Archive for November 13th, 2011

Yesterday, I relaxed by watching a couple of movies: Ip Man 2 and Adam’s RibIp Man 2 by myself and Adam’s Rib with Hil.  The former is another of the movies I picked up on Veteran’s Day.  The latter is from the Katharine Hepburn – Turner Classics Collection which I purchased for Hil for her birthday last month.
Movie reviews:
The first movie I watched was “Ip Man 2“, which is the 2010 sequel to “Ip Man” (see my review of the original here) and once again stars Donnie Yen in the title role of Master Ip.  While the first movie was supposed to be quasi-biographical, I don’t think the sequel is based on any historical event.  It is merely the glamorization of the main character who is (historically) a famous Chinese boxing master.  (He was Bruce Lee’s instructor.)  Anyway, the film surprisingly doesn’t add anything to either the “legend” of the man or the art of Kung Fu films.  It is not a re-tread of the original, but neither does it break new ground in film-making.  The fights sequences are mostly excellent choreography, but nothing that leaves you saying “Wow!“, which I must admit I thought several times during the first film.  The climactic boxing match is surprisingly “Rocky-esk”, but unconvincing.
My own opinion of a Kung Fu versus Western boxing match at the “professional” level is that if the Kung Fu fighter is allowed to kick below the waist or use killing blows, he will almost certainly win and win fairly quickly.  If he is restricted in the type of blows he can use and can only kick above the waistline, the advantage probably shifts to the Western style boxer.  My only other comment is the original I viewed was boot-legged in the Philippines and for some reason did not have English dubbing.  It did have English sub-titles, but they were distracting and detracted from the movie.  However, since I don’t speak Mandarin, the sub-titles are required to follow along.  The version of “2” I have was purchased legitimately and has both English dubbing and sub-titles (but for whatever reason I was not able to turn the sub-titles off).  Recommended viewing if you enjoy a well-done martial arts movie.
Incidentally, I also bought a copy of the original and intend to re-watch and re-review it later.  I may even view both and combine the reviews.
The second movie was “Adam’s Rib” starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.  The film is from 1949 and involves two married attorney’s on opposite sides of a vigilante case of a wife shooting at her husband when she catches him cheating on her.  The film works because of the obvious chemistry between the two main characters.  There is also an outstanding supporting role for David Wayne playing the scoundrel next door neighbor – Kip Lurie.  I must admit that while I love this film and it is definitely one of my favorites combining these two stars, the court / legal scenes are completely unbelievable – particularly the verdict.  It remains a classic in the battle of the sexes / battle of the spouses movie genres.  Highly recommended if you want to see two old-time Hollywood stars in one of their best roles together.
Hil said she enjoyed the movie (and especially Katharine Hepburn) but didn’t find it particularly comedic.  On reflection, I have to agree with her.  There were funny lines and humorous moments, but all in all, it wasn’t a particularly “funny” comedy.  Interesting…

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Innovation is a very difficult thing in the real world.
     —    Richard P. Feynman, Ph.D
From his book:  “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

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