REVIEW: THE KARATE KID (2010)

CAST

Jackie Chan (Around The World In 80 Days)
Jaden Smith (After Smith)
Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)

Twelve-year-old Dre Parker and his mother Sherry move from Detroit to Beijing after Sherry gets a job transfer at her car factory. After a day in a park, Dre develops a crush on a young violinist, Meiying, who reciprocates his attention, but another 12-year-old boy Cheng, a rebellious kung fu prodigy whose family is close to Meiying’s, attempts to keep them apart by violently attacking Dre, and later bullies him at school. During an attack, the maintenance man, Mr. Han comes to Dre’s aid, and when Cheng and his friends try to interfere, Han defeats each of them in close conbat, revealing himself as a kung fu master.After Han mends Dre’s injuries using fire cupping, Dre asks if Mr. Han could teach him kung fu. Han refuses, but meets Cheng’s teacher, Master Li, to make peace. Li, who teaches his students to show no mercy to their enemies, challenges Dre to a fight with Cheng. Han instead proposes that Dre compete against Li’s students at an open kung fu tournament, and also requests the students leave Dre alone to train in time for the tournament. Li accepts the offer, but tells Han that if Dre does not show up during the tournament, he will personally bring pain to Han and Dre.Han promises to teach Dre “real” kung fu and begins to train Dre by emphasizing movements that apply to life in general, and that serenity and maturity, not punches and power, are the true keys to mastering the martial art. He teaches this by having Dre go through various actions with his jacket, which teaches Dre muscle memory moves. Han then takes Dre to a temple in the Wudang Mountains where he trained with his father, and Dre witnesses a woman making a cobra reflect her movements and drinks the water from an ancient Chinese well. As Dre’s friendship with Meiying continues, Dre persuades Meiying to cut school for a day of fun, but when she is nearly late for her violin audition which was brought forward a day without their knowledge, her parents deem him a bad influence and forbid her from spending more time with him.During the course of their training, Han gives Dre a day off. Dre goes to Han that night and finds Han, apparently drunk, smashing a car he was working on. Han tells Dre that he crashed the same car years ago, and that his wife and ten-year-old son were with him and died in the car crash. Han fixes the car every year but smashes it to remind himself of what happened, which makes Dre work much harder in his training in order to help Han forget about the incident. Han assists Dre in writing a note of apology to Meiying’s father in Chinese; he accepts and promises that Meiying will attend the tournament to support Dre. At the tournament, the under-confident Dre is slow to achieve parity with his opponents, but soon begins beating them and advances to the semifinals, as does Cheng, who violently finishes off his opponents. Dre comes up against Liang, one of Li’s more sympathetic students, who (under Li’s goading) severely hurts Dre’s leg and Liang is disqualified as a result, while Dre is taken to the infirmary.Despite Han’s insistence that he has earned respect for his performance, Dre convinces Han to mend his leg by using fire cupping in order to continue. Dre returns to the arena, facing Cheng in the final. Dre delivers impressive blows, but Li orders Liang to break Dre’s leg. Cheng, horrified at the order, but obeys under Li’s intimidation. As the match continues, Cheng seizes Dre’s leg and delivers a vicious blow, doing further damage. Dre struggles to get up, and attempts the reflection technique to manipulate Cheng into changing his attack stance. Cheng begins reflecting Dre’s movements and it goads him into charging Dre, but Dre flips and catches Cheng with a kick to his head, winning the tournament along with the respect of Cheng and his classmates. Cheng, instead of the presenter, awards Dre the trophy, and the Fighting Dragon students bow to Mr. Han, accepting him as their new master.It wasn’t worth watching. Or maybe it’s not a movie you’d watch twice, because I sure as hell won’t. God forbid they make a sequel.  Stick to the original!!!

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REVIEW: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

CAST

Jackie Chan (Rush Hour)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Steve Coogan (The Other Guys)
Jim Broadbent (The Legend of Tarzan)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Luke Wilson (Charlies Angels)
John CLeese (Rat Race)
Cécile de France (The Jungle Book)
David Ryall (Outnumbered)
Roger Hammond (Rome)
Ian McNeice (Dune)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Rob Scneider (Big Daddy)
Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Will Forte (MacGruber)
Maggie Q (Divergent)
Mark Addy (Game of Thrones)

In the late 19th century, a Chinese man, Lau Xing, robs the Bank of England. To evade the police, Xing becomes the valet for Phileas Fogg, an inventor, taking the pseudonym Passepartout. Phileas, just before Xing arrived, had been trying to break the 50-mph speed barrier, and after succeeding with the help of Passepartout, they head to the Royal Academy of Science. There, Fogg is insulted by the other “brilliant minds”, in particular Lord Kelvin, who believes that everything worth discovering has already been discovered. After a debate between the scientists about the bank thief, Phileas is pressured into a bet to see whether he can travel around the world in 80 days. If he wins, he will become Minister of Science in Lord Kelvin’s place, if not, he will destroy his lab and never invent anything again. Phileas and Xing start their journey around the world, taking a carriage and leaving London after a confrontation with Inspector Fix, a corrupt officer hired by Lord Kelvin to stop them.

Xing and Phileas journey to Paris. Pretending to take Phileas to a convention with Thomas Edison, Xing leads him to an art school where Phileas meets Monique La Roche, a would-be impressionist. There, Xing is attacked by disguised warriors, the Black Scorpions, sent by General Fang, a female Chinese warlord who is after the Jade Buddha that he stole. Fang had previously given it to Kelvin in exchange for military assistance in China. When Monique learns of Phileas’s ambition, she convinces them to take her with them. They depart in a hot-air balloon, chased by Fang’s warriors.

Whilst on the Orient Express, Monique learns that Xing is trying to return the Jade Buddha back to his village, and is travelling with Phileas to get there quickly. Monique keeps his secret in exchange for him convincing Phileas to let her travel with him. They travel to Turkey, where the train stops. Guards climb onboard and inform the trio that they are greeted by Prince Hapi. During the Prince’s banquet, he orders Monique to stay as his seventh wife while the men are ordered to leave. The men blackmail Prince Hapi into releasing Monique using a prized but apparently flimsy “The Thinker” statue of the Prince. The statue is destroyed, much to Hapi’s anger, but the trio escape from the guards. Lord Kelvin, learning that Phileas has been abetting a thief’s escape, orders the British colonial authorities in India to arrest both. Xing notices this and warns his companions, disguising themselves as Indian women to evade capture and successfully flee to China.

Xing leads his friends to his village, Lanzhou, where they are happily greeted. His real identity is revealed and they are held captive by the Black Scorpions. Xing challenges the leader of the group to a fight, during which he is joined by the martial arts masters of the “Ten Tigers of Canton”, of which Xing is a member. The Tigers drive the Black Scorpions from the village and free the Westerners. The Buddha is returned to the village temple. Phileas, feeling used by Xing and Monique, leaves for San Francisco alone, only to be proven wrong when the latter decide to help him win his bet. In New York City, Fang’s disguised minions trick the trio to an ambush site. Fang reveals the nature of their arrangements with Lord Kelvin to take Lanzhou and tap the jade reserves underneath it. A battle against Fang and her minions commences in the workshop where the Statue of Liberty is being constructed, resulting in Phileas missing a boat to help Xing, Fang being knocked out by Monique with a punch (revealing Monique to be the fabled 11th Tiger) and Fang’s minions being either killed or knocked out. Phileas feels he has lost, but the other two say they may still make it if they catch the next ship.

They board an old ship and Phileas convinces the captain to let him build a plane out of the ship’s old wood in exchange for a new ship. Using an altered version of the Wright brothers’ plans, Phileas builds the plane while the ship’s crew builds a catapult to launch it into the sky. They reach London, where the machine falls apart and they crash in front of the Royal Academy. Lord Kelvin sends police to arrest them for robbing the bank, in order to stop them from making it to the top step of the Academy, and proclaims himself the victor when Big Ben strikes noon, seemingly ending the wager. Monique, Fix and other ministers attest to Kelvin’s unfair methods and his bullying nature, but Kelvin scoffs at them. In the process he insults Queen Victoria, who arrives on the scene. She learned that he had sold her arsenal to Fang in exchange for jade mines in China thanks to one of his aides. Kelvin is arrested and sent to prison, and Phileas realizes he is one day early thanks to crossing the international date line. He victoriously ascends the stairs of the Academy and kisses Monique.

The end result is a beautiful film that is suitable for all ages and provides that wonderful feel-good sensation that only the greatest adventures can provide.

REVIEW: THE FOUNDING OF A REPUBLIC

CAST

Jet Li (The One)
Jackie Chan (Dragonm Blade)
Donnie Yen (Rogue One)
Zhang Guoli (Back to 1942)
Tang Guoqiang (Cairo Declaration)
Zhang Ziyi (House of Flying Daggers)
Vivian Wu (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
Xu Qing (Life on A String)
Andy Lau (Shanghai 13)

In 1945 after the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Mao Zedong and members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) travel to Chongqing for a meeting with Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang (KMT). With help from the China Democratic League, the Double Tenth Agreement is signed between the KMT and CPC, with both sides agreeing to stop the civil war and to establish a multi-party government in China.
111The following year, Chiang Kai-shek calls for a National Assembly in Nanjing and is elected as President of the Republic of China (ROC). At the same time, the peace negotiations between the CPC and KMT fail and the civil war continues. Other political figures such as Zhang Lan, Soong Ching-ling and Li Jishen, support the CPC because they oppose Chiang’s government, even though they are in non-battleground areas such as Shanghai and Hong Kong.
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In May 1948, the CPC declares the opening of a “War of Liberation” against Chiang’s ROC government, with many other political parties responding to the call and taking the CPC’s side. The Red Army scores victories against the NRA in subsequent battles and eventually Chiang’s forces retreat to Taiwan in December 1949. On 1 October 1949, Mao Zedong proclaims the People’s Republic of China with its capital at Beijing, marking the start of a new era for China.firestarterApart from the fact the cover makes you think that Jackie Chan and co are the stars, it is a fantastic historic film… about the battle for leadership of china after WW2…the Acting is brilliant so are the effects…well worth watching.

 

REVIEW: DRAGON BLADE

CAST

Jackie Chan (Rush Hour)
John Cusack (Identity)
Adrien Brody (Hollywoodland)
Lin Peng (1911)
Choi Si-won (Helios)

In northwest China, 48 BC, a security company under Han China’s current government called The Silk Road Protection Squad is committed towards stopping battles and promoting the idea of peace. Huo An (Chan), the captain, successfully averts a battle between the Indians and Huns. The group returns to their unnamed home city, where Huo An’s gentle Uyghur wife Xiuqing (Mika Wang) serves as a schoolteacher for orphans. However, the government uncovers evidence that someone in the group is corrupt, causing the entire group to be sentenced to construction work at Wild Geese Gate, a ruined fortress. Once they arrive, the group pays respects at the shrine of a fallen Chinese general. They originally were child-slaves of Hun descent, but the general had later rescued them.
Not long after, Wild Geese Gate is threatened by a legion from the Roman Empire in need of water and supplies, among which is a blind boy named Publius (Jozef Waite). After a stale-mated duel between Huo An and Lucius (Cusack), the Roman general, the latter agrees not to assault the city in return for being let inside. The legion uses its superior engineering skills to speed up the construction work, an act which boosts the morale and happiness of the inhabitants, who are divided among several different races, such as Chinese, Uighur, and Turkic. Huo An returns the favor by sending men to assist Lucius’s envoys in reaching the Parthian Empire. A celebration is later held and Huo An is made an honorary centurion.
Lucius reveals that he and Publius are fleeing from Publius’s brother Tiberius (Brody), a corrupt soldier who murdered their consul father and blinded Publius so Tiberius could become consul. As Tiberius approaches with 100,000 soldiers, Huo An insists on helping Lucius, pointing out that Tiberius is a threat to the Silk Road in its entirety. Shortly after Huo An leaves to find reinforcements, the corrupt group member from earlier sends Chinese soldiers to murder Huo An’s wife and attack Wild Geese Gate. The legion is imprisoned in the non-Chinese trading city of Kroran, where Tiberius has chosen to camp. Tiberius proceeds to murder Publius.
Huo An and the few loyal Chinese soldiers travel to Kroran, pretending to surrender, but once they are inside, they destroy the Roman legion’s cages. However, they are unable to free Lucius, who is about to be burned to death in a special solitary cell. Huo An fires an arrow and kills Lucius before the fire gets him. As Huo An’s and Lucius’s soldiers are surrounded, the armies of several other races arrive and fight against Tiberius, including the Indians, Huns, Uighurs, and Turkics, all of whom are determined to preserve the Silk Road’s safety. However, even their combined forces are unable to gain the upper hand. Finally, the envoys from earlier return with a massive host of Parthians, who had signed a special treaty with Publius’s father and who intend to avenge his memory. Tiberius’s soldiers lose their will to fight. Huo An challenges Tiberius to a duel and kills him.
Upon hearing about the bravery of Lucius’s legion, the Chinese emperor grants them the right to establish their own city, which they choose to name Regum. They accept Huo An as their commander, and Huo An, in turn, honors the deceased Chinese general by relocating the shrine to that city. As the centuries go on, the city fades from collective memory. However, in the modern day, a team of Asian American archaeologists stumble upon the site and uncover the dual Chinese and Latin inscriptions.Overall this is a great watch for all Jackie Chan fanatics and for everyone who loves action films and historical epics with great action sequences. The good thing is, I was not bored and the pacing keeps me into it. Overall I’m pretty satisfied with it, and a must watch guilty pleasure.