Our latest film, The Break, is now online. It’s a story of Cop vs Criminal, both experts of unarmed combat, neither wanting to relent.
We had the chance with this film to work with the black magic pocket camera. I think it really helped with the final look of the film a lot, the quality of the images we shot really allowed us to push the cinematic feel of the film.
When I made films before, I tended not to factor in any time for rehearsal, which would reflect on the final product; it always ended up being not quite as good as it could have been. However with this one, the two martial arts actors spent a day beforehand rehearsing their fight. It shows in the final product. Their moves are crisp and amazing.
I was determined to just put the camera on a tripod, give them a wide an angle as possible, and just let their performance speak for itself. I think this has ended up being the strongest fight scene we’ve ever produced. I’m very proud of all the hard work everyone put into it.
I’d love for our goal in the future to be to show hollywood that you don’t need a large budget to make excellent fight scenes for films. You don’t need to shake the camera about to add the artificial energy into your fights. All you need is clear precise storytelling, told through choreography, cinematography and editing. It’s a collaboration from everybody.
Learn: Chinese pronunciation of English vowels and other sounds; vocabulary and expressions related to physical training, action and risk.
Practice: Producing and understanding Chinese Accented English , Listening Comprehension
Download the exercise: Jackie Chan – Jonathan Ross Show
I just started a second job so it’ll take a little while for the final Top Ten By Year post for 1978 to be written and go up (and then on to 1925!) Accompanied with that post will be a full list of the 1978 films I’ve seen and a Blind Spots list. For now, here are my ten honorable mentions. I always list and briefly write about five honorable mentions in my Top Ten By Year posts, but for 1978 and 1992 desperate times called for desperate measures. I’ve fallen in love with so many 1978 releases, which, of course is a great ‘problem’ to have. The fact that Violette Noziere, Pretty Baby and Long Weekend couldn’t even make the honorable mentions post shows how crowded this year was.
These 10 (plus Grease!) films are in alphabetical order
FTV = First Time Viewing
RW = Rewatch
LTF = Long Time Favorite
Autumn Sonata/Höstsonaten (Sweden, Bergman) (RW)
I figured that Ingmar Bergman’s mother-daughter showdown was a sure bet for my final ten. The Magician made my 1958 list even though I far prefer this over that. But 1958 was a different template with different scales.
Autumn Sonata could also be called ‘The Meeting of the Bergmans’. This was the one and only collaboration between Ingmar and Ingrid, and it carried a finality for both (it was the director’s last exclusively theatrical release and the star’s final feature film appearance). The familial chamber drama pits mousy neglected daughter Eva (Liv Ullman) against her famous pianist mother Charlotte (Bergman) after a lifetime of pent-up resentment and stunted emotional baggage. The toxic and frayed dynamic shows itself through the film’s bifurcated halves. An initial impenetrable barrier of niceties and separate stirrings gives way to one fateful evening when Eva’s charges against Charlotte spill out in hyperventilating fits of anger; the director’s penchant for inescapable close-ups carries through all.
Ullman plays the final half of Autumn Sonata as if possessed by the distilled anxiety of her child-self; the mere presence of Charlotte triggers an uncontrollable summoning bigger than herself. Eva’s collapse into memory is so total that presentational single-image flashbacks make their way into the film. Gradually, the accusations against Charlotte become more and more vague, unformed, and even off the mark. By the end, we’ve seen something possibly irreparable, almost delusional, take place. Changed but not changed.
Dawn of the Dead ( US/Italy, Romero) (RW)
For a horror film so universally worshiped, it’s easy to forget how peculiar the squib-filled Dawn of the Dead really is. It’s these peculiarities that so strongly lure me to it. The ragtag family of four. The zombies with an unsophisticated chalky blue tint on their cadaverous skin. The inevitable reclamation of consumerist domesticity as a mode of denial. The boldly goofy shifts in tone. The irreverent and hassle-free shopping montages. And spearheading all of this is the headstrong smoothness of Ken Foree as Peter, quite possibly my favorite male horror flick protagonist. This is George Romero at the peak of his powers.
Drunken Master (Hong Kong, Yuen) (FTV)
1978 was the year Jackie Chan’s career catapulted to stardom with Drunken Master and Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow. Replacing Bruce Lee as Hong Kong’s top box-office star, Chan molded his early screen persona as a scrappy underdog with acrobatic prowess, “comically exaggerated panic”(Bordwell, “Planet Hong Kong”), and an ever-resourceful reliance on slapstick. In the ludicrously fun Drunken Master, he plays the not with assured capability, but with a deer-in-headlights expression and the illusion that he is frantically grabbing any props within reach to defeat his opponent. Watching him feels like a sort of onscreen miracle, and every time I see a Jackie Chan film I marvel at his genius anew.
Eyes of Laura Mars (US, Kershner) (RW)
Soft focus, red herrings, confounding twist ending, voyeurism; this is what American giallo looks like. This is also what pop sleaze looks like. Fashion photographer Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) unwittingly sees through the eyes of a killer whose crimes eerily mirror her controversial work. Laura’s work is surface-level provocation, using artfully arranged violence to sell product. Funny thing is, the nature of her work and the film itself are kind of inextricable from each other. There’s some commentary about the public reception to Laura’s photographs, questioning her responsibility to people who use the images she creates as violent inspiration (something else I love about this film is that it’s a horror flick about adults with full-fledged careers). There’s a perhaps unintentional level of self-reflexivity going on here (who knows; scripted by John Carpenter yet produced by Jon Peters, a man devoid of self-awareness), but regardless the film playfully inverts itself in multiple ways, such as when Laura, seeing through the eyes of the killer, is looking at herself as the next victim, as prey. The ultimate voyeuristic conundrum.
Grease (US, Kleiser) (LTF)
In fourth grade we were assigned to make plaster masks for an art project. I made mine of Stockard Channing’s Rizzo. Sure I made her look like a melting hunk of cheese, but the dedication was there. The biggest money-maker of 1978 is a seamless blend of generations, a venue for peppy dressed-up youth to play out. It was released at just the right time, riding off the 50’s revival of American Graffiti from several years earlier and John Travolta’s newfound and entirely justifiable super-stardom. If you want to know what Grease is, just look at the climactic “You’re The One That I Want” number. Grease is Danny and Sandy’s DNA’s combined, a rare breed of wholesome filth that surely contributed to its mass appeal, feeding off the need for a hit musical that wasn’t dour in content and tone or cultish in origin and transgression.
Halloween (US, Carpenter) (RW)
John Carpenter wastes no time bringing deep-focus compositions and inquisitive camerawork into the daytime streets of ‘Haddonfield, Illinois’, creating an unassuming town scaffold where peaceful suburbia ought to be. Michael Myers is a stark specter, his blank white presence is direct and his sneakiness is presented directly, entirely without sneak. The camera is on a constant swinging pendulum, roving between Myers and our trio of girls. We are never with either of them. Not truly. Halloween occupies the space between predator and prey.
One of the most successful independent films ever made, Halloween established John Carpenter as a defining directorial presence moving into the 80’s and kicked off the (while being far from the first one) the fad of slice-and-dice slashers. But Halloween has an atmospheric restraint, and is far more interested in sustaining and encircling the unknown; qualities that can’t be found in its offspring. Prelude aside, it takes fifty minutes before someone is killed. That’s a long way from the kill-sex-kill-break-nudity-kill structure that slashers would become known for.
In a Year of 13 Moons (West Germany, Fassbinder) (FTV)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder made In a Year of 13 Moons in response to his former lover’s (Armin Meier) suicide. Opening with a beating, and text that tells of the fated tragedy of the cosmos, Fassbinder underlines that Elvira (Volker Spengler) is destined for doom. And it only goes downhill from there. It’s a high bar to clear, but this is Fassbinder’s most confrontational, openly hopeless work, a fusion of his evocative melodrama and his more anarchic leanings. When Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop” casually plays in the background of a lengthy scene, there is a conscious effort to make us feel off-center in our own skin. But nothing compares to the butchery sequence, in which uncompromising graphic footage of animal slaughter is coupled with Elvira’s increasingly frenzied pitch of a voiceover (think Willy Wonka on the boat or Judge Doom’s toon voice), adding up to a nauseating visual and aural assault the likes of which I’ve never quite experienced.
If I could only pick one performance from 1978, Volker Spengler as Elvira would be it. He makes Elvira and her dangerous acquiescence and her comfort in the familiarity of abuse, all too human and frustrating (Elvira can be a very troubling character when looking solely through the lens of trans portrayals but that’s a whole other conversation). Demure and devoid of self-regard, his face begs everyone and anyone to give her something, any reason to keep going. Nobody does.
Killer of Sheep (US, Burnett) (FTV)
A major work of American cinema. A mosaic of evocative naturalism that observes, empathizes, and communicates through the mundane routines of life in the Watts area of Los Angeles. Intimately caught between narrative and free-form, adults and children, and yet immovably rooted in the experience of impoverished black America.
Krabat – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice/Čarodějův učeň (Czechoslovakia, West Germany, Zeman) (FTV)
Krabat was the penultimate film from seminal Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman. His far-reaching influence as an animator has inspired the likes of many, and after seeing this it’s easy to see why. In this dark-fantasy fairy tale, cut-out animation is assembled with carefully placed pieces of live-action background. The effect is a richly textured aesthetic where the stiff and often immovable expressions of the characters reflect the constrictions of the poor boys of the story, who are lured into forced labor.
Krabat is about conquering the oppressive and seemingly preternatural force of tyranny, a tyranny that even conquers the mode of storytelling for the evil sorcerer is the only character given a speaking voice. The story is told by adult Krabat’s narration with the (even in its darkest turns) straightforward remove of a fairy tale which further forces the viewer to rely on the directness of the fixed animation. Krabat and his fellow captive apprentices learn to fear the cycle of life, and the inevitability of what is to come based on the season. Emphasis is given to the beauty of the seasons; at the inescapable and isolated mill, what should be a comfort has been curdled into something of a constant harbinger. And of course, it is love which must conquer all.
Thank God It’s Friday (US, Klane) (FTV)
Just so you know, disco music and the ‘One Crazy Day/Night’ scenario are two of my favorite things to find in a film. Put them together? Time capsule movie gold. Everyone wants in on the discotheque where The Commodores are set to perform with dance contest in tow. A wide variety of characters fleetingly bounce off each other throughout. Highlights include Jeff Goldblum as a sleazy ladykiller, Debra Winger as a clumsy gal, a young Terri Nunn (!!), and Otis Day as ‘Wrong Way Floyd’ who you should never put in charge of your instruments. If the film had a little more shape to it (with this many story threads, it should never feel like the film is killing time) it might have made my final ten. As it is, it’ll have to settle for being the kind of film I can randomly put on to enjoy again and again.
An Unmarried Woman (US, Mazursky) (FTV)
Jill Clayburgh prancing around in her undies, giggling uncontrollably in the throes of foreplay, and performing with a rare in-character spontaneity. All this and more support Paul Mazursky’s dramedy about a woman trying to rebuild a life after her husband abruptly leaves her. There is a fascinating knowingness and a concerted effort to tap into the what the ‘modern woman’s picture’ may look like that is by turns outdated and still shockingly relevant. As Erica tries to figure out who and what will define her new life, Mazursky displays an immense care in the particular wants, needs, struggles, inner life, experiences, sexuality, and empowerment of his heroine.
It’s finally time for the finale of Asian Crime Action Month. Today I will examine the master at work; the great martial arts action king, Jackie Chan, who starred and directed this film back in 1985. Chan is a prolific actor who’s been doing martial arts movies since the 70s, and continues making them even now. He also does his own stunts and it’s worth noting that most people would have died attempting ma ny of the stunts he has pulled. Today I will write about his masterpiece, Police Story.
Jackie Chan plays a police officer that rises to fame as a hero cop after capturing a drug lord in a successful police raid. The drug lord makes it his personal mission to take down Chan, and frames him for the murder of a cop. Chan has to race against time with enemies coming at him from all sides in order to prove his innocence and take down the drug lord. Chan co-wrote the script and made a good basic cop drama plot (one that has been seen before). The story is well executed and Chan, known for his comedic fight sequences, balances light hearted comedy with tense action. The first half of the film is the lighter mix of comedy with some action scenes thrown in, while the latter part of the film, when Chan gets framed, goes into full on thriller mode.
Chan’s character is a hero cop, but he isn’t a generic good guy. Chan adds a lot of humor to his character, and an inner rage that drives him later on in the film. Chan can also be a dick at times, including the way he treats his girlfriend, and the fact that he ignores a domestic abuse call to talk to said girlfriend. His girlfriend, May (played by Maggie Cheung) is the worst part of this movie. All she does is whine and nag. She isn’t really a character, she is just a character’s girlfriend. I don’t feel bad when bad things happen to her, or dislike Jackie Chan for how mean he can be to her, because she is a nuisance. Selina (Brigitte Lin) on the other hand is a funny character that plays a significant role in the story. I really wish her and Chan ended up together because they had great chemistry. The funniest part of the film is the time dedicated Chan being assigned to protect Selina. The other characters are either basic, or confusing. The villains are stock, but I really do hate them and want Chan to serve them up a delivery of fists to the face. His relationship to the chief of police and superintendent is baffling, due to those character’s motives and behavior towards Chan constantly shifting.
The action sequences are where the film really shines. Jackie Chan and his stunt team do an amazing job. Chan does well to bring in a variety of different types of action instead of only sticking to martial arts. This is clearly showcased in the opening sequence of the film, which lesser action movies would save as the climax. The film starts with a police operation gone wrong leading to a gunfight in a shantytown. The culprits flee, leading to a car chase that goes downhill through the shantytown, causing lots of explosions and extras to fly everywhere. I think some extras didn’t make it out of the shantytown and actually died. Then the drug lord and his men take over a double decker bus that Chan has to chase after on foot. He gets into a fist fight while hanging off of the bus before finally capturing the drug lord. What a way to start a movie.
The next portion of the film has two smaller scale fight sequences, one comedic, and one dark and intense. The first fight is a staged assassination attempt on Selina to get her to turn on the drug lord. Chan fake fights his friend while Selina jumps in and actually starts to beat the crap out of the false assassin. Next Chan and Selian are run off the road when the real assassins show up. Chan has to take on these baseball bat wielding goons in the middle of the night. It’s a great low level street fight.
The final showdown at the mall is the action scene everyone talks about. It is full of wild stunts and broken glass. So many people get smashed through some really thick stunt glass (you can tell by the real cuts they receive). This is a masterful martial arts fight and while not as versatile as the opening action sequence, it is equally jaw dropping and praised by many.
I currently own sixteen Jackie Chan films, which means I need to buy more. Chan is the master of martial arts action, and this is one of his greatest flicks. It’s a great Jackie Chan film to start with, and a great film to end Asian Crime Action month on.
Favorite Scene: Jackie Chan jumps down a giant string of Christmas bulbs in the mall. He breaks everyone of the bulbs on the way down, getting serious burns and cuts. This is one of his best stunts. The stunt is so good that it is shown before the menu on the DVD pops up, shown three times in a row at different speeds and angles during the climax, and shown multiple times during the end credits.
Written by Tyler Ducheneaux
Images from Police Story
Other posts on Jackie Chan
—Jackie Chan appointed Singapore’s first celebrity anti-drug ambassador Published on May 7, 2015 1:44 PM The Straits Times @STcom · 27s 27 seconds ago
Jackie Chan appointed Singapore’s first celebrity anti-drug ambassador http://str.sg/3RF..
Action superstar Jackie Chan is Singapore’s new anti-drug ambassador and hopes to influence youth to say no to drugs. The 61-year-old was at the launch of a new anti-drug mobile game application at Nanyang Polytechnic on Thursday. — ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIBy Lim Yi Han
SINGAPORE – Action superstar Jackie Chan is Singapore’s new anti-drug ambassador and hopes to influence youth to say no to drugs.
He said his son, Jaycee Chan, who served time for a drug offence in Beijing this year, has hurt him but made him determined to tell young people to stay away from drugs.
The 61-year-old star was at the launch of a new anti-drug mobile game application at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) on Thursday.
He said in Mandarin: “I never thought that it would happen to my family. I was so ashamed and so angry. But this incident made me more determined to influence people to say no to drugs.
“Don’t ever think that you won’t be hooked. When you take drugs, you harm yourself, your family and your country too. It’s a domino effect.”
—MYNIC Berhad @mynicberhad 4h4 hours ago
Having a good time with ‘Jackie Chan’
We all new Jackie Chan. He does action, comedy and all of his own stunts but, did you know all these facts? Here are 10 facts you did not know about Jackie Chan.
1. Jackie Chan’s real name is actually Chan Kong-sang. He uses the name Jackie Chan because it’s easier for international fans to recognise it.
2. Jackie had eye lid surgery in 1976 to give himself a more “western” look. It is subtle but, may have helped his success.
3. Jackie uses stunt doubles. He may do his own stunts but, not all of them. Jackie has used stunt doubles for skating scenes, acrobatic scenes, scenes where he falls on his back, crazy kick scenes and some random scenes that he couldn’t do due to injuries.
4. Jackie parents almost gave him out for adoption because they were poor. Luckily friends of Jackie’s parents convinced them otherwise.
5. Jackie has 2 half brothers and 2 half sisters that were separated during the Japanese war. According to Jackie, he has never met them.
6. Jackie may have a daughter due to an affair he had in 1999. He denies the incident but, the mother of the “Jackie’s daughter” claims otherwise.
7. In 1975 Jackie Starred in an adult film called “All in the Family.”
8. Jackie was a trouble maker as a kid. He wasn’t the best student in his class, he always spent his bus money on food and fought the neighbourhood boys.
9. Jackie is not giving any of his money to his son. His son has to earn it just as he did.
10. Jackie redid a stunt that broke his ribs and neck ligament 3 times just to say the line “I guess I proved gravity” in the same take.
I am Jackie Chan (book)
Jackie Chan is well known for doing his own stunts but, it comes with a price to pay. Jackie has had some of crazy injuries ever inflicted on an actor over the years of his work. Many people say he has broken every bone in his body which is slightly over exaggerated but, he has broken most of them. Here are some of his craziest.
4. Dislocated Hip (Police Story)
He broke and dislocated his hip during a scene where Jackie falls over a railing down to the next floor. He fainted 2 times after his injury.
3. Dislocated Sternum (Operation Condor)
Jackie slides down a chain but, slips and lands chest first on the ground. He dislocated and broke his sternum.
2. Clock Tower Triple Fall (Project A)
Jackie fell down 60 feet through 2 awnings. During his first attempt he missed the second awning and broke several of his ribs on a medal rod. Unsatisfied Jackie did the stunt a second time but, landed face first on the ground and tore his neck ligament. He still has breathing problems from this. Still unsatisfied he did the stunt a third time and finished of the scene by saying “I guess I proved gravity.”
1. Broken Skull (Armour of God)
Jumping from a wall to a tree Jackie Chan fell head first into a rock after the tree branch he grabbed broke. He broke his skull and had to be rushed to the hospital for brain surgery. He is now semi deaf in one ear and has a plastic plug covering the hole in his head.
One of the best parts of being a writer is that I have procrastination down to an art form. It’s true, social media sites are weapons of mass distraction. Below are some of my favorite (funny/cool/interesting) YouTube clips that I still watch, even though some are oldies.
Black20 (RIP) was a cool media site that did mashups like these all the time. Look at that craftsmanship.
The perfect reaction clip. When I heard there was going to be a movie involving Spider-Man’s Aunt May as a spy, it came in handy.
One of my favorite television theme songs (in an era where theme songs are a dying breed) in recent memory. Bear McCreary is awesome!
Oh my, the impressions. THE IMPRESSIONS! #KevinSpaceyFTW
Seriously. Whenever I’m down, I pretend Ric Flair is a member of the Sugar Hill Gang!
Until next time,
He’s such a no bullshit person but praises Yifan so much. 💕
FXG recently criticized the Chinese movie industry because he felt offended by movies that are all about aesthetics with no hard work.
I love gangster films and dramas lmao so gahhh I look forward to Fading Wave so much you have no idea. It pains me that it releases so late.
Feng Xiaogang must really like Wu Yi Fan a lot! He even helped him arrange the sofa cushions!
Wu Yi Fan: Teacher Feng (Feng Xiaogang) is especially good, he treats juniors really well, he gave me lots of help!
WYF: I’m still very nervous!
Feng: WYF is very humble, eager to learn, cooperative, hardworking & we work tgt well☺️
If he works hard, like Director (Feng) said, if he works hard he will definitely become an incredible figur…
Jackie Chan (re: WYF):
As long as he works hard, he’s able to become a great (accomplished) person
note WYF bowing!👍
Jackie Chan is one of the most well known and most respected person in the world. Being one of the only few international stars, what makes him so great? Here is a list of why I think he is so great and why his movies are so special.
1. Jackie is always a good guy. Jackie is never a bad guy in his movies so he is never portrait as a bad person. Even outside his movies Jackie is a good guy, always donating and helping the public as he can.
2. He is funny. Not many people have the same style as Jackie Chan. Jackie uses the perfect combination of action and comedy to entertain his audience. If you’re going to fight why not use some furniture, make some funny faces or drink some alcohol and fight drunk.
3. Jackie gets hurt. Unlike other action films Jackie will actually get hurt. This humanizes him and makes him more relatable to his fans. If you’re going to get punch in the face of course it will hurt, unless you’re Rocky. Throw a chair at him or push him down a fleet of stairs and Jackie will get hurt. This leads us to number 4.
4. Jackie does his own stunts. He gets hurt, not only in the movies but, in real life as well. Known to do his own stunts Jackie is well respected but, also well beat up. He hasn’t only done the most stunts ever filmed but, some of the craziest as well.
hug with jackie chan
with feng xiao gang laoshe
hug with li bing bing jiejie
Thank you very very much seniors for taking care our yifan.
Yesterday, in an ill conceived descent into the Netflix rabbit hole I watched the latest Transformers movie. Here’s my review: Engineered to make money, way too long, mind-numbingly dumb. These films are walking contradictions; in some ways they’re the most over produced, unnecessarily complex shot set-ups out there and then the next minute the laziest storytelling and continuity problem-ridden films you’ll ever see. Who knew Beijing was one town over from Hong Kong? I guess if we’ll buy technologically advanced giant fighting robots with the intellect of twelve year olds then Geography is just some vague idea for people who don’t know how Google Maps work.
After watching this monstrosity, it got me thinking: how do these movies make so much money, and why is Michael Bay so successful where other directors in the same genre -not so much? This luckily reminded me of this:
Every Frame a Painting is a masterclass in film technique and analysis. Commentator Tony Zhou has really done his homework and every video is a little slice of film school. He discusses directors like Speilberg, Scorsese, Fincher and Kurosawa among others. He is really engaging at exploring the craft of filmmaking and the anatomy of a shot- and on top of that you get Jackie Chan.
If you’re going to get lost down a rabbit hole any time soon let Tony be your guide.
Synopsis – One of the most expensive films ever produced in China, the historical action epic Dragon Blade takes place during the Han Dynasty. The story centers on the commander of the Protection Squad of the Western Regions (Jackie Chan), who joins forces with Roman general Lucius (John Cusack) to protect China’s sovereignty as power-crazed Tiberius (Adrien Brody) seeks to defeat Lucius once and for all.
My Take – Right from the trailer to its title, this film has a bad direct to DVD swords & sandals action movie vibe written all over it! That may be contributed also due to current B movie status of John Cusack & Adrien Brody! But It’s not everyday that you see movies like these coming out of Hollywood or mainstream media. Apparently its one of the most expensive Chinese produced films ever! Granted there were some mistakes and plot holes like how in the heck did a Roman Legion on the run from the very center of the empire make its way all the way through the Silk Road? Or the lousy background of keeping a fragile sense of peace among the 48 nations contesting the route. Or even the Romans enlisting the help of its lifelong enemies the Parthians. Suspension of belief and historical inaccuracies aside, this film is actually a heartwarming story of loyalty & sacrifice, about rising against all odds and true friendship that encompasses all nations and creeds that everyone will understand. It’s a portrayal of what it means to truly be a friend and a man who sticks by his principles. Maybe that’s why this film gets flack, because our standards today have become so dull that it’s now a sin to be a human and to act like a human.
The film may be considered as an odd endeavor in epic historical film, it copies too many aspects of already known formula in hope that the success can be transmitted here. It has choppy direction and all sorts of issues, but the movie sometimes brings some good elements, which might just be enough for light entertainment. The story opens with a prologue set in the present day, when two archaeologists (Vanness Wu and Karena Lam) set out to find an ancient city known as Regum hidden high above the mountains in the Silk Road region. As the opening title is presented, we are taken back to 480 BC, when peace was as precious a commodity as gold in the restive region, which saw a total of 36 nations fighting to claim their rights over the land. On the brink of a war between two of them – the Huns and the White Indians – General Huo (Jackie Chan) & his Silk Road Protection Squad, a small but fiercely loyal band of men given the seemingly impossible task of keeping the peace. Even at the risk of danger to his life, Huo An resolutely refuses to pull a weapon against the Huns’ icy warrior Cold Moon (Lin Peng). Framed for treason, Huo An turns the other cheek and readily accepts his and his men’s punishment to be sent away to a ravaged city known as Wild Geese Gate. And when conflict breaks out amongst the various factions of inmates within the city, Huo An steps in to urge peace, even though everyone else seems to be itching to get at the others throats. After being set up for illegally transporting gold, the squad are imprisoned & banished for the rest of their sentence as labors to build Regum. Things start going crazy, once General Lucius (John Cusack) shows up with his cavalry. Lucius is fleeing the eldest son of one of the two serving Consuls, who had murdered his father and intends to murder his younger brother Publius (Jozef Waite) to claim the throne. Needless to say, Lucius’ alliance with Huo An brings the Roman conflict to their doorstep, in the form of the villainous Tiberius (Adrien Brody). The film delivers on its promise of sprawling battle scenes, meticulously crafted sword fights, intriguing culture clashes, and budding bromances, where its giddily high concept and unlikely casting may so easily have seen it fail. It’s an unparalleled meeting of Eastern and Western talent. This kind of film truly reminds me why I enjoy Asian cinema. This take here the mix of martial arts and Jackie Chan, kind of sword play (typical Chinese which as awesome), mixed cast from various nations to throw in so many nations and trifles in just 2 hours and without rushing anything.
Now that is something I find truly impressive and extremely refreshing. Maybe there is a couple of flaws here and there, like the ruin in the very beginning of the show that’s not old enough and for another keen eyes, this might kill the mood, because basically, we were promised a story that (might) happened thousand years ago. But truth be told, it was not really a problem, since the ruin itself is just a fake one, created to fit into the real story of Silk Road. Story-wise, some of you might find it cheesy and predictable. Some of you might even say that the character Chan played (Huo An), was unbelievably too kind, like he was just character from a fairytale. Is it really like that? If you follow the story and try to delve into the character of Huo An, to every tragedy ever happened to him (told in the story), you might understand why he always talk about peace. Jackie Chan is a star in his own right. He’s not that well versed in acting, but audience would know what to expect at this point. Or maybe how Cusack was not cut out for the role of Roman Empire general, Lucius? Don’t think so. He actually played the role real good, he could showed how it feels to be betrayed, to hate and to trust. Brody as the villain Tiberius, has also done a very great job. You could see his character in a whole new way, the way he lust for power and ambitions. The twisted way of a mad man ready to betray (and kill, as already told in the trailer) his own family. A beastly antagonist, he delivers a menacing on-screen persona. To me, Jackie Chan along with director Daniel Lee has managed to pull this out quite remarkably. On the whole, in a time of remakes & reboots, a film like Dragon Blade feels refreshing, a homage to the film of 90s & early 2000s. With sincere performances & enjoyable cinematography, this East meets West adventure film is a great popcorn watch!
Overall Rating – 7.5/10
PLUS: Closeness, purple tulips, shenanigans with lights, saluting devices, Jackie Chan, Groundhog Day, Magic Clap, walking sticks, wrestling rings and fried eggs.http://haveyouseen.dreamhosters.com/podcastgen/download.php?filename=2015-03-28_have_you_seen_ep115.mp3
Also, if you’re on an iPhone and you tap the above “download” link, your clever little device will stream the podcast straight to you. Pop your phone in a dock and crank it up!SUBSCRIBE! iTunes Stitcher RSS Podfeed