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.(more…)
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.(more…)
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.(more…)
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.(more…)
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.(more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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! (more…)
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.