September 19, 2013
A handful of recent movies have served up sections of the life of 20th century kung fu master Ip Man, whose teachings, like the proverbial Velvet Underground myth about rock bands, spawned a generation's worth of martial artists (including Bruce Lee). Five years after the crowd-pleasing early-days action film "Ip Man," and on the heels of Wong Kar Wai's meditative epic "The Grandmaster," comes Herman Yau's so-so opus "Ip Man: The Final Fight. " Covering the Chinese legend's later years in British-controlled 1950s Hong Kong - here represented by colorful if backlot-obvious street sets - it features sturdy character actor Anthony Wong in the title role.
August 23, 2013 |
Wong Kar Wai is known as an international master of moody romance, making films filled with a yearning melancholy. His "In the Mood for Love" was the only film from this century to make the Top 25 of a recent Sight & Sound poll of the greatest films of all time. So news that he was making a kung fu film tracing the life of Ip Man, who would famously go on to train Bruce Lee, caught many of his fans off-guard. Playing now in Los Angeles, the long-awaited film has already been the biggest commercial hit of Wong's career in China, even with its unlikely combination of a rousing martial arts story and a moving tale of romantic longing.
June 13, 2013 |
The Hollywood Museum is celebrating the legacy of the late David Carradine, who was best known for his role in the 1970s TV series, "Kung Fu" and for his title role in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" martial arts flicks. "The Barefoot Legend: David Carradine - a Contemporary Renaissance Man" opens June 21 at the museum , located at the venerable Max Factor Building in Hollywood, and continues through September. The exhibit will feature costumes, props and other materials, including his personal sword collection, that shine the spotlight not only on his acting career, but his work as an artist and musician.
December 29, 2012 |
BEIJING - The men who barged through Shen Jianzhong's door probably thought it was a routine assignment: Break in and beat Shen's family into submission. Forced evictions to make way for real estate development are an everyday occurrence in China, and the family may have seemed no different from any in that situation. It was only after they forced open the door, threw Shen's wife to the ground and began to beat her that they learned the 38-year-old Shen and his 18-year-old son are kung fu masters.
November 2, 2012 |
Russell Crowe: Serious thespian, Oscar winner, rage-prone phone thrower -- kung fu movie star? Fans of New Zealand's most celebrated dramatic export were mystified to discover that Crowe had signed on to appear in hip-hop superstar turned first-time filmmaker the RZA's directorial debut “The Man With the Iron Fists.” The rollicking martial arts mini-epic, shot on location in Shanghai, features ninja prostitutes, a bad guy with body-morphic brass...
November 1, 2012 |
"The Man With the Iron Fists" is a wildly whirling martial arts spectacle with an endless array of exotic knives, a penchant for Zen philosophizing and an unquenchable thirst for blood. It may just be one of the best bad movies ever. I do not confer such infamy lightly, but the flaws are far more amusing than infuriating and its director/writer/star, RZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame, is mesmerizing. There is nothing subtle about the film, including its abject devotion to classic kung fu fare.