Do you remember Zeddie Little? He was the original ridiculously photogenic guy who was snapped looking fabulous while running a marathon. And yes, every part of that sentence is absolutely unfair because NO ONE EVER looks good while running. If you try and take a picture of me running, I’d be derping 99 per cent of the time or will have passed out on the ground in the last 1 percent because I don’t run.
Anyways, this unfairness also seems to extend to jiu-jitsu master Clark Gracie. As far as memes go, we know we’re just beating a dead horse here but dear god, WHY DOES YOUR FACE LOOK LIKE THAT? This is just unfair on every level. Where’s that weird contorted “I MUST DEFEAT MY ENEMY FACE?”
Hey, Andrew Garfield! We all know you’re filming the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man so we have to ask: is this your stunt double? If not, why isn’t he?
It’s not to say the wire work your current stunt guy is probably doing isn’t impressive already, but this, this is just really cool. Just watch as he flies across the air, doing moves that wouldn’t be out of place in the cartoons themselves.
The only thing missing, though, are the jokes. The best part about the current Spider-Man is that he’s actually funny. We need a little sass every now and again from the guy who seems to have the world on his shoulders.
If I could describe this martial arts move with one word, it would be: KICKASS. Proving to everyone that practice makes perfect, this quadruple kick is the epitome of bad-assery.
This is how you play cool during a match of mixed martial arts.
1. Bow your head down until the right time comes.
2. Surprise them with Gangnam Style.
When I first heard about the World Tricking Championship I legit thought it was some type of international prankster competition where a bunch of Ashton Kutcher look-a-likes assembled in a busy city and played jokes on unassuming citizens, monitored by a panel of judges. Well, apparently I was WAY off base, which makes sense because the logistics involved in a pranking competition would be complex.
In fact, tricking is a form of acrobatics where the athletes combine chains of acrobatic kicks, flips and twists in combinations or combos. Used in a sentence (provided by Urban Dictionary):
Gymnast #1: *in flamboyant voice* Oh my god! Those stupid trickers are taking up the entire floor again!
Gymnast #2: At least they aren’t as bad as those Parkour-Freerunner guys…
Now that that’s cleared up I can get to the real point. The World Tricking Championship was held in Las Vegas in May and they recently released a mashup showcasing the best routines. The competitors are basically superheroes, flipping and flying like it’s no big deal. I love that tricking focuses on fitness but also self-expression, so there’s a real emphasis on individuality.
Watch it here:
Let?s take a trip to the east. The Far East. Welcome to a whole different world.
This is a world suspiciously similar to our own, with bustling marketplaces and beautiful pastoral countryside.
However, this world is punctuated by incredibly complex bouts of hand-to-hand combat and elaborate stunts that would never be possible in North America.
A world full of honor and duty, good and evil, fists, and feet.
Welcome to the world of the kung fu film.
Whether it?s Jackie Chan?s drunken boxing or Bruce Lee?s one-inch punch, I have always held a soft spot for kung fu movies.
They have all the action of western action movies, interspersed with bits of Tao wisdom and sage, philosophical advice.
Strictly speaking, there are very few pure kung fu movies. However, for simplicity?s sake, all martial arts movies can be generally classified as kung fu, even if the actual martial art in question is very different.
Jackie Chan in Legend of the Drunken Master was actually practicing drunken boxing, not kung fu.
Moreover, in stylized films like Hero and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, the martial arts are aided with wires and computer generated effects, but the spirit of the film is still the same.
That being said, let?s call them all kung fu movies.
And on that note, there?s a couple new kung fu movies that are out on DVD which are must see.
The first one on the list ? and the most important kung fu movie of the year ? is called Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior, featuring up and coming martial arts star named Tony Jaa.
Jaa is an expert at a martial art called Muay Thai, an art form that, once mastered, allows you to knee assailants in the head and jump over small cars in a single stride.
Ong Bak is basically an excuse to showcase Muay Thai, without any movie trickery or computer assistance. One trailer claimed, ?No Nets, No Stunt Doubles, No Strings Attached.?
This claim is particularly impressive in light of some of the stunts that Jaa performs. Jumping through a wall of fire is no mean feat, and some of the flips and kicks seem nearly impossible.
If I hadn?t seen it, I wouldn?t have thought it possible for him to run across the shoulders of ten angry assailants without breaking stride.
This is Jaa?s first major film, and already there are people claiming that he will be bigger than Jackie Chan or Jet Li ? which is understandable given the mind-blowing nature of some of the stunts he does.
Ong Bak has its flaws. Even by kung fu movie standards the plot is kind of thin and the characters are simple.
The way it?s shot is a subtle acknowledgment that the movie is basically just about Muay Thai. In some of the action sequences, the most impressive stunts are repeated from multiple angles, presumably so the audience can fully appreciate it.
Ong Bak comes out on DVD this Tuesday, and it is worth renting for one simple reason:
Tony Jaa will become a major martial arts star in the next couple of years. The stunts in the movie speak for themselves ? they?re that good.
Jaa could be as big as Jackie Chan or Jet Li, and a couple of outspoken people on the Internet seem to think he?s better than Bruce Lee (although they don?t know what they?re talking about).
This makes Ong Bak the film that every other Tony Jaa film will be judged against and that makes it definitely worth renting.
If Ong Bak is checked out or it isn?t quite your speed, think about renting Kung Fu Hustle, which was released on DVD a few weeks ago.
Directed by, and starring Stephen Chow, Kung Fu Hustle is sort of like a kung fu movie on steroids, which take the form of computer-generated enhancements.
This is Chow?s second major film (he also directed and starred in Shaolin Soccer which came out about a year ago, and is also a great comic gem).
It?s a cheeky comedy, which spends more time making fun of kung fu movies than actually showing kung fu. However, it?s still visually breathtaking and entertaining in a cheeky, slapstick sort of way.
Kung Fu Hustle is just about the opposite of Ong Bak in pretty much every regard. It?s high tech, has more defined characters, and a much more complex plot.
That?s all for this week, next week, back to sports movies, chick flicks, and all things Hollywood.