Martial Arts 50 Movie Pack: Black Cobra - The Black Godfather - The Master - The Real Bruce Lee - The Street Fighter - TNT Jackson - Ninja Death - Heroes of Shaolin + 42 more!
For the first time, the legends of martial arts are gathered in the ultimate DVD collection that will provide countless hours of adrenaline-filled action.
The Big Fight
Black Cobra 2
Black Cobra 3
The Black Godfather
The Brave Lion
Breakout from Oppression
Chase Step by Step
Day of the Panther
Four Shaolin Challengers
The Guy from Harlem
The Guy with the Secret Kung Fu
Hands of Death
The Head Hunter
Heroes of Shaolin Part 1
Heroes of Shaolin Part 2
Image of Bruce Lee
The Impossible Kid
Karate Kids USA
Kung Fu Arts
Kung Fu Kids Break A way
The Master: Max
The Master: Out of Time Step
Ninja Death I
Ninja Death II
Ninja Death III
Ninja: The Protector
The Real Bruce Lee
Return of the Kung Fu Dragon
Return of the Street Fighter
Shaolin Deadly Kicks
Snake Fist Dynamo
The Snake, The Tiger, The Crane
Spirits of Bruce Lee
The Street Fighter
Weapons of Death
About the Actor
Included: 1. Big Fight, The 2. Black Cobra 3. Black Cobra 2 4. Black Cobra 3 5. Black Fist 6. Black Godfather, The 7. Brave Lion 8. Chase Step by Step 9. City Ninja Deadly Duo Death Machines Death of a Ninja Fighting Mad Four Robbers Four Shaolin Challengers Guy with the Secret Kung Fu, The Hands of Death Head Hunter, The Heroes of Shaolin Part 1 Heroes of Shaolin Part 2 Image of Bruce Lee Impossible Kid, The Infernal Street Karate Kids USA Kung Fu Arts Kung Fu Kids Break Away Master, The: Max Master, The: Out of Time Step Ninja Champion Ninja Death I Ninja Death II Ninja Death III Ninja Empire Ninja Heat Ninja: The Protector Real Bruce Lee, The Return of the Kung Fu Dragon Return of the Street Fighter Shadow Ninja Shaolin Deadly Kicks Shaolin Temple Sister Street Fighter Snake Fist Dynamo Snake, The Tiger, The Crane, The Spirits of Bruce Lee Street Fighter, The Ten Fingers of Death Tiger Love TNT Jackson Weapons of Death
Top 10 Martial Arts Movies on Blu-ray!
In the name of transparency, let me start off by informing the reader that I sadly don’t currently own a region-free Blu-ray player, and live in the UK/Region B! There are some Region A and C releases that I covet (the Hong Kong restorations of “Righting Wrongs” and “Police Story 3” would be lovely), and some that are only available as (often lovingly-crafted) bootlegs (a fully restored, uncut “Drunken Master 2” with the original audio and aspect ratio a good example). Which is ironic when you consider many fans from the early days of VHS could only buy bootlegs of many of these films!
The latest high definition releases however, really do highlight the beauty and artistic merit of a lot of films, that for many years were often dismissed by mainstream western audiences. Even the less “artistic” movies are just as joyously entertaining as when fans first experienced them at a late-night cinema screening or dodgy, grainy videotape round a mate’s house!
So, with that said, after a mini delve into some historic, and nostalgic background, lets continue the kung-fu love affair with some of our favourite Region-B Blu-ray releases in the Top 10 Martial Arts Movies on Blu-ray! (in descending order)
Even though there are some great modern releases on Blu-ray, such as “The Raid” or “John Wick” films, or niche titles such as “Re:Born”, I am looking in particular at older films that have really benefited from being polished up and published in the high definition format. There are now many official, beautifully-restored releases of some of the best martial arts entertainment available. Blu-ray players can be found in Playstation 3/4/5 and Xbox One consoles upwards, making it easier than ever to enjoy these titles in the best condition they have ever looked or sounded.
The Japanese market aside, it was UK labels that originally led the way in restoring Hong Kong action films for fans. Starting out as a specialist shop in the s in London called Eastern Heroes, Rick Baker and Toby Russell were among the first to officially acquire the rights, and often the original prints, of many Hong Kong movies from the s and 80s. A combination of Eastern Heroes magazines, books, late-night cinema screenings and events started to build a solid fan base.
They were the first label to officially release Jet Li’s “Shaolin Temple” trilogy of films in the UK, and brought the star himself, as well as others such as Chow Yun-fat, Gordon Liu and Donnie Yen to exclusive fan events in London, when they were virtually unknown outside of Asia.
Other labels such as Made in Hong Kong and Hong Kong Classics, started to break into the booming VHS retail market, with popular titles such as “Dragons Forever”, “Knockabout”, “Wheels on Meals”, “Once Upon a Time in China”, “Fist of Legend”, “Eastern Condors”, “Pedicab Driver”, “Mr Vampire” and many more. Whole sections of major high street retailers, such as HMV, Virgin Music, and Blockbuster Video would be dedicated to these releases.
Although sometimes edited differently, what was great about many of these video presentations was that the prints, brightness and contrast had been improved, with English dubs or new subtitles that you could actually read. They were, more often than not, vastly superior in quality to their import or bootleg counterparts.
I was lucky enough to have regularly visited Malaysia and Singapore in the late s, and bought the Speedy Video releases of “Eastern Condors” and “Fist of Legend”, among others. The night-time scenes in “Eastern Condors” were so dark you could barely see the action, and so many characters wore white clothes in “Fist of Legend” that the poorly-translated subtitles were often invisible. When I got the Made in Hong Kong versions, it was almost like watching completely different movies, as I could finally see and read what was going on!
With wider releases and re-releases in Western markets of films like “Hard Boiled”, “Chungking Express”, “City on Fire” and “Rumble in the Bronx”, directors and stars such as John Woo, Ringo Lam, Chow Yun-fat, Jackie Chan and Jet Li were being courted by Hollywood. Hong Kong cinema, having “borrowed” from Hollywood for so many years, was now openly and actively influencing Western filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, The Wachowskis and even Martin Scorsese.
With the advent of DVD, one label in particular really took fans love affair with these titles much more seriously. In , operating out of the small market town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire, Hong Kong Legends began acquiring the rights to what would become a library of over classic titles.
Each release featured cleaned up or “digitally re-mastered” visuals, often several audio options, newly-translated subtitles, audio commentaries, and extra features such as brand new interviews with the actors and directors. Over the next eight years, they released some of the best works of stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Jet Li, Chow Yun-fat, Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh, not only building a loyal band of collectors, but introducing a whole new generation of fans to Hong Kong action cinema.
Other labels such as Dragon Dynasty and Cine Asia built on the foundations laid by Hong Kong Legends, releasing a mix of classic and current titles. It could be argued that this interest in the West helped to make Hong Kong studios and distributors finally realise that their back catalogue of films were of value.
At the turn of the millennium, Asian cinema finally broke into the mainstream worldwide box office with huge hits such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hero”, “Fearless” and “Kung Fu Hustle”. Asian companies, such as Celestial Pictures, began to preserve and restore dozens of classic titles into the latest high-definition 2K and 4K formats.
In recent years, British labels such as Eureka Entertainment and 88 Films have led the way, releasing many of these restorations with new audio options, original and international cuts, commentaries, extra features and interviews. They are frequently beautifully packaged with the original and new artwork, informative accompanying booklets, and reproduction lobby cards. Many of the restored versions are available on streaming services such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, and labels outside of the UK such as the Criterion Collection, have also built an impressive catalogue of titles. OK, so on with the list!
- Come Drink With Me
- Mr Vampire
- The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
- Iron Monkey
- Drunken Master
- Wheels on Meals
- Police Story 1 & 2
- Once Upon a Time in China Trilogy
- Three Films with Sammo Hung
An issue that is perhaps highlighted by the popularity of Blu-ray re-releases and re-masters is that very often, western distributors would edit the original foreign films, removing perhaps cultural references or humour that they think non-Asian audiences wouldnt appreciate or understand.
The original theatrical and DVD release of director Ronny Yu’s “Fearless”, based on the story of real-life martial arts master Huo Yuanjia, was cut from minutes to minutes, “to meet market demands”.
In December , Universal released the Blu-ray version of the film, which contains three versions; Theatrical, Unrated and the Director’s Cut. Although the longer cuts don’t contain a great deal of additional action, the film’s emotional core and central message of using martial arts to better oneself, are much more effective. The Blu-ray release, as you would expect, also has far superior visual and audio quality compared to the lower-definition releases.
Taken from a flawless restoration by Celestial Pictures, 88 Films premiered “Come Drink With Me” on UK Blu-ray, a highly significant movie in the history of Chinese films from acclaimed director King Hu.
The cinematography, framing, lighting and colours really are a work of art that fully benefit from a high- definition presentation. It’s hard to believe this film is over half a century old! Actress and star Cheng Pei-pei is a revelation in the leading role as Golden Swallow, with this film proving to be hugely influential on the Chinese martial arts films that followed it.
“Mr Vampire” is a hilarious kung fu-horror, comedy classic starring Lam Ching-ying, Ricky Hui, Chin Siu-ho and Moon Lee, that was produced by Sammo Hung, having kickstarted the “Jiangshi” genre himself with “Encounters of the Spooky Kind”.
Taken from a gorgeous, brand new, uncut, 2K restoration, it finally made its worldwide debut onto Blu-ray in courtesy of Eureka Entertainment. Aside from never looking better, this is a shamelessly silly, funny and entertaining film featuring some barnstorming martial arts action scenes!
Mr Vampire: False Teeth!
Since , Celestial Pictures have been at the forefront of restoring dozens of classic kung fu films from the legendary Shaw Brothers library. Along with “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin”, “The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter” must rank as one of the definitive period kung fu films of the 20th Century, and makes regular appearances in the Top 10 Favourites lists of fans!
Beautifully packaged and released for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK by 88 Films, this is an unmissable classic. Directed by the legendary Lau Kar-leung, the film stars Gordon Liu Chia Hui, Alexander Fu Sheng, Phillip Ko-Fei, and Kara Hui Ying-hung.
Originally a film that wasn’t considered a success at the box office, it eventually became a fan favourite, particularly in the west, following subsequent VHS and DVD releases. It made its UK debut on Blu-ray courtesy of Eureka Entertainment.
A lot of this film takes place at night, but there are no worries about missing any of the action thanks to a great p presentation from a bright and bold 2K restoration! There are some fun audio options to play with too. This is a movie with great re-watch value and it has never looked better!
Iron Monkey Donnie Yen as Wong Kei Ying vs Yen Shi-kwan as Hin-hung
What startled me with Eureka Entertainment’s definitive release of Jackie Chan’s classic, was that I thought I had already witnessed this film at its best. “Drunken Master” is one of many films that I have ended up buying several times over, from poor quality VHS, to VCD, and eventually DVD.
When I bought the excellent Hong Kong Legends release, the film looked better than ever. The Blu- ray version though absolutely blows it away, and highlights the gulf in quality between digitally remastered p DVD resolution and a p HD presentation of a 4K restoration!
The DVD looks thoroughly grainy and washed-out in comparison! If you are feeling especially nostalgic watching this Blu-ray, in addition to the different dubs, you can select the Hong Kong theatrical subtitles, intentionally reproduced with the original grammatical errors, adding to the fun and humour of the film! “Drunken Master” is a long-time fan favourite and deservedly established Jackie Chan as Hong Kong’s biggest film star.
The holy trinity of Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, have worked together delivering some amazing action over the years in films such as “Project A”, “Dragons Forever” and the “Lucky Stars” comedies. For me, this was their best collaboration, with a great blend of action and comedy. It features a top supporting cast, and one of the most exhilarating fight scenes ever committed to film between Jackie Chan and Benny Urquidez.
Another benefit of Blu-ray releases is the ability to include “branching” or interactive features. The Eureka Entertainment Blu- ray features a unique “hybrid audio option”. It combines the original Cantonese dialogue track mixed with the alternate, and much funkier, music soundtrack from the original international release!
Wheels on Meals: Morning Workout
Along with their release of “Project A 1 & 2”, Eureka Entertainment produced an unbeatable edition of the first two “Police Story” films. Taken from immaculate 4K restorations, it is packed with extra features, with the film itself showcasing some of Jackie Chan’s most ground-breaking work.
Aside from the incredible action in these films, which has rarely been bettered, Eureka included an extra bonus feature of particular interest to UK fans. It is an episode of the series “The Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show”, presented by television personality Jonathan Ross, that first aired on Channel 4 in
Focusing on the weird and wonderful world of Hong Kong film making, for many viewers it sparked what would become an obsession with Jackie Chan and Hong Kong action films. Even if you have never seen this episode, it remains a fascinating look behind-the-scenes at the incredible stunts and action that fans love, and why after all these years, we are still buying these films on Blu-ray!
Police Story 2: Playground Fight
As with “Drunken Master”, I thought the Hong Kong Legends DVD of the first three “Once Upon a Time in China” movies couldn’t be bettered. Happily Eureka Entertainment once again proved me wrong! Aside from the thoroughly entertaining action, director, writer and producer Tsui Hark’s masterpieces are visually breathtaking.
Presented from a 4K restoration, some 30 years later they look as dazzling as ever! The character of Wong Fei-hung was Jet Li’s defining onscreen role, and these films are arguably Tsui Hark’s finest hour as a director. The Blu-ray release also features a bonus movie in “Once Upon a Time in China & America” from a 2K restoration, which marked Jet Li’s return to the role.
Once Upon a Time in China 3: Jet Fighter!
All the films in this list (and many of the other titles available from 88 Films and Eureka) are worthy of a place in every fan’s collection. However, one box set that arrived late in October from Eureka piqued my interest. Featuring three excellent examples of work from the prolific career of Sammo Hung, they were presented from brand new 2K restorations and marked the worldwide debut of these refurbished versions on home video.
Even better, “The Iron-Fisted Monk” and “Eastern Condors” were being released fully uncut for the first time ever in the UK. Aside from the excellent picture quality, there is just about every audio option you could want, from The Iron-Fisted Monk’s fully restored Cantonese mono track, with original sound effects reinserted after being absent from previous releases, to the classic, often hilarious, English dubs from the old releases.
Eastern Condors: Sammo Hung vs Yuen Wah
A fascinating and entertaining additional bonus feature is “Eastern Condors Live”. A live performance recorded at the “Miss Hong Kong Pageant”, it features many of the main cast acrobatically recreating scenes from the movie in the style of a Chinese opera.
Just about any three films from Sammo Hung’s career could have been chosen and they wouldn’t disappoint, but these three demonstrate particularly well his mastery of martial arts choreography, whether it be traditional old school, spectacularly acrobatic, or hard-hitting modern-day contemporary.
“The Iron Fisted Monk” was a stunning directorial debut for Sammo, and “Magnificent Butcher” and “Eastern Condors” are two of my favourites from his filmography, making this set my number one Blu-ray!
LOVING these new restorations of old classics? You can order all of these Blu-rays from Amazon, simply click on your favourite titles below!
Which other Asian action titles would you like to see restored so you can add them to your collection? Why not tell us your own Top 10 in the comments below? Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!
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The 10 Best Kung Fu Films You Can Watch Online, Ranked
Kung Fu is an ancient Chinese martial art that has branched into many sub-groups since its birth in the 2nd century. But what is Kung Fu? When people hear the words “Kung Fu Movie,” they probably expect that it is a movie featuring one of many branches of Kung Fu as its premise. The term Kung Fu, however, has been widely misunderstood since its debut on the silver screen.
Kung Fu is indeed a style of martial arts, but it transcends simply one definition and extends as well to a lifestyle that one chooses. There are those who interpret it as Kung hard/ or skillful work, and Fu time spent. Over a very long period of time, Kung Fu (or Gongfu) has come to generally define one who devotes oneself to a lifestyle of martial arts, or more specifically a Chinese martial art. This is why the martial arts movies we will talk about today are all considered Kung Fu films, and also why you wont see any movies with Karate here like Karate Kid.
Dating all the way back to the s, Kung Fu fighting movies have been an elemental aspect of modern filmmaking. You can see it in many films to this day, inspiring cinematographers, sound and video editors, directors, and choreographers to employ the classic styles they see fit. One of the most renowned is Quentin Tarantino, who directly cites classic Kung Fu films as his inspiration for filmmaking, sometimes through the characters in the films. Kung Fu films are illustrious, beautiful, hilarious, magical, and mysterious all at once, which is why we are here today to praise their glory.
Counting down from 10th best, it should be noted that, due to the lack of online availability for some of the more obscure films, they had to be omitted. So without further ado, I give you my top 10 Kung Fu movies of all time (available to watch online).
The Matrix ()
Hmm, not exactly the film you’d expect to see on this list, but there’s a reason why I previously mentioned the definition of Kung Fu: it’s everywhere. I’m not simply including this title because at one point Neo (Keanu Reeves) uploads martial arts training to his brain and spits out the ever-referenced one-liner: “I know Kung Fu.” That would be shallow. No, I’m appreciating this film for what philosophies and styles it incorporates into the plot itself. When a disillusioned computer hacker named Thomas Anderson alias Neo has the veil torn from over his eyes, he discovers that the world we are currently living in is nothing but a simulation programmed by a world-ending A.I. of human creation. Beyond being one of the best sci-fi movies ever, The Matrix actually employs many styles of Kung Fu film in its action sequences. Not only that, but the way that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) describes the Matrix as he and Neo train in a digitally rendered martial arts Daochang (Chinese word for Dojo), is eerily similar to the logic of many Kung Fu movie martial arts masters. “Im trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. Youre the one that has to walk through it.”
Fun fact: Keanu Reeves trained in jiu-jitsu, wushu, boxing, and krav maga for this role, later becoming skilled in judo and karate as well.
Director(s): Lana and Lilly Wachowski The Wachowski Brothers
Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss
Buy/Rent on Amazon
9. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ()
The first movie on our list that liberally utilizes the “Wire-Fu” film aesthetic, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a timeless feature from Ang Lee that redefines the sub-genre. A young and aristocratic woman named Jen (Ziyi Zhang) works to overthrow the oppression of society by denying her arranged marriage, choosing a life of crime on the run in the throes of true love with another. Meanwhile, a highly skilled and trained swordmaster named Yu (Michelle Yeoh), devoted to justice and honor, realizes she has let her life pass her by without experiencing her own true love story. Despite my somewhat sappy summary, this film is emotionally intense and beautiful to behold. In what most certainly passes the Bechdel test for many, this film highlights the beauty and high art of Kung Fu, contrasted of course with much darker forces that threaten to shroud its wonder. This is all wonderfully shown through Ang Lee’s direction and Peter Pau’s cinematography, quite literally contrasting the beauty and darkness of life. While it is more of a fantastical use of Kung Fu with characters literally weightless, flying across landscapes this was one of the most highly acclaimed foreign films of its time, winning four Oscars and captivating audiences worldwide.
Director: Ang Lee
Main Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
Buy/Rent on Amazon
8. Hero ()
From director Yimou Zhang, director of such greats as House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower, and The Flowers of War (a notable Christian Bale performance), comes Hero. This film, like the previous one, likes to show its characters with a weightless physical ability, exaggerating the abilities of one man or woman to defy physics in a whole lot of ways. The end result makes for a breathtaking visual journey, highlighting symbolically and vividly colored film sequences with a score and masterful performances from its big cast. A man with no name (Jet Li) has been summoned to talk with the King of Qin (Daoming Chen), wanting to discuss the unnamed warrior’s unfathomable victories against three notorious martial arts masters. This film and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon belong to a sub-genre of films called Wuxia Action, focusing on martial arts as a form of entertainment and elation, but also as a dutiful action of respect, honor, and chivalry. Outside of the themes and colorization, this film has some of the most impressive duel scenes in a Wuxia film, thanks to real martial artists like Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Maggie Cheung, and Chieu-Wai Leung.
Director: Yimou Zhang
Main Cast: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung
Watch on Hulu
7. The Legend of the Drunken Master ()
Taking a step into another style of Kung Fu films, The Legend of the Drunken Master is fun, eccentric, and hilarious as well as masterful in choreography. Wong Fei-Hung (Jackie Chan) is a highly-skilled martial arts master, but when a gang of thugs comes into town to steal artifacts and practice injustice, he must decide to appeal to his father’s pacifist wishes or to fight the wrong-doers. Featuring the legendary Jackie Chan, it shouldnt be very hard to convince you to check this one out. Employing a Kung Fu style unique to this film, Drunken Boxing (A.K.A. Drunken Fist A.K.A. Zuì Quán) is a very impractical and mysterious practice, which makes for some fantastic film choreography with Chan behind the wheel. The fight sequences throughout the film, while hilarious and a bit extravagant, are essential to the character’s morality and show the importance that balance has in everyone’s life. This film technically a sequel to Chan’s film Drunken Master encapsulates the stars early career and celebrates it, kicking off his global rise to fame for his many feats in acting, choreography, directing, and writing. Any fan of Jackie Chan should have this as a staple among their favorites, showing off his incredible talent for physical comedy and timing as well as martial arts mastery.
Director(s): Chia-Liang Liu, Jackie Chan (uncredited)
Main Cast: Jackie Chan, Ho-Sung Pak, Lung Ti
Buy/Rent on Amazon
6. Iron Monkey ()
Unique on this list for combining multiple different Kung Fu movie qualities, Iron Monkey is an action/comedy/drama that should not be missed. The Iron Monkey (Rongguang Yu) is a masked vigilante who steals from the corrupt and powerful to provide for the less fortunate, who are oppressed by widespread corruption and greed in the s. So sort of a Batman meets Robin Hood meets Chinese Monkey Kung Fu (A.K.A. Hóu Quán). When famous Hung Ga martial artist Wong Kei-Ying (Donnie Yen) has his son taken prisoner by the selfish governor, he is forced to hunt down the Iron Monkey for his son’s freedom. Thanks to the incredible choreography from Yuen Woo-ping (who also choreographed The Matrix), Yen and Yu’s grace and ability are visually astounding to behold. This is also the only film on this list with a Kung Fu kid, especially one who can best 4 corrupt Shaolin monks. But that’s not all, get ready for Kung Food! A scene inspired by Hong Kong recipes and martial arts style, martial arts movies typically has some great scenes involving making and/or eating food while fighting. Among all these great highlights, this film has an impressive thematic change throughout the narrative, going from hilarious slapstick comedy to a life-or-death drama that convinces you in both ways.
Director: Woo-Ping Yuen
Main Cast: Rongguang Yu, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang
Runtime: 85 minutes
Buy/Rent on Amazon
5. Kung Fu Hustle ()
The only film on this list that goes pedal to the comedy metal, Kung Fu Hustle is a hilariously and imaginatively cartoonish take on the Wuxia Kung Fu film genre. From the success of Shaolin Soccer (honorable mention and a great sports movie) in , writer, director, producer, and protagonist Stephen Chow capitalizes on an awesomely successful gangster-action-comedy that is incredibly rewatchable. In ’s Shanghai, a quirky grouping of households in a cramped complex show their worth when the terrifying Axe Gang knocks on their door. Sing (Stephen Chow) aspires to join the Axe Gang but is restricted by his lack of ability and unshakeable morality. Inspired at a young age by the legendary Bruce Lee, Stephen Chow devoted his life to martial arts and film arts. Because he was too poor to attend proper training schools, Chow learned his fundamental skills from TV and movies, translating his experience into the lighthearted films we see him produce today. Kung Fu Hustle, however, is the only one of Chow’s films that ends on a serious note, with the protagonist mastering an ancient, magical, and mysterious style of Kung Fu known as “Buddhist Palm.” In real life, Chow has taken his initial self-training and applied it to Wing Chun Kung Fu, the same style that Bruce Lee has so famously mastered.
Director: Stephen Chow
Main Cast: Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen, Qiu Yuen
Runtime: 99 minutes
Buy/Rent on Amazon
4. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 ()
While both films display a precise iteration of kung fu styles as well as filming styles, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 is more of a nostalgic Kung Fu film than Kill Bill: Vol 1. The reason for that is that we finally trace back to the origins of “The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad” and where they all learned how to kill so relentlessly, showing a true-to-form progression montage of Bak Mei Kung Fu and Beatrix Kiddo’s (Uma Thurman) learning process of the art. Beatrix Kiddo (A.K.A. The Bride) has a thirst for vengeance on her former boss and lover, Bill (David Carradine), that will not be stopped until it is properly quenched. Along the way, Kiddo must eliminate the rest of the D.V.A.S. Assassins that she didn’t in the previous film, each one posing a different challenge to her skills. Tarantino directly applied film techniques from classic Kung Fu cinema (quick zoom, sound effects, silhouette shots while training, etc.) throughout the narrative, which is the reason why this film is so high on the list. The beautiful thing about this film is the dedication to the film style, which is not unique to this Tarantino film, but still helps to make it the best Quentin Tarantino movie ever.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Main Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen
Watch on Hulu
3. Enter the Dragon ()
In what is most certainly the best Bruce Lee film of all time, Enter the Dragon takes a high rank among the films today. Why do you ask? Because of Bruce Lee’s top-notch fighting skills and commitment to the realistic nature of Kung Fu portrayed in his films. When Lee (Bruce Lee) is tasked with capturing a major narcotics dealer and gang lord, he must enter a tournament on a private island to get closer and closer to his target. Full of epic duels and Bruce Lee simply and single-handedly defeating multitudes of henchmen, this was some of the most fast-paced Kung Fu ever portrayed in cinema; by which Im mostly referring to Bruce Lee’s quick and strong attacks. Dedicated to the role and making it look as real as possible, Lee refused a stunt double for the fighting scenes, as did his co-star Robert “Bob” Wall (A.K.A. Oharra). This, however, caused some unwanted injuries, such as Lee kicking Wall so hard in the midsection that it broke multiple ribs. With that fun fact out of the way, the film style is tuned to the Kung Fu film genre: grainy and staticky with the proper sound effects you would expect. This film does well to pick and choose when to use music but more importantly, when not to. During the final epic battle (before the boss battle), there is a lack of music that was by choice, with nothing to drown out the onomatopoeias and the drawn-out, signature Bruce Lee screeches. And what would a Bruce Lee movie be without getting his shirt torn off before the epic climax?
Director: Robert Clouse
Main Cast: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly
Watch on Netflix
2. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin ()
Probably the Kung Fu-iest of the Kung Fu movies on our list today is The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. A film that heavily influenced hip hop music group Wu-Tang Clan, it is referenced by RZA as the core of Kung Fu films. When the Manchu government destroys his school, ravages his town, and kills his father, San Te (Chia-Hui Liu) travels to a Shaolin temple to learn the ways of Shaolin Kung Fu and be at peace. With the most fast-paced narrative out of all other films today, this one gets through all that information and on to the Kung Fu training in 30 minutes of runtime. After finally getting to the temple, he is after some resistance admitted as a monk for training. The rest of the film is focused solely on Kung Fu and the 35 chambers one must pass to become a master, training the wrists, shoulders, legs, eyes, mind, and so forth all one chamber at a time. Besides its naturalistic feeling and fantastic story, this film has some classically styled fight scenes that are timeless, cementing it in place as one of the staples in the Kung Fu film genre.
Director: Chia-Liang Liu
Main Cast: Chia-Hui Liu, Lieh Lo, Yue Wong
Watch on Netflix
1. Ip Man ()
Taking first place on our list today is the modernized celebration of Kung Fu films, Ip Man. When Japanese forces invade China during WWII, a wealthy and respected Wing Chun Kung Fu master called Ip Man (Donnie Yen) is forced to leave his home and survive on the Japanese-occupied streets of Foshan. A biographical tale of Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man (Bruce Lee’s mentor), this film focuses on events that could plausibly have taken place during that time. Since it’s on our list, I will say that this is unique in that it is not just a Kung Fu film. This film made it to the top for its incredible choreography and its charming yet moving performance from Donnie Yen. From the beginning, the fighting scenes are crisp, clean, and frequent, starting on a lighter note while friendly neighborhood masters spar with each other. As the film progresses, however, the motives become much darker, forcing respected Kung Fu masters to fight Japanese masters just to get a bag of rice. The character arc for Ip Man is incredible in this film, with Donnie Yen portraying at first the kind-hearted and calm-minded Ip Man, to his transformation as the emotionally driven and physically incapacitating Ip Man. His drive comes from the frustration he feels with the Japanese invasion of his homeland, which you can see in his eyes throughout the film. Dark themes and acting aside, this film is astounding on all fronts, especially when you’ve seen enough Kung Fu cinema to appreciate its evolution through time.
Director: Wilson Yip
Main Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
Watch on Netflix
Honorable Mentions Kung Fu Films
Since we didnt have space or couldnt find them streaming online anywhere (save some bootlegged YouTube videos), here are some honorable mentions.
- Fist of Legend ()
- Once Upon a Time in China ()
- Police Story ()
- The Prodigal Son ()
Fuck. No, it's just fucking awesome. I stroke her ass. That it is now clear to me what she is all for. How let me go.
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"" - I need to think about it, "Melissa replied in fright, clutching her purse in her hands and heading sideways toward the exit. Woah goodbye. Soon Melisa called Mr. Vote again.Chines-jet-li full movie. English HD action movies.
On the bottom step of the ladder sat completely naked Natalya. Her hands were pulled back and tied. The legs were parted, I saw white thighs touched by cellulite and a dark spot of the vulva between them. On Natalya's large brown nipples hung clothespins with weights pulling down her already wilted breasts.
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We talked for several hours about life, about what happened to us during this time. Then, feeling that I had enough to drink, I got up and took my leave. I drove up to the supermarket, parked the car and went out into the fresh air. Walking back and forth, I began with a sudden awakened curiosity to peer into painfully familiar places where my childhood passed, and my legs.
Carried me forward by themselves.