Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's June and I haven't blogged for a while! Yesterday I watched the movie Kung Fu Cult Master starring Jet Li and a slew of other notable '90s HK actors, including Gong Li, Chingmay Yau and Sammo Hung, to name a few. This film holds a special place in my heart because back when I was in high school, this film kicked off my East Asian movie binge, which lasted for years.



 The film has one of the most convoluted stories EVER, featuring tonnes of characters, some who only appear for one or two scenes, and a pace that makes it impossible to look away for a second, lest you miss precious exposition. Sound horrible? Well, I still love this movie, and the reason is, to this date I have never seen a movie that contains all of the wonderful following...

 1. Glowing golden swords that blow things up.

You don't want to see what these swords can do to people... Oh wait! Of course you do!

2. A monk tied to a boulder that he uses to move around, accidentally teaching someone kung-fu.

This Shaolin cooking monk fell off a cliff and broke his back, so he tied himself to a boulder and now uses it as, basically, a wheelchair that he controls with kung-fu... Makes sense to me!!!

3. Gong Li using a zither as a weapon.

Don't ask for an encore... just... just don't.

4. Blue exploding energy blasts!

That's Jet Li using "solar stance" kung-fu and shooting an exploding "hadoken" from his fist! And you thought Ryu from Street Fighter was badass!? 

 5. Flying mirror shields that cut people's heads off!!!

Kind of hard to see, but yes... that's what is happening here.

6. THIS FRICKIN' SUBTITLE!!!

This is a real subtitle spoken by the old dude, played by Sammo Hung, and it is followed by the words "because I'm so powerful!" I kid you not. Best thing ever, hands down.
So now you either think this is the best film ever or the worst. But yes, it has all that stuff in it ... AND MORE! The fight scenes are awesome, featuring great, turbocharged choreography, large-scale battles and kung-fu superpowers! The characters are numerous and the actors are fun. It's just a crazy good time! There was supposed to be a sequel made but it never came out ... TRAVESTY!!! But seriously, if you're bored one afternoon and you want to see a whole bunch of insane things happen within a kung-fu fantasy version of Ming China, then get this movie!!! For some people I could imagine this film falling under the category of "so bad it's good," but there ain't nothing bad about Kung Fu Cult Master! The name is also fitting because, even though it's just a coincidence, this really is a "cult" film.

All right ... so that being said I want to add something new to my posts. As some of you may know I'm heading off to Korea for school at the end of the summer. I've been to Korea twice before, and as I count photography as one of my many hobbies, I took a bunch of photos while I was there. I've decided to take the best of these and post them with my regular posts and explain a bit about the pic. So without further ado, here is the first of the best of my Korea pics!



So this here is a bunch of jugs with pots on. I took this pic back in 2008 when I first went to Korea and I was walking down a street in a small town outside of Seoul in Gyeongi province. This is a common sight in Korea, especially in the countryside or in residential areas. Inside the pots is likely gochujang (고추짱), which is that hot red pepper paste that people eat with bibimbap (if you have had any contact with Korean food you've probably eaten bibimbap) and other Korean food. In Korea it's easy to just buy this stuff at the supermarket but a lot of people still make it themselves and they store it in these pots to let it ferment. These pots could potentially contain other things such as bean paste, other kinds of sauces or pastes, and even kimchi. But more often than not, if you see these pots sitting around, they probably have gochujang in them. I like the framing of this shot and the way the pots' surfaces reflect the light. I would also say that this is really a traditional image in Korea that continues to endure. This is why I consider it one of the best! More to come!

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