KFMG Podcast S05 Episode 65: End of Year Show 2020 with Mike Fury

Posted in Podcasts

Put on your face-mask, pour yourself another Advocaat and settle into our annual end-of-year podcast from your friends at the Kung Fu Movie Guide. Join your host, Ben Johnson, and the author of Life of Action Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Mike Fury, as they dissect the year’s biggest stories from the world of martial arts movies, exchange a few Christmas presents, and share their personal top five films from 2020.

How you can get involved…
As always, we want to hear from you about your favourite fight-centric action films from this year. Let us know your favourites and why, and your …

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KFMG Podcast S05 Episode 64: Bruce Lee at 80 – Legacy of the Dragon

Posted in Podcasts

“You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean, I don’t want to be like ‘as Confucius say’, but under the sky, under the heavens, there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different.” Bruce Lee

On 27 November 2020, the martial arts superstar and pop culture icon Bruce Lee would have celebrated his 80th birthday. To commemorate the occasion, we have put together a bonus podcast featuring a range of voices from across our five seasons, exploring the legacy of the ‘Little Dragon’ and the impact he continues to …

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Jiu Jitsu (2020)

Posted in Reviews

Every six years, an alien travels via a comet through a portal to Earth to fight a bunch of humans for martial supremacy (just go with it). A marauding warrior tribe stand guard, preparing for its arrival. It lands in present-day Myanmar (it’s actually Cyprus), where US military intelligence are eager to beat the Chinese in getting hold of weapons-grade plutonium. That subplot gets slightly sidelined as a barrage of fight scenes overwhelm the film, with the alien single-handedly making its way through a star-studded cast of excellent fighting talent.

Producer-writer-director Dimitri Logothetis clearly has a knack for attracting star talent to …

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Mulan (2020)

Posted in Reviews

A live-action remake of Disney’s 1998 animated, musical adaptation of the popular, fictional Chinese story, The Ballad of Hua Mulan. This was rather unfairly treated as something of a guinea pig to trial the studio’s Premier Access add-on to its Disney+ streaming service, bypassing a theatrical release in most major territories. A victim of huge delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, its discreet online release feels like a massive snub for a film clearly designed for the big screen, with a budget of $200m, lavish sets and costumes, rooftop chases and giant battle scenes. The snub feels doubly compounded given the …

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College Kickboxers (1991)

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College student and martial arts devotee James (McLeod) decides to help out a local dojo, run by his friend Carl (Cohen), when developers want it closed to make way for a shopping mall. They enrol in a local martial arts tournament in a bid to win the prize money which could save the school, but also have to face a sifu (Dang Tak-wing) who is reluctant to teach them his kung fu secrets, as well as the threats of a racist gang calling themselves the ‘White Tigers’. For what is mostly light, PG-13 fare, the racism theme seems really out …

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White Snake (2019)

Posted in Reviews

Based on a popular Chinese fable, The Legend of the White Snake (aka Madam White Snake), which was first fictionalised during the Ming dynasty and has provided a wealth of interpretations ever since, inspiring Beijing Opera, literature, TV and film. Japan’s Toho studios and the Shaw Brothers in Hong Kong have both had a run at the story, as well as Tsui Hark in 1993 (see Green Snake) and Tony Ching in 2011 (see The Sorcerer and the White Snake, a 3D film starring Jet Li). This fast-paced animated version is a co-production between Chinese studio Light Chaser Animation and …

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Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)

Posted in Reviews

Expect macho, B-movie, buddy cop hijinks with this crazy action quickie (only 79 minutes!), one of the most enjoyable brainless pictures out there complete with big explosions, karate kicks, greasy muscles and cheesy one-liners. Its rampant chauvinism is juxtaposed by a surely intentional homoeroticism, with some hilarious dialogue like, “in case we get killed, I wanted to tell you: you have the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man”. The story concerns vengeful top cop Kenner (Dolph Lundgren), whose parents were killed when he was little by Yakuza thug, Yoshida (Tagawa), a snarling super-villain specialising in drug peddling and killing …

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KFMG Podcast S05 Episode 63: Benny “The Jet” Urquidez

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“I always thought I was a better teacher than a fighter.”

Martial arts legend Benny “The Jet” Urquidez was born into a fighting family. His father was a boxer; his mother, a professional wrestler. The second youngest of nine siblings, Benny had to fight to be heard, adapting quickly to the martial arts until, by the age of 14, he had received the first of many black belts across a number of different fighting styles. In the 1970s, he pioneered full-contact karate, which was later termed ‘American kickboxing’, paving the way for the sport in the USA. He remained undefeated throughout …

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Profile: Benny “The Jet” Urquidez

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: 20 June, 1952 (Tarzana, California, USA)

Full name: Benjamin Gilbert Urquidez

Nickname: The Jet

Style: Kenpo Karate, boxing, Shotokan, taekwondo, judo, aikido, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, Savate.

Biography: Benjamin Urquidez was born into an athletic family. He is the second youngest of nine siblings. His mother was a professional wrestler and his father was a professional boxer, and all of his siblings either took up boxing or have black belts in various martial arts. Benny, his sister Lily, and four of his brothers went on to become champion fighters. By the age of five, Benny was competing in pee-wee boxing, and at …

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PASKAL: The Movie (2018)

Posted in Reviews

Solid if two-dimensional military film espousing the might of the Royal Malaysian Navy – aka PASKAL, an acronym which translates as Naval Special Warfare Forces. This plays like an earnest recruitment film and isn’t too concerned about the consequences of war, although it does reference its potentially damaging impact on the soldiers’ relationships. The breakdown of the film’s central male friendship is treated more as a narrative device to create a tough adversary for the film’s reluctant hero, Arman (Hairul Azreen), to face in the action-fuelled finale. The film references real military engagements involving the Royal Malaysian Navy; a conflict …

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