Meredith Lewis
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Great Quote No. 8

“Broadly speaking, there are two ways of looking at the West’s ‘Asian romance’: ‘a controlled setting in which to be exposed to and (perhaps) examine certain notions of linguistic, racial and cultural difference’ (Fore) or ‘a flirtation with the exotic rather than an attempt at any genuine intercultural understanding’ (Marchetti). Then again, given kung fu’s complex origins (a ‘Chinese’ subject (re)made in Hong Kong), it is not always clear what such a genuine understanding would be with.” p. 13

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Wire fu in Romeo Must Die

“If the film ( Romeo MustDie) cannot integrate Jet Li into his own film, it stumbles even more over its incorporation of ‘Hong Kong action’. Romeo Must Dieis, visually, a post- Matrixfilm, but it does not have its predecessor’s fantasy remit to explain why fighters float in mid-air… the CGI-enhanced wirework looks as though it has strayed from a very different movie.” Leon Hunt, Kung Fu Cult Masters,p. 175

I have always found Romeo Must Die (2000) to be a very unsatisfying film to watch, and a dreadful waste of the talent...Read more

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Romeo Must Die

“With Jet Li going to war as only he can,” smirks the cover of my Romeo Must DieDVD, “ Romeo Must Dieis alive and kicking.” This film purports to be a Jet Li vehicle – “his first English-language lead role” (1) and it really fucks up its potential. By the time he made his first American movie, Lethal Weapon 4in 1998 ( Romeo Must Diewas his second), Li had made at least 24 martial arts films in Asia. Starting off as a wu shu prodigy in China during his teens, he became a martial arts movie star in Asia during the 90s, had a healthy cult follo...Read more

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The Replacement Killers – Director’s Commentary

The Replacement Killers – Director’s Commentary

Obviously I have not been getting out into the fresh air enough. Recently I spent many hours transcribing large excerpts from the director’s commentary on the Collector’s Edition DVD release of The Replacement Killers.I will be posting excerpts from this transcrīption over the next few weeks. I first saw this film, which features Chow Yun Fat in his first lead role in an American movie, on DVD a few years ago and then listened to director...Read more

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Great Quote No. 7

“But Julian Stringer reminds us that there are some issues of cultural power surrounding the ‘camp’ gaze at Hong Kong cinema, which is, after all, a ‘largely white gaze at a Chinese other‘ (1996/97: 55)”. p. 12

“… box office figures do not tell us much about howa film was received and the conditions under which its success was permissible. More subtly, many ‘appreciative’ accounts of Hong Kong cinema celebrate its ‘mindlessness’, ‘a cinema of incessant action, eye-popping effects, and cartoon-like violence’ (Dannen and Long 1997: ...Read more

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Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4

Lethal Weapon 4is the first American movie to feature Jet Li and, as such, marks the beginning of an era in this performer’s filmography that has caused mixed reactions in his fans. The perception among some fans at least (and, of course, I am generalizing here) is that many of Li’s American vehicles have wasted his unique talents, and that perhaps his career has come somewhat unstuck as a subsequence (1). But I am not sure that Lethal Weapon 4is the worst offender because I think it has to be considered a little differently to the...Read more

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Great Quote No. 6

“At one level, the kung fu film can be seen as what Steven Shapiro and Linda Williams call a ‘body genre’ (although neither include it as one) alongside pornography, horror and the ‘weepie’ films that offer a ‘display of sensations that are on the edge of respectable’ (Williams 1995: 140). Kung fu is a genre ofbodies; extraordinary, expressive, spectacular, sometimes even grotesque bodies.” p. 2, Kung Fu Cult Masters,Leon Hunt

Next weekend I will finally post my blog about Jet Li’s performance in Lethal Weapon 4. I am currently w...Read more

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A Pause for Breath…

… while I reflect on blogging about the travails of an Asian martial artist who takes on the hollywood system.

Is it just me or has anyone else out there had the experience whereby you are courted assiduously by a potential boyfriend and then, when they have landed you, they try to repress or weed out the qualities in you that supposedly attracted them in the first place? When I was young and nubile this happened a few times. In my twenties, as a professional dancer, I was a bona fide bohemian and, as such, attracted the odd bloke...Read more

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Another great quote about Lethal Weapon 4

“(In Lethal Weapon 4)Jet Li is offered to us simultaneously as dynamic spectacle – “How the hell did he do that?” marvels Mel Gibson’s Riggs after he dismantles a gun at lightning speed – and inscrutable Other, garotting old men and kicking pregnant women. Such spectacle, as Marchetti argues, pulls in two directions: ‘It both attracts and repulses, encouraging viewer identification while keeping that involvement at a distance.’ ” Leon Hunt, Kung Fu Cult Masters,p. 158

A blog about Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4 ...Read more

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Great Quote: Lethal Weapon

A couple of years ago, when I was preparing for my blogging project whereby I would systematically work through Jet Li’s filmography (naively assuming that it would take me a few months instead of more than 2 years), I watched all of the special features on the DVDs I could get at the time and jotted down some good juicy quotes from a couple of books on martial arts films I was dipping into at the time. Unfortunately, just being a weekend blogger and not a proper academic, I haven’t had as much time to read as widely on the subject...Read more

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I am quite addicted to martial arts movies, which is odd when you consider that I hate violence. But when I declaim my love for these films my offline friends s

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April 23, 2009