This is a somewhat short video I made using some of my favorite scenes from some of my favorite Martial Arts movies. The clips here are Flashpoint, Ip Man 1 and 2, Fist Of Legend, Gorgeous and Drunken Master. Once again please forgive my video quality, unless you want to donate to the “I am too poor to afford decent editing equipment” fund.
Archive for Drunken Master
Chances are if you have read this blog before you know that I am a huge fan of Martial Arts movies. Throughout my life I have seen numerous Martial Arts films from Steven Seagal (yes I do consider some of his films martial arts films) to Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan but it hasn’t been until recent years in which I have been able to gain a true appreciation for the art so I want to countdown my top 5 favorite Martial Arts movies that define how I look at the genre.
5.Fist Of Legend
who could have a martial arts top 5 without listing a movie with one of the most gifted and technically trained martial artists in the business? Jet Li was first introduced on an international level with Lethal Weapon 4 but in China he was already well known starring in movies such as Once Upon A Time In China and Twin Warriors but something stands out for me in this 1994 remake of the famous Bruce Lee movie Fist Of Fury. While it may not have the most original plot or characters this movie is probably one of the best displays of just straightforward Martial Arts. Taking place in Japanese occupied China, Jet Li’s character the all too familiar Chen Zhen is studying at a Japanese school when news arrives to him that his martial arts master has been killed in a duel so naturally he travels back to China to battle the corrupt unjust Imperial Japanese regime by kicking the ever loving bejesus out of every Japanese martial artist he sees. Shortly after his arrival he is exiled from his school due to infighting and the fact that he has a Japanese girlfriend and so begins the story of his epic noble fight against the Japanese which ultimately turns in to a one on one with a Japanese general (which includes a very good fight scene with belt).While there is a bit of wire fu here and there (but EXTREMELY sparsely intertwined) the majority is just straight forward bare knuckle action and the displays of ability by a rather young Jet Li are nothing short of astounding. If I am not mistaken Yuen Woo Ping had his hands in this movie which is rather surprising given the year in which this movie was made and how sparse the wire fu in it is. I get the feeling that because of this film being a remake of a film so beloved by fans they wanted to stay much truer to a Bruce Lee style approach. Whatever the reason the no nonsense approach makes this film one of the best of the genre in my opinion and great for anyone who isn’t looking for a lot of fancy high flying.
What do you get when you take two of Martial Arts most celebrated names and put them together? you get the very essence of the Kung Fu comedy genre. There is nothing quite like the combination of Jackie Chan and Yuen Woo Ping when it comes to ANY genre. This movie came out around 1978 which was a time when the market for Martial Arts movies was over saturated with Bruce Lee clones and clone movies as a matter of fact most of Jackie Chan’s early starring roles were basically meant to leech off of the success of the Bruce Lee films it wasn’t until the mild success of Snake In the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master that Jackie Chan had created the art of mixing comedy with Martial Arts action. Jackie Chan plays a young miscreant Martial Arts student who is such a trouble maker that his father decides that he should go train with a mysterious Kung Fu master who is known for his brutality in both combat and training but when Chan is quickly surprised to find that his teacher is a sloppy clown-like drunk who cares about little more than his gourd of rice wine which he carries around with him at all times and so the hilarity ensues as Chan and Ping both find themselves fighting other Martial Artists culminating in a battle with the dreaded assassin Thunderfoot . This is one of those movies I could watch over and over again and never get bored with it. It has amazing choreographed fight scenes and the comedy is never really too over the top. It’s slapstick Kung Fu that is quick and memorable. Every fight scene will have you either laughing or enjoying the great action and pacing. Rush Hour was good for its time but there is no better movie for the King Of Kung Fu Comedy than Drunken Master, by far probably the best display of Jackie Chan ever recorded.
(by the way because the movie is largely public domain you can watch it for free on Youtube so check it out)
3. Ip Man 1 And 2
When it comes to great straight forward martial arts with exciting action and choreography there are few better than Sammo Hung. I am not going to go in to how great these two movies are because I have reviewed them but I will focus on the reason they made this list. Ip Man is the movie that I saw that basically ignited my love for the genre I remember seeing a preview of this movie on a movie I was watching and I remember thinking being completely blown away by it, I knew I HAD to find and watch this movie. So when I was walking through Walmart I happened across it and picked it up being a little apprehensive because I had remembered always being sort of bored with Martial Arts movies when I was a kid. I had always kind of taken them as formulaic a bunch of bad guys surround a hero and that hero takes them all on one at a time until they are all a bloodied mess but when I sat down and watched it I found a very different movie. Not only did this movie have a very moving story and actual acting in it but this movie had some of the most intensely choreographed fight scenes I had ever seen. Donnie Yen was just lightning fast as he takes on a horde of ten Japanese soldiers all at once. The story here is much similar to the story of Fist Of Legend and many other Martial Arts movies but the acting is so good and the action is so unique that you feel as though it is a different story entirely. Ip Man 2 is the first sequel where I can honestly say that it is just as good as the first. The storyline is very cliched and used BUT once again the acting is so good and the action is so unparalleled that you would swear you were watching something new. It is similar in story to movies like Fearless but where it differs is that it has such straight forward action with little slow motion or wires that you find yourself absolutely enthralled by a story you have seen countless time. This is the movie that proved to me that Martial Arts doesn’t always stay in those typical tropes.
2.Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Once again Yuen Woo Ping dominates the list with yet another movie. Once again this is a movie that I have already reviewed so there isn’t too much more I can really say about it. It’s the perfect blend of Martial Arts, acting, and story telling. It’s simply enthralling from beginning to end. It’s been copied, it’s been parodied but has never been matched. This is the movie that breaks all barriers for the genre. period.
1. Enter The Dragon
Were you expecting someone different at the top of my list? How in the world could you even say the word Martial Arts without thinking of Bruce Lee, the man who basically defined the entire genre and made it what it is today. Without Bruce I seriously doubt Martial Arts would have any place in America. Enter The Dragon was the last film completed before Lee’s untimely death. it is definitely my favorite because it epitomizes that 70s style but has a lot of really cool martial arts scenes to go with it. The basic plotline is that of your average tournament fighter game. Lee plays a special agent who is going under cover at a Martial Arts tournament held by an evil master whose company is moonlighting in selling drugs or guns…or…whatever. Chances are you won’t really care all THAT much about the plotline as much as the action itself and the atmosphere. Enter The Dragon has the number one spot because it was the first Martial Arts movie I can remember watching and the far reaching influence is astounding. I remember really liking it and thinking it was an interesting movie and at the time I had NO idea who Bruce Lee was I just knew that the fight scenes were pretty cool, the story wasn’t half bad and the atmosphere was unforgettable. The scene I remember most is probably the one scene that has been parodied and copied the most. The ending fight scene in the room full of mirrors in which our one armed evil master is ripping Lee to shreds with his metal claw prosthesis. I remember thinking it was one of the most clever scenes I had ever seen in a movie (even though for the time the whole room of mirrors cliche was a bit over used) but I remember being completely enthralled by the way Bruce Lee moved and fought. I wouldn’t call this movie his best display of ability by any means probably the best would be Way Of The Dragon BUT it is one of the ones he is best remembered for and definitely a great buy for any Martial Arts collection. It can be found for around $5.00 in any bargain bin so I would suggest giving it a try and taking yourself back to the past for cheesy dialogue, even cheesier looks and some of my favorite fight scenes ever recorded.