Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kung Fu is Life

My favorite kung fu movie of all-time!
I treasure a lot of things from my youth.  I only needed a few things to make me happy: football, comic books, and kung fu movies.

What was so enjoyable about kung fu movies was the fact that there was never a complicated plot.  In fact, 90% of those movies from the 70's and 80's had the same plot: student cherishes master, master gets killed by his rival, student goes into the woods and trains until he's good enough to avenge his master's death.

Simple, right?  Mix that simple plot in with mind-numbing action for two hours and it's a young boy's paradise!  I spent my Saturday afternoon's from noon to 2 PM watching "Blackbelt Theater."  A different martial arts movie every week.

Flash forward to 2013 and as a 41 year old man, I haven't grown out of my love for kung fu flicks.  I can appreciate Jason Statham movies, but modern day martial arts movies are completely different from old school kung fu movies.  Most of the kung fu movies that I enjoyed took place in some ancient time in Chinese history.  No guns, cars, or anything like that.  Primitive weapons like blow guns, spears, swords, and other things that encouraged a lot of hand-to-hand fighting.

However, one of the most intriguing parts of these old movies were the supernatural effect!  Seeing these people do things like leaping 20 feet in the air or catching arrows being shot at them is what attracts most kids.  It gives the characters super hero elements that young kids like me could enjoy.  In fact, I was probably close to six years old before I was smart enough to realize that all Asian people didn't have some sort of kung fu ability.  I thought that it was taught in schools over there like the alphabets were taught here.

Needless to say that I was disappointed when I got to 2nd grade and met my first Asian friend.  He couldn't even break through when we played "Red Rover" at school.  I guess he should have spent his Saturday afternoons watching "Blackbelt Theater."

They don't make too many kung fu movies any more.  Recently, I got to enjoy "The Man With The Iron Fists" starring RZA, Russell Crowe, and Lucy Liu.  It was a pretty good movie which took place before modern times.  Mix in the fact that the RZA pretty much did the entire soundtrack for the movie and you have a perfect combination for me: Wu Tang Clan and kung fu.

"Out of my way!  It's a tax free weekend at the mall!"

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