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 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 3/13

It’s post Chinese New Year celebration time, and the movie release schedule was amped up accordingly. And between Wong Kar-wai’s “official” Yip Man bio-action-pic The Grandmasters, and Stephen Chow’s Journey to the West, things are actually looking up for the first time in a long time. Serving as yin to this yang is the continuing
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Martial Arts in Media 2/13

Sigh. Pardon me for sighing. It’s just that when old film friends take the easy route, or create a great set-up then present a “just kidding” pay-off, it’s hard for me not to sigh. Sigh. After extensive consideration, let me say this. If you discovered and followed Jackie Chan after 1995’s Rumble in the Bronx
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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 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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Martial Arts in Media 4/12

Things are looking up. Donnie Yen has signed for another Ip Man movie (in 3D yet). The advertisements for Stephen Fung’s (House of Fury) new film, Tai Chi 0 (the first in a planned trilogy), have gone up in Beijing (and the movie has been sold to Well Go USA for U.S. release as well).
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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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36th Chamber 4/10

Dateline America: Hurry, hurry, hurry. Probably by the time you read this, the 9th New York Asian Film Festival is already taking place at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, the Japan Society, and The IFC Center. Launched in 2002, NYAFF has already established itself as North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema, which has
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Ric & Infamous 8/08

I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile. Around seven years ago, Celestial Pictures started distributing the Shaw Brothers Studio film library, which had laid dormant (and rotting) since 1985, when Sir (or is it “Lord” by now?) Run Run Shaw shut down the motion picture units to concentrate on more lucrative (and easier to
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