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STUDIO Phase 4 Films
RUNNING TIME 80 minutes
• Downloadable chapters from Films of Fury; The Kung Fu Movie Book
Films of Fury tells the story of the Kung Fu sub-culture from its ancient Peking Opera origins to its superhero-powered future. From Enter the Dragon to Kung Fu Panda and everything in between, Films of Fury features the genres greatest on-screen warriors, and reveals the legend, the lore, and the loony of the Kung Fu film genre like it has never been seen before.
Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, etc.
Not even crappy animation can stop Kung Fu.
Films of Fury is almost exactly what you would expect of a Kung Fu movie documentary based off of Rick Myers’ awesome book of the same name. The film hits on all of the important stars, directors and styles within the genre, and does a fantastic job of showing off clips which range from the classics to the more obscure films. You can tell that this project was a labor of love. Great care is taken in explaining the significance of the major players in the industry, and even highlights the instances where classic Kung Fu movies have influenced (and been ripped off by) western cinema.
While some of the more main stream based sections may seem elementary to veterans of the genre, there is still much to be learned here by way of the discussion including lesser known films. It’s truly amazing to learn of how far the roots of Kung Fu films reach, and what it took to bring them to the American mainstream. The “before they were stars” style pieces for Jet Li and Jackie Chan offered especially interesting clips and information about their early struggles in the business.
While coverage in some areas may seem a bit rushed, the brisk pace allows for a full slate of films to be discussed, beginning with Shaw Brothers’ classics and ending as recently as the release of Kung Fu Panda . Films of Fury is also very honest in its approach, pointing out the financial misses and critically panned alongside the big hits and classics.
Thankfully, I did not pass on Films of Fury. Animation disaster and possibly short runtime (80 minutes) aside, Films of Fury is an informative and entertaining documentary. I truly feel that there is plenty to be enjoyed here by both existing Kung Fu fanatics and new fans looking to get some viewing recommendations. At the very least, everyone can enjoy the abundance of terrific video clips from some of the finest and most influential actions movies ever made. Easily add half a star if you plan on fast forwarding through the poor excuses for transition cartoons.
Nothing particularly special here. It’s a single disc in a generic snap case. Downloadable PDF chapters of Myers’ corresponding book is a nice touch. One trailer is also included.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars