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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Earth Ocean Fire Villains In Suits II

 

"Bad Guys With Flair" who have criminal minds and practice manipulating others into their schemes. They often have the qualities that are admirable in business but have chosen to use their talents to advance themselves. 

This article is "Villains in Suits II." The first article is "Villains in Suits" where I include the films about Wall Street and other businesses. The slick, shark villains who lure people in. This a continuation of the first article.  View first article here:

 https://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2018/10/villains-in-suits.html

 

"True Romance" (1993) Directed by:  Tony Scott and Written by Quentin Tarantino  Starring:  Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) is a well-meaning but socially unskilled comic-shop clerk whose idea of a big night out is catching a Sonny Chiba triple-feature at a downtown grindhouse. He meets a girl called Alabama (Patricia Arquette) who is new to town and calls herself a hooker. She has been a hooker only a few days and Slater decides to get her away from her pimp. The director captures the magical innocence of these two lonely characters as they fall in love. The pimp part is played by Gary Oldman who calls himself Drexl. This character made an impression of me that I still remember as one of the scariest bad guys ever! Gary Oldman is the real thing and Tarantino's writing along with Tony Scott's directing creates a wild blend of action and dark comedy. This film reached theaters a year before Tarantino's hit "Pulp Fiction."  

 

 "The Strain" TV Series (2014-2017) Written by Guillermo del Torro and Chuck Hogan  Starring:  David Bradley, Corey Stoll, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel

This film was created from a series of books written by Guillermo del Toro. The "bad guy" that impressed me the most was called Thomas Eichorst played by Richard Sammel.  

A mysterious viral outbreak of an ancient vampire like virus is taking over New York city. Sirtrachian (David Bradley) is a pawn shop owner who stubbornly is going to get to the bottom of this and stop it. 

Sirtrachian has a history with this bad guy. He was a prisoner during the holocaust and Thomas Eichorst was the Nazi General who presided over Sirtrachian's prison camp.

Now he is the right arm man at Stoneheart; presently is under cover as a well dressed business man. He lives forever. He has a secret...no spoilers! As the story unfolds, we are kept spell-bound as we find out secrets of the strogoi (vampires) and secrets of the characters. This director keeps his viewers interested and on their toes. He did not write the script strictly by the books but added new scenes and stories to keep the show fresh and the cast on their toes!  Never a dull moment!

The quality of this series is impressive. So many details in the story along with beautiful cinematography. This bad guy keeps you wondering what he is going to do.  I can't tell you any spoilers!                    View this on Amazon Prime.

 

Andrew Scott in "Sherlock" (2010) starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

This series was truly a "labour of love" for the creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. The making of Sherlock demonstrates how the team works together to update the stories to our modern time and keep their meaning.

Professor James Moriarty is a fictional character in some of the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Moriarty is a criminal mastermind whom Holmes describes as the "Napoleon of crime." This character was invented to kill off Sherlock Holmes.

Andrew Scott is amazing and fun to watch as he matches wits with Sherlock. He leads him down some unfruitful pathways. Sherlock cannot resist his intellectual games.

   

  "The Walking Dead" (2010 - 2018) Creators:  Frank Darabont, Angela Kang

Stars:  Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride

 The Governor (David Morrisey) is one of the worst villains ever created. Full of charm, with a southern accent, this bad guy is responsible for several deaths of primary characters in this series.
The Governor is a fictional character from the comic book series "The Walking Dead", created by Robert Kirkman and made his debut in "The Walking Dead" #27 in April, 2006. The third season of the TV series he is going strong. Season 3 is one of my favorites as Philip's community seems to be flourishing when he finds Andrea and Michonne in the woods exhausted and tired from surviving on their own. of course he offers them a place at Woodbury. 
The Governor is a favorite among the fans. Philip (his characters name) loves being in charge and comes across as a cult leader. Smooth talking and convincing, he lures the survivors into his fold.



 

 

 

 

 I have to mention Merle played by Michael Rooker. Daryl's brother in the series. He is such a good actor. He throws himself into the character and is so interesting to watch. He has a bit of southern charm even though it is creepy. He kills, he tortures, he yells, he is the ultimate white trash bad guy. We  missed him terribly when his character was gone.  

 

 















"Cape Fear" (1991) Directed by:  Martin Scorsese   Starring:  Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lang, Juliette Lewis

De Niro plays convicted rapist Max Cady, recently released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, and stalks the family of the lawyer Sam Bowden  (Nick Nolte) who defended him.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are" mocks Cady.
While in prison, Max  studied law. He knows how far to go in harassing Bowden. He goes as far as he can as this thriller
builds and builds. The dialogue is brilliant as Robert De Niro taunts this family and addresses the issue he has with his lawyer's poor defense. 

 I would like to see Robert De Niro play this role again!!



 "American Gods" (2017) TV Series  Creators:  Bryan Fuller, Michael Green 

Starring:  Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Ian McShane

Ian McShane is the character that got my attention.  From a lawless, foul-mouthed saloon owner in "Deadwood" to a tough, no-nonsense British gangster in "Sexy Beast", Ian has cornered the market on playing rogues, villains, and bad guys.  He was born September 29, 1942 in Lancashire, England, UK. 

Plot of this new series:  A recently released ex-convict named Shadow meets a mysterious man who calls himself "Wednesday" (Ian McShane) who knows more than he first seems to about Shadow's life and past. We find out there is more to "Wednesday" than we first were led to believe.  No Spoilers! 

This first season can be viewed on Stars. The second season is coming out in 2019 on Stars.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you have enjoyed this series of villains. Here is the list of these four blogs.  View them all. Your favorite "bad guy" could be in one of these articles. Nelda 

Villains in Suits

https://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com2018/10/villains-in-suits.html 

 Gangster Movies 2

https://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2018/09/gangster-movies-2.html 

Gangster Movies


https://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2018/08/gangster-movies.html



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Earth Ocean Fire Comedy

 

Comedy comes in all sizes, shapes and forms.  Comedy combined with horror, drama and thriller genre seem to be my favorites.  Enjoy!

First on the list is "Leprechaun" (1993)  Director:  Mark Jones  Stars:  Warwick Davis, Jennifer Aniston, Ken Olandt 

 

 

 

Jennifer Aniston made her movie debut in this film and I was first introduced to Warwick Davis. He is an amazing leprechaun and Jennifer later became part of the "Friends" sitcom. This film is too much fun and is not boring at all. There is a series of Leprechaun films. For Irish fun check these out on St. Patrick's Day!

 
"Harvey" (1950) Director:  Henry Koster  Written by: Mary Chase (she wrote this Pulitzer Prize Play) Stars:  James Stewart, Wallace Ford, William H. Lynn   _-Comedy, Drama, Fantasy-

Jimmy Stewart is very convincing that he has an invisible six foot-tall rabbit for a best friend. A magical film that will keep you wondering. . . 

 

"The Cable Guy" (1996) 

Director:  Ben Stiller  Starring: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick. Leslie Mann

A lonely and mentally disturbed cable guy raised on television just wants a new friend, but his target, a designer, rejects him with bad consequences.  

Carrey almost damaged his career starring in this film because he changed his character from a happy-go-lucky, dumb fellow to a scary stalker! Pushing the envelope, it was scary and believable. A good lesson in being careful about casual encounters.

    "Fun With Dick and Jane" (2005)  Director:  Dean Parisot Stars:  Jim Carrey, Tea Leoni, Alec Baldwin

When an affluent couple lose all their money, it gets wild!  This couple is hilarious together. I would like to see more films with them. Immediately, the movie gets into the story and doesn't slow down. The subject is right on spot with our recession and helps us laugh about our economic down turn.  Everyone will enjoy this comedy.  It is rated PG-13. 


"Prizzi's Honor" (1985)  Director:  John Huston  Starring:  Jack Nicholson, Lee Richardson, Kathleen Turner, Angelica Huston

Roger Ebert comments, "John Huston's "Prizzi's Honor" marches like weird and gloomy clockwork to its relentless conclusion, and half of the time, we're laughing.  This is the most bizarre comedy in many a month, a movie so dark, so cynical and so funny that perhaps only Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner could have kept straight faces during the love scenes.  They do.  They play two professional mafia killers who meet, fall in love, marry. . ."  Gives it 3 1/2 stars.

For more of Ebert's review click here:

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/prizzis-honor

 "Wolf" (1994) another Jack Nichols  Director:  Mike Nichols  Starring: Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kate Nelligan and James Spader

"Nicholson is a top-editor for a New York publishing house, who is bitten by a wolf and begins to turn into a werewolf.  When a billionaire tycoon buys the company and replaces Nicholson with a back-stabbing yuppie, Nicholson, snarling with rage, bites the yuppie, who also begins to grow hair and fangs. The result is a canny portrait of the emotional climate in the New York publishing industry." Roger Ebert

Read more on "Wolf" here: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/wolf-1994

Mike Nichols' underrated 1994 hybrid not only of wolf and man, but also of satire and horror...an eccentric film that may well be regarded, decades hence, as a movie classic. [Blu-ray]
Oct 26, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

"PROT" (2001) Director:  IAIN SOFTLEY   Starring:  Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack

Prott is a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a far away planet.

Prott stumps the experts with his scientific knowledge as Jeff Bridges tries to solve the mystery of this alien being.  Kevin Spacey is almost scarily convincing as he acts the role of Prott.  

 

 

 

 

I Love You, Man" (2009)  Director:  John Hamburg (screenplay)

Stars:  Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones

Plot:  Friendless Peter Klaven goes on a series of man-dates to find a Best Man for his wedding.  But, when his insta-bond with his new BFF puts a strain on his relationship with his fiancee, can the trio learn to live happily ever after?

One of the best trendy comedies that I have seen.  These actors pull it off!

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have starred in some awesome adventures in comedy.  "Paul" and "Shaun of the Dead"and "Hot Fuzz" are a few of my favorites.

 "Paul" (2011) Director:  Greg Mottola

Starring:  Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogan 

Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi 

Two English comic book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.  As a viewer, you forget that this little guy is an alien.  He blends in as one of the guys. Never a dull moment in this one!

 


Conclusion:  I have introduced you to several different types of comedy in this short article. Examples of comedy connected to drama, horror, and classic genre were included.  Each individual has their own sense of humor. Enjoy and branch out to add comedy to your watch list.  Some of these will surprise you!

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 For Further Study:  

AMC            http://www.filmsite.org

IMDB           http://www.imdb.com

Criterion      http://www.criterion.com

Sunday, April 25, 2021

EArthOceanFire Japanese Poetry

 


Japanese Poetry

My love of poetry has inspired me to introduce you to a beautiful form of poetry. I will give you a few simple rules so you can write poems in this Japanese style.  

There are many types of Japanese poetry, however, I will introduce you to only two so you can try them.




1. What is a haiku?

A haiku is a Japanese poem consisting of three lines and 17 syllables.  Each line must contain a specific number of syllables.  The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables and the third line has five syllables. The haiku is one of the most beautiful of poetic forms.


Here is an example of a poem written in "haiku" form


(5 syllables)  proud, free butterfly:
(7 syllables)  I wanted to fondle you;
(5 syllables)  bright wings ripped.
       (2)  you died.

(5) soft? skin does not age
(7) only the image darkens,
(5) bodies remember. . .

(5) body and body. . .
(7) same as always, nothing more. . .
(5) a slight pause in time. . .

(5) at dawn I picked two 
(7) flowers: at noon
             I sold one
(5) to fill my stomach. . .

What are the rules for making a haiku?

As mentioned, the haiku contains three lines. With syllables alternating 5, 7 and then 5.  Rhyming is not necessary.  Rules regarding word repetition, punctuation and capitalization are left to the writer's discretion.

Go ahead an try composing a "haiku." There many subjects to choose from:  War, Nature, Love, Politics, Music, Art, Global Warning, Relationships, whatever you are inspired by!


Thousands of haiku are composed every year, and for the most part, represent Japanese subjects such as landscapes, seasons, birds, insects, flowers, phases of the moon and other natural phenomena. Haiku offers a writer the chance to suggest a scene, a landscape or a mood that is open to interpretation. It is left to the reader to fill in the details of the painting suggested by the writer or Haiku Master.  



History of the Haiku. . .

Haiku was officially born in Japan at the beginning of the Tokugawa shogurrate (1603-1770). The haiku style grew out of the popular pastime known as Renga, in which one or more poets supplied alernating sections to short, five-lined verse known as tanka verse. The seventeenth century poet, Matsuo Basho (1644-94) elevated this form into a high literary form. Today haiku remains the most popular form of literary expression in Japan and its popularity in the West continues to grow.


II. What is Naga-uta?

 Japanese poetry form of 5, 7, 5 syllables is called a "haiku."  The form 7,7 is called a "renga" and when a "haiku"and renga are linked, the resulting form is called a "tanka." A series of "tankas" is called a "naga-uta."

Example of a "naga-uta" form poem

(5) In my former life:
(7) I blind beggar of fourteen,
(5) one day touched your life. . .

(7) You, wilier street-urchin,
(7) were fifteen, having wise eyes.

by:  Aaron Brown


I hope you have the chance to try writing in this style. It is magical!


  


  










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Related blogs you might be interested in:

Cinema of Hong Kong
http://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2017/06/cinema-of-hong-kong.html 

 Martial Art Movies
http://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2017/12/martial-art-movies.html

The Golden Age of Japanese Cinema
http://earthoceanfire.blogspot.cp,2107/06/the-golden-age-of-japanese-cinema.html 

Japanese Anime
http://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/japanese-anime.html

 

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EarthOceanFire Martial Arts Movies

 

In this blog, I will share with you a few of my favorite martial artists and movies that are filmed in a way to clearly view them as they demonstrate their martial art skills.  


JET LI'S STORY:  He was born in Beijing, China April 26, 1963.  Li was eight years old when his talent for Wushu was noticed as he practiced at a school summer course. He then attended a non-sparring wushu event which led to joining the Beijing Wushu Team which did a martial art display at all the games. 

 

Renowned coaches Li Jung-fend and Wu Bin made an extra effort to help him develop his skills. Wu Bin even bought groceries for his family as they could not afford to buy meat and he felt it was needed to develop Jet Li's skills. He won his first gold medal at the Wushu Championships at the age of 12. Jet Li said, "My winning caused quite a sensation because I was so young. I was 12 years old and the other two medalists were in their mid to late twenties. I had to stand on top the podium to be seen during the ceremony and I was still shorter than the other contestants."

 

As a result of winning his first championship, he traveled to 45 countries and visited the President of the U.S. Richard M Nixon who asked him to be his bodyguard. Li replied,  "I don't want to protect any individual.  When I grow up I want to defend my one billion Chinese countrymen."

FILMS OF JET LI:

Jet Li starred in his first movie when he was 20 years old. "Shaolin Temple" (1979) which started the 1980's kung-fu boom in mainland China. He relocated to Hong Kong, where he was the biggest star of the early 1990's kung fu boom.

In 2001, Li co-starred with Bridget Fonda in "Kiss of the Dragon" directed by Luc Besson. A critic for the New York Times wrote, "His action sequences are like an oil fire, spilling from one room into the next and lighting the interiors with heat and wreckage.  Mr. Li and his choreographer, Corey Yuen, have a set a new standard for action here." 

Chinese Director Jing Wong worked with Jet on 4 films: (1993) Last Hero in China, (1993) Kung Fu Cult Master, (1994) The New Legend of Shaolin and (1995) High Risk.  

 

Jet Li worked with Chinese Director Tsui Hark on 5 films. (1989) Once Upon a Time China, Once Upon a Time in China 2, Once Upon a Time in China 3 and Black Mask (1996.) 

 

He played both an attempted assassin of the First Emperor of China (Hero 2002) and the First Emperor of China (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) (2008) A few more of his films are: "Romeo Must Die"(2000) and "Lethal Weapon 4"(1998) This was his first American film and was very successful for him. To see a list of his films go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_Li#Filmography

 

 JET LI'S skills: He trained in wushu for 28 years and picked up much from the thousands of martial art styles he has encountered. Li knows several styles of Wushu. Competing against much older martial artists, he won 15 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the Chinese Wushu Championships. Jet Li's handprint and autograph are on the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong.

Note:  See videos and learn more about many martial art subjects including self-defense at Jet Li's website!

http://www.jetli.com 

 

 JACKIE CHAN

Jackie Chan has "paid his dues." He endured many years of hard work and multiple injuries to establish himself in martial arts cinema especially in his early beginning in Hong Kong. He was born April 7, 1954 in Hong Kong.

 

When he was 7 years old,  his father took a job in Australia and enrolled Jackie in the China Drama Academy so he could learn some skills. Jackie spent the next 10 years there rarely seeing his parents learning acrobatics, martial arts, singing and acting.

Read more of Jackie Chan's biography at his website: http://jackiechan.com

 

He has been in over 150 films and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He knows many fighting styles but his main style is king fu. Kung Fu is the most ancient self-defense style and it comes from China. Jackie also has a good voice and he sometimes sings the theme songs to his movies; but has not taken the time to establish a singing career. 

These days Jackie would like to show people his other side and be a dramatic actor. "The Foreigner" is a recent film where he got to play a dramatic role. He says, "I have to speak English from my heart and let the tears go down and it's so difficult." He is happy with his performance as it was recognized and has set his sights on more dramatic roles.  "I want to change people’s thoughts," he says. "I am not an action star or action-comedy star anymore, I am an actor. I can do so many things, just like Robert De Niro. I am waiting for the next drama film, so Hollywood—please hire me!"

To read the list of Jackie Chan's films go to his website filmography   http://www.jackiechan.com/filmography.htm

 

BRUCE LEE

He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films; "The Big Boss (1971); "Fist of Fury" (1972); "Way of the Dragon" (1972) directed and written by Lee; "Enter the Dragon (1973); and "The Game of Death" (1978.)

 

 Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese. He is credited with helping the way Asians were presented in American Films. He trained in the art of Wing Chun and later combined his other martial art influences to his style. He dubbed his style Jeet Kune Do which was a mix of kwon do and wing chun.

Born Nov. 27, 1940 Chinatown, San Francisco, CA

Died July 23, 1973 Kowloon, Hong Kong 



 

DONNIE YEN. . .   

was born July 27, 1963 in Guangzhou, China. His family moved to Hong Kong when he was two and then when he was 11 moved to Boston, Mass.  His mother was a kung fu master, named Bow-sim Mark and his father was a newspaper editor and musician. He reached a high level of proficiency as a pianist. His later studies as a director reveal the smooth movements like music in his choreography.

 

 

His training began very early, as soon as he could walk by his mother.  He began learning Tai chi and Wushu. Donnie is a multiple time World Washu Tournament champion. Just like Jet Li, he trained with the Beijing Wushu team winning several gold medals.


Donnie Yen knows a variety of martial arts:

Tai-Chi; Chuan, Boxing, Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Hapkido, Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Thai, Hung Ga, Wrestling, Brazilian Jin-Jitsu, Judo, Wing Chun

 

His fighting style has been filmed in a full-body style where you can see his moves in these three famous films - (2010) IP Man I, (2015) IP Man II, (2016) IP Man III 


  Yip Man and photo of Bruce Lee training with his teacher Yip Man

 

IP Man I    Director: Wilson Yep, Starring Donnie Yen, Martial Arts Choreography: Sammo Hung 

 

IP Man I is based on the life of Bruce Lee's teacher, called Yip Man or IP man (October 1 1893 - December 2, 1972),a grandmaster of Wing Chun and the first to teach it. He had several students who later became martial arts masters. Bruce Lee was one of his most famous students. Above is a photo of Bruce Lee training with him. The film idea originated with other film makers, but the project was dropped so Raymond Wong decided to make IP Man.

 

With full consent from IP's sons, with IP's eldest son being serving as a consultant on the production and appearing in the film, the crew began filming in Shanghai where they recreated the city of Fushon set in the late 1930's and early 1940's. It was filmed in Hong Kong in the Cantonese language. Donnie Yen plays the part of Yip Man.

 

  MY REVIEW: This film gets two thumbs up!  I was immediately impressed with the unique set designs and the original style of filming. Not like any other Asian film I had ever seen. The beauty of timeless simplicity - just enough of everything - but not too much. The set design is filled with plants, antique furniture, and home-like touches such as dining with the guests and conversations with the locals. On top of this, when the film gets rolling, we can clearly see the moves in the fight scenes. 

 

IP Man I and IP Man II follow suit for the same great viewing as the grandmaster takes his martial arts to other regions and interacts with his students. There is a fight scene in IP Man II where Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen fight on top of a loose table top that is original and breathtaking! It happens early in the film so you don't have to wait for it. Check it out!

Note:  There is an IP Man III and now an IP Man IV which are streaming on Netflix   The same director did all of them. I have seen all but the #4 and they were great quality and spirit!

Donnie Yen has starred in many films includin Kung Fu Killer (2014) (2017) Rogue One, Chasing the Dragon (2017) and (2016) Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.  

Too see more of Donnie's films go to this link:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donnie_Yen#Filmography 

 CONCLUSION:  This article could go on and on as I am very interested in martial arts. But for now, I will close and hope I have given you some inspiration and great martial art films to enjoy!

 

Thank you for visiting! Nelda

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You might also be interested in these other articles:

Hong Kong Cinema  http://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2017/06/cinema-of-hong-kong.html

The Golden Age of Japanese Cinema http://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-golden-age-of-japanese-cinema.html

Japanese Anime  http://earthoceanfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/japanese-anime.html

For more study go to these links:

IMBD http://www.imdb.com 

Criterion  http://www.criterion.com 

You Tube  http://www.youtube.com

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