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Kung Fu Action 
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Post Kung Fu Action
I haven't seen a damn thing in this category, except Crouching Tiger and Hero. Any recommendations, particularly of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li films?


Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:43 am
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
Game of Death is a fantastic, unintentional comedy. The editing will give you tears of laughter.


Have you seen Hero? Not specifically a Kung Fu film, but worth a look.

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:06 am
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
Kung Fu Hustle's a good choice fi you're looking for a comedy.

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:41 am
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
MGamesCook wrote:
I haven't seen a damn thing in this category, except Crouching Tiger and Hero.


NotHughGrant wrote:
Have you seen Hero? .


I'm guessing he has.


Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon represents one of the high water marks of this genre. There are a small handful of Jackie Chan movies that are oodles of fun Drunken Master comes to mind. As far as Jet Li, I've got a fondness for The One. It's not top shelf, but has some good martial arts. Don't overlook Chow Yun Fat's The Killer. The release I saw was subtitled, but action speaks louder than subtitles...

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:42 am
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
I would recommend Kiss Of The Dragon.


Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:33 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
This is a genre I enjoy, but I'm not a super-expert with an endless supply of trivia and recommended titles. I've seen a lot of the must-see stuff, though, so I can make a few recommendations.

Enter The Dragon - This is essential. It's extravagantly made and includes a little bit of Eastern culture and martial arts philosophy to go with the action. Lee himself is incredible, and his co-stars don't lie down on the job, either. Lee's earlier movies have their moments (among others, an intricate fight with Chuck Norris in the Coliseum in Way of the Dragon), but this is the one that would have made him the biggest action star on the planet. If you can, get your hands on the DVD that includes the documentary Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey, which documents and partially reconstructs Lee's vision for his unfinished movie, Game Of Death. (There is a Bruce Lee film in the marketplace called Game Of Death, but it is an exploitative chop job that recycles some of Lee's footage and purposes it toward an original story. Absolutely terrible.)

Police Story - One of Jackie Chan's projects from when he'd first gained some serious creative clout. His stated goal was that the fighting should be a little more authentic and less obviously choreographed; to that end, opponents do not soak up a million hits before falling, and when they do fall, they land pretty hard. The shooting and cutting in this one is some of the most solid action filmmaking I've seen. The style lets everything hang out, so the plausibility of the action rests entirely on the meticulous staging. And, of course, Jackie is a wizard at devising show-stopping stunts, but everybody knows that.

Ong Bak - Tony Jaa is Thailand's answer to Jackie Chan, at least in terms of ambitious choreography and stuntwork. He's an incredibly athletic actor who insists on doing his own stunts without wire work or computer assistance. Many of the sequences in this film originated as set pieces that Jaa put together as a demo reel when he was first trying to break into action films. The plot of this one is that a country boy goes to the city to track down an artifact stolen from his village, which is pretty much all you need to know to appreciate the mayhem that ensues.

Drunken Master II - Jackie again. The previous movie in this series was, as far as I know, his first attempt to weave threads of slapstick comedy into the action, and it was also an early appearance of a persona that Jackie would come to play in many of his roles: that of the mischievous layabout who only springs into action when he has no other option. This, in my view, is a big reason why Jackie became one of the most well-known post-Lee martial arts stars. While Lee mastered the stern, stoic persona that would be imitated by countless others, Jackie deliberately went in a different direction and forged his own identity. Drunken Master is fitfully entertaining, but Drunken Master II is a substantial improvement in every way. Jackie's non-U.S. filmography has enough gems that it could probably fill a thread of its own. (II was debuted in the U.S. as Legend of the Drunken Master, and it might still exist here under that title.)

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
I recommend Forbidden Kingdom, which has both Jet Li and Jackie Chan, as well as the Drunken Master movies and Jet Li's Fearless. Iron Monkey has its moments. A couple of other funny Stephen Chow comedies are Shaolin Soccer and God of Cookery.

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:50 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
I've recently enjoyed Ip Man (Yip Man) and it's sequel. A lot of Chinese jingoism, but if you don't mind that sort of stuff there is some pretty cool fighting depicted in these movies. Perhaps best not to watch them if you might be sensitive to negative portrayals of Japanese or UK peoples as the foreign occupiers.

Like others, I really enjoy much of Jackie Chan's work.


Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:08 am
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
I'm a little bit confused here: Are you looking for good Hong Kong/ Chinese action movies in general, good martial arts movies or - as implied by the term "Kung Fu movie" - cheesy 70ies Kung Fu films?

Some of the recommendations by fellow posters have little to do with martial arts. Jackie Chan's Police Story-movies are not very martial arts-centric (although they have a few martial arts scenes like police thrillers may have fist fights). "Police Story 3: Supercop" is the best one. John Woo's late 80ies/early 90ies "heroic bloodshed" movies, such as "The Killer" are simply Hong Kong-based gangster movies with very stylish shootouts but no martial arts whatsoever.

I'd say that you've probably seen the high water mark of martial arts movies in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". If you liked it and "Hero", you might enjoy "House of Flying Daggers", too. (I didn't, though.) Other recommendations:

Jackie Chan's "Drunken Master II" has already been mentioned and is his best martial arts-centric movie. He plays the legendary real life Kung Fu master Wong Fei-Hung as a comedic character. Don't bother looking for "Drunken Master I", which is not related and pretty rubbish. As stated, the Police Story movies are all right and #3 is very good, but there isn't too much mano a mano fighting (excellent action, though). I also like "Rumble in the Bronx" and "Jackie Chan's First Strike" as well as "Project A" (Part 1 and 2). Don't bother with any U.S. productions as safety regulations (as well as age) have prevented them from featuring Jackie Chan's best stuntwork.

The definitive Jet Li movies are the "Once upon a Time in China" series, of which the first three ones are good to very good. (I believe parts 4 to 6 don't even feature Jet Li.) Just like Jackie Chan in "Drunken Master", Jet Li also plays Wong Fei-Hung in this series, but in a serious (and slightly nationalist) interpretation. The Western action movies starring Jet Li generally don't show his skills to best effect ("The One", "Kiss of the Dragon" etc.).

Bruce Lee only made four movies. (Plus the abomination which is Game of Death, cobbled together post mortem with the assistance of kinda-lookalikes from outtakes and a few scenes for a never completed movie. NotHughGrant is correct though: It's hilariously awful at times.) All of them are only worth watching for the excellent fight scenes (generally true of martial arts movies, but particularly with regard to Lee's filmography). "Enter the Dragon" is the one to watch because it marked the breakthrough for martial arts movies in the West.

Some 70ies output by the legendary Shaw Brothers studio from Hong Kong is actually quite good (or fun at least). "Five (Deadly) Venoms" is a cheesy cult classic. "(The One-armed Boxer vs.) The Master of the Flying Guillotine" is even more cheesy and great fun (depending on your sense of humour). "The 36th Chamber of the Shaolin" is also a fine martial arts movie and gave rise to the "training regime" type of Kung Fu movies. King Hu's "A Touch of Zen" is highly regarded and in tone not dissimilar to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".

If you can stomach an odd brew of Horror, Romance, Fantasy, Slapstick and Martial Arts, check out the first "A Chinese Ghost Story" movie

Of recent movies, I've been impressed by "Ong Bak" (already mentioned) or rather the skills of Muay Thai fighter and stuntman Tony Jaa. "The Raid" also has excellent martial arts, albeit of an Indonesian style. Overall, both films are lacking as a result of weaknesses of the story and characters. "Ip Man" starring Donnie Yen is a more traditional Chinese Kung Fu movie showing the Wing Chun style to great effect.


Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:34 am
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
CasualDad wrote:
I've recently enjoyed Ip Man (Yip Man) and it's sequel.


I'd completely forgotten about this movie. It recently showed at our local campus film series and it was pretty darned good. I noted that in my previous post I'd omitted the II in the title of Drunken Master II. I've never seen DM 1 and couldn't recommend it.

-A guilty pleasure movie of mine and the very first DVD I ever bought (pawn shop find) was Mortal Kombat.
(runs away and hides behind car door)

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Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:29 am
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
Awf Hand wrote:
CasualDad wrote:
I've recently enjoyed Ip Man (Yip Man) and it's sequel.


I'd completely forgotten about this movie. It recently showed at our local campus film series and it was pretty darned good. I noted that in my previous post I'd omitted the II in the title of Drunken Master II. I've never seen DM 1 and couldn't recommend it.

-A guilty pleasure movie of mine and the very first DVD I ever bought (pawn shop find) was Mortal Kombat.
(runs away and hides behind car door)

Same here, I only I don't feel "guilty" about liking Mortal Kombat, I would also recommend MK: Annihilation.


Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
Annihilation made me so mad when I was 12. I'd had fun with the first Mortal Kombat movie, and was excited for the sequel.

It's honestly one of the worst movies I've ever seen.


Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:37 am
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
AJR wrote:
Annihilation made me so mad when I was 12. I'd had fun with the first Mortal Kombat movie, and was excited for the sequel.

It's honestly one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Eh, it's definitely not worse then the Twilight films.


Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:26 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
It's interesting that you bring that up, because you got me thinking about it... and I think it might actually be.

Consider this: for me, the lingering impressions of Twilight and MK: Annihilation are largely the same to me. Amateurish, cheesy, slapdash, pandering, and so forth. The difference is, I saw Twilight as an adult, and, I will admit, was predisposed to judge it harshly. Don't get me wrong--I think it's a bad movie and I stand by that opinion, but I did not go into it with optimism. MK: Annihilation, on the other hand, I saw as an excitable 12 year old boy. I went in as a gamer and a fan, predisposed to liking it.

So when I say that my impressions are largely the same, it's important to point out that my impressions of Twilight were formed by an adult with (relatively) sophisticated standards. Of course it was going to suck. My impressions of MK: Annihilation were formed by the standards I had when I was a child... so it had to be REALLY bad. Probably way worse than I remember.

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Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
Well I saw that film only a few years ago, so I doubt my opinion of it would change if I saw it again.


Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
One minor thing in MK's favor is that I don't think it was earmarked to be a huge financial success like Twilight was. They're both big stinky piles, but MK aimed for a niche audience and it was marketed accordingly. It covered the bases, crammed in as many characters from the games as possible, gave everybody a chance to do a signature move... it's bad, but it knows what it's shooting for.

Even if Twilight isn't as bad, it's more insulting, because it was released with the expectation that the general public would turn out in droves and swallow the whole load of shit. Its financiers don't think as much of our intelligence.

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Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:24 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
Vexer wrote:
Awf Hand wrote:
CasualDad wrote:
I've recently enjoyed Ip Man (Yip Man) and it's sequel.


I'd completely forgotten about this movie. It recently showed at our local campus film series and it was pretty darned good. I noted that in my previous post I'd omitted the II in the title of Drunken Master II. I've never seen DM 1 and couldn't recommend it.

-A guilty pleasure movie of mine and the very first DVD I ever bought (pawn shop find) was Mortal Kombat.
(runs away and hides behind car door)

Same here, I only I don't feel "guilty" about liking Mortal Kombat, I would also recommend MK: Annihilation.


The original MK is the one Paul WS Anderson movie I found recommendable, albeit marginally. Sure the characters are one-dimensional, there's no suspense and the story is predictable as hell. But it offers just what it promises: trashy action.

Ken wrote:
but MK aimed for a niche audience and it was marketed accordingly. It covered the bases, crammed in as many characters from the games as possible, gave everybody a chance to do a signature move... it's bad, but it knows what it's shooting for.


Bullseye! It was targeted primarily at the audience that was familiar with it from the video game and for them it worked. I liked it when I saw it at 16/17. Today I'm fairly ambivalent about it and I never got around to watching MK Annihilation partly because it looked awful, partly because I was out of my gamer phase by then. But I would still argue that MK Is better than 95% of the other video game adaptations and more enjoyable than the very similar Van Damme film The Quest which was released not long after.

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Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:33 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
Even being a Van Damme fan, I did not care much for "The Quest", it proved that directing was not JC's forte, the film was largely an inferior remake of Bloodsport, only with much weaker fight scenes and worse acting(Roger Moore looked incredibly embarassed to be in that damn clown make-up), just a tedious bore of a film overall.


Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:53 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
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The original MK is the one Paul WS Anderson movie I found recommendable, albeit marginally. Sure the characters are one-dimensional, there's no suspense and the story is predictable as hell. But it offers just what it promises: trashy action.


I seem to remember Event Horizon garnering respect from some people around here. Definitely a scary concept, fun 90s cast, Anderson does some really interesting things with the zero-G.

Anyway, I'll have to check out some of these recommendations. I guess there's a couple different subcategories to think about here though. I have seen Hero, anything with Ziyi Zhang is a must for me. She was beyond mesmerizing in 2046, one of the most depressing movies I've ever seen (powerful, as such). I'm interested in her new action movie with Wong Kar Wai, The Grandmaster. Also Curse of the Golden Flower, by Zhang Yimou, and I want to check out some Chen Kaige. His historical action dramas look very interesting.


Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:52 pm
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Post Re: Kung Fu Action
Last word on Mortal Kombat. This was in heacy rotation on my high school's radio station.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU7gPxDsFjE

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Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:51 pm
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