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

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Legacy of Rage

 

Solid flick. Nothing great, but I gotta say the only other Brandon Lee flick I’ve seen being the Crow, this was much better to me! After seeing this, I’d like to see more, a shame how things are... The guy kinda had it all it would seem..

 

Final shootout was awesome, some hilarious ragdolling and knee cap shooting! Brandon definitely tries to use some of his Dads mannerisms, less effectively than the main Bruce clones, 😂. I wonder if this was his doing, or if he was pushed to do this by the directors?

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8 hours ago, paimeifist said:

I wonder if this was his doing, or if he was pushed to do this by the directors?

 

Great to see you back on the forum @paimeifist, we all inherit physical traits from our parents. I'm not sure how much was the filmaker's infleunce, and how much was it was down to genetic's. Note, this was the only Hong Kong movie he made.

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Recently sat down to catch Triple Threat, for those Kung Fu Fandom readers who are interested in my ramblings. You can click on the usual link below, thank you.

 

 

 

triple-threat-portuguese-movie-poster.jp

Edited by DragonClaws

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Man With The Iron Fists

thought i'd give this a second chance, unfortunately i still think the film is a mess. RZA's obviously a fan, there's some nice nods to ETD in there, even a GOD quote "you shouldn't have done that" , features Chen Kuan Tai,Gordon Liu, Jon Benn  but underuses all of them. The hip hop music is inappruopiate and a portly Russel Crowe ambles about thinking WTF for the most part. Good intentions, poor execution.

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Man With The Iron Fists 2

DTV sequel retains RZA as the title character but loses the big name stars and old school cameos of the first. As DTV movies go,watchable but very forgettable.I doubt we'll see a third.

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Naked Weapon (Hong Kong, 2002: Tony Ching Siu-Tung) - Sort of a remake of the 1992 classic Naked Killer, but with plot elements that would show up in Azumi a year later. Forty young girls are kidnapped by the evil Madam M (Almen Wong, of Her Name is Cat) and trained to be ruthless, sexy assassins. The three that graduate the "Quarter Quell" are Maggie Q, her borderline-lesbian friend Anya (of Kung Fu Killer II), and Jewell Lee (the high-kicking hitwoman in Fist Power). Those three are sent into the world to commit high-profile assassinations, with federal agent Daniel Wu and Japanese criminal Ryuichi (Andrew Lin, of The Blacksheep Affair) on their tail.

The action is typical Ching Siu-Tung fare: lots of flipping, twisting, posing, wires, stunt doubles, and balletic swordplay (with machetes). It's basically the action sequences from The Heroic Trio and The Blacksheep Affair cranked up to 11. I found the action entertaining, as I don't hold Ching Siu-Tung's work up to the same standard as I do Corey Yuen, Yuen Woo-Ping and Sammo Hung. If he does over-the-top wire action in a Ching Siu-Tung film, I don't complain. It's always been his style and I know he won't change for the likes of me. I'm surprised this film got passed up for a nomination for Best Action Choreography, as it has more and better action than Infernal Affairs; Princess D; and The Touch played consecutively...twice.

One big flaw is the infamous rape sequence. Almen Wong invites the surviving assassins to a special dinner after having killed all their "classmates." She then drugs them and has her guards rape them. First of all, WTF!!?? Second, WTF!!?? Finally, Almen's explanation that the purpose is to get them ready to engage in unpleasant kinkiness as the job might require doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.

Speaking of sense, this film completely fails on the most basic levels of storytelling. This is strange, considering that Ching was able to handle more complex storytelling in the Chinese Ghost Story and Swordsman films. The central premise of the film makes no sense on any level: a process that spends six years to train a single female assassin, who'll get a million-dollar-a-year-salary and still make enough money to suppor the lavish lifestyle of Madam M, *and* pay for the training of a replacement when she's eventually caught and/or killed, which means another six-year lull. Madam M brings up rules only to break them in the next scene. Daniel Wu exists only to remind us the viewer that the Law Enforcement is somehow involved and also give Maggie Q someone to have a consensual heterosexual sex scene with. The introduction of Andrew Lin as the main villain in the last act completely deflates the tension that should exist between Maggie Q and Madam M, who has had her kidnapped, brainwashed, raped, and stripped of her humanity. Killing Madam M offscreen is the nail in the coffin. This is one of the worst-plotted movies I personally have ever seen.

And yet, if you like action and/or have mature sexual fantasies of Maggie Q, then you'll find something to enjoy here.

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Heart of the Dragon

 

More of a drama film than anything else. If you can understand/get past the (over)acting style, it’s a pretty good, even touching movie. There isn’t much if any action until the last half an hour, when it becomes just an explosion of fantastic fighting and shooting. Solid film, although not among the best of Jackie and Sammo, but hey, not much is. The montage at the end did drag on a bit. (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie).

 

Features some martial arts actors who were past their best days, and somewhat out of their ordinary element in this film; such as Phillip Ko, which I thought was cool.

Edited by paimeifist

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2000 A.D.  (Hong Kong, 2000: Gordon Chan) - Another one of those late 90s/early 00s action movies from Hong Kong full slick production values, attractive people and watered-down action meant to attract viewers in foreign markets. This one has a nerdy, kung fu-saavy game developer (Aaron Kwok) avenging the murder of his brother (Ray Lui, of Flash Point) at the hands of corrupt CIA agents, led by Andrew Lin (The Blacksheep Affair). Along for the ride is his brother's fiancée (Phyllis Quek--I love how the Chinese give their children Anglicized names that have long fallen out of favor in the West...like how they've given us two directors and an actor named "Bosco"), his best friend (Daniel Wu, who's also a nerdy kung fu-saavy game developer), and his girlfriend (Gigi Choi). The MacGuffin is a computer program that can hack into otherwise unhackable places and destroy their files.

This movie is not very good. There are two decent action sequences, courtesy of Yuen Tak. One is a shootout in a car garage. The other is a fight atop a building between Kwok and Lin, with a Singaporean cop joining the fun. The rest is annoying and illogical. And can someone tell me what the opening sequence with the jets has to do with anything that comes after? Also, the music rarely fits the mood of the scene it accompanies, and the final high-energy pop song is at complete odds with everything we've heard before. Moreover, the CGI is atrocious. Gordon Chan's work is so inconsistent, I can't help but think that Fist of Legend was either a fluke, or that its success had more to do with Jet Li and Yuen Woo-Ping than it did with Chan himself. If you want late 90s HK action, stick with Who Am I? and The Blacksheep Affair.

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Merantau by Gareth Evans.

 

First, I want to admit that I like Iko Uwais performance very much, his work as actor and action director is impressive, that's outstanding work. The problem, in my opinion is the directing. The raid is rubbish, the raid 2 is the pinnacle of pretentious crap but merantau is pooly directed but watchable, thanks to the actors, except laurent buson who strongly overracts.

Regarding directing and writing that's a failure at all levels, the scripts lacks tensions and ideas, the framing is awful and the cinematography, especially the color is just plain awful. Merantau could have been a decent movie with a decent asian director, not just another pawn from western film school.

Garbage movie, but watchable thanks to Sisca Jessica and Iko Uwais.

 

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I had an appointment with screen criminal Cain Burgess, over the weekend. Tap/Click on the link below, for my complete Avengement fueled ramble, thank you.

 

 

 

 

Prison yard excercise time for Cain Burgess.

MV5BMjc3M2RhNDAtY2Y0Yi00YmMxLTk5MjMtNDEz

Edited by DragonClaws

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Once a Thief (Hong Kong, 1991: John Woo) - Chow Yun-Fat, Leslie Cheung and Cherie Chung are a trio of art thieves working for their adopted father, played by Kenneth Tsang. During what might be their final job--steal a supposedly haunted painting from a well-guarded French castle--the thieves are betrayed by their employer at the behest of their "dad" (unbeknownst to them). Chow Yun-Fat disappears after his car explodes, but shows up years later in a wheelchair. He teams up with Leslie Cheung one last time to re-steal the painting, but everybody has their own agenda.

This is more of a character-based comedy than it is a heroic bloodshed film, although it does have two major shootouts in it. Chow Yun-Fat overacts a storm, while Leslie Cheung plays a more serious foil to his antics. Cherie Chung is attractive, but like many John Woo female characters, she stays on the sidelines when the action gets hot. There's a nice car chase midway through and the robbery sequences are well mounted. Chow (and his stunt double) even do some over-the-top martial arts at the climax.

That said, I didn't like it as much as I liked John Woo's other movies. I guess I don't expect the multi-tone approach to filmmaking that I'd expect from Corey Yuen or Sammo Hung. Moreover, I thought the story was a bit weak and the relationship that the three leads have with their adoptive father and their policeman moral compass (Chu Kong) needed to be explored more. I guess it's entertaining, but whatever.

 

Dog Bite Dog (Hong Kong, 2006: Soi Cheang) - A Cambodian hit man (Edison Chen) kills a barrister in front of a bunch of witnesses at a restaurant. A pair of cops (Sam Lee & Lam Suet) find him and try to arrest him, but he gets away, leaving two bystanders and Lam dead in his wake. Thus begins our story, in which Sam Lee becomes increasingly more brutal in his relentless quest to bring the unnamed hitman to justice. The CID cops on his team try to shield from meddling Internal Affairs officers, and then turn on him, and finally become just as bad as him as the bodies pile up. At the end of the movie, everybody is dead, but not before having become monsters themselves.

This is one of those movies that you watch when you want the asteroid to just hit Earth immediately. The movie spends a lot of time in garbage dumps and other less-savory locations in Hong Kong, occupied by less-savory people. Lots of people are shot, stabbed and/or brutally beaten. It ends on a knife fight that focuses more on the characters trying to rip each other open, then on any sort of fighting technique. Even the brief cage fights during the Cambodian segment don't feature Pradal Serey (the Cambodian equivalent to muay thai) as much as they look like those brutal mandigo fights from Django Unchained. The movie is pure brutality.

I didn't like the fact that the last 15 minutes are set in Cambodia, mainly because it sets up the final showdown in a way that's too far-fetched. I'd rather the movie ended with:

Spoiler

Sam Lee's team all dying, him getting arrested for his crimes by Internal Affairs, his dad committing suicide, the Mainland girl dying of tetanus, and Edison getting away in an "I'm-alive-but-why?" sort of situation.

 

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Message Man (2018).

Interesting movie. First I'm impressed by Paul O'Brien, he's really an impressive actor. The action is ok, but the miserable directing ruins all the good work. Sad. It's still an entertaining movie, but like the raid movies I have a feeling like an underachievement, it could have been so great with a decent directing...

Decent time anyway.

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Spent all day Friday watching American martial arts movies with my 91-year old grandmother and she said afterwards...I want to see more like this!

No Retreat, No Surrender II (1987)
Mission of Justice (1993)
Martial Law 2: Undercover (1991)
Showdown (1993)

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Master Z: IP Man Legacy

Enjoyed the heck out of this. Stylish as heck, good fights, and the music was fitting as well. They did a great job with the final fight, but the ending could have been a little less, rushed.

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Hard Target - Didn’t find this nearly as enjoyable as I used to. It’s like someone told John Woo “the Americans love fire and sparks” and he went balls to the wall with it.

It’s a cheesy slice of fun and Woo always knows how to shoot a gun fight. But the action is scarce until over halfway through and, even then, it’s marred by an over indulgence of slow mo.

Weirdly, my wife said she really enjoyed it. I think she likes 90’s action fluff more than me sometimes.

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Yasmine - caught it on Tubi the other night and really enjoyed it. Chan Man-Ching did a good job with the action scenes, and Liyana Yus (from what I read does wushu) was great in her debut film. 

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Wheels on Meals & Iron Monkey (both Eureka), watched WOM with the original English dub for the first time in years, I've only just finished watching all the extras on both discs and I bought both on release day. Great films that I never get bored with.

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outlaw brothers. James(frankie chan) and Bond are car thieves who end up to involving things of drug gang through family matters. Around is also cop (Yukari Oshima) who has thing going on with James..or something...blah blah

Dialogue scenes feel often awfully boring, didn`t like humor/slapstick neither(except final seconds of flick which was surprise and funny). First action scene James vs security staff is also bit ruined coz slapstick. Here and there are few minor fights, before finale only worth praising is garage brawl Yukari vs thugs, that was good one.

Takes quite long time for Michiko Nishiwaki+his gang of western martial artists to appear.

Some talents of Michikos henchmen are horribly wasted but Jeff Falcon and Mark Houghton have great fights against Frankie and Yukari.

It could have been better, but there are good things around enough to give it revisit one day.

Edited by Tex Killer

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Double Impact - As far as Van Damme films go, this isn't one that you can watch ironically and take the piss out of. It's actually quite fun and is a standard 90's action affair. The performances are solid (again, for a 90's actioner) and the action beats are fun. Bolo's a little wasted in this one, sadly. I wouldn't mark it as my top Van Damme film but it's massively enjoyable and the whole identical twin thing is done very, very well.

Iron Monkey - I've had my struggles with this film in the past but, upon watching it again, I really see why it's considered one of the best kung fu films of the 90's and maybe even one of the best kung fu films of all time.
Tonally, it's all over the place. But the characters are a whole lot of fun and the action is top tier wire-fu. I was even able to look beyond the undercranking this time around. Which was great because it resulted in me loving the fights a lot more. Donnie Yen steals the show and even shows a little range in a particularly emotional moment. Great film.

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ABOVE THE LAW(Righting Wrongs)

Directed by Corey Yuen

Starring Yuen Biao,Cynthia Rothrock,Melvin Wong.

Hadnt seen this in a while and forgot how much action there is on display,one of Yuen’s and Cynthia’s best with ample support from a great cast including Karen Sheperd and Peter Cunningham.Standout fight sequences for me were Yuen vs Cynthia,Yuen vs Cunningham and Cynthia vs henchmen at the airport.Great stuff.👍👍

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The Bride with White Hair

Not really my favourite type of film and the DVD I bought has utter shite picture quality. But I'd say it's a more romantic version of the usual early 90s swordplay fare, loads of scenes at night that are coloured overly blue and back lit. Also the usual folk with bad posture or the ground is extremely sloped as if everyone looks as if they're standing at a 30 degree angle. Who was the first to invent tilting the camera?

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On 8/6/2019 at 1:20 PM, paimeifist said:

Heart of the Dragon

 

More of a drama film than anything else. If you can understand/get past the (over)acting style, it’s a pretty good, even touching movie. There isn’t much if any action until the last half an hour, when it becomes just an explosion of fantastic fighting and shooting. Solid film, although not among the best of Jackie and Sammo, but hey, not much is. The montage at the end did drag on a bit. (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie).

 

Features some martial arts actors who were past their best days, and somewhat out of their ordinary element in this film; such as Phillip Ko, which I thought was cool.

I struggle with the over acting and the mushyness of this one, Sammo in that freezer 😀

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