Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Fistful of Kung Fu (Brad's Picks)

The first Kung Fu Panda really surprised me.  Who knew that the silliness of Jack Black and (at the time) iffyness of Dreamworks animation would produce such a fun Kung Fu flick.  Really looking forward to Po's latest outing this weekend.  Anyway, You might think that this Fistful is a little odd, but this is the Kung Fu that I feel in my heart.

5.  The Kung Fu Treachery of the Fiendish Dr. Wu:  Black Dynamite is not only the perfect spoof of Blaxploitation cinema, it is also the perfect spoof of the Blaxploitation Kung Fu sub-genre.  I love, love, love Black Belt Jones and Michael Jai White totally gets Jim Kelly's "WHAAAA!" love for martial arts and Bruce Lee.  But is Black Dynamite's extra-ordinary Kung Fu a match for the Fiendish Dr. Wu?  Let's find out:

4.  The Final Fight of Iron Monkey:  I love Guillermo Del Toro's Blade 2.  I think I saw it at least three times in the theater and I definitely obsessed over it for about a year.  I remember watching Donnie Yen's Snowman dispatch a few reapers in the Vampire Club and thinking, who is that badass?  Well, the first Donnie Yen flick I tracked down was Iron Monkey and it definitely delivered on the ass-kickery.  But the tops is easily the final flaming pole fight seen below.  


3.  The Crippled Masters:  This was one of the earliest Kung Fu films I saw as a teenager.  It was one of those lunchroom flicks you heard about:  "Hey, have you seen that crazy ass flick about the crippled dudes chop-sockying the hell outta some fools?"  Well, when I finally tracked it down it didn't quite live up to its absurdity, but it still ranks high on the list for its concept and fight sequences.  Too bad there's so much plot that gets in the way.

2.  Kung Fu by Curtis Mayfield:  The coolest Kung Fu on the planet belongs to Curtis Mayfield.  It's the story of a child born in the ghetto who should have been named Jesus but he wasn't white enough Momma said.  His moniker gets him through, head held high he walks the streets, just trying to make it.  Kung Fu, you don't have to explain it.  Listen to the truth:

1.  Caine (Kung Fu):   "All can know good as good only because there is evil." – Master Po.  What is Kung Fu?  For me, it's David Carradine's warrior monk Caine traveling the landscape of the American West.  Along the way he has adventures with notables like William Shatner, LQ Jones, Pat Hingle, and Geraldine Brooks.  For the longest time, this (& Bruce Lee) is what American's thought of when they thought of Kung Fu and that goes for my sadsack self as well.  I wish I could put down The 5 Deadly Venoms as my top spot, but I gotta go with this television franchise.


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