Author Topic: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films  (Read 2918 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2019, 02:24:34 AM »
#46 – The Avenging Eagle
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/__NFC1JXk3Q" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/__NFC1JXk3Q</a>
24 points on 2 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #3 (Stethacantus)

Year: 1978
Director: Sun Chung

Summary - Eagle Chief Yoh Xi-hung raises orphans to be his personal killers. One such is Chik Ming-sing who now wants to put his killer life behind him. When the Eagle Clan come after him, a stranger called Cheuk comes to his assistance. Now they will team up to destroy the evil clan.

Ben Johnson at Kung Fu Movie Guide gave it 5-stars and wrote... A terrific doubleheader starring Shaw Brothers mainstays Ti Lung and Fu Sheng in one of the best examples of post-modern wuxia cinema and, particularly, its links to the western. Sun Chung’s direction provides a refreshing tonic to Chang Cheh‘s more broody, righteous potboilers, providing full-bodied characters, quirks, great performances, and a truly original vision. His great use of tracking shots, jump cuts and slow motion display new and creative ways of negotiating around the confines of Shaw Brothers’ stifling Movietown studios.

Full review... http://kungfumovieguide.com/the-avenging-eagle/
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 02:26:12 AM by George-2.0 »


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2019, 02:25:44 AM »
#45 – The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/xPebdMy0b6s" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/xPebdMy0b6s</a>
25 points on 1 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #1 (PsychoGoatee)

Year: 1993
Director: Corey Yuen

Letterboxd summary - This Hong Kong martial-arts extravaganza tells of evil emperors and true love. The secret Red Lotus Flower Society is committed to the overthrow of the evil Manchu Emperor and his minions. One of his Governors is sent on a mission to retrieve a list of members of that secret society. Meanwhile, Canton kung fu practitioner Fong Sai-Yuk falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a rich merchant.

Critic Marc Savlov wrote... Dazzles with some of the most breathtakingly choreographed fight scenes witnessed in years, including one show-stopper featuring a full battle waged atop the heads and shoulders of an awestruck crowd of gawkers.


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2019, 02:27:36 AM »
#44 – Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/OMetJXYyXgQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/OMetJXYyXgQ</a>
25 points on 1 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #1 (ColeStratton)

Year: 2002
Director: Steve Oedekerk

A movie within a movie, created to spoof the martial arts genre. Writer/director Steve Oedekerk uses contemporary characters and splices them into a 1970s kung-fu film, weaving the new and old together. As the main character, The Chosen One, Oedekerk sets off to avenge the deaths of his parents at the hands of kung-fu legend Master Pain. Along the way, he encounters some strange characters


Offline stethacantus

  • Not Hurt By Pain
  • ******
  • Posts: 1240
  • Liked: 189
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2019, 07:48:54 AM »
Legendary Weapons of China, seriously? Out of the several superb movies Lau Kar-leung/Liu Chia-Liang directed, he selected that turd as one of the 10 best of all time? Sorry, but I thought it was an irritatingly stupid movie.

Had Ric Meyers ranked that list instead of simply saying "In no particular order..." then Legendary Weapons of China would have been #1, because there is an entire chapter where he calls it the greatest martial arts movie of all time. The reasons he gave was because it was entirely about martial arts itself instead of simply being an action hero that knows how to fight, and because the ending fight used every traditional Chinese martial arts weapon.  I began buying bootleg Shaw Brothers films mostly because  of reading that book ( which was very pro-Shaw Brothers Studios ) and was very disappointed by Legendary Weapons of China. Just out of the Shaw Brothers bootlegs alone there were many that I thought were much better.   It's a very good film, especially if you were to edit out the Fu Sheng character and subplot, but I never thought it was one of the greatest. But Ric Meyers gave it enough of a reputation that IMAGE chose it to be among the 25 Shaw Brothers movies they released.


Offline Edward J Grug III

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 16628
  • Liked: 2902
  • Forum Tokens Collected: 5000
    • Glorious Bounty
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2019, 03:48:56 PM »
I very much enjoyed Kung Pow at the time, but I have a feeling it's better left in my memory than revisited.
FINE


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2019, 03:59:28 PM »
I don't recall liking Kung Pow a whole lot, though there were a few good gags in it. I've never had the urge to revisit it.

Legendary Weapons of China, seriously? Out of the several superb movies Lau Kar-leung/Liu Chia-Liang directed, he selected that turd as one of the 10 best of all time? Sorry, but I thought it was an irritatingly stupid movie.

Had Ric Meyers ranked that list instead of simply saying "In no particular order..." then Legendary Weapons of China would have been #1, because there is an entire chapter where he calls it the greatest martial arts movie of all time. The reasons he gave was because it was entirely about martial arts itself instead of simply being an action hero that knows how to fight, and because the ending fight used every traditional Chinese martial arts weapon.  I began buying bootleg Shaw Brothers films mostly because  of reading that book ( which was very pro-Shaw Brothers Studios ) and was very disappointed by Legendary Weapons of China. Just out of the Shaw Brothers bootlegs alone there were many that I thought were much better.   It's a very good film, especially if you were to edit out the Fu Sheng character and subplot, but I never thought it was one of the greatest. But Ric Meyers gave it enough of a reputation that IMAGE chose it to be among the 25 Shaw Brothers movies they released.

The broad comedy and mugging in that one didn't work for me (the voodoo doll stuff) - though there is clever choreography in it. I enjoyed the scene where they employ the 18 traditional weapons all in one fight.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 04:03:26 PM by George-2.0 »


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2019, 04:05:54 PM »
Best guess here, there are two films with this title... and since Fluncheon never replied to my PM (asking which one he wanted), I just went with the film that had the higher ranking at IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

#43 – Fist of the North Star
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/2e3QgEN4Smg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/2e3QgEN4Smg</a>
25 points on 1 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #1 (Fluncheon)

Year: 1986
Director: Toyoo Ashida

From IMDB - A practitioner of the deadly martial art "Hokuto Shinken" allies with two children and an expert in "Nanto Suicho-Ken" to fight against the rivals who kidnapped his lover and threaten the prosperity of mankind.

From Wiki - Fist of the North Star (Japanese: 北斗の拳 Hepburn: Hokuto no Ken) is a 1986 Japanese animated film adaptation of the manga series of the same name. It was produced by Toei Animation, the same studio who worked on the TV series that was airing at the time, with the same cast and crew working on both projects. Unlike the TV series, the movie is not a direct adaptation of the manga, but instead tells an alternate story that rearranges characters and plot elements from the manga's first 75 chapters. However, the film retains the more violent content of the original manga, which the television series lacked.


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2019, 04:15:54 PM »
#42 – Ip Man
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BmkvuHpfrkk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BmkvuHpfrkk</a>
25 points on 2 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #11 (PsychoGoatee)

Year: 2008
Director: Wilson Yip

GamesRadar ranked it 8th out of their Top 25 Kung Fu Movies - Paste ranked it 12 out of 100 and wrote... 2008’s Ip Man was finally the moment when the truly excellent but never fairly regarded Donnie Yen came into his own, playing a loosely biographical version of the legendary grandmaster of Wing Chun and teacher of a number of future martial arts masters, one of whom was Bruce Lee. The film takes place in 1930s Foshan (a city famous for martial arts in southern/central China), where the unassuming master tries to weather the 1937 Japanese invasion and occupation of China peacefully, but is eventually forced into action—limbshattering, face-pulverizing action. This semi-historical film succeeds gloriously: both as cinematic triumph and as martial arts fan-bait. — K. Alexander Smith


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2019, 04:17:51 PM »
#41 – Lady Snowblood
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/MxBvPgzpoH8" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/MxBvPgzpoH8</a>
25 points on 2 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #6 (F-Zero)

Year: 1973
Director: Toshiya Fujita

From Criterion - Gory revenge is raised to the level of visual poetry in Toshiya Fujita’s stunning Lady Snowblood. A major inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga, this endlessly inventive film, set in late nineteenth-century Japan, charts the single-minded path of vengeance taken by a young woman (Meiko Kaji) whose parents were the unfortunate victims of a gang of brutal criminals. Fujita creates a wildly entertaining action film of remarkable craft, an effortless balancing act between beauty and violence.


Offline Johnny Unusual

  • The Efron
  • ****
  • Posts: 27024
  • Liked: 5867
  • Mr. Robot
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2019, 04:23:24 PM »
I never watched the movie but I've read all of the original manga.  Its a weird beast and an influencial one to say the least.  It's martial arts action but it is also ridiculously gory and often has a sort of Tales from the Crypt-style karma, with Kenshiro (the Japanese title has wordplay, as Ken is also Japanese for "fist") finding Road Warrior-style marauders and using his bizarre martial art to destroy them in the nastiest way possible.  Except for a lot of the upper eschelon villains, as many of them fall into the "noble but ruthless" camp.  I used to be turned off by it but while I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, it has earned my grudging respect and influenced another movie on my list that might show up.

The manga also inspired a huge wave of super-gory martial arts and action manga.  Many were pale imitations but some cream rose.  Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is a favourite, starting out as a Fist of the North Star-type series that replaces post-apocalyptic marauders with Victorian vampires.  As the series goes on, it ditched the martial arts in favour of bizarre and quirky (and often convoluted) powers with each arc kind of doing a different genre (though several are cross-country/continent romps).  The other takes the Fist formula and instead of martial arts was dark high fantasy: Berserk.  Berserk is a series I have very mixed feelings on, with it being sometimes trashy, sometimes complex and occassionally transendent.  And its still going after over 30 years.

Fist of the North Star's animated TV series also had some great intros, including the goofy but catchy "Tough Boy".  SO 80s!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/PnRuhAc8GAc" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/PnRuhAc8GAc</a>

Of course, the original intro is iconic.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/JKk6hHU0iUs" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/JKk6hHU0iUs</a>

I've yet to see any movies based on Kazuo Koike's comics but I loved one of his other series that will likely be represented here.  I really need to see and watch Snowblood.


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2019, 04:33:16 PM »
Thanks for the info on that - my write-ups are on the slim side, so it's appreciated.

I'm one of the rare -maybe only- people who prefer the second Lady Snowblood to the first, which I was kinda m'eh about. I know the first is more of a personal story for her, but the second was more interesting to me, more plot than bloodletting, which apparently viewers didn't care for.

Ip Man was great (though it ultimately didn't survive my final cut), I guess Donnie Yen is retiring from Kung Fu movies - the 4th Ip Man film will be his last, he said.

BTW - love the Angie Wang cover for the Criterion collection


« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 04:46:25 PM by George-2.0 »


Offline PsychoGoatee

  • Not Hurt By Pain
  • ******
  • Posts: 1092
  • Liked: 164
  • We are the road crew!
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2019, 10:45:38 PM »
Lot of cool stuff!

I never watched the movie but I've read all of the original manga.  Its a weird beast and an influencial one to say the least. 

Right on, I also mainly dig the manga, fun stuff. A classic for sure. That movie is cool for the spectacle, and definitely adds another epic song to the playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oplJnWUtyCE (Heart of Madness)

And I still need to check-out Lady Snowblood, and good to know it has a sequel to check out as well.


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2019, 04:23:52 AM »
#40 – Dragon Inn, aka Dragon Gate Inn
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/GAq31U-fOS0" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/GAq31U-fOS0</a>
27 points on 2 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #8 (Edward J Grug III)

Year: 1967
Director: King Hu

No. 7 in the Hong Kong Film Awards' List of The Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures - Paste ranked it 39th and called it... An influential film that one might call the birth of the modern wuxia epic, Dragon Gate Inn was actually made in Taiwan, despite being set in historical China. It’s a story of family, as several orphaned children of a deposed general are on the run from a band of hired killers. As they flee for the country’s borders, a trap is waiting for them at the Dragon Gate Inn. But when a brother-sister team of martial artist allies arrive, they help even the odds for the refugees. The action is stylish and heavy on the swordplay. I’ve always been amused by this scene in particular, when a bevy of four swordsmen try to overwhelm the old master by running around him in a circle in order to disorient him. —Jim Vorel

Trivia: Director King Hu encouraged his martial arts choreographers to draw from the alternately fluid and rhythmic movements of Chinese opera. Rather than resorting to fast or slow motion, footage printed backward, animation, or other early special-effects techniques, the filmmaker relied as much as possible on the actual skills of his performers and on the magic of editing.


Some more nifty cover art from Criterion (by Greg Ruth), I believe they sell this one as a poster - though considering how banged up my Bluray cases are when I order movies direct from them, I'm not sure I can trust Criterion to get a poster to me unscathed.


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2019, 04:26:51 AM »
#39 – The Karate Kid
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/yDi3an8WgN4" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/yDi3an8WgN4</a>
29 points on 3 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #10 (ColeStratton)

Year: 1984
Director: John G. Avildsen

Ranked #81 by Paste, who said... Ralph Macchio’s crane-legged Karate Kid would become an icon of the ’80s, as would Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi, the sensei who trains the bullied Daniel LaRusso in martial arts. Although many of the scenes can feel a little worn and trope-laden, that’s mostly due to how much the film has been copied in the years since its release. It was the sort of feature that defined karate to an entire generation of young kids and must have inspired countless dojo openings and yellow belt ceremonies. It also features one of the great villains of ’80s cinema in the merciless Cobra Kai coach, Sensei John Kreese: “Sweep the leg, Johnny.” —Josh Jackson

Note: The fighting style practiced in the movie is called Goju-ryu, a traditional Okinawan style of karate with an extensive history. The term Goju-ryu actually means “hard-soft style,” which refers to the closed hand techniques (hard) and open hand techniques and circular movements (soft) that comprise this martial art.

To learn more... https://www.liveabout.com/history-and-style-guide-goju-ryu-2308264


Offline George-2.0

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Liked: 373
Re: List of Crap #121: Top 50 Martial Arts/Wuxia Films
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2019, 04:29:58 AM »
#38 – Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BX5f7g9utJM" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BX5f7g9utJM</a>
30 points on 2 of 11 lists - Highest Ranking: #10 (F-Zero)

Year: 1983
Director: Lau Kar-leung (aka Liu Chia-Liang)

Ranked 13th by GamesRadar, 14th by Paste, who wrote... If there is one Shaw Brothers kung fu film with which to ever start, let The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter be it. An epitome of brisk, unadorned Hong Kong martial arts pulp, the film stars a steely-eyed Gordon Liu as a lauded general who must abandon his rage to become a monk—at least until it comes time to avenge his family’s murder at the hands of another traitorous general. No trope goes untouched, from one warrior’s lapse into insanity, to the whole film’s lapse into ever-mounting madness—a bloody spree of what-ifs carry 8 Diagram Pole Fighter to its vague and body-littered conclusion. Because revenge will never bring your murdered loved ones back to life, right? Still, there’s no harm in trying, and if that means you need to turn a bale of bamboo poles into a makeshift bamboo-pole-shooting cannon, then so be it. And if that also means that you need to graphically rip out your enemies’ teeth by making them chomp down on those same bamboo poles and then forcefully rip the whole package from unwilling jaws, then so be that, too. And god forbid you’ll be required to cleave off a nipple or two. This is just what happens when you mess with a monk dead-set on breaking his vows. —Dom Sinacola

Trivia: The film is based on the Generals of the Yang Family (Yeung family in Cantonese) legends.



My Thoughts: While watching, I was disappointed to see the expected team-up between brothers fail to materialize. It seemed a poor decision by the screenwriters, then I learned that tragically, actor Alexander Fu Sheng (also seen in The Avenging Eagle) died in a car accident before the filming was finished. And the script had to be partly re-written to remove his character from the final showdown.