Films/Shows

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The Forbidden Kingdom

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Jacky Chan and Jet Li. Together. Fighting. The ultimate martial arts fantasy.

The Jacky Chan - Jet Li movie I was talking about so long ago has finally come out! It's about a American kid who's obsessed with Chinese kung-fu movies and he somehow gets hold of Wu Kong's magic cudgel and falls right into a world of immortals, real kung fu, and magic. Apparently he has to give the cudgel back to the Monkey King in order for him to escape from a prison and defeat the Jade Emperor. He travels together with this guy called Lu Yan (Jacky Chan) and the silent monk (Jet Li) who teach him martial arts and fight off hordes of cool enemies like a white-haired assassin and a scary warlord. When I first heard the summary I was like "What?! They're making a Xi You Ji story and they're having an AMERICAN BOY as the main character?!" I imagine Jacky Chan and Jet Li fans had a similar reaction when finding out that the two stars weren't the stars of their first collaboration. Anyway then I found out that it wasn't supposed to be a remake of Journey to the West but simply a movie that used elements of it so then I thought "Okay that's fine then because then people won't mistake it for the REAL story". Then I saw Jet Li as the Monkey King and I thought "Oh my god that's awesome!" I love the ponytail personally, I think it's cool. I also think it's cool that the Monkey King that I love so much is at least getting some decent exposure to the whole world. I've heard a lot of positive reviews about this movie, especially the awesome fighting scenes:

'My first response to the film was "WOW!" "Forbidden Kingdom" opened with a fabulously staged fight scene atop a mountain. The Monkey King (Jet Li) was taking on a handful of enemies and wiping them out.'

'Scenery, fight scenes, music are gorgeous. There are some hilarious moments in this film particularly when Lu Yan makes rain.'

'...Li and Chan square off in a lengthy, acrobatic fight scene that is a lot of fun, though it can't be what such a scene might have been even a decade ago: careful editing now compensates for the 54-year-old Chan's slower moves and reflexes. Still, Chan doesn't disappoint as Lu Yan, a drunken immortal in ancient China...'

'Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li was truly fun to watch. We all know it could've been MUCH better if they were probably 10 or 15 years younger than they are, but come on, it was still a great fight scene. Praying Mantis, Snake, Tiger, Crane, all types of Kung-Fu was used. It was definitely something to witness.'

'It did feel like it was more geared towards a 'not really having to think about it' crowd. And you know what. GOOD. I don't always have to think about stuff when I'm watching a good action flick. I actually had a blast watching this because I think if it took itself [too] seriously, most of the fight scenes would have been 'eye rolling' instead of fantastic.'

'"Forbidden Kingdom" is a film I'll certainly see again before it leaves the theatre as well as probably buying the DVD as soon as it comes out. I love both Li and Chan and this, in my opinion, was one of the best of both of their impressive collection of films--and visually, just a stellar pleasure to watch.'

(Reviews taken from this page: The Forbidden Kingdom [Theatrical Release])

While you're waiting for the DVD to come out, why not indulge in some cool movie posters? Look at them, aren't they so beautiful and pretty and just so awesome? Click to see a larger image and to get more details and to buy. Heh.

Original Reproduction Li BingBing - Reproduction Jet Li - Reproduction Reproduction

 


A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box

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This movie, starring Stephen Chow, is based only loosely on Xiyouji. It is actually a parody of the story. It has the same characters, and that's just about it. The plot, the characterizations, the hilarious scenes, practically everything is original. It's filled to the brim with slapstick humour, which is what we've come to expect of a Stephen Chow movie. It has been dubbed by some as the 'Best Stephen Chow movie ever', and even if it isn't, it's surely one of the best. The story unfolds when a bandit chief, Joker (who is actually Wu Kong), gets entangled with two sisters who are actually immortals. Without giving away too much of the plot, let's just say Joker ends up 500 years in the past, where he gets to meet himself - The Monkey King. Yeah, the plot's a little messed up and all, but hey, it's laugh-your-ass-off funny! Part One has more humour scenes than Part Two, so it's a lighter watch too.

A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella

 

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'I once had a love, whom I did not cherish. Now it is too late. If I could say to her three words, it would be 'I love you'. If I could be with her again, I wish it would be forever. If there has to be a limit on the time we have together, I wish it would be ten thousand years.'

The above is a paraphrasing of Joker's lines in the movie. I watched it when I was around 12 and the words, as well as the feelings those lines evoked, still linger in my mind. As the lines show, the continuation of Part One has a much more emotional, touching plot than the previous one. The ending scene was gorgeous, the plot twists are engaging and there is, of course, the slapstick humour that has became Stephen Chow's trademark. The 'Only You' solo by San Zang was priceless!


Monkey (Saiyuki)

 

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This is a Japanese TV series based on Xiyouji which was produced in Japan and released during the 1970s in the UK, dubbed in English. Its first season was a huge success, which led to a not-quite-so-successful production of the second season. The comical series largely follows the basic structure of Xiyouji, but with many variations and original scenes. There have been various remakes of this 'cult classic', and currently a Monkey rerun is being shown in the UK.

 Note of interest: Incidentally, during the span of the series, the pilgrims never reached their destination.

NEW! The most recent remake stars Katori Shingo, famous member of SMAP, as Monkey. Click on the image below for more information. Alternatively, go here for more information and screencaps and to discuss the series.

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Xi You Ji a.k.a. Journey to the West (starring Dicky Cheung)

This is a Cantonese serial drama produced in Hong Kong, starring Dicky Cheung (Zhang Wei Jian) as Sun Wu Kong in the first season, but he was replaced in the second season by Benny Chan. The series is full of humour, drama, and action/adventure. It follows the storyline, albeit somewhat loosely, and there are lots of variations in order to make the series more accessible and appealing to modern audiences. This is my favourite adaptation of Journey to the West, and the most entertaining and comical version I have seen so far. To put it plainly, I loved it. Unfortunately, there is no English dub. There is now. Kind of. See below for more details.

Fortunately, there is now a group subbing this series in English! YAY! I'm also one of the translators, and you can go here to see the subbed episodes and progress reports. Right now you can see half of Episode 1 with English subs. We've finished translating and editing Episode 1 and hopefully the full version will be out soon!

NEW! Episode 1 is finally done! Go here to download the full Episode 1 of this show with English subs! Completely free! (LOL of course this is a fan project what do you expect?) There's also a Spanish sub of Episode 1 available, courtesy of afro monkey.

NEW! The same person who is the coordinator of the English subbing project is making an English dub of it and I'm going to help out as well! He's put up part of Episode 1 dubbed in English on Youtube. He did all of the voices can you believe it? Yeah, so click on the following links for the only English dub for this show available in the whole wide world!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3


Xi You Ji (China version)

This is a very famous Chinese live action TV series produced by CCTV in 1986, starring Liu Xiao Ling Tong as Sun Wu Kong, and directed by Yang Jie (click here for her pictures). It follows the original storyline faithfully and is widely regarded as a classic. The portrayal of Sun Wu Kong by Liu Xiao Ling Tong is by far the best and most masterful. If Sun Wu Kong was real, this would be what he would look like. Unfortunately, there is no English dub. However, a reader has informed me that there IS a Spanish dub, which was 'broadcasted in México in the year 1996 by a small Mexican Cable Network named "TVC" (Television por Cable)'. Thank you Jose for the info! Apparently, 'the Latino Actor who plays the voice of Sun Wu Kong is 99% similar to the Original Chinese Actor!' If anyone knows where you can get the DVDs of it, just e-mail me!

NEW! Thanks to Afro Monkey, you can now download all the episodes with English and Chinese subs from the D-Addicts forum! Click on the following links to download via torrent:

Part 1

Part 2

Enjoy!!

Episode Lists

First Series Second Series
 
1. The Birth of Monkey King
2. Monkey King Being in Charge of Horses
3. Monkey King Making a Mess in Heaven Palace
4. Monkey King Being imprisoned in Wuhang Mountain
5. Monkey King Becomes the Body Guard of Monk Tang
6. Disaster in Kwan-yin Temple
7. Getting Ba Jie with Strategy
8. Facing Three Adversities During the Rough Journey
9. Stealing the Ginseng Fruit
10. Beating the Dead Bones Spirit Three Times
11. Stimulating the Monkey King Wisely
12. Seizing Treasures in Lotus Flower Cave
13. Killing the Devils in the Wuji Country
14. A Battle with the Red Boy
15. Defeating the Three Monsters with Magic
16. The Funny Advantage in the Women Nation
17. Getting the Palm-leaf Fan for Three Times
18. Cleaning the Tower and Clarifying the Injustice
19. Getting in the Little Thunder Temple Accidentally
20. Doctor Monkey King
21. Falling in the Spider Silk Cave Accidentally
22. Visiting the Abyss for Four Times
23. Teaching in Yuhua Continent
24. Getting the Rabbit Spirit in India
25. Arriving in the Pure Land

 

1. Dangerous Crossing at the Heaven-Reaching River
2. A Rift Between Master and Disciples
3. Real and Fake Handsome Monkey King
4. Stopped at Lion Hump Mountain
5. Meeting Immortals at Peacock Stage
6. Buddha Captures the Great Roc
7. Heartbreak at Black Water River
8. Capturing the Green Bull Demon
9. Praying for Rain at Phoenix-Immortal Prefecture
10. Wrecking Havoc on Fragrance-Covered Hall
11. A Dead-End Becomes The Way
12. Shedding Tears on Mist-Hidden Mountain
13. Rescue in the City of Children
14. Catching Bandits in Bodhisattva Territory
15. Returning the Souls of Benefactor Kou
16. Admiring the Lanterns at Gold-Level Prefecture

 


Many thanks to René from the Netherlands for providing the episode list in Chinese, and also the scans of the translated titles and other information to aid me in translating the episode titles. I translated it myself, so it might not be that accurate. If you find any inaccuracies, just e-mail me. ^_^

Note of interest: At the later episodes, the kings all wear Indian costumes, instead of traditional Chinese costumes, to show that the pilgrims are getting closer and closer to their destination.

Go here to discuss and to see a review of this film.


The Monkey King a.k.a. The Lost Empire

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Thanks to the reader who informed me about this! Apparently this is a '2 part, 4 hour mini-series by the
Sci-Fic Channel'.

This is a summary provided by the same reader: 'Instead of Sanzo finding Son Goku in the mountain, a young museum director gets sent to the "Spirit World" instead. Now, Son Goku and this Young Dude must stop the original manuscript of Journey to the West from being destroyed!'

There's lots of information, including cast, production credits, and best of all, lots of pretty piccies and screencaps here!

For more information, go here.


Monkey Sun

Thanks again to the reader I mentioned. This is a movie based on JttW created by Toho Studios (the ones who made Godzilla) in 1959. Click here for more info.


If you have information or comments about films/shows related to Xi You Ji please tell me.

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