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There is something truly thrilling about watching the human body push itself to the limits. Even more so on film, and especially when it’s one of the world’s favourite fighters. Being able to see the full capabilities of the human body, often in an adrenalin fuelled fight to the death, is one of the many reasons we’re so captivated by martial arts films.
Jackie Chan, Lo Wei, Maggie Q, Jet Li and Bruce Lee have all sculpted successful careers in film from their sheer athleticism, the ability to control their bodies in ways most can only dream of and their power on screen. To celebrate the release of The King of Fighters, an action packed old-school arcade game revisited through film, on Blu-ray and DVD on December 26th, we’ve trawled through the archives to find the Top 10 Karate Chopping Blockbuster Movies.
It seems almost a cliche at this point to reference out how many films Donnie Yen is making right now and it’s also hard to avoid the phrase ‘churning out’ too. This observation is so prevalent because of the reasonably high number of films Yen has made in recent years and the amount of physical exertion needed to make the kind of action spectacle that has come to define his career.
His latest, depending on how you look at worldwide distribution, is The Lost Bladesman, a film based on parts of the historical epic ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. Yen plays Guan Yu, a general, a legendary figure in Chinese history and perhaps most importantly for Yen’s choice to portray him, a practitioner of martial arts. In this latter role, that of a martial artist, Yen unsurprisingly excels with incredible control and precision in all his movements. He »
- Craig Skinner
The 2011 Fantasia International Film Festival has come to an end and as usual was a rousing success with more than 100,000 audience members. In addition 150 international directors, actors, and producers presented their films at the fest. Read on for the wrap-up and winners from this year's various competitions.
From the Press Release: sThe festival opened with a bang with the Canadian premiere of Red State by director Kevin Smith. This was only the first in a long line of sensational special events that took place over the course of the festival. Among those was the incredible homage to the great John Landis (Burke And Hare), marked by the presentation of Fantasia’s new trophy “Le Cheval Noir.” Mirroring our strong launch, the festival closed with the Canadian premiere of Guillermo del Toro’s Don’T Be Afraid Of The Dark. Other memorable events included: the homage to André Link and John Dunning »
- Uncle Creepy
Bko: Bangkok Knockout aka Koht Soo Koht Soh
Directed by Panna Rittikrai
Written by Panna Rittikrai, Dojit Hongthong and Jonathon Siminoe
It comes as a bit of a shock to say that Bangkok Knokout is the best Kung Fu flick of this year’s Fantasia. It’s not as surprising to say that it includes the best martial arts and the best stunt work of the Festival. Thailand has been bringing the world the most bone-shattering, dirty, dangerous martial arts work since 2003′s Ong Bak and much of the credit for that can go to Panna Rittikrai, director of Ong Bak and Chocolate – or to put it another way, the man who introduced the world to Tony Jaa and Jeeja Yanin.
But great fighting by itself does not make for a great fighting film. The problem with most Thai films have been their weird and frequently incomprehensible »
- Michael Ryan
The Lost Bladesman
Inspired by Luo Guanzhong’s classic historical novel “Romance Of The Three Kingdoms” and co-written and co-directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, the duo responsible for the critically acclaimed Infernal Affairs trilogy, The Lost Bladesman stars martial arts superstar Donnie Yen (14 Blades, Ip Man) as the legendary warrior Guan Yun Chang, sworn brother of the great warlord Liu Bei, who, on becoming separated from his friend during the tumultuous warring period of the Three Kingdoms, is taken prisoner by and agrees to fight temporarily alongside Liu Bei’s enemy and rival warlord, Cao Cao.
Guan’s heroism on the battlefield is rewarded with a promotion to the rank of lieutenant general in Cao Cao’s army. The position allows him the freedom to escort Liu Bei’s concubine, Qi Lan, »
Scuse me if I write and scramble around for my debit card at the same time - because acclaimed director Wilson Yip’s (‘Ip Man,’ ‘Ip Man 2’) big-budget modern retelling of the 80s fantasy classic A Chinese Ghost Story has just hit DVD and Blu-ray in Hong Kong. Rather than a straight up remake, Yip's version is a reinterpretation of the supernatural story this time focussing on demon hunter Yan Chixia who gets entangled in a human-demon romantic triangle with Nie Xiaoqian and Ning Caichen. Those now shuddering at the thought of long drawn out love scenes, fear not, Ghost Story also has kung fu action and top-notch visual effects galore. Cant damn wait! Synopsis: Aspiring to be the top demon hunter, Yan Chixia (Louis Koo) ventures into the sinister Black Mountain, taking it as his training ground. There, he has slain all kinds of evil spirits and monsters in countless dangerous battles, »
Pulling off a good ensemble piece is a difficult task for any director. Pulling off a great ensemble action film is nearly impossible, and yet Bodyguards and Assassins does it without sacrificing great characters, quick pacing, or a compelling story. As a bonus, martial arts fans get some of the best choreographed fight sequences I've seen since Ip Man, and unlike so many martial arts films, the stakes are high and the audience can't help but get sucked in.
In Bodyguards and Assassins, revolutionary Dr. Sun Wen is planning a meeting with rebel leaders from provinces across China. The Qing Dynasty and the British colonists, desperate to maintain control over China, make plans to have Sun Wen killed. They hire a team of trained assassins to do the job. At the same time, Sun Wen's supporters hire a team of bodyguards to keep him safe. (See where the title comes from? »
- Rachel Kolb
Indomina Releasing has released the U.S. trailer for one of their upcoming high octane martial arts films Bodyguards and Assassins! This movie looks awesome, the fight sequences in this trailer just look ridiculously cool.
If you're at Comic-Con you can actually attend a free screening of this film at the Pacific Gaslamp Theaters at 7pm. To pick up tickets head on over to the Indomina booth #4445 or just head on over to the theater and see if you can pick one up at the theater.
Here's the Synopsis for the Film:
Donnie Yen (Blade II, IP Man, Hero) and Mma fighter Cung Le star in this gripping martial arts blockbuster set in the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong in 1905. The revolutionary movement has spread throughout China, but the corrupt Qing dynasty will do anything to hold on to its power. As Sun Yat-Sen prepares for a historic meeting that »
There's a lot of Martix going on in this butt kicking trailer for Wong Kar Wai's Ip Man movie, Grandmasters. I'm particularly thinking of the scene where Neo takes on a hundred Agent Smith's (and no, it's not because I think all Asian's look alike so stow it).
Yep, this is another film about Ip Man, the famous master who trained Bruce Lee. I know it seems weird to mention The Matrix when Asian films were in fact an influence on it first, but sometimes things double back and I'm wondering if that's going on here.
Of course it also features martial arts choreography by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping, who also did The Matrix so there's that.
You might like: Ip Man (Collector's Edition) »
Filed under: Trailers and Clips, Movie News
Wong Kar Wai may be best known to Western cinemagoers for his moody dramas and romances ('Chungking Express,' 'In the Mood for Love,' 'My Blueberry Nights') but the director has also done his share of martial arts and crime sagas, including 'Ashes of Time' and 'Fallen Angels.' His latest actioner, 'The Grandmasters,' is actually a biopic of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee. The film stars Tony Leung as Ip Man, co-stars Zhang Ziyi, and features martial arts choreography by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping. The first teaser trailer for the film, which will be released in 2012, has hit the Internet, and it's stunning. Check it out (sans subtitles):
(Tip o' the hat to SlashFilm)
- Harley W. Lond
Here it is, finally! The first full trailer for Wong Kar Wai's take on Ip Man, The Grandmasters! The film stars Tony Leung as Ip Man, Zhang Ziyi, Song Hye-kyo, Chang Chen, Zhao Benshan, Julian Cheun Chi-lam and Mma fighter Cung Le. It also features martial arts choreography by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping. That's all you need to know! »
Everyone in the film world may be focusing on trailers for films like The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers, all of which are, in their own right, quite entertaining and intrigue-building. That said, Wong Kar-Wai has thankfully given the world its first look at his new film, and is making those films look a bit limp.
Vlicious has the first trailer for the film (via The Playlist), and while it’s short on length and light on plot, the trailer is one of the more visually striking pieces of promotional material we’ve seen in quite some time.
The film stars Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, and follows the story of Yip Man, one of the most iconic martial arts masters, even being the man to train Bruce Lee. The clip itself, as mentioned above, doesn’t have the most dense of narrative, but it does look stunning. I »
- Joshua Brunsting
Do you want to see a teaser trailer to a martial arts film that will make you very happy? Seriously if you're having a bad day, this trailer will probably brighten it up a bit. This is for the upcoming Martial Arts film from director Wang Kar Wai called The Grandmasters, and it looks like it's gonna be one hell of a kickass fun martial arts flick!
I love the look of this epic fight sequence that takes place in a downpour of rain. This is nothing new, we've seen it several times before even before The Matrix, but it looks like it was done extremely well here. The film is based on Martial Arts legend Yip Man. This is a different take on the legend than Wilson Yip’s 2008 film Ip Man.
Here's the synopsis for the film:
With martial arts getting more popular in the Thirties, more people »
Last December, we brought you the first teaser for Wong's "The Grandmasters," which showed nothing and said nothing about the movie in any language we could understand. Still: Wong, Leung, martial arts movie. We were stoked. This new trailer stokes our levels of stokedness even further with our first real look at footage from the film. Online low-res copy and all, it looks stunning.
The film, Wong's first since 2007's "My Blueberry Nights," stars Tony Leung as Ip Man, the real-life figure famous as the father of Wing Chun kung fu and the martial arts instructor of Bruce Lee. If he sounds familiar, that's because he's a popular figure in Chinese cinema, most recently in a series of films starring Donnie Yen (the second, »
- Matt Singer
Here's the first real trailer for Wong Kar Wai's martial arts biopic The Grandmasters. It's a hell of a thing, with Tony Leung as the literal white hat hero facing down a courtyard full of adversaries as rain falls and water splashes in super slo-mo. It looks a bit like Wong Kar Wai shooting the 'burly brawl' from the second Matrix film. (Which itself was obviously a knockoff and amping-up of legions of other martial arts fights.) The trailer is a bit dark, lacks subtitles, and may come off as exciting and beautiful, or murky and confusing, depending on your appetite for this sort of fight scene. Check it out below. In 2008 Wilson Yip's film Ip Man, based on the legendary life of early Wing Chun practitioner and Bruce Lee instructor Yip Man (aka Ip Man) was released with Donnie Yen playing the title role. The movie was »
- Russ Fischer
The teaser trailer for Wong Kar Wai's 代宗師 (The Grand Masters), a biopic of sorts about Ip Man, a famous martial arts teacher who taught Bruce Lee among others has arrived renewing interest in the movie. It's been an easy movie to forget about since the gestation period has been so long. (And, yes, there's already been a competitive movie on the same topic that's already opened and closed.) I can't remember when they started filming but you may recall that one of our favorite movie stars on the entire planet, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai broke his arm early on in the production and we sent lustful sympathies. Here he is in training again after recovery.
Several websites are speculating about when this will be finished and open (late 2011 fest circuit? cannes 2012?) but we're guessing not until 2012. Since it reunites the acclaimed and very long-absent director with his longtime muse, »
- NATHANIEL R
Check out your second look at some rockin’ new footage from Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmasters”, which features Tony Leung Chiu Wai (“Lust, Caution”) as Ip Man fighting a gazilion guys in the rain. There is voiceover narration talking about kung fu, but it’s in Chinese. That’s over pretty quick, and then it’s just the action. Wong Kar-wai hasn’t done action since “Ashes of Time” in the ’80s, and it looks like he’s been saving up all that kung fu-ness for now, with the help of action choreographer extraordinaire Yuen Woo-ping. Welcome back, Wong! In martial arts there is no right or wrong, only the last man standing. The film co-stars Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Cung Le, Hye-kyo Song, Siu-Lung Leung, Julian Cheung, Benshan Zhao, and Qingxiang Wang. Originally slated for 2011, the film has now been pushed back to either late 2011 or early 2012. Who knows with Wong, »
What do you get when you combine director/art house hero Wong Kar-Wai ("Chungking Express," "In the Mood for Love"), his frequent leading man Tony Leung, and the masterful martial arts choreography of Yuen Woo-ping ("Crouching Tiger," "The Matrix")?
We're not precisely sure, but we've got a minute long taste to give us a clue as the teaser trailer for "The Grandmasters" hits the web with a power punch of slow-mo kung fu badassery. The long-gestating biopic of Yip Man, the martial arts legend who trained Bruce Lee, among others, won't be ready to hit theaters until the end of this year at least, and is currently without U.S. distribution.
As for how it looks, »
- Max Evry
In Martial Arts there is no right or wrong, only the last man standing. Oh yes, Wong Kar Wai making a martial arts film? Bring it on. The Playlist has found the first official teaser trailer for Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmasters, his upcoming martial arts project about Ip Man, the legendary martial arts grand master who trained Bruce Lee, played in this film by Tony Leung Chiu Wai. Not that we haven't seen similar to this before, it's just beautiful fight choreography. Even at barely over a minute it's exhilarating to watch, I can't wait to see more. The cast also includes Zhang Ziyi somewhere in there. Martial arts fans need to catch this! Watch the first teaser trailer for Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmasters from YouTube: The story of martial arts grand master Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), the man who trained Bruce Lee. The »
- Alex Billington
- Ryan Adams
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