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Posts Tagged ‘Tzi Ma’

Rapid Fire

Monday, April 3rd, 2023

Occasionally during this Ronny Yu series I will go on tangents about films that are not directed by Ronny Yu, but are related to the topic at hand. I’ve been meaning to revisit my maybe-favorite-Brandon-Lee movie RAPID FIRE for years, and thought it would fit in well here. To be honest I forgot that I already reviewed it in 2009, but that’s okay, this is a better review. It was worth a reboot.

Lee followed his movie debut in LEGACY OF RAGE with LASER MISSION (1989) and SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO (1991), but it was the Yu film that attracted the atttention of producer Robert Lawrence (A KISS BEFORE DYING) and made him want to find a vehicle to turn Lee into a huge American action star.

As I referenced in the LEGACY OF RAGE review, the Metrograph theater did an interview with Ronny Yu where he said of Lee, “He was 19 when I met him. He was wearing a leather jacket, leather boots, riding a bike, he was very rebellious,” and “He said, ‘I hate martial arts. I hate it. And don’t talk, don’t even mention Bruce Lee to me!’”

Years later in RAPID FIRE (1992), Lee’s character Jake Lo is introduced wearing a leather jacket, leather boots, riding a bike, looking very rebellious. An art major at a college in L.A., he pulls up to campus during a demonstration for democracy in China. Seeing the protest signs causes him to flash back to the historic events at Tiananmen Square, where he saw his dad (Michael Chong, TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.) killed by soldiers. According to RAPID FIRE’s entry in the AFI Catalog, “Lee was involved in the development of the story, and a key element that resonated with the actor was his character’s struggle to deal with his father’s death, which mirrored Lee’s personal life.” (read the rest of this shit…)

A Good Man

Monday, September 15th, 2014

tn_agoodmanex3-seagal“The rate this is going we’re going to run out of Russians soon.”

A GOOD MAN – not to be confused with A DANGEROUS MAN, A SERIOUS MAN, A SINGLE MAN, A SOLITARY MAN, HE WAS A QUIET MAN, etc. – is the latest Steven Seagal picture, continuing what at first glance looks like Seagal’s Goatee Period (SGP). The new facial hair seems to represent the evil Seagal from another dimension, or at least a slightly darker Seagal. In the opening narration he explains that he has both light and darkness in him. Later he calls himself “a regular man who does bad things to bad people.”

He doesn’t seem like as much of an anti-hero as the Russian gangster he played in his last movie, FORCE OF EXECUTION, but he is a guy who goes around literally chopping up gangsters and leaving them strewn across alleys. Technically that’s not that different from what he does in other movies, but it’s presented differently. The first pile we don’t see as an action scene, we see it as a crime scene investigated by detectives. And he leaves a calling card – incense in their hands, the Chinese characters for “Gwai-Lo” – like a serial killer.

But on closer examination, this gangster-slayer actually is an alternate reality version of the guy from the last movie. On a behind the scenes featurette writer/director Keoni Waxman says they originally started writing it as a sequel to “our last movie,” which would explain the returning beard and that both characters are named Alexander. (read the rest of this shit…)