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 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 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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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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A Word From Your Host

Hey all. If you check in here on a (semi)regular basis, you may have noticed that my updates are getting few and far between. This happens every now and again, and is most often caused by a corresponding diminishing of my free time. In other words, when I get really busy in my professional life,
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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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My Life in Bond Age

In celebration of the James Bond film series’ 50th anniversary, a variety of publishers and websites are examining the movies. Entertainment Weekly, Life Books, Cult Britannia … all (so far) rife with butt-kissing, the opposite of critical acumen, and even flat-out inaccuracies. So, in the run-up to Skyfall (which I pray is good), I will
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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 1/12

Ok, this is beginning to depress me. First, there was the realization that there was not a single great kung fu movie last year. Now this. It’s not so much that the films below were disappointing, but that they were so slapdash – especially from a storytelling standpoint. Once upon a time, Hong Kong-slash-Chinese cinema
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