Hollywood loves to get into kung fu mode and crank out a high flying, action packed martial arts movie every so often, and while purists are wont to compare the Hollywood versions to the classics, new and old, of Hong Kong and the mainland, there’s really no doubt that the visual artistry is a sight to behold, preferably in high definition. Here’s a look at some of the greatest martial arts movies for the ages. You can catch these works of athletic prowess and cinematic ingenuity on satellite TV.
Hero: This 2002 movie starring the brilliant martial artists star Jet Li, was the most expensive movie ever produced in China. It also topped the Chinese box office, grossing more than any film in Chinese movie history; you’ll understand why when you watch it. This is martial arts affair of epic proportions. It’s got lush visuals and captivating fight scenes. You will be mesmerized and startled by the beauty of this movie. This is one flick to be enjoyed on a large flat screen HD TV.
Enter the Dragon: Starring the legendary Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon is considered the best martial arts movie of all time. Probably all subsequent martial arts movies have been influenced by this brilliant flick. You’ve heard the tale before, a young street kid without a penny to his name, but who sports some killer moves is spotted by a rich guy who happens to be on the lookout for great fighters to compete gladiator style in a death match. Because the talented hero is cash poor, he accepts the challenge and goes on to kick some booty. Bruce Lee is at his best, with deft, lightning fast moves and a charisma that cannot fail to win over the most stubborn of viewers.
Shaolin Master Killer, also known as Master Killer, 36th Chamber of Shaolin: This 1978 film was directed by Lau Kar Leung and stars Gordon Liu. Amongst fanatics, this piece of work is one of the most revered in the genre. The plot deals with a young man who joins the Shaolin Temple when his family is murdered by the Manchus. The story is based on the beginnings of king fu itself. Shaolin was actually developed by a select group of monks who weren’t keen on sharing their martial arts moves with the general public. In the film San Te is trained under general Chi Shan to avenge his family. Wu Tang fans will know that this is the movie on which their whole sound and philosophy is based.
The Kid with the Golden Arm, or Jin Bei Tong: In this movie, the protagonist, the kid with the golden arm has unbeatable arms. They literally cannot be sliced or cut by blades or swords of any kind. So his enemies really don’t stand a chance. However, there is another equally gifted fighter called Iron Feet who can kill using just his feet. So, who will win in the fight of arms versus feet? Check out your satellite TV listings to find out for yourself.