The Wonderful World of Hong Kong Action Cinema
Last Updated 11/2/03
The live-action comic-book movie literally takes a quantum leap in "The Matrix." What
it leaps into is a new combination of cutting-edge technology and computer-enhanced Hong
Kong acrobatics that make Hollywood action sequences look like cement mixers in low gear.
--- Jay Carr, in The Boston Globe: Wednesday, March 31, 1999 edition, page F4
[Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon screenwriter James Schamus:]
"A female-centric martial-arts movie is a good place to be. . . . I had
no doubt about that. The reaction we wanted to trigger was two women
seeing the movie and talking to their friends about it afterward. . . .
We had some assumptions that were proven wrong. . . . We felt that the
action element of the film -- which we figured was 'A guy thing' -- would
work at crosspurposes with the female-centric romantic plotline. . . .
As people streamed out of the theater [at the Cannes Film Festival and at
the New York Film Festival], the women were saying, 'Wow! I just want to
kick some ass!' So . . . we found out it wasn't so much a romance film
with some action for guys. It was an action film for women."
--- from "Producing Tiger: Neglecting His Dissertation, James Schamus Has Found
Unlikely Success in Film" by Fred Kaplan, in The Boston Globe: Sunday,
March 25, 2001 edition, pages M9 and M12
I have been a fan of Hong Kong cinema for
quite some time -- ever since I saw my first kung fu movie, SuperManchu, in
1974 -- and if anything, I find what's coming out now more thrilling than the
stuff I saw at double-features in my high-school years -- what with the likes of
Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Yuen Woo-ping, Ringo Lam, and Ronnie Yu.
I have to admit to having a tremendous liking for the Venoms-period Chang Cheh
films -- including those with Fu Sheng (I guess I'm in the minority for liking
Chang Cheh's films more than those of Lau Kar Leung, aka Liu Chia-Liang), so
I'm dying to find out what his "Baby Venoms" films are like. So far, I have seen
Hidden Hero, but if anyone has seen any of the others, can describe what they are
like, or has any leads concerning where to get some on videotape or DVD, please