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Review: Once Upon A Time in Shanghai

Once Upon A Time in Shanghai
Once Upon A Time in Shanghai - srf
4.5 stars

Starring: Sammo Hung, Andy On, Philip Ng

Directed: Wong Ching-Po

Release Date: January 13, 2015

Run Time: 96 Minutes

Format: Blu-Ray

Mandarin, English Dub / Subtitles: English

Distributor: Well Go USA

Film Synopsis

Everyone wants to make their fortune in Shanghai, and Ma Yongzhen (Philip Ng) dreams of making an honest living – not with his fists. But the town is torn apart by rival gangs, and when Boss Long Qi (Andy On) learns of Ma’s formidable martial arts skills, takes him into the family.

Opposed to drug trafficking and leaking government secrets, Qi makes powerful enemies. And soon, Ma won’t have a choice. Fight, or lose everything – including his friend (Sammo Hung) and his love, Tie Ju (Michelle Hu).

From Director Wong Ching Po (REVENGE, A LOVE STORY) and Action Director Yuen Wo Ping (THE GRANDMASTERS, KILL BILL Vol. 1 & 2, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) comes a modern action fable featuring martial arts star Philip Ng. – Well Go USA



Audio Language: Mandarin, English Dub
Subtitles: English

The Sound Quality is crisp on both dub and Original Soundtrack but do Prefer the OG Track. Its clean and bassy when it’s needed. Pretty great sound.

Rating:4.5 stars


Picture Quality

Disc Format: Blu-Ray

The Picture Quality is Pretty sharp the over tone of the movie is almost like its black and white but color is there. Blacks are dark and crisp and color tons are not candy popping due to the tone of the film as its dark and gritty. I love the Who stylized way of the film and the reason the Rating is not Higher is due to some fight scenes not being as sharp-looking as the rest due to the dust flying around.

Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3

Picture Capture Method – Iphone


Note: Equipment used to watch the film can be found below

Theatrical release Date: January 9, 2014 (Hong Kong)
Blu-Ray Disc release Date: January 13, 15 (USA)


  • Making of
  • Trailer


My Thoughts

Once Upon A Time in Shanghai is like A Kung Fu Noir with Dark color tones as if the film was Black and White. The film has a good story with Philip NG bring a Bruce Lee Feel and even where a Peace token like Bruce did in The Big Boss. He is just the guy in the Middle of the bad and good and what right and wrong. Action was great but at times it felt like some of it was supposed to be in 3D. You get a lot of overhead shots and tons of close-ups to where you can see the movement frame by frame which I thought was good, but the down side of some of the action is the unrealistic punch and guy go’s flying once in a while. Wished the film went full realistic.

The Good: The Story, The Action, Philip NG, the stylistic way the film was shot as in color tones and the Martial Arts mixed with film Noir Aspect.

The Bad: Some Unrealistic action, The very little CGI Used could have been a tad better, The little amount of action that was meant to be 3D’ish could have used a better camera angle so it’s not 3D’ish.

Overall the film is a great watch and I will definitely give this film a few more views. The actors did good, the comedy was just the right amount, some say their could be more action but I Felt it was Good on the aspect of Story vs Action Percentage. Sammo Hung Wasn’t A big Character but did play an Important one and was in it from start to end. Again the Film is Bruce Lee etc mixed with Raid, and Noir Gangster that was Was pretty enjoyable.
With that said I will give this film a 4.5 out of 5 and feel that if they went a little more realistic, fix the CGI which there was only a little of, and the film could have been 5 out of 5 for me.

I say pick it up check it out and feel great that it’s in your Martial arts film collection as I am. Looking to see Philip in more movies. Thanks for reading, I’m going to go give this movie another Viewing.

Rating – 5 Star System




4.5 stars

4 stars

4.5 stars


Buy Film
Product Details


$29.98 $25.48


$24.98 $9.99

Prices are posted at time of review and most likely before release.
Prices will or could have changed after this review.


This Film was Played on the listed Equipment below

Click Here To Drop Down the List of Equipment

Samsung (UN46C6900) 46-Inch 1080p LED HDTV

DVD/Blu-Ray Player

OPPO BDP – 103 (Highly Recommended)

Click here to Learn More

Stereo Receiver

Pioneer VSX-516-K 7.1-Channel

Click here to Learn More

(1) Center Speaker

Pioneer S-HF 11C

Click here to Learn More

(2) Front Speaker

KLH 9250B Floor – 350 watts

(4) Surround sound Speakers

KLH 100 watt Bookshelf

(1) Subwoofer

Sony SA-W3000 180 Watt 12″ sub

Click here to Learn More

Note: I Know my speakers are way outdated. OPPO Blu-Ray Player is one of the best around and used in most home theaters. The Receiver is pretty good but on the line of out dated. Subwoofer is good with tons of bass but not the theater quality from a $400 Sub. Front speakers are fun with tons of power and are good for standalone’s but higher end sound (Hz) is lower quality. Overall I need to update on all speakers granted I do get decent sound out of them just the higher end falls short.


About Masked Avenger

CEO/Webmaster of The Name Is James and I love Film ranging from Silent 20's to highly CGI Blockbusters of today. Westerns, Horror, world film, basically anything that peaks my interest I own it But Asian Films are what I Prize the most and Half of My collection Consists of Asian Films. Thanks to the Film 5 Deadly Venoms

I Hail From The US, Maryland Is where The Ninja Studies and views the Scrolls of Film That Shine on his 46" Screen. I own a sword, I can do a thousand upside down situps, and I randomly disappear in smoke when I'm not writing movie news and or reviews.

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