Kung Fu Movies

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While I am not zealous nor completely immersed in the genre to be any sort of an expert, I absolutely adore modern Kung Fu Movies.  Over the top choreography of fights and mystical hidden talents revealed in the end are the two features that I wrap myself into.   Modern kung fu films can use the exceptional level of special effects we enjoy today to bring the fights to the highest level.

Kung Fu and Martial Arts Cinema  has been around since the earliest days of filmmaking.  Who doesn’t appreciate an excellent fight sequence pitting good verses evil?   While I do not understand many of the mystical  and historical references in these films, I still enjoy them.   If you are interested in reading more about the genre, the site Kung Fu Cinema is dedicated to providing news, reviews and discussion on Martial Arts movies, literature and games.

In order, these are my top 3 favorite Kung Fu Movies:

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: I know, I know.   This movie appealed to the mainstream American movie consumer due to its lavish sets, beautiful cinematography, and absolutely gorgeous male and female characters.   It was my first exposure to a Kung Fu Movie that wasn’t what I would characterize as “silly.”  Because it was nominated for an Oscar, I had to go see it.  The story is complex, about a stolen sword, a mystery fighter named Jade Fox, and a noble woman’s love affair.  I fell in love with the actor Yun-Fat Chow via his beautiful facial expressions in this drama.

Kung-Fu Panda: When my husband and children dragged me to the theater against my will to see this animated Jack Black vehicle, all I could hang on to was “at least we can go out to eat afterward and salvage the evening.”  I honestly thought it would be a waste of 2 precious hours of my life.   Color me delightfully surprised.  This movie uses superb animation techniques, very humorous dialog, and of course, the cliche Kung Fu master, fight scenes and personal exploration to create a very enjoyable family movie.

Kung-Fu Hustle: One of the funniest movies I have ever seen, it takes the traditional elements of a basic Kung-Fu movie and works it into a Quentin Tarantino-like story.   This movie is not for everyone – but those with a slightly morbid sense of humor will probably enjoy it.  The gang turf war element has almost a Westside Story feeling to it – except it’s set in a poor area of Shanghai.   Here’s a trailer to entice you:

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2 Responses to “Kung Fu Movies”

  1. nhfalcon Says:

    “Hero” was pretty good, as was “House of Flying Daggers” (stunning use of color in that one). “Crouching Tiger” did set the standard, though.

  2. mabnyc Says:

    Ditto the recommendations for “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers”. They’re gorgeous. Zhang Yimou has gone from directing small movies to gargantuan spectacles (as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, which fall clearly in the latter category) but they’re really impressive gargantuan spectacles.

    And “Kung Fu Hustle” is pretty dang funny.

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