The Grandmaster

I wish I saw the Grandmaster in the theater. I love a good martial arts film. This was an epic martial arts film. Lots of action, a decent story. Many martial arts tales take place in some medieval time in the some Eastern country. This movie is firmly rooted in history taking place from the late 30’s to the early 50’s in Japanese-occupied China as it tells the story of Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee in martial arts.

When the opening credits started, I assumed the movie was not in English; so,. I turned on the captioning. How was I to know that the movie was dubbed in English (or at least it appeared that way)? There was a slight disconnect between what was being said and the captioning. It was not a word-for-word translation of what was said; rather, it was more often an interpretation of what was said. The meaning was there, if not the exact language.

The film was nominated, but did not win, two Academy awards: Best Achievement in Cinematography, and
Best Achievement in Costume Design. With regard to the latter, any period movie, which this was, that is decent usually gets a nomination for costume design. As far as the cinematography goes, it was well filmed. However, at times, it seems like a final exam for film school – where someone would have to identify the type of shot that was used in the film. MANY MANY close-ups, MANY MANY “zoomed-in” shots. It was obvious when the film was slowed down and when it was sped up. It almost felt like every possible technique was being used in the film. to me it took away from some of the movie.

I think it was definitely worth renting.


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