REVIEW: Battle Creek Brawl (1980)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
As an avid Jackie Chan fan who had yet to see BATTLE CREEK BRAWL, it came as a pleasant surprise to see that his first Hollywood crossover, which had been a box office failure was filled with [...]

REVIEW: Batman Begins (2005)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
In BATMAN BEGINS, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer have successfully re-imagined the screen version of Batman by dispensing with the big-budget camp of past features and getting back to the basics of good storytelling. This Batman [...]

REVIEW: Bat without Wings (1980)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Glam rock arrives in the martial world by way of a Kiss-inspired make-up job on the title character in BAT WITHOUT WINGS, a wuxia pian from director Chu Yuen that’s as classy as the hard-rockin’ ’70s band [...]

REVIEW: Bastard, The (1973)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Chinese boxing and engaging drama converge in THE BASTARD, a rare and intimate pairing of celebrated Shaw Brothers director Chor Yuan and Yuen Wo-ping in one of his first action directing gigs. Chor’s greatest asset as a [...]

REVIEW: Bare-Footed Kid, The (1993)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
THE BARE-FOOTED KID is a Shaw Brothers co-production and a remake of Chang Cheh’s DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN. With cast members that include Aaron Kwok, Ti Lung and Maggie Cheung, not to mention choreography by Lau Kar-leung, this [...]

REVIEW: Banquet, The (2006)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
THE BANQUET is mainland Chinese director Feng Xiaogang’s first foray into wuxia territory and a very ambitious one at that. Not content to simply lens another swordsman saga, he chose to adapt William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” into a [...]

REVIEW: Bandits from Shantung (1972)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Sometimes it’s the simplest of plots that result in the best movies. Take BANDITS FROM SHANTUNG. This Golden Harvest wuxia pian from writer/director Huang Feng is one feature-length reason to carry out bloody and epic swordplay unhindered [...]

REVIEW: Ballistic Kiss (1998)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Donnie Yen and Bey Logan’s ode to Hong Kong’s dying gunplay genre is a viciously poetic assault on the senses that breaks new ground even as it stumbles over old terrain. Yen plays Cat, a hitman-for-hire who [...]

REVIEW: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
BALLISTIC is the sort of action film I wanted to like. The director’s influences appear to include the Wachowski brothers and Hong Kong filmmakers like John Woo. Effort was made to stylize the action and create a [...]

REVIEW: Azumi (2003)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
With the release of AZUMI, exaggerated swordplay action in Japan has a new master and his name is Ryuhei Kitamura. To fully appreciate this director’s epic and stylized manga adaptation, one must know the genre’s history. The [...]

REVIEW: Avenging Fist, The (2001)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung are together again onscreen in this sci-fi fighting extravaganza. It contains loads of unrestrained digital effects and lacks originality but THE AVENGING delivers on comic-tinged action. At some point in the future, [...]

REVIEW: Assassin, The (1993)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
THE ASSASSIN is a stylish and bloody film featuring some terrific actors including Mainland Chinese actor Zhang Feng-yi (FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE) and Hong Kong’s Rosamund Kwan in an ambitious, yet dizzying story that may leave viewers frustrated [...]

REVIEW: Assassin, The (1967)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
If Chang Cheh, the godfather of modern martial arts movies, ever directed a true genre masterpiece then this is it. THE ASSASSIN finds this former film critic at the top of his game, both as a writer [...]

REVIEW: Asoka (2001)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
ASOKA is a landmark achievement in India’s prolific film industry. It’s an epic film with a cast of thousands telling the tale of one of India’s greatest historical figures. It’s visually stunning and packed with all the [...]

REVIEW: Ashes of Time (1994)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
ASHES OF TIME is celebrated art house director Wong Kar-wai’s deconstruction of the wuxia pian featuring a powerhouse lineup of Hong Kong superstars, a challenging revision of a classic wuxia novel, the gorgeous cinematography of Christopher Doyle, [...]

REVIEW: Art of Action, The (2002)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 2 Comments »
As the martial arts film genre continues to grow in popularity and influence the current generation of filmmakers the need to educate a new and enthusiastic fan base becomes necessary. Thankfully, Keith Clarke and a team of [...]

REVIEW: Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Kung fu and slapstick comedy meets Victorian-era adventure and droll wit when Jackie Chan stars with British comedian Steve Coogan in the latest film adaptation of Jules Verne’s AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. It’s fast-paced adventure [...]

REVIEW: Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (1991)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Jackie Chan’s second foray into the Indiana Jones-inspired adventure genre is filled with exotic locales, a trio of beautiful ladies and numerous, outrageous trademark stunts and fight scenes. Yet without a more comprehensible plot, an appropriate soundtrack [...]

REVIEW: Armour of God (1987)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
Confusingly re-titled OPERATION CONDOR 2: THE ARMOUR OF GOD in the U.S., this movie isn’t one of Jackie Chan’s best, yet it has the distinction of having some of his most notorious stunts. This was the film [...]

REVIEW: Arhats in Fury (1985)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
An initially confusing narrative eventually pays off with some fantastic martial arts within an unusually well-crafted story, focusing on a little seen chapter in Chinese history. ARHATS IN FURY is not your typical martial arts movie. With [...]