Jackie Chan

The Young Master (1980)

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Leaving Lo Wei’s Film Company, Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan makes his Golden Harvest debut with this instant classic kung fu comedy.

Two adopted brothers, Dragon and Tiger, enter a lion dance competition for their kung fu school. When they lose the competition, their father is none too happy with the results. However, it is revealed that Tiger was paid by the rival school to throw the competition. In anger, their father kicks Tiger out of the school and decides to take out all of his aggression on the fellow students. Having enough, Dragon decides that he must bring Tiger back to settle matters once and for all.

However, Tiger is given another job by the rival school. He is asked to join two assistants to free their captured master, Master Kim. When they successfully free Kim, the officials recognize only a fighter with a white fan. Dragon, who holds a white fan, is mistaken for his brother and chaos ensues. Soon, he feels the wrath of the local police captain, his son Fourth Brother, and his daughter. Dragon must take it upon himself to clear his name and find the real culprits.

Jackie Chan truly shines in this film, with his combination of comic flair and exhilarating kung fu fight sequences. Chan gets to show off his impeccable skills with a fan as a weapon against Fan Mei-Sheng, his skills with the lion dance, a nicely shot swordfight defensive attack against nosy policemen and his fight against real-life schoolmate Yuen Biao, who shines with the bench as Fourth Brother.

Chan even impersonates a style that the police captain’s daughter uses involving the use of a skirt to take on the likes of Lee Hai-Sheng and Fung Hark-On. What’s great is the combination of these fights with the comic relief that make Chan a true comic kung fu genius. Even Shek Kin, who is best known as the villain of Enter the Dragon, gets his hand in the comic portion of the film.

One martial artist impressed with the film is Hapkido grandmaster Hwang In-Shik, who plays the film’s main antagonist, Master Kim. A veteran actor of kung fu cinema, Hwang never truly showcased his skills of Hapkido until this film. The film’s climatic sequence, pitting Chan and Hwang, lasts a whopping fifteen minutes. This showcases two things in particular: Hwang’s breakdown of Hapkido and Chan’s ability to take some punishment. Hwang is definitely worth seeing here as he uses a combination of the kicking skills of taekwondo, the joint locks of aikido, and the throws of judo that make up the art of Hapkido. Those who really want to see the Korean style will want to see this particular battle.

Hwang and Chan would have their rematch two years later in an originally proposed sequel, Young Master in Love, which would later be known as Dragon Lord. Hwang would once again unleash his trademark Hapkido skills and once again, Chan would take the punishment alongside Mars, a veteran of Chan’s famous stunt team.

The Young Master is truly a nice blend of kung fu fight scenes and comic relief, with Jackie Chan at the top of his game. However, the real highlight is Chan taking nearly 15 minutes of punishment from Hapkido grandmaster Hwang In-Shik. A true classic!

WFG RATING: A+

A Golden Harvest (HK) Ltd. Production. Director: Jackie Chan. Producer: Raymond Chow. Writers: Edward Tang, Lau Tin-Chi, and Tung Lo. Cinematography: Chen Ching-Chu. Editing: Peter Cheung.

Cast: Jackie Chan, Wei Pai, Yuen Biao, Shek Kin, Lily Li, Hwang In-Shik, Lee Hoi-San, Fung Hark-On, Fung Fung, Fan Mei-Sheng, Tien Feng, Bruce Tong, Ma Chao.

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Dragon Fist (1979)

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In one of his final films with director Lo Wei, Jackie Chan unleashes some of his best serious-style fight choreography in this pretty decent classic kung fu film.

During a celebration for Master Chang San-Tai, arch nemesis Master Chong crashes and challenges Chang to a duel. When Chong beats Chang to a pulp, he celebrates his own victory while Master Chang dies. However, Chong gets the shock of a lifetime when he finds his wife hanged in her room. Long ago, Chang had been in a relationship with Chong’s wife before they married and Chong always had wanted revenge. Chong, feeling sorrow and remorse for his actions, decides to chop off his own leg to respect his departed wife.

In the meantime, Tang Hao-Yuan, Chang’s top student, arrives with Chang’s widow and daughter in an effort to seek revenge for the death of his master. However, upon learning what Chong has done, Chang’s widow forgives Chong and soon a new bond is formed. However, that bond will soon begin to be threatened.

Master Wei, an evil warlord, intends to prove he is the best in the land. However, he resorts to dirty tactics. When Chang’s widow is poisoned, Tang is shocked to learn that Wei is the only one with the antidote. Wei blackmails Tang to perform various “jobs” in exchange for the antidote. Will Wei be able to keep his promise or will he use Tang as just a pawn in his mission to prove he is more powerful than everyone?

When director Lo Wei signed on Jackie Chan in 1975, he had Chan star in a series of films that were complete bombs. The reason seemed to be is that Lo Wei was so bitter about his relationship with Bruce Lee after The Big Boss and Fist of Fury that he attempted to mold Chan as a new “Bruce Lee”-like hero. While films such as New Fist of Fury and Shaolin Wooden Men seemed to be more in comparison with Lee and the Shaw Brothers, this one had potential.

Of course with his collaborations with Lo Wei, Jackie Chan plays the big heroic fighter. He has no comic scenes here, but is able to show he can play a serious role when needed. He is seen wanting revenge only to learn that the man he was after knew of his wrongdoing and repented. He goes from being friends with his one-time nemesis to ultimately seeking revenge against a tyrant who is the only one capable of curing his master’s widow. It is this brand of twist in the story that delves from becoming a typical revenge film to one that is actually well done.

While many would see Lo Wei as quite the evil director, this is definitely one of his better films. It helps that Wang Chung-Pin’s screenplay brings out the twists and turns that have the themes of not just revenge, but romantic affairs, penance, and redemption. While the film ultimately becomes one of revenge, it is Chan’s amazing choreography that drives the film. Chan makes good use of his fellow cast, including Hsu Hsia (who would shine in Chan’s Seasonal hit films of the 70’s), the late Eagle Han, the ever popular James Tien, and that of legendary bad guy actor Yen Shi-Kwan.

Dragon Fist is definitely the better of the Lo-Chan collaborations, all due to the screenplay’s twist and turns not to mention Chan’s nice and crisp choreography.

WFG RATING: B

A Lo Wei Motion Picture (HK) Co. Ltd. Production. Director: Lo Wei. Producer: Hsu Li-Hwa. Writer: Wang Chung-Pin. Cinematography: Yim Jin-Hwan and Chen Jung-Shu. Editing: Vincent Leung.

Cast: Jackie Chan, Nora Miao, Yen Shi-Kwan, Pearl Lin, James Tien, Ou Yang Sha-Fei, Ko Keung, Wang Kuang-Yu, Hsu Hsia, Eagle Han, Peng Kong, Tsui Fat, Wong Yiu.

Chan’s “Bleeding Steel” to Get a Worldwide Release in December

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Jackie Chan will be Bleeding Steel in December…and it will be global.

At the American Film Market, The Swen Group’s Swen Asia division along with WME-IMG have scored worldwide rights outside of Asia to the Leo Zhang-directed film and along with its Asian territories, will release the film on December 22 in areas such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand to name a few.

Chan play a special forces agent who becomes embroiled in a major conspiracy while protecting a scientist. It is the biggest budget Chinese production to have ever been shot in Australia and the first feature to shoot scenes on top of the Sydney Opera House.

The film co-stars Show Lo, Tess Haubrich, Callan Mulvey, Nana Ouyang, and Erica Xia-Hou.

Check out this trailer for the film:

Look out for Jackie Chan as he will be Bleeding Steel on December 22.

H/T: The Hollywood Reporter

Chan and Vash to Join Forces on “Knights”

Jackie Chan is going demon hunting, courtesy of director VASH (right) in an upcoming film.

Entitled Knight of Shadows, the film will have Chan play a demon hunter defending humanity from an inhuman invasion. When an evil force starts kidnapping village girls to feast on their souls, the demon hunter sets out to save them assisted by his lawman protégé and a group of friendly monsters.

The film is being produced by Keifer Liu, the producer of The Monkey King franchise. Hong Kong-based Golden Network is joining forces with Chan’s Sparkle Roll Media, iQiyi Pictures, and Golden Shore Films & Television on the film.

The film is currently being shopped around at the American Film Market and is in pre-production for a 2019 release date.

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H/T: Screen Daily

A Tribute to Willie Chan (1941-2017)

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Hong Kong cinema has lost one of its greatest managers with the passing of Willie Chan, who passed away in his sleep at the age of 76.

For nearly three decades, Chan was the manager of Hong Kong action icon Jackie Chan, with Jackie crediting Willie for his meteoric rise to superstardom. Chan would go on to manage many Hong Kong talents and despite shutting down his management company in the wake of the Triads’ attempt to take over Hong Kong entertainment, he stayed on with Jackie Chan as both manager and producing partner until 2008.

Born on May 22, 1941 in Malaysia, Chan Chi-Keung earned his master’s degree in marketing from the East-West Center in Hawaii. Chan started out working out in hotel management but in 1970, decided to move to Hong Kong in order to pursue a film career. Starting out at Cathay Film Company, Willie met a young 17-year old stuntman named Chan Yuen-Lung and it would be the beginning a long friendship that stood the tests of time.

In 1976, Willie Chan left Cathay to work for filmmaker Lo Wei, who had left Golden Harvest to set up his namesake production company. When Lo Wei decided to make New Fist of Fury, he was looking for a new Bruce Lee and Willie Chan recommended Chan Yuen-Lung. Willie renamed Chan Yuen-Lung with the name he would be forever known as today: Jackie Chan.

While Chan’s films with Lo Wei flopped, it was at Willie’s suggestion that Chan be loaned out to Seasonal Films when director Yuen Woo-Ping recommended Chan to star in the kung fu comedy Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow. The film made Jackie Chan an instant superstar and its follow-up, Drunken Master, proved that this was no fluke. Upon returning to Lo Wei, Jackie Chan would direct his final film for the company, The Fearless Hyena before leaving for his long relationship with Golden Harvest.

The two Chans would soon form the JC Group and Willie served as producer as well as manager for icons such as Maggie Cheung, Carol Cheng, Joey Wong, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Carina Lau, Angie Chiu, Simon Yam, Sylvia ChangDaniel Wu and Joan Chen.

However, in 2008, Willie and Jackie ended their long business partnership but remained best friends and “brothers”. Jackie Chan is now managed by his wife, former actress Joan Lin.

Upon learning of Willie Chan’s passing, Jackie Chan had this to say:

“Willie Chan is gone. Another of the most important people in my life has left. Many people know I wouldn’t be what I am now without you, but no one knows what we really experienced together. So long as we both know and understand.”

World Film Geek sends it condolences to the family of Willie Chan, a true Hong Kong film icon in his own right.

H/T: The Straits Times

The Foreigner (2017)

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Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with some intricate twists in this thriller from the director of Goldeneye and Casino Royale.

Restaurateur Quon Ngoc Minh’s life is forever shattered when his youngest daughter, Fan, is killed in a bombing in the streets of London. Having learned that the men responsible are a group known as the “Authentic IRA”, Quon looks for answers. Watching an interview on television, Quon learns that Irish-born Deputy Marshall Liam Hennessy was once a member of the IRA only to now attempt to promote peace between Ireland and England.

Quon heads to Belfast to meet with Hennessy, asking for the names of the bombers. When Hennessy swears he does not know the names, Quon doesn’t believe him and thus, begins a deadly game between the two. As Quon continues his search for answers through a series of warning “bombings”, Hennessy decides to dispatch his nephew Sean, a former military officer, and other members of his entourage to find Quon. However, some dark secrets within Hennessy’s ranks and political power may arise, making Quon the least of his worries.

Fans who have been wanting to see Jackie Chan tackle something other than his usual shtick will truly get the chance to see it with this film. Chan, usually seen as a comedic martial arts actor whose intricate choreography makes him the legend he is today, gets to bring a range of emotion in the role of Quon Ngoc Minh, a Chinese-born Vietnamese restaurant owner who practically loses everything dear to him when his daughter is killed in the first five minutes of the film. Sporting more grayish hair and looking somber for the first half of the film while shedding tears because he truly has no family left, Quon soon turns into someone not so much seeking revenge, but justice.

However, while the title may focus on Chan’s Quon, the film really amps tension around Pierce Brosnan’s conflicted character of Liam Hennessy. Hennessy’s opening scene sees him with a girl who at first, some will assume is his wife. That is, until his wife calls him. Red flag number one. Two, his ties to the IRA as a former member allows him to attempt to somehow get pardons from his British superiors. Red flag number two. The list of red flags involving Hennessy just keep going, and this leads to a series of events that may pretty much put Hennessy into a corner that even with his political strength, will be unable to back out of with Chan’s Quon being the tip of the iceberg.

What many will find interesting is that the film is quite sparse on action, and becomes more of a political thriller in which double-crosses and twists are inevitable. However, when there is action, that’s when we see Jackie Chan and while there are pieces of what we expect from Chan, some of the action is turned up a few notches. Quon’s first altercation against four of Hennessy’s entourage has him use the environment, a staple in Chan’s arsenal of fight moves. However, in this case, it is amped up quite a bit.

In a two-part sequence, Quon hides in a forest-like area near Hennessy’s countryside safe house and this is where we see Quon use the environment to his full advantage. The big difference is that this is not the Chan you would expect in the first part, using a more grounded military style of action akin to perhaps Rambo while the second part treats the viewer to a very well-choreographed knife fight between Chan and Rory Fleck Byrne, who plays Liam’s military trained nephew.  Of course, this culminates to both Quon and Hennessy going on a total collision course where it is unsure who will get the upper hand until the final few minutes of the film.

The Foreigner may throw off fans in terms of its marketing, but this is truly a thriller that churns out the best performance from Jackie Chan in the last few years and Pierce Brosnan giving it his all as a conflicted man with both looking for the same answers. Despite the sparse action, the film does bring a smooth flow and should truly be checked out. This is not your typical Jackie Chan film, and that for once, is a very good thing!

WFG RATING: A

STX Films, Sparkle Roll Media Corp., Wanda Pictures, and Huayi Brothers present a Fyzz Facility and Arthur Sarkassian production in association with Quidam Studios. Director: Martin Campbell. Producers: Jackie Chan, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Scott Lumpkin, Jamie Marshall, Qi Jianhong, Cathy Schulman, John Zeng, and Arthur Sarkassian. Writer: David Marconi, based on the novel “The Chinaman” by Stephen Leather. Cinematography: David Tattersall. Editing: Angela M. Catanzaro.

Cast: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Orla Brady, Charlie Murphy, Lia Williams, Michael McElhatton, Ray Fearon, Tamia Liu, Dermot Crowley, Rory Fleck Byrne, David Pearson, Rufus Jones, Niall McNamee, Aaron Monaghan, Caolán Byrne, Katie Leung

Will Tucker Agree to a Fourth “Rush”? Because Chan Has!

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It has been over a decade since we saw the adventures Hong Kong Detective Inspector Lee and L.A.P.D. Detective James Carter on the big screen, but they may be possibly returning!

Jackie Chan last week has officially confirmed that he has agreed to finally returning for Rush Hour 4. Going on The Cruz Show on L.A.’s Power 106 radio station while promoting The Foreigner, he confirmed that he has agreed to the story, and wants to return to do another one. However, there is one little catch. He will only do the fourth film if Chris Tucker returns to the fold as Carter.

A small-screen adaptation, starring Jon Foo as Lee and Justin Marks as Carter, lasted only one season in 2016 on CBS. While the pilot was a TV-made reboot of the original film, the series would last thirteen episodes and feature the duo in a series of adventures that look to have gone full circle by the finale.

As we wait for Tucker’s word on whether he will return for Rush Hour 4, The Foreigner comes out in theaters tomorrow.

 

 

Beyond Fest to Enjoy a Night with Jackie Chan!

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The upcoming Beyond Fest is going to get a load of Jackie Chan, including an appearance from the Chan-Man himself!

On October 6, to commemorate the release of Chan’s next film The Foreigner (coming to theaters on October 13), the Beyond Fest, STX Films, and SR Media will have a triple feature of Chan’s earlier films as well as a Q&A with Chan himself! The three films chosen for this festive night have been selected by Chan himself!

So what are the three films Chan has chosen for Triple Threat: A Night with Jackie Chan?

Mr. Canton and Lady Rose, aka Miracles, Chan’s 1989 film that pays tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood, with the story based on Frank Capra‘s 1933 film Lady for a Day.

Police Story III: Super Cop, the 1992 installment that marked the on-screen return of Michelle Yeoh as Chan’s partner and was directed by Stanley Tong.

And the original Police Story, the 1985 film that redefined the police action film with Chan’s epic finale inside a shopping mall as well as the insane chase scene involving a shantytown getting destroyed. The film would influence scenes from various Hollywood films including Tango and Cash and Bad Boys II.

Tickets are now on sale with doors set to open on October 6 at 6PM PST with Miracles starting out the triple feature at 7PM PST at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

 

 

Chan Goes Sci-Fi in “Bleeding Steel” Trailer

Jackie Chan goes the sci-fi route in the trailer to his upcoming film Bleeding Steel.

Chan stars as a hardened special forces agent who fights to protect a young woman from a sinister criminal gang. At the same time he with feels a special connection to the young woman, like they met in a different life.

The film co-stars Show Lo, Erica Xia-Hou, Nana Ouyang, Callan Mulvey, and Tess Haubrich. Leo Zhang wrote and directed the film with Chan serving as executive producer and action director.

Bleeding Steel will be released in China on December 22.

Chan Releases Theme Song to “The Foreigner”

Jackie Chan has released the theme song for his upcoming film The Foreigner.

The song, titled “Ordinary People”, is a duet with Chan and co-star Tao Liu. The music video features new footage from the film, in which Chan plays his darkest role to date, a restaurateur in London who plays a cat-and-mouse game with a top ranking official who has ties to the IRA, the organization responsible for the bombing that causes his daughter’s death.

The Foreigner hits Chinese cinemas on September 30 and in the United States on October 13.