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The Grandmaster

Where and with whom did you see the movie? I went with my friend and neighbor Christian Beattie of Christian Construction. We saw the movie at Consolidated Ko’olau Stadium 10 theaters. Very nice facility.

Overall, what did you think? When it started, I was struck by the soundtrack and the graphics of the title sequence – then a big fight shot very artistically. I thought it would be a large-scale kung fu movie, but it turned out also to have engaging and deep dramatic story lines.


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Burton Richardson

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes? There are many special scenes, but I would choose the scene where the reigning grandmaster challenges Ip Man to a battle of wits instead of physical skill. Very clever.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film? I would give it ★★★ 1/2 . The wandering of story lines kept it from a perfect score.

What did you think of the cinematography? Amazing artistry. Truly stunning, from the framing to camera moves to the coloring. Exquisite.

Was the message/theme clear? There were many philosophical points made in this film. I don’t think they hammered home a definitive overall theme.

Did it remind you of any other works of film? There was emotion like in Hero, but the action was raw and powerful.

To whom would you recommend this movie? Anyone who loves martial arts films and/or a good drama. Also, to filmmakers who wish to be inspired by the technical prowess of this movie.

Did any of the actors stand out? The acting was phenomenal. The movie is subtitled, yet the subtleties of emotion are conveyed without understanding the spoken language. Really amazing performances.

Did you identify with any of the characters? I practice the martial arts/Jeet Kune Do lifestyle. Since I have trained with two of Ip Man’s students, I certainly could identify with the difficulties of being a full-time martial arts instructor, especially the quest to apply the lessons from training in everyday life.

Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film? Yes! Fantastic and integral to the impact of the film.

Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD? Yes. I want to study this film at home.

What’s your favorite movie snack? I just buy a bottle of water and get lost in the movie.

On a different note, what’s new with you? As always, working to improve myself and my students through functional martial arts training. Also, I was asked to do the fight choreography on a major motion picture scheduled to film later this year. It is based on the story of King David and his Mighty Men of biblical times. An epic adventure!