Friday, February 17, 2012

Too IP to be Square

Ip Man (2008)
Yip Man (original title)

currently #232 on the new list
From IMDb

A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun.

Ip Man is a Chinese film starring Donnie Yen and directed by Wilson Yip.  I watched the film in it's native Chinese with English subtitles.

Ever since I was a child watching the Karate Kid, I have had a love for martial arts films.  In fact one of the first DVDs I ever purchased was Legend of the Drunken Master.  So when deciding what film to start my mini-marathon with, I wanted to choose something that I knew had a high probability of at least entertaining me for the couple hours it played.  Ip Man delivered.

The first act of the film feels as if it could have starred Jackie Chan, filled with moments such as Ip Man fighting another master with a bamboo feather duster.  It is light-hearted and was very remniscent of films like the Legend of the Drunken Master.  But as the film moves into the second act it takes on a darker tone.  This is marked with the Japanese invasion and occupation of China in the 1930's.  Ip Man falls from his prestigious position in society to a level where he must scratch together a living for him and his family doing whatever jobs are available.

Ip Man connected on all levels with me.  The fight choreography was fantastic and was grounded in reality (as much as martial arts movies ever are) unlike films such as Croaching Tiger Hidden Dragon.  The story was powerful and heartfelt which is all the more impressive since I discovered at the conclusion of the film that it is based on a true story.  How historically accurate it is, I am unsure but it still adds something to the film.  The performances were exceptional especially compared to other films in the genre.  Donnie Yen and notably Lynn Hung, who plays Ip Man's wife, were quite well done.

If you you are a fan of the martial arts genre of films, or are just a fan of action movies in general, stop what you are doing now and go watch this film.  You'll thank me later.

Friday, February 10, 2012

We now pause for a message from our sponsors...

I had every intention of spending the entire day today sitting in front of my tv soaking in as much great films as humanly possible, only pausing for food and bathroom breaks (for me and the dogs). But my job threw a wrench into my plans and so I sit here at work. Fortunately its only for a couple hours for CPR training, but definitely not where I want to be. Of course, it would've been an even shorter amount of time had I not arrived a half hour early. Oh well, they ensure that a roof remains over my head so I guess I can't complain too much. So we'll just leave it as to be continued...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Posts to come...

Well it's been a little while since I last posted, and even longer since I last watched a movie from the List. That is about to change. My better half has left the dogs and I for the weekend to visit a friend in Boston, which means I have complete control over the TV in the living room. So I'm going to take this unique opportunity to catch up on as many films off the list as possible.

Let the lightning round begin with...IP Man. (Yeah I know, it's not technically on MY list but it's on the updated list on imdb and since this is my blog, I make the rules. If you don't like it you can leave....please don't leave. I didn't mean it baby, I'm sorry.)