Movie of the Day – Fist of Legend

I haven’t done a kung fu flick article in some time now and find that fact as a good excuse to write one today.  Now I have a rather expansive list of kung fu films I have seen that I can call upon.  The problem is which one do you write about.  I could have gone with something from Shaw Bros. era or picked up some of the main stream martial arts films.  I decided on one that has a rather wide reaching story and also a cultural importance.  When I say cultural importance, I am more or less referring to the influence that the movie has on future films that look to emulate the film or feed off of it.  Fist of Legend is probably one of the best kung fu films around and also the movie that really launched Jet Li’s career and got fight choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping to be recognized as one of the premier fight choreographers.  Fast action, intense fight scenes, and rather rich back story set against the second Sino-Japanese War.

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Movie of the Day – Black Belt Jones

I was reminded earlier today about the passing of one Jim Kelly a few days ago.  When ever a movie star passes, one that I particularly enjoy, it makes me go back and rewatch a few the films that made me enjoy their work.  While it is an obvious choice to talk about Enter the Dragon, I wanted to touch on his feature film that he starred in after working with Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon.  Hot on the heels of the blaxploitation movement, get ready for some Black Belt Jones.

RIP Jim Kelly.

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Movie of the Day – The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk

I am a little reluctant to use this trailer from Dragon Dynasty because it really doesn’t give you the best synopsis of the film from action director Corey Yuen and stars Jet Li.  This revamped trailer plays up a lot more of the action and leaves out some of the subtext of the story at heart, along with cutting out another pivotal character who happens to be a strong, female lead Josephine Siao who plays the mother of Fong Sai Yuk, Miu Chui-fa.  Also gone is the comedy, slap stick that happens in the movie which is replaced with more dramatic music and fighting.  Sigh, I hate when trailers are misleading, but oh well, this is certainly a phenomenal martial arts movie.

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Movie of the Day – No Retreat, No Surrender

I talked about Arnold’s first movie role in Hercules in New York, a movie that had the Austrian body builder and future catchphrase maker horribly act his way through a movie that would be considered lower than z-movie grade status.  Now I get to talk a little about the first film of Jean Cluade Van Damme’s career, well one that didn’t have him billed as Gay Karate Man in Monaco Forever, and one in which he has to be typecast as a jump kick, leg split doing, Eastern bloc bad guy who decimates his foes with perfectly sculpted hair.  This is a pretty fucking kick ass movie with a special appearance by Bruce Lee!!!!…..not really.

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Movie of the Day – The Man With The Iron Fists

Going back into the well for this kung-fu flick from The Rza baby.  The Man with the Iron Fists got some big hype, mainly cause it was about time that the Rza made his kung-fu movie he was talking about for so long.  Well with a jam packed cast (Russel Crowe and Lucy Lui) this is a movie that appeases the kung-fu fan in me, although there are some short comings in terms of the story, acting and pace of the film.  My initial review wasn’t to the highest standard of praise, but I did end up enjoying the hell out of this all out action film.  The soundtrack is stellar as well, which is to be expected from The Rza and his crew of musicians.  The fight scenes are the stand out here, while some of the acting was wonderfully hammy, there was just something really missing from the cast and the rather convenient script/plot development.  Oh well, it’s still a fun movie and you should give it a view.

Below is an excerpt from my original review and a link to the full thing.  Enjoy!

There are moments of brilliance though in Iron Fists, namely coming from Russel Crowe and Lucy Liu.  Hamming it up at every turn, their characters seem to truly embrace the wicked ways of this movie, reveling in the over the top nature of the movie.  Crowe is really my favorite character, a brash poon hound of a man who is a skilled man with a knife.  His Jack Knife spends more time between the legs of the fine females of the Tea House, giving us some humorous moments, but not without slicing men in half and being rather handy with a blade.    Lucy Liu looks like she was channeling Oren Ishi, which was a welcome sight as well-being a deadly foe in the movie.  Madame Blossom commands a bevy of killer ladies, all while smiling and wielding a deadly fan.

Read the full review here.

Iron Fists 1a

Movie of the Day – Inframan

Oh my god yes!  This is what cinema is for folks.  Movie like Inframan are the reason that I go to the movies, watch untold hours of movies and generally love everything about movies.  Infra-Man is basically something that a 10 year old version of me would make if given the opportunity to take my adolescent ramblings about robots and karate and turn them into a reality.  A completely off the wall action film the likes you have never seen before and I am going to talk a bit about this movie today in preparation for my chance to see it on the big screen next week at the Alamo Drafthouse.  This is the shit folks.

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Movie of the Day – Kiltro

After going over Duel to the Death and that amazing ending battle between the two swordsmen, I decided to go back through my Netflix recommendations and past movies I have watched that were martial arts related and discovered a movie that I watched a few years ago.  It was a movie that some might think of as forgettable or a one and done sort of movie.  I instantly recalled this Chilean martial arts film from 2006 and was rather wowed by what I saw.  Kiltro is a gem amongst the roughage of martial arts movies, coming from a country that we don’t even associate with martial arts or action films, that is of course if you are one of those people that consumer South American cinema.  I am certainly not that sort of person, but hell, I will give it a shot if there are more flashy movies like Kiltro for the kung fu, martial arts movie enthusiasts.

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Movie of the Day – Duel to the Death

I have not had the pleasure of reviewing a kung fu, martial arts movie in some time and today folks I bring you utter fucking gold.  Duel to the Death is by far an away, an over the top slash fest of amazing proportions in that there is nothing but utter madness taking place in this movie.  Let me give a quick rundown on the highlights of this movie:  You got two master swordsmen battling one another to see who is the best, ninjas out the ass, kamikaze ninjas, ninjas that turn into voltron, ninjas who take the shape of one large ninja, ninjas who who fucking rain down an ungodly amount of ninja stars and oh yeah, did I mean one of the best sword battles ever.  Ninja Ninja Ninja!

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Movie of the Day – The Karate Kid

Try to be best
‘Cause you’re only a man
And a man’s gotta learn to take it

Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it

History repeats itself
Try and you’ll succeed

Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own

Fight ‘til the end
Cause your life will depend
On the strength that you have inside you

Ah you gotta be proud
starin’ out in the cloud
When the odds in the game defy you

Try your best to win them all
and one day time will tell
when you’re the one that’s standing there
you’ll reach the final bell!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ho-how-ho-own

INSPIRING GUITAR SOLO

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own

Fight ‘til you drop
never stop
can’t give up
Til you reach the top (FIGHT!)
you’re the best in town (FIGHT!)
Listen to that sound
A little bit of all you got
Can never bring you down

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!

repeat to fade, occasional background shouts of “Oh Ye-eah!”

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Movie of the Day – The Man From Hong Kong

He learned every trick in the book and then he threw the book away!  That trailer solidified my need to see this movie, so I am going to continue my martial arts posts by talking a bit about one of the first martial arts movie to come from Australia, which happens to feature the bad ass Jimmy Wang Yu, who just so happened to be the star of one of my favorite kung fu movies, The Master of the Flying Guillotine.  He played the One-Armed Boxer in that movie, so go watch that.

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