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Thread: Iron Fist

  1. #136
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    The martial arts are weak

    Granted I'm only 2 eps in, but this is muthafeckin Iron Fist. The martial arts must be on point for me to enjoy this. I'm not a comics guy so I don't really care about authenticity to the source. It's all about the martial arts for me. I watch a ton of really bad cinema if the martial arts are good. But when a martial arts superhero has crappy choreography, I just can't buy into it.

    However there's growing dissent about this amongst many of my martial arts cinema buff friends, and many are watching this through just because they are enjoyed dissing it. I might have to watch more to stay in those conversations. I might just skip to the RZA ep.
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  2. #137
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    So I had some thoughts on why this show was such a steaming dumptruck of fail

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  3. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I might just skip to the RZA ep.
    RZA seems to know how bad at action Finn Jones is, so his sets are not that well lit. It's still the second best episode in the whole run.
    Simon McNeil
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    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
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  4. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro_ronin View Post
    Jimbo,
    The original IF was pretty weak as he was written, which didn't make much sense considering the source of his power.
    The Immortal IF story changed that, but even then, at times, he was weaker than he should be.
    Things OTHER IF have done ( or others with the power of the IF like Steel Serpent):
    Use chi to substitute a lost limb.
    Mind control.
    Heal extensive wounds.
    Defeat super powered beings.
    Project their chi with the same effect as Armour piercing explosive rounds.
    To name only a few.

    Yes, I agree that I prefer to see a movie with a good actor with some fight skills ( Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Keanu for example), then great fighters with crappy acting.
    That said they need great choreography AND decent athletic ability to "sell" the performance.
    Jones doesn't seem to have that right now, BUT it wasn't as noticeable in the first 2 episodes and was VERY noticeable in the 3rd.
    A huge part of what they did in Immortal Iron Fist to explain the relative weakness of Danny's abilities is that his predecessor, Orson Randall, was still alive and using the Chi of Shou-Lao the Undying. When Orson was in close proximity to Danny and used the Iron Fist, it hurt Danny. And Orson had taken The Book of the Iron Fist when he fled Kun-Lun in the early 1900s. The Book has a complete record and writings of every previous Iron Fist and the various abilities they innovated using the power. So, it wasn't until Danny was able to take Orson's chi upon his death that his power was much higher, and then he learned more abilities reading the Book of the Iron Fist.

    The show seems to be taking elements of that part of The Immortal Iron Fist, and also merging some of Danny's story with his father Wendell's(remember, Wendell had been a kind of kid sidekick to Orson Randall and had also gone to Kun-Lun and trained to be Iron Fist.... and chickened out as he approached the cave of Shou-Lao the Undying, simultaneously ****ing off Davos causing Davos' hatred of Danny decades later).

    I don't think Finn's skill will look any better in Defenders, and that sucks. Hopefully they can fix that by season 2 of Iron Fist.

    I'm hooked on the show though, despite those deficiencies.

  5. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Granted I'm only 2 eps in, but this is muthafeckin Iron Fist. The martial arts must be on point for me to enjoy this. I'm not a comics guy so I don't really care about authenticity to the source. It's all about the martial arts for me. I watch a ton of really bad cinema if the martial arts are good. But when a martial arts superhero has crappy choreography, I just can't buy into it.

    However there's growing dissent about this amongst many of my martial arts cinema buff friends, and many are watching this through just because they are enjoyed dissing it. I might have to watch more to stay in those conversations. I might just skip to the RZA ep.
    It has not gotten better in regards to IF and Colleen BUT there is some OK drunken fist coming up.
    I actually think the Kung fu is getting worse as the episodes progress ( I am at number 9 right now), maybe it's just me...
    Psalms 144:1
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    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  6. #141
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    Amusing take on all this...

    I liked the animated .gifs.



    Bruce Lee Would Hate 'Iron Fist'
    'Iron Fist' has exactly the martial arts action Bruce Lee didn't want.
    Eric Francisco March 23, 2017

    Marvel’s Iron Fist has been engulfed in criticism since it was first announced. The series adapts a comic book about a white expert in the culture and martial arts style of a fictional Asian culture, and though that setup is outdated and based on the belief that only a white man can be an effective protagonist, Marvel and Netflix kept that intact in 2017. Aside from the ethnicity of its hero, the series had just one thing to achieve in order to prove itself worthy: Show off some badass kung fu. A cleverly-choreographed action show would have given it some leeway among critics, but unfortunately, the action is where Iron Fist fails the hardest.

    If Captain America is the perfect soldier and the Hulk is a big green monster, then Iron Fist should be the avatar of hella sick martial arts. (At least until Shang-Chi shows up.) But the action in Iron Fist is, for a variety of reasons, as bland as Danny himself. Given how Marvel’s properties act as homages to whole genres, Iron Fist stumbles as Marvel-branded kung fu cinema.

    Roy Thomas and Gil Kane created Iron Fist in the 1970s. At that time, kung fu movies were a phenomenon spurred on after the passing of Bruce Lee. Though no one could fill Lee’s shoes, many tried. Roy Thomas doesn’t remember the movie that inspired his creation; he insists he saw it pre-Bruceploitation, but Lee’s influence in martial arts cinema is indisputable.

    Bruce Lee — and later stars like Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and choreographers like Yuen Woo-ping — understood how martial arts and filmmaking worked in harmony: The action must be clear, crisp, and most importantly, it must tell a story. Whether the fights are graceful and fluid (Jackie Chan, Jet Li), or no-bull****, tactical ass-kicking (Bruce Lee), how it’s filmed matters. Otherwise, it’s just people beating each other up. Imbuing both characters in a fight with separate objectives beyond their emotions is just basic storytelling.

    Brett Chan, choreographer of Iron Fist and Netflix’s other exoticized series, Marco Polo, told Comicsverse that showrunner Scott Buck wanted Wing Chun and “all the animal styles of kung fu” like dragon, crane, and tiger. The goal, it seemed, was to make Danny Rand well-versed in combat, as if his skills were fueled by primal instinct. But onscreen, Jones looks uncomfortable, like he’s held by puppet strings.



    The crimes of Iron Fist can’t be blamed on just one hand in the cookie jar. The lackluster fight scenes are a team effort between stuntmen, editors, cinematographers, directors, and more, which means things can easily fall apart. So it’s not Chan’s sole responsibility, and he told Comicsverse as much: “[W]ith the action that we have … I hope that the edits come out as action packed with style, that will leave the audience wanting more and more.”

    After Iron Fist premiered, a scene from Episode 4 went viral because it showed over 50 — 50! — editing cuts. This problem is rampant throughout the show. Even the simple hallway fight isn’t immune: The constant cutting renders all of Finn Jones’s punches and kicks awfully limp.


    This hallway fight from 'Iron Fist' was a confusing mess.

    When you juxtapose Danny Rand’s hallway up with Matt Murdock’s, or even Choi Min-sik’s in Oldboy, Rand doesn’t come out looking great.


    When 'Daredevil' premiered its stunning hallway fight scene, fans immediately compared it to 'Oldboy'.

    That many edits crammed into such a short scene isn’t dazzling; it’s dizzying. Worse, it’s an affront to the way Bruce Lee constructed his scenes. Despite being over 40 years old, Lee’s fights are still mesmerizing today. Compare any fight scene from Iron Fist to Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury below, which has far fewer cuts and a clearer sense of space.


    Bruce Lee in 'Fist of Fury' (1972).

    And it’s not a matter of Bruce Lee having all that space to work with either. The filmmakers of The Raid: Redemption also used tight hallways to their advantage.


    'The Raid: Redemption' (2012)

    Constructing and showcasing martial arts in movies, again, is a joint effort between actor, choreographer, and filmmaker. But despite rigorous training and effort on the part of Jones, who trained in wushu and tai chi “two and a half hours” a day, Jones is not a lifelong martial artist, and it shows. Daniel Wu, the star of Into the Badlands, argues it’s not important to be a master to look like a star. “You’ve gotta understand camera angles, camera movement — a kick that may not be very powerful may look very powerful from a certain angle,” he said in a 2015 GQ interview.

    But no camera angle in Iron Fist made Jones look like the unstoppable force he’s supposed to be. Below is a portion of the 35-second scene that’s received immense criticism from cinematographers and fight choreographers alike:


    Danny Rand killed a dragon. Why is he scared of a knife?

    Compare what’s happening above to Jet Li and Michael Ian Lambert in 2005’s Unleashed. Once again: the scene is set inside a confined space like Iron Fist, but there’s still not as many cuts or confusing camera work. In fact, Unleashed pretty much does the exact opposite, and uses the environment to its advantage.


    'Unleashed' (2005)
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  7. #142
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    Continued from previous post

    Another thing working against Iron Fist is how an overwhelming amount of fight scenes are cloaked in shadow. The tournament in Episode 6 and the fight with Davos in Episode 12 are almost unwatchable, which wouldn’t be bad if Finn Jones wore his snazzy green or white costumes from the comics instead of all black. Watching this isn’t cool, it’s just frustrating.


    Can you see anything?

    Dark atmospheres can still be achieved even with intense lighting, like in Ip Man. Each move is illuminated, but the cinematography remains stark.


    'Ip Man' (2008)

    Consider this scene from Into the Badlands, in which the actors are clearly supposed to be fighting in a dark dungeon, though their movements have been illuminated for the viewer’s sake.


    'Into the Badlands' (2015)

    Perhaps Iron Fist’s most obvious mistake is making the fights in its own story feel low-stakes. Danny Rand is only motivated to beat up each person to get to his next scene like he’s in a video game. But in good kung fu movies, characters fight with high stakes, no matter what point they’re at in their narrative. Jackie Chan is a master of portraying this; so often in his fight scenes, Jackie’s characters have an objective, like surviving a dangerous environment:


    'Operation Condor' (1991)

    Or drinking as much booze as possible while evading capture:


    'Legend of the Drunken Master' (1994)

    Iron Fist doesn’t have any of this. The show just goes from one scene to the next, treating the fights like an obligation to fulfill.

    As the so-called Immortal Weapon, the Iron Fist should be one of the greatest fighters in the MCU. But he lacks both pizazz and charisma. This was Bruce Lee’s true legacy: More than 40 years after his passing, Bruce Lee still feels alive when you watch his no-nonsense style — his signature Jeet Kune Do, which is all about practical fighting — with careful camera movement and cuts that emphasize the action. Iron Fist hides it, perhaps because the production team knew Finn Jones’s fighting ability wasn’t up to par.

    Bruce Lee set and still maintains the gold standard of kung fu cinema. He was a champion dancer, but he didn’t fight like he had strings pulling him. The same can’t be said for Iron Fist.


    Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, in 'The Way of the Dragon' (1972).

    Iron Fist is currently available to stream on Netflix.
    I haven't gone back to watch more. When I get the chance, I'll watch the RZA ep. Any other eps standout that I should check out?
    Gene Ching
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  8. #143
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    Perhaps the Iron Fist fights are in the dark to hide Finn Jones' lack of MA skill (or perhaps that he's being doubled)?

  9. #144
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Perhaps the Iron Fist fights are in the dark to hide Finn Jones' lack of MA skill (or perhaps that he's being doubled)?

    Greetings,

    This was done in Musketeer. When they walked around in daylight with dialogue, they were 6'2'. When they fought in the dark shots, they were @ 5' 6" tall.

    mickey

  10. #145
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    The fighting has gotten worse, painfully so.

    This is because of the obvious lack of skill of Jones BUT more so because the fight choreography is simply bad.
    IF should be head over heels above everyone else in terms of MA skill, with only Davos being able to match up in terms of fighting skill, but no match for the actual IF of course.
    The choreography should reflect that high level of skill and that would actual mask Jones lack of skill, how so?
    Simple:
    High level of skill means LESS moves needed to defeat attackers, more simple moves ( since the advanced stuff is used VS the master fighters) and more "one shot kills".
    With Jones' lack of skill, doing forms is the WORSE thing he can do and yet they have him doing them almost every episode and painfully so !

    Quite simply, this is a case of bad choreography for the story and the lead actor.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  11. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro_ronin View Post
    The fighting has gotten worse, painfully so.

    This is because of the obvious lack of skill of Jones BUT more so because the fight choreography is simply bad.
    IF should be head over heels above everyone else in terms of MA skill, with only Davos being able to match up in terms of fighting skill, but no match for the actual IF of course.
    The choreography should reflect that high level of skill and that would actual mask Jones lack of skill, how so?
    Simple:
    High level of skill means LESS moves needed to defeat attackers, more simple moves ( since the advanced stuff is used VS the master fighters) and more "one shot kills".
    With Jones' lack of skill, doing forms is the WORSE thing he can do and yet they have him doing them almost every episode and painfully so !

    Quite simply, this is a case of bad choreography for the story and the lead actor.
    Great point, SR.

    I suspect that point is probably lost on most people, though. Especially among many American/Westernized choreographers, and when it has to do with kung fu. Meaning, such MA choreographers probably think that flashier/more difficult and complex=higher skill level. Or they think that's what the audience believes.

    Obviously, I give old-school HK/Taiwan kung fu movies a big pass on this, because they had people who were either skilled MAists or non-MA actors/performers who, with the right choreography, were capable of pulling off difficult sequences. Plus, the concept was different than IF.

    IMO, IF's choreographers should have taken a page out of the old Japanese samurai movies instead of HK/China productions. For example, Mifune was not a MAist, but looked like one through simple, direct, realistic choreography. And his strong charisma/screen presence played an even bigger role in it, too.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 03-29-2017 at 07:31 AM.

  12. #147
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    On the button Jimbo.

    Another way is to slow down the action with slo-mo hand moves with special fist formations, this gives the look of advanced while still being simple ( a palm strike to the chest in a tiger claw looks bad ass in slo mo compared to simply a punch or palm but is the same move really).
    Jones is a good actor but to sell physical action you need a great choreographer AND great camera work.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  13. #148
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    So, I finally finished watching the whole season.
    The biggest issue with the series is, most certainly for me, the fighting,
    As discussion before, the choreography and skill of the two lead actors leaves much to be desired.
    In regards to story line:
    I understand why they they used The Hand ( tie in with Daredevil) so I was OK with that but I am not a fan of two things:
    Davos story line is NOT as good as the one in the comics.
    That the Kun Lun monastery that Daniel trained in is named after the Crane mother, which is an enemy of Kun Lun in the comics, doesn't make any sense to anyone that read the Comics and was not needed for the story line for those that haven't read it, so that doesn't make any sense at all.
    The acting was ok but not great and, to be honest, I didn't really feel anything for the lead Character.
    Unlike Daredevil with his "Catholic" guilt and obsession for justics, Jessica Jones and her PTSD and Luke Cage and his desire to simply be left alone but still wanting to right wrongs deep down, Daniel's character was, well, blah.
    All in all I give it a 5 out of 10.

    I think there is potential for it to get better though and I hope it does.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  14. #149
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    tipping point?

    How many nails doth a coffin make?

    Is a Disappointing Ghost in the Shell the Nail in the Coffin of Hollywood Whitewashing?
    The film’s anemic box office is only the latest financial fallout of Asian erasure.
    by JOANNA ROBINSON
    APRIL 2, 2017 3:54 PM


    From left: courtesy of Netflix, courtesy of Paramount, courtesy of Legendary

    It’s become increasingly impossible to ignore general social pushback when it comes to Asian representation in film and television. Whether it’s cut-and-dried whitewashing (e.g., casting a white performer in an Asian role) or slightly more complex cases of cultural appropriation, the hue and cry from progressive voices in film and TV criticism has called for an end to white leads in Asian and Asian-inspired properties. But Hollywood—a town driven by dollars and not always sense—is more likely to listen when protests hurt the bottom line. Ghost in the Shell, the Scarlett Johansson-starring adaptation of the popular Japanese manga, is only the latest controversial project to stumble at the box office. Will this misstep finally put an end to whitewashing?

    According to Box Office Mojo, in its first weekend, Ghost in the Shell pulled in approximately $20 million domestically on a $110 million budget—below even the conservative prediction that site made earlier in the week. That number looks even more anemic when compared with Lucy, Johansson’s R-rated 2014 film, which pulled in $43.8 million on its opening weekend. Unlike Ghost in the Shell, Lucy wasn’t based on a pre-existing property and didn’t have an established fanbase to draw on. But the Johansson casting has clearly alienated fans of the original manga and anime versions of Ghost in the Shell, and their dampened enthusiasm appears to have discouraged newcomers as well.

    The controversy around Johansson’s casting has plagued Ghost in the Shell since late 2014. Johansson stars as Major (whose full name is “Major Motoko Kusanagi” in the manga), a synthetic, cybernetic body housing the brain of a dead Japanese woman. Both fans of the original and advocates for Asian actors in Hollywood argued that a Japanese actress should have been cast in the role, while a spokesperson for Ghost in the Shell publisher Kodansha gave Johansson its blessing, saying the publisher “never imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place.” Johansson herself defended the film this week, saying:

    I think this character is living a very unique experience in that she has a human brain in an entirely machinate body. I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously. Hopefully, any question that comes up of my casting will be answered by audiences when they see the film.
    But it seems audiences weren’t inclined to give the film that chance. There’s no ignoring the fact that controversy cast a cloud over the film, and it’s difficult not to draw a direct line from that to the movie’s disappointing opening weekend.

    Ghost in the Shell is not the first project to feel the burn of “race-bent” casting. Though other factors may have added to their unpopularity, The Last Airbender, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Aloha, Pan, and more have all foundered at the box office. (These films also received unfavorable reviews, but bad reviews alone can’t snuff out box-office potential.) Matt Damon’s heavily criticized, China-set film The Great Wall didn’t fare much better. In addition to becoming an Oscar night punchline for Jimmy Kimmel, the movie grossed only $45 million domestically on a $150 million budget. Marvel’s too-big-to-fail Avengers installment Doctor Strange is the recent exception that proves the rule: not even Tilda Swinton’s controversial casting in the historically Asian role of the Ancient One could slow this film down. It made more than $232 million domestically and $677.5 million worldwide.

    But since Netflix won’t release ratings data to the public, the jury is still out on whether the Marvel brand was also enough to combat the furor over Finn Jones being cast as the historically white Danny Rand in the latest Defenders installment, Iron Fist. (This is a case in which “cultural appropriation”—Danny is a better martial artist than all the other Asian characters around him—inspired public outcry, rather than “whitewashing.”) While various tech companies have claimed in the past to be able to analyze Netflix’s data, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos himself has historically pushed back on those results. One such company, 7Park Data, claims that Iron Fist defied both bad reviews and controversy to become Netflix’s “most-binged drama premiere”—meaning audiences allegedly tore through episodes at a faster clip than usual. But by the only Netflix-sanctioned metric available—the site’s soon-to-be-gone star rating—Iron Fist is lagging behind other Defenders shows. As of publication, it had earned only three stars from users, compared with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage—which all pulled in 4.25 or higher.

    Even if Marvel’s bottom line is controversy-proof so far, it’s unlikely that its parent company, the increasingly and intentionally diverse Walt Disney Studios, will want to weather further public relations storms like the ones that swirled around both Doctor Strange and Iron Fist. Paramount, too, seems to have kept its head down when it came to deploying Ghost in the Shell. After it was revealed that the visual effects company Lola VFX had done tests on Ghost in the Shell in order to digitally “shift” the “ethnicity” of a Caucasian actress and make her appear more Asian in the film (there’s disagreement over whether that actress was Johansson herself), the wind went out of the studio’s sails. Ghost in the Shell also screened very late for critics—a sure sign that a studio would prefer to mitigate any damage caused by negative word of mouth and early reviews.

    But what has tipped the needle on the issue of Asian erasure in film and television from progressive social concern to bottom-line disrupter? Pushback on both whitewashing and limited opportunities for Asian performers in Hollywood has recently gotten a boosted signal, thanks to both social media and the uncensored honesty of popular Asian and East Asian actors like Kal Penn, John Cho, Constance Wu, Aziz Ansari, and Ming-Na Wen. And that boosted signal comes at a time when, according to a 2016 MPAA study, younger (and likely more socially progressive) Asian-American film-goers between the ages of 18 and 24 are going to more movies, while the Caucasian film-going population is on the decline.

    But domestic box office alone may not be enough to bring about social change. With Hollywood increasingly obsessed with appealing to lucrative Asian markets abroad, it’s as yet unclear whether casting white leads in Asian-centric or inspired properties hurts the global bottom line. The Great Wall, directed by Chinese legend Zhang Yimou, did decently overseas, making 86.4 percent of its total intake on foreign screens. And while Ghost in the Shell has yet to open in either Japan or China, it took in roughly $40.1 million in other foreign markets this weekend, including Russia, Germany, and South Korea. Then again, the massive global box-office returns of films with diverse casts, including Rogue One and the Fast and the Furious franchise, render any argument that Caucasian actors are required for international success null and void.

    Meanwhile, at home, the protests against Asian erasure are only growing more intense. While still licking its wounds from the critical drubbing it received for Iron Fist, Netflix is staring down the barrel of another appropriation controversy. This time, it’s the popular manga Death Note that has gotten a Seattle-based makeover, putting Caucasian actors Nat Wolff and Margaret Qualley in roles that originally had the last names Yagami and Amane. Willem Dafoe will voice the Japanese spirit Ryuk. The protest around Death Note is already significantly louder than for other past American adaptations of Asian properties like The Ring, The Grudge, and The Departed.

    Though America itself is a very socially divided country, the cool, impartial truth of box-office returns reveals a film and TV industry that is facing a sea change when it comes to Asian representation. History may soon look back on the Asian erasure of Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, and Ghost in the Shell with an even more unfavorable eye. Just as blackface in film and TV gradually became unacceptable (and more recently than you may think), the marginalization and appropriation of Asian culture could be on its way out the door—with these recent financial disappointments only serving as a last gasp of a bygone era.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #150
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    The real issue with IF was the choreography and this is from people that don't know much MA.
    The fights were simply not as good as the other Marvel series on Netflix or Arrow for example.
    The casting wasn't as much an issue as the SJW in social media want people to think.
    No one I have spoken to cared about WHO was cast other than their clear lack of skill.

    As for Ghost in the shell, you will see it rebound overseas where no one gives an ass about the "whitewash" controversy.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

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