I've been watching a wide variety of films lately--not reviewing most of them, simply because I haven't had the time, and there have been other things to blog about. But today's a slow news day for me, so I'm going to catch up on something I've been meaning to write about. I love me some martial arts movies, and while I've seen most of the big names over the years, I realized I was really lacking in the Bruce Lee department. I've seen Enter the Dragon, and . . . that's about it. So when I saw The Chinese Connection/Fist of Fury was on instant streaming, I gave it a go.
Hmm . . . .
Not really too impressed with it. The plot was disjointed, the acting really subpar, the picture awful (not the movie's fault, I realize)--but the worst offense were the fighting scenes. They were just . . . okay. It was dubbed, which I hate. Does anyone know if Bruce Lee really made those ridiculous sounds when he was fighting, or if they were dubbed in? I mean, it sounds like the epitome of a bad spoof of a Kung Fu movie, which I realize is likely because people were imitating these very sounds, but still . . . it just doesn't work. So I finished the movie and filed it under the Two Stars category, mainly giving it credit and a nod of thanks for providing an essential stepping stone to allow me to enjoy Jackie Chan movies and Iron Monkey today.
Then I saw it had been remade by Jet Li, now called Fist of Legend. Not only that, but the fights were choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping--the genius behind Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Kill Bill, Iron Monkey, Drunken Master, and Black Mask fame. It wasn't on instant streaming, but that sounded like a movie worth an actual wait for the DVD.
The story was actually engaging and faceted. The acting was great. The production values were excellent. And the fights were fantastic. Just a great example of a martial arts movie firing on all cylinders. I loved it. So Bruce Lee, I totally respect you, and I'd never say this to your face (because I value my life), but Jet Li totally wins this round. Sorry.
And in other news--thanks to four of your clicks yesterday, my blog made a whole $5.11. Thanks! :-)