Originally, I had planned on watching what is considered one of the greatest Shaw Brothers kung-fu movies of all-time (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin). The only reason I passed up Grease, Animal House and The Deer Hunter is because i’ve been wanting to fit a classic martial arts movie in here but the great list of blockbusters has overshadowed that endeavor. So of course, I end up on the year where I have to choose between 36th, Bruce Lee’s The Game of Death or Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master.
While I admire Bruce Lee’s prescene and influence on the genre, I’m much more of a Jackie Chan fan. And I’m not talking about the shmaltzy sell-out Hollywood crap he does nowadays. I’m talking Chan at his roots when he was first starting out. Drunken Master, like 36th is an absolute classic, introducing the art of “drunken boxing.” In this particular case, Chan’s fighting abilities become increasingly stronger the more wine he consumes. (Kind of like the douchy wanna-bes that mill around Hollywood bars). While 36th features some great fighting sequences, a majority of that movie focuses on Lui’s training at a Shoalin temple before he kicks some butt. But Chan is a living, breathing human highlight waiting to happen.