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The Wong Fei-hung Kung Fu Movie Review.

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10 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Golden Arm was on just last night on El Rey Kung Fu Movie Sunday.  It was on with the extremely wacky Holy Flame Of The Martial World!

I don't live in North America so El Rey's not an option but I do have the Celestial Classic Movies Channel  so it's bound to show up sometime. Just checked, and right now Dirty Ho is playing. It covers all the Shaw Bros. flix so it's not always great but at least two or three kung fu films a day.

Edited by Setsuna

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I hope you watched Dirty Ho at least Setsuna. It is toins of fun (and of course has Gordon MF Liu!)
If I had reviewed Dirty Ho it might've been a really long rambling review making my review for The Street Fighter look like a lesser Chick Tract

James

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Not tonight, but the LKL movies from 36th Chamber to 8 Diagram Pole Fighter are my favourites of the Shaw catalogue so I've seen it multiple times before. Would honestly love to read that review - hopefully exec runs this again next year.

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Killer Elite is 55% on Rotten Tomatoes so hey, it might not be Alfredo Garcia but it's not Dark Phoenix or something either. 

Infra-Man would have been beloved by me. It also reminded me of watching Octaman when I was a kid just because of the title and boy, that would be a hell of a booby prize for the Summer Blockbuster poll on here

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41 minutes ago, Setsuna said:

Not tonight, but the LKL movies from 36th Chamber to 8 Diagram Pole Fighter are my favourites of the Shaw catalogue so I've seen it multiple times before. Would honestly love to read that review - hopefully exec runs this again next year.

I knew there was a reason I liked you.

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“8 diagram pole fighter” sounds like a movie you might rent on hotel pay per view. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, J.H. said:

I hope you watched Dirty Ho at least Setsuna. It is toins of fun (and of course has Gordon MF Liu!)
If I had reviewed Dirty Ho it might've been a really long rambling review making my review for The Street Fighter look like a lesser Chick Tract

James

I don't think there will ever be a greater kung fu scene involving wine than the one in Dirty Ho.  And if there is I would love to see it.

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I spaced writing why I picked Against the Drunken Cat’s Paws. 

Because it’s awesome. 

First saw it as a kid when Video Watch by GL Perry had a VHS of it. Came back to it often. Glad odessa liked it. 

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This was going to be my bonus review but I never got around to writing it. 

 

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Film: The Prodigal Son

(Hong Kong, 1981)

Golden Harvest

Picked by: RIPPA

No reason give. 

Reviewed by: J.H.

 

 What is it about Yuen Biao that makes me enjoy watching his movies?

Is it his acting?

Is it his screen presence?

Is it combination of speed, gracefulness, athleticism and acrobatics in a fight scene?

The answer to all these questions is “I guess?”

 

No, what always draws me back to watching Yuen Biao over and over again are his kicks.

 

Let me explain. I geek out for certain things from certain action movie stars in every movie, especially when it comes to Kung-Fu movies. Using Jackie Chan as an example, there is something about Jackie doing a leg sweep in his fight scenes that me makes go “Yes! The leg sweep! I love Jackie Chan’s leg sweep!” inside. Its something you see so many martial artists do, and you may think nothing of it but when I see Jackie Chan leg sweep a guy in any movie it gives a certain warm feeling in my otherwise dead soul. A fight scene in a Jackie Chan movie can be rolling along and then BAM! The leg sweep comes out and then I finally feel I’ve watched a Jackie Chan film[1].

 

Yuen Biao has such a physical move he uses in a fight scene that when it comes out I get that sense of “Yeah, now this a Yuen Biao movie!”. This thing comes out multiple times in a movie, that being his fierce standing middle kick. Every time I see Yuen Biao execute one of these his body language makes it seem as if he’s putting all his physicality and emotion into it and it comes across so fiercely that you wince and feel sorry for the guy taking the kick. “The Kick” comes early in The Prodigal Son. I mean it shows up in the first 3 minutes after the opening narration.

 

The Prodigal Son is one of Yuen Baio’s early films from the 80s. Hell it’s a period piece and tells a straight ahead story. Boy thinks he is a badass Kung-Fu fighter, finds out he really isn’t, gets trained by an actual Kung-Fu badass, has fight with rival, wins and there is your movie. Sure, we get a secondary story about how the Kung-Fu badass and his brother don’t get along, but it really isn’t important. What you’re watching in this film is Yuen Baio do comedy and bad ass kicks and he does both exceptionally.  Along the way you get Sammo Hung becoming his sifu, teaching him how to do actual Wing Chun style kung-fu. Thi of course comes after Lam Ching-ying, who plays Sammo’s brother, has refused to train Yuen (this is due to poor health as well as the fact he thinks Yuen is a schmuck).

 

This was perfect movie was the ideal thing to watch with Princess Sandra Violet (my 11 month old daughter). She was enamored by Yuen Biao's movements. She's sat through countless Shaw Bros movies with me and this one held her attention for the most poart. Mind you, she doesn't dig on Yuen Biao the way she does on Gordon Liu, but that's goddam Gordon Liu!

 

(Sandy fuckin ADORES Gordon Liu, Dirty Ho is her favorite movie along with Mulan)

 

I like this movie. It moves at a quick pace, the comedy is straight forward and Yuen Biao unleashes quick powerful kicks in that totally Yuen Biao manner that brings a smile to my face. I mean it is a formula Kung-Fu movie for the time but the formula works and the fights are good. Is it my favorite kung-fu movie from this period?

 

No, not by a long shot but if I were 10 years old and this came on WNEW Channel 5 on Saturday afternoon, I wouldn’t turn it off for Wide World of Sports or, let’s say a rerun of What’s Happening? I might flip back and forth between this and a Yankee game on WPIX and I might keep it on Prodigal Son if Phil Rizzuto isn’t doing commentary. So in short, yeah Prodigal Son is good fun. Perfect sit in front of the TV with say, your 11 month old daughter, and smile as she claps every time Yuen Biao kicks somebody in the face.

 


[1] I’ve wracked my brain and think the reason why The Protector sucked so hard was I don’t remember seeing that sweet,sweet leg sweep

 

Edited by Execproducer

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11 hours ago, NikoBaltimore said:

I don't think there will ever be a greater kung fu scene involving wine than the one in Dirty Ho.  And if there is I would love to see it.

I gotta bonus review coming up thst is right up there

James

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3 hours ago, odessasteps said:

This was going to be my bonus review but I never got around to writing it. 

 

You have my gratitude

James

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Somebody better do Eight Diagram fucking Pole Fighter when we do this again

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This pretty much can be used as my rationale for all these projects

"I just wanted to find something maybe not as appreciated that is easily available to watch"

I also submitted a backup choice but I have no idea if that might still show up in this or not

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8 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Somebody better do Eight Diagram fucking Pole Fighter when we do this again

Hey, you can still submarine a bonus review while this is still going on.

I'm still working on a review for

Spoiler

Last Hurrah for Chivalry

that I will try to finish up if I can find the time in between yardwork and the ongoing RMF review and inspection here at the office.

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11 hours ago, J.H. said:

You have my gratitude

James

I don't know why I find the part of the final fight scene so funny when Klahn misses a spin kick and says "Shit!" under his breath, but I do.

I also mark out when Big Jim Slade comes to the rescue and smashes through a wall to free the lost drunken men.

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Film: Wheels on Meals

Picked by: AxB

"It seems like at least one person has to pick an actual Jacky Chan film, so why not me? But I think of Jacky, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao as the Three Musketeers of Hong Kong cinema in the 80s, and they're all Opera school brothers, so I want a movie with all three of them, hopefully at the peak of their powers. So my pick is Wheels on Meals (1984). " 

Reviewed by: Execproducer

Wheels on Meals is the Sammo Hung-directed second entry in the Three Dragons films that starred Jackie Chan, Sammo, and Yuen Biao. Set in Spain, Thomas ( Jackie ) and David (Yuen) are cousins operating a tricked out food van. Visiting David's father in a mental institution, they see Sylvia ( Spanish actress Lola Farner in her second of three roles in Jackie Chan films) the daughter of David's father's girlfriend, who is visiting her mother. Weirdly, the institution is mostly comprised of Chinese patients. Thomas and David are instantly infatuated with Sylvia but bungle meeting her before she departs.

Meanwhile, Moby, (Sammo) is an assistant to a deadbeat private eye. Minding the store while his boss hides from debt collectors, he is hired to find a woman named Gloria and her daughter. Gloria, of course, is Sylvia's mother.

That night, having set up shop in a red light district, they are shocked to see Sylvia working the streets.  In actuality, she is a pickpocket posing as a prostitute. When her latest trick roll target chases after her, David allows her to hide out in the van. She ends up sleeping on the couch at Thomas and David's apartment. In the morning she disappears along with the boy's money and a neighbors car. David's reaction to this is wanting to give her more money.

In town, she gets into an accident with, of all people, Moby. She steals his wallet while he inspects his damaged car and then makes up a story about it being her brother's car and that he'll cover the cost. Moby lets her leave but quickly realizes his wallet is missing and tracks her down to her apartment where she is about to be kidnapped by a bunch of thugs. Moby confronts them, allowing Sylvia to escape. Moby somehow realizes that she is in fact who he was hired to find and uses her "'brother's" business card that Sylvia had given him to track down the car's owner and connect her to Thomas and David who also happen to be his acquaintances. Moby sets up a meeting but Thomas and David are uncooperative and trick him into insulting a disco full of Spaniards, so Moby leaves. Later they meet Sylvia in the street and fight with the thugs that are still trying to abduct her allowing her to escape again. Sylvia shows up at their apartment and runs down her whole backstory. The boys take Sylvia in and we get a nice little 80's montage of the three new best friends bonding.

Later both Moby and the thugs find Sylvia working as a waitress for the food van and we get another attempted abduction, this time foiled by David and Moby. Thomas swings around with the van and a car chase ensues. Maybe it came from hanging out with Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds but Jackie Chan really loved car chases and stunts. Between his fight scenes and his more famous physical gags it is something of an overlooked aspect of his filmography.

Now  all Three Dragons are united in protecting Sylvia and we soon get the first appearance of Billy Badass #1 (Benny Urquidez) and Billy Badass #2 (Keith Vitale). We find out why everyone is after Sylvia and the whole thing climaxes with an assault on a castle, an evil Count, and a one-on-one battle for each Dragon with the centerpiece being the now legendary face-off between Jackie Chan And Benny the Jet.

Wheels on Meals is a fun movie that still holds up for me twenty years after seeing it the first time. It is the Three Dragons film where all three are more or less on an equal footing. Some might argue that Dragons Forever is as well but that always felt like a Jackie Chan film featuring his opera brothers.   

 

Edited by Execproducer
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I was going to do a bonus review of Rumble in the Bronx but I realized it was just going to turn into me admitting how much joy I got out of the disabled kid getting his cushion stolen and I think y'all already knew I was going to burn in hell so I didn't need to reinforce it further

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My thoughts on Meals on Wheels

  • My brother had a gigantic crush on Lola Forner thanks to this movie.  She's also in Armour of God.  
  • The fight scene between Jackie and Benny the Jet is undoubtedly one of the best ones ever committed to film.  There is one part where Benny throws a spin kick that snuffs out a row of candles.  That shit was real and most of the fight is done in one take because Jackie and Sammo are a perfectionists to an almost annoying degree.  Also, the scenes where the camera is in close were full contact.  If you look really closely, you will catch a spot where Jackie punches Benny legit in the jaw and you can see a momentary look of surprise on Benny's face.  If there were a thought balloon over the Jet's head at the time, I'm sure it would've read, "You, mother fucker."
  • You really should catch the interview on the YouTubes with Benny where he talks about life, the martial arts, and the Wheels on Meals fight scene.  It is great. 
  • Yuen Biao is a fucking machine.   If you follow Three Dragons stuff, you always hear stories about how he stays in amazing shape because Sammo and Jackie love shooting fights in one extended take and this movie is no exception.  The man never looks like he ever gets tired.

 

Edited by J.T.
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About Jackie Chan and car chases, I watched Thunderbolt while I had food poisoning and I'm afraid to watch it again, in case it doesn't measure up to the hallucination assisted version I remember. But I think I remember reading that it broke the Blues Brothers record for most cars destroyed in a movie shoot. Mitsubishi told Jackie he could have as many stunt cars as he wanted and didn't realise how literally he'd take it.

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Actually this sums up pretty well what my review would have been

MY CUSHION~!

The rest of the review would have been me being creepy old man towards Françoise Yip

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12 minutes ago, AxB said:

About Jackie Chan and car chases, I watched Thunderbolt while I had food poisoning and I'm afraid to watch it again, in case it doesn't measure up to the hallucination assisted version I remember. But I think I remember reading that it broke the Blues Brothers record for most cars destroyed in a movie shoot. Mitsubishi told Jackie he could have as many stunt cars as he wanted and didn't realise how literally he'd take it.

They also wreck a bunch of cars in Who Am I, which has the distinct honor of being one of the few movies that has one of my favorite fight scenes as well as one of my favorite car chases.

11 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

ctually this sums up pretty well what my review would have been

MY CUSHION~!

The rest of the review would have been me being creepy old man towards Françoise Yip

  1. You know you're going to Hell, right?
  2. On the subject of Who Am I in relation to you being creepy about Françoise Yip, I can't really talk about Who Am I without being creepy about Michelle Ferre even though she couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag even if she had a utility knife in her hand
Edited by J.T.

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1 minute ago, J.T. said:

They also wreck a bunch of cars in Who Am I, which has the distinct honor of being one of the few movies that has one of my favorite fight scenes as well as one of my favorite car chases.

I love the bit in Who Am I? where they escape the bad guys by driving their car sideways down a narrow alley.

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4 minutes ago, J.T. said:
  1. On the subject of Who Am I in relation to you being creepy about Françoise Yip, I can't really talk about Who Am I without being creepy about Michelle Ferre even though she couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag even if she had a utility knife in her hand.

My Jackie Chan film crush (Well, besides Michelle Yeoh) is Nina Li Chi from Twin Dragons.

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