Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Forbidden Kingdom |
2-Disc Special Edition
Actors: Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michael Angarano, Yifei Liu, Collin Chou
Director: Rob Minkoff
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Individually, they've starred in the most adrenaline-pumping martial-arts adventures ever. Together for the first time, Jet Li and Jackie Chan join forces to create the greates epic of them all- THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM. As... more »
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A westernized Kung-Fu movie for everyone to like
M. B Cole | Las Vegas, NV | 05/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
Ok take that popcorn out of the microwave, grab your cola, and set the lights down low and get ready for some kung-fu action.
At first glance, the movie seems to be full oh wired choreographed fight scenes which I pretty much loathe. But the movie took the scenes and made them `ok'. It was like it was telling us "Yes, we know you know it's wires, but you and we are ok with it". And I was. It starts with The Monkey King kicking some butt up on top of a fake looking mountain top, and then *poof* we find out that it was all but a dream. Jason Tripitikas wakes up and heads to his favorite pawn shop down in Chinatown to pick up some more kung-fu movies. As Jason is heading out of Chinatown, he gets stopped by some local thugs/bullies. They make fun of him about his kung-fu movies and then show him some of their own fighting style. After the beat down they tell him to take them to the pawn shop so they can rob the place. The old man, knowing a few moves himself, takes it to them, but only cheated out of the grace of fighting like a man, by a single bullet. Jason runs from the thugs with a staff that the old man hands him. As Jason tries to get away, he falls and lands...
...in a different world in a different time. He comes across a man named Lu Yan (Chan) who tells him about his staff. That it once belonged to powerful man named The Monkey King. The Monkey King was tricked into a non fair fight and before the King was imprisoned he sent his staff away so that someone could come rescue him with it. They assume it's Jason, but is it? As they travel to where the Monkey King is imprisoned they come across Golden Sparrow. A girl seeking revenge for her family's death. They also come across The Silent Monk (Li), who is also on a mission to free the Monkey King. With their journeys intertwined, we can only hope for some sweet Kung-Fu action. And boy do we get it.
Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li was truly fun to watch. We all know it could've been MUCH better if they were probably 10 or 15 years younger than they are, but come on, it was still a great fight scene. Praying Mantis, Snake, Tiger, Crane, all types of Kung-Fu was used. It was definitely something to witness.
The Monkey King vs. The Jade Emperor, even though CGI enhanced and wire enhanced, was pretty awesome. It made the fact that they were godlike characters more believable. The CG used for this was spectacular and looked close to being real.
And there were many more scenes where Lu Yan, The Silent Monk, the Golden Sparrow are fighting all types of people. You won't be bored with a lack of Kung-Fu.
I also liked how there was a white haired woman bounty hunter after them. When she fought her hair became part of arsenal along with a whip she carried. Now I've seen some Kung-Fu flicks with people using their long hair before and the way it seems fake, always made it great. In this movie, when she starts to whip her hair around, it's CG looking (but once again this does not hurt it), until it hits the person. For instance on one scene it's got Lu Yan grabbing her hair and looks totally fake, but at the same time amazing. It felt like a throwback to some of the older movies. Man I loved it.
Some people are complaining that this was too kiddy. Well, I can see where they are coming from because there isn't a deep story here. It did feel like it was more geared towards a `not really having to think about it' crowd. And you know what. GOOD. I don't always have to think about stuff when I'm watching a good action flick. I actually had a blast watching this because I think if it took itself to seriously, most of the fight scenes would have been `eye rolling' instead of fantastic.
In the end I would say grab this movie up as soon as you can and sit the kids down with a large Papa Johns pizza and have a fun time.
P.S. The way the story was set up, with the kid going from reality into an almost storybook tale, to come back into reality with things he learned... it sort of makes me think of The Never Ending Story but with Kung-Fu instead of a gigantic flying dog.
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So the commercials all promote Jackie Chan and Jet Li. What they neglect to do is mention, I dunno, the **main character** of the film, a young Boston kid named Jason Tripitikas (played by Michael Anganaro).
So the movie's basically a kid film. You have a reluctant hero who gets sent to a fantasy version of China, and along the way he learns martial arts and Eastern philosophy.
What did I like about it? The fight scenes are, for the most part, fantastic. They start off a little weak, get better over time, and then get absolutely fantastic when you have both Jet Li and Jackie Chan in the film. The fight scenes are weakest when there's too much CGI in them -- but most of them are purely physical, and quite good.
The Chinese fantasy aspects are authentic, if not accurate (much in the same way the HBO series Rome is not a completely accurate recounting of events, but an authentic recreation of the tone of ancient Rome). They throw in things like The Monkey King and his golden staff, soldier monks, drunken immortals and even The Bride With White Hair. And the Chinese philosophy, for those familiar with it, is spot on.
Jackie Chan and Jet Li are fantastic not only as fighters, but comedically as well. (There's a scene involving rain that had absolutely everyone in the theater laughing hard.) Anganaro puts in a surprising turn physically -- he looks like he got a lot of martial training. Yifei Liu is heartbreakingly lovely.
It's probably a little scary for young kids -- there is some intense violence in the beginning, for instance. And there are sappy moments, as you would expect for a kid's film. But it means well. I have to say that I had a bit of trouble making out the English of some of the Chinese actors sometimes, tho -- and I'm Chinese-American! I worry others might have even worse problems.
Still, overall, I liked it."
3 ½ - Stars: Entertaining and "Family-Friendly" Action-Fanta
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 06/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jet Li and Jackie Chan: two of Hong Kong's most renowned superstars. Who would win in a fight? Who's faster and more agile? This question has been in every Martial Arts fans' mind and this project has been a long time in the making, Asian film fans have all but given up on the idea after the little melee in 1995 called "High Risk" wherein Li would play a bodyguard to Chan. It was said that Chan turned down the project because of his character's lack of creative depth, while someone I know who worked with him said it was Li who didn't want to work with Chan. Chan attempted to break into the Hollywood fold via "The Big Brawl" but it wasn`t really until "Rumble in the Bronx" and "Rush Hour" did he really get noticed. Jet Li stole the show in "Lethal Weapon 4" and enjoyed "Kiss of the Dragon`s" box-office success. Those projects were about ten years ago. "FORBIDDEN KINGDOM" may not be the best film to have them show their stuff and the two may have their best roles behind them, but hey, they can still duke it out like no one else.
Jason is a young man who is very obsessed with Asian Martial arts films. Most of the time, he spends his time in a pawnshop owned by a kindly old man in the hunt for rare Asian Films. One day, he crosses paths with a gang of bullies who intend to rob the old man. The old man asks Jason to take the staff away from all the chaos and as if by some stroke of fate, Jason find himself in another world, another time. A mystical world ruled by the evil Jade warlord (Collin Chou) who wants the very staff given him by the old man in the pawnshop. Supposedly the staff is the key to power in the kingdom and must be returned to its rightful owner; the Monkey King. He meets up with a drunken man named Lu Yan (Jackie Chan), a pretty young woman bent on vengeance named "Golden Sparrow" (Crystal Liu Yifei) and a stoic monk (Jet Li). Together they challenge the forces of the warlord led by a lovely silver-mane woman named Ni Chang ( Li Bing Bing, Dragon Heat) or perish in the attempt--
The film may be America's tribute to Asian cinema and surprisingly, the film is directed by Rob Minkoff; yes, the same director who gave us Disney's "Haunted Mansion". No big-shot Hong Kong director takes the helm but an American director. Don't worry, at least the filmmakers were smart enough to get the services of a legendary Martial Arts director; Yuen Woo-Ping. The film has a lot of references to Asian cinema, quite a lot that would put even Tarantino to shame. Ni Chang is lovely and looks like a tribute to the Wuxia epic; "Bride with White Hair". While Golden Sparrow is a tribute to Cheng Pei Pei's "Golden Swallow"; she even quotes "Come Drink with me", a Cheng Pei Pei film. The bamboo forest looks reminiscent to "A Touch of Zen" and "House of flying Daggers". Scenes of "A Monkey goes West" is even seen in Jason's Television screen. I was ready to bash this film until I saw it for what it was; an American-kid's tribute to Hong Kong cinema. Someone who loves Chan and Li, who would give Asian cinema the respect it deserves. The filmmakers had good intentions and as an Asian film fan, I applaud them for their ambition.
The film's showstopper lies in its hyper-kinetic action sequences. Yuen Woo-Ping (also responsible for Kill Bill, Kung Fu Hustle) knows his stuff and it is no surprise that he is Asia's premier fight choreographer. The fight between Chan and Li was fairly long and the film's main draw. Sure, the intensity isn't as hard-hitting as the climactic battles in "Legend of Drunken Master" and "Fist of Legend" but nonetheless, it was still masterfully done. Use of "wire fu" is obvious and the fight was well-executed and cleverly choreographed. It was very "family-friendly" as was its intention. The battles with Collin Chou (Donnie Yen's opponent in FlashPoint) was more bloody than the other fights but it still maintained its limits. There are quite a decent number of fight sequences that die-hard fans of Martial Arts films will be at home.
The performances are good for the most part; Li's performance isn't on his "The Warlords" caliber but it'll do as the quiet(?) monk. Chan's character is more witty and sharp-tongued. Chan's humorous appeal helps the film's pace and assists the scenes without any exciting action. Collin Chou's Jade warlord seemed a bit too underwhelming as the villain (the mascara has to go). However, his aid, Ni Chang (Played by Li Bing Bing) is so lovely that she eats up the screen with her whip-wielding, white-haired charisma that will undoubtedly strike a familiar image to Asian cinema fan boys. Sparrow may be the epitome of the ultimate Asian-woman; she has that intensity but maintains a girl next door look. Michael Angarano plays Jason; he may look very awkward at first but his character grew on me after awhile.
"Forbidden Kingdom" does have its share of problems but somehow, it overshadows them. The Yuen Woo-Ping directed fight sequences is the film's main strength, along with Jackie Chan's humorous appeal and it doesn't hurt to have Jet Li around either. The film is a bit too family-friendly for my tastes but thankfully, the filmmakers made it work. The plot is a bit too simple but it knew exactly what it wanted to do. Its execution may be lacking at times but the appearance of the classic "Golden Sparrow" and "Ni Chang" characters with Chan's character reminiscent of his "Drunken Master" days and Jet Li as a monk, reminiscent of Shaolin Temple; the film is an enjoyable affair. I give the American filmmakers credit where its due; they managed to get these two superstars together--something HK cinema wasn't really able to do.
RECOMMENDED! [3 ½ - Stars]
Stallone and Schwarzenegger together?
I own the 2-disc HK release from JoySales. (same transfer should be utilized)
VIDEO/AUDIO: 2.40 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is amazing. Sharp, very detailed and clean with radiant colors. If the U.S. release sports the same transfer, it would look very impressive. I also hope that it would include the 6.1 DTS-ES audio as well as the 5.1 Dolby Digital track.
Features: Trailers--Cast/Crew interviews--Premier--Behind the scenes--Photo Gallery
The U.S. release should have a Digital copy.
Jackie Chan & Jet Li, a great combination
Jim Gateley | Sunnyvale, CA | 09/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"5 of 5 stars for the fantasy adventure movie The Forbidden Kingdom. FK stars two of my favoriteaction actors in lead roles, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. I understand that this movie is based on a Chinese story of the Monkey King (btw I was born in the year of the Monkey). Jet Li plays the Monkey King who is captured by a evil lord and held forever. The magic staff (long pole) of the Monkey King makes it way thru time to a shop in LA. A young man (Michael Angarano) is given the staff by the shop keeper and told to return to its rightful owner. He finds that he has been transported to the Forbidden Kingdom where his adventure begins. First he meets a drunk man (Jackie Chan) and later a young lady "the Sparrow" (Yifei Liu).
A really nice story that is beautifully photographed. The wire line fights were good but as always seem fake (ah I mean super-natural). The story is good for the whole family. Great fight sequences (of course when you have Li and Chan). I specially liked how Li played the Monkey King during fight sequences. The beautiful sweetheart of the movie is the Sparrow (Liu). The sexy one is "the Witch" (Bingbing Li) with her magic hair.
A really wonderful fantasy movie and well worth the time to watch. I highly recommend this movie. The Blu-Ray has alot of behind the scenes materials and is well worth watching. Pass the popcorn and let's watch it again!"