martial Arts

DVD Releases: March 2, 2010

Out this week we have Three DVDs to feature:  Ponyo, 2012, and Ninja.  Do we Love It, Rent it, or Avoid Like Plague?

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  • 2012: a disaster film which will feature some of the more scarier natural disasters out there like Yellowstone's super volcano. I’m curious to see how they pull of the message behind the movie but I have seen so many of these go wrong which leaves me leery to watch it. Netflix says I’ll give it a 4.1 so it may be good.  Definitely a renter.

  • Ninja: Do Not Confuse this with Ninja Assassin the Wachowski brothers film that will be released in a couple of weeks.  Ninja is a modern tale about Ninjas with a typical story line:  Main character journeys to Japan to study to be a ninja then gets called back to New York to protect an armor chest with the legendary ninja weapons in it.  I find it hard to place into the not interested category because I’m a sucker for Martial arts movies though every other bone in my body warns me that this won’t be good.  Netflix thinks I will give it a 3 which means it’s a risk.  With that in mind a renter for fans of martial arts movies and not interested for the rest.


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DVD Releases: October 20th 2009

Out this week we have three DVDs to feature:  Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Blood: The Last VampireBlood+: Part Two.  Do we Love It, Rent it, or Avoid Like Plague?  [reus name="Transformers revenge of fallen iFrame"]

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Renter

  • Blood+: Part Two is a series based on the 2000 anime film Blood: The Last Vampire about a little girl vampire hunter.  The 2000 animated film of Blood didn't spark my interest but the new movie that came out this year looked interesting and is a renter.  My interest in the movie is why this is a renter.  It will sit low on my rental list though I'm still unsure about it and will wait to watch the movie first.  If you have any comments on the Blood movie's or this series please let me know.

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Rain to Awaken the Dragon

Cover of "Enter the Dragon"
Cover of Enter the Dragon

Korean pop-star Rain ...  could be taking on a role ... in a modern noir remake of Enter the Dragon, dubbed Awaken the Dragon.

The project is the brainchild of Kurt Sutter, formerly an executive producer and writer on The Shield ... and will follow an FBI agent in pursuit of a rogue Shaolin monk into the seedy world of martial arts fight clubs ... Sutter is apparently aiming to make the film “more Raging Bull than Crouching Tiger in its viciousness (/Film)."

Bruce Lee is one of the greatest martial artists of all time.  Rain is quickly moving to pick up the mantle.

The clips from Ninja Assassin amazed me, and Enter the Dragon is one of those movies that is not only brilliant, but mired in its time.

If Rain pulls off this role, he will be the next great martial arts superstar.  We need one.  This might be the first step there.

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Ninja Assassin Trailer and Movie Poster

Ninja Assassin, the perfect blending of two things I love in one movie, martial arts films, and Wachowski Brothers films finally has a trailer out and it looks great. Watch the Trailer Below.

The action is stunning.  The part that gives me a lot of hope is the closing scene with the car.  This tells me that the Wachowski Brothers not only worked toward a stunning film with great martial arts but they are also going to use the Hong Kong style.  Blending in moments of humor into the stunning martial arts scenes to help balance out the tension and mood.

The tools of the trade for Ninjas is one of my interests particularly because they are more fluid in form and style.  This is due to the the focus being on success lending to a plethora of modified weaponry.  I like seeing the creativity that goes into those modifications.  Imagine my delight watching this trailer when I got to see in just a few minutes a lot of different weapons... I wonder how that sword works.

The poster below is another great example of the weapons featured.  The Wachowski Brothers did not go for the traditional sword wielding picture but instead are showing off that beautiful modified version of a Kusarigama using a nice dagger instead of a sickle.

ninja-assassin-poster

Story:  Raizo, kidnapped as a child and raised by the Ozunu Clan, is one of the world's deadliest assassins.  When Raizo's friend is executed by the clan, he flees into hiding.  Meanwhile, Mika Coretti, a Europol agent, retrieves secret agency files on The Clan. Finding out about the investigation, The Clan attempts to assassinate her, but she is rescued by Raizo.  Reemerging, seeking revenge he must find a way to take down the Ozunu Clan.

Ninja Assassin is due out November 24th according to the poster which is in conflict or has changed from the original believed date of November 25th.  I'm not going to hold my breath on either dates and expect latter clarification because the 24th is a Tuesday which is not a typical release day though it is just before thanksgiving weekend so it may hold for that date.  In either case it is too far off I can't wait to watch it.

The Last Airbender Teaser Trailer

I have been one of the voices in the Racebending debate around the new The Last Airbender, but this new teaser looks good but not great.

My first complaint is that the martial arts do not look as natural as I would like for Aang.  Secondly is the voice over.

They make the movie sound like it will be a Star Wars meets Harry Potter film, and while that is a good thing to bring a broader audience to The Last Airbender, I only hope that does not mean they have rewritten the story to fit into that mold.

Other than that, it looks good.  I cannot wait to see more.

(via /Film)

Dragonball Evolution Trailer and Thoughts

Dragonball Evolution Japanese Trailer

I am not sure how to feel about this trailer for Dragonball Evolution.  It looks goofy and weird, but then again, it is a Dragonball movie.  All I really expect is:

  • people in cartoonish costumes
  • martial arts
  • people shooting things out of their hands at each other

Check, check, check, the trailer has all of them… but I am still not sure I liked it.  With a bar this low, the only way not to clear it is to trip.

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Review of The Wandering Swordsman (1970)

The_Wandering_Swordsman Review of:  The Wandering Swordsman (1970) Overall Rating: 8

This wuxia film started with a fun lighthearted tale of a prankster character who wandered from place to place causing trouble for bad people and helped those in need.  I was left with an initial sense of stuff happens but all of the seemingly random events suddenly knit together as the main plot is revealed.  Then the movie takes on more of a stock 70’s wuxia film pattern even ending on the sad note.

The Wandering Swordsman (1970) has a delightful sense of play.  I really enjoyed the main character with his swashbuckling sense.  The visuals, actions and fight scenes are ok but I should also note that this was shot in 1970.  The characters are also for the most part flat with the exception of the lead and his nemesis.  The tale told and overall experience is fun and overall swashbuckling goodness, definitely worth watching at least once.

The story: In this fun, swashbuckling, martial arts tale, a charismatic prankster with formidable sword skills bounces decides to steel from thieves and then gives his new wealth to some wondering poor.  This plan doesn't sit well with the criminals, who band together to stop him. Fortunately our hero has a powerful blade on his side.  A high-spirited blend of action, romance, and comedy, this dynamic Shaw Brothers classic from fearless director Chang Cheh.

Get you copy from:  Amazon The Wandering Swordsman (1970)

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