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Thread: Madame Ma's "martial arts?" (with a huge side order of adaptation quality debate)

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Madame Ma's "martial arts?" (with a huge side order of adaptation quality debate)

    My impression of Madame Ma of DGSD is that she was a slu-tty woman whose deadly power was her beauty coupled with her callous ability to manipulate men and tell lies. I never thought she was one who had the ability to kill directly with her own hands.

    When Ah Chu (in the guise of Elder Bak of the Beggar's Union) went to visit her to learn the identity of Leader Big Brother, however, Madame Ma demonstrated the Deun Family's 1 Yeung Finger Technique to mislead Ah Chu and Kiu Fung into thinking that Leader Big Brother was Deun Jing Tsun.

    I'm surprised that Madame Ma could wield the 1 Yeung Finger, although she obviously wasn't very powerful in this skill. Anybody who could wield this skill with any proficiency at all was no pushover. I thought Madame Ma had no martial arts ability whatsoever.

    I'm also surprised that Deun Jing Tsun was so cavalier about teaching this skill to an outsider; during the time of DGSD, the 1 Yeung Finger Technique was supposed to have been restricted to the Deun Royal Family only. Despite being a philanderer, Deun Jing Tsun was, I thought, fairly responsible about his family's martial arts secrets.

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    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Madame Ma knows no martial arts.

    TVB's 82 DGSD must be one of the worst wuxia adaptation ever.
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Han Solo
    Madame Ma knows no martial arts.

    TVB's 82 DGSD must be one of the worst wuxia adaptation ever.
    Actually, it's highly entertaining, although it starts straying from the novel considerably about three-quarters of the way through.

    What Madame Ma did in DGSD '81 to show Ah Chu who Leader Big Brother was was to use 1 Yeung Finger to create a very small tear in the paper wall of her home. It surprised the heck out of me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Han Solo
    Madame Ma knows no martial arts.

    TVB's 82 DGSD must be one of the worst wuxia adaptation ever.
    Worst. Adaptation. Ever.
    Still searching for my GuGu

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R!chard
    Worst. Adaptation. Ever.
    Not as long as all those Taiwanese adaptations with Richie Ren exist...or what about TVB's HSDS 2000?

    If you didn't like DGSD '81, fine, but to say it's the "worst ever" is to ignore a WHOLE LOT of bad adaptations.

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    In terms of inaccuracy, probably only Flying Fox '99 matches it. So if you're talking about accuracy, it could very well be worst adaption ever.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tape
    In terms of inaccuracy, probably only Flying Fox '99 matches it. So if you're talking about accuracy, it could very well be worst adaption ever.
    Not even. Wong Jing's DGSD adaptation films from the 1990s had nothing at all in common with the novel other than the names of characters. DGSD '81 got things reasonably right until about 75% through the series, then things started going all awry.

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    Senior Member Radken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    Not even. Wong Jing's DGSD adaptation films from the 1990s had nothing at all in common with the novel other than the names of characters. DGSD '81 got things reasonably right until about 75% through the series, then things started going all awry.
    I don't remember him ripping off DGSD. What were those films called?

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    Senior Member 0-0-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    Not even. Wong Jing's DGSD adaptation films from the 1990s had nothing at all in common with the novel other than the names of characters. DGSD '81 got things reasonably right until about 75% through the series, then things started going all awry.
    hm, i don't remember a WJ DGSD either. I do remember the 99 flying fox where inaccurate was really an understatement. Also, Cheng Ling Su happens to be one of my favourite characters there... *now you understand*

    But on the original topic, i am pretty sure Madame Ma had no actual martial arts even if she may have known a bit about them.

    oh... well maybe JY did revise it... I'm not updated on most of the novels yet.

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    Senior Member batmankiller's Avatar
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    Actually HSDS 2000 was a better adapatation that HSDS 2003 imo.. i mean at least if it strayed fromt he novel it made sense.. HSDS 2003.. showing of the conflict with persia was a joke.. I think it was like 1 episode.. with half of it showing xie Xun vs. Golden flower lady... quite a joke.. sure the girls in 03 was better.. but the plot certainly sucked.. 18 dragon subdueing palms? wtf -.-" and how could this MA be lost.. when there was a whole beggar clans that knew it

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    Quote Originally Posted by batmankiller
    Actually HSDS 2000 was a better adapatation that HSDS 2003 imo.. i mean at least if it strayed fromt he novel it made sense.. HSDS 2003.. showing of the conflict with persia was a joke.. I think it was like 1 episode.. with half of it showing xie Xun vs. Golden flower lady... quite a joke.. sure the girls in 03 was better.. but the plot certainly sucked.. 18 dragon subdueing palms? wtf -.-" and how could this MA be lost.. when there was a whole beggar clans that knew it
    Wow, you really thought so? I remember JY said he will never let TVB adapt another novel of his after the horrible HSDS2000. For sakes, they made my dear ZZR end up with the loser SQS!!! Even if Charmaine played the role, I still would not ZZR to end up with SQS.

    So I guess HSDS2003 did not do any better then. From what I saw, the CGI are really pathetic.

    I agree that the HSDS2003, the girls were VERY NICE. But I hear Mainland will do one too. I am pretty sure with the big mass of Chinese women, the director should have no problem getting a great looking female cast. And when that comes, no one will think HSDS2003 have the prettiest girls anymore.

    What's up with Phyllis (Yan Su Su) appearing flying on some kite (or was it bird).

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tape
    In terms of inaccuracy, probably only Flying Fox '99 matches it. So if you're talking about accuracy, it could very well be worst adaption ever.

    You must have missed TVB's Xiakexing and Lianchengjue towards the end of the Golden 80s, just as the magic was starting to wear off. Xiakexing was completely unrecognisable, and it says a lot for the stars of the 80s that it was actually watchable then.

    LOCH, ROCH, XAJH all had liberties taken, and although not to the extent of having an ending rewritten, some liberties were pretty significant. DGSD wasn't that bad by any means.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radken
    I don't remember him ripping off DGSD. What were those films called?
    I was talking about this film, which actually wasn't directed by Wong Jing (my bad), but some other director in a similar vein.

    If you see this movie, you'll understand why, despite its changes, DGSD '81 can't be called the "worst adaptation ever" because of its inaccuracies.

    And that's just *this* movie. As Ian and others have also pointed out, there are at least a dozen other wuxia adaptations that stray so far from the source material that they make DGSD '81 look like a rote copy of the novel by comparison.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew
    You must have missed TVB's Xiakexing and Lianchengjue towards the end of the Golden 80s, just as the magic was starting to wear off. Xiakexing was completely unrecognisable, and it says a lot for the stars of the 80s that it was actually watchable then.
    There was also the utterly forgettable BOOK & SWORD: GRATITUDE & REVENGE TVB remake from the late 1980s. Around 1988 or so, TVB really was starting to lose its grip and would never quite get it back again in quite the same way. The "Golden 80s" was really only from 1980-1986.

    The point remains that there are a whole slew of adaptations worse than DGSD '81. Inaccuracies aside, DGSD '81 is more often placed among the best adaptations than the worst.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    I was talking about this film, which actually wasn't directed by Wong Jing (my bad), but some other director in a similar vein.

    You know, even if the storyline was so inaccurate, I still found those kind of films very entertaining. Ones like Jet Lee's HSDS was also really funny.

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    Senior Member Radken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    If you see this movie, you'll understand why, despite its changes, DGSD '81 can't be called the "worst adaptation ever" because of its inaccuracies.
    You gotta admit, the actresses were hot. Just looking at the DVD cover makes me wanna buy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radken
    You gotta admit, the actresses were hot. Just looking at the DVD cover makes me wanna buy it.
    Oh, it's quite an entertaining film...just don't expect much in common with Jin Yong's DGSD except for the names of characters and some of their martial arts.

    I sat through most of it admiring the ladies' physiques and wondering when Kiu Fung would show up (he never does, as this movie isn't about that aspect of DGSD at all).

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    There was also the utterly forgettable BOOK & SWORD: GRATITUDE & REVENGE TVB remake from the late 1980s. Around 1988 or so, TVB really was starting to lose its grip and would never quite get it back again in quite the same way. The "Golden 80s" was really only from 1980-1986.
    Is that the one with Nixon "expressionless" Pang, Fiona "just started so can't act" Leung and Lo Wai Kuen?

    In many ways, I think the Golden 80s started with DGSD 81, didn't it? Or was there something fairly groundbreaking in 1980? I should have voted in that previous thread 1976-86 for favourite decade....
    Last edited by Ian Liew; 02-20-07 at 10:13 PM.

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    What she did, if I recall correctly, was just make a pointing motion, not actually demonstrate Yi Yangzhi.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew
    Is that the one with Nixon "expressionless" Pang, Fiona "just started so can't act" Leung and Lo Wai Kuen?
    That's the one.

    Like I said: forgettable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew
    In many ways, I think the Golden 80s started with DGSD 81, didn't it?
    It did. DGSD '81 represented a big break with the way TVB had made wuxia series previously. The "old school" style of TVB wuxia adaptations that had started with the 1976 BOOK & SWORD: GRATITUDE & REVENGE (with Adam Cheng) reached its zenith with CHOR LAU HEUNG (again with Adam Cheng) in 1979, but DGSD '81 rewrote the rules on how TVB would do wuxia adaptations for the next decade (and I don't just mean SFX, although that was indeed part of the changes). LOCH '82, ROCH '83, SPW '84, DOMD '84, FFoSM '85, and HSDS '86 were all made based on the DGSD '81 template.

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