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Sum up of Martial Arts Movies 2010

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2010 is the Year of a Golden Tiger, which begins on February 14, 2010 and ends on February 2, 2011, so we have got some time to use a tiger’s power for ourselves.
But anyway the Tiger is a natural born leader and symbolizes power, passion and daring. Tigers are fond of competitions. They simply cannot pass up a challenge and famous martial artists like Wesley Snipes and Jean Claud van Damme jump into this challenge but both at his own discretion.

Wesley has been sentenced to three years in jail for tax-related crimes and it was a food-filled Christmas for Wesley Snipes – he was treated to a feast behind bars at the McKean Correctional Facility in Pennsylvannia.
But before he released the new action Game of Death where played special agent alongside Gary Daniels. There was a lot of rumours about Blade 4, but anyway what Blade can be without Wesley, so let’s wait for 2014.

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Opposite Wesley Jean Claude van Damme came back in 2009 with a great drama movie JCVD which brang him to a new career wave like participation in a new MMA action of legendary producer Joel Silver Dragon Eyes where will be starring alonside rising fighter actor Cung Lee; another project where he voices Master Croc in Kung Fu Panda 2. Moreover van Damme participated in the Australian campaign “The Great DVD Amnesty”, the video you can watch below. And at the end Van Damme is filming in the new action The Weapon alongside very popular Scott Adkins. Morever Stallone wants to see Jean-Claude in his Expendables sequel as a villain, so it was definitely a good year for van Damme, welcome back!

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Talking about Scott Adkins I can say only one “Boyka is Back” and brought us a new fans insanity. It is not the first time when the bag guy from the movie becomes more popular then a hero, just remember Bolo Yeung from Bloodsport or Professor Toru Tanaka from An Eye for an Eye. I absolutely welcome Scott as a new martial arts talent on the action screen and hope to see him in much more hi-octane actions like Undisputed and Ninja, his duo with Isaac Florentine is a great ground for the martial arts genre revive.

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Ninja? Again? Yes! The well-known warriors are back. The Wachowski brothers, Joel Silver and Grant Hill presented us the Ninja Assassin movie which hit the screens with brutality and bloody action scenes, where everybody were glad to see the first movie ninja ever Sho Kosugi as a clan leader Lord Ozuno. Actor Collin Chou was originally cast for a lead role after Jet Li turned down an offer, but role eventually gone to korean actor Jung Ji-Hoon known as Rain. With a budget of $40 million, this movie combined more then $61,000,000 in gross revenue worldwide.

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Of cause year 2010 is a year of Ip Man and Wing Chun. In 2008 Hong Kong released a semi biographical martial arts action drama Ip Man with Donnie Yen.

The idea of an Ip Man biopic originated in 1998 when Jeffrey Lau and Corey Yuen discussed the idea of making a film based on Bruce Lee‘s martial arts master. However, the studio producing the proposed film closed, and the project was abandoned. Producer Raymond Wong decided to develop his own Ip Man film with full consent from Ip’s sons, and had filmmakers head to Foshan to research Ip’s life. Ip Chun, Ip Man’s eldest son, along with martial arts master Leo Au-yeung and several other Wing Chun practitioners served as technical consultants for the film.

Ip Man is the first film based on the life of Ip Man. It also marks the fourth film collaboration between director Wilson Yip and actor Donnie Yen. The two also reunite with co-star Simon Yam after 2005’s SPL: Sha Po Lang. The martial arts choreography was designed by Sammo Hung and veteran fight and stunt coordinator Tony Leung Siu-hung. Hung had previously collaborated with Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen as an actor in the 2005 film SPL.

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During its opening weekend in Hong Kong, Ip Man came in first place at the box office, grossing US$579,715, but totally it grossed over US$21 million worldwide, despite not being released in North America and most of Europe. Following its success, the film was nominated for 12 Hong Kong Film Awards, winning awards for Best Film and Best Action Choreography.

Prior to the film’s release, Raymond Wong announced that there would be a sequel; a second installment titled Ip Man 2, was released in April 2010. Donnie Yen stated that after Ip Man 2, he would no longer be involved in a film based on Ip’s life. While both Donnie Yen and Raymond Wong are not keen on making a third Ip Man film, director Wilson Yip has expressed interest in making one that would focus on the relationship between Ip and Bruce Lee.

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On 24 June 2010 in Hong Kong was released another movie called The Legend Is Born – Ip Man. The film’s story is not related to Donnie Yen’s Ip Man; however both Sammo Hung and Fan Siu-wong are featured in the film, but introduced as alternate characters. The film was directed by Herman Yau and starred Dennis To as the lead character. One of the highlights of the film is a special appearance by Ip Chun, son of Ip Man, who plays Leung Bik in the film.

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Another chinese film director Wong Kar-wai announced plans to make his own Ip Man film with Tony Leung Chiu-wai while filming 2046. Wong titled his biopic as The Great Master, but later renamed it to The Great Masters.

Donnie Yen is definetely the most popular martial artist of Asia for now and works very hard. In the Legend of the Fist: Return of Chen Zhen he is portraying new version of Bruce Lee’s Chen Zhen from the Fist of Fury. Donnie pays tribute to him, but at the same time, he also incorporates his own ideals, and fighting styles, you can say that this is Bruce Lee’s Chen Zhen completely re-imagined, and elevated.

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Another long waiting movie of this year is Tony Jaa‘s Ong Bak 3 which was released on May 5 2010, but fans in US will see it only 14 January 2011. On May 28 Tony Jaa rode an elephant to a Buddhist temple in Surin, Thailand, where he shaved his head, took vows, and was officially ordained as a Buddhist monk. Joining the monkhood for set periods of time is a fairly common practice in Thailand and the expectations are not that he will remain in the monastery forever. So, Tony, come back and surprise us with a real action like TYG and stop doing fakes like Ong Bak 3.

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Thai film industry is growing very fast and after Bangkok Adrenaline director Panna Rittikrai is going to scare us with his upcoming action picture Bangkok Knockout and crazy stunts for our entertainment. Bangkok Knockout is a film built from the ground up around nine of Rittikrai’s favorite stunt performers, all of whom have sequences designed to cater to each of their specific skill sets. These guys got hurt on the sets.

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Mortal Kombat is back! It was made a video to sell WB absolutely new vision for a reimagined MK film. The short Mortal Kombat: Re-Birth is directed by Kevin Tancharoen, and features includes name actors like Michael Jai White (Jax), Jeri Ryan (Sonya Blade), Matt Mullins (Johnny Cage), Lateef Crowder (Baraka) and Ian Anthony Dale (Scorpion) with fight choreography by Larnell Stovall who worked on Undisputed 3. There is no guarantee that these actors will play the characters in a feature film version or even that a feature film will actually happen, the short is already a huge success online, watch video below.

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Japan hit us with a really good martial arts movie High Kick Girl starring Rina Takeda, who is a black belt in Ryukyu Shorin-ryu Karate and has been training since she first decided to follow in her father’s footsteps at the age of 10. Former karate champ and 6th Dan Japan Karate Association instructor Tatsuya Naka takes the lead in action scenes as her defense-preaching, but punishment-dealing sensei, Matsumura. Director Fuyuhiko Nishihas has a passion for realistic, hard-hitting theatrical combat, and his 2009 film High Kick Girl! is a great example of that fact. In sequel named Karate Girl we will see Takeda and her villainous rival Hina Tobimatsu – also quite young, cute and skilled – hard at work.

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Remembering Jackie Chan I can’t say he was so noticeable with his asian movies this year. He released a very nice epic movie named Little Big Soldier, the movie about an older soldier Jackie Chan capturing an enemy general and bringing him on a long journey for reward – to be discharged from military service. But his US appearance in the new Karate Kid movie was a great deal, he played Mr. Han who teaches a kid that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm. The Karate Kid has received generally positive reviews and earned $358 million worldwide. Another movie The Spy Next Door, where Jackie played a Former CIA spy Bob Ho, was an absolutely failure.

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At the end let’s see how filmmakers are going to entertain us in 2011.

  • Green Hornet with Seth Rogen and Jay Chou
  • Shaolin, a new story involving the Shaolin Temple starring Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, Wu Jing, Jackie Chan
  • Karate Girl with Rina Takeda
  • Sucker Punch, a new heroic film from Zack Snyder
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Never Back Down 2, a sequel under supervision of Michael Jai White and Larnell Stovall
  • The Lost Bladesman with Donnie Yen
  • The Grandmsters from Wong Kar-wai
  • The Kick, a new Prachya Pinkaew film about taekwondo
  • The Weapon starring van Damme and Scott Adkins
  • Wu Xia, the new Peter Chan project starring Takeshi Kaneshiro
  • Flying Sword of Dragon Gate starring Jet Li
  • Choy Li Fut, action movie starring Sammy Hung (son of Sammo Hung) and Kane Kosugi (son of Sho Kosugi)
  • The Legend of Madam White Snake with Jet Li
  • The Eagle Path, thai action from van Damme
  • Universal Soldier: A New Dimension, rumored
  • The Killer Elite starring Jason Statham and Robert De Niro


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