moving about. learning Chinese, practicing Tai Ji Quan, doing Qi Gong, or simply going out running. resisting the monkey impulses.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Ass kicked ... movie reviews

I've been watching too much telly. The Chris Crudelli series / extended Far East trip report draws to a close, and wasn't it fun? He duly got his ass kicked by assorted wily old dudes and we were highly amused along the way.

Clearly there are some amazing techniques and well-practiced bodies out there as well as perhaps some convincing-looking performances of, well, something. Auto-suggestion? Masterly control of Qi?

Despite any doubts I may have about what is really there when a sword or bar is bent or a block smashed (all I can really say is that if I were building a house in China I would look carefully at the bricks), I continue to practice my Qi Gong most days. Keeeping my mind on my breath and dantien, I felt a great innner boost doing my local cross-country. I didn't quite win, but never mind.

I bet you three coins there's a book out before Christmas!

Also out now Hero - another stunt fest in the CTHD mould. From the clips I've seen, I'm sure Twin Warriors has been a source for the imagary (aside from the Jet Li involvement). This was shown late on BBC the other night - another nice surprise. Comedy/slapstick/allegory in the Iron Monkey vein (i.e. entertaining - disregard any negative IMDB review), with a denoument reliant on the Good twin's (Jet Li) single-handed invention of Taiji ! A reviewer says:

It's not Drunken Master, (not the Legend of Drunken Master, the original, noodge), but what is? It is a well made tale of an ousted Shaolin monk who through hardship and madness, learns the ultimately taoist T'ai Chi Chuan.

The thing I love about this film, (and you'd have to be a geek to go with this) but I love the fact that he learns T'ai Chi through his own hardships, not from a sifu (teacher), and the typical sifu or friend who dies is his friend, who, instead of dying, turns evil with power.

The entire movie is a great representation of Taosism (yin, yang, good and evil). I don't agree that Michelle Yeoh (or Michelle Kahn at she time in the film) was not well used. She provided the idea of the easy path, drinking in this case, that is so lacking in gong fu movies. She and he both redeem themselves against the head bad guy (His character name escapes me at the time), but there is no love interest between themselves. She's tough and troubled, he's tough and troubled and they actually help each other (read: she stops drinking to save him, he learns from her care and she helps cure his madness).



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