I have been an admirer of Scott Adkins for some time now. He’s a great martial artist, and has made some great movies (63 at present according to IMDB) – many of which are available to see on Netflix!
He had made movies with Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Michael Jai White and many others. He was even in an X-Men movie and appeared on UK TV in Holby City and Eastenders!
He is currently doing a series of interviews on YouTube with other martial arts stars. He releases about one a week. I don’t know if he is doing this because of COVID, but it certainly gives us something to look forward to every week.
He has interviewed many greats of the past, including Cynthia Rothrock, Benny Urquidez, Richard Norton, Jeff Speakman, Steven Seagal, Phillip Rhee, Loren Avedon, Dolph Lundgren and more (I should add that some of these are still making movies).
He has interviewed many current stars such as Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Mark Dacascos, and more.
He has interviewed many great action directors such as Gareth Evans and Chad Stahelski.
He has interviewed people I did not really know anything about such as Kane Kosugi, Marko Zaror, Daniel Bernhardt, JJ Perry, Andy Cheng, Vidyut Jammwal, Sam Hargrave and more. These are people I need to learn more about!
The interviews themselves are great, mainly I think because Scott is so enthusiastic and so modest. He clearly likes most or all of them and shows them great respect. He manages to get the best out of all of them.
In 2014 a movie came out which changed the face of action movies. It was “John Wick” starring Keanu Reeves.
The movie was directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch and written by Derek Kolstad.
I had seen a trailer in advance so I was looking forward to the movie coming out. The premise (an assassin goes looking for revenge when some bad guys kill his dog and steal his car) seemed so very, very promising!
And the movie did not disappoint. It had some of the best action sequences (unarmed combat, guns and weapons) I had ever seen.
Here are some of the things I love about the John Wick movies:
The action and fight scenes are top notch.
Chad and David are martial artists and stuntmen who formed a company together called 89Eleven in 1997. The company website says this:
Action design is an art form all its own. At 87eleven, our team has what it takes to create innovative stunts for studio films
So when they got the chance to direct the first John Wick movie, they made the movie of their dreams. And the action and fight scenes raised the bar!
IMDB says that John Wick kills 77 people in the movie. In an interview, Chad said that the real number is higher!
The movie features “gun fu”. Although Chad is a master of many martial arts, he said that John Wick uses a combination of ” Japanese jiu-jitsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, tactical 3-gun, and standing Judo”.
The movie creates a whole world of assassins. They have their own code and rules. Their own way of getting contracts. Their own currency. And their own chain of hotels (the Continentals) where they can feel safe (no “business” can be conducted on the hotel grounds).
This world adds a lot of depth to the stories.
The book Shibumi by Trevanian is my favourite book. It makes an appearance in the first movie in two ways:
Nicholai Hel (the main character in Shibumi) is an assassin and a master of “naked/kill” (the art of killing people with everyday objects). Nicholai’s life takes a sharp turn when he is forced to kill someone with a pencil. We are old in the movie that John Wich has killed three men with a pencil.
A security guard is seen reading the book at one point
It is very hard to make sequels which are as good as the original. John Wick is an exception. The first movie scored 7.4 on IMDB. The two sequels each score 7.5! In Rotten Tomatoes the scores are 87%, 89% and 90%.
Quite an achievement.
And “Chapter 4” is due out in 2022. I can’t wait!
As well as making great movies, the guys are great to listen to when they are discussing the movies.
Here is a video of Chad and David discussing the move while watching the “Honest Trailer”
My son (knowing that I am a huge Bruce Lee admirer) bought me the book “Bruce Lee: A Life” by Matthew Polly some time ago.
It’s a big book and I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read it yet.
I did however manage to read an article by Matthew on history.com where he puts forward a new theory on the cause of Bruce’s death.
In relation to the official cause of death, the article states that “The autopsy had revealed the medical reason—cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)—but the coroner had no idea what had caused it”.
I the absence of an obvious cause, the government accepted a theory that the cause was a “severe allergic reaction to aspirin, or anaphylactic shock”.
Matthew Polly rejects this theory saying that “Lee was a hardcore martial artist who had taken aspirin most of his adult life without any side effects”.
He puts forward an alternative theory that Bruce died from heat stroke and associated this with the fact that “Several months before his death, Lee had an operation to remove the sweat glands from his armpits”.
It’s amazing that new theories about Bruce’s death are emerging 47 years after his death. But it’s a testament to the man (the legend) that people want to know.
Here’s an iconic picture of Bruce from Way of the Dragon:
This post brings those two topics together as it is about a Bruce Lee watch which has been released by Casio!
I wasn’t sure what I thought about this at first, but I have come to like the idea.
Here’s what you need to know:
The watch has a black and yellow colour theme based on Lee’s iconic outfit from Game of Death
Bruce Lee’s signature, the Chinese character for his nickname “dragon,” appears at the 3 o’clock position on the dial
Bruce’s tenet of “Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation” appears on the bezel and on the case in Chinese characters
The Jeet June Do symbol (based on Yin and Yang) also appears on the back
It’s designed to last with a titanium case and bezel (the bezel is also coated with diamond-like carbon to increase abrasion resistance) and the glass is sapphire crystal with non-reflective interior coating
It’s a solar-powered G-SHOCK with Bluetooth
It was released this year to celebrate a significant anniversary for Bruce (he would have been 80 on November 27th)
Only 300 were made (in Japan) and the RRP is $4,000
So if anyone is looking for something to buy me as a present…
This flashy video was made by Casio to promote the watch