Beast Banner October 5 - 19, 2006
ISSUE #108
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Features

ArrowWelcome to the Monkey House
On Safari at “The Chapel” in Getzville

Ian Murphy

ArrowI, Left Gatekeeper
Why the "9/11 Truth" movement makes the "Left Behind" sci-fi series read like Shakespeare
Matt Taibbi

ArrowGet on Board
A farewell to Habeas Corpus in one act.

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Madness of King Us
Think we're turning a corner? Think again

Donnie Dobovitch

ArrowSexual Predators
What can you do?

ArrowHow the Media Lies About China
"Try harder," American worker – and Thomas Friedman thinks everything will be fine
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowPig Roast
Tom Reynolds is done. Let’s all stick forks in him.
Allan Uthman

ArrowBEAST Staff Aids Non-Millionaire
“Relief for Reynolds” Campaign a Modest Success
Josh Bunting

ArrowCaring is Hard Work!
A selection of transcripts from our neighborhood canvass in the 26th district.

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Incredibly Full of Shit Asshole

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Jackass Number Two, The Guardian, Flyboys, All the King's Men, School for Scoundrels, Fearless

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Partisan Bickering, A Bold Challenge, Crocodile Punter, Reynolds R.I.P. and more

Kino Korner

 


Jackass Number Two | The Guardian | Flyboys
All the King's Men | School for Scoundrels | Fearless


Fearless

FearlessBased on the dozen or so martial arts movies I’ve seen, I have the impression that there are two types of them. You’ve got straight up chop sockey—you know, bad John Wayne-styled dubbing, skeletal plot, and despite the stories are usually set a few hundred years before the 1970s, half of the characters look like they’re wiped out from an Electric Light Orchestra concert the night before. Usually it’s the fight scenes that make the whole thing worthwhile, with the shrieking and insanely loud whooshing; they were always hilarious, if not awesome, and the testosterone rush had the average viewer pulling leg muscles in the parking lot or driveway after a few beers.

The other kind of martial arts movie works with essentially the same storylines, but more lyrically. These movies use stunning imagery, very well-planned choreography. They have larger budgets than your average weekend getaway to Cancun. And they avoid the cheesy overdubs with subtitles—which isn’t bad, but that’s when you start hearing people piss and moan that they go to the movies so they don’t have to read. Wah. Either way the fight scenes are usually entertaining, if not the only good thing about the art form known as the martial arts movie—which is why even when a martial arts movie is bad, it’s still good.

And this makes Fearless no exception. It rides the line between action and artsy martial arts without alienating fans of either school as it tells the story of an arrogant warrior who learns the error of his ways. Fearless also marks the end of Jet Li’s martial arts film career. And while he does go out with a bang so to speak, it wasn’t the roar I was hoping for.

I know this would never happen in a million years, but I was hoping that Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal would show up, starting the finale with a seltzer bottle war as they fight for Li’s soul, asking each other “where’s the love” between intensely focused, accurate squirts. Li shows up halfway into the battle, quietly sizing the combatants up. They notice Li and call a truce. Norris explains that the token black guy on Walker Texas Ranger just ain’t cutting it anymore and wants him to join his red state Scientologist sect, offering all the barbeque Li can eat and an unlimited tab at CD’s bar. Segal blurts out that Norris is full of shit and that Li should join his Scientologist sect and that there’s a pan flute spot open for him in his blues band. Segal also mentions that his guitar licks alone could smoke Norris’ bitch ass. Li would then laugh and tell the both of them to get out of his village and save it for the Fox network.

Segal and Norris angrily rush Li. Li rips off a tuft of Norris’ back hair and chokes him to death with it before finishing him off the same way that Bruce Lee did in Return of the Dragon. Li looks at Segal, then at his hands. Segal is panic-stricken, realizing if Li ruins his hands that he won’t be able to play such classics as “Alligator Ass” and “Talk to My Ass.” Segal disappears and his clothes drop to the floor. The screen goes black and the theme from Walker, Texas Ranger plays, sung in Mandarin. If I was a martial arts actor, that’s how I’d want my last movie to go down.

 

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