Saturday, November 18, 2017

Iron Flag Princess meets Iron Tiger Cao Feng in NYC November 11-12, 2017

I have been watching and loving Shaw Brothers martial arts films since I was a young girl in the early 1980s.  These amazing and awe-inspiring films fed my curiosity of the Chinese culture and her people that I continue to foster to this day so much so that I am researching and saving for a trip to Asia.  So when the announcement was made that a famous Hong Kong actor was coming to NYC, a mere 2.5 hours away from my house, I began saving and planning for this journey.
On Saturday, November 11th, My cousin Linda and I had the honor and pleasure of meeting and spending time with Lu Feng, my favorite Hong Kong actor from the late 1970s and 1980s in the town that never sleeps. It was an exciting and mesmerizing one in a lifetime experience. As I write this post, I am still filled with joy, love, honor, respect for this man who has given so much happiness to millions of fans for over 40 years.

When I arrived at the AMC Empire 25 theater for the Urban Action Showcase and Expo, I never in my wildest dreams would have expected what lies ahead of me on this cold, crisp morning in NYC. The excitement was building as the escalator slowly carried me toward my dream of meeting the Centipede, the deadliest of Venoms.  Arriving at the table, I see my Fu Sister, Ariel Jade, who was instrumental in making this girl’s dreams come true. I jumped in immediately to help her have a successful day.
After I finished the tasks I was assigned upstairs, I headed downstairs with my other Fu Sister, Renee Taylor, to continue handing out prepaid packages to registered guests.  As we are rushing to the elevators we notice the one and only Lu Feng taking pictures with his numerous and grateful fans. I was trembling with excitement on the inside as I handed my phone to James Santi to capture the momentous occasion.  I nervously asked Master Cao Feng to take a picture with me and to my surprise, he recognized me from Facebook and embraced me in a tight hug that melted away all the anxiety I had for the day.  My heart exploded even more with love for this wonderfully gracious and humble man. The smile on our faces is of that pure joy. Who would have thought that I would have had this personal of an encounter with greatness?

Besides being humble, gracious and kind, Lu Feng is generous and loving beyond compare.  After completing my tasks downstairs I returned to Lu Feng’s booth where he was signing autographs and taking pictures with his adoring fans.  When the crowd thinned and Lu Feng was catching his breath, I took the opportunity to present him with a gift I brought to thank him for the many years of joy and inspiration he has provided me.  I am thankful that the Master liked my gift and was honored to receive my small token of love.To my surprise, he presented me with a gift of his appreciation.  He told me he would autograph it later if I wanted.  I was shocked that he would give me anything.  I was amazed to see a beautiful fan when I opened the gift later.  I love seeing Lu Feng in a movie with a cape, Guan Dao or Spear and a fan!

I was able to see some of my favorite movies on the big screen. Invincible Shaolin, Flag of Iron, Masked Avengers, and Rebel Intruders were amazing larger than life.  I enjoyed seeing the movies with other fans and hearing their reactions to critical moments.  The audible gasps when Bao Shanxiong chest was to be expected. Even though I knew it was coming, it was still painful to watch and brought tears to my eyes. The final fight in Flag of Iron was absolutely GORGEOUS on the big screen.  I was mesmerized by Lu Feng and Kuo Chui as the gracefully wielded the large instruments of death!  The movies are fantastic on the small screen but if you ever get the chance to see them on the big screen, you have to do it!
On Sunday, November 12th, a few of us at dinner with the living legend at Old Sichuan Restaurant in Chinatown, NYC.  My girlfriends, Linda, Bambi, Renee and I met him at his hotel to escort him to the dinner.  Lu Feng was so sweet, gracious, humble and charming.  He took more pictures, talked with us and autographed more items.  He gave a short speech in English thanking everyone for coming to the event and dinner. I was very surprised that he thanked me by name!  He said my name correctly which most people can’t do and he spelled it correctly on the fan.  

A week after this wonderful weekend I am still smiling and pinching myself!  I am so impressed with Lu Feng.  This living legend is a real gentleman, a down to earth star to which no one else can compare in my eyes.  I am grateful to everyone who put this event together and happy I was able to make memories with so many wonderful people.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Iron Neck Li (1981) Review

Starring: Chi Kuan Chun, Wong Hon, Hsiao Hou-Tao, Wang Shui
Director:  Cheung Yan-Git
Action Directors:  So Kwok-Leung, Lin Kuang-Yung

Summary:  ‘Iron Neck’ Li Yung(Chi Kuan Chun) earned his nickname by using his fists to stand up for the weak and persecuted.  LI Yung becomes the bodyguard of young Emperor Chien Lung after His Majesty stands up for him when he was wrongly accused of killing a man.  The pair set out on an adventure across Taiwan with Wang Fa(Wang Shui), the Emperor’s eunuch.  The trio run into some interesting circumstances, love and nefarious characters on their adventure.

This is one of my non-Shaw Brothers films starring one of my top 3 favorites Chi Kuan Chun.  I liked this movie because Chi Kuan Chun doesn’t play his normal stoic and wise character as he was stereotyped during his Shaw Brothers days.  Iron Neck Li allows him to show his range as an actor.  Li Yung is brave and strong but also shy around women and has a fight now and ask questions later kind of attitude.  He is a martial force to be reckoned with as he takes on many enemies throughout their travels.

One of my favorite scenes is where Li picks up a pair of wedding shoes and lucky red envelope of money.  The father comes out of the house and greets Li Yung as his son-in-law.  Li runs for his life back to where the Emperor and Wang Fa are waiting.  The sheer look of terror, which is not a normal look, on Chi Kuan Chun’s face made me giggle a little.  In this movie, we are able to see many different expressions/emotions from Chi Kuan Chun that we are not used to seeing in his Shaw Brothers films.

The other actors also did a great job in this film, especially Wang Shui as the eunuch, Wang Fa.  He provided some funny moments in the movie.  Wang seems to get them in a bit of trouble in a brothel and serenades a young lady while she is picking tea.  

The action wasn’t anything spectacular as most of it was hand to hand combat.  The sequences are basic and not flashy which fits in with the story of the movie.  Don’t get me wrong, the action is good but you shouldn't expect flipping and many different types of weapons being used. The fighting is true to life in my opinion.

All in all, this is a good film if you are looking to discover a different side of Chi Kuan Chun.  I liked everything about the movie except the ending.  I wish it had a different ending.

Iron Neck Li is available on Youtube

Legalese: All images copyright Three Virtues Film Co. (H.K.) Ltd. and their respective owners. No infringement is intended or presumed.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Who Wore It Better? Second Edition

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In this edition of Who Wore It Better, the same costume is worn in 2 Venom Mob movies, one by a supporting actor and one by a first tier Venom.  The costume in my opinion is not the best color scheme for either actor as yellow and brown are not flattering on anyone.  

The first image is from the 1979 film Magnificent Ruffians a.k.a. The Destroyers.  The actor is #1 Venom Lu Feng as the villain Yuan Ying Fei, The Golden Sword.  I understand the meaning of the yellow in this costume is to remind us that he is the Golden Sword and his techniques match rotations of the sun.  Also, Yuan Ying Fei is the center of the universe in the small town he controls and the townspeople cannot do anything without his approval and/or knowledge.

Wan Seung-Lam sears the same costume in the 1981 film Sword Stained with Royal Blood as the supporting character Sha.  Sha is second in command to Master Rong, the chief of Lung Yau School.  Even though Sha is a supporting character, his costume also shows his rank in relation to the men he has brought with him to retrieve the stolen taels.

I am a Lu Feng fan so I believe he wears it better even though it is not a flattering costume for either gentlemen.  Your turn to decide who wore it better.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Sword Stained with Royal Blood can be viewed digitally at iTunes,*Amazon Video,*Google Play,*YouTube.

Magnificent Ruffians can be purchased on DVD at Amazon.

Legalese: All images copyright Celestial Pictures and their respective owners. No infringement is intended or presumed. We encourage you to seek out these films through official channels. *

Iron Flag Princess meets Iron Tiger Cao Feng in NYC November 11-12, 2017

I have been watching and loving Shaw Brothers martial arts films since I was a young girl in the early 1980s.  These amazing and awe-ins...