Fury: Marching to the Beat of Any Drum

Fury: Marching to the Beat of Any Drum

Having seen the film Fury at the cinema as an early screener, the movie was enjoyable but not overly so. After looking at other reviewers waxing lyrical about the Pitt and co in the tank film, it appears that some people are so desperate for a war film that they want to march to the beat of any drum, whether it fits or not. This sort of “Charge of the Light Brigade,” on a smaller scale than the actual suicidal campaign, is good as far as combat movies go, Fury has something for everyone.

Outlander: Stockings on Stockings Off (Review and Trailer)

Outlander: Stockings on Stockings Off (Review and Trailer)

Watching the premiere of Outlander, which was so kindly offered for free by STARZ (taking a note from SHOWCASE) the first thing that is apparent, apart from an overly long amount of time spent “getting to the action,” is that the series starts off with a continuity problem, stockings on, stockings off and back on again. No less than three times, while the series protagonist is running through the Scottish woodland, the heroine shows at different times in the same scene mud spattered naked legs with no stockings, or tights (pantyhose if this being watched stateside) only to be clearly covered up with hosiery seconds later. This happens enough to be noticeable.

Gilbert Taylor Legendary British Star Wars Cinematographer Dies

Gilbert Taylor Legendary British Star Wars Cinematographer Dies

Gilbert Taylor, the legendary British cinematographer best known for his work on such films as Star Wars; the 1976 film The Omen; and Dr Strangelove has died at the age of 99. Taylor’s wife Dee told the BBC that he had died on Friday.

Ip Man (2008): Donnie Yen’s Masterful Performance

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It is not often that a film benefits from having not just one legend, but two associated with it. Ip Man has two. Starring the legendary Donnie Yen in what is quite possibly his best role ever and featuring choreography by the legendary Sammo Hung. (Who when asked how he was going to work with Yen to direct the action scenes, Hung replied matter-of-factly, “With my mouth.”) *Wikipedia* 

Both men are well-known for their fight choreography with Sammo nudging Donnie out by sheer number of years that he’s been practising his craft.

Directed with past Yen collaborator  Wilson Yip, Ip Man is the “true story” of Yip Man grandmaster of Wing Chun and master of film legend Bruce Lee. Touted as being semi-biographcal, the film is pretty liberal with the “truth” as things of this nature tend to be. While the rudimentary facts may be correct a lot of things were added to make the film more entertaining.

Despite this frugality with the real facts, the film is a powerful one. The recreation of Foshan in Shanghai looks so authentic you feel as if the film company had really gone back in time to shoot the scenes.

Some complaints were raised about Ip Man’s house being incorrect and that he never shovelled coal during the occupation and the facts of his move to Hong Kong are misleading. But as the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance says, “print the legend.” Or in this case, make it up.

Yen is stunning as the placid, peace-loving martial artist who won’t give lessons and spars with the local masters privately in order to save them the public embarrassment of being beaten.

At one point, he has to take on a usurper from outside the town. This ruffian fights his way through all the Foshan martial art instructors until only Ip Man is left. Going to his home, the outsider brings what looks like the members of every school in the town to watch him beat Ip Man.

Everyone in Foshan knows that Ip Man will be victorious and he is.

Everything changes in 1937 when the Japanese invade China and this is where majority of the drama and tension come into the film.

The legendary Sammo Hung.
The legendary Sammo Hung.

The fight scenes are exciting, original, and furious. The Wing Chun style is breathtaking to watch and the other martial arts battles are impressive as well.

The entire cadre of actors in the film sold their characters and I spotted quite a few familiar faces in it.

My only complaint was that in some instances parts of the story were a bit “over the top” so that it almost felt like a “kitchen sink” drama instead of a biopic. But theatricality aside the film looks, overall, fantastic and I got caught up with the characters and the “true” story completely.

A real 5 out of 5 stars for a film that had me munching my popcorn furiously throughout. I’m now going to “watch’ my way through the rest of the films in this four film series.

Even if you don’t love martial arts films the story of Yip Man could turn you into a fan.

The real Ip Man (Yip Man) and a young Bruce Lee.
The real Ip Man (Yip Man) and a young Bruce Lee.