I really enjoyed "Budo: The Art of Killing." I usually watch and review instructional videos, and it was a nice change to watch this documentary on the martial arts of Japan. When the ruse is revealed, Chang must join up with a jeet kune do traveling circus troupe and its Wing Chun-employing leader to learn true kung fu. It's a more mature turn from Hung, who co-stars as one of Chang's tutors, and the action choreography is expansive, free-flowing and beautiful.
This is the film where Bruce Lee truly arrived in a fully formed state, and if there's a precise moment when that happens, it's the classic dojo fight where Chen shows up at the Japanese training facility and absolutely goes to town on everyone inside.
Although Jet Li will be remembered mostly for portraying folk hero Wong Fei-hung in theáOnce Upon a Time in Chinaáseries, it's his role asátai chiáfounder Chang San-feng (also spelled Zhang San-feng) ináTai-Chi Masteráthat flaunts his best fighting performance to date.
Lotus is told early on that her life is about pretty much nothing except taking revenge on the men that killed her father and mother, and that fulfills about all of the background story any of us needed for this 90-plus minute film that isn't so much about plot complexity as it is about us the audience watching the main character just wail on some dudes.
When a DVD version of 36th Chamber of Shaolin hit American shores in 2007, thanks to the now disgraced Weinstein Company, mass US audiences reconfirmed what aficionados had long thought to be true: 36th Chamber is among the best kung fu movies of all time.
The Burning of the Red Lotus Temple (1928) set the pattern for the true martial arts genre with its story of warring martial arts factions, liberal use of special effects , and the presence of women warriors over the course of its (alleged) twenty-seven-hour running time.
From an opening set-piece that will leave you wondering why any other director since would ever bother capturing rain droplets in slo-motion, to one masterfully orchestrated balsa-wood-tower of martial arts prowess after another, there is little left to say about Wong's directing other than the clichÚ: this is balletic action filmmaking—heartfelt and beautiful but never so far removed from the brutality of the action at hand that it romanticizes the pummeling of so many hapless foes.
Martial arts films first gained popularity in the U.S. during the 1970s with movies that featured stars like Bruce Lee and Sonny Chiba However, this action-driven genre can trace its history to the days of silent cinema with classics like The Burning of the Red LotusáMonastary.
So proceeds Kill Zone, a prototypical Hong Kong crime flick that, like any salient martial arts hybrid post-2000, devolves into the shady moral gray of umpteen different action genres to prove a point about the malleable nature of our modern moral compass.