October 12, 2001 8:19am EST
The story takes place in Zhejiang a province ruled by a greedy governor who spends his days guarding his precious jewels and cavorting with his harem. But not even his legion of soldiers and mercenary Shaolin monks can stop the Iron Monkey a masked vigilante who steals from the rich to give to the poor from infiltrating the palace to stealing the governor's booty. Tired of continued defeat at the Iron Monkey's hands the governor orders his chief constable Master Fox to find and unmask the avenger. What no one realizes is that the Iron Monkey is also the benevolent town medic Dr. Yang. Caught up in the melee are Wong Kei-ying a respected physician and martial artist from Guangdong and his 10-year-old son Wong Fei-hong. In the ultimate kung fu showdown the Iron Monkey comes to the aid of those falsely accused of his crimes.
Yu Rong-guang as Dr. Yang a.k.a. Iron Monkey gives a seamless performance transitioning gracefully from the warm and delicate doctor to the deadly martial artist. Donnie Yen as the elder Wong a victim of the government's "monkey sweep " is saddled with the difficult task of portraying a tough militant fighter and a sweet and loving father yet he does so convincingly. The extremely talented young female martial arts champion Tsang Sze-man plays his son Wong Fei-hong the martial artist and patriot character featured in the Once Upon a Time in China movies and Drunken Master. Jean Wang also puts on a great show of skills as Miss Orchid Dr. Yang's assistant. The martial arts skills of the stars combined with their warm and realistic portrayals of their characters add depth to the otherwise comedic and clumsy minions who appear alongside them.
The fact that Iron Monkey was made in 1993 makes this film even more impressive than it already is. Originally released direct-to-video in the U.S. Miramax Films bought the theatrical rights in 2000 and re-released the newly restored subtitled print. While the subtitles help retain the sense of the original dialogue they also highlight its silliness. Characters for example announce their moves before doing them like "Shaolin Golden Palm!" or "Flying Sleeves!" The corny dialogue is at times reminiscent of old B-movies but the mind-blowing action sequences make up for that and the unoriginal story line. Why is the action so much better than the story? The director's skills lend a clue: -you might remember Iron Monkey director Yuen Wo Ping's action choreography from the recent hits Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and The Matrix.
The Federal Aviation Administration inspector who gave Aaliyah's pilot permission to fly the plane that killed the R&B singer and seven members of her entourage committed suicide last week, officials told The Post on Wednesday. Officials will not release further information about his possible motive. .In other areas of the investigation, the charter plane's owner, Gilbert Chacon, has filed a complaint about pilot Luis Morales, saying that he "inappropriately logged hundreds of hours as 'pilot in command' when it was questionable whether he was even a pilot on the flights [he logged]," PageSix.com reported. But Gabriel Penagaricano, representing the Morales family, told the publication that the "wild allegations are only trying to deflect the blame, which falls squarely on the shoulders of the aircraft owner."
Arnold Schwarzenegger has sued International Game Technology, Inc. for the unauthorized use of his picture and voice on a Terminator-themed slot machine, the actor's attorney, Marty Singer, told Reuters on Tuesday. The suit claims more than $20 million in damages, which the actor says he could have received if he approved a similar licensing agreement. IGT representatives had no comment about the lawsuit.
Stars attending the 53rd annual Emmy Awards have been asked to wear business attire instead of formalwear to reflect the nation's somber mood, organizers told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Jennifer Price, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, has confirmed that the celebrity arrivals won't be broadcast, either. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres has been confirmed as the host for the show; however, veteran CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite has been asked to open the ceremony. The awards show, to be seen 95 countries, will take a moment during its broadcast to thank people worldwide for their support of America.
Sports stars such as Tiger Woods and Venus Williams have donated items for eBay's "Auction for America." The auction site hopes to raise $100 million within 100 days. People's contribution's -- through buying, selling, or donating cash directly -- will go to benefit work of organizations like the September 11th Fund, The New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund and The Twin Towers Fund, an eBay spokesperson told Hollywood.com on Wednesday. Bidding for Wood's framed autographed pin flag from the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, has reached $10,000 since its starting date. The auction is set to end on Oct. 1st. Every auction will runs differently, with each seller having up to 7, or even 10 days, to sell their each item. The total of all auctions for "Auction for America." will be collected at the end of 100 days.
The major networks have started including the U.S. flag in their logos, or in many cases, altering their colors to include red, white and blue, Reuters reported. CBS is airing a three-second shot of the flag rustling in the wind as their transparent logo appears in the corner of the screen. NBC filled its feathers with the stars and stripes of the American flag. ABC added red, white and blue stripes to its alphabet sphere logo. WB has put three lightly shaded red, white and blue stripes behind its logo, and Fox's bug, includes an animated flag that turns into the transparent Fox logo.
Lou Waters, who has been a CNN news anchor since its launch in 1980, is leaving the network to become managing editor and on-air personality at NewsProNet, a company that produces prepackaged news features for Atlanta television stations, AP reported. Most recently, Waters and Natalie Allen anchored CNN Live Today on weekday afternoons.
Vivendi Universal said on Tuesday that its Universal Music Group record company will start issuing CDs in October equipped with software to prevent digital copying, Reuters reported. The company hopes that the software will improve poor record sales, which they blame at least in part on users burning copies of CDs from other users or acquiring digital files over the Internet.
American Pie star Jason Biggs is getting ready to hit Broadway as the lead in The Graduate. Biggs will play Benjamin Braddock, the character originated by Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, The Graduate marks the return to Broadway for Biggs, who starred on the New York stage 10 years ago opposite Judd Hirsch in Conversations With My Father.
You won't be hearing the name Steven Soderbergh at this year's Independent Spirit Awards.
Instead, try Miguel Arteta, Darren Aronofsky and Kenneth Lonergan -- whose "Chuck & Buck," "Requiem for a Dream," and "You Can Count On Me," respectively, have nabbed a field-best five nominations each at the 16th Annual Independent Spirit Awards.
"Chuck & Buck" -- the second full-length feature from Arteta -- was nominated for best feature under $500,000, screenplay, director, supporting female (Lupe Ontiveros) and debut performance (Mike White).
Among "Requiem's" nominations are best director (Darren Aronofsky) and best feature. The drug-addiction flick will go up against "Before Night Falls," "George Washington," "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" in the best film column.
"You Can Count On Me" will run in the categories for best first feature, screenplay, male lead (Mark Ruffalo), female lead (Laura Linney) and debut performance (Rory Culkin).
"George Washington" and "Before Night Falls" garnered four noms apiece.
The nominations were announced at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The winners will be announced March 24, a day before the Academy Awards, at a ceremony held at a large tent by the Santa Monica beach.
Here's a list of all the nominees.
"Before Night Falls"
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
"Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai"
"Requiem for a Dream" BEST DIRECTOR
Ang Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon")
Christopher Guest ("Best in Show")
Darren Aronofsky ("Requiem for A Dream")
Julian Schnabel ("Before Night Falls")
Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck BEST SCREENPLAY
Valerie Breiman ("Love & Sex")
Raymond De Felitta ("Two Family House")
Robert Dillon ("Waking the Dead") Kenneth Lonergan ("You Can Count on Me") Mike White ("Chuck & Buck") BEST FIRST FEATURE
"Love & Basketball"
"You Can Count On Me" BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
David Gordon Green ("George Washington") Ross Klavan and Michael McGruther ("Tigerland") Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Love & Basketball") Jordan Walker-Pearlman ("The Visit") Ben Younger ("Boiler Room") BEST FEATURE - UNDER $500,000
"Chuck & Buck"
"Everything Put Together"
BEST DEBUT PERFORMANCE
Rory Culkin ("You Can Count on Me")
Michelle Rodriguez ("Girlfight") Emmy Rossum ("Songcatcher") Mike White, ("Chuck & Buck") Ensemble -- Candace Evanofski, Curtis Cotton III, Damian Jewan Lee, Donald Holden, Rachael Handy ("George Washington") BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Pat Carroll ("Songcatcher")
Jennifer Connelly ("Requiem for a Dream")
Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollock")
Lupe Ontiveros ("Chuck & Buck")
Zhang Ziyi ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Willem Dafoe ("Shadow of the Vampire")
Cole Hauser ("Tigerland")
Gary Oldman ("The Contender")
Giovanni Ribisi ("The Gift")
Billy Dee Williams ("The Visit") BEST FEMALE LEAD
Joan Allen ("The Contender")
Ellen Burstyn ("Requiem for a Dream")
Sanaa Lathan ("Love & Basketball")
Laura Linney ("You Can Count on Me")
Kelly MacDonald ("Two Family House") BEST MALE LEAD
Javier Bardem ("Before Night Falls")
Adrien Brody ("Restaurant")
Billy Crudup ("Jesus' Son")
Hill Harper ("The Visit")
Mark Ruffalo ("You Can Count on Me") BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER
Lou Bogue ("Shadow of the Vampire")
John De Borman ("Hamlet")
Matthew Libatique ("Requiem for a Dream")
Tim Orr ("George Washington")
Xavier Perez Grobet and Guillermo Rosas ("Before Night Falls") BEST FOREIGN FILM
"Dancer in the Dark"
"In the Mood for Love"
"A Time for Drunken Horses"
"The War Zone" BEST DOCUMENTARY
"The Eyes of Tammy Faye"
"Long Night's Journey Into Day"
Sound and Fury"