2014 Year End Review
Father Time just keeps on moving and we are at the end of another year. As humans, we can be thankful for continuing to live, work, play, and strive toward our goals. As Kung Fu film fans we can look forward to more martial arts cinema in our lives for the upcoming year (2015). Let’s take a look back at some of the cool moments, especially for old school classic Kung Fu cinema that re-affirmed our love for the Golden Era of Kung Fu Cinema and also let us know that old school is not ready to die! This is not an exhaustive list so please feel free to leave some highlights that you may know in the comments section.
El Rey Network partnering with Celestial Pictures to broadcast Shaw Brothers- Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network pulled off one of the best moves in Cable TV history in terms of Kung Fu movies when it secured a partnership with Celestial Pictures to show the iconic Shaw Brothers martial arts movies. The deal includes 255 movies to be broadcast over 5 years dating from their deal on October 1, 2014. This is a big hooray for fans of our beloved genre who have access to the El Rey Network. Read more about the deal here.
Director Wong Ching Po and fight director Master Yuen Woo Ping bring us Once Upon a Time in Shanghai-
New school stars Phillip Ng ( as Ma Yongzhen) and Andy On (as Long Qi) clash with old school stars Chen Kuan Tai, Yuen Cheung Yan, Fung Hak On as well as Ma Yongzhen is mentored by Sammo Hung ( Master Tie) in this modern re-make of The Boxer from Shangtung. Fight scene genius Yuen Woo Ping manages to mix the old school style with the new school in a very good fashion. Best news is that it is getting a Blu Ray release January 13, 2015. You can pre-oder it here.
Wong Fei Hung is given a re-boot – It seems that every generation needs a hero and what a better hero to re-boot than Hung Gar Kung Fu Master Wong Fei Hung. Wong has been played by the immortal Kwan Tak Hing, Gordon Liu, Jet Li and even Jackie Chan. 2014 saw the debut of a new Wong Fei Hung: Eddie Peng. Rise of a Legend was released in China and Hong Kong on November 27, 2014. We get some old school flavor as Sammo Hung c0-stars. Some interesting news to come out of the film, however, is that Eddie Peng has become a disciple of Sammo. Could we see our next contender to the throne in Eddie Peng? Additionally, Universal Pictures has acquired the Noprth American rights to Rise of a Legend so at some point we will see a DVD and Blur Ray rlease and maybe a big screen release as well.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon gets a sequel – The mainstream Wu Xia success gets a sequel directed by Yuen Woo Ping! The cast includes the returning Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) and Roger Yuan. The really big news is that the movie is set to be released in IMAX and on Netflix the same day prompting many theater chains such as AMC, Cinemark, Regal, and Carmike. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II is set for a August 28, 2015 release date. Read more about CTHDII here.
Indie films bring the noise! 2014 saw a rise in coverage, quantity, and quality of independent action/martial arts films. Films such as Die Fighting and Falcon Rising have great action and fight scenes. But these are just the tip of the iceberg as directors and fight choreographers are putting out some cool short films, demo reels, and web series that feature martial arts prominently. As stated earlier this is not an exhaustive list bet check the following out for some good action and martial arts:
Nightwing: The Series
O Amuleto do Dragao
Blue Phoenix Stunt Team
The Black Panther Unleashed
It was a good year for martial arts entertainment and 2015 looks to be another good year. Film Fan Dojo will continue to cover old school Kung Fu movies and looks to add other features to our site. I hope 2014 was a good year, full of love, prosperity, and of course Kung Fu. Have a great New Year!!