- Introduce movies / shows / books / games that are special/interesting/terrible but awesome but not that widely known.
- Review / Riff / both them at the same time
- Talk about completely unrelated stuff
Today i wanted to talk a bit about the movies that could be counted as part of the "Chen Zhen Chronicles", the character played by Bruce Lee in Fists of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection).The first post is immediatly breaking the rules i set up for myself (great way to go buddy) by including one of the most prolific films in martial arts movie history.
Bruce Lee is always treated with an insane amount of reverence both as a martial artist as well as a movie star. While movie fighting and real fighting are different worlds, they are also closely linked (something i will try to write about in a future post).
The story (japanese overlords secretly poison master, make fun of school, Bruce/Chen bullies back) is simple and sounds like any other standard kung fu movie plot. Whats strange about it is the amount of ham & cheese, the characters look like cartoon characters and act accordingly.
(Some of the less silly looking bad guys)
While the bad guys are moustachio-twirling evil guys (in fact a lot of them have one), the "hero" comes off as a bit of an asshole. While the bad guys act like cartoon characters and seem just as capable in terms of violence, Bruce Lee comes off as really threatening and much more serious than his enemies.
(Guess who the villain is)
The fight choreography is not that great, although the camera work is inspired in some sequences. While the fights have an cinematic intensity that stems from the almost western-like standoffs that are typical for Bruce Lee, the butt-kicking itself is marred by the obvious big ego of the star who wants to look good and cool in every scene and the absolutly terrible fighting abilities of the stunt men or actors that are the victims.
Even worse are the sequences with a russian wrestler in which bruce escapes a badly applied armbar by biting the leg.
(Grappling in style)
Anyone who has any real grappling experience will tell you that when some idiot tries to bite you in that situation, you would surely stay on the hold, break his arm and maybe break his jaw from the same position.
The movie is now legendary, but when rewatching it you realize just how bad most 70s movie fighting really was.