Sunday, June 06, 2010


I was done with martial arts films many years back--the formula was worn to hell ages ago, particulary after Black Belt Theater when I was a kid, and the more recent addition of CGI and wire stunts has made martial arts films not more interesting but less so (with a few exceptions).

But here you've got Tony Jaa doing elaborate extended fight sequences in single cuts with tireless exuberance. The plot? Instead of getting revenge for a killed father/brother/teacher, he's angry over kidnapped elephants taken to Australia. So he kicks lots of ass and runs into Jackie Chan at the airport. Fun.

This is the second time I borrowed Spirit of the Beehive from Netflix. It's a wonderful puzzle, and I need a few more viewings to piece it together. If you like allegorical films with dense symbolism you need to check this one out.


Anonymous said...

if i haven't recommended Stephen Chow's films to you I do so now (not all are 'black belt') he is the exception with CGI, done perfectly

also Chocolate (for non CGI or at least subtle and not in the fighting for sure) a Thai film starring Yanin "Jeeja" Vismistananda is outstanding and riveting. Sure it's a twist on the formula so nothing altogether new, but damn it's great. I haven't caught her new one (well, last year) so thanks for inadvertently reminding me!

also congrats on your two job offers


Nyarlathotep said...

Chow's exactly who I had in mind when I said "with a few exceptions." I think when I wrote about Kung Fu Hustle here I called it the "greatest film ever made." I was only half-kidding, too.

Anonymous said...

Man sorry I didn't see that, i'll have to check your archives to read what you wrote. It is a great film! Aside from being just flat out entertaining lovingly pays homage to HK/Chinese (and some US) film history, quoting themes & visuals from those great films and casting fine actors & actresses from them. Yuen Wah--i mean look at his resume!!!

good read here if you ever get the time