entertainment

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When I was 16, taking 30 pills/day and in the hospital every three months, my doctor said I'd be dead in five years from cystic fibrosis (CF), a deadly disease that robbed me of my breath and ability to digest food. Moments away from death by suicide, I saw Bruce Lee's Big Boss (1971) and during his first fight when Lee venomously decked a thug with two lightening kicks, I howled like a banshee. In that moment, I went from being depressed and waiting to die, to wanting to live and learn what Lee was doing. I vowed that if I survived, I'd pay homage to Lee like no other.

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Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

Imagine if non-English speaking, Chinese screenwriters, who never lived in America or studied American History, wrote their perception of how American hero Davy Crockett should act while fighting Aztecs in Arizona at the Battle of the Alamo, and the film was directed by a Korean and shot in Chinese. Then the source material was linked to a cartoon where Crockett's spiritual guide was a wise-ass eagle and an effeminate General Sam Houston rather than John Wayne's The Alamo (1960) or The Alamo (2004). The film's saving grace might be the famous American cast who knew Crockett's story and the fights were choreographed by someone familiar with the skills and weaponry of that time. Now imagine the film opens when both countries' leaders are at odds. In a highfalutin way, this is what happened to Niki Caro's directed Mulan.

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Paul Heller, who served as executive producer on the Bruce Lee film "Enter the Dragon," passed away Monday at the age of 93. Heller, along with his partner Fred Weintraub, created the original 17 page story treatment for the film which would turn Lee into a worldwide star.

According to the biography "Bruce Lee: A Life," Heller said the story was originally inspired by the Terry and Pirates comic strips he read in his youth. He would hire screenwriter Michael Allin to turn the idea into a full blown movie script. After the success of "Enter the Dragon," Heller would return to the martial arts genre producing the blaxploitation karate film "Black Belt Jones" with Dragon co-star Jim Kelly. Among his other credits, Heller was executive producer for the 1990 Academy Award best film nominee "My Left Foot."

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Half human. Half vampire. Experience the sharper, darker, and slicker Blade now in 4K Ultra HD! Click to see more!

The martial arts action classic Blade is back in 4K Ultra HD, and it will make you feel like you are watching Wesley Snipes in person! The film is available for purchase TODAY (December 1st), but you have a chance to win the Digital Movie courtesy of Black Belt Magazine. All you have to do is share this article on your social media page and tag Black Belt Magazine and the appropriate page for Blade or Warner Bros.

On Facebook, tag @Black Belt Magazine and @BladeFilmsOfficial. On Instagram, tag @BlackBeltMag and @WarnerBrosEntertainment. On Twitter, tag @Black_Belt_Mag and @WBHomeENT for a chance to win! You must also include the hashtag #Blade4K to be eligible to win the FREE download.

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Top Martial Arts Films of the 21st Century

For Black Belt's September 2005 issue, I wrote "Top 20 Martial Arts Films of All Time." I based my selections on each movie's impact on martial arts cinema, not necessarily on its acting or fight choreography. It wasn't an easy process then, and it wasn't any easier when the editor of Black Belt asked me to write this piece on the top films that have been released during this century. Nevertheless, I agreed. Here's my top-21 countdown.

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