Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How is your kung fu?

My husband and I went to see Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen last night. That being the case, you might expect this to be a review of that movie. Sorry. There are hundreds of other blogs you could read that in. My movie review series involves DVDs in my family's collection. Today...

Forbidden Kingdom

This is, I hear, the only movie with Jackie Chan and Jet Li together. Both men are very talented at the martial arts and the transition of such to the silver screen. They aren't bad actors either. My husband said he did not recognize Jet Li in the Monkey King costume until nearer the end of the movie. We ahve thought it over and we believe this was because he was smiling and laughing so much. Jet Li does not smile and laugh much in his movies. Jackie Chan often smiles and laughs in his movies. I did not recognize him in his make-up as the old shop keeper until nearer the end of the movie.

It is a fun fantasy movie, set in mythical ancient China rather than the more usual (for westerners) mythical ancient Europe. There are some incredibly funny parts, wonderful action/fight sequences. The plot is great, a little predictable, but still with some twists that caught both of us jaded movie-goers by surprise.

I loved the character of Sparrow. When I get the time I plan to design a custom Barbie for her and for the Wolf Witch, but lets not have this review devolve (evolve?) into a discussion of custom dolls.

There was one part of the movie that really struck a chord with me, moreso than the rest. It was a discussion between Jason (played by Michael Angarano, who is not Shia LeBouef) and The Drunken Master, whose name I forget (played by Jackie Chan.) They are discussing Kung Fu, what it is, what it means, what it needs, etc. The Master tells the student that the essence of kung fu is not the fighting, it is being the best at what you do, no matter what you do. It is an artist capturing beauty in a way that touches the soul. It is a butcher cutting meat to a perfect cut. To have kung fu, whatever is your trade or passion, you must study, learn, practice, and do your best.

So, as Sparrow asked Jason, I ask you...How is your kung fu?

Here is a picture of a timber wolf I took a few years ago at Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana.

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