Sunday, April 18th, 2010
Best Jet Li movie ever. I will fight you if you say different.
If I voted today, perhaps Once Upon a Time in China 2 would be my number one choice. As I’ve written before, Once Upon a Time in China 2 was the gateway film — it opened the door to Hong Kong cinema for me, and I jumped right on through and never looked back. I saw this sequel in Singapore back in 1992*, and was instantly smitten. My relatives kept back issues of an entertainment magazine called Eight Days, and I rummaged through them, clipping out reviews for any similar movie I could find. I would then take these clippings to the Chinese video rental place for reference, coming back with VHS copies of Fong Sai-Yuk 1 and 2, Swordsman II, etc. When I came back to the States, I bought VHS tapes through mail order (those damned 2 tape sets!), and then, because I was afraid I’d wear out the tape, I’d record those two-tape sets to a single VHS tape using a second VCR. I even printed cool stickers to make the tapes look professional. I bought books! I bought soundtracks! I was obsessed.** When Once Upon a Time in China finally showed up on region 1 DVD, I was in complete disbelief. “Cult films” had gone mainstream.