Kung Fu Still Hot in Hollywood
Martial arts movies may have peaked in their birthplace Hong Kong during the '80s with such features as "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow" and "Drunken Master" by the revered director Woo-ping Yuen, but American studios are just beginning to figure out their artistic potential. "It seems by the time I found out about the Hong Kong films from the '80s, they were already six or so years old," director Quentin Tarantino told Reuters. Tarantino's enthusiastic lobbying convinced Miramax to release Woo-ping's "Iron Monkey" in a thousand theaters earlier this month. "And now Hollywod is interested in them. It really just shows how far behind we are and not how old the movies are." Woo-ping went on to direct the fight sequences in "The Matrix" and last year's huge hit "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Also hot is Corey Yuen, the first action director to cross the Pacific in 1985 when he directed Jean Claude Van Damme in "No Retreat, No Surrender." He has since done the fight sequences in "Lethal Weapon IV", "X-Men", "Kiss of the Dragon" and the soon-to-be-released science fiction thriller "The One." "The Hong Kong action fad will quickly fade if there is bad work out there," said Yuen. "So for us Hong Kong directors the challenge is how to make American actors who don't know how to fight, look good and make the fights blend in with the feeling of a Western film and this may take time to find the right blend."
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