Archive for the Bruce Lee 李小龙 Category

“Ip Man 3” Cast Has Mike Tyson and CGI Bruce Lee [CRIEnglish / [

Posted in Bruce Lee 李小龙, Donnie Yen 甄子丹, Sweet & Sour Cinema, Uncategorized on April 18, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Web Editor: Sun Wanming

Shooting for the third installment in the hit kung-fu series “Ip Man” is due to begin…

The former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is joining Donnie Yen in the movie, along with a computer-generated Bruce Lee.

“Ip Man” is a kung-fu biopic about the life of Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun master.

The story in the third installment focuses on the master-student relationship between Ip Man and Bruce Lee.

“Ip Man 3” is being directed by Wilson Yip.

The film is scheduled for release during next year’s [2016] Spring Festival.

Edited/excerpted by Zuo Shou

Original article title: ‘New “Ip Man” Cast Has Mike Tyson and Computer-Generated Bruce Lee’

Article link:


Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmasters” to Hit China’s Big Screens on December 18 [ / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Bruce Lee 李小龙, Kung Fu, Sweet & Sour Cinema, Yuen Wo Ping 袁和平, Zhang Ziyi 张子怡 on April 18, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手


[Please note that this release news is for the Chinese mainland. I’m not aware of release date announcements for the US and elsewhere. – Zuo Shou]

Wong Kar Wai’s martial arts biopic “The Grandmasters” is set for release on December 18, Sina Entertainment reports.

The movie is based on the life story of Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Man, the legendary martial arts master who trained Bruce Lee.

Wong’s frequent collaborator Tony Leung stars in the film as Yip man [sic]. The cast also includes Zhang Ziyi playing a Baguazhang master, Hye-gyo Song, Zhang Zhen and Zhao Benshan.

The film has taken a great deal of time to finish, as is often the case with Wong Kar Wai films. Knowing Wong Kar Wai’s impressionistic storytelling style, fans expect stunning fight choreography.

After the release date was announced, the official microblog of “The Grandmasters” initiated a competition which will give out 1218 exquisite posters to fans.

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“Tony Leung Fights to Win in ‘The Grandmasters'” – first trailer of Wong Kar-wai’s 2011 martial arts film released, w/ English subtitles [ / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Bruce Lee 李小龙, Hong Kong, Kung Fu, Sweet & Sour Cinema, Yuen Wo Ping 袁和平, Zhang Ziyi 张子怡 on July 19, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Trailer / article link:

2011-07-19 / / Web Editor: Xie Tingting

Check out the first trailer for Wong Kar-wai’s long-awaited film, “The Grandmasters”, starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai as the martial-arts legend Yip Man.

Leung’s character, a master of the Wing Chun style of martial arts, was the real-life mentor of kung-fu and Hollywood legend Bruce Lee. The trailer shows the master applying his lose-or-win fighting logic by defeating a mob on a raining night.

Leung is the only leading actor to appear in the trailer, although the film’s cast also includes Zhang Ziyi, Song Hye-kyo, Chang Chen and Zhao Benshan.

“The Grandmasters” is slated for release in December, eight years after Wong Kar-wai first began planning the film.

[Action director of the film is by Yuen Woo-ping – Zuo Shou]

[Trailer without English subtitles can also be viewed at

Wong Kar-Wai’s “The Grandmasters” Scheduled to Wrap in Mid-May [ / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Bruce Lee 李小龙, south Korea, Sweet & Sour Cinema, Zhang Ziyi 张子怡 on May 10, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 6, 2011

I’m skeptical about this film “being in the can” in a week or so.  Knowing Wong Kar-Wai’s dilatory film-making habits, maybe they mean mid-May…2012 (joke).  Song Hye Kyo gets my vote for most beautiful spokesmodel in south Korea, I’m skeptical about her acting talents as she’s only really been successful so far in a handful of soap operas, and the one I’ve seen I didn’t like (Full House).  So far efforts to establish her as a credible film actress have failed. – Zuo Shou 左手

South Korean actress Song Hye Kyo (Photo:

The martial arts film “The Grandmasters” will be in the can in mid-May.

South Korean Actress Song Hye Kyo recently flew to China to complete her part in the film, according to South Korean media.

Directed by Karwai Wong, the film is an autobiographical one based on the story of kung fu star Bruce Lee’s master, Yip Man.  Song Hye Kyo plays the role of Yip Man’s wife.

The film also features other A-list stars, including Hong Kong actor Tony Leung and mainland actress Zhang Ziyi.

Director Wong, who is known for long shooting periods, started filming “The Grandmasters” in 2009.

Article link here

“The Green Hornet” review by a Chinese-American critic; film co-star Jay Chou was voted “Worst Actor” in 2010 by Hong Kong’s “Razzies” [Film Freak Central / China Daily / Sweet and Sour Cinema]

Posted in Bruce Lee 李小龙, Kung Fu, Sweet & Sour Cinema on January 16, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

January 16, 2011

Below is a link to the only review I’ve seen on this predominantly poorly-reviewed film from someone with a Chinese background, he gives it a crushing ZERO STARS.  At the Rotten Tomatoes critics aggregator website, the long delayed “Green Hornet” has a “Rotten” rating; at the more astute Metacritic website, it’s in the ratings cellar “Red” zone with a 38% rating.




“…You don’t, however, have to be Chinese to hate this iteration of The Green Hornet.  It’s a disaster along the lines of Jeremiah Chechik’s big-budget adaptation of TV’s ‘The Avengers’:  misguided, misdirected, written with the grace of a concrete mixer, and full (but not full enough) of action set-pieces that make up for in complete incoherence what they lack in excitement…”

Walter Chaw’s review link:

While obviously not Asian cinema, “The Green Hornet” has an oblique connection to “Sweet & Sour Cinema” due to the fact that in the ’60s Bruce Lee assayed the role of Kato in the TV show version, which is probably the only reason why the “Green Hornet” character is remembered today at all.

What about the actor who will try to fill Bruce Lee’s shoes, typically presented in “The Green Hornet”‘s publicity as “Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou”?…

~ A short introduction to the guy taking on Bruce Lee’s role in 2011, and what they’re not telling the Western audiences about him. ~

by Zuo Shou 左手

From China Daily:  “Jay Chow wins Worst Actor” 2010.4.20

Jay Chow has won Worst Actor at the Golden Plum Awards in Hong Kong.  The pop star was accused of “doing nothing but acting cool” in “The Treasure Hunter” at the Golden Plum, an annual award which recognizes the worst in Hong Kong film…

The Green Hornet’s Asian sidekick Kato is played in the new Hollywood version of “The Green Hornet” by Taiwanese entertainment and marketing ball-hog Jay Chou (Actual Chinese name: Zhou Jielun).  While he’s been the most popular of the Chinese male “Mandopop” stars in the early years of the 21st century, unless you’re of a certain fannish age, this prolific multi-instrumentalist composer will get on your nerves very quickly in mainland China as he’s annoyingly over-exposed in both the music industry and mass media advertising.   Regarding the latter, he’s sold his name and face to numerous brands. [Disclosure:   part of my criticism of “Jay” comes from buying an article of clothing from a Chinese brand he shills for, “Metersbonwe”; despite not being cheap, it turned out to be the shoddiest garment I’ve ever bought. – ZS]  For years, no matter the context, he was photographed / posed with either a grumpy-puss scowl or grimace which are alleged to signify “cool” to a certain audience.

His music tends to be highly derivative; typical of the neo-colonized Taiwan environment, there’s an extreme reliance on rip-offs of US genres (especially hip-hop and “R & B”; possibly worst is his gruesome “country and western” album) which get over in an Asian market as “fashionable” due to novelty but are ridiculous to those with comprehensive exposure to the respective genre’s sources.  His best work in my opinion is in the “Zhongguo Feng” (“Chinese atmosphere”) style, which melds pop with traditional Chinese cultural elements.   To his credit, he is one of those composers who can actually write a melody.  However, there is evidence that after several years of reigning as “King of MandoPop” his musical career is stagnating.

He’s been attempting to diversify into the film and TV industry with a few roles over the last few years and even a directorial stint in the gimmicky time-travel teenage romancer “Secret”.  Critics say he can neither act nor fight.  His noted limited acting range is a hallmark of his performances, as well as the tendency to work in projects of extremely copy-cat nature (“Kung Fu Dunk” stole the “martial arts + sports” formula of Stephen Chow’s “Shaolin Soccer”, while subtracting “humor” and adding “boredom” to the equation; “Treasure Hunter” was a blatant and measly “Indiana Jones / Tomb Raider” xerox).

Setting aside his penchant for gravitating to musical and cinematic counterfeits, what neither Wikipedia, the Hollywood hype machine nor one single English-language film review of “The Green Hornet” will tell you is that in Taiwan and China, “Jay” is on a long unbroken losing streak in front of and behind the camera.  In 2010 alone his Taiwanese TV series “Pandamen” only went 6 episodes and an expensively-produced talk show hosted by him was quickly canceled.  His last two films, the aforementioned “Treasure Hunter” (2009) for which he harvested the 2010 “Worst Actor” Golden Plum award  and the  martial arts saga “True Legend” (2010) also bombed.  [On his career rut from a Chinese perspective see “Ja(y)ded time ahead” by Raymond Zhou in China Daily, 2010-07-05. ]

I bring this background up because there is a marketing effort to hijack some of Bruce Lee’s inimitable cool onto Jay Chou.   Jay has musical talents and is perhaps developing martial arts skills.  But Jay Chou is no Bruce Lee (to quote multiple movie reviewers).   He’s also no Stephen Chow, the Hong Kong comedy great behind “Shaolin Soccer” who was originally slated to direct “The Green Hornet” and/or play the Kato role, and who apparently got out while the getting was good.

The man who was Mao’s hero – Bruce Lee [People’s Daily / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Bruce Lee 李小龙, China, Hong Kong, Jackie Chan 成龙, Jet Li 李连杰, Kung Fu, Mao Zedong, Sweet & Sour Cinema on December 26, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 17, 2010

The Bruce Lee legend never fades but it might surprise some to learn that among his legion of fans was Chairman Mao, who called him a hero.

Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) and Bruce Lee the martial arts legend (1940-1973) both declared – in their unique ways – that the Chinese people had “stood up”.

Mao made this proclamation on the founding of the People’s Republic of China, on Oct 1, 1949, Lee said it in a cinematic way that needed no translation when he kicked and smashed a wooden panel bearing the words: “Chinese and dogs not allowed”, one of the iconic scenes steeped in fiery nationalism from ‘Fist of Fury’.

The words are supposedly from notices at the entrance of public parks in colonial Shanghai, and have come to symbolize the country’s humiliation.

It turns out the Great Helmsman was a huge fan of the kungfu legend.

By 1974, Mao was diagnosed with a cataract and was advised by his doctors to refrain from reading. Thus he turned to movies. After a heavy dose of foreign biopics, such as those on Abraham Lincoln and Napoleon, he moved on to Hong Kong fare.

The task of collecting these films fell to Liu Qingtang, then deputy minister of the Ministry of Culture, a ballet dancer who shot to prominence by affiliating himself with Jiang Qing (Madame Mao) and starring in her “model repertory”.

At that time there were no cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland. Liu flew down to Guangdong and sought the help of the local authority, but it had no recourse either. Finally, the Hong Kong bureau chief of Xinhua News Agency was summoned. He knew an attorney who was a friend of Sir Run Run Shaw, Hong Kong’s movie mogul at the time.

Shaw was reluctant at first, it was said, fearing his films would be the target of mainland political campaigns. He relented, however, without knowing exactly who would be watching the movies. Among the prints on loan were three films starring Lee, then totally unknown to most mainlanders due to China’s self-imposed isolation.

Reeve Wong, a noted film critic from Hong Kong, who shared the details with me, says there is one inaccuracy in the above account: Lee’s main body of work was by Golden Harvest, a competitor of Shaw’s studio. Wong says even so, Liu Qingtang insisted it was Shaw who loaned the movies. Here, Wong reasons that it could be a slip of the tongue, or Shaw’s name stood for all the people who loaned films, because he had the biggest name.

Liu, who sat with Mao during the screenings, said he watched ‘The Big Boss’, ‘Fist of Fury’ and ‘The Way of the Dragon’. Mao would burst into eulogies when he got excited.

While watching ‘Fist of Fury’ for the first time, Mao dissolved in tears, Liu recalled, and said “Bruce Lee is a hero!” Mao watched the film twice more. Liu said he did not know of any other movie that Mao viewed three times.

When it came time to ship the prints back to Hong Kong, nobody dared do so lest Mao got another urge to watch them. Only after he was terminally ill were two of the movies returned.

Think of it, had Mao publicized his approbation, Lee would have instantly become an exalted figure like Lei Feng, the good Samaritan every Chinese student was encouraged to imitate.

But Lee did not need Mao’s help. He became more than just a national hero, transcending geopolitical boundaries. As Mao correctly observed, Lee’s movies portray the fight between good and evil and Lee invariably embodied the good. That’s something everyone can relate to.

A few years ago I was asked by a film magazine to name the biggest Chinese film star of all time. After a long period of deliberation, I picked Lee. Agreed, he was not the best thespian, nor the best looking, and he had a very limited oeuvre. Yes, he was a brilliant kungfu fighter, but we trained them by the busloads in martial arts schools or opera academies, didn’t we? But Lee had an appeal that went beyond the screen, or kungfu for that matter. He personified an aesthetic that shattered the stereotype of the Asian male.

It is very difficult for an Asian man to take the center stage in Hollywood productions, which shape public consciousness on a global scale. In the early years, Asian male roles were portrayed by non-Asians who resorted to painting their face yellow, slanting their eyes and adding buckteeth. Asian females had a relatively easier time of it compared with their male counterparts. Although their roles were highly restricted, they at least got to impart exotic beauty. Men were relegated to nerds, axiom-spewing sages or bad guys.

Even if you take into account the accomplishments of Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Chow Yun-fat, the situation is not much better. They are niche players with obvious limitations. And none of them project such a robust image of the Asian male as Lee did. (Japan’s Toshiro Mifune, an Akira Kurosawa regular, had an opportunity to do so, but he rarely strayed from period dramas, which were too overblown to be a role model for contemporaries.)

Lee combined dexterity with a virility that busted the hoary stigmas of the Asian male. Alas his reign was too short-lived.

There is a new biopic of Lee in his youthful days, Bruce Lee, My Brother. Interestingly, the filmmakers dug out details of his life that contradicted his public persona. For example, he suffered from severe myopia. (Can you imagine Bruce Lee wearing a pair of thick glasses?) As a teenager, he was sometimes shy and would rather dance with his brother than ask the girl he had set his eyes on. Of course, tales of his street fighting are even more legendary.

Lee’s screen debut was in 1950 with The Kid. I saw the movie and he was so good it is no exaggeration to say he was a child star on a par with the best in the world. In 1957, he played the idealistic younger brother in Thunderstorm, adapted from the classic play, still the stepping-stone for many a young thespian hoping for a breakthrough. It is not easy to catch snippets of Lee’s early movies, but they show Lee with multi-faceted talents. Given proper guidance, he could have become Hong Kong’s king of drama.

I was also surprised when I heard Lee speak English – in documentaries of course. Sure, he was born in San Francisco, but he was 3 months old when he headed to Hong Kong and only returned to the United States when he was 18. I can only say he was a quick learner.

In terms of cinematic charisma, Lee was in a league of his own. His best-known work was made in Hong Kong but gained an unprecedented following worldwide. He did something nobody had done before and nobody in Chinese cinema has surpassed since. The Chairman was spot on when he declared Lee “a hero”.

By Raymond Zhou
Source: China Daily

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Wong Kar-wai’s ‘The Grandmasters’ Posters Released [CRIEnglish / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Bruce Lee 李小龙, Donnie Yen 甄子丹, Kung Fu, Sweet & Sour Cinema, Yuen Wo Ping 袁和平, Zhang Ziyi 张子怡 on November 1, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

November 1, 2010

"The Grandmasters" poster featuring Tony Leung (Photo:

The producers of Wong Kar-Wai’s martial-arts film “The Grandmasters” (“Yi Dai Zong Shi”) have released two posters of the film featuring lead actors Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, reports.

Leung plays Yip Man in Wong’s take on this master of the martial art of Wing Chun, who is better known as Bruce Lee’s mentor.  Yip Man’s story has been popularized in recent years in several other biopics, the most famous being Wilson Yip’s “Ip Man” series starring Donnie Yen.

Unlike Yen who himself is a trained martial artist, Leung had to learn Wing Chun from scratch, according to  But what moviegoers will see in “The Grandmasters” is a Leung who imparts the essence of Wing Chun, said Yuen Woo-Ping, the film’s action choreographer who was the stunt advisor of the “Kill Bill” series.

Another poster shows Zhang Ziyi in a kung fu position, although her character is still under wraps.

Both Zhang and Leung have sustained injuries during the filming with Zhang’s injury forcing her withdrawal from the film “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”.

Information about the release date of “The Grandmasters” was not included on the posters.

Zhang Ziyi in "The Grandmasters" (Photo:

Article link here