The Silver Emulsion Podcast: Ep. 29 – Carmen / Eternal Love

Episode 29! Talkin’ about a pair of Ernst Lubitsch silent films: 1918’s Carmen & 1929’s Eternal Love!

Also on the show:

  • Yuen Woo-Ping’s In the Line of Duty 4
  • Sammo Hung’s Slickers vs. Killers
  • Shunya Ito’s Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable
  • Larry G. Spangler’s Knife for the Ladies
Music Notes

Intro:

  • Big Pig – I Can’t Break Away
    • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Amazon)

Outro:

  • Kazunaka Yamane – The City Slums (The Black Warriors Arrive)
    • From the NES version of Double Dragon (VGMPF)

If you’ve got feedback, throw it into the comments below or email it to me via the contact page! I’ll include it in a future show!

The podcast is embedded directly below this, or you can go directly to Podbean (or use their app) to listen. If you want to subscribe, paste http://silveremulsion.podbean.com/feed/ into whatever reader you’re using, such as iTunes.

The Silver Emulsion Podcast: Ep. 27 – 1984 Horror Movie Ramba-Lamba-Ding-Dong

Episode 27! This episode I’m ramblin’ about the horror movies of 1984!

Also on the show:

  • Yuen Woo-Ping’s Dance of the Drunk Mantis
  • Sammo Hung’s Pantyhose Hero
  • Larry Cohen’s The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover
  • Budd Boetticher’s Westbound
Music Notes

Intro:

  • Manu Dibango – Weya

Outro:

  • Caretakers – East Side Story
    • East Side Story / Epic 45 RPM Single (Discogs)

If you’ve got feedback, throw it into the comments below or email it to me via the contact page! I’ll include it in a future show!

The podcast is embedded directly below this, or you can go directly to Podbean (or use their app) to listen. If you want to subscribe, paste http://silveremulsion.podbean.com/feed/ into whatever reader you’re using, such as iTunes.

Top 5 Jackie Chan Films from the 1970s

Due to there only being 14 Jackie Chan films during the ’70s, I figured a Top 10 list would be a bit much, especially considering that a good lot of those 14 aren’t all that worthy of making a list. I toyed with a “Top 7” for a while, but I’m going with a Top 5 as it felt like everything beyond these films were non-essential, and filling up a list “just because” seems counter-productive. If you’re curious what’s just shy of the cut, I made a list on my Letterboxd account that ranks all 14 in my order of preference. As always, lists are subjective, so definitely see the films and judge for yourself!

So without further ado, here’s my top five Jackie Chan movies from the 1970s!


#5 Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin (1978)
Directed by Chen Chi-Hwa
Reviewed April 23, 2013

snakeandcrane

Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin isn’t a perfect kung fu movie, but it’s highly entertaining and chock full of great, inventive fights. Looking back, the choreography might not be as refined as later Jackie films, but that shouldn’t change the fact that the choreography is AMAZING. Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin is a total blast.

Continue reading Top 5 Jackie Chan Films from the 1970s →

Drunken Master (1978)

drunkenmaster_2Drunken Master [醉拳] (1978)
AKA Drunken Monkey in the Tiger’s Eyes, Drunk Monkey

Starring Jackie Chan, Simon Yuen Siu-Tin, Hwang Jang-Lee, Lam Kau, Linda Lin Ying, Dean Shek Tin, Chiang Kam, Max Lee Chiu-Jun, Yuen Shun-Yi, Fung Ging-Man, Tino Wong Cheung, San Kuai, Hsu Hsia

Directed by Yuen Woo-Ping

Expectations: High.

fourstar


To set the scene: Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Jackie Chan’s first big hit, was released in March of 1978 and sent a shock wave through the Hong Kong martial arts film world. It became one of the most successful Hong Kong films of all time, out-grossing even the mega-popular Bruce Lee films. A mere seven months later came Drunken Master, the second of Jackie’s collaborations with director/choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping, and it did 2½ times as much as Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow did at the Hong Kong box office. Boom! Not only was Drunken Master a mega-hit, it solidified Jackie Chan as a major player in Hong Kong film, it made drunken-style kung fu “a thing” in movies, and it further expanded the kung fu comedy genre that Yuen and Jackie had officially kicked off with Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow. Drunken Master is one of the hallmarks of ’70s kung fu cinema, and with good reason. It’s amazing.

The one aspect that’s lacking in Drunken Master is the story, but it is a testament to the strength of every other aspect that even though this flaw is very noticeable, it never detracts from the experience. In many ways, it’s kind of a re-hash of Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, starting with a mountaintop fight scene where Hwang Jang-Lee takes on a fighter and mercilessly kills him with his amazing leg work. But instead of being a negative point, the re-hash is actually more of a distillation. Drunken Master takes everything that worked perfectly in Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and perfects it even more, leaving out all the rest. Which, honestly, is that film’s relatively average kung fu revenge plot. “Who needs it?” they must have said, and I agree.

Continue reading Drunken Master (1978) →

Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978)

Snake_In_The_Eagle's_Shadow17Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow [蛇形刁手] (1978)
AKA Eagle’s Shadow; Eagle Claw’s, Snake’s Fist, Cat’s Paw; Snaky Monkey

Starring Jackie Chan, Hwang Jang-Lee, Simon Yuen Siu-Tin, Dean Shek Tin, Fung Hak-On, Tino Wong Cheung, Peter Chan Lung, Hsu Hsia, Charlie Chan Yiu-Lam, Roy Horan

Directed by Yuen Woo-Ping

Expectations: Very high.

threehalfstar


Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow is one of the most important and most influential kung fu films of all time, not only giving Jackie Chan his breakthrough hit, but also introducing the world to a style of kung fu film that had never really been seen before. Shaolin Wooden Men may have gotten us closer to a true Jackie Chan film, but Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow is the real deal. Free of Lo Wei’s authoritarian control, Jackie and Yuen Woo-Ping craft an incredibly enjoyable kung fu romp. I don’t think it’s a perfect film, but the positive aspects are overwhelmingly great, so they easily overshadow whatever problems I had with the film.

Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow is the story of the struggle between the evil Eagle’s Claw clan and their systematic murder of every practitioner of the Snake Fist style, but it’s also the story of a young man named Chien Fu (Jackie Chan). He’s a lowly kid that scrubs the floors of his martial arts school, without reward and without ambition to do much else. The current masters taunt him by purposefully stepping in chalk and tracking it all around the dojo, making him work needlessly. But when he befriends an old beggar (Simon Yuen), his life is forever changed as he learns Snake Fist style from the old man. Given the tools to make something of himself, Chien Fu — and Jackie Chan himself — rises to the occasion and shows us all what he’s truly capable of.

Continue reading Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978) →

The Wicked City (1992)

The Wicked City [妖獸都市] (1992)
AKA Mutant City

Starring Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai, Michelle Reis, Roy Cheung, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yuen Woo Ping, Carman Lee, Reiko Hayama

Directed by Peter Mak Tai-Kit

Expectations: Moderate. I remember not liking this, but I’m a different person now.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


After Stephen told me he was doing the Wicked City anime for October, I figured it’d be the perfect time to revisit the live-action Hong Kong version. I haven’t seen it since the late ’90s when it got a VHS release stateside amidst the craze for Hong Kong action and anime. This film brings the two sub-cultures together, so it’s easy to see why it got a US release. Perhaps our one-two punch isn’t the best way to handle the films, though, as I haven’t seen the anime since about the last time I watched this, and Stephen’s never seen this one at all. So while we offer reviews of both, neither of them contain any sort of contrast or comparison; I guess my idea was more misguided than I realized. I can say that from the vague, back corners of my mind I remember the two films opening very similarly, but diverging wildly from each other from there.

The Wicked City opens as night falls on the land of the rising sun, and HK superstar Jacky Cheung is taking a woman upstairs to his room. Things are not as they seem, though, as the woman quickly turns into a spider-ish creature with long clawed legs and attacks, but Cheung’s ready for battle! Then his partner (Leon Lai) bursts in through a window to offer his assistance and they quickly vanquish the foul beast. This scene doesn’t mean anything to the plot, but it does set up the world and our two main guys. From here they travel back to Hong Kong, and the real story begins.

Continue reading The Wicked City (1992) →

True Legend (2010)

True Legend [蘇乞兒] (2010)

Starring Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Andy On, Guo Xiao Dong, Li Zo, Suen Hanwen, Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh, David Carradine, Gordon Liu, Conan Stevens

Directed by Yuen Woo-Ping

Expectations: High, been looking forward to this for a while.


True Legend marks Yuen Woo-Ping’s return to the director’s chair, his first film since 1996! The dude made Iron Monkey and Tai Chi Master for God’s sake, so this is something of a big deal for martial arts film fans. And yeah, it’s pretty awesome. Vincent Zhao plays Su Can, a virtuous military leader who passes on a governorship in order to perfect his wushu and eventually open a school. He persuades the prince to bestow this governorship on his adopted brother Yuan, who reluctantly accepts. Five years later, Yuan returns from battle to meet with his adopted father and Su Can. Catching up is the furthest thing from his mind though, as Yuan seeks revenge for the murder of his father!

Continue reading True Legend (2010) →

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