by Ric Meyers
DATELINE LA – New Los Angeles (and Dominican Republic)-based distributor Indomina Releasing has picked up all North American rights to True Legend starring Vincent Zhao, Gordon Liu, Michelle Yeoh, Nicholas Tse, and the late David Carradine. The Edko Films, Universal Pictures International and Shanghai Film Studio production received its North American Premiere at the sixth Annual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, where director Yuen Wo-ping received a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.
“We are thrilled to work with such a legendary film-maker,” Indomina Group CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann said. “His creativity and precision elevated action and martial arts films to new heights…. True Legend is the kind of film of which the Indomina brand wants to be a part of.”
And little wonder. True Legend is Master Yuen’s new take on the legend of Beggar Su, whom he immortalized in the person of his father, Simon Yuen in Drunken Master way back in 1978. Now Vincent Zhao (The Blade) stars as the mythic, indomitable character in a kung-fu-crammed adventure that is like seeing three movies for the price of one.
“We are pleased to be forging a new partnership with Indomina Releasing, a team that is truly passionate about film,” said producer Bill Kong. “True Legend not only features breathtaking action by the master Yuen Wo-ping but also tells a moving love story, and we are excited that Indomina will be sharing this unique film with audiences.”
This is a super cool movie that only gets better with repeated viewing, so look for it in a theater or on a DVD near you.
DATELINE SCOTLAND: And speaking of DVDs, veteran “labor of love” martial art moviemaker Ara Paiaya recently visited the east coast of America for the very first time, and was foolish enough to film a certain IKF columnist for a cameo in his next epic, The Suppressor.
If you’re a veteran reader of this column, you’ll recognize the name. Ara’s been sparking DVD machines and TV screens ever since his first film, Dubbed and Dangerous, appeared in 2001. A big fan of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, Ara likes combining the two in entertaining action flicks that combine serious martial arts action with wit and satiric whimsy.
While we wait to see how a certain IKF contributor ruined The Suppressor, there’s always the already released Death List to be enjoyed, which is Ara’s best combination of yin and yang. “When you get to check Death List,” he told me with a grin, “you will know where I’m coming from and pick up all the references for sure. ” I also got a hint to look for a “Kung Fu Master” training scene…!
Check out all Ara’s great work at http://ara.me.uk/.
RIC PICKS – DVDs
And the hits just keep on coming! A company called BCI was literally weeks away from releasing a bunch of Shaw Brothers Studio classics in America when the economy got them. But, happily, the FUNimation (sic) empire of anime picked up the slack, and is in the midst of releasing a full fifteen live action films from Celestial Filmed Entertainment, Inc.’s expansive Shaw Brothers collection on DVD – some of which are renowned classics, and all of which are packaged in super groovy designs.
Look for Sword of Swords, The Duel, The Lady Hermit, The 14 Amazons, Shaolin Hand Lock, Hong Kong Godfather. and Soul of the Sword. In addition, The Supreme Swordsman has one of the best kung fu moments in wuxia film history (look for it about half-way in). 5 Deadly Venoms fans will want to get their hands on Invincible Shaolin, Life Gamble, and Shaolin Rescuers – all of which are Venoms flicks directed by Chang Cheh. Then there’s the fun and crazed “kung fu Spiderman” movies Bastard Swordsman and Return of Bastard Swordsman, directed by the “Busby Berkley of kung fu films, Lu Chin-ku. And finally, there’s the last two of films of the kung fu choreographer’s choreographer, Tang Chia — Shaolin Prince and Opium and The Kung Fu Master – the latter one being an out and out masterpiece.
Watch the trailer on FUNimation’s official blog spot, http://blog.funimation.com, or the official web site www.funimation.com/hongkongconnection
36TH Chamber –
As always, if you have news, views, reviews, products or press releases you’d like the kung-fu world to know about, email me at email@example.com.