I’m the Baddest Man Alive

I dated a man in college who happened to be an enormous fan of the kung fu genre.  You know the films – Supercop, Mr. Nice Guy, Who Am I? – the kind of marital arts movies that combined the graphic violence with humor and emotion, that tried to add plot amidst the fighting.  Before I’d met that guy, I hadn’t seen Jackie Chan in anything other than Rush Hour.  If it hadn’t been for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I’d have had no clue who Michelle Yeoh was.  But that relationship, while in itself not entirely worthwhile, gave me an appreciation for a genre of film I’d previously been ignorant of and in which I had little, if any, interest.  Even now, I have to admit I haven’t seen more than a few kung fu films made before the ’90s and I am by no means a connoisseur of the genre.  But I can recognize good from bad and for those of you who have interest, The Man With The Iron Fists is some wicked good fun.

It comes to us from Rza, the leader of the Wu Tang Clan, who co-wrote the screenplay with Eli Roth, both directed and starred in it, and wrote the music for its soundtrack.  Yes, this film is a project near and dear to his heart and after watching the first few minutes alone, it is abundantly clear that Rza, unlike myself, harbors a deep and passionate love for this genre.  The attention to detail from the costumes to the set design, the weaponry and artfully choreographed fighting to all the bloody carnage, is testament to Rza’s lifelong love of a genre of film that has fallen out of style.  His flick, his dotingly cared-for baby, is nothing short of an homage.

Which isn’t to say that it’s perfect.  The plot revolves around a nameless blacksmith (Rza) who begrudgingly makes weapons for the Lion Clan, a band of violent offenders led by Gold Lion.  Gold Lion is murdered by his second-in-command, Silver Lion (Byron Mann), a remorseless, power-hungry brute after the cache of gold that has also drawn the attention of the local brothel’s Madame Blossom (Lucy Liu), the rivals Wolf Clan and Gemini Clan and a rogue British soldier, Jack Knife (Russell Crowe).  Rza’s blacksmith wants nothing more than to save enough money to flee the violent village with his love, Lady Silk (Jamie Chung), one of Madame Blossom’s coveted girls.  Mann and Liu give fun, engaged performances but the real stand out here comes at the more than capable hands of Russell Crowe.  Crowe’s Jack Knife has an insatiable sexual appetite matched only by his appetite for destruction.  He is a joy to watch – seemingly having as much fun playing the role as you will watching him at it.  His witty dialogue is delivered with as much ease as his brutality towards his opponents, his confidence in the bedroom while delighting nearly all of Madame Blossom’s girls mirrors that which he displays while gutting his enemies.  I honestly can’t remember having seen Russell Crowe this mesmerizing to watch since 2000’s Gladiator.

At the complete opposite end of the acting spectrum, you’ll find Rza, who couldn’t muster one shred of emotion at any point during his performance.  His talents as a musician, writer and director far exceed any he may have as an actor.  His is the weakest performance in the film.  At times, it does take away from the story, giving moments that should be intensely emotional an empty, hollow feel impossible to ignore.  I couldn’t help but think that if a more capable actor had played Rza’s blacksmith, the film could have been much more than simply entertaining.

All in all, I recommend The Man With The Iron Fists.  It is a fast-paced, chaotic, delightfully violent film full of mayhem and whip-smart dialogue.  It may be a bit shallow, its attempts at the deeply emotional falling flat due mostly to Rza’s wooden performance, but otherwise enjoyable.  What it lacks in depth, it more than makes up for in the talent of the supporting cast, the killer soundtrack and the spectacular fighting.

~Nikki

Sexy Daddy

*crazy post warning*

MILF is a common term (thank you American Pie) that has been used ad nauseam for the past 10+ years to describe a mother one would like to bang.  If Stifler can fantasize about shag-able maternal ladies, then I’m gonna lay out the list of paternal fellas I’d love to, ahem, lay out.  I give to you, all the DILFs.

9. Colin Firth - Obviously, Bridget Jones introduced me to this charming, British stud (I still have yet to watch that beloved Pride & Prejudice).  I have no idea what he’s like in real life (where he is a father), but the fact that he was able to become Mark Darcy, and his accent, and his slightly tousled appearance, make me want to dig out some “genuinely tiny knickers.”

8. Russell Crowe - I first fell for the brutish Aussie in L.A. Confidential, where he was the tough, damaged, psycho/gentle Bud White.  I’ve harbored the hots for him throughout the years, of course as Gladiator, but even when he’s uglied up, as in The Insider (which is a f-ing PHENOMENAL film you need to add to your queue STAT).  Now he’s married and has a couple of kids, and still seems gruff and handsome, with that killer accent.  I think the phrase “ugly Australian” has to be an oxymoron; that whole continent is populated with sexy.

7. David Duchovny - Oh my god, Fox Mulder!  One of my first true TV loves.  I remember being DEVASTATED when he got married to Tea Leoni.  *crazy teen*  I’ll never forget him tearing the academic shit up on Celebrity Jeopardy – dude is smart, he went to Yale.  He’s definitely the brainy/sexy guy on this list.  I know he went a bit haywire for a while, but I still think he’s pretty much the man.

6. Coach Eric Taylor - First off, Friday Night Lights is one of the greatest shows ever to grace a television screen.  You owe it to yourself to enhance your life experience by watching it, for many reasons, one of them being the beloved coach, played with quiet intensity by the way adorable Kyle Chandler.  Those crumpled, kind-as-hell eyes, the tough love, knowing he’ll always be there for you – it’s all too much to bear.  His series finale gift to his wife proves him to be one of the greatest, most supportive, loyal, and generous husbands known to televison-dom.  He seems too wholesome to even partake in sexytime, which makes him all the more appealing.

5. Don Draper - Mad Men‘s leading lothario is a complete prick, a better parent than his wife (although that isn’t saying a helluva lot), brings home the big bucks, and is the essence of tall, dark, and handsome.  He’s the baddest, most mysterious boy on my list.  Oh damn, what would Don Draper do?  I’m pretty sure rock your world, smoke a cig, and abandon you.  Swoon!!!!

4 – 2. Bill Murray/Kevin Kline/Bill Pullman - I am throwing these guys together because they’re all over the age of 58 (don’t judge me), are all fathers, and all possess that aged, charming sexiness – like a fine wine.  I’ve taken some HEAT over the years for my Murray adoration, but he’s the master, the MASTER of dry wit, which gives me (and gajillions of other ladies, for that matter) the quivers.  Kline and Pullman are great actors, terribly handsome, and you can just shut up.

And now, the grandaddy of them all…                                                                                              1. Captain VonTrapp - The original, and ultimate DILF.  Georg is the strong, silent, brooding type.  He’s powerful, can sing!, is mean as hell to his kids, and possesses this sexy-stern, intense gaze that makes me want to practice some private do-re-mis with 60s era Christopher Plummer.  Zomg!  The scene in the garden between him and Julie Andrews?!  Mystical, dreamy, fairy-tale perfection of my DILF-loving dreams.

~Annie