ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA
WONG FEI HUNG
1991, Golden Harvest, 134 min, Hong Kong, Dir: Tsui Hark

In Tsui Hark’s epic re-imagining of a classical Chinese folk hero, Jet li portrays Wong Fei-hung, a 19th century herbal medicine doctor who also moonlights as the leader of his local militia, training them in traditional martial arts. When the militia protects their village from a brutal gang, Wong gets wrongly blamed for causing the fight. Politics, revolution, and romance all combine across elaborately choreographed fights in a restaurant, at the opera-house, and on a boat to kick off one of the most successful martial arts franchises of all time.


TWICE UPON A TIME
1983, Warner Bros., 75 min, USA, Dir: John Korty, Charles Swenson

In the city of Din, the Rushers work all day, the Figmen deliver sweet dreams all night, and the Murkworks try to muck up everyone’s fun by dropping nightmare bombs on the slumbering masses. When the leader of the Figmen is kidnapped, eternal screw-ups Ralph and Mumford can save the day and prove themselves unlikely heroes if they just shut down the Cosmic Clock and stop time long enough to rescue the hostage. Easy enough … now if they could just figure out how to get the Cosmic Clock started again! Executive produced by George Lucas, TWICE UPON A TIME is a radical collage of animation styles and live action footage unlike anything you’ve ever seen.


BLIND FURY
1989, Sony Repertory, 86 min, Dir: Phillip Noyce

A loose adaptation of the beloved ZATOICHI series, BLIND FURY stars Rutger Hauer as Nick Parker, a blind samurai sword-wielding Vietnam vet, who slices and dices his way through the Reno-based criminal organization that kidnapped his old army buddy (played by Terry O'Quinn). The mob boss (Noble Willingham) soon finds that he has messed with the wrong guy, as neither swarms of henchman nor hired assassins are any match for Nick’s skill with the blade.


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