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Holy Shit Balls
Stallone has been teasing with directors for the upcoming Expendables 3 for quite some time now. We’ve heard rumors of John Woo and yeah even Mel Gibson for quite a while now. However in the end Stallone gave us an unknown “new blood” director, Patrick Hughes. You might ask yourself now who the hell is this guy? Well I decided to check it out by watching his one and only feature film he directed last night to see if he was the man for the job for the final film of The Expendables trilogy.
Red Hill is a 2010, Australian action thriller that Hughes wrote, produced and directed. I’ve gotta say Red Hill was an awesome film and I now understand exactly why Stallone decided to hand the reigns over to him. Sly said he was looking for a “hungry” film maker who reminded him of himself when he started out. I think he got his guy. Red Hill is a simple premise not much different than “The Last Stand” Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last box office bomb. A new cop, True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten settles in a small rural Australian town with his pregnant wife and joins his new police crew in a manhunt for a severely scarred psycho escaped convict headed in their direction. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.
The movie is heartfelt, action packed and unpredictable. It doesn’t take long for the action to begin and while it’s not quite in the same action genre as something like The Expendables it’s easy to see why Stallone is giving Hughes a chance. Once we finally meet the big bad guy it’s clear he knows his 80′s action villains. “Jimmy Conway” the movies big aboriginal villain is about as menacing as they come, a highly skilled hunter with one side of his face burned like Freddy Kruger. Once he enters town all hell breaks loose and the movies plot begins to twist and turn. Kwanten also shines in his starring role proving he’s a much more skilled actor than what we’re used to seeing on True Blood.
I’m very surprised this movie doesn’t have more of a following. Perhaps The Expendables 3 will open the door to this rad movie to more people. It surely achieved one thing for me, faith that the third installment of The Expendables will indeed be the best….
My then-6-year-old nephew Grey made a birthday wish on a wishing well at the Bluroze Farms in Lipa City. It was a beautiful July morning.
I had been telling him about Hong Kong Disneyland and how I wanted to take him and his siblings there. At that time, going to Hong Kong with the family seemed like just a dream. Still, you have to wonder about timing. I can’t believe that mere days from my nephew having made that wish, I came across a really cheap group tour package: 8,500 pesos (a little more than 200 USD) for round-trip airfare, airport transfers, hotel accommodations for 3 days with breakfast and Hong Kong Disneyland tickets.
What did I say about group tours? I’m afraid that I was too excited for my sister’s kids to finally visit Disneyland that I convinced my mother to fund this trip anyway, regardless of my previous experience in a group tour. 8,500 pesos was, after all, very cheap and we thought it was a steal.
The booking wasn’t without some challenges. When I talked to the travel agent, she assured me that we were taking Hong Kong Express (with snacks) and that we only needed to pay 750 pesos for terminal fee at the airport. (Filipinos usually pay 1,620 pesos as penalty, I guess, for choosing to go abroad over spending a holiday in some part of the country. And all passengers have to pay 750 pesos to wait it out at that place. Yeah, Manila airport, right? Can’t we fix this thing?) Eventually, we were booked with Cebu Pacific (no snacks) and had to pay 1,620 pesos + 750 pesos at the airport anyway.
Because we were an odd-number group (initially 9 and then later 11 persons), we paid an additional fee for an extra bed to be put in one of the rooms. (The rate was based on twin sharing in the hotel.) However, when we got to Hong Kong, we found out that we had been cheated out of a place for one person. Only 10 of us were billeted in the hotel. The travel agent in Hong Kong didn’t wait for us to get checked in and we were worried that we would need to pay if the hotel people found out there were 11 of us so we just didn’t mention it.
When it was time to give out Disneyland tickets, the same thing happened. On the list of the Hong Kong travel agent were only 9 persons. My youngest nephew was just 1 year old at that time so he could go in for free. We would have been made to pay for one additional ticket but thankfully, my niece was a day away from turning three and could also get in for free.
We stayed at Panda Hotel in Tsuen Wan, which was a nice enough hotel. My peeve about group tours, as before, was the compulsory city tour. The quick trips/photo sessions of sights in Hong Kong made some us too tired to fully enjoy Disneyland in the afternoon. (Grey was asleep during the fireworks.) And yes, they made us buy those china pictures again. But it was still a really fun trip.
One of the things that I wish we had done but couldn’t on a group tour was take the Mickey Mouse train at the Sunny Bay station. Glenda and I did on our first Hong Kong trip and the kids will really love that! We won’t be on a group tour when we go there in July 2013, though, so I’m truly looking forward to that ride.
When we got home, I considered writing a complaint letter to the travel agency. I started composing one but changed my mind. It was inconvenient but did not cause us much damage and I wanted to think of the fun we all had.
Oh, and I finally got to see the Symphony of Lights at the Victoria Harbour… alone. I took the train from Tai Wo Hau to Tsim Sha Tsui. I didn’t think that it was too spectacular but I was glad to have seen it anyway. I will have to say that it was more fun watching lovebirds trying to get the best “seats” by the Harbour and then cozying up to each other when they did. There was this Asian blonde girl I referred to as “porn girl” who kept on posing seductively for her white boy companion. By the time the Symphony of Lights started, I had feasted my eyes on lurveee already.
Note: A few days before our trip, the Manila hostage taking of Hong Kong nationals happened. Eight were killed in that tragedy that could have been avoided had the people in power been competent enough to deal with it. There were rumors that it might be dangerous in Hong Kong for Filipinos and I scrapped my idea of proclaiming my nationality on my shirt. But Jackie Chan reassured me. As it turned out, he was right. Thanks, Jackie!
Hmm…. This is a remake/reboot of the original 1984 Karate Kid film, with Jayden Smith taking the Ralph Macchio role. His mother gets a job in China and after they relocate there, he soon becomes the victim of playground bullies. Jackie Chan (playing the Mr Miyagi role although here called Mr Han) takes him under his wing and teaches him kung fu. You will probably remember the ‘wax on wax off’ training scene from the original. Well here it’s all about putting your jacket on, taking it off and hanging it up. Not as catchy but surprisingly effective in a fake movie fight.
The fighting sections of this film are better than the original and there is of course the equivalent of the original’s ‘crane kick’ to finish the film, but the rest of the movie lacks charm. There is also no fight between Mr Miyagi and the bullies’ abusive kung fu teacher which is a disappointment. In fact the film lacks any sort of edge and it’s also hard not to feel (much of the film was filmed in China, sometimes in quite sensitive locations) that the Chinese government had a hand in limiting what was and what wasn’t possible. This does feel very much like a children’s film, so I will be generous and give it an average 5/10
That flower was outside the Northshire bookstore last Summer in Manchester, Vermont. Really cool store if you’re in that area, especially with kids. Check it out!
I have been on a huge “make myself better kick” mentally, physically and emotionally. It has been a couple of months and it feels great! I believe if you are happy with all of those, then success is upon you. It is May, rise with the shining sun. Be free of all that is behind you. These next few months are the time to enjoy yourself.
A few days ago I attended Zumba. I have never attended a class but I have always heard great things about it. A friend had a ‘guest pass’ to the LA Fitness in Mount Laurel, NJ. The instructor was Sujeily.
Arriving a few minutes late, I did not know what to expect. Would we be allowed in? Would I have any idea what to do? Luckily, Sujeily was nice, friendly, and sassy. This lady was HOTT! There was so many people in attendance. This work-out was not just for the ladies! There were a lot of girls but even some men! I knew this was going to be fun.
Now, I do not know how to seduce a man, and I get scared when a hot guy walks in the room. Zumba was feisty. I was so ready to break out of my element and shake what my momma gave me. There was people of all ages. Ladies were admiring themselves and it was so beautiful. I did not know a single work out, but it did not matter. It was a fun, judgement free zone. That was really cool.
I will definitely check Zumba out again! I have woken up everyday since feeling refreshed, happy and focused. I am checking out kickboxing this week. I am ready to get my Jackie Chan on!
I got paid today. From the good people.
Not the bad people who still haven’t paid me for three months.
Bad guys wore black and had no redeeming features.
Also, it was the Cold War and Apartheid so they were either Russian or South African.
These days it seems much more fuzzy.
The bad guys seems to wear white Panama suits and the good guys wear black leather.
This post is on honour of the good people, or the good things people do without realising they are doing them or expecting anything in return.
The chap who will give you two bucks to help you get out the parking, when the machine keeps spitting your paper note back at you like some horrible toddler pulling a tongue.
The guy who lets you cut in front of him on the off-ramp because you got sidetracked debating the relative merits of Jackie Chan versus Bruce Lee.
We just wave thank you, smile and bugger off. That’s that.
If the tables are turned and no-one will lend you the coins at the parking meter or won’t let you in through the traffic we’ll curse a blue streak and condemn them to suffer warts on their nether regions.
Then we’ll tweet, Facebook and blog the hell out of their inconsiderate behaviour.
In fact I am often forced to defend my stance of being realistic versus being pessimistic.
My pessimism has even crossed into the afterlife.
Apparently my grandmother and my great-grandmother both think I am Miss Negativity and need to look on the bright side more often.
They also think I need to take more time for myself. I don’t deny that. But it is easy to give advice from beyond the veil when you’re dealing with paying bills, looming deadlines and three small children.
My answer back was if they wanted me to take some time for myself they’d organise a free spa voucher.
Good people deserve to be recognised.
Good manners should be acknowledged.
God knows common courtesy is not all that common these days anyway.
He is not trying to make some sexist challenge about your ability to open doors yourself.
He is just being nice. Maybe next time, you can hold the door open.
If someone says good morning, say it back.
If the child in the car in front waves to you, it won’t harm your dignity to wave back.
When I arrived home this afternoon with a splitting migraine, my small daughter saw me across the garden and you would have thought I’d ridden in on Cinderella’s carriage.
Her face lit up and she flung herself into my arms.
My headache was forgotten.
That moment everyday is the best part of the whole day.
My mother tells a story of when I was about 6 and we were off on a road trip. In those dark days of Apartheid car stonings were a regular occurrence.
Some teenagers at the side of the road held their rocks up to throw and I (who had no clue, I thought they were waving at me).
They dropped the rocks and waved back.
Years later my mother told me she thought I may have saved our lives that day. I didn’t know.
Small actions make big things happen.
A smile. A comment. An open door.
A frown. A brush off. A rude remark.
It won’t hurt you to practice one random act of kindness every day.
Give it a shot.
And I couldn’t resist putting this in for Shaun at Praying For One Day...
Dalam film ini, Jackie Chan berperan sebagai seorang pemburu harta karun bernama Jackie yang berjuluk Asian Hawk. Suatu hari Jackie diajak oleh seorang kolektor barang antik untuk berburu empat patung zodiak china berbentuk kepala binatang yang hilang. Padahal kedua belas patung zodiak tersebut adalah harta nasional China.
Awalnya Jackie sangat tertarik ingin menemukan patung tersebut karena diiming-imingi imbalan yang besar. Dalam perburuan mencari patung tersebut, Jackie bertemu dengan Coco yang merupakan putri dari ahli artefak China, dan Jackie pun jatuh cinta padanya. Coco akhirnya meyakinkan Jackie agar berjuang menemukan patung tersebut bukan demi hadiah semata namun demi mengembalikannya ke negara.
Seperti film-film Jackie Chan yang lain, di film Chinese Zodiac ini Jackie tidak menggunakan pemeran pengganti atau stuntman. Meskipun usianya sudah lebih dari setengah abad, Jackie masih tetap tak kesulitan beraksi akrobatik seperti berjalan di atas atap rumah berlantai delapan.
Mampukan Jackie menemukan harta karun berupa patung zodiak China tersebut dan mengembalikannya kepada negaranya?. Daripada penasaran, buruan beranjak menuju gedung bioskop terdekat dan saksikan film action terakhir Jackie Chan yang berjudul Chinese Zodiac (CZ12).
I love Jackie Chan!! I recently bought this movie…another great fight scene
We recently finished Unit 21, a martial arts movie made in Hackney, with the support of the website: www.yhworld.co.uk
I learnt a lot from the experience and I’d like to share what I’ve learnt with the world in the hopes that it’ll help the helpers. So here’s some friendly advice if you’re trying to make anything similar.
Manage your time
Time management is a very important part of the film-making process, but it can be overlooked, especially if you’re on a no-budget shoot. I filled the role of director, camera operator & fight choreographer, which is already spinning a lot of plates. The job of keeping track of time usually falls to the Assistant Director. They’re usually the ones shouting orders and yelling on a set, they have to. Telling the director’s story is important but you have to make sure you have all the footage you need when the director says ‘thats a wrap.’
We were on a location that required us to be out of there by a certain time, no matter what. Even if we had five minutes to go. Even if we had fifty minutes to go. We had to be gone by that time. You will probably run into this situation a lot as a filmmaker. A location will only be available for a certain amount of time. I wish I could say it didn’t affect our shoot, but, the final stick fight we had on film had to be shortened significantly. My original vision for it was to have a long protracted fight that spanned the length of the hallway, with the fighters going backwards and forwards trading shots with their weapons. It would be in the style of Donnie Yen fighting Wu Jing in the martial arts film, Sha Po Lang.
The fight then would have resulted in both participants losing their weapons. A short fist fight would occur. Then my character, the stick wielding ninja, would be dragged to the ground in a triangle choke and lose consciousness. John, our main character, would drag his weary body up from the floor and hobble off.
But with the time constraints it became a very quick stick fight, two sequences of fighting, resulting in me being disarmed and then both sticks being brought down upon my head. When I saw there was only fifteen minutes left, I shot two over the shoulder shots for the first sequence, then two over the shoulder shots for the second sequence, and told Lewis Williams, the man who plays John, to just walk off after he beat me to the floor. He did, and that was enough for us to cut to the next scene.
Creativity can save you in a situation like that. But nothing beats being well prepared for a shoot, because a million different things can go wrong on a set that you hadn’t imagined even in your darkest dreams. Have someone whose sole job it is to make sure everything runs smoothly. I mean, don’t stress yourself out over it, it’s not the end of the world, you should be having fun. But someone to help grease those wheels can help wonders. Also planning out shots before hand, creating a shot list, making sure you cover the bare minimum angles you need to cover to get everything for the edit, will do wonders.
Play to your strengths
I’ve dabbled in martial arts over the years. I’ve done a bit of kickboxing, krav maga & escrima. And while I definitely wouldn’t call myself an accomplished martial artist, I know enough about body mechanics to throw a punch or a kick. None of the people on the crew had done martial arts, or anything like that. So it was very much new territory. If you know your main actor can’t do a jumping axe kick followed up with a double back-fist, don’t give him that move to do. Choreography aside, if you know your actor’s can’t cry with a camera on them, or won’t be able to deliver you a long villainous monologue, then don’t give that to them. None of us on set had any acting training so I tried to keep the dialogue as sparse as possible. Bare minimum.
Playing to your strengths also means using what locations you can get. I used to get so hung up about the fact that it took so much effort and money to film in decent locations, so much networking involved, red tape, and all of it. It got me down. But none of that mattered if you use whatever you have in front of you. It’s the no-budget way. I had a small office building that they said I could use to shoot in, I said sure why the hell not. Robert Rodriguez said, when making his debut, that all he had was a turtle, a small town, and a guitar case. What did he do? He made a movie around that.
Some of the best movies take place in one location, so much so that you could quite easily adapt them into stage-plays. Stuff like Clerks, Reservoir dogs, Night of the living Dead. Moving location to location is expensive, so try and limit that if you’re using the no-budget approach.
Try not to shoot fights in profile
This is not a rule so much as something I began to realise as we were shooting. A profile shot is when you’re side-on to your characters, like this:
We were shooting full body profile shots where our characters were hitting each other. Why I think this kind of shot doesn’t work is because when you’re side on to the characters, the distance between them suddenly becomes far more apparent. So it’s a lot more noticeable when you see a kick or a fist miss by miles. I think in general it’s not a good idea to shoot portions of a fight scene in profile, unless your principal actors are expert martial artists who are proper trying to go for each other.
Cut out frames to sell a hit
This is a trick I picked up from Freddie Wong. If you haven’t seen his videos they come highly recommended. He’s elevated lo-budget action filmmaking on Youtube to it’s absolute pinnacle.
The idea is that, in the edit, you go to the moment of impact of your hit and slice that individual frame out. You do that and suddenly stuff like, the fact that the punch isn’t landing, doesn’t matter. It gives the punch or the kick that extra oomph. I used this trick quite a few times and it gave a lot of dangerous vitality to the hits, more than what was there before.
You can also speed up and slow down portions of the fighting. I’m not a fan of this, and was quite proud that what you see on screen is the same speed our fighters in front of camera were fighting at. It seems almost disingenuous to me to speed a move up. But I realise that it does happen, the experts do it all the time, and it’s an invaluable tool for stressing the skill of your martial artists.
Comedy sells a fight
This is something Jackie Chan realised a long ago, that on-screen fighting and comedy are two things that very much go hand-in-hand.
I was watching a lot of people’s initial reactions to the test footage I shot and it struck me that the bulk of the reactions weren’t oohs or aahs. It was laughter. Being hit in the face can be quite funny. Play to this. I tried to intentionally put some comedy beats into the action, such as when Joel, who plays our bad guy and is in his own right a very talented artist, grabs John’s leg after the fight is finished; and get’s kicked in the face. People may not remember the seriousness of the moral of the story you were trying to convey. They may not remember that bad-ass crescent kick your main actor did to the bad guy in the final take. But I think they’re more likely to remember that action beat that made them laugh out loud.
Have fun with it
If you’re not having fun with fellow collaborators and peers, what’s the point of it? Unless you’re making an uber-serious story that’s a political allegory for the opressive regime of your native country, it’s not worth it. Life’s too short to take everything so seriously. We’re making movies here, we’re turning fake stuff into real stuff. It’s an inherently silly thing. Create a fun nurturing environment, don’t oppress your crew, don’t bow down to this singular creative vision that you believe no one but you gets. Having fun also means an openness to others, to allow creative elements to flow, something may happen on set that you don’t quite predict or want but it ends up working. Run with that.
Filmmaking is not an art. It’s an alchemy. You throw a lot of potent ingredients into the mix, and from that something new is created. There’s nothing quite like it, and I’m so happy I’ve spent the last four years of my life doing it, met some amazing people, learned far more than I could ever hope to share. It is a good life, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Until next time.
Dragons Forever is a classic Jackie Chan movie. In this one, he’s a lawyer defending the owner of a chemical plant. He gets two, Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung, of his friends to help him in a scheme to settle out of court. He doesn’t tell Yuen or Sammo about each other, which leads to some confusion and fights. Yes, the idea of Jackie Chan as a lawyer is kind of funny but he doesn’t spend a lot of time in court.
This is the third film that Jackie Chan made with his “brothers” Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung. They attended the China Drama Academy together and toured as the Seven Little Fortunes. Sammo was, and remains, very agile for a man of his size. Yuen Biao had some incredible acrobatic skills too. Jackie, Yuen, and Sammo were good individually(this movie was made in 1988 and they were probably at the peaks of their powers) and together they were great.
The villain is played by Yuen Wah, another of the seven little fortunes. He is pretty good. He is a slightly comedic villain.
If this is not Jackie Chan’s best film, it is one of his most fun. I kind of wish the three brothers had made a few more films together.
Below are two links the first link is a direct link to Twitch.TV for 35-45ish minutes of gameplay; Very Poorly executed gameplay due to The Stream set up; in order to stream Farcry 3 or FC3:Blood Dragon I need to make it borderless windowed which lowers FPS and some high end effects; then to be 1080P or 720P in stream it rips that engine’s FPS apart… no other game (BF3; The Witcher 2; Bioshock Infinite I’ve streamed 1080P at 120 vsynch on ultra) – while streaming I was getting 25-40 max FPS; as soon as I stopped streaming it hung around 55-65… then when I went back to fullscreen 120 at vsync and much higher with no vsync. (How I prefer to play)
Enjoy the footage, then my “Review In progress” about what the game is all about.
http://www.twitch.tv/wnxwind/c/2201853 – Watch me play the first Mission in the game.
^Watch my Video Review in Progress^ as text will be here eventually; the first link watched along with this link should convince anyone to purchase!
http://www.twitch.tv/wnxwind/c/2201853 – Watch me play the first Mission in the game.
^Watch my Video Review in Progress^ as text will be here eventually
http://www.twitch.tv/wnxwind/c/2201853 – Watch me play the first Mission in the game.
^Watch my Video Review in Progress^ as text will be here eventually
WNxWind (Kenneth Joseph Spaziani)
Gives the game…
I’m proud to present to all of you: Unit 21, the first ever Hackney-based Martial Arts action short!
It started off as a group of us, who were all attending the same multimedia training course over at YHworld. As the weeks progressed the idea came up to round out the course in style, by filming a fight movie, starring all of us. I took on the directing duties, wrote something in a very short space of time and within a few weeks we were filming.
It was a great experience, overall. I had never choreographed a proper fight scene before, none of the people on screen were professional actors or professional martial artists. We were all learning from each other as we went.
There’s some things I wish I could have done differently. We ran out of time so the entirety of the stick fight scene near the end had to be shot in 15 minutes. I only really had time for two sequences of fighting there, so shot two quick over-the-shoulder shots of both then we rushed out of there as quickly as we could. The microphone accidentally came out for the last ten minutes too so we lost sound on a lot of footage.
Despite what difficulties we had, I’m proud of the finished product; and proud of everyone who worked on it, who gave me their free time and their faith. This film, to me, is a lovely bookend I can place at the end of an amazing productive time I’ve had over at the YHworld offices. Easily the most productive period, artistically, of my entire life.
Let me know what you think. Thoughts, comments, critiques, etc. At a later date I will write a longer blog post on the tips and hints I’ve picked up from the shoot that I’d love to pass on. We learn together, so that we may strive together, into the light.
Until next time
Ngozi “You know we Igbo girls we too like money”
Morenike “You know you Igbo girls una too like money”
Ngozi “Are you mad? How dare you say that about us? You Bigot!!!!
Sound familiar? No? How about this then?
Jackie Chan “whaz up nigga”
Black Bartender “What did you just say?”
Jackie Chan (slowly) “Whaz up my nigga”
Bartender grabs Jackie and attempts to strangle him. Other man tries to break his hand and generally the men in the bar try to kick his ass.
See the fight scene
Yet blacks call themselves Nigga all the time and any white person who says it, is termed a racist. Tupac best defined the distinction between the two.
NIGGER- a black man with a slavery chain around his neck.
NIGGA- a black man with a gold chain on his neck.
Earlier on, I found it extremely hypocritical (I still do in some ways) Like how can you tell if the white guy is saying ‘Nigger’ or Nigga’( I wonder how many people actually know that the word “Negro’ means black in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.)Don’t they sound the same?
Black guy: Hey cracker.
White guy: You can’t call me cracker, that’s racist. Now if you change 2 letters and call me a cracka, it’s all good.
Black guy: That doesn’t make any sense.
White guy: See how stupid it sounds when you guys do it.
If you believe that the word negro has been tainted by slavery and find it derogatory, do NOT call each other that(it sounds pretty simple but apparently its harder than it seems). Did you know that the term “Black” was deemed offensive before the 1960s, that was why the term Negro came into being? (You can read that up on Negro). As I grew older and reality set in(I do hate reality but I hate growing older even more) I realise a LOT of us are guilty of this in one way or the other. Let’s look at some examples.
1. Girls calling each other bitches but are ready to leave a stiletto on a guy’s head when he calls them that.
3. Me personally I hate when people insult my University except you went there yourself. Yeah, I know the school was crap most of the time, but its MY crap and the crap of all the other students that went there, not yours. It ain’t your business. (Strangely, I am not offended when people tag Edo girls as prostitutes, same as some whites don’t care if they are called cracker. If only we could brush all slurs aside)
4. Rodney Dangerfield, Woody Allen and John Steward makes fun of Jewish people all the time. You make fun of them. You are labelled Anti semitic.
5. You calling your brother or cousin a loser but if a third-party were to call them same, you are ready to beat them to death with a toothbrush.
The list is endless. I know it is double standard to think that it is ok for you to say something and not ok for me to do the same, but we all do it. We are Human. One of the beauty of being Human is our irrationality(imagine a world where we all applied common sense (which is strangely not so common) all the time). So I realise it is hypocritical to get so mad at black people doing the same when we all do it in varying degrees. (Not that i don’t mind being hypocritical, but only when money is involved..)
In conclusion, the mindset of many people is simply put -it is ONLY ok when I say it, but when you say it, it’s NOT okay. Simple? Yes. Fair? No. Caring if it is fair? Nope.
So drop your comments. What’s your take at the issue?
This is the best martial arts film ever made. It has everything; Bruce Lee, Bolo Yeung, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, well choreographed fight scenes, political talk against ‘The Man’, intrigue, and even pretty women. The last thing doesn’t really interest me that much since I’m a woman but I know that men have their needs!
Enter The Dragon is about a kung fu master named Lee (Bruce Lee) who enters a martial arts contest run by drug kingpin and slaver Han (Kien Sheh). Lee goes undercover to this contest on the behest of the British government who have been after Han for a very long time. I’m not going to give the ending away since I’m not assuming that everybody has seen this, but I can safely say that a lot of fighting happens and some people die. It wouldn’t be a martial arts film without any of that, now would it?
What makes Enter The Dragon the best martial arts film ever made? Bruce Lee. There can be no question that he was one of the best martial artists to ever live. Mainly because he didn’t follow any strict rules when it came to his style. He combined several different traditional forms of martial arts, and his own philosophy, to create Jeet Kune Do. Throughout the film his creation is shown in philosophical conversations between characters and during the battle scenes. Lee choreographed all of the fighting, which unlike a lot of modern fight scenes weren’t cut every two seconds to hide stunt doubles and the like. The mirror fight between Lee and Han is hands down one of the best martial arts fight scenes ever filmed. It has been copied many times in other movies but never duplicated in terms of quality. This is due in part to the direction of Robert Clouse, who really knew what he was doing in terms of filming action sequences. His use of slow motion techniques during some of the film doesn’t slow down the action, but rather make it all the more intense.
Besides Lee the characters Roper (John Saxon) and Williams (Jim Kelly) are a hoot; Roper is an in debt gambler, Williams a street fighter from ‘the hood’. Their shared dialogue is very, very funny and brings some comic relief to the seriousness of the film. Bolo (Bolo Yeung) is another interesting character, an evil bad-ass fighter and one of Han’s men. You may recognize him from Bloodsport, in which he plays pretty much the same kind of guy. Nothing wrong with a bit of typecasting because he is quite a frightening looking fighter! I’ve always imagined Glenn Danzig watching Enter The Dragon as a kid, seeing Bolo, then thinking that he too could be a very muscular short dude! Don’t tell him I said that though! In the nunchuk scene you may be able to spot a very young Jackie Chan, who is an extra that gets beat up by Lee.
Enter The Dragon is a total product of its time. Made in 1973 there is quite a lot of political commentary which is very cool. How many martial arts films do you see these days that talk about ‘The Man’ and about how evil he is? None, and we are a worse off society for it! You can never say that Enter The Dragon doesn’t look dated because it does. This isn’t a bad thing since the sets, the music and even the costumes give it a certain feel. Yes, it can be seen as slightly cheesy, but to be honest what martial arts film doesn’t have it’s fair amount of cheese? The difference between Enter The Dragon and other films though is the fact that the production itself is very well done. It had a studio budget behind it and that made all of the difference. These days most martial arts films are straight to video without a great budget and they suffer for it.
The screenplay, written by Michael Allin, is a pretty simple good guys vs. bad guys type story, with some revenge thrown in for good measure. Han is the heavy who makes heroin and gets women addicted to it so that they can be sold as sex slaves, while Lee is the good guy who is ultimately out to get revenge from Han for the death of his sister. Everything else is secondary, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some character development going on. The character Roper actually evolves as the film goes along. At first we just think that he’s a self important idiot, but we learn that he’s actually a good guy who does the right thing when called to action.
As you can tell I love this movie. I first saw it as a child in a movie theater in the 1970′s and I know that it heavily contributed to my interest in action films. If watching this film doesn’t change how you judge fight scenes then there is something wrong with you.
Watched February, 2010
Kung fu legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li star in this rousing adventure about a martial arts movie fanatic who finds himself transported to war-torn ancient China after discovering a mystical staff in a pawnshop. (Netflix)
Martial arts films fall into two categories for me: The first is the category of skills, where I am mesmerized by actual skills in the fighters, and then the second is for those films that use some gimmick or special effect to keep me going. This is in the first category. Li and Chan have been making great MA movies for a long time. They have the skills, and in this picture a nice bit of tension between them, and so it works. The plot is stupid, but rarely do you get a MA film with a real plot. The white dumb guy has his comedic moments. I never like it when they try to mix romance and MA.
So this is a good film by two MA greats. Jackie always gets me to laugh once or twice.
Great film for dad and the boys to enjoy. Not a family flick.
Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF) ke tiga sudah ditutup pada 23 April di Beijing. Seremoni karpet merah sudah berubah menjadi biru dan beberapa selebritis ada yang mengenakan pita hijau menandakan duka cita yang mendalam bagi para korban bencana gempa bumi di Lushan sabtu lalu.
Sejumlah selebritis papan atas tampak hadir di BIFF tersebut seperti Jackie Chan (Chinese Zodiac), Liu Ye (The Last Supper) , Aaron Kwok (Coldwar) , Charlie Yeung , Andy Lau (Simple Life) , Lin Chiling (Say Yes) , Wu Xiubo (Finding Mr Right) , Zhou Dongyu , Jay Chou .
Keanu Reeves juga turut hadir setelah sebelumnya memperkenalkan detail dan trailer pertamanya untuk film debutnya sebagai sutradara berjudul “Man of Tai Chi” di sebuah konferensi pers di Beijing. Keanu Reevess didampingi pula oleh Ye Qing , aktris utama yang membintangi filmnya. ( sinastar / bentara.asia) (photo : cri.cn)
Can’t say I’m a big fan of Bruce Lee movies in general. From my limited knowledge of the history of martial arts films (which itself comes from a limited memory of some documentaries I watched years and years ago) Bruce Lee’s contribution to the martial arts film was to strip away a lot of the pageantry and elaborate choreography and make realer, more brutal films depicting a realer, more brutal form of martial arts. But I like the pageantry. I like the elaborate choreography. To me, films like Drunken Master and Snake in an Eagle’s Shadow are far more compelling than something like this, even though this has far better writing, acting, production values, etc.
I can’t deny the thrill of seeing one of Lee’s lightning-fast kicks knocking someone clear from the frame, nor the joy of seeing supporting characters that are actually developed (gotta love a scene where a Black Panther is walking to the airport, gets harassed by racist cops, and proceeds to knock them the fuck out and steal their car, with no apparent consequences) but the lame James Bond-y plot runs out of steam pretty suddenly and the fighting just isn’t exciting enough to hold my interest. C+