The 2 New Men In My Life

I think I go crazy once in a while. And Nic tolerates that coz I am often more sane than insane.
But this time, he caused it.
He has been watching The Legend of Bruce Lee on 8TV on most weekday nights (if you don’t know, it’s from 8.30pm to 9.30pm) and he started getting ME interested in Bruce. The series is in Mandarin and it just kills me watching Caucasians speak Mandarin (dubbed of course).
It’s still on so if you are a big Bruce Lee fan, you should sneak a peek at this series. It chronicles the life and times of the Jeet Kun Do legend.
Yes, Bruce is smug and overbearing at times but he did win in the fighting bouts most people challenged him in. I suppose you can be smug and overbearing and haughty if you have the expertise and skills. Anyway, according to Nic, the walking wikipedia on Bruce and all Bruce trivia, Bruce jogs 10km each day without fail. Everyone wants to be Bruce Lee but no one can do the stuff he does, including the self-punishing regimen he puts himself through.
And through Bruce, I get to know about Yip Mun – the man whom Bruce learnt his Wing Chun style of martial art from. Yip Mun is Bruce’s mentor.
After rushing to GSC in Queensbay just two days ago to catch Ip Man (it’s pronounced Yip Mun okay? Not I-P Man as the GSC ticket seller said. Not I-P Man like Rocket Man or Yes Man, okay? Sheesh), I am now totally in love with Donnie Yen (who plays Yip Man) and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, that very suave Japanese guy who plays the baddie General Miuru. (Nic says he looks like David Blaine without hair).
Watching kungfu films does this to me. If I watch Jet Li again, I know I’d sit through the whole damn thing and end up swooning over him even though he’s now getting rather old for his craft. A Jet Li movie fest – his kungfu movies only of course – will make you want to run out and sign up for martial art classes. Men with pigtails never looked so hunkilicious.
But it’s topped by this new movie, Ip Man.
Ip Man is about the grandmaster who really doesn’t want to be a grandmaster. Living in Foshan, he’s wealthy enough not to work or do anything physical except eat, drink tea and practice Wing Chun. Which isn’t really a bad way to live actually. Foshan is a town where new kung fu centres sprout almost every other day and one day, one barbarian (that’s what all Northerners are called) comes to challenge the kung fu masters, only to be defeated by Ip Man, the gentleman kung fu maestro in a truly humorous way.
Still Ip Man is not swayed even as the townspeople urge him to set up his own kung fu centre (I am not sure if Ip Man is being humble or just wants to get out of doing work).
Of course, the war arrives and the Japanese invade China, Foshan included. He is now reduced to pawning his possessions to put rice on the table for his wife and son.
He ends up fighting the Japanese and of course, ends up a hero. It’s that sort of Chinese patriotic movie. This thing Chinese have for the Japanese is still all enduring – this hate runs deep. In every movie made to showcase Chinese heros, a snub is always made at the Japs. I think it’s also deeply strange that a nation of gentle people could be so violent and brutal at one time in history. I wonder how the Japanese feel each time they see themselves portrayed like this? It’s like they turned into monsters and then turned back into docile creatures.
You have to watch this movie because the best scenes are the fighting scenes. I’m probably going to watch it again as I want to swoon over Donnie and Hiroyuki while Nic just wants to enjoy the fighting, executed a lot better than the other Sammo Hung movie, Wushu (now this Wushu movie is too corny and crappy for words – so much so I am NOT going to waste words blogging about it).
Wing Chun is a special martial art as it was a woman’s martial art, and story has it that it came from a woman called Yim Wing Chun who learnt it from a Buddhist nun. It is close body contact fighting, something that Bruce is famous for. Thank God it’s a delicate, poetic name like Wing Chun (Forever Spring in Cantonese).
No one would want to learn it if it’s called Fei Mui (Fat Lady) or something trite! See, names are important. And I still take offence that it’s not spelled Yip Mun!
And now, for the yummy trailer!