Search - The Art of Action: Martial Arts in the Movies on DVD

The Art of Action: Martial Arts in the Movies
The Art of Action Martial Arts in the Movies
Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, David Carradine, Jackie Chan, Pei-pei Cheng, Raymond Chow
Director: Keith R. Clarke
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Educational, Sports, Documentary
NR     2002     1hr 45min

Go Behind-the-Scenes of a Worldwide Phenomenon! THE BEST MOMENTS FROM THE GREATEST MARTIAL ARTS MOVIES OF ALL TIME! Take a trip through martial arts history from its beginnings in bloody rebellion to the high-flying action...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, David Carradine, Jackie Chan, Pei-pei Cheng, Raymond Chow
Director: Keith R. Clarke
Creators: Steven Finestone, Keith R. Clarke, Jeff Werner, Joni Levin, Mike Leeder, Christopher Sliney
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Educational, Sports, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Steven Seagal, Indie & Art House, Educational, Martial Arts, Documentary
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/31/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Taiwanese Chinese

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Movie Reviews

Entertaining history of martial arts on film
BD Ashley | Otago, New Zealand | 05/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Presented by Samuel L. Jackson, THE ART OF ACTION is an enjoyable and entertaining look at the history of matial arts films from its origins in Peking Opera in China, which was performed by men in women's clothing. Strangely, the first kung fu features were made with the WOMEN doing all the fighting as film was then considered a lower medium in China, and it was "dishonorable" for men to stoop to that level!
Of course, no film about martial arts could be made without Bruce Lee, "The James Bond Of Martial Arts". Here viewers are treated to footage from RETURN OF THE DRAGON where Lee beats the bejesus out of a young Chuck Norris, as well as hearing Lee's philosophies on kung fu, which remain intriguing and inspiring no matter how many times you hear them.
THE ART OF ACTION also features appearances from Jackie Chan, recounting his experiences as part of a Peking Opera troupe at age 7, as well as ruminations by John Woo, Ang Lee and Steven Seagal. There's plenty here to educate and entertain viewers, though stranglely Hammer's martial arts/ horror film LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES is overlooked here... but Cynthia Rothrock's cruddy movies get some attention! I just don't get it! That remains my only quibble. Also features clips from more recent films like RUSH HOUR 2 and CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON.
If you like this, you may want to check out the similar documentary CINEMA OF VENGEANCE which is about the history of martial arts and Hong Kong action films, though personally I found THE ART OF ACTION to be more entertaining. Both movies are highly recommended."
Martial Arts Journey
BD Ashley | 07/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This in-depth documentary gives a behind-the-scenes look at the history of the martial arts films. It shows what the early pioneers of martial arts had to do to pass on the skills when the then rulers wanted to forbid the practice. The journey is one of rebellious beginnings to high flying stunts in movies today. It also features the work of Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan,Sammo Hung and others. This is a great documentary to watch if you want to learn more about the world of martial arts in films."
Good documentary hosted by samuel l. jackson
morgoth | omaha, NE | 04/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie does not show like many great clips but is a pretty good documentary. It starts out talking about the the first shaw movies and lau kar-leung, and also the origins of kung fu(briefly), women in the 20's making these movies, and of course kwan tak-hing. The only thing that I really had a problem with is that they just passed over the jimmy wang yu, lo lieh, chen kwan tai, hwang jang lee, etc. I don;t think it even mentions the venoms!! They show some good clips from one armed swordsman, but even though they show their dramatic scene, they don't even mention jimmy or lie's name. So it goes way to quickly into the new school stuff like crouching tiger but does not capitilize on the golden age of kung fu."