October 20, 2000 |
There's no action hero nimbler - or slaphappier - than Jackie Chan, human whirligig and Baryshnikov of balletic kung fu. And there's no Jackie Chan movie more pleasurable than Drunken Master II (1994), which Miramax's Dimension Films has dubbed into English and rereleased as The Legend of Drunken Master. In this sequel to the 1978 film that established him as the heir to martial arts legend Bruce Lee, Chan reprises the role of Wong Fei-Hung, a real-life healer and kung fu master who died in 1924.
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)
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.
March 31, 1999 |
"The Matrix" is about a war between oppressed humans and a hidden enemy fought with perception-altering software on a battleground of psychic projections. Yet despite the availability of such astonishing technology, both sides agree: We'll settle this with kung fu and guns. It's an attitude that suits "The Matrix," a loud, expensive-looking movie with the mind of a ambitious sci-fi epic and the soul of a Hong Kong action flick. It almost could have been made by two people.
February 23, 1996 |
'It's the Chinese guy! Shoot him!" In fact, it's Jackie Chan, Hong Kong superstar, kung fu-ing his way through Rumble in the Bronx, a comic, chaotic kickfest designed to showcase this extraordinary action hero in one of the last remaining markets left unconquered by the charismatic Chan: the U.S. of A. Which is why the gang of snarling bikers bearing down on the mop-topped Jackie in this, his 39th motion picture, are based in the seedier precincts...
July 8, 1995 |
The Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival gets an action infusion today with "The East Is Red," a thoroughly wacky kung fu epic in the tradition of the commercial, crowd-pleasing, Hong Kong school. Which is to say that it's often incomprehensible. The helpful synopsis tells us that "The East is Red" is part three of a trilogy about a creature known as Asia the Invincible, a demon warrior who castrated himself in order to obtain super powers - including the ability to kill people with needlepoint accessories.
July 7, 1995 |
Her name is Asia the Invincible. Her weapon of choice, flying needles. Asia deploys them in delicate embroideries and the martial arts, riveting her enemies and then tangling them up in silken threads. In more ways than one, her movie is a stitch. The East Is Red, a giddily entertaining, foot-flying kung fu fantasy from Hong Kong, is really Swordsman III, a sequel to the fabulously popular action series. In the last installment, Asia, the omnipotent Ming Dynasty antihero, metamorphosed into a woman (Brigitte Lin)
June 20, 1995 |
The hot, humid and cramped Carusi Junior High School cafeteria was the last place 6 1/2-year-old Alex Chan wanted to be on a sunny Sunday summer afternoon. But there he was, with about 340 other Chinese American children from all over South Jersey and the Philadelphia area. The occasion was the graduation and awards ceremony for the Chinese School of South Jersey, founded 26 years ago to foster knowledge and understanding of Chinese language and culture. Alex seemed to see it as sort of a drag.
May 11, 1995 |
Whoa Nelly! A widescreen extravaganza of balletic action, wild kung fu fights and intoxicating special effects, The New Legend of Shaolin is a whirlwind of martial-arts movie magic. The great Jet Li stars as a Ching Dynasty warrior who, with his 8-year-old son (the fierce-faced Tse Miu), battles endless onslaughts of evil Manchus. Father and son meet up with a mother-daughter con-artist team, and the four of them band together with five pint-sized kung fu masters. These kick-boxing kids are tattooed with portions of a map that, when assembled, reveals a hidden trove of treasure.
January 18, 1995 |
On the Internet (alt.asian.movies), the debate burns with an intensity approaching that of kung fu warriors. In a one-on-one contest, could martial artist Jackie Chan kick Bruce Lee's butt? Interesting question, but why argue whether the king of Hong Kong cinema (and the biggest non-Hollywood movie star on the planet) could best the late kung fu master when the more urgent question is: Could Chan kick the collective butt of Eastwood, Schwarzenegger and Van Damme? Having previewed "Hong-Kong-a-Go-Go," the Neighborhood Film/Video Project's tribute to those high-octane action films that leave their Hollywood counterparts in the dust, I can report authoritatively that Chan could kick their asteroids - if not to oblivion, at the very least to Pluto.