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A Martial Arts Saga of Tradition Vs. Ambition

MOVIE REVIEW
The Shaolin Plot: Limited Edition (Si da men pai)

     

Genre: Action, Drama
Year Released: 1977, 2024 Arrow Video Blu-ray
Runtime: 1h 50m
Director(s): Huang Feng
Writer(s): Huang Feng, Ni Kuang
Cast: Chan Sing, Casanova Wong, Sammo Hung, Ho Wang, James Tien, Shan Kwan, Hsieh Wang, Kang Chin, Yeong-moon Kwon, Shen Yuen, Ching Po Chang, Shi-Kwan Yen, Hsing-Chung Hung, Chien-Tang Ma, Lung Chan, Chun Chao, Yuet-Sang Chin, Fat Chung
Language: Chinese (Mandarin) with English subtitles
Where To Watch: available February 13, 2024; pre-order here www.arrowvideo.com, www.mvdshop.com, or www.amazon.com


RAVING REVIEW: Diving headfirst into 1977 cinema, we get to visit THE SHAOLIN PLOT; it’s more than just another martial arts film where fists do all the talking; it's an action-packed journey with soul, taking us deep into the heart of Chinese culture. Directed by Huang Feng, this film stitches together a narrative rich with ambition, resilience, and a fierce quest to protect sacred traditions. As Prince Daglen (Chan Sing) unfolds his dark plans, we're roped into the saga of Little Tiger (James Tien) and two Shaolin monks battling to safeguard their legacies against all odds. It's an adventure that hits hard and leaves a mark, blending martial prowess with a story that pulls you in.


Each action sequence in the film tells a tale, making the combat as much about the story's heart as the physical feats. James Tien stepped out from Bruce Lee's long shadow to shine as Little Tiger. His transformation from a mere survivor to a martial arts warrior under the guidance of a Shaolin mentor is a testament to personal growth and the spirit of kung fu. Tien adds a touch of authenticity to Little Tiger, creating a hero you can root for in his battles and his quest for justice.

Beyond the high-octane action, THE SHAOLIN PLOT creates a story of socio-political commentary, reflecting on the threats to Chinese heritage amid a changing world. This film elevates the genre, blending martial arts with a narrative that resonates deeper while also exploring themes of identity, tradition, and resistance.

This film marks a turning point in the martial arts film genre. Including insightful commentary tracks enriches the viewing experience, offering audiences a deeper dive into its creation and significance.

THE SHAOLIN PLOT may not clinch the ultimate martial arts classic title, but it competes with heart and vigor. It strikes a balance between thrilling action sequences and a compelling storyline with heart, proving itself a notable chapter in the annals of cinema history. Whether you're a martial arts movie buff or a newcomer to the genre, this film serves as a powerful reminder of cinema's ability not only to captivate but also convey profound cultural narratives, making it a must-watch that squarely hits its mark in the diverse world of martial arts cinema.

Bonus Materials
2K restoration from the original film elements by Fortune Star
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
Original lossless Mandarin and English mono options
Optional English subtitles
Commentary by martial arts film experts Frank Djeng & Michael Worth
Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema
Alternate English credits
Original theatrical trailers
Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady
Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Peter Glagowski

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[photo courtesy of ARROW VIDEO, MVD ENTERTAINMENT]

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