Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jackie Chan: Little Big Soldier, Project A, Wheels on Meals

Back in June in one of my Miramax/Dimension entries I mentioned that Jackie Chan's Operation Condor (Armour of God) films were streaming on Netflix Watch Instantly.  Some of his other early classics, unfortunately dubbed (although reasonably well dubbed), are now also available.  They might make a good pairing with what critics have called a nostalgic return to his roots in last year's Little Big Soldier.

Little Big Soldier (Sheng Ding, Hong Kong, 2010, 95 minutes)
Netflix: Jackie Chan stars as a grizzled veteran who kidnaps a young enemy general (Lee-Hom Wang), then escorts him on a long journey to collect a reward, in this comic martial arts extravaganza set in the days of ancient China. But as their perilous road trip unfolds, the old soldier soon realizes he's bitten off more than he can chew. Chan also wrote the screenplay for this film directed by Sheng Ding.  Netflix link.

Some of Chan's best films from the 1980s teamed him up with Sammo Hung.  This is the period where Chan perfected the comic kung-fu genre (which really kicked in with his Drunken Master (1978), also streaming), and many critics subsequently compared his work with the great silent comedians like Chaplin and especially Keaton.  In addition to Project A, Netflix is also streaming Project A 2 (1987)

Jackie Chan's Project A (Jackie Chan, Hong Kong, 1983, 98 minutes)
Netflix: This acrobatic action flick stars the inimitable Jackie Chan as an upright sailor in turn-of-the-century Hong Kong who's out to stop buccaneers from running roughshod over the South China Sea. So far, the crooked police captain and a band of thugs in league with the looters have hamstrung all efforts to battle the problem. Can Jackie foil the culprits with a little help from a wily con man (Sammo Hung)? Netflix link.

Wheels on Meals (Sammo Hung, Hong Kong, 1984, 108 minutes)
Netflix: Chan and Biao operate a catering van in beautiful Barcelona, Spain. They team-up with a bumbling detective to help him find a pickpocket named Sylvia. When they discover she's been kidnapped by a local gang, they swing into action.  Netflix link.

Dragons Forever (Sammo Hung, Hong Kong, 1988, 93 minutes)
Netflix: Jackie Chan is a lawyer defending a shady businessman. When he realizes that his client is involved in the drug business, he teams up with his buddies to take on the villians and their polluting ways.  Netflix link.

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