#48: Ip Man (2008)


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Donnie Yen stars as the self-effacing, Wing Chun master of Foshan, Ip Man (2008) in this award winning martial arts drama, loosely based on the early life of Bruce Lee’s famous teacher.

  • Intro (00:00)
  • Review (42:48)
  • Twitter Questions (1:49:13)

If you have questions or comments about the show, please feel free to shoot us an Email or leave a comment below.

Thanks for listening!

2 thoughts on “#48: Ip Man (2008)”

  1. Hi guys,

    I found the discussion about the nationalist bent in this movie a bit quaint because like Grant says, it’s a staple feature in any period piece film that’s come out of China or Hong Kong since the dawn of the movie industry there. If it’s set in the 30s, the antagonist is definitely going to be Japanese. If it’s set n the late 19th century like say Jet Li’s Once Upon a Time in China or Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master 2, the antagonist is usually the British or the Americans. And even if it’s a classical period piece like 36th Chamber of Shaolin or any number of Jet Li’s period pieces like Tai Chi Master and Fong Sai Yuk, the antagonists are the Qing dynasty foreign Manchurians and the heroes typically southern Chinese rebels.

    Specifically, I find it interesting that the comparison to Fearless is brought up because the main character in Fearless is Huo Yuanjia, a famous real life southern folk hero martial artist who is set up as the master who is poisoned by the Japanese in both Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury and Jet Li’s remake of that film Fist of Legend. Chen Zhen is his fictional disciple and both those movies have the same kind of nationalist bent when it comes to setting up Japan as the primary antagonists in their plotlines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey MCBiohazard! Thanks for listening (AND replying AND reviewing us on iTunes). All of that is greatly appreciated.

      I think you bring up all valid points, and I think our discussion at least tried to reflect that (or maybe it just sounded that way to us lol). A key point to consider may be the “surprise” factor, if you will. For better or worse we are viewing these films relatively fresh, and even in the case like this where we had all seen it before it may have been a few years (or longer) since we last viewed it. Compound that with the expectation (warranted or not) that many martial arts films are “straight action” – then some of the more overt aspects of the nationalism can be a bit shocking in that regard and we basically jump right into the review once that credits roll. That’s not an excuse or anything, but it may give some insight into why it stood out to us so much.

      Regarding Fearless, I think we mostly brought that up in a “Gee whiz these films seem similar” due to having some of the same structural elements and being released so close together, but that was more off-hand observation that deeper analysis (I know in my case I can’t recall exactly when I saw it last). And as a side note, in terms of the historical element, even though I brought it up on the pod I will be the first to admit my knowledge of China’s history is sorely lacking…

      None of the above is meant to refute or disagree with your points, just provide some context to our discussion.

      Thanks again!

      P.S. If you have any recommended resources/links you think would be helpful along those lines I certainly would appreciate them.


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