SummerFall (& Final!) Martial Arts in Media 2016

This may, or may not, be a momentous bang and/or whimper occasion. I can’t remember exactly when I started writing this column for the gone-and-might-be-forgotten (albeit, in some quarters, fondly remembered) Inside Kung-Fu magazine, but I seem to recall it was around 1991. That makes it a nice round anniversary, since the final issue of
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Martial Arts in Media Winter 2016

American author Thomas Wolfe once wrote a book called You Can’t Go Home Again – a phrase that, over the years, has come to signify that attempting to recapture the joys of one’s youth is folly. In fact, on the Wikipedia page it flatly states “attempts to relive youthful memories will always fail.” Well, if
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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 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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San Diego Comic Con Kung Fu Extravaganza 2014 Playlist!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, and even for those who could, here’s what’s becoming as much a tradition as the Extravaganza itself: my dissection of the show, telling/reminding you what clips I showed, as well as the clips I/you missed! This was a year of firsts, starting with my introduction. In the
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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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Martial Arts in Media 7/13

As you may remember last time, my review of Saving General Yang was tragically interrupted by the death of cinema’s greatest kung fu filmmaker, Liu Chia-liang/Lau Kar-leung. While the genre may not recover, martial arts in media trudges on. Saving General Yang is the latest in a long line of films (not to mention plays
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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 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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