Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer Movies: Part Deux!

Previously, I mentioned some of my Netflix movies I'd seen recently that were either flat out bizarre, or just so awful I feel like I could have hastened the Apocalypse just by watching them. But now I wanted to share a few gems I found hidden deep within the bowels of the Netflix colon.

And they're all Kung Fu movies. Awesome.

First, I know what you're thinking, of course they were awesome, they're Kung Fu. But I have to tell you that they're not all created equal. Some aren't so good.

Ip Man & Ip Man 2 stunned me with... well, they are kung fu movies, you do know what you're getting into with that, right?

These are based on the real life master of kung fu... Ip, I guess, I didn't bother to look anything up about him on the internet, as I learned all that was necessary by watching the movies. Essentially, he defeated the Japanese occupying forces in WWII and then moved to Hong Kong, where he then defeated all the Kung Fu masters there, and then the toughest British boxing champion in the world... and just to make it fair, he agreed to... well, I won't give it away.

Oh, then he decided to train Bruce Lee.

Okay, if you haven't seen a kung fu movie before you may not realize this, but typically, the heroes tend to be larger than life, so some of the exploits may get slightly exaggerated. Still, these movies do have heart. My wife watched them and really liked them.

The filmmakers do a good job of making an invincible hero vulnerable. He's too proud to beg, but hasn't the money to survive. He takes menial jobs and refuses help from those who could provide. He tolerates his wife bickering about how much time he spends kung fuing. These are very enjoyable movies. Please watch.

Moving on.

Next up is Chocolate, look, this movie isn't great, it isn't awful mind you, but it wasn't one of my favorites. What it did have though, is the best stunt choreography I've ever seen. I still don't know how they did some of the things they did in that movie.

Anyway, it's about an autistic girl who has a real gift for kung fu. Watch the clip and see some of the greatness for yourself.

Finally, I watched The Man from Nowhere. Holy cow. This isn't a kung fu movie per se, it's more of a revenge tale. But I really enjoyed it. The plot made sense, not perfect sense, but nothing that was so distracting that I was rolling my eyes. It's a story about a guy with a mysterious and troubled past that is doing his best avoid the world. But a little girl forces him to step up and be a hero. Damn good movie.

So, when you're tinkering around and looking for something actiony - you could do worse than some of these flicks.

Okay, I'll try to not talk about movies for a while.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Man From Nowhere sounds like The Professional.

Suze said...

'The filmmakers do a good job of making an invincible hero vulnerable.'

I like.

Rogue Mutt said...

Do these all have subtitles?

Laila Knight said...

I did see IP Man. Don't know how I didn't know he was Bruce Lee's master. I used to eat those movies up when I was a kid. The man was amazing, the things he could do with his body. Happy 4th!

A Beer for the Shower said...

I've been craving a good Kung Fu movie lately. I'm going to check some of these out.

No review of Kung Pow: Enter the Fist?

(That was a joke, I assure you)

Rusty Webb said...

Alex - Never saw it so I can't compare. Still, lots of stories are just variations on a theme, they can still be awesome.

Suze - Thanks.

Rogue - Yes, they are all subtitled. I generally don't like hearing dubbed movies, I'm almost always distracted at how miscast most of the speaking roles are. I'd much rather hear the actors and read the lines.

Laila - it's mentioned briefly during the credits of the first movie, and in more detail during the second one. Bruce Lee was pretty good. Wish he could have given us a few more movies before he went.

Beer - Kung fu does fill a void in my life (watching it, not living it), weird how that is.

Stephen Tremp said...

Ip Man sounds like a winner. I love WWII settings. I can check this one out on Netflix. Thanks for the reviews! Hey, I liked Kung Pow, Enter The Fist.