May 7, 1993 |
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a wildly entertaining biography of the late martial arts icon that both adheres to and transcends the Hollywood biopic formula. While director Rob Cohen's exuberant eulogy provides the essential historical information about the Hong Kong actor's steerage-to-stardom life (there are a few apocryphal brushstrokes), Dragon is also a boisterous celebration of the chopsocky genre. In its depiction of the relationship between Lee and the perky California blonde who becomes his wife - portrayed with feisty charm by Lauren Holly - Dragon makes a seductive opposites-attract romance.
May 2, 1993 |
There are a couple of scenes in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - a big, boisterous biopic of the late kung fu movie star - that now seem eerily prescient, and devastatingly sad. Preview audiences who have seen Rob Cohen's lively homage to the American-born, Hong Kong-raised Lee have sighed and even sobbed at Dragon's depiction of the birth and early childhood of Brandon Lee who became a promising action film star, like his father - and died recently under...
February 25, 1993 |
Things are a little weird this week. The three top new videos are a French film that can truly be called bizarre, an offbeat comedy, and drama about a man on the edge of society. DELICATESSEN 1/2 (1992) (Paramount) 95 minutes. Jean Claude Dreyfus, Dominique Pino, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Sylvie Laguna. A darker-than- dark comedy about love and cannibalism, this haywire feature from French filmmakers Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro is a screwball synthesis of Buster Keaton classics, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, the ricocheting animation of Tex Avery, the cinematic brashness of the Coen brothers and the freak-show atmosphere of David Lynch.
August 21, 1992 |
Since the death of Bruce Lee, the martial arts genre has been without a king. The closest thing to a successor is Steven Seagal, a hulking brute whose trademark limb-breaking and massive body blows made him the leading chock- socky icon during the power-obsessed '80s. Seagal, however, has lately talked of doing more meaningful pictures (yawn) and has clearly lost his taste for action. That leaves a void, one that martial-arts lovers would like to see filled by someone with the exuberant charisma and frenetic martial arts style of Lee. That is clearly the genesis of "Rapid Fire," a movie starring Lee's son, Brandon.
August 21, 1992 |
Brandon Lee has the appropriate first name and cheekbones to guarantee him a spot on one of those Fox-TV shows starring a bunch of way-cool guys and gals brooding about life in the 1990s. He also has the appropriate last name to guarantee him a movie deal, plying the same martial-arts action genre pioneered by his late father, the kung fu god Bruce Lee. Rapid Fire, the younger Lee's first starring role, is a more-than- serviceable slam-fest in which Lee gets to show off his jeet-kun-do techniques, his fluent Cantonese and his muscly torso.
June 8, 1991 |
They keep punching 'em out, like a factory punches out semis. Or, more to the point, motorcycles. We're talking about the new breed of action movie stars. The rough, tough and, most significantly, reasonably priced musclemen who've been beating bad guys in formulaic features over the last couple of years. The new action-adventure stars such as Brian Bosworth, Jean-Claude van Damme, Jeff Speakman and Brandon Lee are the direct descendants of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, two generations removed from Bruce Lee and Clint Eastwood, and the current species in an evolutionary process that began with silent swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks and the Saturday matinee cowboy heroes.
March 24, 1991 |
It's easy to lose count of the movies inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula - a genre that proves you can't keep a bad man down. The next transfusion will come from no less than Francis Ford Coppola. Michael Corleone may finally have met the bullet with his name on it in The Godfather Part III, but Count Dracula will live on in Coppola's Dracula. The screenplay is by James Hook, and the coveted title role has yet to be cast. (Al Pacino looked suitably pale and tormented as Corleone, and he showed that he's a whiz with makeup in his hilarious turn as Big Boy in Dick Tracy.
April 15, 1990 |
Walt Disney Studios has attracted a lot of favorable publicity since announcing in February that it would no longer permit its films to be shown in theaters running commercials. The edict was a liberating blow for moviegoers. But since we live in a society saturated with advertising, the ban raised a question: How hostile are audiences inured to small-screen commercials toward more of the same on the big screen? The answer is, very. Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of the Disney Studio, called a news conference in Hollywood last week to announce the results of an independent poll he had commissioned.
December 20, 1989 |
As one of this country's leading teachers of krav maga, Alan Feldman would like the little-known Israeli martial art to become household words, as familiar to Americans as karate or kung fu. Then maybe the smart-alecky questions would stop. "I've heard everything thinkable about krav maga," Feldman said with a wry smile. "I've been asked, 'What do you do, hit them with a matzo ball?' " Krav maga, Hebrew for contact combat, is relatively new, invented by its 79-year-old master, Imi Lichtenfeld, to train Israeli soldiers.
November 26, 1989 |
On a wall in Norman Constantine's room hangs a poster of Bruce Lee, that powerful character from the old martial arts movies. It seems only fitting. After all, Norm Constantine was always a pretty powerful character himself. For two years a decade ago, the handsome, 6-foot karate black belt reigned as the colorful Nittany Lion mascot at Pennsylvania State University. Off the field, his tireless array of activities instructing, coaching and bringing cheer to disabled people would make the President's schedule look leisurely.