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Martial Arts in the Movies seem to suck

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    Martial Arts in the Movies seem to suck

    OK, in mainstream movies such as "The Bourne Identity" or the Jason Bourne series, or Quantum of solace, or other movies I get so frustrated. I like to watch the fight scenes and speculate as to what techniques are being used. For the most part it appears to me that Jason Bourne does Aikido based techniques and Krav Maga. The part that annoys me is that in most mainstream movies, once the actors are about to fight the camera zooms in and cuts several times so that you don't know how Jason Bourne disarmed those cops, you just know that he wound up kicking one of them and did something real fast with their arms. One explanation that I've been given is that the actors don't have martial arts experience and there isn't a decent choreographer hired. Another is that it would make all movies look like kung fu movies. Even in the Rocky movies though, the boxing scenes don't look like real boxing if you compare them to a real bout.

    I guess I'm venting more than asking a question, but why do high budget movies have such crappy fight scenes?

    I will acknowledge that not all movies fall into these categories, I liked the fight scenes in "Redbelt", and "Ong Bak" for example. It seems that even martial arts movies, which I don't care about the plot or drama or any of that, I just go to see some ass kicking, after the crappy story line and all is taken out you only have maybe 20 minutes of fight scenes, and those scenes consist mostly of closeups chopped together so you don't see any actual skill or techniques being demonstrated.

    #2
    Seriously?

    Because it's a fucking movie? Maybe? it's edited together from loads of different shots and camera angles to give it a dynamic action feel. otherwise it would like shit video of two stuntmen play fighting.

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      #3
      Did you even see the crane kick at the end of the Karate Kid? Heeeelllloooo, realistic and skillful.*









      * I know its real because I saw Squerelli jump that shit off at a TD.

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        #4
        There's only a small segment of the audience interested in the details of the choreography, the director is probably more interested in showing the emotion/intensity of the scene or in telling a story. It's probably better to show something that looks so inhumanly fast and brutal that you cant really tell what is going on, so as to develop Bourne's backstory than to show a step by step instructional of a dodgey Krav techniqe that would probably get his head blown off for real!

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          #5
          Originally posted by tideliar View Post
          Seriously?

          Because it's a fucking movie? Maybe? it's edited together from loads of different shots and camera angles to give it a dynamic action feel. otherwise it would like shit video of two stuntmen play fighting.
          I totally agree with tidelair, at least 75% or more of big time movie actors don't know shit about self defense. So they make the fight scenes quick and flashy with stunt doubles filling in for the "really hard parts". So not to show how awful the actors really are. A good example of this in the TV series "Kung Fu".

          Try watching "Batman Begins" and "Taken" they're good. But if your looking for real martial art movies go with some old Kung Fu or Bruce Lee ones. Or Jackie Chan, Jet Lee.
          Last edited by CharlieWoopAss2; 1/11/2010 1:01pm, .
          Originally posted by Nicko1
          A warrior is not just a person who fights. A true warrior is a scholar, artist, philosopher, fierece combatant, child molester and a spiritual / wise person.

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            #6
            The martial arts in the Bourne series is not Aikido or Krav-- it's meant to be Filipino Boxing (Panantukan)/Kali with some Jeet Kune Do. The fight coreographer, Jeff Imada, is a Kali guy who trained/instructed under Dan Inosanto.

            That said, film fight coreography is never actually a pure martial arts display. At a knife work seminar, Inosanto stressed that as a coreographer, he had to distinguish between "moves for show and moves for go". So at best, the techniques will capture the spirit or tone of a chosen martial art (in this case, Doug Liman specifically wanted a fast, efficient, brutal martial art and chose Kali).

            And some moves that might be more technically correct for a martial art don't look good enough on camera, which is one reason why you see actors punching wide rather than coming in straight. Flashier moves such as knife and gun disarms, may have roots in the art but are ratched up for intensity. In the end, the MA display in most movies is mostly movie-fu, with an emphasis on techniques that, while impractical, look great on camera. Add fast cuts (in the Bourne films, they removed frames to make the action seem faster and more brutal) and you get a visually exciting but technically shoddy performance.

            So, yeah, don't try to learn fighting from the movies...

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              #7
              Yes I liked the batman begins and the dark knight. One of my favourites just for the brutality is Watchmen, though the fight scenes are still not that great in it. I liked the reasons everyone posted, and I guess I'm that small segment interested in choreography. The reason I made the distinction between high budget and low budget movies is I have seen clips of bruce lee, and old kung fu drive-in movies that show the moves performed with skill without shaky camera work.

              That said, I'm not crazy enough to try and learn MA from movies, but I'm the kind of guy that gets annoyed at seeing things done wrong once I know how they should be done.

              The explanations everyone provided so far seem to make a lot of sense, and I'll try and catch the movies you mentioned. I'm also going to try and catch more Tony Ja movies.

              I suppose the reason why kung fu rules the movies is by the time hollywood was interested in kung fu, it had already been morphed into a martial art that's more for show and demonstration than practical purposes, but somehow I prefer watching clips of well executed sanda/san shou.

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                #8
                That reminds me of watching the "making of" Watchmen, it showed the scene where the owl guy and the impractically dressed lassie went down a prison corridor kicking ass. In the long shot it looked rubbish - like bad beginners krotty line work, with stuntmen falling over with no relation to the actual strikes. Later the edited and cut scene with the right camera angles looked like a completely different scene!

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by pokeroo View Post
                  Yes I liked the batman begins and the dark knight. One of my favourites just for the brutality is Watchmen, though the fight scenes are still not that great in it. I liked the reasons everyone posted, and I guess I'm that small segment interested in choreography. The reason I made the distinction between high budget and low budget movies is I have seen clips of bruce lee, and old kung fu drive-in movies that show the moves performed with skill without shaky camera work.

                  That said, I'm not crazy enough to try and learn MA from movies, but I'm the kind of guy that gets annoyed at seeing things done wrong once I know how they should be done.

                  The explanations everyone provided so far seem to make a lot of sense, and I'll try and catch the movies you mentioned. I'm also going to try and catch more Tony Ja movies.

                  I suppose the reason why kung fu rules the movies is by the time hollywood was interested in kung fu, it had already been morphed into a martial art that's more for show and demonstration than practical purposes, but somehow I prefer watching clips of well executed sanda/san shou.
                  Well it's to give the person watching it more of an thrill and has a lot more of intensity. In old kung fu movies, all they had was the skill of the martial artist and the fight choreography. Now they have this and that to give the modern fight scenes that extra edge, and to cover up the flaws of the actors and stunt doubles at hand.
                  Originally posted by Nicko1
                  A warrior is not just a person who fights. A true warrior is a scholar, artist, philosopher, fierece combatant, child molester and a spiritual / wise person.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by pokeroo View Post

                    I suppose the reason why kung fu rules the movies is by the time hollywood was interested in kung fu, it had already been morphed into a martial art that's more for show and demonstration than practical purposes,
                    No, these guys knew how to cater to their audiences belief. Just like the Dark Night and Begins you enjoyed. No, kung fu was stylized before it was ever co-opted by Hollywood.


                    but somehow I prefer watching clips of well executed sanda/san shou.
                    Which looks nothing like the Kung Fu movies of old. In other words, you are looking for the fanciful version of supposed superiority.

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                      #11
                      Have you ever noticed that girls in real life, even the cute ones, are fatter than movie girls?

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                        #12
                        Not if you live in LA.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Rivington View Post
                          Have you ever noticed that girls in real life, even the cute ones, are fatter than movie girls?
                          Yes, and its not always a bad thing.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Amen, to that!
                            Originally posted by Nicko1
                            A warrior is not just a person who fights. A true warrior is a scholar, artist, philosopher, fierece combatant, child molester and a spiritual / wise person.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by It is Fake View Post
                              No, these guys knew how to cater to their audiences belief. Just like the Dark Night and Begins you enjoyed. No, kung fu was stylized before it was ever co-opted by Hollywood.
                              me - "I suppose the reason why kung fu rules the movies is by the time hollywood was interested in kung fu, it had already been morphed into a martial art that's more for show and demonstration than practical purposes,"

                              When comparing what you said to what I said I could swear your are paraphrasing me. I don't see any contradictions.





                              Originally posted by It is Fake View Post
                              Which looks nothing like the Kung Fu movies of old. In other words, you are looking for the fanciful version of supposed superiority.
                              I'm getting to like watching MMA more and movies less.

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