What are some of the top 10 Korean Kung Fu Films

Discuss the greatest Korean Movies Available
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Figther In the Wind !

Postby Athena » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:23 pm

[Quote=Magnificent Disciple] I know it is of the newer school, but has anybody seen Barumui Fighter aka fighter in the wind?[/Quote]

Magnificent Disciple !
Hey there , it is a good (almost great) movie for being modern !

The story is surprisingly accurate IF you do the research behind it . It has its wire work & blurry editing moments but not bad by the standards used today ...

Now, the real life character it is based on ,is a SERIOUS MASTER !!!!!! Great fighter/man !!

Let me know what you think ??
Best Athena ...

Magnificent Disciple
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Postby Magnificent Disciple » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:34 pm

[Quote=Athena]The story is surprisingly accurate IF you do the research behind it . It has its wire work & blurry editing moments but not bad by the standards used today ...[/Quote]

I absolutely agree. It has a great real life story behind it of the man who founded of Kyokushin style of Karate-do

As you said it has its flaws but all in all it has a cool story with some good fight scenes. I would recommend this film to any real Martial Arts fans.

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Fighter In The Wind

Postby samtheseed » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:05 pm

"Fighter in the Wind" is one of the best if not the best martial arts movie out of Korea for years or ever. This being said, it's difficult to write a review about this film. We get a very well-done popcorn blockbuster which is based on the true story of Choi Bae-dal, better known by his japanese name Masutatsu Oyama, the creator of famous Kyokushin-Karate. Most people don't know that this japanese folk hero is actually a korean hero, who fought for his country and pride in his own way. As it is the case with most of such stories it is stretching over several years, which makes the movie a bit disjointed at times. Moreover, one didn't take it too serious when it comes to biographic accurateness. It's more that, based on Choi's real life, the filmmakers just wanted to create an entertaining martial arts flick.

The movie starts to tell the story of Choi during World War II. Choi always remains in the center of events, however, interestingly enough his character sometimes seems a bit stupid, which gives the film a bitter taste. Whether it was the intention of the director to draw such a picture of Choi or not will remain unknown to those who don't want to dive deeper into Choi's biography somewhere else. Concerning "Fighter in the Wind" there is nothing to be learnt about Choi's past or his education.
Furthermore it always remains in the dark why Choi chooses the way of fighting. It just seems to be the only thing he learnt and knows. Although Choi seems to be limited in his thinking, he yet has his heart in the right place. Therefore it's easy for the viewer to sympathize with him and actor Yang Dong-kun imbues his character of subtle passivity, despite undeniable courage and fighting spirit with the necessary amount of credibility. It's just a shame that we never get to take a look into the head of this complex, yet at the outside simple human being.

Nevertheless, most likely it's his country Choi is fighting for. Thus, nationalism doesn't play a small part in this movie and the Japanese are portrayed as evil villians most of the time, natch. And still you can't blame the director, because at that time Japan occupied Korea! However, I can't subscribe to the opinion of some critics who say that Japanese are almost portrayed as fiends in the movie. Apart from some of the japanese women, especially Yoko of course, there is also Kato who provides us with a more complex picture than what these critics want to make us believe. Kato remains the villian of the movie the whole way through, and still he has an unquestional strong sense for honour, which is supported by Masaya Kato's ("Aragami") well-done and charismatic performance. Nonetheless, we watch with satisfaction when he gets what he deserves, eventually.
Concerning the Americans... yes, they really don't come off well. They look way too dumb and stereotypically portrayed, so that you almost have to feel sorry for them.
Generally, korean nationalism is only to be found in a subtle manner and even then it remains in realms of what's appropriate for a story of a national folk hero.

Every now and then "Fighter in the Wind" has to struggle with some pacing problems. Which is no surprise. Trying to sketch the life of an individual, the movie in general feels a bit dismembered. One example is the love story with Yoko, who is somewhat insignificant for the film, yet is well-portrayed by Aya Hirayama ("Waterboys"). The viewer would have liked to see more of this sideplot. It's the same with the story about Choi's stay at the family's house of the man he unintentionally killed in a fight. His road of atonement is a bit too short and the list of things that are merely introduced and then forgotten goes on and on.
Apart from that the film stands out with its great cinematography, especially the training sequences in the mountains look beautiful. Moreover, the events are always accompanied by a good soundtrack.

The most important thing in the movie, of course: the fights. At least in a martial arts film they should always play a major part. And we don't get disappointed. Jung Doo-hong, who is also playing Beom-su, composes some great fight choreography once again, which is at the same time typical korean, yet somewhat more elegant and with more martial arts style. Which means that there is not as much boxing as we are used to see from korean action movies, but more real martial arts instead. Nevertheless, most of the fights are rather short, but to make up for it there are at least a dozen of them and they all are pretty pleasing to they eye thanks to a great style. Numerous freeze-ins, slow-motion or sudden bursts of speed hit the screen frequently, which also makes the viewer's adrenalin flow through his veins.
All in all the fights look very realistically, yet are also very impressive. Nobody chose the safe road and so the actors, especially main actor Yang Dong-kun have to endure quite some beating and also are allowed to show what they really got.

The truth factor of this "biography" is neglectable, as the movie had to make compromises in favor of the entertainment factor and the dramaturgy. Nevertheless, in return "Fighter in the Wind" actually is an entertaining movie and has enough dramatic scenes to move some viewers to tears.
Choi's character is captivating, yet he is somewhat inscrutable. Still, we happily accompany him on his path, and his motto he is living by gives us a hint why Choi is actually fighting: "Justice without power is empty, but power without justice is only violence."

Making no big deal about the fact that it merely wants to entertain, director Yang Yun-ho ("Libera Me") created a great martial arts film, that has to struggle with some flaws, yet proves to be very stylish and at times even extraordinary.
If I were to be asked to name a serious, recommendable korean martial arts movie, there'd first be "Fighter in the Wind" popping up in my head.

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Postby Monkeygift » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:49 am

I'll go with Polly Polly on "Blue Butterfly the Amazon". I just watched it last week as I bought the original tape in seoul, what a great surprise! Non stop action, campy stuff, great costumes and really well choregraphed fights.

As for the majority of Korean films (and any other films for that matter), the thing is that very few are widescreen and subbed, which for me is usually a must. When I see an asian film dubbed I just can't take it seriously... it just becomes a beer movie for me.

Also, another film I just watched yet again is Black Dragon River (as we are about to release it with Houndslowteam in its full uncut status). The film being a nice 2:35 really is something! The composition is well tought and the end fight is so much built like a Western Spaghetti duel, classic stuff imo.

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Postby pollypolly » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:08 pm

[Quote=Monkeygift]I'll go with Polly Polly on "Blue Butterfly the Amazon". I just watched it last week as I bought the original tape in seoul, what a great surprise! Non stop action, campy stuff, great costumes and really well choregraphed fights.

Nice find mate, and good to see that there's another fan of this one out there!

Haven't watched it for quite a few years now but I still remember it to be solid and action packed...plus I'm a sucker for masked heroines...

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