Wire fu in Romeo Must Die

“If the film (Romeo Must Die) cannot integrate Jet Li into his own film, it stumbles even more over its incorporation of 'Hong Kong action'. Romeo Must Die is, visually, a post-Matrix film, but it does not have its predecessor's fantasy remit to explain why fighters float in mid-air... the CGI-enhanced wirework looks as though…

Romeo Must Die

“With Jet Li going to war as only he can,” smirks the cover of my Romeo Must Die DVD, “Romeo Must Die is alive and kicking.” This film purports to be a Jet Li vehicle – “his first English-language lead role” (1) and it really fucks up its potential. By the time he made his…

Wong Jing – you nasty little man…

Or The Depiction of Martial Artists in High Risk. “Cross referencing is a constant in Wong Jing’s scavenger movies. Their in-jokes are too opportunistic to count as homages.” David Bordwell, Planet Hong Kong, P. 175 In his direction of his movies, Wong Jing goes nosing and scurrying after opportunities for gag making like a hungry…

Wong Jing’s High Risk

“They are the ideal example of script-by-brainstorming; each scene is stuffed with gimmicks. The opening is likely to be breathless. Within the first sixty seconds there will be a gag, a chase, or a suspenseful encounter.” David Bordwell, on Wong Jing’s films, Planet Hong Kong, P. 172 And Bordwell is right! The very first scene…

A brief blog about the fight with the garbage truck in My Father is a Hero

“(Geoffrey) Nowell-Smith suggests that repressed emotions erupt in moments of high tension or drama and manifest themselves as symptoms through performance, music and mise-en-sce`ne and it is at such points of heightened emotion that the characteristic excesses of the melodrama manifest themselves.” (Shingler and Mercer, Melodrama, pp. 22-23) As discussed in my blog on melodrama and…

Getting to know you: introductory fights in My Father is a Hero

Last night I watched The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. A collaboration between Shaw Brothers and Hammer studios, this production is an odd blend of eastern and western themes and talents. It stars David Chiang and Peter Cushing, and the plot revolves around Dracula taking the form of a corrupt Chinese mystic and decamping…

My Father is a Hero: The Opening Scenes

My Father is a Hero begins with its opening credits being intercut with footage showing a large squad of impressively drilled children, who include one of the main characters Siu Ku (played by Xie Mao), doing a wu shu routine. By doing this director Corey Yuen has established this film’s martial arts credentials right from…