Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster played in American cinemas in a different cut to the version that was originally released in Hong Kong and China. A 108 minute cut was made specifically for America at the request of the Weinsteins but the original cut ran to almost 130 minutes.
The film was not simply cut down though, as Wong Kar-wai actually put in new shots and switched things around, creating a new version of the film. One that reportedly simplifies the film, losing some of the its complexities and subtleties.
The U.S. Blu-ray release of The Grandmaster has just been announced, details via DVD Active, and it only appears to feature the U.S. cut and not the original too, as many hoped it would.
The original cut is reasonably easily available to import though on Blu-ray or DVD. I've had the (region free) Blu-ray for some time now and I've already fallen somewhat in love with Wong Kar-wai's original cut. I'm very intrigued to see the other cut of the film and like a sucker will be buying that one too when it's released on November the 26th.
The U.S. Blu-ray is available for pre-order now and will come with the following special features.
- The Grandmaster: From Ip Man to Bruce Lee
- A Conversation with Shannon Lee (Daughter of Bruce Lee)
- The Grandmaster: According to RZA [embedded below]
- Behind the Scenes footage.
There's still no sign of a UK release for The Grandmaster at all. Presumably The Weinstein Company have forgotten about us. Again.