As stated in a previous blog, I find The Defenderto be reasonably entertaining and competently made but a little slow and overloaded with lovey-dovey scenes. What Corey Yuen lacks as a director of romance he (with the assistance of action co-director Yuen Tak) makes up for as a director of action. This film has some great action scenes and culminates with a fantastic fight scene.
The early fight and action scenes in the film are crisply directed and energetically paced. The big set piece at the shopping mall is good fun, an...Read more
This Australian documentary, Shintaro: The Samurai Sensation that swept a nation,examines the cultural phomenon of a Japanese TV series that became a smash hit in Australia. The DVD’s dust cover says it all:
“In 1964, an extraordinary cross-cultural TV sensation swept through the suburban lounge rooms of Australia. Every afternoon after school The Samurai left an indelible impression on the children of the ‘swinging’ sixties.
Imported from Japan, dubbed into American English it was a smash hit...Read more
To my mind The Defender (aka Bodyguard from Beijing*) is a typical contemporary Hong Kong action film. There is none of the poetry or epic scope of some of Jet Li’s earlier films (such as Once Upon A Time in China 1 and 2 or Tai Chi Master – favourites of mine). This film is reasonably entertaining and competently made, rather than stirring or inspiring.
I am wondering if this film is a remake of the United States movie The Bodyguard starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. I have never seen the American film – I must admit that ...Read more
Once Upon A Time In China 3(OUTIC 3) begins and ends with Lion Dancers, and they feature often in fight scenes in between. The first movement sequence is a massed Lion Dance in a courtyard in the Forbidden Palace. It is a gorgeous, colourful spectacle and sets the tone for much of the choreography to follow – the action sequences have been conceived on a grand scale and devised for large numbers of performers interacting with big sets.
The final climactic fight scene takes place during an epic Lion Danc...Read more
A neat directorial strategy that Tsui Hark uses during the first 3 films of the Once Upon A Time in China(OUTIC) series is that he builds up a series of leitmotifs and artistic reference points that link the films together. This lends cohesiveness to the audience’s viewing of the experiences of the main characters of these films, and lends weight to certain themes that Tsui has chosen to explore. After OUTIC 3there were to be a further 3 films featuring Wong Fei Hung and his companions, but I think the series ...Read more
Once Upon a Time in China(OUTIC) and Once Upon a Time in China 2(OUTIC 2) are among my very favourite movies of all time. While it is an entertaining and well made movie, Once Upon a Time in China 3 (OUTIC 3) does not seem to reach the same heights as its 2 precursors. OUTIC 3is a flashy looking film with lots of flamboyant action punctuating an incident filled plot.
“Tsui Hark has created the kung fu equivalent of a Fred Astaire musical.” Paul Fonoroff. A t the Hong Kong Movies p. 277
As with the oth...Read more
Drunken boxing is one of my favourite styles of performative kung fu to watch. I am partial to this kind of dance-like material in martial arts films. As you watch and wait for that penultimate moment when the swaying drunken fighter finally overbalances and falls, and then catch your breath to see what new position and direction of momentum resolves out of this, you are taken right into the performer’s kinetic world, and feel something of the forces of gravity that they must obey. Although instantly recogniz...Read more
If Last Hero in China’sdirector, producer and writer, Wong Jing, is the master of inventive crassness, then its choreographer, Yuen Wu Ping, is the master of inventive elegance. In this movie Yuen continues his frequent collaboration with that most elegant of martial arts performers, Jet Li (who plays Wong Fei Hung). Yuen and Li have to be in silly mode for this film, but they still construct some lovely moments. “(Yuen)… has choreographed some battles that are as visually and pugilistically exciting as anything Wong Fei-hun...Read more
POSTED LAST WEEK: Since learning of Japan’s recent troubles I find myself thinking repeatedly of this piece of music. I am posting this blog as my tribute to the Japanese.
If you want to listen to this music I issue this challenge to you. Click on the link below and then IMMEDIATELY shut your eyes. Listen to the music and see if you can guess which movie it’s from. I bet you can’t pick it:
Like most onlookers I am heartbroken about what is happening in Japan right now. There is personal resonance for me because I lived in Japan from 1999-2001 and have always had a huge affection for this country and its people. Since learning of Japan’s recent troubles I find myself thinking repeatedly of this piece of music. I am posting this blog as my tribute to the Japanese.
If you want to listen to this music I issue this challenge to you. Click on the link below and then IMMEDIATELY shut your eyes. Listen to the music and see if...Read more
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