WATAAAHH!!! My Favorite martial Arts Flix!
Jun 2, 2008 (Updated May 29, 2009)
The Bottom Line I really like that there are many more quality martial arts being made now than before ( however, the bad ones are still made being at the same rate).
10. Game Of Death - Even though Enter The Dragon & Fist Of Fury often interchange with this movie as far as my being my favorite Bruce Lee film, Game Of Death is the one that I find myself watching the most.
Maybe it's cuz, with since it actually remains unfinished (in my eyes, the post-Lee parts don't count... ) it leaves plenty of room for interpretation on what could have been.
After Lee's death, martial arts genre took a real nose dive as far as the kind of quality & especially the kind of integrity that Bruce seemed to be striving for.
And while lately, the genre has taken many strides forward as far as being taken more seriously as a cinematic artform, watching the ideas that Bruce set upon this early "kung fu flick" always make me wonder about the potential that the original Dragon must have dreamed about & hoped for.
9 . Heroic Trio - At first glance, this looked like a B-style action-flick that was just too goofy for me. But as I watched it, it became more like a movie that seem to sufficiently balance between the lines of well-crafted high-fantasy creditability & a comicbook-like storyline. And also at the same time, between epic wuxia style battle moves & cheesy yet energetically fun kung-fu camp.
And at the center, tying all these almost conflicting themes together are three high-flying colorful female warriors whose chemistry made it impossible for me not to fall in love with each one of them. This trio of hot asian super-heroines who fight crime with such cool moves & kick-@ss sultry outfits are so sexy, that it makes my pimp-@ss want to do sumthin villainous just for the spanking.
Plus, I defy any one not to "loose their head" over the villianous Kau & his throwing "skull-cage" on a chain.
While I realize that this isn't really considered a maverick of this field,for me, the charisma between these well-rounded & distinct characters was enuff to hook me into this non-guilty guilty pleasure.
8. Oldboy - A hard-bitten, no-holds barred tale of revenge that bites hard & holds no bars. And while I know that sentence is doublely redundant, it seems to fit the situation as far the level of emotional ravishing that this story leads it's characters up to. Brutal it may be, it's a film that depicts it story in an operatic level & with a refreshing energy to give the film a distinct life that widely separates it from the standard vengeance theme of traditional Hollywood-fare. IMO, a great flick that is armed with a in-your-face type of plot twist & proves that the medium of the graphic novel & comicbook (of which this movie is based off) is a world full of potentially good cinema, if one is willing to shuffle passed the mainstream same old same old.
7. Drunken Master - Now while I agree with most people that (Legend Of The) Drunken Master II was technically a better & more masterful movie, this film is the beginning, & my favorite one featuring Jackie Chan's comedic style of "combat". There are still times when I watch the action scenes of DM & they still seem as energetic, cool & creatively crazy today as back when this first came out.
I bet I could fight like that too.
If I was drunk.
6. Hero - A martial arts movie with beautifully colored fighting themes, an actual purpose in it's plotline & more arrows than some metaphor that would contain a point about many more arrows that any situaion would ever deem necessary.
An epic kung-fu flick that is way more poetic than this or any description of Hero could ever hope to be.
5. Iron Monkey - Monkey see, monkey fu.
Before there were the House of Flying Daggers, Heroes & the Crouching Tigers, there was the Iron Monkey.
A film that reigned on the creative & sometimes, even elegantly beautiful martial arts stunts that seemed to serve not only as the action that is the meat of films of this genre, but also as an actual storytelling device.
4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - A martial arts film that decides that it's not goin to be one.
Many forms of physical combat like to brag of itself as being a form of violent ballet, but Crouching Tiger Hidden dragon is one that just wants to portray it martial arts as an art tool that blends into the majesty of the story's theme of honor, love & wisdom, that this film ends up laying claim to that dance-metaphor that the other fighting films wish they could be truly worthy of.
No character in this film, no matter how small, is colored in the simple black & white colors of good & evil, and all are dutied bound by a personal sense of honor. And both men & women are equally capable in either mastefully full contact engagement or scaling the walls & even the very air in gravity defying leaps that serve more to enhance the fable-like atmosphere of the story.
Intelligent, straightforward & "martially artistic", Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is a pure fun action flick merged into a story whose simplicity is hidden behind the human depth of a group of characters who believe their respective situations to be truly epic.
3. House Of Flying Daggers - Growing up, it always frustrated me whenever the majority of big budget action flicks or martial arts movies of the time often seemed to sacrifice on story to make room for the expansive bangs & the expensive effects. It was generally said, that in these types of movies, you couldn't really have both, particularly, at a consistent high level. And I was one those kids who always asked "Why not?"
And then came the House Of Flying Daggers. And with it's beautiful story of love & intrigue, combined with lavish costumes, solid performances & unique individually themed action sequences, this film of the burgeoning genre known as wuxia, seemed to asked that very same question.
2. Kill Bill - Only two words can be used to describe this movie: Bad @ss.
Not only is this Quentin's homage to martial arts flix, but it also includes homage's to anime & those funky, grainy 70's Bruce Lee's wannabe's that made us laugh with their unsynchronized voice-overs, jagged camera movements & b-level musical sound effects. And yet, he was able to combine all this in a manner that was just plain...
... bad-@ss. And just how bad-@ss is Beatrice Kiddo, "the Bride", in this movie?
Well, at her wedding, not only does she show up looking like she's late into her trimester of pregnancy, but also at the same time, she has enough balls to wear a wedding dress that is white, the traditional color that is supposed to symbolize the purity that is virginancy.
So then, the question arises;
how does one stop such an act of blatant aborition towards such an endeared long-standing nuptial tradition?
Try sending her a Bill.
Oh, & by the way,
out of sheer curiosity, I just performed the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart technique on myself, just to see if it works. Now, as I post this, I have just completed taking the 5 steps forward, to see if anything will actually happ