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Pete
08-07-2000, 06:59 AM
Last night I watched The Glimmer Man. Steven Seagals most recent (AFAIK) film, and I have to say I was relly disappointed in the fight scenes. Every single one seemed to be poorly cut and pasted in a bad attempt to make the moves etc. look vaguely real and all it did was spoil the film. I have seen most of his films and this was the first time it was blatantly obvious that 'trick' photography was used (aside from in the one with 'Scarface' tha Jamaican where the move SS did broke someones arm!!) and in such a poor fashion!!

What are other peoples views on SS and his films?

Shouri (Steve)
08-07-2000, 10:32 AM
Actually, the Glimmer Man was done in 1996, and he has done several movies since then. And they seem to get worse and worse. His movies have never been something for the thinking man. But, please.

But I think that The Patriot (his latest feature movie) has to be one of the worst pieces of dribble I have ever seen. And not because of the fight scenes. The one or two weren't too bad. What was bad was the plot, premise, and acting. Nasty.

Not to bust on Seagal sensei so much. Most martial arts films leave plenty to be desired. However, what I do give credit to Steven Seagal for is bringing Aikido to the forefront in America. I don't think that prior to 1988 Aikido was very well known in this country.

Now, if you wish to see good martial arts films (unfortunately, not Aikido) then try one of Jett Li's Hong Kong films. Romeo Must Die (an American film) was not bad, but the "wire-fighting" was a little unbelievable. But his Chinese movies, like Fist of Legend are awesome. And Fist of Legend included much about the Samurai and Kendo.

Who knows...maybe someone can write a really good movie for Steven Seagal that is actually a movie, and not a platform for his political/social/religious beliefs. And the fight scenes could be integral to the movie, not gratuitous. Oh, and he won't be a rancher who happens to be the only person who can kick the bad guys' butts, and happen to be the only biochemist on the planet that can come up with an antidote to a dangerous biological warfare attack. Blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, my two cents. Too bad.

Pete
08-07-2000, 10:37 AM
What other films has he done since the GLimmer Man? I don't recall seeing any yet!!

And the Patriot? Are you talking about the film with Mel Gibson? Or is there another!!! Please elaborate!!

Ta!!

Oh, and I agree totally about his films seeming to be just a platform for his political/social/religious beliefs and that the format you mentioned wears a bit thin after a while!!

Erik
08-07-2000, 11:01 AM
Pete wrote:
What are other peoples views on SS and his films?

He was better before he became a star of sorts. In Above The Law he actually gets messed up a bit. I think a hair even got out of place. As his career has progressed he never gets touched, never gets hit and always royally trashes the bad guys. His fights become an example of "so what" because you always know he's gonna win.

Then he's shown a disturbing trend in recent times towards bringing his own stuff into the movie. By that I mean standing up on the soapbox or actually singing in one. He is a god awful singer.

A Seagal recommendation is very simple. Check the date of the movie and the older the better. There has been a consistent downward spiral.

I hear he has a new movie coming out which has Warner Bros. backing. It's a 2 word title so maybe he's got a chance with it. I believe the title is "Exit Wounds". Great title.:)

Nick
08-07-2000, 12:30 PM
To second Shouri-san:

Watch Fist of Legend. No aikido, but watch it. Nuff said, just watch it...

-Nick

aikido4life
08-09-2000, 01:02 AM
Maybe I'm insane (ok ok, so I am) but I thought "On Deadly Ground" was Seagal's best film in a loooong time. Sure the aikido was mostly missing, but for maybe the first time ever, the movie itself was worth watching. I think his views need to be seen to a point. I have a deep respect for the man, whether he's "sold-out" or not.


And as for great martial arts movies, what can beat "Drunken Master 2" ???

Gary

Russ
08-09-2000, 01:07 PM
Although I've seen all of Seagal's films, 'cause you can't stay away if and when a new one comes out, I can really only recommend two. Above the Law and Under Seige (the first one). The best fight scenes and even a little bit of plot to boot. It's no coincidence that they were both directed by Andrew Davis.

Russ

DJM
08-09-2000, 02:38 PM
Nico is a bit tasty too - especially the bit at the start where he's in his dojo. I dream of one day having some clue of how he managed those irimi nages!!!

Peace,
David

rch
08-09-2000, 04:14 PM
Here's the primary reason I enjoy Seagal's movies... The fight scenes are fast, and to the point. He doesn't play games with them, and we don't have to deal with the "Rocky Syndrome"...

Looking for "reality" in martial arts films is generally a bad idea. You'll almost always be dissapointed there. Movies are for entertainment, if your looking for more than that, rent a documentary...

He's done a couple of films after Glimmer Man, and has like three in the works as far as I know...

Blood on the Moon (sounds really bad), Ticker (Might have potential), and Exit Wounds, which sounds like it will be pretty good (We'll have to see).

I do agree though, Jet Li is fantastic to watch. Though, I think my all time favorite has to be Toshiro Mifune.

Victor
08-16-2000, 09:22 AM
DJM wrote:
Nico is a bit tasty too - especially the bit at the start where he's in his dojo. I dream of one day having some clue of how he managed those irimi nages!!!

Peace,
David
In a small country in Eastern Europe, all the Seagall's movies are called something like "Nico ##".
For example, "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" is called "Nico 7"

Shouri (Steve)
08-16-2000, 03:45 PM
Here is a quick filmography of Steven Seagal (from http://www.stevenseagal.com):

The Patriot (1998)
My Giant (1998)
Fire Down Below (1997)
Executive Decision (1996)
The Glimmer Man (1996)
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)
On Deadly Ground (1994)
Under Siege (1992)
Out For Justice (1991)
Hard To Kill (1990)
Marked For Death (1990)
Above The Law (1988)
The Challenge (1982)*

The Patriot is a both pro- and anti-"militant anti-government" philosophy movie and is completely unrelated to Mel Gibson's recent film.

My Giant is that Billly Crystal/Gheorghe Muresan flop-comedy (or is that comedy-flop?).

Fire Down Below was rather disappointing, but not nearly as bad as The Patriot.

In Executive Decision, he only appears onscreen for about 5 minutes. This was a re-write in the script due to a reported conflict between him and Kurt Russell.

*Seagal was the Martial Arts Coordinator for The Challange.

My personal favorites are, of course Under Siege, and probabably On Deadly Ground (some good Aikido, but slight on the plot). Unfortunately, in my opinion, Above the Law had Far Below average acting, from all parties (with the possible exception of Pam Grier).

And I am not against his stating a message with his movies. I just personally wish that they were a little more entertaining and a little better written and acted. However, I do give him credit for bringing Aikido to the mainstream in many respects.

Now, as far as GOOD movies, try Seven Samurai (or any other Kurosawa film). Also, along with Fist of Legend, see Once Upon a Time in China. And for something a little more "West" try The Replacement Killers with Chow Yun-Fat.

If anyone can come up with good Aikido movies, I would love to see them. But, I think that Hollywood doesn't take too well to such a gentle art. They want to watch Jean-Claude or Chuck kick someone 18 times in the head.

Anyway, sorry for the long posts. But, since you are not in the dojo, what else do you have to do?

Aikyou,

-Shouri

Erik
08-16-2000, 05:24 PM
Shouri (Steve) wrote:
Now, as far as GOOD movies, try Seven Samurai (or any other Kurosawa film). Also, along with Fist of Legend, see Once Upon a Time in China. And for something a little more "West" try The Replacement Killers with Chow Yun-Fat.


May I suggest the real thing, aka The Killer. Make sure you get an unedited version. Or if you really want to see bullets fly catch Hard Boiled.

Victor
08-17-2000, 02:51 AM
Shouri (Steve) wrote:
Now, as far as GOOD movies, try Seven Samurai (or any other Kurosawa film).
I like Zato Ichi ketsu kaido more

Nick
08-17-2000, 01:38 PM
I thought Sanjuro, Ran, and the Samurai Series (about Musashi) were all extremely well done, and I liked the kenjutsu in Lone Wolf and Cub (not to mention Daigoro's haircut...).

Kanpai,

-Nick

scubaman57
08-18-2000, 05:42 PM
Can anyone come up with an actual Hollywood movie that shows Aikido before Segal? My only best recollection is Billy Jack 2 or whatever it was called. Does anyone remember that one or am I just really old?

Suru
08-18-2000, 06:34 PM
My favorite Seagal movie is Fire Down Below. I thought the aikido scenes were well done, especially the makeshift jo scene next to the pick-up truck. More important to me was the good plot and character development. I thought Seagal clearly demonstrated what it means to be a compassionate, perhaps even samurai-esque, aikidoka. After all, his main purpose in the town clearly became to help the townsfolk in every way he good. Seagal Sensei gets my two thumbs up for this movie, and I hope to see more good action/dramas from him in the future.

--Drew

JohnnyBA
08-18-2000, 06:36 PM
scubaman57 wrote:
Can anyone come up with an actual Hollywood movie that shows Aikido before Segal? My only best recollection is Billy Jack 2 or whatever it was called. Does anyone remember that one or am I just really old?

Billy Jack is hapkido, but close enough :)

Nick
08-18-2000, 08:10 PM
The question here is- do we really want Aikido to become part of mainstream martial arts movies? My fear is that it will receive the same misconceptions as kung fu and karate (or "kerotty", as it is more commonly pronounced in America).

Ask pretty much anyone at my school (or anywhere, perhaps) and you'll hear that 'kerotty' is "some fighting thing from China."

My favorite pastime at school is to remind people that 'Chinese Stars' (aka Shuriken) are not Chinese :).

Anyways, back to what I was saying-

do we really want our (almost) unspoiled art to be misunderstood (as it will) by making feature films about it?

I kind of enjoy when people find out I'm in martial arts- they immediately say "oh, kerotty", and I say "No actually, it's Aikido" and watch their face get perplexed.

Sorry- this posting is longer and more pointless than I thought it would be...

-Nick
The Muddled Mudansha

Keith
08-18-2000, 09:07 PM
Acctually, I'm pretty sure that this movie is after Seagal: "The Guyver" with Mark Hammil (you know, the Star Wars guy). An absolutely horrible little movie that I thank God I didn't pay to see. We showed it on the Psychiatric unit where I used to work (yes, Aikido is an effective martial art, without having to train in a bunch of other stuff). So I'm walking through the lounge doing room checks when I hear someone on the TV talking about this force that joins us all together, and how we seek to become one with the universe. I look at the TV and WHAM! someone gets hit with irminage in a martial arts class. I'd be shocked to find that the woman teaching (yes she was wearing a hakama) the class wasn't a student of Seagal's, since her technique looked so much like his. But that's the only place in the film where the art is mentioned/used.

Keith

Pete
08-23-2000, 08:12 AM
I would say that so long as Aikido was portayed in the correct way (ie as it is!!) I wouldn't see it as detrimental for it to go in films.

Most people who way things like ''kerotty' is "some fighting thing from China." are just ignorant about such things and shoiuld be either politely corrected (in order to enlighten them!!) or ignored completely (as they would be unlikely to like to be corrected!!)!!

I will look out for 'Fire Down Below' and see!!

E.J. Nella
08-23-2000, 10:57 AM
I think that Steven Seagal movies are a mixed blessing. On one hand it introduces Aikido to those who may never have heard of it otherwise. On the other, they portray Aikido as a destructive Martial Art. When I approached some Community Centers with the idea of offering Aikido in their curriculum, they either never heard of it, or related it to that "Steven Seagal stuff" which would be too violent for their taste. It makes it difficult to change their opinion of what the Aikido philosophy, and how it is practiced, is really about.

Pete
08-23-2000, 11:12 AM
I have to say I get frustrated at people who cannot seem to separate reality from what they see in films and the like but I guess we have to accept that as a by product of modern cinema!!

Which is why I stipulated that it would be good if Aikido was portrayed accurately!! I agree that SS films are a mixed blessing too!!

Nick
08-23-2000, 05:46 PM
it's not a matter of enlightenment, in my case- whether or not they know anything about it, it's not 'cool' to know anything about 'kerotty.'

But I suppose that's life...

I'll close with a lowry quote:

"An individual embarking on the Martial Way must be brave and virtuous. He must possess a sense of commitment and a sensitivity to the values of the past... And so he embarks off on a path to mysterious destinations. He does so in spite of obversations by others that such a Way is naive, outmoded, or idealistic... as the Kanji for Do reaveals, this road is the principal one for him. This Way is the one to lead him to a place very much worth the going."

That's from "Sword and Brush", by the way...

Hope I don't get sued for plagarism,

-Nick