Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Chen Zhen, from Jingwu....

Having taken the opportunity to see Fearless last night, I must say I was very happy with the film; quite simply, it's excellent.

The film is about Huo Yuanjia, the founder of the Jingwu Sports Federation. If the name sounds familiar, that's because it's the same Jingwu in Jet Li's Fist of Legend. In Fearless, Jet Li plays Huo Yuanjia, where in Fist of Legend he plays Chen Zhen, Yuanjia's star pupil.

Fearless is very well filmed, the action choreography is excellent (as if you'd expect anything else from Yuen Woo-Ping), and the script is good too. On top of all that, the theatrical release is in the original Mandarin with English subtitles.

While I don't believe this will be Jet Li's final martial arts film (or whatever it is they are labeling this film as), if it in fact does end up being the last, it's a great way to go out. My favorite fight in the film was between Yuanjia and Master Qin/Chin. It takes place in a restaurant, and not only is the fighting great, but the lighting, camera angles, and shots are just as excellent.

Fearless is so good, it makes me think that just maybe I should watch The Postman Fights Back (a Chow Yun-Fat film directed by Ronny Yu that I picked up quite some time ago because I had heard it was good, however I couldn't get 20 minutes into it when I first tried to watch it). Fearless is so good that today I am definitely going to watch Fist of Legend, and I just might watch Unleashed also.

Fearless also has Collin Chou playing Huo Yuanjia's father, which I thought was kind of cool because I was saying back when the Matrix sequels came out that Chou probably could have actually kicked some ass in that film, but they didn't let him (Chou got his role in the Matrix sequels after Jet Li dropped out). And of course Ronny Yu directed, and he made a good choice picking this over making Snakes on a Plane. While I think Yu would have done a good job with SoaP, this way Fearless was excellent and David Ellis was able to do a good job with SoaP, so the fans won both ways.

I'm hoping when Fearless hits on DVD they give us the 150 minute version of the film, or at least make the deleted scenes (including some Michelle Yeoh and a muay-thai fight) an extra on the release. Rogue Pictures did a good job with the Unleashed DVD, so hopefully they can do the same or better for Fearless.

If you're in need of some martial arts action, be sure not to miss Fearless.

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