Best Martial Arts movies?!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Charles Coates, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Charles Coates

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    Hello!

    I jut got the Phillips 727, and I was wondering if anyone wise in the way of classic martial arts movies could lend me a hand in starting my collection! I LOVE Iron Monkey, so I'm looking for some classic martial arts action in that vein.
    Thanks!

    -Charlie
     
  2. Jeff Mason

    Jeff Mason Stunt Coordinator

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    If I were you, I'd check out the Kung Fu DVD forum over at www.dvdcult.com/KFDVD.htm. Listing great martial arts films can be difficult since there are so many styles and different people like different things. Some people prefer Shaw Bros. movies, some like films involving weapons, some like those with comedy, etc. I would say that although Iron Monkey was a modern film (I assume you mean the 1993 Yuen Woo Ping version), it is done somewhat in a classic style. Titles I see recommened a lot (but I haven't personally seen) include:

    Magnificent Butcher
    8 Diagram Pole Fighter
    Pedicab Driver
    Iron Fisted Monk
    Invincible Armor
    Master of The Flying Guillotine


    Personally, I'd recommend 36th Chamber of Shaolin starring Gordon Liu (1978). This is the very first "shaolin temple" film; a formula which was to be copied ad nauseum. Miramax is set to release this soon in the US, but at the moment you can get a nice R3 version from Celestial pictures for fairly cheap. Beware as there are a lot of cheap, bootleg versions for sale out there that are souced from VHS.

    If you like Venoms films (featuring the five Venoms), you will want to check out:

    Five Deadly Venoms
    Crippled Avengers (aka Return of The Five Deadly Venoms)
    Kid With The Golden Arm
    Chinese Super Ninjas

    Five Deadly Venoms is a lot slower paced than Iron Monkey, but it has a good plot and is considered an all time classic by most. Some feel Crippled Avengers is better. I've seen both. Crippled...has some awesome choreography sequences in it and the idea of five guys having to overcome various handicaps and to master new styles was interesting. Most of these have yet to be re-issued in remastered format from Celestial pictures, but they will be soon.

    Prepare to visit some websites and do a little research. There is a lot to choose from out there!
     
  3. Charles Coates

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I'l be sure to look into the titles mentioned.

    -Charlie
     
  4. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Check out The Prodigal Son (1983), one of the best 'classic' martial arts movies.
    I'd also recommend Burning Paradise (1994), which is very violent and bloody, but with some stylish martial arts fights.
     
  5. andrew markworthy

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    The choice is vast - it's almost akin to asking 'which Hollywood movies would you recommend?'.

    However, a good start is the Hong Kong Legends list. If you can play the HKL titles (they're R2 and PAL), then grab these - there are few poor titles and nearly all are presented with extras. Also, as you'll quickly discover, Western and Eastern versions of the same movie can be rather different (generally, the Western ones are shorter in length); HKL try to release the longest/most complete versions. Even if you can't play HKL discs, it'd be worth checking out their list of titles (www.hongkonglegends.co.uk) because they give a shrewd idea of the sort of titles you should be seeking out.

    The one thing I would warn against is going for at first are any of the primarily comedy titles. These can be something of an acquired taste.
     
  6. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    No contest...

    SHOGUN ASSASSIN!!!


    Now where's the dvd?!?
     
  7. Jeff Mason

    Jeff Mason Stunt Coordinator

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    While I would agree that Hong Kong Legends do a fantastic job with their titles (I got their Iron Monkey as it is uncut), you will have to contend with PAL speedup. Of course, if you're watching the movies in the original language, you might not notice as much [​IMG]!
     
  8. Charles Coates

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    Doesen't the conversion the Phillips 727 has take care of the speedup, so it plays normally?
     
  9. Jeff Mason

    Jeff Mason Stunt Coordinator

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    No DVD player will compensate for the speedup. If you have an NTSC system, the player will convert the signal to allow you to view it on your TV, but it will still be sped up unfortunately. I have one movie in both PAL and NTSC versions and even though my player converts the PAL film for viewing on my TV, it most definitely runs fast.
     
  10. Charles Coates

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    Hrm.. I hope its not that noticeable.. I guess I'l find out when I get my first batch of PAL movies in the mail.
     
  11. andrew markworthy

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  12. Daryl Stovall

    Daryl Stovall Second Unit

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    Sacred Knives of Vengeance. If only it was on dvd.
     
  13. Chris_Morris

    Chris_Morris Screenwriter

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    If you liked Iron Monkey (1993) I would suggest:

    Once Upon a Time in China (simply the best ever)
    OUATIC 2 and 3 also
    Hero (Jet Li, available in All Region, or R3 SE)
    Fist of Legend (Jet Li)
    Tai-Chi Master (Jet Li)
    Tai-Chi II (Yuen Biao)
    Wing Chun (Michelle Yeoh)
    Fong Sai Yuk I & II (Jet Li)
    Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
    My Father is a Hero (Jet Li)
    New Legend of Shaolin (Jet Li)
    Storm Riders
    Bride With White Hair I&II
    The Heroic Trio
    Swordsman II
    Dragon Inn

    Check out the reviews on here for some other good choices.
    Also great reviews at Love and Bullets

    Chris
     
  14. Charles Coates

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    Thank you all for your suggestions! Many of these look marvelous!
     
  15. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

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    One that I recently discovered was Shaolin Temple, the first movie Jet Li made.
    It is incredible and well worth checking out.
    Check out my collection by the link in my sig, there's a few good ones sprinkled through there [​IMG]
     
  16. Chris_Morris

    Chris_Morris Screenwriter

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    Shaolin Temple was a good one. They've just released a DTS remastered version, I'm curious to see if the quality is any better.

    Jet Li stands above most of the rest because like Bruce Lee, he was a true martial artist before being a movie star. Some of the clips of him as a child are just amazing.


    Chris
     
  17. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

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  18. Tony_Ramos

    Tony_Ramos Second Unit

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    I don't know if these are too obvious but here are some of my favs:

    Drunken Master & Legend of Drunken Master, the first for being the a collaboration between Yuen Wo Ping and Jackie Chan and the second for being Jackie's first turn at his own choreography. The first movie is also the first appearance of the wisened old drunken fighter.

    Fist of Legend.

    Iron Monkey (wirework is over the top, but like CTHD, it is about heroes from japanese folklore with mythological abilities.
     
  19. Charles Coates

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    I saw Bride with the White Hair tonight, and it was amazing!

    I have two questions about the newly released UK version of Touch of Zen. If you view it on a widescreren TV in zoom mode (since its not anamorphic), will the subtitles be cut off? How is the transfer compared to the Tai Seng release?
     
  20. Demetri K

    Demetri K Stunt Coordinator

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