5.Corey Yuen
Other names: 元奎
Yuan Kui
Yuan2 Kui1
Cory Yuen
Don Yuen
Yuen Fooi

Nationality: Hong Kong
Workplace: France, Hong Kong, USA

Cory Yuen as been choreographing movies since 1973, is first movie was Chinese Hercules, starring Bolo Yeung. He was a member of the Peking Opera Schools and one of the Seven Little Fortunes. In July 1981, Yuen made his Hong Kong directorial debut in 1982 film Ninja in the Dragon’s Den, along with Hiroyuki Sanada, Conan Lee and Hwang Jang Lee. In June 1985, Yuen made his American directorial debut in 1986 film No Retreat, No Surrender, which marked the film debut of Belgium martial artist actor Jean-Claude Van Damme.

n 1993, he began an alliance and good friendship with action star Jet Li. He directed several of Li’s films, beginning with Fong Sai-yuk and Fong Sai-yuk II, and continuing through The Bodyguard from Beijing, The New Legend of Shaolin and My Father Is a Hero, and also he choreographed in two Jet Li’s films were: The New Legend of Shaolin and High Risk.

He also made his move to the international stage with Jet Li in the movie Lethal Weapon 4, he also worked on X-Men as an action director, and he would also handle the martial arts and action sequences in six of Jet Li’s other American works: Romeo Must Die, Kiss of the Dragon, The One, Cradle 2 the Grave, War, and The Expendables. He also did the more recent Shaolin movie, which starred Andy Lau, Wu Jing and Jackie Chan.

Other movies he as worked with include, Buddha Assassinator, Dance Of The Drunk Mantis and Hitman In The Hand Of Buddha. He just finished work on the upcoming Vincent Zhao movie “Wu Dang” and expect him to work with Jet Li in the near future.

Verdict:Great action director, not the best, early work seems by far his best stuff, would like to see what he does next.

Selected Movies:
Ninja in the Dragon’s Den
Righting Wrongs
Saviour of the Soul
Fong Sai-yuk 1-2
Hero (Yuen Biao)
Kiss Of The Dragon

4.Jackie Chan
Other names: 成龍
Chan Kong Sang
Chan Kwong Sang
Sing Lung

Birth date: 7/4/1954
Nationality: Hong Kong
Workplace: Hong Kong, Japan, USA

Chan’s first major breakthrough was the 1978 film Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, shot while he was loaned to Seasonal Film Corporation under a two-picture deal. Under director Yuen Woo-ping, Chan was allowed complete freedom over his stunt work. The film established the comedic kung fu genre, and proved to be a breath of fresh air for the Hong Kong audience. Chan then starred in Drunken Master, which finally propelled him to mainstream success.

In the late 1980s and early 90s, Chan starred in a number of successful sequels beginning with Police Story 2, which won the award for Best Action Choreography at the 1989 Hong Kong Film Awards. This was followed by Armour of God II: Operation Condor, and Police Story 3: Super Cop, for which Chan won the Best Actor Award at the 1993 Golden Horse Film Festival. In 1994, Chan reprises his role as Wong Fei-hung in Drunken Master II, which was listed in Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Movies. Another sequel, Police Story 4: First Strike, brought more awards and domestic box office success for Chan, but did not fare as well in foreign markets.

Verdict:Jackie Chan is one of my all time favorite’s in terms of all round entertainer. The movies he has made and stunt work s just incredible. His choreography is always fast paced and playing the under dog. Since the days of Hand Of Death, you could see Chan’s talent just waiting to be dragged out of him. One of the best all round kung fu stars ever.

Selected Filmography:
Drunken Master
Snake In The Eagles Shadow
Project A
Police Story Series
Drunken Master 2
Rumble In The Bronx
Rush Hour

3.Yuen Woo Ping
Other names: 袁和平
Yuan Da Yan
Yuan He Ping
Yuán Hépíng
Yuan Ta Yen

Birth date: 1/1/1945
Nationality: Hong Kong
Workplace: Hong Kong, USA

Yuen achieved his first directing credit in 1978 on the seminal Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, starring Jackie Chan, followed quickly by Drunken Master. The films were smash-hits, launching Jackie Chan as a major film-star, turning Seasonal Films into a major independent production company, and starting a trend towards comedy in martial arts films that continues to the present day.

Yuen went on to work with such figures as Sammo Hung in Magnificent Butcher (1979), Yuen Biao in Dreadnaught (1981), Donnie Yen in Iron Monkey (1993), and Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh in Tai Chi Master (1993) and Wing Chun (1994).

Yuen’s works, particularly his action choreography on Fist of Legend (1994), attracted the attention of the Wachowski brothers, who hired him as the martial arts choreographer on The Matrix (1999). The success of this collaboration, plus his action choreography on the following year’s hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, made him a highly sought after figure in Hollywood. He went on to work on the Matrix sequels and Kill Bill (2003).

Since then, Yuen as gone on to make many more great movies, such as Jet Lis “Danny The Dog” and “Fearless”, True Legend with Vincent Zhao and then with Jackie Chan and Jet Li, on the international movie “Forbidden Kingdom”. He as recently finished work on the upcoming film “The Grand-masters). So Yuen was the guy who gave Jackie Chan a chance to star in one of his movies and made him an overnight star. He also discovered Donnie Yen, bringing to the big screen and showing how good he really is.

Verdict:One of the best, crossed over from a Hong Kong director/Choreographer to make International success. Made many classics.

Selected Movies:
Snuff Bottle Connection
Snake In The Eagles Shadow
Drunken Master
Magnificent Butcher
Legend Of A Fighter
Once Upon A Time In China
Iron Monkey

2.Lau Kar Leung

Other names: 刘家良
Lau Ka Leung
Liu Chia Liang
Liu Chia Liung

Birth date: 1/8/1936
Nationality: China
Workplace: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan

Literally born into the world of martial arts and movies, Liu Chia-liang’s father studied under Lam Sai-wing, a student of the famous Wong Fei-hong. Liu himself was mentor to the late Alexander Fu Sheng, Cheng Shao-chiu, Hsiao Ho, among others. Liu began practicing martial arts at seven, and joined the film industry as a martial arts stuntman while a teenager, to become action director on martial arts movies of the 50’s and 60s. During the 1970’s Liu was one of Hong Kong’s most dominant, innovative and influential martial arts directors.

In the early 1960’s, Liu and action director Tang Chia joined Shaw Brothers, providing fight choreography for most of Chang Cheh’s ground-breaking movies including One-Armed Swordsman.

In the early 1970’s Liu and Chang began to cooperate on film projects based on Shaolin Temple legendary heroes. Chang directed Men From the Monastery and Five Shaolin Masters, while Liu was the action choreographer in both films. Liu took the director’s chair alone in 1975 with The Spiritual Boxer. One of Liu’s final films for Shaw Brothers was The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter, inspired by the tragic death of its star Alexander Fu Sheng during the production. Liu also worked with Jet Li on Martial Arts Of Shaolin. He took on one of Hong Kong legends Sammo hung in the movie The Pedicab Driver, where we get to see them both fight fist to pole.

In 1994, Liu worked with Jackie Chan on Chan’s Drunken Master II. The film was a tremendous success and reintroduced Liu to the world.

Having been out of the spotlight, Liu made a comeback as director for the first Shaw Brothers production in many years, Drunken Monkey

Lau Kar Leung is one of the best out there, he has brought us some of the greatest kung fu movies ever made.

Verdict:One of the best, made so many classics, veteran.

Selected Movies:
Shaolin Martial Arts
Master Of The Flying Guillotine
Heroes Of The East
Mad Monkey Kung Fu
Martial Club
Legendary Weapons Of China
Eight Diagram Pole Fighter

1.Sammo Hung
Other names: 三毛
Hong Jin Bao
Hung Ching Pao

Birth date: 7/1/1952
Nationality: Hong Kong
Workplace: Hong Kong, USA

In 1970, Hung began working for Raymond Chow and the Golden Harvest film company. He was initially hired to choreograph the action scenes for the very first Golden Harvest film, The Angry River (1970). His popularity soon began to grow, and due to the quality of his choreography and disciplined approach to his work, he again caught the eye of celebrated Taiwanese director, King Hu. Hung choreographed two of Hu’s films, A Touch of Zen (1971) and The Fate of Lee Khan (1973).

In 1977, Hung was given his first lead role in a Golden Harvest production, in the film Shaolin Plot. His next film, released the same year, was also his directorial debut, The Iron-Fisted Monk, one of the earliest kung fu comedies. In 1978 and 1981, Hung made two films that contain fine examples of the Wing Chun style. The first, Warriors Two was the most significant role to date for South Korean super kicker Casanova Wong, who teamed up with Hung in the final fight. The second film was The Prodigal Son, in which the Wing Chun fighting was performed by Lam Ching-Ying. The release of The Prodigal Son, along with another film directed by and co-starring Hung, Knockabout (1979) also shot his fellow Opera schoolmate Yuen Biao to stardom.

During the 1980s, Hung was instrumental in the creating the genre of Jiang Shi (Chinese: 僵屍 or 殭屍; literally “stiff corpse”), the Jiang Shi being hopping re-animated corpses – a Chinese equivalent to Western vampires. Two landmark films, Encounters of the Spooky Kind (1980) and The Dead and the Deadly (1983) feature Jiang Shi who move in standing jumps towards their victims, as well as Taoist priests with the ability to quell these vampires (and at times, each other) through magical spells and charms. These films meld Chinese folklore with special effects and kung fu action to create a genre that is uniquely Chinese. Hung’s Jiang Shi films would pave the way for films such as the popular Mr. Vampire (1985), which he also produced, and its sequels. He revitalised the sub-genre of female-led kung fu films, producing cop films such as Yes, Madam aka Police Assassins (both 1985), which introduced stars Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock.

Sammo Hung takes action to another level, he as many times before, re-invented himself, to take him above and beyond what even he thought was possible. His hand to hand techniques and weapon work is excellent. The movie he as choreographed are some of the best in Kung Fu cinema, with him and lau Kar Leung trying to out do each other in the past, enjoy your history in Kung Fu movies and re-watch these legends in there primes.

Verdict:When it comes to hard hitting modern day action or traditional Kung Fu, Sammo never fails. Hard impact action, with great weapon work and all round skills.

Selected Movies:
Warriors Two
Odd Couple
Magnificent Butcher
Prodigal Son
Eastern Condors
Ip Man 2

Source:Wikipedia,HK Cinemagic

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