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 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 10/13

Anyone who reads this, or read my Inside Kung Fu and Asian Cult Cinema columns knows I love Johnnie To. And, if you only read the former, you know I was really looking forward to Blind Detective, the latest film from To (and longtime collaborator Wai Ka-fai). And when the totally unnecessarily 130 minute movie
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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 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 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 3/12

Things remain … interesting … for the genre. While The Grandmasters, Wong Kar-wai’s biopic of Yip Man (the reason the other films are about “Ip” Man, since no one wanted to get in the vaunted filmmaker’s way), and RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fist, have both completed principal photography some time back, and there
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Martial Arts in Media Oct. 2011

Kung fu cinema is walking a tightrope this month. Between America’s standard operating ignorance and China’s all-too-pragmatic surveillance, the industry is trying to supply the ever-growing number of screens with what they think they want without unsettling the watchdogs on either side of the world. The result brings out the best and worst of the
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Ric & Infamous 9/9

The hope never dies because we all know how talented Jackie Chan is. But with each successive film, the disappointment grows … because we all know how talented Jackie Chan is. I, for one, hit the fast forward button and take what pleasures I can from his increasingly defuse, and obtuse, filmography, all the while
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Ric & Infamous 5/08

After a six-month drought, suddenly the home video market is welcoming a slew of new efforts – though only one really aspires to anything approaching greatness. Does it come as surprise to anyone that particular film bears the mark of Johnnie To? This exceptional filmmaker reclaims his place as South China’s best director after the
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