Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Thoughts On Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen

Donnie Yen’s butt.

That, my friends; is the one element of Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen that I can honestly say I’ve never seen elsewhere.

That one goofy and slightly embarrassing little detail aside, Return of Chen Zhen is a bipolar mess of a film that can only be recommended to the most hardcore of Donnie Yen fans, I.E. me.

The basic plot is as follows:

Picking up after the conclusion of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury, Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen) flees China for the French battlefield of WWI.

How he managed to survive charging headlong into a hail of gunfire after the events of Fist of Fury, is never explained.

During the war, one of Chen Zhen’s friends is shot dead, prompting him to go apeshit and kill a bunch of Germans via the combined techniques of parkour and shank-fu.

*Cue shitty rip-off of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme* What? You think I'm kidding?

Much violence and badassery ensues.

With that, Chen Zhen opts to assume his fallen friend’s identity as he sets off for Shanghai; declaring his homeland his new battlefield in fighting against Chinese oppression.

Why he decides to take out his aggression on the occupying Japanese (embodied by the decidedly flacid antagonist played by Kohata Ryu)  instead of the German forces that were directly responsible for his friend’s death, is not explained.

Once in China, Chen Zhen uses his resources to build himself a network of newsies, students, war vets, and cops to serve as his Shadow-esque eyes and ears.

He also invests in a pencil-thin fake mustache, seemingly just because pencil-thin mustaches are pimp.

"Hello, I'm Donnie Yen, and you sir; have just stumbled upon my secret Pimp Party. Prepare to be kicked in the face... Repeatedly."

How Chen Zhen acquires said resources to put together said network, and purchase said mustache, is never explained.

Now firmly established as a wealthy entrepreneur of sorts in Shanghai, Chen Zhen links up with fellow wealthy socialite and nightclub owner, Li Yutian (Anthony Wong) in order to spread his influence… At least that’s what I got out of it anyway.

Li’s nightclub also happens to play host to a foxy singer named Kiki (Shu Qi) whom Chen Zhen quickly becomes attracted to.

Donnie Yen would hit it, but y'know; supermodel wife...

The wikipedia entry for this movie states that Chen Zhen “is romantically attracted to Kiki,” however this is hardly evident in the film.

I know they’re Chinese, and they’re not good at that whole “love” thing, or y’know; talking to each other, but when 2 characters never so much as hold hands throughout a movie, I find it hard to believe they’re “romantically attracted” to each other.

Not only that, but their most intimate moment is actually when Chen Zhen threatens to kill her.

ROMANCE.

Anyway, in case you couldn’t tell; Kiki really ruined the movie for me.

Usually I kind of like Shu Qi’s bubbly cutesy-ness, as was the case in the delightfully, uh, adequate Jackie Chan flick, Gorgeous; but this time around her role was just plain ugly.

Her character’s arc, much like the flow of the entire film, is predictable; yet somehow all over the place all at the same time.

Not only that, she’s shitfaced for roughly 3 quarters of the film, making her a very difficult character to like.

I’m guessing her character was supposed to be tragic, but in the end; she just brought the whole movie down by needlessly slowing the pace with frequent, and boring dialogue scenes.

Speaking of boring dialogue scenes, Return of Chen Zhen has a fuck ton of ’em!

In most cases I can deal with inane and extraneous dialogue, but in the case of this movie; I actually found myself muttering the words:

“Jesus fuck man, I DON’T CARE.

Well okay, I didn’t exactly “mutter” those words so much as yell them, but you get the point.

Needless to say, Return of Chen Zhen has some writing issues… And pacing issues…  And it smells funny.

Now, when I said Return of Chen Zhen was a “bipolar” movie, I was of course speaking of it’s up and down pacing, specifically the jarring contrast between it’s action sequences, and the rest of the film.

In short:

Return of Chen Zhen has some pretty spankin’ fight sequences.

Heh heh, I like the part when the one dude gets kicked in the face. That was cool...

While nearly all of it is of the classic, Dynasty Warriors/1 man vs. the world style, most of it is well choreographed, and perhaps more importantly; competently shot.

Make no mistake, while the staging of the fights was indeed very good in Return of Chen Zhen, the editor, and perhaps more importantly; the cinematographer deserve a special pat on the back for their contributions.

While not so great a fight, this shot was pretty enough to redeem it.

Donnie Yen served as action choreographer for this one, and if there’s anything Donnie Yen is good at; it’s making himself look good.

While I heard reports that indicated an excessive use of stunt doubles for this film, I can honestly say that I didn’t notice them.

I’m assuming most of the parkour and stunt work was filmed using doubles, but everything that counts in my book, that is; the punching and kicking of people’s faces, was definitely all Yen.

Trust me, nobody throws kicks like Donnie Yen, nobody.

So… Where are his balls during all of this?

Speaking of which, from an action standpoint, Return of Chen Zhen serves as a sort of “best of” for Donnie Yen’s various trademark moves.

From the leaping spinning back kick above, to the cheesy windmill uppercuts of old, to even some of the joint locks and MMA style moves seen in SPL and Flashpoint; pretty much every cool thing Donnie Yen has done to someone throughout his career is featured, and ably performed in this movie at some point, with satisfyingly brutal results.

Though sadly there’s no breakdance fighting ala Mismatched Couples…

Kung Fu B-Boy Donnie Yen!

Getting back to the movie, seeing as most of the fight sequences in Return of Chen Zhen have Mr. Yen clothed in a Kato-esque mask and suit, the movements and strikes incorporated into the choreography bear a satisfying and altogether appropriate “superhero-y” quality to them.

That is to say:

When people get hit in this movie, they fly across the room and then some.

Yeah, that guy's goin' through a wall... Or 2.

Normally I’m not a fan of wirework in my kung fu movies, but their use in this film was largely used for the simple effect of slamming people into bookcases/windows/walls/platypuses, instead of the more fanciful bullshit as in Dragon Tiger Gate and other such films.

In all, Donnie Yen’s physical performance was nothing short of incredible in Return of Chen Zhen.

Given his relatively advanced age for the genre, (47) dreading the day when Donnie Yen suddenly gets old overnight and can’t perform as well he used to, but goddamnit; Father Time must owe him money or something, ’cause if anything he looked better in this movie than he did 2 years ago.

My guess is, the Ip Man movies actually served to smother Mr. Yen’s performances a bit over the past few years.

Wing Chun is a very practical, and straightforward fighting system; and one that is foreign to Donnie Yen’s martial talents.

As I mentioned earlier, Return of Chen Zhen was choreographed by Donnie Yen, for Donnie Yen, and in getting back to the basics, I think Mr. Yen showed us all that he’s still got it.

Anyway, enough cock-sucking.

In closing, I’d just like to point out a few little tidbits I felt needed mentioning:

Yasuaki Kurata and Shawn Yue have cameos in this movie.

They’re brief, and largely pointless; but it was fun seeing them nonetheless.

Would’ve really liked to have seen Kurata do a bit of fighting, seeing as he seemed relatively spry in Master of Thunder a few years ago, but oh well; take what you can get.

If you didn't see it already, then you probably shouldn't...

The vast majority of the sets for Return of Chen Zhen were very obviously recycled from the one used for Bodyguards and Assassins.

While it’s an incredible set, and definitely worth revisiting, there’s no denying that it was framed with a lot more love in Bodyguards and Assassins, and thusly comes across as kind of cheap looking this time around.

Also, if you’ve seen Bodyguards and Assassins, then it’s kind of surreal looking at little things like staircases and windows and remembering them, very clearly; from their use in that movie, which is peculiar being as Bodyguards and Assassins took place in Hong Kong, while Return of Chen Zhen is set in Shanghai.

I suppose it’s worth noting that, yes; the Japanese are the villains of this movie, and yes; they are portrayed as the most vile, baby boiling, dog kicking sons of bitches you’ve ever met.

Xenophobia has always been marketable in Chinese films, and nothing is ever gonna’ change that.

Regardless of how bad they make my people look, as long as Hong Kong keeps pumping out awesome movies about people kicking each other in the brain, I honestly don’t care.

Anyway, the plot sucked, the characters were boring, the dialogue was excessive and dull… but the fighting was pretty good.

If you love to see Donnie Yen do his thing, see it.

If not, then all you’re really missing is Donnie Yen’s butt.

Can you live without seeing Donnie Yen’s butt?

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Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Azn Badger’s Guide To Foods That Will Wreck Your Shit-Hole

Haha, poop on head!

Yesterday I posted a 1,000+ word article on the subject of defecation and it’s place in American culture.

I’m proud to say it’s one of the better posts I’ve made in the past month or so.

That being said, today I’ve decided to follow up the success of that gloriously shit-stained post by putting together a list of foods that I’ve done battle with on the porcelain throne over the years.

Please bear in mind that this list is based entirely of my personal experience, as well as through knowledge imparted to me by others comfortable enough to do so.

That being said, the following will be quite detailed, and very likely; too graphic for some.

You have been warned.

Dried Mango:

 

Pictured: The best brand. Trust me, there are some truly shitty brands...

A personal favorite of mine (eating it right now in fact!).

I’ve built up a tolerance to it over the years, but newbies will be greeted with frequent and chunky shits containing undigested, and still quite yellow, fragments of mango.

Said effects only manifest when consumed in mass quantities.

Not painful to deal with, but the frequency of shits can be troublesome if you have an upcoming social occasion.

Best eaten/OD’ed on when your schedule is clear for the day.

Note: Philippine brand mango is recommended, as it easily the highest quality.  Stay away from Top Food’s bulk version though.

It’s orange.

Last time I checked, mango wasn’t orange

Dried Papaya:

Eww... Those don't look like any papaya I would buy...

Not as tasty as mango, but extremely easy to OD on due to the richness of the fruit.

Results in slight constipation, and slight headache if consumed in mass quantities.

Can occasionally cause one’s shit to become mucus-like in consistency.

Be mindful of over-indulging, as it can result in an itchy sensation in the rectum that makes it difficult to gauge the urgency of impending shits.

Seriously, it’s like your anus is pulling a rope-a-dope on your nervous system, tricking it into thinking it needs to drop a deuce when there’s simply no deuces to drop.

Extremely frustrating to contend with, as constipation is equally as likely to manifest as the never ending, itchy “good God, I need to shit like a camel needs to spit” sensation.

Recommended in small portions, or not at all; as dried mango is a billion times more tasty anyway…

Almond Butter:

Whaddaya' know, it looks the same goin' in as it does comin' out!

A tasty peanut butter alternative that goes down smooth, but puts on a helluva’ fight on the way out.

As mentioned above, it produces no noticeable symptoms upon initial consumption, however it grows fangs/balls sometime during the digestion process, resulting in sneakily urgent shits later in the day.

Said evacuation process is actually not so much painful, as it is uncomfortable and anti-climactic.

Uncomfortable in the sense that one’s shits produce an irritating itching sensation, not to mention are rendered disappointingly miniscule by man-standards.

(Yes, we have standards for that.)

Anti-climactic in the sense that one’s body goes ape-shit telling them they need to get to a toilet right now, so they can anally evict the rampaging shit-leopard from their bowels before it quite literally tears them a new asshole, only to find that the resulting ass-leavings were a shit-kitty at best.

Still, that itching sensation can be epicly frustrating…

Raisins:

"Well hello there raisin hottie, what'cha' got there? HOLY JEEBUS, DON'T YOU REALIZE WHAT THOSE'LL DO TO ME!?"

Don’t let the friendly mascot of the hot Mexican chick fool you, raisins claim the porcelain throne as their second home, carving their name into the asshole of any man foolish enough to challenge them on their turf.

Seriously man, raisins are tough customers.

Consumption results in severe gas and an unrelenting feeling of “oh my God, I need to take a shit so bad” so severe, that most men opt to spend the remainder of the day in the John, y’now, just in case.

Despite this, the process of sending raisins on the endless descent into the white bowl of doom is where the actual wrecking of one’s shit generally occurs.

Said shit is akin to experiencing the crippling “oh my God, why won’t my ass stop crying” symptoms of diarrhea, while undergoing the “holy shit, why won’t my anus come out and play?” symptoms of constipation.

Seriously, the resulting shit is a marathon of anal endurance; the likes of which few can endure.

It’s like a 12 round war of attrition, broken up by frequent, and unsettling bouts of clinching.

Or is that “clenching?”

Despite one’s best efforts, in this particular equation, one is simply doomed to ride out the literal shit-storm of anal flotsam and debris that will very likely adorn their bathroom walls over the next 15-360 minutes.

Make no mistake, war is hell; especially when fought on the crapper…

Cheese (Any of the Cow variety):

"Ah, the power of chees..."

I am Japanese.

History teaches us that, for a very long time, my people had no cows.

Make no mistake, when it comes to foods that wreck my shit, few things of this Earth can do so as quickly, efficiently, and as unfailingly as dairy products.

While eggnog is a close second, I honestly feel that cheeses have the greatest capacity to tear my rectum inside out and fold it over my head like a shitty hockey player on the receiving end of a particularly savage hockey beatdown.

Consumption of cheese results in noticeable symptoms right off the bat.

It all starts with the “cheese sweats.”

Y’know, that nasty feeling where you feel all greasy and short of breath every time you exert yourself even a little.

Once the “cheese sweats” have settled in, then the nasal congestion starts to rear it’s ugly head, making you look like an ass as you constantly snort and blow your nose in a lame attempt to keep from breathing through your mouth like a loser.

Seriously, nobody likes a mouth breather.

NOBODY.

Once all of that has settled in, things finally come to a head as the dreaded “cheese gas” starts acting up, causing your anus to cough up clouds of all sorts of Evil Cow God cursed gasses that no man (or woman) of this Earth are meant to (nor able to) contend with.

Make no mistake, when an Asian declares bathroom jihad on a product of the dairy clan; collateral damage is not only expected, it’s a certainty.

That being said, unless you’re comfortable with living out the rest of your days knowing that a handful of people’s faces were Ark of the Covenant-ed by the noxious “cheese gas” crop-dusting from your shit-hole on your long march to the porcelain theater of war, I would suggest removing one’s self from any public venues before consuming any cheeses.

Despite the immense possibilities for public humiliation, doing battle with cheese is much like taking on a bully.

He may put on a big bravado, humiliating you from time to time, and even going so far as getting physical with you every now and again; but once you get him into the ring and start trading with him, he folds like the lips of your anus in the off-season.

In short, the actual battle with cheese is rather brief, and actually ends up feeling like a relief after all the tortuous build-up.

Either that, or you get diarrhea.

Really BAD diarrhea…

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The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #7: Universal Soldier

*Note: I am aware that they may be better overkills out there, but c’mon; this is Van Damme vs. Ivan Drago we’re talking about…*

Universal Soldier is not a good movie.

Hell, it’s not even a good Van Damme movie.

Despite this, I doubt any of us will forget the supermarket sequence,

"I kick ass, I kiss ass, and I'm busting heads!"

or watching Van Damme kick the shit out of truckers for absolutely no reason.

"Goddamnt, I'm just trying to eat this tray of popcorn!"

Anyway, this list isn’t about hero worship; it’s about overkill, so let’s get to it.

CLICK HERE FOR CLIP

The overkill in question occurs during the final battle of the film between the 2 crazy, roided-out Universal Soldiers of the title.

Well, maybe Van Damme isn’t, but Dolph is ‘roided out at this point anyway…

Everyone knows the 'roids grant the user He-Man hair...

Being as this is a Van Damme film, the first half of the fight belongs to the villain.

For several minutes straight, Dolph kicks the ever-loving shit out of Van Damme, making the stunt crew and wire team work for their money in the process.

Unfortunately, just as victory seems certain for the uber-Swede, he makes the BIG FUCKING MISTAKE of diverting his attention to Van Damme’s lady friend in the background.

By “diverting his attention,” of course, I mean “chucking a grenade up her ass.”

There are only 3 things in this world you don’t do when Van Damme’s in town.

First, you never throw white powder in his eyes.

That’ll get you kicked in the head, REPEATEDLY.

Second, you never, never, travel through time without the proper authority.

That’ll get your ass Ron Silver-ed.

Yes, that used to be Ron Silver before he touched himself...

And third, you never, ever, EVERRRR, ogle/threaten/rape/blow-up the woman that Van Damme is into, but isn’t actually in a legit relationship with on account of them not fucking, or not having known each other long enough for their feelings to amount to them wanting to fuck.

Seriously Dolph, you were home free until you chucked that grenade up that pretty ladies’ ass…

Jeez, Dolph. I know it was cool n'all, but get over it...

Not only that, but you know that fire your grenade just caused?

Well, it serves to give Van Damme ample opportunity to stand up heroically in front of it, thereby solidifying this part of the fight as his “comeback moment.”

Oh now you've gone and done it...

Needless to say, Van Damme gets back in the fight, managing to land his first noteworthy blows.

I like how 'roids somehow make kicks to the face hurt less.

Despite Van Damme’s angst/kicking power, there’s still the matter of Dolph’s ‘roid enhanced powers…

Due to the vast disparity in strength levels at this juncture, Van Damme still finds himself on the receiving end of a lot of downright silly Full Metal Jacket-esque taunts, in between eating a lot of Swedish knuckle-sandwiches, of course.

In fact, Dolph puts even his ass through a wall at one point.

Goddamn! Somebody ate their spinach...

No matter, Van Damme is in “comeback mode” at this point, thereby making any attacks only serve to enhance, rather than deplete his Belgian man-strength.

At some point, Van Damme manages to snatch an extra syringe of ‘roids off of Dolph’s tactical vest.

Van Damme: Teaching the kids that juicing's the only way to win...

Now, these ‘roids have to be just about the fastest acting chemical substance found on this Earth, as after no more than 5 seconds, Van Damme’s strength level seems to shoot right past ‘ole Dolph.

"Man, you're like half my size! What the fuck kinda' shit you shootin'!?"

With that, Dolph’s days of landing noteworthy blows, or even trying to defend himself come to an end, as things may as well have just shifted from the traditional martial arts movie “comeback mode,” to “Van Damme kicks people in the face mode.”

I'm beginning to see a theme here...

Needless to say, Dolph gets shown all 4 corners of the, uh, barn; and then some.

It all comes to a head when Van Damme gets a hold of Dolph and decides to throw technique and variation out the window in favor of throwing the same punch about 50 billion times.

IN THE FACE x50,000,000,000!!!

Seriously, virtually every drop of blood, and every bruise inflicted on the giga-Swede in this fight were the product of said punches, and seemingly nothing else.

Anyway, the Van Damminator gets his first bit of revenge by putting Dolph through a wall, thusly bringing the fight back outside into the rain.

This leads to a rather bizarre, and very childish bit of banter between the 2:

Well, that was productive.

Anyway, mass face-kicking ensues, resulting in Dolph falling backwards onto a harvester, and the true beginning to our #7 best overkill.

Here are the results of said fall:

Well now, we're regretting that little grenade toss earlier, right?

Wow, that’s a lot of holes!

As one would expect, Dolph doesn’t get up from that one.

Well, not in the traditional sense anyway.

Much like a Michael Myers/Jason Voorhees-style slasher, Dolph tries to trick Van Damme by playing dead, although it’s equally possible he simply passed out for a short time after, well, you saw.

I'm dead, soldier...

Anyway, with his un-impaled hand, Dolph grabs hold of the back of Van Damme’s head, and in one final attempt to finally make our hero a “dead soldier,” tries to pull Van Damme’s face into the harvester blade protruding from his own chest.

Bro'mance at it's most intimate...

If that’s not savage, I don’t know what is.

Unfortunately, Van Damme still has some of that ‘roid sauce in his blood, thusly allowing him to deftly snap the big Swede’s forearm out of place.

I know I said it before, but your arm really isn't supposed to bend that way.

Being as Dolph is still impaled and stuck to the harvester blades, and now has no operational limbs, I’d say his threat level just dropped to zero.

Even so, Van Damme doesn’t like loose ends, so being as this is a 90’s action flick, he runs on over to the power switch for the harvester, and unflinchingly turns that sucker on!

While we aren’t treated to the gloriously gory details of the Swedish slice-o-matic extravaganza,, we do bear witness to a tasty little tidbit of the carnage in the form of a shot of the harvester’s expulsion duct blowing bits and chunks of Dolph out into the night sky.

Rest assured, the next harvest on this particular farm will grow inordinately large and blond from the trickle-down effect of laying Dolph’s liquified form onto the fields…

Oh yeah, and it turns out the chick didn’t get blown up.

Fuckin’ figures…

BUTT.

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