Tag Archives: nyaff

GALLANTS

bruce leung at NYAFF - Gallants screening pics by Mr. C
mc jin at Gallants screening. Pics by MR. C
MC Jin at the Gallants screening on 7/8 (pics by Mr. c)

The screening of Gallants at the New York Asian Film festival on 7/8, the 2nd to last film of the event brought me tremendous happiness & sadness at the same time because we all knew it was near the end of the festival. The attendance of Bruce Leung & MC Jin at the Gallants showing was fun,fun,fun! Bruce Leung signed my program & I got a photo taken with him as well! I also spoke briefly with MC Jin to congratulate him on a job well done acting in his 1st HK movie & to give him props for his new mix tape called “Say Something”! MC Jin played in a role in “2 Fast 2 Furious” some years ago as well.

After reading a brief synopsis of the movie before watching it that night, I kept on hearing a reoccurring theme of old school & throwback being used to describe this film. I’m not quite sure if that description gives the movie it’s due justice,though. The fighting choreography was not akin to old school or shaw brother studio-esq nor did the plot of the movie take me back to memory lane of the movies from the 70’s or 80’s. In my estimation, the only thing old school were the gem of veteran actors that were served on a platter for our viewing pleasures! The overall theme for this movie was not about fighting,martial arts, or stunts. The message of the film was about BROTHERHOOD & the undying LOVE for their master & the 30 years of hardship that they endured while waiting for their teacher to awake from his coma. Shaw Brother great, Chan Koon Tai, Bruce Leung, Law Mong (Shaw Brother fixture), Teddy Robin, & Chan Wai Man round out the proven all stars selected to tell us about this wonderful tale. I got goosebumps & chills when they introduced the characters in the film with a millisecond freeze frame & caption with the name of the actor & the role that they played! The theater roared & clapped their hands when all the veteran actors of yesteryear were introduced to us in one by one fashion! I know I did my part in hootin’ & hollerin’! I doubt that this film got this same type of attention & love in their home city of Hong Kong! Nobody in Hong Kong seems to notice or care about these seasoned kick ass(literally) actors & actresses anymore. Proof? I asked my family who acknowledged these names from the depths of the wonder years, but they all asked me why do you watch these geriatric folks that are not current anymore? Why? Because they influenced & paved the path for these new young guns. To be honest, I enjoy & relate to most of these old time actors more than I do the current ones. An ounce of passion from these veteran stars would deflect a thousand pounds of Hong Kong canto-pop ,anyday! Original gangster actors & their skills in martial arts are lost at sea to the new generation of acting droids. I’m real proud of us fans in the USA for showing love & appreciating the skills of acting & fighting on screen from these studded all stars from the 70’s & 80’s! For me, seeing these great actors again is similiar to fantasizing about your favorite retired boxer like Joe Frazier,Muhammad Ali,Larry Holmes, & Mike Tyson step back in the ring again. You know they can never step in the ring again to duplicate their moves like they once did, but you still highly respect them for being the old tigers they are! Enough with talking around the movie! Let’s talk about the movie! Forget the nostalgia! This film was a hilarious feel good story with a comic book style way of telling it! In a nutshell, this film is about an officespace worker who gets shitted on by all his co-workers & boss. He gets assigned the crap duty in the boondocks of Hong Kong to help real estate management evict a tea house tenant leased by Master Law(teddy robin) & managed by 2 of his best kung fu students, Tiger(Bruce leung) & Dragon(Chan Koon Tai). The Tea house was formerly a martial art temple, but was converted to a restaurant while master law remained in a 30 year old coma from an epic battle with the big bad foes. It’s a classic tale between the forces of good & evil when “The gates of Law” martial arts defend their tea house against the evil of Law Mong & MC Jin. MC Jin, a real life hip hop artist from Queens,NY did a great job in his 1st ever movie role produced in Hong Kong. It was seriously hilarious when Master Law awakes from his coma & goes about his life like it was 30 years ago. He instantly asks for his smelly aged,dry duck, inquires about his deceased wife, & his 2 young studded students, Dragon & Tiger who are now fighting the clutches of father time! Dragon & Tiger show glimpses of their fighting glory ,but their skills are definitely a corpse of what they once were. Teddy Robin does a tremendous job playing the role of Master Law! He is a kung fu master full of shits & giggles,all 4 ft tall of him! Times get tough when Master Law suddenly dies. Law passes the seed to his students with the message of “If you want to win, then don’t fight, but if you fight, you MUST win!” This message will come in play when they enter a martial arts tournament. Tiger takes this message to heart when he battles a younger foe in honor of his teacher & the “gates of law” kung fu! the old lions in this movie really show that they still have the moves! The real message of the movie is not about winning or losing, but to always try your best with the utmost passion till the very end! Law Mong, Bruce Leung, Chan Koon Tai, & Chan Wai Man are my Joe Frazier’s,Mike Tyson’s, & Larry Holmes of the kung fu movie world! Thumbs up to this movie for the comedic relief, nostalgic actors, & flashes of kung fu glory! The soundtrack for the film was dope as all hell, too! It made me want to train & sit in a horse stance for quite some time till my legs started to quiver! Something of note, Chan Koon Tai plays the role of Dragon who manages the Tea House. In 1974, Chan Koon Tai starred in the “The Tea House” that he also managed in. In the 1970’s, Chan Koon Tai took no prisoners because he was a real martial arts champion in the ring before jumping into films!

Bruce Leung & MC Jin were in attendance at the screening of Gallants & they were touched by the standing ovation that we gave them! Gallants’ movie theme & casting screamed “underdog” & we love to root for underdogs! Subway cinema announced that Gallants & Castaway on the Moon were winners for the audience favorite awards from the festival! It’s no surprise to me because I really enjoyed both of those movies!

–Mr. C (Pics & video courtesy of Planetchocko & mr. c)

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IP MAN 2

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The anticipation of the screening of Ip Man 2 on opening night of the New York Asian Film Festival on June 25th created palpitations that only job interviews & colonoscopies can rival, but in a good way! Ip Man, the 1st movie told us about a story of the man himself who lived an aristocratic lifestyle & loved his art of Wing Chun in Foshan, China. The occupancy of the japanese created a rougher grit of sandpaper being added to the daily life of the chinese so many families escaped into the arms of Hong Kong under British rule. Enter, Ip Man 2. Ip Man 2 shows us the humble Ip Man, his pregnant wife, & his son struggling to pay the rent. Finding Wing Chun students to teach on the rooftops of Hong Kong proves to be difficult when other martial art schools take this as competition for business. This all comes to a head when Donnie Yen who plays the Wing Chun master, Yip Man is challenged by the “Kung Fu federation” to see if he is worthy to teach his art. After Yip Man’s fierce martial battle with the organization , the chinese martial art schools have other issues to deal with like the big bad British authorities & their big bad western boxer named “Twister”. I’ll spare you the details of the movie, but I’m sure you aliens can predict the outcome! What I can tell you is that at the end of the movie surfaces a young brat who wishes to learn wing chun from Yip Man with his hair slicked back, flicking his nose with his thumb, wearing jeans, & professes his desire to learn how to fight! His name is Lee, the “little dragon”, otherwise known as Bruce Lee to all the “Gwei Lo’s” & martians like myself. Can you say IP MAN 3? Gwei Lo roughly translates to “Foreign devil” or “western ghost”. Many chinese use the gwei lo term to identify westerners. I wonder what the chinese character for Martians or Aliens is?

Seriously speaking, Ip man 2 was chock full of refreshing energy on a real life character that many martial artists in the asian & western world can directly point their kung fu lineage to. Yip Man was a humble person practicing his art of peacefulness & destruction while not appearing to walk on water like other characters being portrayed on the screen like Wong Fei Hong. Wilson Yip did a great job directing the film in my opinion. The consultation with the real life son of Ip Man, Ip Chun on the movie in respects to the martial art & history is priceless. The additions of some well known Shaw Brother actors from the 1970’s like Lo Meng & the character that played the “Ba Gua” master in the film were fantastic. I wished these 2 great shaw brother actors of yesteryear would of gotten better choreography in the film instead of the quirky styles & characters that they portrayed, but I might be getting too technical here. Overall, the film housed some real badass old school kung fu choreography, but there were some flashes of wire “FU” work that I wasn’t too keen on. Why do you need wire fu when you’ve got the horses in your film that can display real kung fu? This crap still boggles my mind, but I guess the concensus of the chinese market is that they like the walk on water & fantasy crapola. In my mindless thinking, Wing Chun is the most direct & non-flashy of all the Chinese martial arts. We definitely don’t need any artificial enhancements to this fighting system. Come to think of it, none of the martial arts needs any performing enhancing attributes. A skilled martial artist provides his own stroke to create a painting with no help from technology. With Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen, & a world of real practictioners on your movie set, you would think there would be no need for any instances of “The Matrix”. Let me not digress to this Wire Fu stress because I’m about to blow an artery. Back to the man himself, let’s not forget that IP Man was a very important figure in the chinese martial arts world. Yip Man was a simpleton at heart with a complex mind. Yip Man went on to train relevant kung fu practictioners that would propagate the art of Chinese Kung Fu to all parts of the galaxy. With the likes of Bruce Lee, Leung Ting,William Cheung, Ip Chun(son), & Moy Yat(NYC) to name just a few accomplished students of the MAN! Many martians forget that Chinese Kung Fu is not just about the technical aspects of punching, kicking, & whoopass. Don’t get me wrong, Chinese Martial Arts was created to defend thyself from offensive neighbors, galaxies, & circumstances. However, the deep roots of Chinese Kung Fu also circles back to the cultural aspects of the art that many martians will never understand & grasp for those just wanting to learn how to kick & punch.

Fellow monchichis, do yourselves a favor & watch this film at your nearest Independent movie theatre! At the very least, catch it on netflix or buy it on DVD when it becomes available! I guarantee that there will be an increase in signups at your nearest Wing Chun school after a viewing of this movie! Wha..bisch…Wha..bisch..awe..awe..Suecky..Suecky!

–Mr. C (Ip Man 2 is 7 out of 10 stinky tofus!)
(pics,article,& video courtesy of Mr. C @planetchocko.com)

sammo simon

SAMMO HUNG GUM BO,SIMON YAM, & HUANG BO at Star Asia Awards-NYAFF 2010

sammo solo
simon yam
huang bo being presented with award by fellow actor in movie, the Cow!

This Planet Chocko martian had a privilege to attend the smattering of asteroids & awards being handed out to honor Hong Kong cinema legends Sammo Hung Kum Bo, Simon Yam, & to recognize a new/upcoming actor Huang Bo at the Star Asia Awards Ceremony on June 25th in conjuction with the New York Asian Film Festival hosted by Subway Cinema! Sammo, known as “Dai Goi Dai” to his close friends which translates to Big Brother big shows that his circle of friends & peers give him the utmost of respect when greeting him with this title. Dai Goi Dai is usually reserved for a person with high authority like a crime boss or someone with a tremendous amount of influence in his circle of business. Deservingly so because Sammo was the eldest training brother of the “7 little fortunes” including Jackie Chan,Yuen Biao, & Yuen Wah under the tutelage of Jimmy Yuen’s Peking Opera Academy in Hong Kong. Sammo Hung was the leader of the seven little fortunes and soon thereafter, began to blaze a trail in the Hong Kong film industry that his classmates would eventually take a walk on. Shaw Brother directors such as Chang Cheh & King Hu began to notice Sammo’s skill in fight choregraphy & so…the first domino started to fall as the “Fatty Dragon” began making a name for himself. Even Bruce Lee took a notice to the ‘plump one’ & Jackie Chan as well when casting them in fight scenes. From Wuxia genres like “Come Drink with Me” & the “Fate of Lee Khan” to Kung Fu slapstick like “Meals on Wheels” to “Enter the Fat Dragon”, to Wing Chun inspired movies like “Prodigal Son”,”Warriors Two”, & “Ip Man”, Sammo has had his hands in the cookie jar in all aspects of the phrase! The ‘fatty dragon’ reigns supreme, the cookie monster said so! It’s really an honor to be able to hear & see one of Hong Kong’s legends in person!

Simon Yam has easily been one of my favorite actors in the cop & gangster themed Hong Kong movies since the early 80’s. Even the casual HK cinema film fan would recognize Simon based on the sheer number of movies he has acted in. From John Woo’s, “Bullet in head” to “Full Contact” to the famous “Young & the Dangerous” series, I can always picture Simon in a Hong Kong Police uniform and people calling him “a sir”. If Tony Leung or Chow Yun Fat is in the movie, I expect to see Simon as well! I went to a screening of “Echoes of the Rainbow” last night at the New York Asian Film festival in the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center & I can see why Simon was finally nominated as being actor of the year with this film. Simon Yam made a brief appearance before the screening of Echoes of the Rainbow & he mentioned that this movie was very close to his heart. Echoes of the Rainbow tells a story about a family living in 1960’s Hong Kong. The movie was narrated by the youngest son in the movie & it was touching indeed. This film hit home with me because the town they were portraying was also the town were my family lived in the 1960’s. The area was called “Tsam Tsui Bo”. It’s to no surprise that Simon was recognized by the Hong Kong film industry & the New York Asian Film Festival for his excellency & persistence in keeping us martians entertained in our spaceships! The question is, why did it take so long?

A rising star award was also handed out to China’s actor, Huang Bo. He’s a newcomer & I’m looking forward to watching some of his movies on display at the festival!

Oh, my Lord Godless(taken from “Storm Warriors”), I forgot to mention that Angela Mao Ying came out to present Sammo Hung with his lifetime achievement award! What a great surprise! She disappeared from the film industry about 30 years ago when she decided her family was more important than the non lucrative sport of acting & traveling to make films. Rumors had it that Angela owned a Chinese restaurant somewhere in Flushing,Queens. Angela Mao Ying was my favorite Hong Kong actress because she exuded mojo,the look, & her kick ass skills to the screen when women weren’t supposed to be strong like a tigress! Angela parallels another strong actress of a different spectrum of the rainbow named Pam Grier without the breastesses & hairdo! I must say Angela Mao looked dynomite even 30 years later! Pam Grier still looks hot as well! Maybe we should honor Angela, too! Hint Hint…Subway Cinema & New York Asian Film Festival! Fate of Lee Khan, When Tae Kwan Do strikes, Lady Kung fu, whatcha’ sayin’?!
–Mr. C (pics,article,& video courtesy of Mr. C @planetchocko.com)
sammo & angela mao ying
Angela Mao

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