Friday, May 27, 2022 |
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Two of my childhood best friends studied karate. Both became black belts and I spent more evenings than I care to count in a dojo. When they weren’t practicing, we where consuming all things martial arts. Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan and, more recently, Jet Li and Jason Statham. You name it, we watched it.
Based on this interest, Wisenheimer (The Netflix recommendation computer) suggested “Ip Man” and it has been hiding in my queue for six months or so.
I think I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, “Ip Man” is the best kung fu movie I’ve ever seen. The choreography is amazing, the cinematography is elegant and engaging. Actor Donnie Yen is graceful and powerful at the same time. A real showcase for the art of martial arts, of kung fu. Dare I say masterpiece? Something my wife will enjoy. (Hard to say about most action movies).
Most martial-arts films are full of machismo, for obvious reasons, and the genre has been worked like a tired heavy bag. But director Wilson Yip has resurrected the martial arts movie. And to quote my childhood friend, “Donnie Yen rocks.”
My older children are scientists. My little girl is often asking, “What happens if we put it in water?” So in the spirit of last week’s “Dirty Jobs,” I offer you “How It’s Made.”
This documentary TV series gives you glimpses into the processes of how many items we use daily are made. Most of the tours are high level and are focused on the machines used in their processes, which can leave the scientists in us a little wanting.
But the machines are interesting. Who doesn’t wonder how soft polymer contact lenses are made?
Growing up in the northwest, fishing, hunting and guns were a large part of my formative years. From shooting in the backyard with a BB gun, chasing rabbits with a .22, to pheasant hunting with a 12-gauge shotgun, gun skills were as much a part of my training as reading, writing and arithmetic. So “Top Shot,” an entire show about shooting, has a very interested audience at our house.
The only negative in this reality show is the reality. The concept is very entertaining and the shooting challenges had my son and I setting up cans in the backyard. But off the range, the contestants back slide into the soap opera drama the follows many reality shows.
I understand $100,000 is a lot of money and will cause even the most civil person to act like a junior high school child. Greed is greed and as long as voyeuristic audiences find entertainment in its drama, then reality shows will have a place. It mostly left me wanting take my son out shooting.
Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
This show is: Violent, Exciting
Common Sense rating: Violence and adult situations
Semi-autobiographical story of Bruce Lee’s mentor, Ip Man. Held in highest regards for his mastery of kung fu. Master Ip is forced to fight during the Japanese occupation of Sino. 5 of 5 Netflix stars.
‘How It’s Made’
Cast: Various hosts
This show is: Educational
Common Sense rating: Great for parents with precocious children and their questions
Narrator reveals how everyday things are made and the materials used to make them in this Discovery Channel documentary television series. Yarn, hearing aids, neon signs, erasers and more. If you’ve wondered how things are made, this show might show you. 3 of 5 Netflix stars.
Cast: Colby Donaldson
This show is: Suspenseful
Common Sense rating: Gun play and reality TV drama
This History Channel reality series pits some of the world’s top sharpshooters with the winner receiving a $100,000 grand price. The array of challenges put the contestants test their skills with a variety of weapons. 3 of 5 Netflix stars.
Five more from the Queue
1. Texas Rangers
2. Black Death
3. The Way of the Gun
4. Don Juan DeMarco
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