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Everybody is kung-fu fighting for sure, but it takes more than that to make a great martial arts movie. The Guardian and Observer critics pick the 10 finest ever made
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• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
The film that kick-started Hong Kong cinema's kung-fu renaissance and launched Jet Li towards a future of substandard western action movies. Its subject was already well known to local audiences: Wong Fei-hung was a real person: a turn-of-the-century martial arts master and healer who's become something of a folk hero. Like Sherlock Holmes or Robin Hood, he'd been portrayed many times before. Jackie Chan played him in Drunken Master, and a long-running Wong Fei-hung film series during the 1950s and 60s gave roles to the fathers of Bruce Lee and Yuen Wo-ping, »
After the success of his last movie Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-leela, Gulshan Devaiah will be seen in a new avatar. The talented actor hosted the closing ceremony of the 44th Iffii festival along with Tisca Chopra in Goa.
The actor was very nervous about hosting it, as this marks his debut as a host. Gulshan had spent a day rehearsing the lines as this is the first time he is doing a live event in front of such a big audience. Sources present at the event reveal that Gulshan had done a fabulous job hosting the show. Gulshan Devaiah, looking dapper in cream coloured suit, was the highlight of the night. He brought his signature style and flair on stage and won the hearts of the audience and contemporaries. Talking about the event Gulshan said, “I was a bit nervous to start with but once I settled in it was great fun. »
- Press Releases
Panaji, Nov 28: Malaysian-Chinese star Michelle Yeoh, who was sidelined at the 42nd edition of the International Film Festival of India (Iffi), will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the festival this year.
"Yeoh will be the chief guest. This is part of an effort to widen the international profile of the festival especially after having invited Hollywood star Susan Sarandon as the chief guest for the inaugural function," an official said.
Yeoh, who was also present at the closing ceremony of the festival in 2011, was upstaged. »
- Abhijeet Sen
A few months ago i posted a fight clip from Maria Tran and her incredible hard working team which was titled Tiger Cop 2. The short fight scene reminded me off the days when Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima were in fine fighting form with hard hitting action, so i had to do a feature on there next project Tiger Cop 3.
The 30 second clip Tiger Cop II was shot over 2 hours in late July as a fun tribute and as a response to Yellow Zone, an 80s Hong Kong style fan action short by the German boys; Andy Long, Can Ayin and Khoi Chau, has now sparked another clip.
Reintroducing Maria Tran (Fist of the Dragon) as well as »
We've known for quite some time that producer Avi Lerner and his Millennium/New Image studio have been planning to launch an all-female spin-off of their successful franchise The Expendables. Avi has now revealed three of the main cast members, which include Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz and Milla Jovovich.
Titled Expendabelles, the film will begin shooting in the very near future. No production start date was mentioned, but it's believed to be kicking off in early 2014, with shooting to take place in Bulgaria's Boyana cinema center.
Here is what Lerner had to say about the project, claiming that it will be twice as action-packed as any of The Expendables sequels.
"The action movie will be spectacular - and in nothing inferior to the three male movies of the The Expendables. There will be battles, special and visual effects and stunts - the spectacle will be equivalent to what Sylvester Stallone, »
• Top 10 romantic movies
Peter Bradshaw on action movies
In some ways, it should be the quintessential cinema genre. After all, what does the director shout at the beginning of a take? Action – at times a euphemism for violence and machismo – evolved into a recognisable genre in the 80s. Gunplay and athleticism resurfaced in a sweatier and more explicitly violent form, with movies such as Sylvester Stallone's First Blood. The hardware was all-important, and the metallic sheen of the guns was something to be savoured alongside the musculature of the heroes. The genre spawned the action hero. These were not pretty-boys there to melt female hearts: they were there to get a roar of approval from the guys. »
Ang Lee's majestic martial arts spectacular stars Hong Kong legend Chow Yun-Fat as a master swordsman on the trail of a stolen blade that bears great power. His quest is inextricably linked to three formidable women: a fellow warrior (Michelle Yeoh), a mysterious young prodigy (Zhang Ziyi), and his mortal enemy Jade Fox. Endless intrigue, incredible stuntwork and breathtaking visuals led to gold at the Oscars - Best Foreign Film, Art/Set Direction, Cinematography, Score - and the international box office. »
Standard-issue ingredients get folded into “Final Recipe,” a largely English-lingo heartwarmer about a high-school student entering a “MasterChef”-type contest and finding his long-lost father along the way. The always welcome presence of Michelle Yeoh makes the saccharine flavors go down slightly better, yet there’s no getting around the feeling that helmer Gina Kim (“Never Forever”) was doing this for money rather than out of a passion for the product. Given the popularity of food-related pics, it’s likely “Recipe” will find a decent number of middlebrow consumers, though no one will mistake this for anything but empty calories.
Crotchety grandpa Hao (Chang Tseng) faces the closure of his restaurant in Singapore because he refuses to adapt to modern palates. Grandson Mark (singer-actor Henry Lau) gets the bright idea of entering the Final Recipe competition in Shanghai so he can use the prize money to keep the family afloat, »
- Jay Weissberg
San Sebastian, Spain -- Annette Bening, Oliver Stone, Michelle Yeoh and Juan Jose Campanella took the stage for the inauguration of the 61st San Sebastian International Film Festival Friday night, kicking off the eight-day long event in the picturesque seaside town that is its namesake. Bening is presenting Face of Love -- hot off its screening in Toronto -- in the Pearls section, while Campanella's 3D animated film Foosball opened the Official Section. Story: Hugh Jackman to Get San Sebastian Fest Lifetime Honor "I feel so lucky to be surrounded here. We all come from different parts of the world, but we
- Pamela Rolfe
Directed by Wilson Yip
Hong Kong, 2008
In this biopic, Donnie Yen is Ip Man, one of the earliest Wing Chun martial arts exponents and the man credited to have elevated its popularity in the early parts of the 20th century. Best known for his role as Bruce Lee’s first mentor, Ip Man is godlike amongst martial arts fans. As far as biopics goes, Ip Man isn’t really award-winning material. The picture takes plenty of liberties with the facts of the legendary practitioner of the Southern Chinese fighting style. It’s slightly exaggerated and fairly straightforward storytelling, but first and foremost, Ip Man is an excuse for Yen to demonstrate his newfound mastery of the Wing Chun style – and on that front, the film succeeds brilliantly.
Ip Man is a joy on various levels due mostly to the quality of »
- Ricky da Conceição
‘One Direction: This Is Us’ movie weekend box office: One of steepest Friday-to-Saturday drops ever (photo: One Direction members Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson) The 3D concert movie One Direction: This Is Us failed to get even close to the $20 million mark at the North American box office this Labor Day weekend (Fri-Sun) despite relatively strong opening-day grosses. Featuring One Direction band members Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson, and directed by Morgan Spurlock, whose Super Size Me was shortlisted for the 2004 Best Documentary Feature Academy Award, One Direction: This Is Us debuted at 2,735 locations, pulling in a not inconsiderable $8.9 million on Thursday evening / Friday, August 29-30, 2013, which should have meant approximately $20 million by Sunday evening — especially taking into account that Monday is a national holiday. But it was not meant to be. Whereas Justin Bieber: Never Say Never »
- Zac Gille
An insider claims that the actress' scenes will be shot as flashbacks to help explain what happened to her character. Donnie Yen has already signed on to star as Silent Wolf, with Michelle Yeoh reprising her Yu Shu Lien role from the original.
Woo-ping Yuen is directing from a screenplay by John Fusco, based on Du Lu Wang's book Iron Knight, Silver Vase, the fifth book in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy series, which spawned the original Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. We reported in May that production will begin next March in Asia.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II - The Green Destiny comes »
We have a few quick casting stories for you today. First up, THR reports that Marion Cotillard has replaced Natalie Portman to a new adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth from director Justin Kurzel (Snowtown). Cotillard will play Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender. As we previously reported, the screenplay by Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff will take place in the 11th century, and will "be a visceral approach to the story including significant battle scenes." No insult to Portman, who I'm sure would have made an interesting Lady Macbeth, but I have an easier time seeing Cotillard in the role. She just seems to have an easier time giving off a more sinister vibe, which is key for the role (or at least how it's usually depicted). Hit the jump for casting news on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – The Green Destiny and Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Cinderella. Several months ago, »
- Matt Goldberg
The sequel to Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" continues moving forward at The Weinstein Company with news today of a returning star.
Entitled "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon — The Green Destiny," the script is by John Fusco ("The Forbidden Kingdom," "Hidalgo") based on "Silver Vase, Iron Knight," the fifth book in the Crane Iron Pentalogy".
Wo Ping Yuen has taken over the director's chair on the project which begins filming next March.
Source: EW »
- Garth Franklin
EW is reporting that Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang is in talks to reprise her role as the warrior apprentice Jen Yu in the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which will begin shooting in March 2014.
The site indicates that a source close to the film says Zhang’s part would be shot as flashbacks to explain what happened to her character.
Written by John Fusco, and being directed by Yuen Wo Ping, this new film is based on the same source material as the Ang Lee-directed 2000 film that won him the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and three other Academy Awards. Leebased his film on the fourth book in Wang Du Lu’s Crane-Iron series. But he’s not involved in this »
- Kellvin Chavez
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is still the highest grossing foreign language film at the Us box office, with $128 million, taking in nearly double that of the number 2 film, Life Is Beautiful. It’s also the only high-ranking foreign language film to take in the majority of its worldwide box office (60%) from its Us release. Those numbers are still staggering 13 years on, so we have to wonder where the sequel has gotten to. It’s been rumoured for some time, and although director Ang Lee is out, and fight choreographer Yuen Woo Ping is in. Michelle Yeoh is returning to her role and Donnie Yen joins the film as Silent Wolf.
A source close to production is now reporting that Ziyi Zhang is entering talks to reprise her role for the sequel, which begins filming in March 2014. Ping and Zhang may have built up a relationship thanks to working together on »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Update: Zhang Ziyi ("The Grandmaster") is in talks to return as her character Jen Yu in flashback sequences for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- The Green Destiny," reports Entertainment Weekly. The Weinstein Co. is developing the sequel, which is penned by John Fusco ("Hidalgo"). Action star Michelle Yeoh is also on board, returning as Yu Shu Lien, with Donnie Yen set to play Silent Wolf. Legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo Ping (whose choreography is on ravishing display in Wong Kar Wai's "The Grandmaster") will helm the film. (Spoiler Alert: Chow Yun-Fat can't return, as he dies at the end of the original film.) Earlier: Without Ang Lee or Sony, the Weinstein Company is starting production of a sequel to the Oscar-winning "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," which earned six Oscar nominations including best picture and grossed $213.5 million million worldwide. Its $128 million stateside gross made it the highest grossing foreign-language film in American. »
- Anne Thompson
Oh look, the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” gangs all back. (Well, except for Chow Yun Fat. At least, for now…) EW reports that Zhang Ziyi, who shot to fame in Ang Lee’s 2000 film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is now in talks with the producers of the upcoming sequel, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Destiny” to reprise her role of rebellious kung fu prodigy Jen. Unfortunately it won’t be a really big role. We’re told that Jen will only appear in “flashbacks to explain what happened to her character.” Bummer. Then again, I guess a little Zhang Ziyi back in the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” universe is better than none, right? Michelle Yeoh will play the sequel’s female lead, reprising the role of Yu Shu Lien, while Donnie Yen will co-star opposite her as the deadly Silent Wolf. Well, I don’t know if Silent Wolf is really deadly, »
Yes, it's really happening. You may have forgotten, but at the beginning of the year it was announced that The Weinstein Company were pushing forward with a sequel to Ang Lee's smash hit "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," with plans to shoot this past May. While that didn't exactly happen, the project now has a new start date and more importantly, a key cast member. EW reports that Zhang Ziyi — who will kick ass in "The Grandmaster," opening this weekend — is in talks to return as Jen Yu in flashback sequences in the movie now called "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon — The Green Destiny." The film has a script from John Fusco ("The Forbidden Kingdom," "Hidalgo") and is based on the book "Silver Vase, Iron Knight," the fifth book in "Iron Pentalogy" ('Crouching Tiger' was the fourth), with story centering on Yu Shu Lien. Michelle Yeoh will also return take on that latter role, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel, which still seems like a fever dream Ang Lee had on that Life of Pi rowboat, is moving forward, and has added another star to an already impressive arsenal. Entertainment Weekly reports that Ziyi Zhang is in talks to join the film, reprising her role as young warrior Jen Yu opposite Michelle Yeoh, who is also set to return. Zhang's part appears to be a small one-- the report says she'll only be seen in flashbacks that explain what happens to her character, whom we last see in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon leaping into the clouds. Yeoh's Yu Shu Lien will be at the center of the story, which is based on the same Crane-Iron Pentalogy series that inspired the original film-- yes, even though Crouching Tiger felt wild and completely new when it took over theaters here, it's based on familiar stories in »
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