What is it with kung fu movies...

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by Bruno@MT, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    Thing to remember, especially in Kung fu films is that a lot of the stories and techniques are taken from Chinese opera, which told Chinese folk/fairy tales( of which Crouching Tiger was, in fact, an adaptation of one I believe), and in the tradition of Chinese folktales, having protagonists who were able to do these things was not uncommon at all.
     
  2. crushing

    crushing Grandmaster

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    I don't mind them. They require a little more suspension of disbelief, but films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, House of the Flying Daggers, and especially Hero are beautiful works of art and entertainment.
     
  3. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    ... Actually, that's one I'd watch :D
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    So... it seems simple to me. Don't watch those movies. If you were to go see an Adam Sandler movie, but then complain because you don't like his sense of humor, I don't have a lot of sympathy. In that vein, you're criticizing a genre of movie for doing what is integral to the genre. They don't call it wire-fu for nothing!

    It sounds like you enjoy a more Hollywood version, and there's nothing wrong with it. But just because you don't like something doesn't mean they've ruined it.

    And honestly, what ruined Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was everything BUT the wire-fu. That guy, Ang Lee loves to take time honored male genre stories and turn them into chick flicks. First it's martial arts films. Then it's the Western and the trifecta was the superhero genre. I've never felt more betrayed! :D
     
  5. dnovice

    dnovice Blue Belt

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    just had to point out... you had me rolling when i read. Superman in a volkswagon. lmao.
     
  6. dnovice

    dnovice Blue Belt

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    Absolutely Crushing, House of the flying Daggers and Hero are great works of art. They have deep plots. Its an action flick that not only entertains your need for action but also puts forth a great plot, something most martial arts or action films are missing. Crouching tiger hidden dragon not so much.

    Now imagine if the movie had a cliche plot (you killed my father, you killed my mother so I must have revenge) and the fight scenes are not really titilating or real enough... There's nothing really to focus on.
     
  7. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    You are right. If I were to go to an Adam Sandler movie (rather poke out my eyes with a fork) I shouldn't complain that the most annoying comedy actor of this day plays the main part.

    But CTHD was not avertised as wire-fu (not a term used here anyway).
    The trailers on tv didn't show any wire-fu.
    In fact, the trailers looked so good that even my wife (with no interest in MA) agreed it would be a nice movie to go to.

    And then if 2 minutes into the movie, people fly all over the place, ...

    Over here, you never know if a movie is going to be wire-fu or not without googling. Which ruins the plot of course.
    And I don't mind it if it is just a bit. That last movie with jackie chan and jet li was pretty good imo, and the wire-fu did not detract from the fight scenes.
     
  8. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    I have a somewhat different take on CTHD.

    I don't know if you've seen Saturday Night Fever, supposedly the ultimate 'disco' movie. But my overwhelming sense of SNF was that it wasn't about disco, any more than a play is 'about' its set. What SNF was exploring was the evolution of a personality, a guy who has a kind of charisma that gets people to do things to win his approval, stupid things in many case, but who has no sense whatever of any responsibility for them, for the consequences of his own actions. He causes things, sometimes terrible things, to happen around him, but has no clue that he is in any way implicated in those events. The disco is just part of the background, a prominent part of the culture of a certain part of the working class/ethnic subworld that the protagonist comes from, a group of people for whom almost all doors are closed.

    In a way—a big way—I think CTHD is not a MA movie, in the same sense that SNF is not a disco movie. The film's real interest seems to me to lie in the catastrophic effect of Zhang Ziyi' self-centered boredom on the people whose lives are affected by her theft of Green Destiny—Li Mu-bai, Shu-lien, Jade Fox and others. The movie looks at a group of people at the other end of the social hierarchy from SNF, but again, what the movie is about is casual indifference to the effects of what one does. The MA level is a big part of it, but a lot of what went into that movie was really there, I think, to set the stage for ZZ's lethal exercise in recreational destructiveness. So when I think about CTHD, I don't really compare it to other MA moves, even those, like Hero, that use the same kind of lush cinematography...
     
  9. Jade Tigress

    Jade Tigress RAWR

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    I'm sure I'm way off base here but, I was under the impression that it was part of Chinese mythology to be able to obtain such powers as a result of training to a point of eliteness. Not everyone can obtain these powers but it's available to anyone skilled enough to surpass the upmost levels of training.

    But, I'm thinkin the superhero analogy is more on target. :D
     
  10. teekin

    teekin 3rd Black Belt

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    I have to say that my favorite Kung FU movies are the old ones with Bruce Lee. No blow lands, the sound effects are not quite in sync and the dubbed in voices are way way off sync. They are just a riot! Kind of like Monty Python or Godzilla vs Mothra or Plan 9 from Outer Space.
    lori
     

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