Black Belt - - BLACK BELT TIMES -

 Fight-film afi­ciona­dos re­cently got a dou­ble dose of Chi­nese mar­tial arts with the re­lease of Mas­ter of the Drunken Fist: Beg­gar So and Mas­ter of the Shad­ow­less Kick: Wong Kei-ying. The ac­tion flicks are from HBO Asia (pro­ducer) and HBO Home En­ter­tain­ment (U.S. dis­trib­u­tor). They’re avail­able now for dig­i­tal down­load, with re­lease on 'V' and Blu-ray com­ing at a later date.

Filmed in Heng­dian, China, the movies rep­re­sent HBO Asia’s first foray into Chi­ne­se­lan­guage pro­duc­tion, not to mention its first at­tempt to tackle the mar­tial arts. The ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer on both projects was Hong Kong di­rec­tor Corey Yuen (The Trans­porter), and the di­rec­tor was Guo -iany­ong (chore­og­ra­pher for Cra­dle 2 the Grave and the first three films in the Trans­porter fran­chise). Synop­sis: Mas­ter of the Drunken Fist — Born to a wealthy mer­chant in Can­ton, So Chan is pam­pered but smart and am­bi­tious. And he’s about to be­come the em­peror’s top mar­tial arts war­rior. When he finds him­self dragged into a con­spir­acy be­tween two po­lit­i­cal pow­ers, he loses ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing his fam­ily. With help from the beg­gar gang chief and his daugh­ter, and a healthy dose of liquor, So grasps the full essence of drunken fist as he sets out to ex­act re­venge and find the love of his life.

Synop­sis: Mas­ter of the Shad­ow­less Kick — A quiet and hon­est physi­cian, Wong Kei-ying spends his life up­hold­ing med­i­cal ethics and sav­ing lives while avoid­ing con­flicts — un­til he finds him­self tricked into as­sist­ing Wei, the treach­er­ous new gov­er­nor of Can­ton, in a bid to wrest con­trol of the city’s opium busi­ness from a lo­cal gang. When his men­tor leaves him with il­lus­tra­tions of the ´shad­ow­less kick,” Wong must mas­ter the skill and use it in a fi­nal at­tempt to take down his foe.

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