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'Once Upon A Time In China' trilogy

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'Once Upon A Time In China' trilogy

Old 10-04-04, 01:26 AM
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'Once Upon A Time In China' trilogy

I enjoy a martial arts/kung fu flick now and then... can't say what I think of it as "good filmmaking", but still fun to watch.

Anyway, you ever been to a Hong Kong/Asian movie message board? These guys will praise the hell out of some kung fu movie... "Awsome!", "Phenominal story, and spectacular choreography!!", etc.. So I'll watch it and say to myself "This blows!".

I like the ones that someone not totally into Asian cinema might like as well. Crossover value, you know?

So, OUATIC trilogy... is it good? How are the dvds? Worth picking up?

Thanks.

Last edited by Chill Pill; 10-04-04 at 01:34 AM.
Old 10-04-04, 02:28 AM
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Re: 'Once Upon A Time In China' trilogy

Originally posted by Chill Pill

I like the ones that someone not totally into Asian cinema might like as well. Crossover value, you know?

So, OUATIC trilogy... is it good? How are the dvds? Worth picking up?
Well you're gonna have to be more specific. What exactly is it that usually makes you say "This blows!" when you watch Asian cinema?

Personally I've always though the Once Upon a Time in China films were overrated. The first is good, the second slightly less so and the third flat-out sucks. I just never found the stories that interesting and in the end that is much more important to me than how the next friggin wire-fu scene with ladders, tables, etc. etc. is.

Some martial arts films I like are 18 Legendary Weapons of China, Tai-Chi Master(a favorite), The Chinese Connection, Fist of Legend, Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain, Streetfighter, The Zatoichi series, Drunken Master II, Bride With White Hair, Hero, Peking Opera Blues, etc.
Old 10-04-04, 02:56 AM
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What makes me think a kung fu movie blows is terrible "acting", really dumb humor, not all that impressive of fight choreography... just an overall cheesiness.

But thanks for the feedback on Once upon a time in China.
Old 10-04-04, 02:57 AM
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uh-oh, you used the word "overrated"

I got exposed to Once Upon A Time In China watching it on some B-channel over here. I used to hate it. I mean how stupid could a series be, being named Once Upon A Time in China 1 and 2 and 3.

But I kept on watching it for some reason, and eventually I began to like the wire-fu and soon was amazed.

Yes, there is no story, but the story is not the focus of these movies, it's the acrobatics. Kind of like watching Cirque du Soleil on the big screen.
Old 10-04-04, 06:32 AM
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You might like Kill Bill or The Matrix. And I think there's some martial arts in Blade with Wesley Snipes...

Can't say I'd recommend OUATIC to a newb or a casual kung-fu watcher. It's based on a classic character with lots of historical signifigance and there's quite a bit of politics involved too. Turns alot of people off. In fact, I can't really think of anything to suggest since you think "this blows" about movies that asian cinema buffs claim to be awesome and whatever else. You didn't really give any examples of films you thought were bad filmmaking but fun to watch either, so I have nothing to go on.

Basically, it seems like you're saying (to me) "I think the kind of films you love are mostly crappy and I want you to suggest something for me to watch that I won't hate so I can have a good laugh" - That may not be what you mean to say, but as someone who is into asian cinema that's how I interpret it. Outside of steering you away from OUATIC, I don't know what to suggest.
Old 10-04-04, 12:32 PM
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I liked:

Hero (of course)
Master Of The Flying Guillotine (original)
8 Diagram Pole Fighter (my favorite)
5 Deadly Venoms (a little)

I didn't like:

Prodigal Son
Buddhist Fist
Chinese Connection

So, I like a few old school ones, but they gotta be classics in the genre.

History and such doesn't bother me. I guess I'd like to know is how good OUATIC are as movies, not just asian or martial arts movies.
Old 10-04-04, 03:27 PM
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I love OUATIC I and II. Stop watching the series after that.
Old 10-04-04, 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by Chill Pill
I liked:

Hero (of course)
Master Of The Flying Guillotine (original)
8 Diagram Pole Fighter (my favorite)
5 Deadly Venoms (a little)

I didn't like:

Prodigal Son
Buddhist Fist
Chinese Connection

So, I like a few old school ones, but they gotta be classics in the genre.

History and such doesn't bother me. I guess I'd like to know is how good OUATIC are as movies, not just asian or martial arts movies.
I think you'd really enjoy Jackie Chan's work. Armour of God II: Operation Condor, Drunken Master II, and the original Police Story are first-rate flicks with great production values(by Chinese standards), mass appeal and incredible stunt work. The new Police Story film is set to be released overseas soon and it looks absolutely fantastic.

Last edited by Rivero; 10-04-04 at 04:37 PM.
Old 10-05-04, 06:40 AM
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The OUATIC series are great films, but I'd suggest importing the DVD's instead of watching the US versions. What a couple of posters have said though, they may not be your thing. It kinda sounds like probably not.

I'd also reccomend Legend of Fong Sai Yuk 1 & 2, and New Legend of teh Shaolin.
Old 10-05-04, 07:32 AM
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Re: Re: 'Once Upon A Time In China' trilogy

Originally posted by Rivero
Personally I've always though the Once Upon a Time in China films were overrated. The first is good, the second slightly less so and the third flat-out sucks. I just never found the stories that interesting and in the end that is much more important to me than how the next friggin wire-fu scene with ladders, tables, etc. etc. is.
I have to agree. The Once Upon a Time in China is overated... I've never found it terribly exciting.

Jet Li films I prefer are The Master, Hitman, The Bodyguard, My Father is a Hero, Fong Sai Yuk 1 & 2, though Fong Sai Yuk is a bit more comical than serious.
Old 10-05-04, 10:19 AM
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I think they're all good. I like II the best out of the three. To me, #3 is only funny because the humor seems pretty tongue in cheek. The action scenes are just so-so.

For me, New Legend of Shaolin was Jet Li's best film.
Old 10-05-04, 06:19 PM
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Once UPon a Time in China sucked ass.
Old 10-05-04, 10:16 PM
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It's almost insulting to hear to OUATIC 2 dismissed as another cheesy, no-story kung fu film. It's clearly got a lot more on its mind than getting to the next fight. The film is highly ambitious and conspicuously covers themes and topics like religion, self-determination, progress vs traditionalism, foreign influence in China, and more. It's a really lavish production, too, with huge sets and special effects uncommon for HK at the time. Of course, the fights are excellent as well.

Oh yeah, if you look at the way the fights were shot & edited, it was a landmark in the way they shot & edited kung fu. It incorporated the newer techniques (more editing to accentuate moves and poses, really stylish low angle shots of certain poses, etc) that are run of the mill today.

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