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Tadhg's Favorite Martial Arts Movies

Discussion in 'Movie' started by Tadhg Gaelach, Jun 11, 2016.

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Still in the comedy genre, this has to be the maddest Kung Fu film of all time. It's a sort of Taming of the Shrew where a wimpy young fellow has to learn Kung Fu before his wife will sleep with him. The ladies take the lead in some very fast and furious Kung Fu action, and to cap all the craziness the film has the genius of the high kick, Hwang Jang Lee, on crutches. It's called The Fearless Duo and was released in 1978.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyLSV9hnaCU
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    A sub genre of the Kung Fu movies is films with themes based on science fiction and the occult. At first these were rare, but started to become very popular from the 1980s on. We've had two movies starring Jimmy Wang Yu, who, as I said before was the biggest Kung Fu star before Bruce Lee broke onto the scene. This movie is very interesting in that it is what we would now call a manga movie - though it was made in 1971, long before the manga genre became popular. It's a Chinese movie, but as you'd expect from a manga movie it has very strong Japanese influences - including a Japanese martial arts master with vampire fangs. The hero's arm is chopped off by the Japanese master and rather than accept defeat, he undergoes special training to turn his one arm into a killing machine.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6TEvNen9sU
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Goaty Member Political Irish

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Well, it's time we had a Japanese Karate movie. This 1974 movie stars Sonny Chiba, and has the evocative title in Japanese "Clash, Killer Fist!" But, in English it has the rather more subdued name "The Street Fighter." The movie was a huge success and spawned a huge number of imitations, manga comics and animated series. It also inspired Tarantino's Kill Bill, which included a cameo performance by Chiba as the sword maker in Part III. Enjoy non-stop bone crushing action like only the Japanese can do.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-M54ib0XWE
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Another Sonny Chiba classic that was made into a hugely popular animated series and video game. Chiba plays a Karate master who is crippled by gangsters. He trains his little daughter to take a terrible revenge - Dragon Princess.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5boi6EbEK4
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    For anyone who watched The Street Fighter, the older, heavy built, Karate instructor is played by Sonny Chiba's actual teacher, Mas Oyama, who was a legendary full contact Karate fighter and is almost as famous as Chiba. On one occasion Oyama took on a bull in the ring bare handed and killed it with a single strike to the head. That sort of thing wouldn't be politically correct these day, of course, and maybe that's not a bad thing. Several films have been made about the life of Mas Oyama, who was a Korean who moved to Japan after WW2, where he first gained a price on his head by defending Japanese girls against US Army rapists who thought Japanese women were the spoils of war. The most recent film based on the life of Oyama was a massive hit in Asia, Europe and the USA about ten years ago, called Fighter In The Wind. The full version is not on You Tube, but here is a taster.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhq46Ju1_dA


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBJKoGgUfwY
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    A great achievement. Congrats to Kimia.
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Ironically, the DPRK is not allowed to take part in the Taekwondo Olympic competition, though they undoubtedly have the best fighters.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pREEOw1pw18&lc=z130truyrpapc1rnf23icnrgjv3fyx4c5
     
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    The Master New Member Political Irish

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Akira Kurosawa was one of the handful of very great film directors in the history of the cinema. His work is on the same level as Ingmar Bergman, Sergei Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovski or Pier Paulo Passolini. So we wouldn't expect to see a director of that caliber taking an interest in the martial arts movie genre. However, Kurosawa reveled in the Samurai movie, where he felt he could express the true nature of the Japanese mind. And he was brilliantly successful and popular among the general public in Japan and abroad. His film Jojimo, about a Samurai for Hire, was remade in the West as A Fistful of Dollars, with Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Clief. This film sparked a whole new cinema genre - the Spaghetti Western. His The Seven Samurai was remade as The Magnificent Seven, with Yul Brenner and Charles Bronson. And, most people will be shocked to learn that the whole Star Wars saga is based on Kirosawa's The Hidden Fortress, which includes the fugitive Princess, the dashing Harrison Ford character, the naive young hero, and the comic duo that became R2D2 and C2PO. George Lucas openly acknowledges his debt to Kirosawa and along with Francis Ford Copola became a producer and promoter of Kirosawa films in the West.

    I need to mention Toshiro Mifune, who was Kirosawa's favourite actor and is the quintessential Samurai character. His range of emotional expression was astounding. He could be heroic, cowardly, profound, silly, frightening and ridiculous - all within the slightest movement of his facial muscles.

    Because Kirosawa is one of the very greatest directors in cinema history, unfortunately there is no full film on You Tube I can post here, but here are a couple of tasters.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzFq5hOlZ5s
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Kirosawa was also a brilliant interpreter of Shakespeare. In fact, the first Shakespeare production I ever saw as a young lad was Kirosawa's version of Macbeth - Throne of Blood. He always used the Samurai genre to interpret Shakespeare, including a brilliant version of King Lear, which he called Ran and was produced by George Lucas and Francis Ford Copola. Here is a trailer for Throne of Blood.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4KMDzNx1Xk
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    And back to China. A magnificent film depicting the origin of Wing Chun Kung Fu, which was developed by a lady called Wing Chun for the purpose of resisting the Mongol \ Manchu invaders. This Kung Fu style is developed so that a Chinese lady could defeat a Mongol soldier in one to one combat, even though he was much heavier and stronger. The style uses his weight and strength against him. Wing Chun went on to be one of the most popular Kung Fu styles in southern China, and was the first style studied by Bruce Lee.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4d7lGYHWbk
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972)

     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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