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Wong Kar-Wai's 'The Grandmaster' Running Time Will Test Patience For Those Who Think Movies Are Too Long Now

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 2, 2013 5:17 PM
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The Grandmaster Tony Leung

This awards season, certain corners of the internet have been complaining that movies are just too darn long. "Zero Dark Thirty," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Lincoln," "Amour" and "This Is 40" all broke the 2 hour mark. And some fidgety reporters who seemingly can't sit still for more than a couple hours will be disappointed that one of 2013's most eagerly awaited movies will test their bathroom break-timing.

Over on Twitter, Love HK Film editor Kevin Ma has pointed over to Hong Kong's Newport Circuit theater site, which reveals the runtime for Wong Kar-Wai's "The Grandmaster" as 133 minutes. It makes it his second longest film behind "2046," so don't order the jumbo soda, guys. The film has been a long time coming, featuring for the past five years on our Most Anticipated Movies list and being delayed each time for a variety of reasons. But it's coming for real in 2013: opening in China next week on January 8th, and making an international bow in February at the Berlin Film Festival.

As for when it will reach our shores? Who knows. Annapurna Pictures has the rights, but no U.S. distribution deal has been struck yet.

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  • Mikkel | January 4, 2013 8:51 AMReply

    This is the kind of article that makes me go somewhere else for my filmnews.

    It doesn't change anything even if it's suppose to be a joke. I'm not here to read jokes.

  • fry | January 3, 2013 7:14 PMReply

    I believe Mr. Jaggernauth was trying to be ironic but the joke blew up right in his sorry face. Now let's all chill the f out and watch La Belle Noiseuse.

  • David Thomas | January 3, 2013 6:22 AMReply

    This must be the most inane piece even Kevin "The Mediocrity" Jaggernauth has written. So the running time is 133 minutes. That's not long at all. The other films he mentions are all 2 and half hours plus. Is this what film journalism has come to?

  • lenij | January 2, 2013 10:24 PMReply

    I can watch Wong Kar Wai films all day. I'm not gonna complain about a 133 minute film from him especially after waiting for so damn long.

  • Daryl Hannah | January 2, 2013 10:05 PMReply

    How is this a fucking story? Do you know there are 60 minutes in an hour? Making this movie 2 hours, 13 minutes long? And... in the scheme of things... not a very long movie?

  • Mr Anonymous | January 2, 2013 10:00 PMReply

    Anything that is over 150 mins i.e. over 2 and a half hours is LONG. Anything less than that, pfffft! Grow a pair! Complete sensationalist headline.

  • jon | January 2, 2013 8:06 PMReply

    That ain't nothin'.

  • BLOB | January 2, 2013 6:41 PMReply

    133 minutes is considered long now? Grow a pair.

  • Jack | January 2, 2013 6:15 PMReply

    According to the running time, Kevin, The Grandmaster will be shorter than all of the movies you've listed, and at two hours and thirteen minutes, it's hardly long. This is a pathetic excuse for news as well as an insult to Wong Kar-Wai and to journalism in general. Your article only confirms that news, especially that which is film-related is in considerable decline.

  • MalickFanBoy | January 2, 2013 6:06 PMReply

    How is 133 minutes long for a movie?

  • Chris138 | January 2, 2013 5:46 PMReply

    133 minutes is considered long?

  • wes | January 2, 2013 5:40 PMReply


  • yer | January 2, 2013 5:33 PMReply

    Man, My Blueberry Nights really killed this guys career didn't it? I really hope The Grandmaster makes up for it. It does look promising.

  • The Fanciful Norwegian | January 3, 2013 4:41 PM

    He started shooting "The Grandmaster" in late 2009, all of two and half years after "My Blueberry Nights." (It would've been earlier, except Tony Leung injured himself while training.) He also managed to put together the "redux" version of "Ashes of Time" and produced two films for other directors ("Miao Miao" and "Touch of the Light"). Filmmakers with dead careers don't get to stay that active, and they definitely don't get the sort of backing you need to spend three years shooting a movie.

  • yer | January 2, 2013 9:15 PM

    It's taken 7 years for his next film to come out and I've heard little of the man since.

  • d | January 2, 2013 7:57 PM

    How did it "kill" his career?

  • Drew | January 2, 2013 5:27 PMReply

    Most of those US movies you mentioned are at least 15 minutes longer than "The Grandmaster." So who is really being the overindulgent one?

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