Kung Fu Fridays in March 2013

Wasn't feeling well enough to knock out the next Kung Fu Fridays poster last Friday, but here it is now, featuring a major star I'm surprised I neglected until now, Yuen Biao! He never quite made it as big as his "brothers" Jackie and Sammo, but he still has a good comedy kung fu resume. So these are the films I plan on showing in March. You might notice there's nothing on the 15th, but that's because we'll all be working at an improv tournament for the weekend.

Knockabout - Yuen Biao stars as one of two con artist brothers cheated of their fortune by Fatty the Beggar (I dare anyone to show up for their first KFF and grab that nickname!) attempt to become great fighters so they can reclaim it. Sammo Hung directs, so you know there's gonna be some silly but incredible action by the time this thing's over.

The Viral Factor - Dante Lam's 2012 action flick is a rare international thriller, as Jay Chou is wounded escorting a witness from Jordan to Norway, and must team up with his mercenary brother, Nicholas Tse to track down the villain and his stolen mutant virus. I don't know if Hong Kong plays other locations from around the world or if the story itself only takes place there, but I'm curious to find out.

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate - It's a big wuxia event from 2011, starring Jet Li and "featuring" my man Gordon Liu. I could go into the plot, but what would be the point. These big historical wuxias are full of court intrigue and melodrama, and this one has an evil eunuch in it. And we in the Kung Fu Fridays Klub do love us an evil eunuch.

The Hidden Fortress - One of the key inspirations for Star Wars in the way the action is experienced from the sidelines by two "clowns" (equivalent to the droids), Kurosawa casts Toshiro Mifune as a weary general in charge of protecting a princess (Leia?). The great experiment here is seeing how much Lucas borrowed from Fortress, and how much of Kirby's New Gods he had to throw in afterwards.

If you're in the area, March on over (ha ha), and if not, expect capsule reviews on each successive Friday on this very blog.



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