Martial Arts Movies of 2010: The Best, and the Rest

Last year was a good year for martial arts movies. With more than two dozen releases to theater and DVD, few people will have the time and interest to screen them all–myself included! Rather than writing a review for each, I have decided to simply list those you cannot afford to miss.

The Best

Bodyguards and Assassins
Winner: 2010 Hong Kong Film Award, Best Film

Bodyguards and Assassins [IMDB rating: 6.9/10]
Starring Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse, Cung Le

Continue reading Martial Arts Movies of 2010: The Best, and the Rest

All Red Ninjas Are Evil!

Clayton Prince is: The Black Ninja

Reviewer Mark Pollard says:

THE BLACK NINJA is one of those “should have” films. It should have been marketed as the no budget, amateur project that it is, rather than as a potentially gratifying B-grade exploitation piece in order to keep expectations to a minimum. It should have been a short film, omitting overlong dialogue while making better use of limited resources. It should have been campier. A vigilante ninja clad in black while riding a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle should not be taken seriously. Finally, it should have had nothing to do with ninjas to begin with since the martial arts action is miserably weak. And last but not least, it should have never been made.

Continue reading All Red Ninjas Are Evil!

Teenage Ninja Rap!

This video clip has been chosen, as I have chosen others before it.
Each of them shall display the ancient art of the ninja warrior.

So you want to be a teenage ninja
Let me begin to show you what ya gotta do
Ya gotta know the rules and pay your dues
If you wanna graduate from this ninja school Continue reading Teenage Ninja Rap!

2009 Review: The Best Kung Fu Movies

Jeeja Yanin, Raging Phoenix

Raging Phoenix

[Yesasia] [IMDB]
I would love to cite Raging Phoenix as the first awesome martial arts film with a female lead. I would love to do that. But its choreographers and writers conspire against me.

Raging Phoenix is the story of a young female rocker (played by Jeeja Yanin) who gets caught up in a ruthless kidnapping ring. Women are abducted off the streets of Thailand, drugged, and taken to a secret laboratory hidden within a Temple of Doom, which is in turn hidden within a metropolitan sewage system. Naturally, the women’s tears are harvested there, to concoct a patent medicine for eccentric billionaires.

Only one force is strong enough to thwart the kidnapper’s plans: a small group of drunken vigilantes who learned to combine Muay Thai boxing with stylish hip-hop dance moves. Continue reading 2009 Review: The Best Kung Fu Movies

Real-Life Ninja Assassin Threatens Journalist

Rain as 'Ninja Assassin'

If you have to choose between seeing Ninja Assassin and Red Cliff this weekend, I recommend the latter–even if this abridged US release is not quite as good as the original 4-hour Chinese version. (Curious John Woo fans can order the longer cut of Red Cliff on DVD today.)

Fantastic tales about Ninja clans and other secret fighting societies are depressingly common in the martial arts world. These legends are used for marketing and entertainment purposes; repeated often, but rarely taken seriously.

Benjamin Fulford wants to be taken seriously. Formerly the Asia-Pacific bureau chief at Forbes Magazine, Fulford spent years reporting on the highest and lowest echelons of Japanese society, from politicians to Yakuza gangsters. Continue reading Real-Life Ninja Assassin Threatens Journalist

Tiny Tales of Modern Samurai

More offbeat news from the world of martial arts…

“Manga Bible” Casts Jesus Christ as Samurai Warrior

Christian thinkers have tried to make the Bible accessible for centuries, scholars said. Stained glass windows related Bible stories when Europe was largely illiterate. New printing technology in the 19th century made it possible to mass-produce Bibles, including illustrated versions…

The goal of the Bibles is not just to win people to Christ, but to particular ways of thinking, said Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University. Manga Bible author Mr. Akinsiku said the biblical message he wanted to underscore was justice, especially for the poor…
[Continued in The New York Times]

Attention Anchormen: Not Every Swordsman is a Samurai
Recently confronted by a sword-wielding maniac, German police lower their guns, in favor of the trusty battle broom. Continue reading Tiny Tales of Modern Samurai