Where do I find these titles if I want to buy them?
you live in a city with a large Chinese population, your best bet is
to look for a video rental store in the Chinese neighborhood. Otherwise,
(great old school collection for sale, and informative web site) and
Also check out the web sites for Tai Seng and World Video.
Why don't you do lists of favorites? Why don't you do top
tens, top fives, etc.?
A: I don't make a practice of list making for a number of reasons.
These films have to be appreciated one at a time, and judged one at
a time. More importantly, compiling lists is tricky. It all depends
on what you're looking for. Some of the greatest fight scenes are contained
in otherwise bad films. Some of the finest movies from a cinematic standpoint
might have average or no fight choreography. Some of the best fight
scenes ever shot constitute ten minutes of a film---but the rest of
the movie doesn't hold up (so is it a great film?) Then you get into
what constitutes great fight choreography. Hands? Kicks? Weapons? Can
you compare modern action films with costume historical epics? And how
do you compare old classic Bruce Lee films with much bigger-budget,
modern productions starring Jet Li? How can you compare comedies with
serious dramas? Or fantasies with horror films? (Yes, these are all
sub-genres.) So, chances are, I won't stoop to list making.
Why don't you have all of the ratings listed on the table
of contents, so I can skip directly to the "5"s and not have
to read the reviews?
A: That would be cheating. Again, going one film at a time respects
the work of the film makers, and its players.
What is your take on television series?
A: The sad news is, classic Chinese martial arts cinema has
steadily dwindled over the last decade (the few bursts of activity,
such as "Crouching Tiger", "Hero", etc.), to the
point that there is not much going on, on a year by year basis. However,
Chinese (Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Chinese) television has been long been
bursting with quality martial arts productions and mini-series (historical
as well as modern), including series featuring the best film fighters
(Donnie Yen, Zhou Wen Zhou/Chiu Man Cheuk, Fan Siu Wong, Sammo Hung,
etc.) and film-TV crossover stars. Hong Kong's TVB and ATV have produced
many great martial arts mini-series, and their own stables of heroes
and stars. Television has been the ideal choice for the epic stories
of Jin Yong, Ku Long, and other historical martial arts novelists. Check
as well as www.spcnet.tv.
The martial arts television is a separate universe deserves its own
analysis, too much to tackle here at MAGTHKF.