It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a King Hu movie, and since another of his Taiwanese films, Raining in the Mountain, has been available on the Criterion Channel, I figure it’s time to revisit this film – and it’s arguably a little more Buddhist than his other film of the same year (also shot in Korea), Legend of the Mountain.Continue reading
I’m not a fan of Auteur Theory. Movies, television, and video games have so many people involved in the process of creating them that putting all the weight of a work’s success on a single person weakens the contributions of everyone else in the project. That said, a good director can make a world of difference on a film, not because of their sole artistic vision, but because of the other contributors who they can ask to take part in the project because of their own past experience. Such is the case with In The Line of Duty 4, which has Yuen Woo-Ping in the director’s chair, which in turn makes a world of difference.Continue reading
The In The Line Of Duty series of films is kind of odd as far as film series go. It’s not like the Zombi or the Italian House series – where you had a bunch of directors taking a bunch of desperate films with common elements (zombies or horror films regarding a house respectively), and sticking the label of an existing series of films on them, making for a bunch of films based around a thematic link instead of a narrative link. The first two films in the series – Yes, Madam and Royal Warriors had a thematic link (women police investigators), and a cast link (Michelle Yeoh), but no character linkage, and otherwise did not share a common brand. However, over the course of re-releases and alternative titles, both of those films were re-branded as being the first part of a series of films known as “In The Line of Duty” – with In The Line of Duty 3, from 1988, being technically the third part of that series, but the first to codify the “brand”.Continue reading
Silver Hawk is a film that feels a lot like it’s part of various SE Asian countries (not just Hong Kong, but also Taiwan) film industries’ making their own attempts to follow in the footsteps of the superhero films of the early 2000s – X-Men, the Spider-man movies, and the Blade films.Continue reading
The next film in the MCU is out, and the first one that really moves the timeline forward. So, it gets a little complicated to review without too much in terms of spoilers, so I’m apologizing about that in advance, as I have a Vlog Review of the movie.Continue reading
A Touch of Zen is the third King Hu film I’ve watched so far, and the second of his films after he left Hong Kong and Shaw Brothers for Taiwan. The first, Dragon Inn, kept some of the framework of the Wuxia Western while using Taiwan’s more diverse scenery for great visual effect. A Touch of Zen, on the other hand, leans more heavily into the Wuxia side.Continue reading
I love martial arts films – particularly those from South East Asia (starting with Hong Kong but expanding over time to Thailand, Korea, and Malaysia), thanks to role-playing games – with two, in particular, starting me down this path.
The first was Dragon Fist by Chris Pramas, which seeded my love for wuxia. The other was Feng Shui, which expanded my love to the entire Ur-genre. However, when trying to sell people on Feng Shui, I had to downplay why the game had that title – the concept of a variety of factions from through history, past and future, doing battle over “Feng Shui Sites” – places of great magical power where those who hold them can shape the flow of destiny. If I had seen Bury Me High, I would have had a lot more confidence and just told people to watch this instead.Continue reading
When I reviewed Come Drink With Me on the blog, I described it as a “Wuxia Western,” as the initial plot of the film – with Golden Swallow going to rescue her brother from bandits holed up in a monastery – could easily be the plot of a western. It is only with the introduction of Drunken Cat’s plot that the wuxia elements come to the fore. Dragon Inn, by comparison, maintains a better balance of the concepts, melding them together to make a cohesive whole.Continue reading
It’s been a while since I reviewed a Shaw Brothers film – so it’s time to take a look at one of King Hu’s films with the studio – Come Drink With Me.Continue reading
Come Drink With Me is a wuxia film that I’d describe as half of a conventional wuxia film, and then half a little more gonzo.Continue reading
Magnificent Warriors is another of the early films in Michelle Yeoh’s career – made a little before Royal Warriors. As with Royal Warriors – the film has Michelle Yeoh in the lead, along with another male co-lead in a similar action role, and the third male lead being a comic relief character. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Continue reading
Jackie Chan, as a performer, is frequently compared with Buster Keaton and, as I’ve mentioned in my own review of Police Story at Letterboxd, Charlie Chaplin.
Well, Mr. Vampire, a martial arts horror-comedy film produced by Jackie Chan’s friend and fellow member of the Five Little Fortunes, is what I’d probably describe as the Hong Kong equivalent of the Abbott and Costello Meet… movies. Continue reading
It’s been a while since I reviewed a martial arts film from Hong Kong, and even longer since I reviewed a film from Shaw Brothers. With Netflix including more and more of the Shaw Brothers filmography, now is as good a time as any to revisit the studio and their works. Continue reading
This week I’m reviewing a little known film from the Shaw Brothers. How little known is it? So unknown that I couldn’t find an IMDB page for this film! Continue reading
Last night I went to the Hollywood Theater for their monthly Kung Fu Theater night, and I wanted to give my thoughts on the theater and the films I saw.