Geochilmaru, aka "The Showdown": A Bullshido.net Movie
I've been meaning to post a review of this movie for a while. I've already had conversations with MaverickZ and KidSpatula about it.
For those who practice martial arts, there are two worlds; one with their training suit, the other without. They are not perfect in their daily lives, but in their training suit, they aim to be the best.
Imagine a martial arts forum where practitioners of various martial arts come to discuss technique and practice, the latest MMA fights and fighters. Imagine that posters gather to actual test their skills against each other, rather than just hiding behind a keyboard.
Nowadays, if you aren't Internet savvy, you can't even practice martial arts. In the past, one had to endure rigorous training from the master to learn martial arts. However, time has changed since the advent of the Internet. Almost anything about martial arts is available on the Internet...including the fellowship...
South Korea has perhaps the greatest concentration of Internet use around the world. Martial arts forums abound, some with memberships and discussions that rival even ours. It perhaps this reason why Kyuktooki and other Korean MMA have taken off so much in the past decade, while Korean TMAs struggle to keep up. Korea, one of the largest bastions of bullshit MA, may be turning the corner.
(Phrost, if this move to Korea I have coming up works out, it's a pipe dream of mine to try and start a Korean-language "Bullshido" site, an adjunct, and get Throwdowns going there.)
Geochilmaru concerns one such fictional KMA forum, mulimjizone.com. Discussions take place on the nature of martial arts, street versus sport, theory, etc. One poster, Geochilmaru, is controversial in his views, to the point where many consider him to be a liar or a fake. No one knows who he is, but if the things he says are true, then he is the best fighter in Korea. If they are false, then he is a liar.
In response to all of the criticism against him, Geochilmaru issues a personal challenge to the top posters of Murimjizone.com. Come and fight him. The movie then concerns itself with the events of the Murimjizone Throwdown.
The irony of just the first 15 minutes of the movie is amazing, but its the details of making the movie that are even better.
There are no stuntmen in this movie.
No actors playing martial artists.
All of the fighting characters are real martial artists, in some cases, playing themselves.
The Taegyun fighter, is an actual Taegyun instructor. The Yudoin (Judoka), is actually a collegiate Yudo competitor. The kickboxer, is a Korean Muay Thai fighter.
In Bullshido fashion, everyone is introduced by their screen name, and for most of the charas, we never find out their real name.
The fights are all raw, well-choreographed (if not well-filmed) excebitions of various martial arts.
What is also a pleasure, is that the fights do not just exist to show of some moves, but that each addresses a particular discussion in the modern day martial arts. Combat versus sport, weapons versus unarmed. The uselessness of MA in the modern world (as well as a specific address to Korean culture, where many still consider martial artists to be no better than thugs). The pointlessness of being able to win an unarmed fight when a gun can end it all. The necessity of cross-training.
The reality of movie fighting versus real fighting is also addressed (the "stuntman" gets the crap kicked out of him...often).
Is there BS in this movie?
Yes, Bruce Lee's one inch punch is discussed, though notably, not as a skill for fighting, but a theory of power generation for martial artists to consider. The fight between the two wushu players is...well...wushu (and it looks better than half the crap coming out of the US and Hong Kong right now). But even things like this are just an enjoyable metaphor for some topic in martial arts. With the exception of one badly performed arm bar (with the obligatory ankle biting), there is no real skilled groundfighting to speak of. There are certainly things to criticize in the movie, especially given the subject nature, but I will still say for a low-budget, independent Korean film...
This is the best martial arts movie in a long time. Bruce Lee wanted Game of Death to have been a homage to his martial philosophy. Geochilmaru is better than Game of Death ever would have been.
I won't give away the twist ending, but if you see this film, pick it up.
The highlight for this movie is that it reflects the comeraderie among us, the friendship I have felt whenever we have gone out to eat after a Throwdown, or when I have met up with any member of Bullshido just to hang out or converse and train. That feeling carries through the movie.
And let me know when we get a cute wushu chick to come to a TD.
I'm so there.
Last edited by DerAuslander; 6/27/2006 2:17pm at .
edit: for people who have issues with the embedded player
Last edited by MaverickZ; 6/27/2006 1:56pm at .
I changd that for you Mav.
Originally Posted by Sifu Rudy Abel
thanks, i threw the link in there just in case
Thanks for posting the trailer, Mav. I don't have admin privileges on this comp so I can't get YouTube to work.
Holy ****, we should do something to help get this into the hands of some American distributor.
Why does Korea keep making awesome movies lately?!
I want to see this movie!
DerAuslander, begin translating!
There's a region one disc out there. The subtitles are suprisingly accurate. You should be able to find it on-line.
Originally Posted by Dai Tenshi ^_^
Bought and paid for via e-bay.
It cost me like $9.25