Do you like Martial Arts films?


#1

I haven’t seen anyone discussing the greatest genre of film to ever exist(Wuxia or otherwise) so I wanted to know if you guys were big MA fans, what your favorite films are, if there is a particular scene or fighting style you enjoy?
I also want to talk about the sequel to the Journey to the West film, because the trailer made what little hair I have left stand on end.

My fav films:
Flashpoint
Once upon a time in China
Iron Monkey
Crippled Masters
Tai Chi Master
Legendary Weapons of China

If you want to get into MA films/don’t know where to start, Paste did enormous leg work in building a fantastic list.
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/01/the-100-best-martial-arts-movies-of-all-time.html?a=1


#2

I’m a big fan of Wuxia in particular, though admittedly I haven’t watched as many films from the genre as I’d like to. All my faves are the big name movies, so I’m kinda a fake fan?
I really love Hero and House of Flying Daggers, and I think that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon has the best fight scene of all time in it.

I also watched Come Drink With Me recently, and it was really cool, especially for a movie from the 60s


#3

I enjoy them but I hesistate to proclaim myself a fan because I tend to need a little Jackie Chan magic in my martial arts films, which I feel is sort of like if Weird Al was your favourite pop star growing up and which is also true of me.


#4

Do you like Shaw Bros. films or do you want to see more of them? Check this out, it’s a comprehensive listing of what Shaw Bros. films are on what streaming service!

http://shawbrothersuniverse.com/shaw-brothers-classic-film-collection/

You’ll note a lot of these are on YouTube because Celestial Pictures is awesome, but the ones on Netflix especially are worth checking out because the transfers are incredibly good. The Kid with the Golden Arm and Disciples of the 36th Chamber are must sees that are on Netflix right now.

There’s also one I want to talk about that they’ve added to Amazon Prime, so if you have Prime you can watch it today, Tsui Hark’s first movie, The Butterfly Murders.

I think it’s the only wuxia investigative horror murder mystery. Once they get to the flick’s main location the movie’s atmosphere goes from grim to really dark as it very effectively switches gears from being an investigation to a “holy shit we have to never even be within line of site of this guy ever” cat and mouse game of folks trying to hurt/just get away from this dude that’s basically the Jason of martial arts movie characters. The cave sets/whatever are cool looking and super darkly lit along with the guy’s armor and it’s actually creepy for a few moments here and there. It also has some unique stuff like the butterfly murders themselves and how all of the weapons are of the more brutal variety (there’s no swords, just those short curved disemboweling knife things, clubs, small explosives, etc.) so even though the movie isn’t gory at all it helps make the stakes feel high. The costumes and everything look great in it too. Definitely worth a watch.


#5

Wish I could say I watched more of this stuff, but I do super enjoy the stuff I do catch. Think the last one I saw was actually Crippled Masters, which you mentioned in the OP. It’s pretty great, though it’s a shame it clearly ran out of budget before it could get finished. That final fight scene was pretty great, sans that secret technique thing, which I was not convinced was as effective as the film seemed to think it would be. But it was clearly a stand-in for an actual conclusion they couldn’t get chance to film.


#6

Hell yeah Shaw Brothers. I had a good chunk of their movies ripped to my hard drive, but sadly a lot of them died with my previous laptop. Managed to save a few of them, but not nearly enough! Haven’t really dug into any newer martial arts movies, but that’s mainly due to lack of time rather than me having anything against them.

I haven’t watched anything in a while, but my favourite used to be (and still is, for what it’s worth) “8 Diagram Pole Fighter”. It has so many good fights, and on top of that it actually has my favourite fight scene ever.

This thread is a good wake-up call that I need to get back to watching those.


#7

I watched all the Shaw Brothers that were on Netflix recently and it was great. 5 Deadly Venoms is my favorite but each movie was cool in its own right.


#8

I do enjoy picking up random asian films if I am on a plane because they are often weird in brilliant ways. Favourites I have found that way include…

Dragon Blade:

Because why would you not have Romans fighting ancient Chinese on the silk roads? Also John Cusack which… well. Suffice it to say this is a very silly film that is also super-fun.

The Guillotines:

This has some silly elements to it but gets increasingly layered as time goes on.

Also not strictly martial arts but super fun, Woochi, Demon Slayer:

That is a super fun movie.

I was completely blown away by the epic TV series Nirvana In Fire which is not a martial arts show, but certainly features a good deal of wuxia in among the beauty and subtle, devious, plotting. The most essential television I have watched in the last five years, I can’t speak highly enough of it.


#9

Not sure if they count, but I think both of the raid movies have some of the most brilliantly choreographed fight scenes in the history of the medium.


#10

They super count. I absolutely love both of those movies.


#11

I really need to set a day aside to watch both of those movies. Haven’t heard a word against them from anyone. Plus someone compared Yakuza 0 to them so I’m pretty certain they’ll be my jam.


#12

I’m really into Jackie Chan’s original Police Story 1 and 2. they’re just a really incredible mix of slapstick comedy, great fight choreography and unbelievable stunts . they’re probably up there with Hard Boiled as some of my favorite action films.


#13

I watch movies too sporadically to be any sort of authority on anything, but I do love me some martial arts. came in here to pick House of Flying Daggers as a fave - I was really impressed with that one when I saw it. one of the most visually impressive films I’ve seen, and the entire ending sequence is brilliant.


#14

Haven’t seen him mentioned yet, so I’ll add Tony Jaa to the big list of recommendations. The Protector is my favourite of all his movies, and it has one of the best stunts I’ve ever seen in a kung fu movie!


#15

@hobo I definitely second the recommendation for The Protector. as an overall film it has its troubles but the action is absolutely worth watching all by itself. although i’m not sure it technically counts as a kung fu film? there’s a lot of fighting styles in it.

@ChefLuBu oh yo those Journey to the West movies look cool as hell? The first one has Stephen Chow directing so I’m all in and the second one has Tsui Hark, whose live action films I havent seen, but whose animated version of A Chinese Ghost Story is one of my all time favorites.

@NeoRasa yooooooo. The Butterfly Murders sounds incredible I definitely have to check that out.


#16

Just recently watched Once Upon a Time in China 1+2 while I was visiting some family in HK and the memories just flooded back. I still love the fight between Donnie Yen and Jet Li with the rope and bamboo. But besides that I really like Police Story and Drunken Master. Jackie Chan movies always have such fantastic slapstick and choreo that never get old.


#17

I liked Drunken Master a lot more than I thought I would. Def didn’t expect that subplot about the Brits stealing Chinese heritage items in the slapstick action movie though.


#18

I don’t think there is any reason to be timid if your favorite film is house of flying daggers. The twists in that film fucked my whole life up.

Tsui Hark is an actual genius.

I forgot about the venoms when I made this post and I’ve shamed myself.


#19

It’s not a very good movie, the acting is kinda shoddy and I have bad feeling that I wouldn’t like it very much if I went back to it but dammit, BLOOD AND BONE WITH MICHAEL JAI WHITE WRECKED MY ENTIRE SHIT WHEN I WATCHED IT THE FIRST TIME.

That movie reminded me of Def Jam Fight For NY, which is one of my all time favorite games for a multitude of reasons, and that probably caused me to be gloss over a lot of its obvious flaws. The very meassured pace and almost methodical transitions in the fights just works for me in a major way and MJW is also just a spectacular martial artist.


#20

I can’t speak on Blood and Bone, but re: Michael Jai White, Black Dynamite is legit one of my fave films of all-time. and has some martial arts in it!