Monday, December 05, 2005

The Shaolin Temple

Normally I would put this on my xanga blog, but I have heard too much about this movie not to mention it here. I had heard several times from Keith Miners about this crazy kung-fu movie called Shaolin Temple that his students took him to see when he was in China. When I came accross a movie called The Shaolin Temple in the Chinese action flick section at my local video store, I was agog. I had just been talking with Keith like two days before, for the first time in like a year! So of course I rented it. I looked at the dude on the cover and I was like, "Man that looks like Jet Li," but with a close inspection of the actors list, there were several people named Li, but none named Jet. But when I was watching the movie I was like, "Man that really looks like Jet Li. But this movie is from 1982! That would mean Jet li would have had to have been born in the 60's sometime. Is he really 20 years older than me? Like 45? I guess I can't tell Asian people apart as well as I thought." But on investigation this morning it turns out that his real name is Lee Lien Jie, and his first movie was The Shaolin Temple.

Now as for the movie itself, Keith had hyped it as being so full of kung-fu action that it made his head spin, or something to that effect. Taking into account that kung-fu flicks don't seem Keith's regular fare, and taking into account that it was probably more than 15 years ago that he was in China that time, I didn't expect anything all that superlatively amazing. But boy was I wrong. So much amazing beautiful kung-fu, so much superlatively cool fighting. It may very well be the best kung-fu movie I have ever seen. It turns out that Li was born in 63, so he was 19 when he made this movie. More impressive is that he won the national Wushu (proper term for kung-fu(?), japanese= "bujutsu") championships when he was eleven, twelve, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen.

I'll bet I understood more than Keith did when he saw it. While the DVD didn't have English or English subs, with the Japanese and Japanese subs I was able to understand most of the movie. Maybe I should give House of Daggers a chance...


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