• The Way of the Dragon Review: Bruce Lee’s Best Work

    The Way of the Dragon Review: Bruce Lee’s Best Work

    With all the movies done by Bruce Lee, I am of the opinion that The Way of the Dragon is by far his best work. After going through his entire filmography, I saved the best for last, and the best it was. Featuring a prime Bruce Lee and his faceoff with the formidable Chuck Norris in the Coliseum, the movie exudes excellence. So today I want to take some time and write an updated review on the iconic Kung Fu flick!

    The Way of the Dragon was a fantastic movie that showcased what Bruce Lee loved most in martial arts. The ability to solve problems with your fist if necessary.

    The Way of the Dragon is the premier Kung Fu movie. But the movie wasn’t that easy to make. The big moment in the movie was when Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris face off in the Colosseum. But filming wasn’t allowed in the landmark which made making the final scene that Lee envisioned a bit difficult. Green screen? Nope. CGI? It’s 1974. So what did Lee and company do? They broke in to the Coliseum and filmed the movie before the Roman authorities caught wind of the rule breaking.

    Bruce Lee also did the voice acting on almost the entirety of the movie for the English dub. The film was shot without sound and the lines were added in post production. The only line Lee didn’t dub was the boss’ line, “Take him out, but be careful with that gun in public.”

    What The Way of the Dragon got right

    So The Way of the Dragon really mixed the action that we’ve become accustomed to concerning Bruce Lee and the comedy that he used in all of his movies. The bathroom jokes were not necessarily in good taste because they’re bathroom jokes, but they weren’t overdone. Lee has his aura of badassery around him and at times the baddies of the movie take off running from only that. The kitten at the high stakes, high intensity fight was also a cute and funny bonus as well.

    But it’s the action that truly stands out. Lee runs through everyone he faces. That is until he runs up against Chuck Norris, a champion from America with a bad attitude and a powerful punch. He, of course, has trained with Lee in the past and the two know each other very well.

    The fight at The Coliseum was top notch between the two. According to some, Lee and Norris pulled no punches in this scene and the fight footage was as close as you can get to an actual fight between the two.

    Where we fall short

    There’s really not much to pick on with The Way of the Dragon. The movie is superbly done and the story, while simple, isn’t incredibly convoluted. But the budget was $130,000 in 1972, which is just a bit over $900,000 today. That budget is infinitesimally small even adjusted for inflation.

    The choreography holds up over time, as per tradition with all movies Bruce Lee is in. He fights in the back alley and shows his speed in his punches and kicks. The fight with Norris is also timeless and would be perfect even under the new technology of 4K cameras we have today.

    But where it really comes up short, and this is just me nitpicking at this point, is the quality of the movie in general. It is a bit dated, although the shine of Bruce Lee puts it on it’s back and carries it through time to this day. The move is old and you can tell. There are movies out there today that are worse than The Way of the Dragon now. But that doesn’t excuse it’s aging anyway.

    Rating: 8.5/10

    For Way of the Dragon, it’s shortcomings hardly make a dent in how great the movie truly is. With the amount of star power the movie posses as well as what we know about the Coliseum scenes being illegally filmed adds to the awe of how this film came together.

    The Way of the Dragon is an iconic piece of cinema not only for fans of martial arts but movies in general. Bruce Lee solidified a legacy that continues on to this day. From his debut in The Big Boss to his posthumous release of Game of Death, Lee has made himself a transient martial arts icon.

  • Bruce Lee Biopic in the works starring Mason Lee and directed by Ang Lee

    Bruce Lee Biopic in the works starring Mason Lee and directed by Ang Lee

    Bruce Lee’s legacy lives on. Announced today, Ang Lee will be directing a biopic based on the life of the iconic Bruce Lee. Ang Lee’s son, Mason Lee, has been tapped to star in the film. The movie is coming out under Sony’s 3000 Pictures studio. No release target was announced just yet. The new movie was broke today by Deadline.

    Bruce Lee: A cinematic legacy

    Bruce Lee has a library of only five films and with that short period of time his legacy has grown from when he was alive. This movie from Ang Lee and company will provide a look inside the life of what made Bruce Lee such a pop culture icon.

    The adaptation will be written by Dan Futterman who adapted Foxcatcher, a story of the Schultz family who were Olympic wrestlers. Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, will be consulting and producing on the project as well as she does with most of her father’s name, image and likeness projects.

    Director Ang Lee has produced some of the best work in Hollywood. Some notable movies on his resume include The Life if Pi, Pushing Hands and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    Mason Lee most famously starred in The Hangover Part II as Teddy. But he’s had roles in such films as Lucy and Dead Pigs. If this movie is a hit, it could be a breakthrough moment for Mason Lee. Starring as Bruce Lee has enough name power to make him known to the masses.

    Shannon Lee is one of her father’s biggest ambassadors postmortem. She’s produced Warriors, a film based on Bruce Lee’s teachings. Most of her work has been based around her father’s teachings and extending his legacy.

    With work just underway for the upcoming Bruce Lee biopic, more information is scarce. But you can rest assured that Double Hammerfist will keep you posted on all the breaking news! Thanks for reading!

  • Rocky’s Sylvester Stallone wishes he never sold franchise rights

    Rocky’s Sylvester Stallone wishes he never sold franchise rights

    With advertisement for the upcoming Creed III ramping up, Rockyverse (is this the new name for it?) creator Sylvester Stallone has expressed his displeasure in where the franchise is heading and even called out producer Irvin Winkler.

    Sylvester Stallone on Creed III

    In the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sylvester Stallone said the direction Winkler and director Ryan Coogler took the movie is not what he believes should have been next.

    “That’s a regretful situation because I know what it could have been.” Stallone continues, “It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it. It’s a different philosophy — Irwin Winkler’s and Michael B. Jordan’s. I wish them well, but I’m much more of a sentimentalist. I like my heroes getting beat up, but I just don’t want them going into that dark space. I just feel people have enough darkness.”

    He’s even expressed disinterested of the recently-announced Drago spin-off that is in the works.

    “This is a classic case of them going around and trying to continually cherry-pick aspects of Rocky without even asking me if I want to join in,” he said. “I’m not an executive producer on the Creed movies. Ryan Coogler is. Michael B. Jordan is. [Winkler and Chartoff’s] children are. Not mine. I’m the only one left out.”

    And while Stallone wants the rights to his creation back, and he’s even pleaded for it, he knows that Rocky is gone and on to new owners.

    “No. It’s never gonna happen,” he said. “It was a deal that was done unbeknownst to me by people that I thought were close to me and they basically gave away whatever rights I would have had. At the time I was so excited to be working and I didn’t understand this is a business. Who knew Rocky would go on for another 45 years? I’ve never used one [line of dialogue] from anyone else — and the irony is that I don’t own any of it. The people who have done literally nothing, control it.”

    While Creed III looks very promising from the trailers we’ve seen, it’s rather disheartening to see Sylvester Stallone, the man who started it all, to disparage the movie so much. It seems like his lack of involvement has created some resentment from the Hollywood star.

  • Creed III Drops trailer ahead of March release date

    Creed III Drops trailer ahead of March release date

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer dropped the trailer for Creed III today just after the announced release date of March 3, 2023.

    The news for Michael B. Jordan’s Creed III keeps on rolling in. After getting a release date announced yesterday in addition to two new posters, today the movie dropped a new and hot trailer showing off the dynamic between Jordan’s Adonis Creed and the new villain of the movie, Daimian Anderson, portrayed by Jonathan Majors.

    The trailer shows that Creed and Anderson were once friends before the two got in trouble in their past for some young mistakes. Anderson was sent to prison for eighteen years and is back from Creed’s past to get his revenge by beating his opponent.

    The trailer also shows Tony Bellew, who played ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan in the first movie, and confirms a rematch long awaited from the first movie. In addition to Bellew back, Canelo is seen in the movie as was confirmed before Alvarez’ last fight against GGG last September.

    As mentioned yesterday, Creed III will drop on March 3, 2023. The movie will be the first without Rocky Balboa and will continue the story of Adonis Creed, the son of the late Apollo. In addition to Creed III, it was confirmed that a Drago spinoff was in the works, further expanding the Rocky-verse. MGM is also looking into even more spinoffs from their Rocky IP.

    When Creed III hits, the movie will follow up two strong showings in the latest expansion of the Rocky franchise that’s been so popular since the first movie debuted in 1976. Given how the first two were generally reviewed positively, this one should live up to the hype as well.

    Stay posted to Double Hammerfist for all the latest news surrounding Creed III and all movies martial arts related. Thanks for reading.

  • Creed III Gets March 2023 Release Date, 2 Posters

    Creed III Gets March 2023 Release Date, 2 Posters

    Today Michael B. Jordan shared the new release for the upcoming Creed III. The newest installment of the Rocky franchise will come out on March 3rd, 2023. In addition to that, two posters dropped featuring Jordan and his antagonist played by Jonathan Majors. Check that out below!

    Creed III: The Next Installment in the Rocky-verse

    The movie was originally set to come out November 23, 2022 but was pushed back until “early 2023” with the March date being confirmed today. The movie follows Adonis Creed, son of the late-Apollo Creed who died by the hands of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. The first two movies saw Adonis come into his own as a fighter and come from underneath the shadow of his father all while coming to accept who he was at the same time. This will be the first Rocky-verse movie without Sylvester Stallone’s titular character.

    In the second Creed movie, Adonis Creed came face to face with the son of the man who beat hand killed his father: Viktor Drago. Drago will also be getting a spinoff for his own movie further expanding the proverbial Rocky-verse.

    In Creed III, Jonathan Majors is playing Damian Anderson, the next challenger, albeit a new one. In the poster you can see Majors has taken the role seriously and is in very good shape for his upcoming role.

    Earlier in the year, it was revealed that boxing World Champion Canelo Alvarez had been cast in a role in the upcoming movie playing a character named “Saul,” which is Canelo’s actual name. According to IMDb, Florian Muntenanu’s Viktor Drago will also reprise his role from the second film in the upcoming Creed III. This could be a way to tie in the Drago spinoff or simply flashbacks from Creed II.

    Stay posted to Double Hammerfist for all the latest Creed III news. Thanks for reading!

  • Hilary Swank: “No one’s asked me to be in Cobra Kai.”

    Hilary Swank: “No one’s asked me to be in Cobra Kai.”

    Julie Pierce may not be back just yet. In an interview on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Hilary Swank said that her character from The Next Karate Kid hasn’t been tapped to appear in the upcoming sixth season. Here’s what the star said:

    I’m not in Cobra Kai, no one’s asked me to be in Cobra Kai…A lot of people ask if I’m going to be on it, it’s like, the No. 1 question I get.

    No one’s called me! but it’s so funny, isn’t it, that’s the one thing I get asked the most and no one’s called me?

    Hilary Swank on Live with Kelly and Ryan

    After the talk, co-host Ryan Seacrest said, “After today that’s going to change, Hilary Swank, I can promise you.”

    Hilary Swank, Cobra Kai, and The Next Karate Kid

    With the success of Cobra Kai, it’s no surprise that Swank would be keen on joining the cast. The Miyagi-verse, as it’s become known to be called, includes The Karate Kid 1-3 and The Next Karate Kid, according to the writers of the show. Swank never met Johnny Lawrence or Daniel LaRusso from the original Karate Kid movies but did train under Mr. Miyagi, the connective tissue for the entire universe.

    Swank could make her appearance in season six, but I would think that Mike Barnes will be given a larger role first, saving Swank for the series finale, whenever that may be.

    There’s also the new Karate Kid movie in development that Swank could be part of but that’s a bit of a stretch.

    The Next Karate Kid came out in 1994 and didn’t get much in terms of positive reviews. But it is canon and should not be ignored. Think about Daniel LaRusso finding out Mr. Miyagi had another student. That is a hell of a story plot.

    Do it, Netflix.

  • Finn Jones: “It would be nice to see Colleen come back [in Shang-Chi 2]

    Finn Jones: “It would be nice to see Colleen come back [in Shang-Chi 2]

    In speaking to ComicBook.com, Finn Jones, who portrays Danny Rand in Marvel’s Iron Fist, spoke on wanting Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing back in addition to his reprisal of Rand in the upcoming Shang-Chi 2 movie.

    “It would be nice to see Colleen come back and still have that Iron Fist as well,” Jones says. “I think it would be cool if she showed up in Shang-Chi and still had the Iron Fist. There’s so much possibility that you can do with this fromwhere we left off for season two.”

    Iron Fist and Colleen Wing in Shang-Chi 2? Not yet.

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a breakthrough hit for Marvel Studios. The film came out in 2021 in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and put up an impressive $432.2 million box office. With how well the movie was received, a sequel is almost a guarantee.

    In fact, earlier this month rumors swirled that Shang-Chi 2 has a release date of February 15, 2025, an oddly specific date for what is normally just a rumor. Earlier in the week it was announced that Deadpool 3 would be out in 2024, changing up Marvel’s D23-announced slate. The only other movies in Marvel’s 2025 slate are Aveners: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.

    As for Danny Rand and Colleen Wing, the jury is still out. Marvel likely hasn’t thought much about casting for Shang-Chi 2 but Jones and Henwick’s characters seem like a logical fit. Iron Fist comes from the martial arts world of the Marvel comics as does Shang-Chi. The two would fit well together as a team up on an adventure to K’un Lun or something of the sorts. Even a cameo would be great fan service.

    With Marvel returning some of the DefendersVerse actors like Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, and the rumors of Jessica Jones and The Punisher returning, Iron Fist has been left in the cold with fans. The first season tanked and the second season, while better, didn’t win people back. But if we are soft-rebooting the Defenders, let us keep it all together and bring back Iron Fi

  • Five Cobra Kai Spinoffs that would be totally badass

    Five Cobra Kai Spinoffs that would be totally badass

    Well after season 5 of Cobra Kai, fans are clamoring for more. Perhaps rightfully so, as the series simply hasn’t missed during its five season run. So today we are going to talk about five Cobra Kai spin-offs that could be a good idea. With how important cinematic universes are to the film industry and the popularity of Cobra Kai, it’s safe to assume that The Karate Kid universe will grow in that manner.

    Young Miyagi and Chozen

    This one could be the most in depth. We saw in Cobra Kai season 5 a young Chozen training to become the karate master that we know him to be today. With Mr. Miyagi being older than Chozen in The Karate Kid Part II, we could have a really interesting teacher-student dynamic between the two before Chozen goes to learn with Sato, Miyagi’s uncle.

    We could see a budding rivalry between Miyagi and Sato that would ultimately become the problems that caused Miyagi to flee Japan and return and have Daniel LaRusso have to fight Chozen.

    We could get a very romantic view of Japan, the birthplace of karate, and a Miyagi who is not the rock that we see in the original Karate Kid saga. We’ve got the young kid actor for young Chozen so let’s find our Mr. Miyagi!

    Miguel and Robby Buddy Cop Show in Mexico

    Continuing our world tour, a limited series of Miguel Diaz and Robby Keene. This time Miguel has some unfinished business opened up with the butterfly effect of meeting his father in Mexico in season five of Cobra Kai. This spinoff would see Miguel and Robby, who have a budding friendship, go to Mexico on their senior trip only to be brought into some mess while on a beach somewhere.

    It’s then they find out it’s Miguel’s father who has totally gone off the rails, loomed Carmen up and recognized Miguel from his time in Mexico. He’s off the rails once he knows that Miguel is back in Mexico and now he and Robby are in deep against his thugs.

    John Kreese and Terry Silver In Vietnam

    If you haven’t gotten the hint right now, I’m a fan of Cobra Kai taking us to different and unique places in the world and having the gang placed in a different culture. Next on the list, we go to Vietnam. In Cobra Kai we’ve had a young John Kreese cast and a young Terry Silver. Season five showed us their background in Vietnam during the Vietnam war.

    This could be a darker background story that gives both Silver and Kreese some nuanced depth. They were good at one point but eventually the toll of war took their toll and we see them turn from decent people to someone morally compromised by the price they had to pay to get out alive. This one could be dark and would have a different musical theme.

    Chozen and Mike Barnes in Japan

    Again, Chozen is at the top of my list for a spin-off series mainly because I really think Japan has legs for a Cobra Kai spin-off series. The original show was greatly inspired by the region as is obvious. This time, modern Chozen will go to Japan with The Karate Bad Boy himself.

    With Mike Barnes now at zero and having nothing after the events of Cobra Kai season 5, he’s now looking for a way to make ends meet. Chozen has something come up and offers to take Barnes to fix the issue for a decent sum of money. He, of course, accepts.

    I really liked the dynamic between Chozen and Barnes in season 5. They were friendly adversaries and could constantly be trying to one up each other in the show. It would be a unique parallel to the Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso rivalry. Chozen and Mike Barnes could grow very close and provide a great and improved dynamic in season 6 or whatever season is next for Cobra Kai.

    Miguel and Johnny Lawrence In The Amazon

    This last one is basically a bonus season of Cobra Kai with a nod to Karate Kid history. I haven’t ironed all the kinks of the story out yet but somehow, and for some reason, Johnny and Miguel end up making a trip to the Amazon.

    This is a nod to the Karate Kid cartoon that aired in 1989 where Miyagi and Daniel went around the globe to exotic locations looking for the stolen shrine that belonged in Okinawa.

    For this show, Johnny Lawrence can see an ad online for a “magical” piece of 80’s memorabilia and Johnny is obsessed about it. Miguel, of course, is skeptical about Johnny getting scammed and accompanies him. They get into some shenanigans and Lenny Kravitz, who lives in Brazil, is the final boss and Lawrence takes the fight, Bruce Lee in Game of Death style tower battle, and defeats Kravitz.

    Of course season six will introduce new characters and we could have some great stories there too. But that will remain to be seen. In the meantime, let’s have some fun with these.

  • Cobra Kai director not involved with new ‘Karate Kid’ movie

    Cobra Kai director not involved with new ‘Karate Kid’ movie

    Generally you want to strike while the iron is hot. But Sony and Columbia Pictures seem to be waiting for the iron to cool down to strike. This past weekend, Sony announced that a new ‘Karate Kid’ movie is coming our way in 2024. Many fans were excited. The Miyagiverse has never been more hot with the success of Cobra Kai. Unfortunately for fans, Cobra Kai writer Jon Hurwitz is not involved with writing for the new movie. Here’s what he said when asked by a fan on Twitter:

    The guys and I would love to make Karate Kid and Cobra Kai movies and hope to someday. But this one isn’t from us or focused on the Cobra Kai cast. Don’t know much about it, but wish it well. #KarateKid #CobraKai

    Jon Hurwitz is the perfect man for the job, though…

    With how great Cobra Kai has been, it seemed like a no brainer that Hurwitz would be involved in the new ‘Karate Kid’ movie. But it seems that he hasn’t been tapped for the role. That makes sense given what we know of the movie. According to Murphy’s Multiverse, the movie is taking place in Brooklyn, not California.

    One will notice that Hurwitz said he would love to make a Karate Kid and Cobra Kai movie which gives us hope. The Walking Dead originally planned for the series finale to be a big movie before all the spinoffs happened. Perhaps the Cobra Kai series will meet it’s end on the big screen (or Netflix if they are keen on keeping it on platform). We can only hope that we eventually see LaRusso and Lawrence back on the big screen decades later!

    With how good Cobra Kai season 5 has been, I personally cannot wait for season 6 and the new film.

    Stay posted to Double Hammerfist for all the latest news surrounding Cobra Kai, The Karate Kid, and all your martial arts movie needs! Thanks for reading.

  • Cobra Kai Season 5 Review: An Ode to the Old

    Cobra Kai Season 5 Review: An Ode to the Old

    This past weekend, everyone’s favorite karate dojo returned as Netflix dropped Cobra Kai season 5. The story picks up right where we left off with season 4 and jumps right back into the action as Daniel LaRusso, Johnny Lawrence and Chozen try to take down Terry Silver.

    Today we’re reviewing season 5. There are major spoilers ahead. Reader beware.

    As we discussed in the past, Cobra Kai is a near perfect series. The show has offered up a style of nostalgia that resonates well with the original audience of The Karate Kid universe all while appealing to a new audience. Cobra Kai season 5 expands that even further with themes not only from the original Karate Kid movie, but old school kung fu and samurai flicks from the Hong Kong heyday.

    Cobra Kai season 5: Shift in Inspiration

    The early seasons of Cobra Kai were directly influenced by the original movies and the 80s that has Johnny Lawrence held in a time capsule. Cobra Kai season 5 draws influence from more than just The Karate Kid franchise. Instead it pulls from Kung Fu flicks in its entirety. It’s inspiration comes from the Bruce Lee movies, Ip Man, and even Kung Fu Hustle.

    While it’s always been based on dojo rivalries, Terry Silver’s over the top personality is more akin to the original movies that inspired The Karate Kid itself. We see dojo fights similar to Bruce Lee going into a rival dojo for disrespecting his master and this gives us huge gang fights that are masterfully crafted.

    What makes this season so good is the fact that it shucks Cobra Kai of the past and reinvents itself in a new but adjacent genre. It seems fresh even though that we have almost all the same characters with a few new.

    In addition to the fight scenes, the story is well crafted, as is the case with most Netflix stories these days. Again, it’s fresh and Terry Silver plays a convincing bad guy. In the final battle against Chozen, Silver pulls out a sword, upping the ante for everyone involved. This brought the series from The Karate Kid to 47 Ronin territory. We had the shot of Silver’s blood-soaked blade that was straight out of samurai flicks.

    The writers did a great job of pulling from different movies outside the Miyagiverse and kept the show feeling like it was something new. Now with Silver gone and Miyagi-Fang going international, there are plenty of new stories we can explore abroad.

    Falling Short (only a little)

    While Cobra Kai season 5 was absolutely phenomenal, it wasn’t perfect. But what is? My chief complaint was we didn’t get to see The Karate Bad Boy do much of anything. The writers brought back Sean Kanan’s Mike Barnes but totally underutilized him. We had the opportunity to put together an Avengers-esque moment with Daniel LaRusso, Johnny Lawrence, Chozen Toguchi, and Mike Barnes all teaming up to take on the big bad Terry Silver. Instead, we got the gang split up and Barnes almost immediately incapacitated. I really hoped to have a scene like the opening of Age of Ultron where we get the team all fighting and the camerawork and choreography brings us from member to member in action and working together. But that could be an issue with my expectations and hoping for too much.

    One thing that did bother me to hell and back was Miguel and Sam breaking up again. I understand they are high schoolers and they can be dumb in relationships but the two split seemingly every season. It’s tired. Have them grow in a relationship. Show growing pains, not a split.

    Finally, the John Kreese scene. I’m glad they kept Kreese confined for the most part and let Terry Silver go completely off the rails. But him escaping from jail in a Joker-like manner with “My Way” by Frank Sinatra in the back was an obvious Joker reference. Kinda corny, even for Cobra Kai. But he’s out and he can be a nuisance once again. I’m all for it. Especially after the gang is done internationally.

    Overall rating: 9/10

    Once again, John Hurwitz and Josh Heald delivered on Cobra Kai. They have said that there is an end they are working to. But for now, we are blessed with another season coming eventually. Cobra Kai takes what made it awesome, keeps it at heart and reinvents what else is left.

    The showrunners also did an awesome job bringing in MMA fighters like Tyron Woodley, Eryk Anders, and Stephen Thompson which is great to see. Cobra Kai gives Karate Kid fans all they want and more.

    With the new Karate Kid movie announced, we may be on the way to seeing the gang back on the big screen, albeit likely not in this installment. But maybe we could see a big budget Cobra Kai movie on the big screen as it’s finale. A man can dream.