movies

Dune Jason Momoa
DUNE/ Legendary Pictures

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When I was reading Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) during a 1973, high school science fiction appreciation English class, it was a tough read. Yet one of the first books I read as a grad student in 1979 Taiwan, which was required reading in all Chinese schools, was Luo Guan-zhong's kung fu novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms (late 1300s; English version) and one of the first things that hit me was that the basic plot of Dune was similar.

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Bruce Lee Fists of Fury
s3.amazonaws.com Janus Films

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

The first kung fu film I saw was in 1973, Bruce Lee's The Big Boss (aka Fists of Fury; 1971). Since then, I've accumulated 950+ martial arts movies from the '70s from 20 countries mostly on Betamax. Rather than list them from worst of the best to the best of the best, I preferred to present the films by the year they were made. There's good chance you haven't seen them all, yet they're out there somewhere. Happy hunting!
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Blood sport movie

11 Ultimate Facts About Jean-Claude Van Damme's Bloodsport

Recently a friend, David Abdullah Muhammad aka Brotha Newz, https://youtu.be/o0FNaWDqB1U started posting vintage martial arts movie posters for an upcoming album release and reminiscing about movies that I watched as a young adult. Most of these are not what you would typically think of like Enter the Dragon. Most of them were from the 80's which I consider to be the golden age of the martial arts movie genre. You had movies like A Force of One with Chuck Norris and Bill Wallace, Blood Sport with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Above the Law with Steven Seagal. These movies had some of the biggest martial arts stars of the time and really pushed an explosion of martial arts related movies into the next decade.
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Ne Zha and Wu Assassins
Photos Courtesy of Well Go USA

NE ZHA: With an elegantly constructed allegory that mirrors William Ernest Henley's 1875 poem Invictus — which asserts, "I'm the master of my fate; I'm the captain of my soul," — the Chinese animated feature Ne Zha is loosely based on a martial arts legend from the Ming-dynasty novel Creation of the Gods. With earnings that topped $650 million in 30 days, Ne Zha clearly rivals the glitz of any production from DreamWorks or Pixar, and it's appealing to audiences everywhere.

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