Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
If your family is like mine, the holidays are normally when we catch up on watching movies. This holiday season there are a great many movies featuring Martial Arts out in the theatres and on DVD. Itís part of a continuing trend of increased exposure to Martial Arts around the world.
House of Flying Daggers The newest movie from the same director as Hero, which was re-released earlier this year, this movie is slated to be as cinematographically beautiful as it is rich in Martial Arts fight scenes. This time the director has chosen to focus on the end of the Tang Dynasty, yet another very violent period in Chinese history.
Blade: Trinity The much anticipated and awaited continuation of the Blade series is released this holiday season. This movie takes us all the way back to the origin of vampires, Dracula himself. This movie hosts two new accomplices to his task, a clear sign that weíre in for some high action fight scenes.
Hero While this movie was originally released to the Chinese audience several years ago, it has recently found a home in a Western release. The movie goes through some of the violent times of the reign of the first Chinese Emperor and is filled with the classic, high-flying, wire work that many of us old time Martial Arts watchers have grown to love. While this movie is out on DVD already, you might still be able to catch it on the big screen in some locations.
Warrior of Heaven and Earth This movie has been compared to Hero by several critics, however, in my opinion it doesnít have as much wire-work and flare. Itís done far more in the style of great Western movies like the great battle scenes in The Mummy. The scenery, set against the backdrop of the desolate Gobi dessert, does great justice to the beauty and powerful battle that is about to take place.
Not interested or not able to get out to the movie theatres? There are some older movies that you might be able to rent or catch on TV.
Matrix Trilogy Now that all the hype is done, itís finally safe to sit down and watch all three movies all the way through. While Iím not the biggest fan of how they chose to end the movie, I must admit I enjoyed several of the fight scenes, especially those featuring Donnie Yen.
Heroic Trio I talk about this movie almost every chance I get. For me, this is the defining moment in Michelle Yeohís career and really set her off to becoming a Martial Arts superstar. Cast with three other great Martial Arts actresses, this movie goes through battles these women must overcome, both against each other and the great evil.
Storm Riders A beautifully done movie, this captures the heart of live action anime. The story unfolds with three young warriors being brought up under a master, each with a different power, Wind, Cloud, and Frost. As the story unfolds, they find all they have been brought up to believe is not true and begin to battle amongst themselves for the affections of a woman. All the while, the real evil, the master that has taken them in, begins to uncover itself.
A Man Called Hero Not to be confused with the movie that recently released with the same main character name, this story is based in America. A young warrior buys time by escaping those that killed his family and plan his next moves and joining the Chinese railroad workers in the United States. Only his troubles, and the woman that loved him, follow him to this place and he must face them with some tough decisions, where life itself is on the line.