Archive for the Stephen Chow Category

YEAH! Dragon Dynasty Returns! (Sorta)

Posted in Jet Li, Stephen Chow with tags on August 19, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

dragondynastyheader

Before Wellgousa blew our minds, Dragon Dynasty, owned by the Weinsteins, was responsible for releasing HK action in the states in fantastic DVD’s (many of which I have, and still have yet to review quite a few!) and now thanks to Anchor Bay Entertainment we have the Dragon Dynasty 5- Film Collection! I’m really hoping this is the start of releasing all of their catalogue. There is just too much goodness to be bought by Hong Kong film fans new and old! Just read the goodness below:

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. – August 18, 2015 – Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company are proud to announce the action packed martial arts home entertainment release of the Dragon Dynasty 5 Movie Collection. This classic set features four films from legendary martial arts superstar Jet Li and one film from icon Stephen Chow. In 2006, The Weinstein Company launched the Dragon Dynasty brand in order to showcase classic and contemporary Asian Cinema, particularly films in the action/martial arts genre. An immediate hit with fans and critics, Dragon Dynasty brought home the world’s greatest martial arts and Asian action films, featuring the groundbreaking work of international superstars and legendary filmmakers. Anchor Bay Entertainment is honoring this legacy with the Dragon Dynasty: 5 Movie Collection, arriving on 3-Disc DVD set and Digital HD bundle on October 6th.  

The Dragon Dynasty 5 Movie Collection includes:

 Born to Defense

Born to Defense (1986)

Directed by & Starring Jet Li (Rated R, 91 min.)

Jet (Jet Li) is a WWII soldier returning after the war to find he must continue to fight against abusive Americans now taking advantage of citizens in his hometown.

 defender

The Defender (1994)

Directed by Corey Yuen & Starring Jet Li (Rated R, 92 min.)

Jet Li – the former bodyguard to the most powerful leader in China is hired to protect school teacher Christy Chung after having witnessed a brutal murder.

 fong sai yuk

The Legend II (aka The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk II, 1993)

Directed by Corey Yuen & Starring Jet Li (Rated R, 92 min.)

Having failed a secret mission for the Red Flowers Society, an underground organization dedicated to the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty and restoration of the Ming Dynasty, Fong Sai Yuk must try to get his hands on a special document by wooing the governor’s daughter.

 OUTICA

Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997)

Directed by Sammo Hung Kam-Bo & Starring Jet Li (Not Rated, 99 min.)

Wong Fei-Hung travels to the U.S. to visit a martial arts branch that one of his disciples has set up and ends up establishing himself as a respected kung fu master, helping gain recognition for Chinese martial arts in the West.

 Beijing_with_love_1994

From Beijing with Love (1994)

Directed by & Starring Stephen Chow. (Not Rated, 84 min.)

A comedic send-up of Bond’s 007, Ling Ling-Chat is the unlikely pork butcher / superspy sent to Hong Kong to find a priceless stolen fossil. Assassins, spy gadgets, stunts and chases ensue.

 Dragon Dynasty 5 Movie Collection will be available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment for the suggested retail price of $19.98

 

To learn more about this film, please visit anchorbayentertainment.com.

 

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Review: Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Posted in Fung Hak-On, Sammo Hung, Stephen Chow, Sui-Lung Leung, Xing Yu, Yuen Qiu, Yuen Wah with tags , on April 15, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

Kung Fu Hustle 2

Starring Stephen Chow, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Xing Yu, Chi Ling Chiu, Fung Hak-on, Leung Siu-Lung

Fight Choreography by Sammo Hung

Directed by Stephen Chow

Hot off of Shaolin Soccer, funnyman Stephen Chow  was just getting warmed up for what may be the crowning achievement of his career, a film that pays homage to cinema in general and kung fu movies in particular. Part kung-fu, part cartoon, Kung Fu Hustle raises the kung fu comedy bar to new heights.

Stephen Chow stars as Sing, a complete loser who, with his oafish friend Bone attempt to pull off scams on any sucker they can find. They make the mistake of going to Pig Sty Alley and trying to screw a barber out of paying for a haircut, pretending to be Axe Gang members. After being “attacked” by the people living in the complex Sing aligns himself with the real Axe Gang, who just happened to arrived. Sing unknowingly sets off a chain of events that finds the Axe Gang leader killed and replaced by his even worse second in command Brother Sum, who vows to destroy the inhabitants of the building. As it turns out the building is home to some of the greatest martial arts heroes of all time, and The Axe gang suffers defeat after defeat, but with Sing’s help they are able to find help from the greatest kung fu killer of all time. Sing believes that only the bad guys ever win, but can his eyes open to the truth about himself in time to save the people of Pig Sty?

kung fu hustle 1

There isn’t a comedy stone left unturned here, and it all starts with Stephen Chow the actor, who does a great job as the hapless Sing. In many ways he plays a straight man to some of the most ridiculous moments of the film, and that’s a good thing. And, and as always, Yuen Wah brings his A-game to this part as the lecherous landlord, and Yuen Qiu stole the show as the tough as nails landlady. Seeing so many greats of the Shaw Brothers and early Sammo Hung era kung fu fighters was simply a treat. The story itself is well told, and the more out-there moments, like the chase between Landlady and Sing are just laugh-out-loud funny, even if it makes no real sense, and the slapstick comedy, such as the knife throwing scene (one of my favs) are just hilarious.

Kung Fu Hustle 3

Sammo Hung did a fantastic job choreographing the fights here (when isn’t Sammo great at this?) and it all escalates exactly as it should. The first fight in the courtyard is great, and Sammo lets the featured martial artists look great. My favorite fight, from every compositional standpoint, is the fight versus the Harpist assassins. Their harp served the dual purpose of being both a deadly weapon and providing the music for the fight scene, which is brilliant. The wire work was well done, and is used to very good effect and doesn’t shadow the actual martial arts being done. The final fight is great and Stephen Chow gets to show off what he can do, and Leung Sui-Lung (Gallants) gives Chow a run for his money here. The fight at the Axe Gang’s casino also deserves a mention, a fantastic blend of martial arts, wirework and special effects that allows Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu the chance to show they’ve still got it!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 10 

Stephen Chow made what may very well be the best kung fu comedy of all time! A brilliant mix of kung fu, comedy and special effects. Rarely does it mesh so well, but Chow pulls if off with gusto!

Review: King Of Beggars (1992)

Posted in Norman Chu, Stephen Chow with tags , , on July 18, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Stephen Chow, Ng Man Tat, Sharla Cheung, Norman Chu

Fight Choreography by Yuen Cheung-Yan

Directed by Gordon Chan

There have been many stories told about Beggar So, the creator of Drunken Boxing, and one of the Ten Tigers of Canton, the most recent being the terrific film True Legend, but before that funnyman Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle) had his own fictional take on the legend, and continues to grow in the realm of kung fu comedy…

Chow stars as So Chan, the spoiled rich child of General So (Man Tat) who spends his days messing around, even though his kung-fu skills are second-to-none, and on his birth day evening he goes to a brothel and falls in love with Yu-Shang (Cheung), a secret member of the Beggars Association who is trying to get close enough to kill Chiu Mok-Kei, a magician and martial arts master who killed her brother. So Chan covets Yu-Shang, which draws the ire of Mok-Kei (Chiu). Just to get rid of So Chan, she promises to marry him if–and only if–he can be crowned the Master of Martial Arts in a tournament held a few days hence. So Chan goes to the tournament, and has his father help him to cheat through the written portion of the test as So Chan can’t read or write, as he never considered it important before. Chan wins the tournament after his opponent cheats, but  it is revealed to the Emperor that So Chan cheated the written portion of the exam since he cannot read, and after the Emperor gives So Chan a test that he immediately fails, and an enraged Emperor has all of the So family’s belongings confiscated, and the So’s are ordered to spend the rest of their lives as beggars.

So Chan goes into a depression, but tries to come out of it with help from Yu-Shang, who feels responsible for Chan’s current predicament. After an altercation and causes Chan’s arms and legs to be broken by Mok-Kei, he and his father join the Beggars Association, and find that they have to aid them in exposing a plot  by Mok Kei to kill the Emperor, but before that So Chan has to heal and discover a new way of fighting…

King Of Beggars is a fun movie, that is full of Hong Kong style humor, and true to Stephen Chow’s style some standard scenes are raised up as he humorously plays with audience expectations. Chow does a good job of going from comedy to drama to action and back again, and a few scenes have both, but Chow keeps everything moving along smoothly. Ng Man Tat also does a great job providing further comedy as So Chan’s father, and is able to play off of Chow really well, especially as he has to provide the comedy relief when Chow has to play things seriously. Norman Chiu is a right bastard as he normally is in action films, playing Mok-Kei with the right amount of arrogance mixed with confidence. Sharla Cheung is mostly the damsel in distress, but plays it well.

The fight scenes are well done but are really short, and full of wire-harness and special effects, going for a more fantasy tone than a realistic one. My favorite fight is the fight versus the three masters who test Chan after he becomes Beggar So, and uses his drunken boxing for the first time. Chow doesn’t attempt to try to out-choreograph Jackie Chan or Jet Li’s version of Drunken Boxing and it was smart for him to do so, choosing a more effects-laden version that causes more chuckle than awe by design. You can see how some of the style of the fights would come back again in Kung Fu Hustle with much better special effects than shown here.

King Of Beggars showcases Stephen Chow’s brand of kung-fu comedy and positions him for the kung fu comedy classics to come.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (6) What was there was good, but a bit too effect-sy for me. None of it is meant to be remotely believable, and isn’t.

STUNTWORK: (6) The stunts are okay, but nothing to write home about. Everyone did what they should, but there weren’t any really memorable stunt scenes.

STAR POWER: (8) Stephen Chow’s star was on the rise, and Norman Chu is a good villain as always. Sharla Cheung was in the middle of her stardom in this film. The other stars were good, but no one upcoming of note.

FINAL GRADE: (7) Not nearly Stephen Chow’s best, but still a funny movie that retells the story of Beggar So in a new way.

NEXT: Germany and new star Mike Moller step into the ring with Urban Fighter!