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Dreadnaught (1981)

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Dreadnaught is a lot of things. A cracker of a fun movie for a start. It’s also a Wong Fei-Hung story, a slasher movie, a star turn for Yuen Biao, the inspiration for a scene in Batman Forever and still remains a unique film in its own right, approaching genre conventions with an unconventional spin. Blending generous helpings of action, comedy, and horror into one madcap mixture only 95 minutes long, some scenes incredibly still manage to drag a little!… (read more)

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Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018)

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The Ip Man film scene has become a crowded sub-genre over the last decade and a bit. Although the four numbered titles directed by Wilson Yip and starring Donnie Yen are the most well-known, there are also the alternate takes on the historical figure in Ip Man: The Legend is Born, Ip Man: Kung Fu Master and Ip Man: The Final Fight plus Wong Kar Wai’s spin on the legend in The Grandmaster. There’s also a 2013 TV … (read more)

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Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978)

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Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow is one of the better films from Jackie Chan’s early career; though the story will be familiar to fans of this style of martial arts film, it has the energy and comedic timing that has really served to differentiate Jackie’s work in kung fu filmmaking from that of others. It’s directed by master of the genre Yuen Wo Ping, who should need no introduction, and co-stars the director’s father, Simon Yuen, in a similar role … (read more)

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In the Line of Duty (1989)

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When an immigrant Chinese dockworker comes into brief contact with secret evidence implicating American intelligence operatives and the Green Dragon crime syndicate in a major drug trafficking operation, he is marked for death. Now on the run and running out of time, his only hope for survival is two cops with nothing to hide and nothing to lose!
(from the Hong Kong Legends DVD)

I think whoever wrote the synopsis above really decided that to really nail the soul of … (read more)

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Iron Monkey (1993)

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We love heroes here at Heroic Cinema as you probably know. And there’s no shortage of heroes in Iron Monkey. Correction: I should say, butt-kicking heroes. Iron Monkey has the sort of heroes that make your heart swell when they thump the baddies (and there’s plenty here), help the poor and save the day. So what if the plot is simplistic and the stereotypes are stretched to cartoonish proportions? So what if it’s a little cheesy and the dubbing … (read more)

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Dance of the Drunk Mantis (1979)

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I know, the villain’s called Rubber Legs, and we’re supposed to take him seriously. It’s not too bad a name for a character played by Hwang Jang Lee, actually — he was a famed kicker in many, many martial arts films. Here he plays a master of northern drunken fist who bears a grudge. Beggar So’s southern drunken fist style is famous, and Rubber Legs (who apparently languishes in comparative obscurity) wants to find him, fight him, kill him, … (read more)

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Tai Chi Master (1993)

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Psst. Hey, wanna see a movie where everyone fights? Then Tai Chi Master might be just what you’re looking for.

Right from the start, where we’re introduced to the young Junbao and Tinbao as junior monks at Shaolin Temple, they’re scrapping. Fortunately, we’re spared too many “lovable tyke” moments, as the lads soon grow into Jet Li and Chin Siu Ho, still exercising their skills on laundry, lunch, and other pupils. Tinbao’s hasty temper lands them in a major pole … (read more)

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Wing Chun (1994)

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Yim Wing Chun (Michelle Yeoh) is a female martial arts expert who lives with her aunt, Abacus Fong (Yuen King Tan), a tofu-seller with a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong moment. Wing Chun’s unwomanly ways are the despair of her father, and local men keep trying to put her in her place. She deals with one such unfortunate by telling him that if he can destroy her tray of tofu she will do as … (read more)

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