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Posts Tagged ‘Gordon Liu’

Shaolin and Wu Tang

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

SHAOLIN AND WU-TANG a.k.a. SHAOLIN VS. WU-TANG is the 1983 directorial debut of Gordon Liu, made right before THE 8-DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER. Liu also co-stars as the young representative of Shaolin in the titular rivalry. It’s an independent production (distributed by Hing Fat Film Co.) but feels very much like Liu’s Shaw Brothers movies, maybe partly because it’s produced and choreographed by 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN director Lau Kar-leung.

Jun-kit (Liu) and Fung-wu (Adam Cheng, ZU: WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN, SEVEN WARRIORS) are the respective top students at Shaolin and Wu Tang schools in the same city. Although their masters (Han Chiang and Hoi-San Kwan) have a bit of a rivalry when they run into each other in town, their students laugh it off and hang out at the brothel together. But they make the mistake of sparring there, showing off their abilities in a friendly competition. Word gets to the local Qing Lord (Wang Lung Wei, MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE, THE BOXER’S OMEN, THE SEVENTH CURSE), who says “If what you say is true, the Shaolin and the Wu Tang could be dangerous,” as famously sampled by Wu-Tang Clan on “Bring Da Ruckus.” So he decides he must learn both styles to protect himself. (read the rest of this shit…)

Tiger On Beat

Monday, February 10th, 2020

TIGER ON BEAT is a 1988 Chow Yun Fat cop movie that’s not an untouchable masterpiece like HARD BOILED, but a goofy ‘80s time capsule sort of in the tradition of Hollywood buddy cop action comedies of the era. It opens and closes with an appropriately cheesy hard rock theme song.
Chow’s character Francis Li is that type of cop we’re supposed to be charmed by for his careless attitude (until he gets serious about a case) and his relentless hitting on every woman he meets.

We first meet him in bed with a woman, their ankles handcuffed together, when her husband gets home. Somehow he convinces the husband that he’s a good samaritan doing CPR on her as a favor to him while he goes out drinking. Because he’s this smooth-talking, crazy-lying guy I thought for a minute it was gonna be his BEVERLY HILLS COP. There’s even a pretty great synth tune, but unfortunately it doesn’t turn out to be as prevalent in the movie as “Axel F. Theme” was. (read the rest of this shit…)

Executioners From Shaolin

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

tn_executionersMany of us know Pai Mei from his strict teachings of Beatrix Kiddo. In KILL BILL VOLUME 2 he’s a mean old bastard with long white hair. But he’s meaner and older than you may realize: his first movie appearance is in EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN (1977), a movie that opens with him dueling a Shaolin priest to the death and burning down the temple with most of the monks inside. He was already an old man then, and that was 1727 (at least according to the first literary references to the alleged historical figure he’s based on).

still_executioners1

(read the rest of this shit…)

The Super-Kumite Finals: The Kumite (2003)

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

tn_Super-Kumitetn_kumiteTHE KUMITE is the stupid American title for the 2003 Hong Kong film also known as STAR RUNNER. Thankfully there is a tournament in it, but if you’re wondering, it’s called “Star Runner,” not “The Kumite.” The word “kumite” is never used in the movie, unless you count the BLOODSPORT trailer they included on the DVD. Also, the guy in the cover is not the hero, that’s the guy he has to beat at the tournament. And the tagline “To die is an honor” has nothing to do with the movie at all. Nobody dies.
(read the rest of this shit…)

The Man With the Iron Fists

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS is the new kung fu movie directed, co-written and starring RZA, leader of the Wu-Tang Clan. The rap group, not the clan, although he has actually been a guest at the Shaolin Temple and trained under a 34th generation Shaolin monk, no bullshit. If you’re not a Shaolin monk and not into hip hop either you might still be familiar with RZA from his all time classic score to GHOST DOG: WAY OF THE SAMURAI or you might’ve seen him show up as an actor occasionally, like in AMERICAN GANGSTER or FUNNY PEOPLE.

Directing a kung fu movie, though, is something he’s been trying to do since at least the ’90s, when he started filming a super hero martial arts thing called BOBBY DIGITAL. (read the rest of this shit…)

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D Imax

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Wait a minute, you’re telling me that a Tsui Hark/Jet Li movie is showing in 3D Imax in my town? Shit, that’s something I gotta experience, something I gotta support. I managed to squeak it in on the next-to-last day of the 2 week limited engagement, so I’m sorry that I failed to give some of you a heads up.

Apparently this is a remake of DRAGON GATE INN (1966) which was already remade as NEW DRAGON GATE INN/DRAGON INN (1992), neither of which I’ve seen. It is not a remake of DRAGON TIGER GATE, which I have seen. Donnie Yen was offered the lead in this, but he turned it down because he was already in the ’92 version and thought that would be weird to do another one. Or maybe he was confusing it with DRAGON TIGER GATE and didn’t want to revisit the goofy hair style he had in that.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Dirty Ho

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

tn_dirtyhoDIRTY HO is one of the comedic Shaw Brothers pictures. And yeah, I know, the title is funny. It sounds like it would be about, I don’t know, a Manchurian prince who has to get to a certain ceremony but one of his thirteen brothers is scheming to have him killed and meanwhile him and another guy named Ho keep playing dirty tricks on each other so that’s why he’s a Dirty Ho. That’s what it sounds like it would be about, but really the tricks are not dirty per se. In my opinion he’s a Sneaky Ho at worst. The movie should be called HE’S UP, HO’S DOWN. (read the rest of this shit…)

Heroes of the East

Friday, November 12th, 2010

tn_heroesoftheeastaka CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA, SHAOLIN VS. NINJA, SHAOLIN CHALLENGES NINJA

HEROES OF THE EAST is a really top notch Shaw Brothers production that’s half all-time classic martial arts movie, half romantic comedy. There are cultural differences that separate it from a Katherine Heigl movie besides just martial arts, the main one being arranged marriage. In a Heigl picture she’s forced to be with a guy she initially hates because of a baby, here it’s because of powerful Chinese and Japanese business families trying to expand their reach by making their kids marry each other.
(read the rest of this shit…)

True Legend

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

tn_truelegendThis year’s TRUE LEGEND is Yuen Woo-Ping’s first directational work since IRON MONKEY 2 in 1996. During that break he’s done some classic fight choreography, including some of the best ever in American movies (the MATRIXes, the KILL BILLs), but just hasn’t put himself in charge of a whole movie. So this is fun because it’s great wushu mythmaking and the master’s trademark fights working with a new pack of stylistic and technological weapons that didn’t exist 14 years ago. (read the rest of this shit…)

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Friday, June 24th, 2005

tn_36thchamberaka SHAOLIN MASTER KILLER

So you got these fuckin Tartars goin around oppressing people, right? No surprise there. Humiliating people, publicly executing people, fucking with innocent people’s seafood shops and all that kind of crap. I mean let’s be honest here, we all know how these fuckin Tartars are. And in a Shaw Brothers classic like this, we know Gordon Liu is gonna do something about it.

There’s this classroom of kids (played by adults) and they’ve been learning about the importance of their country and standing up to their enemies but they can’t figure out why they’re learning this in the classroom and then watching the Tartars pull this kind of crap. Are those lessons just words or are they concepts they should really live by? They decide on the second one and when they try to stand up and make a difference, they are rewarded with a serious assbeating.

But Gordon gets away, and you know what he always does when he gets away. He finds his way to the Shaolin Temple where the monks patch him up, then he demands to stay and become a monk, and then he asks to learn kung fu. (read the rest of this shit…)