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Martial arts movies?

Discussion in 'The Movies' started by Danny R, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. Dec 2, 2004 #1 of 13
    Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Anybody else really like going to see the latest martial arts films that are showing here in the US?

    I know every little about the format, but I definately enjoyed "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Hero" and based on the preview, will likely enjoy the new "House of Flying Daggers" (opens this month sometime) as well.

    http://www.sonyclassics.com/houseofflyingdaggers/trailer-open.html

    Just curious, but does anyone know why are these three films are suddenly here in the US? Are these the best of a whole genre of films, or is it just one particular company deciding to bring their product over here? Just wondering why the sudden influx of movies (all seeming to have the same actress btw)

    Just curious, but can anyone recommend other films of this genre that may be available on DVD? And speaking of genre's, what is this type of film actually called? Its not *just* a martial arts movie, as all three also have a magical concept to them as well, not to mention being set in a long forgotten time.
     
  2. Dec 2, 2004 #2 of 13
    djlong

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    Does "Big Trouble in Little China" count? :)
     
  3. Dec 2, 2004 #3 of 13
    Danny R

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    Not quite the same thing, but definately one of my favorite movies. ;)
     
  4. Dec 2, 2004 #4 of 13
    jrjcd

    jrjcd Arcane Movie Trivia King DBSTalk Gold Club

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    well, rather they are the "best" in their genre or not is beside the point-unless you frequent asia cinema houses or video stores, this is certainly going to be the best you will see at mainstream movie venues...

    too bad -everyone should see "god of gamblers" at least once
     
  5. Dec 2, 2004 #5 of 13
    Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    well, rather they are the "best" in their genre or not is beside the point

    I have no idea if they are or not. I have no experience with such films other than those which have come out recently. Thus my question on why we are seeing them now.

    I just know I like them, and if there are others of the same ilk, I want to check them out as well.

    FYI: Neither Netflix nor Blockbuster appear to have God of Gamblers (Du shen), although they have the sequels. :(
     
  6. Dec 2, 2004 #6 of 13
    RichW

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    How about "marital arts" films? :)
     
  7. Dec 3, 2004 #7 of 13
    Visitor

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    "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was directed by Ang Lee, a well-respected director, which probably helped get that movie distributed world-wide.

    The version of "Hero" that was released in the U.S. was cut; it is shorter than the original Asian version. Jet Li has become somewhat famous in the U.S. through movies like "Lethal Weapon 4", "Romeo Must Die", and "Kiss of the Dragon", so that is part of the reason that "Hero", out of the dozens he has done, made it to the U.S.

    Quentin Tarantino is a big fan of martial arts movies (as evidenced in the "Kill Bill" movies). He brought "Iron Monkey" to U.S. theaters, years after it's original release. I think he may have helped bring "Hero" here, too, but I'm not sure about that. I didn't see it in the theaters, since I've had the Asian DVD of "Hero" for about a year before the movie got here!

    As far as recommendations, just about all of the Jackie Chan movies made in Asia (specifically; avoid the Hollywood movies he appeared in) are very worthwhile. As are many other Jet Li movies.

    The best resource to go to to learn about the sub-genres within the martial arts category, and to buy DVDs, is www.hkflix.com. It's an excellent site for martial arts movies, far and away the best I've found. They also sell Asian movies of all types, not just martial arts.

    Go to that web site - I guarantee you will learn a lot. And possibly end up spending a lot of money!
     
  8. Dec 4, 2004 #8 of 13
    jrjcd

    jrjcd Arcane Movie Trivia King DBSTalk Gold Club

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    because of the relative success of the kill bill flicks(very successful for a tarantino film), miramax wanted QT to lend his name(hence "quentin tarantino presents")to hero to boast the sales(the PT Barnam philosophy-there a sucker born every minute-works here, with the producers thinking that people would be fooled into believing that QT had a hand in making this film, which he didn't)...there are many many many films from korea, japan, hong kong, and other parts of asia that, while maybe not technically superior to american films, are head, tails, and snails above us in terms of storytelling and imagination...people will never know this because, first off, they are better seen with suntitles and we americans are too lazy to watch a film with subtitles-too much work at the movies(rolling eyes smiley)...
     
  9. Dec 4, 2004 #9 of 13
    olgeezer

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    I noticed in "Hero" the assasin Sky was playing Go and the subtitle mentioned that he loved and was playing chess.
     
  10. Visitor

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    Remember I mentioned http://www.hkflix.com as a good site for martial arts movies? They are already offering the DVD of "House of Flying Daggers" for $14.95. Anamorphic widescreen, with both DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound tracks. Not bad!

    While I wholehearedly agree, there is a problem with many Asian films whereby the subtitles suck! I recently rented "Ring Virus", which is the Korean remake of the Japanese movie "Ringu" (remade in America as "The Ring"). The subtitles were so bad they ruined the movie. Whoever did them barely spoke English, and in many places the subtitles made no sense whatsoever. Also, characters would speak long sentences, and only a few words would appear in the subtitles. Very bad for anyone who doesn't understand Korean, since the DVD had no English soundtrack!

    Many of us remember the poorly-dubbed martial arts movies of the 70's. Well, in a lot of cases, the dubbing of Asian movies has improved dramatically. Some of the Jackie Chan Hong Kong movies have decent English soundtracks, for example. Another Asian movie I highly recommend is "So Close" (if you must compare it to something, it is in some ways similar to the "Charlie's Angels" movies - only far, far superior). The dubbing it in it so good that I actually recommend watching it dubbed rather than with subtitles (though I often do both)!

    Another problem with subtitles is that there is no way all the dialogue can be subtitled - words would be flying across the screen so fast they couldn't be read. So you can often get more out of a well-dubbed movie than from the subtitles.

    I always watch foreign movies first in the original language, with subtitles. This way I get to hear the actor's inflections and emotions come through, which can very often be missing from a poorly-dubbed English soundtrack. Then, if the movie is good, I'll watch it again in English, leaving the subtitles on.

    An interesting thing I've noticed when doing this is that often the dubbing and the subtitles will actually contradict each other! An example of this is "Princess Mononoke". Watch it in English with the subtitles on, and you will encounter scenes in which the spoken words and the subtitles say entirely different things. Weird.
     
  11. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    An interesting thing I've noticed when doing this is that often the dubbing and the subtitles will actually contradict each other!

    And of course there are issues of cultural differences. Mononoke's infamous "This soup tastes like water" translation being a prime example. (an insult in Japan, but almost meaningless here... thus they changed it to "donkey piss")

    Another problem with subtitles is that there is no way all the dialogue can be subtitled - words would be flying across the screen so fast they couldn't be read.

    Yeah, I actualy had this problem in "Hero" for the first few minutes, as it takes me a bit to adjust to watching the screen and reading simultaneously. Until I get my mind in the right state, I usually either am just reading, or just watching the screen, but not doing either quickly enough to fully take in the experience properly.
     
  12. Steve Mehs

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    Not really into martial art flicks but I love Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back. Haven't seen the other 3, in the series but they're all in my Netflix queue somewhere.
     
  13. waydwolf

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    Probably because translation between English and many other languages requires a tremendous amount of intuition and assumption as to intended meaning and while many languages get these things across through intonation, inflection, pitch, emphasis, and other things traditionally, as with anything, it's on a person by person basis.

    So if you have two different people making the assumptions of what the translation should be, and perhaps one working from a guide done by someone who speaks the original language but doesn't speak English well, then you get that effect.

    Japanese and other Asian languages seem most especially prone to this but I've had family members try to translate something said by a fellow Pole and everyone got it slightly different and when you try to clean it up so it doesn't sound so blocky and direct, you get some laughable results.

    For instance, if you translate a sentence in Japanese that conveys the idea "please hold onto your belongings as the train slows to a stop" you WON'T get that sentence back and even if you approximate that meaning, you likely won't put it into English in that way.

    See Babelfish for more.
     

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