Tsui Hark's 2001 film, LEGEND OF ZU, now retitled ZU WARRIORS. This flick was originally slated to be a subbed theatrical release from Miramax in the summer of 2005, but those plans fell by the wayside.

Interestingly, the disc will be of the 80 minute cut of the film, rather than the originally released 104 minute cut. However, those who want the original version of the movie (and if you want this movie I'd be surprised if you didn't) can find it on the same disc. Yep, somehow the original has become:

"Includes Bonus Version Of The Film: Original Hong Kong Extended Version"

Wow! I can't wait for their 77 minute version of RAGING BULL that includes:

"Includes Bonus Version Of The Film: Original Director's Cut"

That's some nice box art, though.

February 2, 2006 at 09:40 AM in News | Permalink


god i hate miramax.

Posted by: glenn | Feb 2, 2006 10:18:29 AM

too bad there's not a good version of the film to include. That would be a true bonus.

Posted by: walde | Feb 2, 2006 10:38:35 AM

That's funny... I've had this on my DVD shelf for about three or four years now...

Posted by: Rich Drees | Feb 2, 2006 1:22:42 PM

Tsui Hark used to talk about a dream project he had where he'd take an old B&W; Chinese fantasy movie (I believe he mentioned an episode of BUDDHA'S PALM) and use editing to remix it visually, put down a new soundtrack, and use digital tools to tweak the visuals with color and graphics.

I can't think of a better movie for him to experiment with that his own LEGEND OF ZU.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Feb 2, 2006 1:24:47 PM

I remember seeing a trailer for this in an actual theater some years ago while watching Brotherhood of the Wolf. Of course, I had already seen it on DVD by then, so I had to sadly tell my friend not to get excited because it sucked. Then it ... just never came out.

Posted by: David Austin | Feb 2, 2006 1:54:32 PM

okay, let me say that I love Tsui Hark -- Chinese Feast is my fave that he directed -- I love the guy. Am I crazy to like Legend of Zu? I mean, it makes no sense -- I've watched parts of it without subtitles a few times -- it just looks so cool. If I had seen that thing when I was younger, my head would have spun. It's not coherent, the casting is off but the intro section is just -- to me at least -- beautiful. AND I do not do drugs in case that is what you might think (though I bet a double-bill of LoZ and Disney's Fantasia would be a head trip)

Posted by: glenn | Feb 2, 2006 6:00:39 PM

Glenn, I am with you. I think that while Zu 2001 is both crazy insane and insane crazy, it's frequently jaw-droppingly gorgeous. It's the same deal as with The Promise: the film is not (by any rational standard) good, but it's weirdly unforgettable. Could have used a HAIR more actual martial arts, but I like Volcano High, so make of that would you will.

Posted by: Abe Goldfarb | Feb 2, 2006 6:43:04 PM

Is it me or does the girl in the pic looks like Zhang ZIyi?? If I'm not mistaken, Cecillia Chung was the lead actress in Legend of Zu.

Posted by: Z | Feb 2, 2006 7:16:43 PM

Zhang Ziyi is in the movie, she just isn't in an important role as I understand it. She's really marketable however so that's my guess why she's so prominent on the poster.

Would they have the 1983 version of the film (by Tsui Hark still) on the disc too? I really wanna compare the two once I heard about it...

Posted by: orangewaxlion | Feb 2, 2006 7:57:55 PM

That would be great if they also included the original ZU on the disc, but I don't think they will. However a quick search should turn up an English-subbed, all-region DVD of ZU: WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN. Although I think the end of the movie is a little weak, the first hour is really fun, and the editing is berserk. It's as if Russ Meyer had decided to make a fantasy film and all the camera movement is being done with edits.

The big difference between ZU: WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN and later versions of ZU (and even later Tsui Hark movies) is that there's character work. The characters are motivated and have something at stake. Just the fact that Tsui lets the main character in the original ZU who is a pillar of righteousness and the Yoda of the movie turn into an evil demon with no hope of redemption shows that the guy knows how to make an engine that'll drive a movie someplace. When's the last time a major motion picture from Tsui Hark had the guts to do that?

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Feb 3, 2006 6:20:11 AM

The characters are a HUGE difference between the two movies. The first one certainly has its flaws (many of them), but is fundamentally fun. There's no comparison between brooding, bland pretty-boy Ekin Cheng, and acrobatic, charismatic Yuen Biao. In the first movie, you actually care what happens to people. The early scenes between Sammo and Yuen are actually quite funny, and I'm not usually partial to HK comedy.

The remake has a few good moments - particularly the doppelganger duel (which really is outstanding), but overall is just a confused mess with CGI effects that frequently made me fell like I was watching a video game instead of a movie.

Putting Ziyi on the poster is a joke to rope in suckers - her role in the film is near non-existent.

Posted by: David Austin | Feb 3, 2006 7:23:57 AM

This movie stinked. Incoherent, bad dialogues, bad acting, just some cool kungfu special affects.

Posted by: Ashoro | Feb 3, 2006 9:08:37 AM

i just found out there is a pricey Korean DVD of the Chinest Feast that purports to be longer than the HK version. Is it worth it? Does the film look better and are the subtitles better -- burnt or not?

Posted by: glenn | Feb 3, 2006 11:39:20 AM

the 'new' Zu may contain a striking image or two buried in one of the worst narratives every committed to film. Shockly inept for someone of Hark's (admittedly waning) talent. Even going back to his roots (with Seven Swords) has been a bomb. I'd love to seem him get back on track at some point though...it just doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon.

Posted by: KuRt. | Feb 7, 2006 6:27:13 PM

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