August 3, 1993 |
Verrone Romeoletti shoved his favorite movie, Hercules, into the VCR. A maiden in a runaway carriage screamed for help, and suddenly the camera shifted to a man pulling a giant oak tree from the earth with his bare arms. He lifted the tree high over his head and hurled it into the horses' path, bringing them to a halt. "When I saw this the first time," explained Romeoletti, recalling his childhood, "I said, 'What the hell!' This made a difference in my life. He had so much power, but he cared.
April 5, 2000 |
Bill Craddock is imaginative, inquisitive and analytical. In his world, there is more to playing goal than blocking the ball and there is more to life than playing lacrosse. The Archbishop Carroll senior goalie is committed to lacrosse. He stays focused for the entire game, and he studies the sport and pursues ways to improve during the off-season. "I try to think things through," he said. "I try to do more than just step in front of the ball. I've been to a lot of camps and they teach you all about angles and stepping right and covering from behind.
June 27, 2006 |
"So what are you up to this afternoon?" came the idle inquiry. "I'm seeing Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon. It's a kung-fu comic-book opera. " There's no better conversation stopper, so beyond comprehension is this fusion of unlikely genres. Yet even in a bare-bones world-premiere production by Peregrine Arts on Sunday at Drexel University's Mandell Theater, the vision behind the piece couldn't have been clearer. Conceived, cowritten and composed by Fred Ho, himself a walking fusion of progressive jazz and cutting-edge classical, Deadly She-Wolf was a paragon of shrewd decisions about what this particular theatrical animal would and wouldn't do. The title is the story: A young woman trained from girlhood to be an assassin ("a killing machine," in comic-book parlance)
November 29, 1992 |
At a recent kung fu sparring competition, 6-year-old Angela Thompson fought matches against seven boys. They were taller and more experienced than she, and one hit her hard enough to knock her down. She got up to finish the match and finish first in the meet. When she pulled off her headgear to accept the award and the judges saw her light brown pigtail tumble out, they were surprised. During the competition, they had called her Angelo - thinking she was a boy. The knockdown "didn't hurt," she recalled.
May 26, 2000 |
Many a gunslinger has swung open these saloon doors. But in the history of movie westerns, it's a safe bet that the boys in the barroom never before saw a buckaroo sporting a braid and an embroidered silk robe start a brawl with a back kick. That's martial arts to you, marshal. And that's Jackie Chan's fancy footwork in Shanghai Noon, an airborne, multi-culti comedy that's a kick in every sense of the expression. Set in the American West of the 1880s (a period during which most Chinese on this side of the Pacific were slave laborers building the railroads)
June 11, 2010 |
How does a youth who stands out like a raisin on rice assimilate into an unwelcoming host culture? That's the hook of The Karate Kid , an appealing reboot of the 1984 inspirational that rethinks the American tale for the global age. Its star, Jaden Smith, spawn of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, is clearly a winner in the genetic sweepstakes. He's inherited Daddy's charm and Dumbo ears and Mom's looks and terrier tenacity. These attributes serve him nicely in the movie about the new kid who faces down bullies with the help of a martial-arts master.
June 11, 2010 |
There are different ways to make it as a child actor, but none, apparently, as effective as having Will Smith as your dad. His adorable son Jaden headlines the remake of "Karate Kid," the '80s B-movie classic that's been given an eye-popping upgrade on its way to serving as a star vehicle for little Jaden, who had three months of training from kung-fu master Wu Gang in advance of the epic four-month shoot. In place of Pat Morita is Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan, and in place of forgettable SoCal locations is . . . China.
October 15, 2010 |
Fans of the odd, the bloody, and the extreme in cinema need not feel alienated: The Philadelphia Film Festival also offers "The Graveyard Shift," a series of 10 films that will delight the more twisted cinephiles. Here are some highlights: Actor-director Yuen Woo-ping, best known as the action choreographer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , returns to directing after more than a dozen years with True Legend , the story of the perpetually drunken kung fu folk hero, Beggar Su. Martial arts of a sillier tone figure in Mandrill , a spy spoof from Chile that reunites Kiltro 's director, Ernesto Diaz Espinoza, and star, kung fu master Marko Zaror.
August 27, 2004 |
The success of Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon gained new martial-arts fans, and restored some faith we Five Fingers of Death types had lost in new major motion pictures. Today's release of Hero should keep the genre alive and kicking here in the States. For those looking to build on their martial-arts library, or just get a taste of the style, a number of solid DVDs have been released recently. They range from the classic and familiar to the truly strange: "Enter the Dragon" (Two-Disc Special Edition)