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jack_ryder

My favourite HK martial arts films

(basically a reposted comment from dfordoom 's request for recommendations )

(Fantasy)

Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain - the original with Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao - the remake, albeit still directed by Tsui Hark, has been criticised for overuse of CGI. I haven't seen it.

Mr Vampire - funny, classic take on the Chinese Hopping Vampires. Avoid the sequels.

A Chinese Ghost Story - Parts 1 and 2 are pretty essential, 3 is not so good.

(Jackie Chan)

Project A - Chan's best film, also starring Sammo and Yuen Biao (aka the Three Dragons). Fun romp with the Dragons taking on an evil pirate gang with an amazing Buster Keaton inspired scene in the climax.

Drunken Master and Drunken Master 2 - DM is classic early Chan, DM2, made 16 years later but set a day later, is pretty good later Chan

Police Story 1 and 3 - PS was one of Chan's biggest hits and has a great fight in a shopping mall at the end. I'm not a big fan of PS 3 but Michelle Yeoh is in it, and that makes up for a lot.

(Period)

Burning Paradise - A fairly brutal action/adventure film based on one small part of a popular novel series. Almost a kung fu version of a prison film (though set in the Chinese equivalent of the middle ages.)

Once Upon A Time in China Parts 1 and 2 - Jet Li before he went to America. Wong Fei Hung was a real martial artist and popular fok hero (and the character Jackie Chan plays in the Drunken Master films). Great period films (set around the turn of the 20th century) but avoid 3 onwards.

The Barefoot Kid - Very good throwback to Shaw Brothers style kung fu films. One of Johnny To's first films (now a major HK director.)

(Modern Day)

Royal Warriors/In The Line of Duty - This was my first introduction to Michelle Yeoh (from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and I still think it contains some of the most amazing fight scenes committed to celluloid. My friends and I watched this over and over again.

Eastern Condors - Not exactly contemporary (it's set in Vietnam) but a stunning kung fu version of the Dirty Dozen starring the major stars of HK cinema at the time (with the notable absence of Jackie Chan.)

(Stephen Chow)

One of my favourite current film makers so he deserves a section to himself. Only a couple of his films really relate to HK Martial Arts films though (he's much more of a comedian then a martial artist):

Shaolin Soccer - Not my favourite film of his (that would have to be his hilarious Bond parody From Beijing With Love) but my favourite sports film and probably his most consistently entertaining film. I could watch it over and over again.

Kung Fu Hustle - a hommage to Bruce Lee and the Wuxia films of his childhood and an affectionate pisstake on Shaw Brothers films. More overtly cartoonish then even Shaolin Soccer but a lot of fun.
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What happened to Storm Riders?

I'm with you on pretty much all of that, but I don't remember loving Burning Paradise...

Oh, and RUNNING OUT OF TIME will make me happy forever.

I really have to see it. Is it martial arts? I thought it was more of a thriller/action/comedy movie.

Oh, I meant to put a sequitor in there about Johnnie To, as I haven't seen BAREFOOT KID...

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