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

Jacky Wu Jing, The Tai Chi Master

Wu Jing, The Tai Chi Master
The Tai Chi Master (太極宗師)

Have you ever wondered how the slow and graceful movements of Tai Chi could possibly be applied in a real fight? If so, this expertly choreographed movie will give you some ideas.

In The Tai Chi Master, Chinese action hero Wu Jing (a.k.a. Jacky Wu, Jason Wu) portrays real-life master Yang Lu-Chan, the founder of Yang Style Tai Chi. Here, Wu Jing re-enacts the famous tower sequence from Bruce Lee’s Game of Death. Continue reading Jacky Wu Jing, The Tai Chi Master

Top Martial Arts Movies of 2006

Historical map
The world as seen by Netflix
Sea monsters block DVD imports

2006 was a great year for martial arts movie enthusiasts like us. Unfortunately, many of this year’s best films will never be released to US audiences.

No, you won’t see these movies in a local theatre, or at Blockbuster Video. Even Netflix seems unaware of Asia’s existence. As a kung fu fanatic, your only alternative is to order them directly on DVD.

If Jet Li’s Fearless and Tony Jaa’s The Protector didn’t scratch your itch, try these others: Continue reading Top Martial Arts Movies of 2006

The Best of Kung Fu Cinema: Fight Choreography

I was recently reading wujimon’s Taijiquan blog, and was a little surprised to find Top 5 Martial Arts Movies in his list of most popular posts.

Surely, I thought, such lowbrow pursuits are beneath the true “internal martial artist”? But it seems I was wrong; a fortuitous circumstance, because I know more about kung fu movies than John Hodgman knows about hoboes. Continue reading The Best of Kung Fu Cinema: Fight Choreography