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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A History of Disrespect

In “honor” of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, I have been re-linking to my now somewhat (in)famous editorial for Daily Grindhouse about The Weinstein Company’s campaign to marginalize and minimize Asian action cinema … only to find that the Daily Grindhouse site is M.I.A. … maybe temporarily, maybe forever. In any case, thought
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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 1/14

For the first time since China took over Hong Kong in 1997, the future looks interesting (at the least) and hopeful (at the most) for kung fu film fans. To put that contention in perspective, The Hollywood Reporter recently cited Chinese cinema’s growing concern about international disparities. “While China’s domestic box office in 2012 was
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Martial Arts in Media 11/13

Oh brother. First, I’m sorry this column is so late in the month, and second, sorry it’s going to be so short. Anyone who knows me probably understands at least one of the reasons why this is such a busy time of the year for me (hint: ho ho ho, second hint: santaconfidential.com). But also,
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Martial Arts in Media 9/13

I’ll tell you the truth. After having seen the Hong Kong DVD version of The Grandmaster several times, the San Diego Comic Con version, and now the Northeastern American theatrical release, I can’t be sure what’s in which cut anymore. But I’m fairly certain that the latter edition – the one that is now being
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Daily Grindhouse Op(posing)-Ed(iting Kungfu)!

Geoff Hunt contacted me last week and asked if I had any thoughts on the recent announcement that The Weinstein Company planned to remake several Shaw Brothers Studio classics as well as produce a prequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Turns out I did, and within moments of my emailing it in, it appeared on
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Martial Arts in Media 8/13

As studios on each side of the oceans scramble to play nice-nice so they can get a piece of China’s burgeoning movie finances and audiences, the results can be both hopeful and crest-falling. Squarely in the latter category is Switch, writer/director Jay Sun’s magnificent mess, seemingly created to bite off hunks of Roger Moore’s James
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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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