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Crouching Diaper, Hidden Ding Dong

December 7, 2015
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I make fun of the name, but in truth, I really enjoyed the first movie.  I even own it on DVD.  The boys and I saw it in IMAX when it came out, and after the event, with barely 4 years between them (Cornie not even imagined yet), they were wire-fu-ing all over the house.  Lots of fun.  It was when I was lying on the floor and Tim was in a diaper “Crouching” on the couch, ready to pounce on me, that I realized the true name of the movie.  Anyway, with the exception of this movie (an excellent review here) and The Matrix, I refuse to watch any more have seen very little of the of the wire-fu genre.  It is an insult to a culturally significant sub-genre of the martial arts films, formerly dominated in my mind, by Bruce Lee movies, which need no support wires to make them totally awesome!  Since this is a sequel, I may  will have to watch it.

 

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8 Comments
  1. Blankman permalink*
    December 8, 2015 2:26 am

    You don’t know the history of Kung Fu flicks, Suns. Wire Fu is an art form. I don’t think it’s right to denounce that stunt technique as blasphemous to martial arts. I’ve watched those “insults to martial arts” my entire childhood life to the present, and have even practiced Kung Fu. Heck, I’ve even sent a few of my all-time favorite films to you and the boys.

    The Shaw Brothers revitalized interest in martial arts films in the 80s because of their use of wire acrobatics & stunts. It made Asians into superheroes that served as the precursor to all the superhero flicks that we’re inundated with now. Before the martial arts films, ugly stereotypes were the only thing that was depicted of Asians. When those Black Belt theater shows came out, people started seeing Asians in a different light. Instead of weak/frail doormats to every race, we were a people to be reckoned with and at times- feared. There are many cultural aspects related to the important role that martial arts films played with the general perspective of the “yellow man.”

    Now, I write this out of love for my BFAM. Even though you may be married to an Asian woman and your sons are Asian, being Asian is a completely different experience. I can tell you that I was picked on and laughed at in elementary school along with my other Asian friends because all that the media showed were negative and insulting stereotypes. My teacher even tested me for ESL (English as a Second Language) simply because I was a quiet Asian. You’ve heard my story and know that because of cultural upbringing, kids shouldn’t be heard unless they are directly addressed.

    Remember that racist ass Calgon commercial?!? “Ancient Chinese secret” with a horrible accent by a white actress. GTFOOHWTBS! Look, I absolutely love Looney Tunes (I have all of their remastered cartoons), but even Warner Bros was pumping out the Asian stereotype of slanted eyes, bucked teeth, and terrible accents because when they were originally made, it was World War II and America was at war with Japan.

    When The Shaw Brothers flicks took American television by storm, the attitudes toward Asians definitely changed. It was like a wave of vindication whether it was physically possible to perform those feats at all, but one thing was for sure; we hadn’t felt that good about being Asian in a very long time.

    Wire Fu made Asians mysterious and superhuman because the general public had some knowledge of Shaolin monks. People knew that martial artists could break boards, bricks, ice, and concrete; even bend metal. They could perform feats that “normal” humans couldn’t. Why couldn’t they jump twenty feet or land like a cat from ridiculous heights? Even though all of this wasn’t true, it felt good to know that my friends were thinking that it could be in the realm of possibility because the mind could will the body to be stronger.

    Yes, I took exception to the declaration that you consider Wire Fu a “disgrace to martial arts.” From my history with that usage in film and the almost subconscious effect that it had on cultural pride, it is far from disgraceful. I know you don’t mean to offend anyone with your post, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it struck a nerve in me. Therefore, I had to provide you with a quick analysis of how it affected Asians from the eighties until the present day.

    • December 8, 2015 1:54 pm

      Thank you, Kenny! I appreciate being set right and my sincerest apologies for not understanding the cultural significance of it.

      Let me explain (not defend) where my thinking came from.

      Those Wire Fu movies were never shown in Canada, at least not on TV or in any theater that I know of. To the best of my memory, I never even saw a Wire Fu movie until CT,HD. (I did read several Taoist Monk books, though, and enjoyed them so much I had my Mom read them lol.) On the other hand, the Bruce Lee movies were shown in the theaters and available later, at the video stores. By the time I was in high school, I had seen enough and heard enough about him, that I went all the way to the downtown library just to borrow his biography, which had to be reserved and which was completely worn out. Now I know the Bruce Lee story quite well from multiple sources. I had in my mind, him with his Green Hornet (’66,’67) being the cultural icon that changed things. He certainly impacted Hollywood with his movies back in the ’70s. And while he may have used Wire Fu later in his career, he didn’t, and even if give the opportunity I don’t believe he would have, used it in the 70s had he lived longer. So in my mind, he, not the Wire Fu movies, were the ones that changed the image of Asians in the minds of others. However, I completely understand what you are saying, believe you, and change my thinking accordingly.

      By the way, you did gift me Shaolin Master Killer, but I didn’t remember it having any Wire Fu. I loved the training sequences and remember them clearly. It is a great flick which I will have to watch again, with opened-eyes.

      I am glad your iPad didn’t delete your comment. It is an important one. Thank you for opening up and sharing. I have changed the original post to reflect some of that enlightenment.

    • Blankman permalink*
      December 8, 2015 4:07 pm

      Much love, Mike! There’s wire fu in the Shaolin Master Killer (aka The 36th Chamber), but it’s used sparingly.

      I thought that I also sent you the Five Deadly Venoms. I know that I had two copies, but I only have one in my possession. If I didn’t send that extra copy to you & the boys, where the heck did it go? Argh! The Five Deadly Venoms is available on North American Netflix. If it’s not on your version of Netflix, try and watch it whenever you get the opportunity. It’s one of my favorites. Every time that I watch it (once a year), it brings me back to when I would sit cross-legged on the hardwood floor in front of the old television set. Haha!

    • December 8, 2015 4:39 pm

      Ha ha ha!! Awesome! I will check my DVD shelf for The Five Deadly Venoms. I only remember the Shaolin flick, but I will look for it. If I don’t have it, I will try to find it on Netflix. Lots of Japanese and Asian movies there. Cheers!

  2. Herandar permalink
    December 8, 2015 9:25 am

    I prefer House of Flying Daggers, myself. Worth checking out.

    And I agree with Blank. It’s an entirely separate genre of films. Don’t compare the two; appreciate both for the distinct treats they offer.

    Speaking of distinct treats the MST3K kickstarter is wrapping up in 3 days. They’ve added a lot of nice digital goodies for backers, so if it even remotely interests you, you may consider supporting it worthwhile. If you pledge $35, you will get to download at least six episodes of the original show run ($60 value) and the first episode they make next year.

    • Blankman permalink*
      December 8, 2015 10:05 am

      Yes, House of Flying Daggers is also good as Herandar has suggested. A few more suggestions would be Jet Li & Donnie Yen’s ‘Hero’ and Donnie Yen’s ‘Iron Monkey.’ I own all three of those on DVDs, and they represent the more contemporary Wire Fu films which saw a resurgence due to The Matrix films.

  3. December 8, 2015 1:16 pm

    OT:

    Destiny December Update Today. Free Content including the Sparrow Racing League. Time to end my self imposed exile from Destiny.

  4. December 9, 2015 2:26 am

    Frenik, I will make sure Cornie knows about this (though tonight we might be playing some Division if it goes live).

    And more OT

    These guys are running around with the energy and stamina of high school kids, the relational trust of a Band of Brothers, and the skills and intelligence of top, veteran NBA players. Shit’s ridiculous.

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