Thanks everybody for maybe the best San Diego Comic Con Superhero Kung Fu Extravaganza ever. It was a real sweet sixteen(th anniversary) party!
The mix of clips, guest stars, premieres, laughs, gasps, and cheers seemed to be on an optimum level … to the point that even I stopped worrying about how it was going and just 100% enjoyed.
In any case, as per request/popular demand, here’s the rundown on what I showed (and where to see more, and maybe get them).
First came Jan Lucanus, and his kickstarter campaign for a Justice For Hire film series (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1958778211/jfh-justice-for-hire). You can find all things JFH at http://www.justice-for-hire.com.
Next came the return of Eric Jacobus and his Stunt People team for the official premiere of their new film, Rope-A-Dope (or, as I call it, Enter the Groundhog). Keep up with this amazing and delightful short by liking its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rope-A-Dope/138482669667321 and visiting http://thestuntpeople.com.
Then came the surprise (and nearly missed) appearance by the great Cynthia Rothrock (who was stuck in traffic when the show started). But she made it, and to herald her I showed clips from:
Yes Madam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz-4WIFhA6U)
Righting Wrongs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8E1CPj3raw)
Shanghai Express (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuoBNmWm-Jg)
Blonde Fury aka Lady Reporter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGMrk2Z8N1w)
During the shameless commerce frenzy that followed — where everybody lined up to get autographs, pictures, books, and DVDs — I showed the climatic “battle-fu” sequences from Saving General Yang (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QIBvXZHA-I). Well Go USA just gave me the scoop that they have acquired the American rights to this thundering epic, so keep an eye out for its 2014 release!
Next on the hit (and kick) parade was Jackie Chan’s latest, Chinese Zodiac (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_90VxUDngT0) in all its strident, silly glory. It, too, has yet to be picked up for official stateside showings, so back to yes.asia.com you go for any DVDs.
Happily, both Tai Chi Hero and its prequel, Tai Chi Zero, are readily available from Well Go USA (http://www.wellgousa.com). Keep your eyes locked on their site in the coming months for a bunch of exceptional DVDs I can highly recommend.
Then came the “stupid money” movie of the evening, Naked Soldier — the latest in a string of “Naked” movies from schlockmeister Wong Jing (http://www.nakedsoldier-movie.com). In their wisdom, no American company has scooped up the DVD rights, so it’s yesasia time again.
Thankfully, Well Go USA will be putting out a great remastered Ip Man the Final Fight DVD (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ujABThZshA) in just a few weeks, so look for it on Amazon, or wherever cool discs are sold/rented/downloaded.
Finally, we wrapped up this year’s Extravaganza with clips from the original Chinese cut of Wong Kar Wai’s “official” Yip Man bio-pic, The Grandmaster. The Weinstein Company are releasing a Wong Kar Wai approved/supervised American cut, which I was lucky enough to see in Master Wong’s company.
Much to my relief, the subtitled, reedited U.S. version clarifies the history, establishes previously surmised motivations, and focuses on the I’m In the Mood for Love-style relationship between Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi’s leading characters. During the end credits, it also, quite remarkably, teases a bunch of “cutting room floor” fight scenes that weren’t even hinted at in the Chinese cut! I can only hope they’re shown in their entirety in any forthcoming DVD release’s special features (a full analysis will be in my August Martial Arts in Media post, well in time for the film’s 8/24 U.S. release).
Finally; a special sneak peek. Originally I was going to end 2013’s Extravaganza with the full twenty minute finale of Stephen Chow’s wonderful Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons … but, as you may have noticed, the ComiCon shortened the show by thirty minutes this year (to give its remarkable volunteers and staffers a break), so we ran out of time.
Nevertheless, I can’t tout Chow’s newest heartwarming, side splitting, eye-bulging phantasmagorical any more highly — so, since it, too, remains unbought on these shores, head on back to yesasia.com once more.
Thanks to the 1000+ attendees as well as my co-hosts, Comedy Film Nerds Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini, and my guests Jan Lucanus, Eric Jacobus, and, of course, the modern queen of kung fu films, Cynthia Rothrock, for helping make this year’s edition such a rocking, rolling, rollicking, remarkable hoot.
See you next time?