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Did anyone else love THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM?

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Did anyone else love THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM?

Old 04-18-08, 02:53 PM
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Did anyone else love THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM?

I just got back from seeing Chan and Li in THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM. And after being impressed with the trailers, my expectations were met - it's the first great blockbuster of the year. Sure, it ain't Croutching Tiger, but it's not meant to be. It's the first Hollywood blockbuster-type film this year that I want to see for the second time in the theaters...

I don't know why people have a problem with the white kid in the film. This is basically The Karate Kid in Ancient China. Critics say he's not a believable leading character, but come on, neither was Ralph Macchio.

This film is also Chan's and Li's best American film to date. They had great chemistry and the fighting choreography by Woo Ping Yeun was awesome as usual. Unusual for an American director, the action was well-filmed with breathing room, no quick MTV cuts, and lots of nice medium shots and slo-mo.

The white-haired villainess was really hot. And Colin Chou, from the Matrixes, was pretty good as the villain.

For fans of any Monkey King adaptation, the scenes with Monkey King were great. I'm still waiting for the perfect Monkey King movie adaptation based on some of the great fairy tale books with the beautiful artwork as seen below. I grew up with these books:

Old 04-18-08, 03:03 PM
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Encouraging... still looking forward to seeing it. I've been anticipating this one for ages it seems.
Old 04-18-08, 04:02 PM
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I'll catch it this weekend. Was thinking of catching it on video as trailers looked really mediocre but I'm seeing that reviews coming from people who know Asian films are surprisingly positive.
Old 04-18-08, 04:53 PM
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I found it mediocre. Seemed to be geared more to kids than adults.
Old 04-18-08, 07:46 PM
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From the trailers, it's obviously geared more to kids than adults - but more like a good dark 1980's kids film. There was blood, cursing, rascism (bullies kept on saying "chinks"), drinking.
Old 04-18-08, 08:00 PM
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The beginning was god awful, and I was scared that it wasnt going to get better. But once it got going, I really ended up enjoying it. Lots of good action and I thought the core group really worked well together.
Old 04-19-08, 04:24 AM
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this was one of those "fun" movies to watch. weak plot... but who cares? its a ancient chinese fantasy movie... I really enjoyed it. It entertained me and thats all that mattered.
Old 04-19-08, 07:28 AM
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Didn't Jackie say he wasn't going to do martial arts movies anymore? I think this was when he was doing the adaptation of "Around the World..."

Is this supposed to be a comedy/action movie or drama? All I have seen is the trailer. It's hard to take Jackie seriously when he speaks in broken English.
Old 04-19-08, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by big whoppa
Didn't Jackie say he wasn't going to do martial arts movies anymore? I think this was when he was doing the adaptation of "Around the World..."

Is this supposed to be a comedy/action movie or drama? All I have seen is the trailer. It's hard to take Jackie seriously when he speaks in broken English.
its a action/comedy... there are some pretty funny scenes I'll never forget..
Old 04-19-08, 07:23 PM
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As a fan of the Monkey King stories as a child, "The Forbidden Kingdom" was a treat for me to see the Monkey King brought to live-action. I had no idea this was part of the story, but it was neat for me.

Overall, the film is a hero's journey brought on by a boy named Jason (Michael Angarano of "Sky High") who is given a stick weapon to return to its rightful owner under the stress of a dangerous situation where Jason is literally running for his life, and inexplicably finds himself back in ancient China, and is befriended by Lu (Jackie Chan), a monk (Jet Li), and Sparrow (Yifei Liu). They help Jason to return the stick to a legendary place to free the Monkey King, who has been imprisoned for 500 years.

There is plenty of kung-fu action, some sparring between Chan and Li, funny training scenes with Jason as he tries to master kung-fu teachings, and the film moves at a good pace, although characterization is sacrificed for such a brisk pace for the film, but it works for the film, not against it. Overall, I enjoyed it very much.

I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

Last edited by Patman; 04-19-08 at 10:00 PM.
Old 04-20-08, 02:37 AM
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Not me... it was all right but nothing special. I'd rather do something else if I know that's how the movie going to be. Oh well.
Old 04-20-08, 01:33 PM
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i should've read something about it before just going to the theater. i saw the trailer: jackie chan and jet li kicking and flying and shit. sweet

i get to the theater and it's all in english and there's some stupid fuckin white kid running the show. WTFever
Old 04-20-08, 01:53 PM
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Not a big fan of either star, but TFK was a fine action-fantasy film. Lots of good action, and some humor.
Old 04-20-08, 02:30 PM
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It wasn't a great movie, but it looked good and I enjoyed the fights and the humor so not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The pace was fast and the time flew right by so I didnt have time to nitpick it to death. If I am having fun I am willing to let a lot of things slide.

The cast was good in this, but Chan really cracked me up.
Old 04-20-08, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
I don't know why people have a problem with the white kid in the film. This is basically The Karate Kid in Ancient China.
I don't know about everyone else, but the reason for me is that it ruins the possible Li/Chan showdown. When I heard this movie was being made and that both Li and Chan would be in it, I was hoping the eventual fight scene between them would be all that martial arts fans waited forever for.

I had the same sort of excitement when Sha Po Lang (SPL) was about to be released. I was already excited that Donny Yen was doing all the choreography, but when I found out there was a first time ever showdown between Yen and Hung, it just boosted my overall excitement through the roof.

I guess there are just some of us who see how gorgeous/fun this movie looks in trailers, filled with foreign actors we all love from martial arts films and ones that are not, then some random white kid

Though I wasn't planning to, I will probably try and catch this movie at a matinée sometime in the next week or so.
Old 04-20-08, 04:38 PM
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i went to it becuase i had a free pass. it was better than i expected, the "rain" scene really cracked me up
Old 04-20-08, 06:05 PM
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I don't know why anyone would be expecting a brutal bloody showdown between Chan and Li. Jackie Chan is mainly a children's movie/comedy martial-artist actor - the only sort of serious films he's done are his Police Story films. It's Li who does the serious stuff. Either way, their showdown itself is pretty damn intense regardless of what type of film it is.
Old 04-20-08, 11:42 PM
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I enjoyed the fact that the film paid homage to Chan and Li's film fighting styles.

Jackie Chan always had a laid back humorous fighint style (I.E. the drunken boxing and fight partner juggling).

Jet Li has a more serious approach with direct blows.

The film showcased this perfectly. I only had a problem with some of the homages. It felt like someone who loved the Hong Kong "kung-fu" genre movies just wanted to include scenes inspired by several of them even if it dragged the movie's pacing.

The jokes however were excellent and some reminded me of Balls of Fury for some reason.
Old 04-21-08, 05:44 PM
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The Forbidden Kingdom wasn't a great film, but I was pretty entertained by it. Chan was fun as usual, but it was a treat to see Li trying out some comedy.

The white kid was annoying, but the movie seemed to acknowledge this by having him constantly getting beat up and humiliated. In any case, I can accept the kid's presence as the element needed to get international funding to finance the movie's great production values.
Old 04-21-08, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ms. M
The Forbidden Kingdom wasn't a great film, but I was pretty entertained by it. Chan was fun as usual, but it was a treat to see Li trying out some comedy.

The white kid was annoying, but the movie seemed to acknowledge this by having him constantly getting beat up and humiliated. In any case, I can accept the kid's presence as the element needed to get international funding to finance the movie's great production values.

You've summarized my feelings about the film quite well. I took my 10 year old daughter to see the movie, and was a little surprised by some of the language and the racism - the trailers gave the impression that it was a kiddie film along the lines of "Warriors of Virtue". Seeing that kid's bulldog mug in closeup, on an IMAX screen no less, was a true horror! Unfortunately, the climax degenerated into a CGI nightmare, when it could have been a perfect occasion for all the martial artists to really cut loose.
Old 04-27-08, 10:21 AM
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I was pretty dissapointed with it. I was hoping for more out of Jet Li and Jackie Chan, and the kid just wasn't very convincing in his role and awfully predictable. I guess I had different expectations though since I didn't realize what the movie was really about.

Both the female leads were attractive though
Old 05-15-08, 02:17 PM
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I'm going on Sunday.

This is pretty historic for Chan and Li to be in the same film. It's like Stallone facing Arnie in the Rocky ring. There is no way this will disappoint me.

Hadn't heard about Chan saying he wouldn't do any more MA movies, but Li did after he did Fearless. Glad to hear it didn't happen. I'm a fan of both. Even if you're not a fan of the movie, the movie being made is cinema history.
Old 05-15-08, 02:57 PM
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Jet Li just isn't doing a certain style of martial arts epic films. Not abandoning it all together.

Personally though, if this was Stallone and Arnold it would be like those two having one spar and then spending the rest of the movie teaching Dustin Diamond how to fight for his Celebrity Boxing match.
Old 05-15-08, 02:59 PM
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I like Michael Angarano as an actor - but in the movie his character was so one dimensional and bland - for a character who is such a kung fu movie afficionade, he seemed rather clueless.
Old 05-15-08, 09:27 PM
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I thought this was a lot of fun, with numerous references (both in the spoken words and visually) to some classic Chinese movies.

It wasn't Karate Kid that came to mind, but rather The Wizard of Oz: youngster gets bopped on the head, wakes up in a totally bewildering world, keeps saying he wants to get home but has tasks to perform before that wish will be granted, and he picks up three travelling companions along the way. No singing, however.

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