Martial Arts in Media 5/13

Nowhere is the Chinese Government’s portentous effect on its artists more apparent than in the “Chinese cut” of Iron Man 3. In order to appease the gatekeepers who held the permission for the film to be shown in China, somebody had to create less than five minutes of China-centric footage, featuring Wang Xueqi (Reign of
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Martial Arts in Media 4/13

It’s holiday time, when Chinese producers’ thoughts turn to … hating the Japanese. No, it’s not holiday time now. It was holiday time when most of the following films were originally released, and their labored production histories are just another example of how trying Chinese filmmaking can be right now. Taking them chronologically, the blandly
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Martial Arts in Media 3/13

It’s post Chinese New Year celebration time, and the movie release schedule was amped up accordingly. And between Wong Kar-wai’s “official” Yip Man bio-action-pic The Grandmasters, and Stephen Chow’s Journey to the West, things are actually looking up for the first time in a long time. Serving as yin to this yang is the continuing
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Martial Arts in Media 2/13

Sigh. Pardon me for sighing. It’s just that when old film friends take the easy route, or create a great set-up then present a “just kidding” pay-off, it’s hard for me not to sigh. Sigh. After extensive consideration, let me say this. If you discovered and followed Jackie Chan after 1995’s Rumble in the Bronx
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Martial Arts In Media January 2013

Well, Jackie Chan’s “last” kung fu film, Chinese Zodiac, AKA CZ12, came out in China in 12/12 (but don’t worry: he’s already announced a new Police Story and Rush Hour film). And, as its many coming attraction trailers and posters seemed to promise, it was essentially a remake of Operation Condor; complete with dithering, automatic-weapon-bungling
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Martial Arts in Media 12/12

December is a big month for cinema all over the world. As Hollywood rushes out its Oscar bait before the turn of the year, many countries try to screen audience catnip for the holiday season. China is no exception, especially since it’s now predicted that Asia will be the largest movie market in the world
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Martial Arts in Media 10/12

Studio execs like to pretend that quality has nothing to do with it. As long as films have existed, there’s always been a cinematic cadre of insecure people who like to make their estimations of success without considering the quality of the films presented. Kung fu films are no different … and yet they are.
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Martial Arts in Media 9/12

Rarely has the title of this column been more accurate. When I started this decades ago for Inside Kung Fu magazine, it was called Martial Arts in Movies, with my intention to shorten it to the apt moniker of M.A.I.M. When our illustrious editor Dave Cater nixed that contraction, the column rolled merrily along until
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Martial Arts in Media 8/12

As the Chinese bureau-crazy continues to micro-manage their cinema into stalemated mediocrity (one of their many rules is that a ghost cannot be presented in any media), fans of kung fu cinema continue to try taking things into their own hands. Nowhere was that more evident than at my San Diego Comic Con Superhero Kung
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