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blue_skies

What was the last modern martial-arts film you watched?

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Saw Last Hero in China for the first time today.. Awesome movie, very fun and entertaining. Good wire assisted fights, and pretty darn funny at times too. What it lacks in polish or depth it makes up for in entertainment value. 

 

I also enjoyed the odes to classic Kung fu movies, i.e. Snake in the Eagles Shadow and Executioners from Shaolin.

 

I didnt realize Alan Chui was active in the 90s, let alone recently. Pretty cool.

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Flying Swords of Dragon Gate was visually amazing,  probably Hark's best looking film in ages. It's too bad they only have the dubbed version on Netflix because good lord, it's some of the worst dubbing I've heard since the seventies boom. 

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Recently watched Jackie Chan Police Story: Lockdown - I was not impressed. It was a downer of a movie and was just so uninteresting. And, I never thought that I would ever have to say that the fight scenes in a JC movie sucked. Horribly choreographed. Not sure what JC was thinking. Maybe he has lost the touch. Really sad. But, the fights scenes here were as bad as what one would find in the normal Hollywood film (too many cut-aways and obscured moves). It did not flow like the normal JC fight scene. I watched the WellGo USA dvd. So, does anyone know if it was cut? The only positive thing I can say about the movie is that JC`s acting was pretty good. The behind-the-scenes stuff makes it clear that JC did not want to do any fights in this film and it really shows. IMO, this is probably one of the worse JC movies that I have seen; and I have seen almost all of them. 

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Recently watched Jackie Chan Police Story: Lockdown - I was not impressed. It was a downer of a movie and was just so uninteresting. And, I never thought that I would ever have to say that the fight scenes in a JC movie sucked. Horribly choreographed. Not sure what JC was thinking. Maybe he has lost the touch. Really sad. But, the fights scenes here were as bad as what one would find in the normal Hollywood film (too many cut-aways and obscured moves). It did not flow like the normal JC fight scene. I watched the WellGo USA dvd. So, does anyone know if it was cut? The only positive thing I can say about the movie is that JC`s acting was pretty good. The behind-the-scenes stuff makes it clear that JC did not want to do any fights in this film and it really shows. IMO, this is probably one of the worse JC movies that I have seen; and I have seen almost all of them. 

Agreed. Watching that movie was like being a claustrophobic stuck in a MRI machine. It's not painful, but you just want it to be over.

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Street Soldiers 1991- cheesy street gang movie.  It's played straight, but comes off a bit goofy.  There's a good amout of funny dialogue- "you're causing me a lot of shit karate man."  And there's a good pop/rock soundtrack.   I had fun with this one.    I bought it to see Hwang Jang Lee in an American movie.  He gives a good menacing performance as the main bad guy's silent sidekick, but he doesn't get to fight much.  He does fight Jun Chong which could have been good, but it's done American style with uninspired editing.

 

You gotta admit though...lead villain Priest had the best lines in that movie: "Where's my bitch?!" and "Can Julie come out and play?" That was Jun Chong's last movie until 2006's Maximum Cage Fighting and his recent cameo in Underdog Kids.

Edited by AlbertV

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Ku Huen Chiu was one of Yuen Woo-Ping's protégés, working as assistant action director on nearly everything Yuen did from the early 1990s up through House of Fury. He also stunt doubled for Jet Li as early as 1993 on The Tai Chi Master and subsequently most of his other films up until The Warlords. He then struck out on his own, working on 14 Blades and The Four trilogy, among other projects.

thanks for the info.  Did he get any decent acting/fighting roles?

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You gotta admit though...lead villain Priest had the best lines in that movie: "Where's my bitch?!" and "Can Julie come out and play?" That was Jun Chong's last movie until 2006's Maximum Cage Fighting and his recent cameo in Underdog Kids.

 

Yeah the villain Priest is funny.  His voice is so forced, it reminds me of Christian Bale's horrible Batman voice.   

 

 I probably wouldn't know about this movie if I didn't read your review Albert. Cool to see Hwang in an American movie.  

Edited by Morgoth Bauglir

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thanks for the info.  Did he get any decent acting/fighting roles?

Alas, no. Unless it was him fighting Jet Li in the final fight of THE ONE.

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Have just watched S.P.L.2.Didnt think too much of it,2 talented martial artists in Wu Jing and Tony Jaa yet they were on wires so much during the fight scenes it became a little dull.Wires are ok when they are needed but they are on wires just to perform basic kicks.All a little too much for me

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I watched "Dragon Blade" over the weekend and, you know what? I really liked it. A little to sentimental, a little slow and there were some questionable performances but, overall, I enjoyed it immensely. I loved seeing Jackie not play a goof and still break out some solid fight scenes. Lovely weapon work, some pretty good battle scenes and, hell, even John Cusack looked good! Or should I say his double?
I don't see why the film is getting so much hate. I think it's thoroughly entertaining and could only be better if it was cut down by about twenty minutes. Oh and if that kid wasn't in it at all.

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I am sure Cusack was doubled for some things, but he actually is a martial artist and he was the reason why Benny Urquidez was found on the set. It was because Urquidez trained Cusack for the film, considering that he is Cusack's martial arts teacher in real life. 

 

Like you DM, I really enjoyed it overall. The only thing I felt they didn't need was the whole Vanness Wu-Karena Lam angle in the modern day. That was far-fetched IMO. 

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I am sure Cusack was doubled for some things, but he actually is a martial artist and he was the reason why Benny Urquidez was found on the set. It was because Urquidez trained Cusack for the film, considering that he is Cusack's martial arts teacher in real life. 

 

Like you DM, I really enjoyed it overall. The only thing I felt they didn't need was the whole Vanness Wu-Karena Lam angle in the modern day. That was far-fetched IMO. 

Couldn't agree more. It didn't need a modern angle at all and that final scene was so horribly over the top it made me cringe.

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Yeah the villain Priest is funny.  His voice is so forced, it reminds me of Christian Bale's horrible Batman voice.   

 

 I probably wouldn't know about this movie if I didn't read your review Albert. Cool to see Hwang in an American movie.  

Thanks to you Morgoth, I revisited this the other night. I just realized that one of Priest's boys, Fabian Carillo, would take the lead in 2006 martial arts action film called Latin Dragon, where he played a guy who returns home and finds corruption in his hometown. Gary Busey was the villain in it. I need to see this one again, even though it wasn't that great of a film. He did some other MA films too back in the day.

 

And the big goofball of Priest's bunch would later play another goofball character, football player Ox, on the TV show Saved by the Bell

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City Hunter. And how did Jackie Chan get this role???

Police Story 3: Supercop cost so much to make that it took the Pan-Asian Market to clear a profit. Golden Harvest then wanted Jackie to make some more modest projects to make up for it, so they paired him up with Wong Jing, who was known for working both cheap and fast, and who had a history for making more hits than misses, at least with regards to the local box office.

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Police Story 3: Supercop cost so much to make that it took the Pan-Asian Market to clear a profit. Golden Harvest then wanted Jackie to make some more modest projects to make up for it, so they paired him up with Wong Jing, who was known for working both cheap and fast, and who had a history for making more hits than misses, at least with regards to the local box office.

Thanks for clearing that one up, I couldn't find any information regarding weier78's question. I guess the on location shoots cant have been cheap?.

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Thanks for clearing that one up, I couldn't find any information regarding weier78's question. I guess the on location shoots cant have been cheap?.

Yeah, since they shot on location in HK, Mainland China, Thailand and Malaysia. There's the whole bit about building almost an entire Thai village just to blow it up. And I imagine the helicopter/sports car/van/motorcyle set piece at the end couldn't have been cheap to set up.

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I'm not sure technically this belongs here, but there is some martial arts in it.  Plus I thought of the thread on wire-fu when I was watching the ending:

The Defender aka Bodyguard from Beijing (1994: Corey Yuen) Hong Kong
 
I was surprised on how ultimately mediocre this was.  Obviously this was influenced by 1992’s The Bodyguard with a few key differences but the crux remains the same.  Like the former Li is hired to bodyguard a spoiled woman (Christy Chung) who was a witness to a triad murder. They will eventually fall in love with each other. 
 
The shootouts were disappointing.  The common mistake that “bullets hit secondary characters but not main characters” was prevalent (so much so that bullets which ricochet off small metal columns right in front of the characters instead of hitting their targets.) Jet Li shoots way too much and does not particularly look adept at doing it.

There is not much fighting in the movie and the finale with Jet Li versus former Red Guard Wong (Collin Chou) disappoints.  There are a few too noticeable wire uses that detract.  It is also edited too quickly.  But one of the most annoying aspects was the use of gas in this scene (apparently the characters have gills).  It is so inexplicably stupid that is furrowed by brow.  Wait I just remembered something even more idiotic.  The fact that several characters could outrace bullets fired.  Apparently the bullets are so incredibly slow that you could step in front of someone from a large distance to prevent them from being shot (there is one scene even worse than this, but it is a little harder to explain as well as it is a spoiler.)  Another hilarious aspect was that the house that was being watched all of sudden had 30 or so thugs just appear.  How do you get such a large crowd into a watched house without being noticed?  I liked how many of the bodies just disappear and new cronies suddenly appear to be taken out.  It is like a video game with spawning bad guys. The whole finale is a huge mess and I could write an essay on all the issues with it.
 
I watched this in the Dragon Dynasty 5 Movie Collection.  This is a glorified version of the Weinstein release.  Not too much was cut from the original (differences here) and this comes with the Cantonese track which has the Cantonese songs that were missing from the English track so that is plus.  Though the beginning and end credits are from the Weinstein release.  Like with most DD releases there is a Spanish subtitle track.  The movie is not a plus though.

Edited by masterofoneinchpunch

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Oh man I love the final fight in this one.  But after reading your thoughts I may not like it as much if I ever rewatch it?

[on the finale] The problem with me is that the logic goes out the window.  Not counting the insane amount of people in the house, but after that when the fight first started I was liking it.  Some small initial problems with the editing and the wires overemphasizing the movements (sometimes too noticeable, but sometimes done decently enough where it gives a little extra boost, however when you do something physically impossible for this type of film it feels wrong) but there is just one cliché, one logic mistake after another.  I do not mind turning off my brain, but I cannot completely shut it down.  Outrunning fireballs is physically impossible (done in so many films), but still more logical then outrunning bullets.  I like Jet Li and Chou, especially when Li is doing multiple hits or Chou is doing some kicks.  I did not hate the fight scene itself (which I probably should have written in there) but everything surrounding that scene was one issue after another.   

 

Another issue I will just state with that great quote from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (this fits the ending): "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."

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