Martial Arts in Media Spring 2016

Busy season. Finally! After months of inactivity, kung fu cinema makes a rush toward summer, with a fistful (and kickful) of films making their moves on the American cinema (and DVD) circuit. Some signal a possible advance toward energetically elevated, open-minded martial arts, but some, of course, dig in their heels and kow-tow to the
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Crouching Tiger Two, Hidden Dragon Zero

I have not been looking forward to this for quite some time. The Weinstein Company’s inexplicable campaign to marginalize Asian action films, and minimize its effect on American cinema, has been going on for decades now (see my Daily Grindhouse op-ed one post away on this site). Even as far as two years ago I
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Martial Arts in Media Autumn 2015

Well, that’s that. A combination of rampant bootlegging and a paucity of product has done in the last store in New York City’s Chinatown that still sold actual, authentic, legal DVDs and VCDs. Rest in peace P Music Video Corp. Thanks for your honesty, patience, and dedication. Rest assured, however, if the store had been
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Martial Arts in Media Summer 2015

So there I am, clutching a box of chocolate-covered peanuts, feeling like a kid at a Saturday matinee, waiting for Mission Impossible Rogue Nation to whisk me away for a globe-hopping, action-packed joyride — when, right there on the big, modified Imax screen, comes the production company title cards. Sure, there was J.J. Abrams’ Bad
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2015 SanDiegoComiCon KungfuExtravaganza Playlist!

The 18th Annual San Diego Comic Con Superhero Kung Fu Extravaganza is a wrap, and was awesome sauce – thanks to you, my co-hosts, Well Go USA, and all the filmmakers who made the eye-bulging, jaw-dropping clips we showed. So, as is the relatively new tradition, here’s a run down of what we showed (and
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Martial Arts in Media Spring 2015

Any filmmaker who prize their creative freedom may never make another film in China, unless they need money or things change. At the moment all Chinese filmmakers (Hong Kong included/especially) have to brave the gauntlet of Governmental review at the start and end of production (at the very least). Even for those willing and able
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Martial Arts in Media Winter 2015

After conflicting reports warning of a softer 2014 box-office, the China Film Bureau declared that profits were up thirty-six percent from last year, that more than six hundred Chinese films had been produced, and the total number of cinemas now number 23,600. By any criteria, that’s a lot of eyes, screens, butts, seats, and moolah.
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Martial Arts in Media Autumn 2014

It is seasons like these that the apocryphal “Chinese” curse “May You Live in Interesting Times” comes to mind (although generally considered a translation from the writings of someone like Lao-Tzu or Confucius, an actual Asian source has never be found … for all we know, it could’ve come from a Charlie Chan or Judge
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Martial Arts in Media Summer 2014

Notice anything different about the headline? Yes, the day has finally arrived. Although I have maintained this monthly column for Inside Kung-Fu magazine and on this site for decades, the martial art movie is in such dire straits — from Chinese Government interference to American studio sabotage, as well as the general creeping generic action
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Martial Arts in Media 5/14

The cinemas in China continue to multiply, and the audience continues to grow, but the films that are being fed to them are like meat to lions. If they’re hungry, they’ll devour anything thrown at them and roar for more – no matter how tough the gristle. Producers and studios don’t mind. “Look how successful
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