Thursday, 24 June 2010

Big Boss 2 - Just hurry up and share it


Another one of those probably terrible lost films that the odd foreign businessman boasts about on forums, but ultimately refuses to share with anyone.
I want to watch it though. Urgently.

I've always liked Bruceploitation films. Maybe because I saw so many when I was first exposed to kung fu films or maybe because they are always entertaining in a completely embarrassing way, but they are always entertaining. Well, most of the time.

So here we have a movie that is obviously low budget and clearly graced by a handful of terrible actors, most of whom where probably drunk or just forced to make this movie by a shady triad with a shiny briefcase. That doesn't matter though. It has gunfights on speedboats, fights in the infamous ice factory and Lo Lieh beating people up. Hell, even Bruce Le pops in to get his grubby payslip out of this ham fest.
It all sounds quite interesting if you ask me.

Oh wait, we probably won't ever see it though. Currently, the reels are hidden away in South Africa, brought by a collector and possibly sitting in a box somewhere, wasting away. Or maybe this collector loved the film so much that he has locked himself away in his basement, watching the film over and over on his projector, each viewing getting more exciting than the last.
Either way it doesn't seem like anyone has any intention of letting us fu fans enjoy this film, probably because they want to make too much out of it and know that a film like this is hardly going to make a dent on the film market.

A few months ago, over at the Kung Fu Cinema Forum a member of the forum claimed that he had a copy on a DVDR as he had already sold the reels and surprisingly, he was able to prove it.
He uploaded the first 10 minutes to youtube and finally everybody was able to get a good glimpse at this lost gem.
His view was that the film itself is considered very elusive and collectible as it was English dubbed and apparently as a businessman, this kind of rare holds a lot of weight and has a much higher value than a subtitled print.

So obviously, he is asked whether he would consider sharing a copy or maybe even selling a copy to another collector for a good price.
He just plain refused to consider anything.
What I don't get, is that this self labelled "businessman" doesn't think that it is worth him making yet more profit from this film and selling more copies or even one copy for a nice sum of money. Why not?!?!?! Surely he gains nothing just leaving it sitting around in his house, gathering dust and getting very little of the attention that it probably deserves.
I just plain don't understand the reasoning behind this.
Teasing bastard.

Here is a trailer to wet your appetite. Even though you won't get the main course.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Mortal Kombat - Rebirth



I'm trusting that you watched it before you read this as that would probably help. If you haven't then watch it, as its probably the best seven minutes you'll have had since that pity sex on your birthday. Only joking.

I personally think this looks amazing. Mortal Kombat for me has been dragged through glass and shit with its first two movie cash-ins and this looks like the film that intends to pick it up, stitch it up and give it a much needed bath.
Don't get me wrong, the games have always been solid and rarely failed to entertain but the franchise as whole has never really made much of an impact and some of that blame has to be put down to Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
I blame a lot of things on that film.

As for this latest outing, I'm truly hyped. I've enjoyed everything that I've seen Michael Jai White star in and the general feel of this film is already putting it miles ahead of anything else floating around in the Mortal Kombat toilet.
Its looks dark, it looks slick and most of all it looks pretty damn entertaining.
Oh, and watch Black Dynamite if you haven't seen it. Michael Jai White muthafucka!!!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

FU REVIEW #1: FIST OF FURY 2 (1976)


Where better to start than the first fu flick I ever saw at the innocent age of 10. Fist of Fury II.
Deep down I know that this is regarded as a bit shit. Some call it a poor clone of a better movie and someone somewhere has probably enjoyed hurling this tape into a tip, along with the other crap they spent a day clearing out of their dead uncles flat.
Fuck them though, they didn't wonder into cash converters on a sunny summer afternoon and discover a VHS, that for some reason, became the most important film I would ever purchase.

Lets face it, if it wasn't for this whore of a kung fu film, I wouldn't be projecting my thoughts to you on a kung fu themed blog.
I'd probably be doing something useful with my time.
In fact, I hold this film so close to my heart that I made a fan bootleg of this film, which at this moment, is the only english dub widescreen print of this film. Oh and its uncut.
Yours for free at Cinemageddon

The film stars Bruce Li, a man who reluctantly made his career as the actor who helped heartless fat cats milk the legacy of Hong Kong's favorite son, Bruce Lee.
The film is effectively the same as the first film, minus the screen presence of Bruce Lee and any of the spectacular fight sequences that the real Bruce gave us.
Sadly, for me though, it is still a fun film in its own rights and I can't help but enjoy it, right from the poorly compiled "catch-up montage" which features poorly framed screens from the first movie and a brief description of the events that have unfolded.

Bruce Li plays Chen Shen, the brother of the first films protaganist, Chen Zhen. He has arrived in Shanghai to discover the Ching Wu school is now free to be abused by the murderous japanese who beat, brand and generally dominate the chinese into submission and in some cases, alcoholism.
See, alcoholism. Don't ever tell me that kung fu films don't tackle tricky subject matter.
So the school is in shambles and close to a hostile takeover from the japs, the teacher is an alcoholic who spends his time anxiously wondering in and out of shot, looking at his shoes and essentially depressing the fuck out of anyone that goes near him.
What does Chen Shen do about all this heartless bullying?
He does two things, he restores national pride and beats the shit out of the japanese.
The same two things that his brother did in the first movie and the two factors that guaranteed the originals success.
Throw in an asian Dale Winton as the interpretor and you have yourself the first film, but without the impact or importance.

The fight scenes can best be described as completely average, but that doesn't phase me, I can handle poor choreography as I am completely biased towards this film.
The acting is completely average, bordering on shit, with a dub that makes every other line sound like a life changing statement.
You'll enjoy it if you enjoy exploitation films as this film falls directly into the bruceploitation category.
After reading back through this review, I realise I have presented absolutely no reason why somebody would like this film. But I just do and I'm sure i'll enjoy it for years to come.

SCORE: 5.5/10

Just a note, all the comercially available DVD's for this film are completely toss. Don't let that put you off though.

Jackie Chan commercial (His easiest job ever)

This always makes me laugh.
For the record, he's made some of the best fu films ever, so I think that this guy has every right to sell out in his old age. I'll even give The spy next door a spin in the DVD player.
Not while I'm sober though.


video

Simon Yuen - A familiar face



So I sat here for five long minutes wondering where to start with this whole kung blog idea and alongside almost every thought sat Simon Yuen. Because, for me, this guy is the face I associate with old school kung fu flicks. He's the epitomy of underdog and for me is an absolute joy to watch on screen.
Hell, if it weren't for him my Blind Fists Of Bruce DVD would currently be protecting my desk from those rings you get from tea cups.
The first film I ever saw him in was Drunken Master, which I still regard as one of the best Kung Fu films ever made.
The only reason I've never learnt a martial art myself, is that I'm still waiting for the day that I get drunk, get in a barfight and find myself humbled by a drunken old man who travels around torturing/training boisterous young individuals so that they can avenge the death of a parent.
My parents, to the best of my knowledge, are still alive and breathing, so my motivation will have to come from elsewhere.
Maybe..........

Maybe I could be trained to stop another reeves film from happening. Its the eight drunken gods against the matrix.
If you got that reference, well done.
I kind of guessed that he was dead by now and I'm pleased to admit that wikipedia just told me he died in 1979. I'm also pleased that wikipedia has caused me to realise that I've only seen a handfull of this legends films, so I guess the debit card is popping over to amazon soon.
I like to imagine that if he was alive today, that he'd still be exploiting the Sam the Seed character, demonstrating drunken boxing at charity TV events.
If only.
He clearly inspired his children though as one of them knocked out a dodgy film a few months back called True Legend which I'm pleased to report, is fun for the first forty minutes.
So to sum this post up, Simon Yuen is for me, the representation of fu flicks. Some people have a different face they attach to the genre, maybe Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Gordon Liu or maybe even Carter Wong, but it's undeniable that he is one of the most recognisable faces from the golden age of Fu.
You probably learnt nothing from reading all of that so I'll give you a few links that might make up for this drivel:

An article about Yuen and his offspring (HK Cinemagic)

A Simon Yuen Fanpage (Shaw Brothers Reloaded)






A small note on my reviews (Please Read)

Firstly, I'm no Bey Logan. I'm really not. (I should point out, if you are wondering who Bey is, you're probably here by accident.) My reviews are written from the eye of a man who likes to be entertained, who likes his kung fu movies furious, fast and in most cases, bright and cheesy. I'm not talking blood, sweat and tears, I'm talking palms, staffs and whispy grey beards.
I imagine there will be a few kung fu elitists who will disagree with half of my thoughts on certain films, but they can almost never actually be pleased so i'll have to accept that you can't please people that melt cheese on to every meal they eat.
I haven't seen a thousand kung fu movies and I've genuinely only seen about 5 shaw brothers films. I'm not an expert on the thousands of colourful characters and legendary actors who have graced the hong kong movie industry, but I know enough.
The more I watch the more I learn I guess, so if I keep at it and waste enough time on wikipedia, then one day I can be the spartacus of an internet forum.
Enough intro, I hope you enjoy all the crap I post over the following months.