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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘Ti Lung’ Category

Retro Review: NEW ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN

New One-Armed Swordsman

They say a picture says a thousand words. What’s this one saying?

After starring in a host of movies including two successful One-Armed Swordsman films and his hit directorial debut, The Chinese Boxer, Jimmy Wang Yu bolted Shaw Brothers for greener pastures. Unfortunately, due to the fact that he broke his contract, Wang Yu was effectively banned from making films in Hong Kong. In Taiwan, he set up shop with rival Golden Harvest, and debuted a new, albeit familiar character, The One Armed Boxer (1971), who proved to be just as popular as his sword-wielding predecessor.

That very same year, the Shaw Brothers decided to relaunch the One-Armed Swordsman franchise and recast the lead role with a new actor, David Chiang. The resultant film shares no continuity with the original, aside from the fact that the new protagonist is also missing a very important appendage while still being amazingly adept with the sword.

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Great Moments in Hong Kong Cinema #2: The Final Gun Battle in A BETTER TOMORROW 2

ABT2

Periodically, Ronin on Empty will be taking a look back at some Hong Kong cinema classics, albeit with a specific emphasis on “Great Moments” — i.e. classic scenes that no Hong Kong cinema fan (old or new) should miss. Of course, “classic” will not only entail super-cool, gobsmacking moments, but also the downright ridiculous stuff, too. The numbers — #1, #2, etc. — are not indicators of ranking, but merely a way to keep a running tally of how many “great moments” we can list here. Readers are welcome to send in their own fave scenes as well.

A Better Tomorrow 2 is not exactly a great film. Aside from Chow Yun-Fat’s “EAT THE RICE!” scene (itself a candidate for a “Great Moment” retrospective), there’s not many memorable moments in the film’s first half. For the most part, A Better Tomorrow 2 seems like a dud, as it doesn’t quite live up to the dizzying heights of its illustrious predecessor. But thankfully, that initial disappointment evaporates the moment the film enters the climax. Almost immediately, director John Woo and producer Tsui Hark are pretty much forgiven for what came before.

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