Fight of the Week

    • Fight of the Week

      While we wait for the servers to close, I have decided to do something that makes me want to come to the forums again. There is enough doom and gloom. Might as well use these forums for something. I wanna have some fun.


      So, I’m a bit of a weirdo. I enjoy card games and martial arts. My nick is not just for lols, as I have trained different martial arts over ten years. Should be more, but I am a lazy bastard sometimes, so there have been a lot of breaks. As it happens, I collect fights. I told you I’m a weirdo. I am fascinated by a good scrap, either in real life or in movies. For the purpose of this thread, I am going to concentrate on movie fights. I am very analytical and demanding when it comes to fight scenes, and I know what I like. Huge majority of movie fights are shit. I am going to share what I think are good movie fights. I will be posting one every week and I will rate it. I will always include a video of the fights, so you can watch them yourselves and either agree or disagree or completely ignore this thread and think that I am a strange dude.


      I will use the following criteria:


      Setting/atmosphere. This will include things like cinematography, location of the fight, lighting etc. If you are fighting at night in the rain on top of a crane, I have already zoned out. You have failed to produce a good movie fight as a director.


      Music. Sometimes music enhances fight scenes, or otherwise brings something interesting to it. There might be no music.


      Emotional impact. This takes into account the entire movie. Was the conclusion satisfactory? Did I feel that “fuck yeah!” surge because of some epic one-liner?


      Choreography. Do the actors look like they actually know how to fight? Are the moves cool or just lazy? For me, the best mix is a high dose of realism with some badass choreography that you might actually be able to perform. Hong Kong flicks love flying around with wires and jumping from tree to tree, which is not my cup of tea. I will still watch some of those.


      Technical merits. Does the director use a proper wide angle or a horrible shaky cam up close? What about lighting? Can you actually see the fight? How has the fight been edited? Choppy editing is the trademark of a sloppy director and inept actors, as you can disguise a lot with that. Nothing irks me more than a fight that has been cut to shit.


      Skill of combatants. Are the actors believable in their roles? Can they execute the moves like they know what they are doing? Naturally, I value real martial artists above all else here.


      Finish. How does the winner actually win? Is it by actually fighting, or do they just trip and fall from a roof or some shit? This is weirdly important to me personally.


      I will give a score between 1 and 10 for each fight. Now let’s begin! As this is the first time, I will do three fights, because I couldn’t decide what to use.



      FIGHT: Hector versus Achilles


      MOVIE: Troy (2004), director Wolfgang Petersen


      Might as well start from the top. I consider this one of the best movie fights ever put on screen. First of all, I love everything medieval-y. If it has swords in it, I will probably watch it. So the setting is already perfect. However, there are some things that set this particular melee above everything else. The fight has been built up during the course of the movie by showcasing both fighters against lesser opposition. So we know they are both badass. They fight on level ground in daylight. No gimmicks, no CGI. Just the two combatants. The choreography is awesome. They start with spears because of the long range, showcasing some sweet, and somewhat realistic, attacks. Cool usage of shields as well. Later they switch to swords and get up close and personal. Achilles attempts his signature attack, the jumping stab, with both spear and sword, and is thwarted for the first time. Both actors clearly trained their ass off, as they look very good. Brad Pitt’s form especially in that one pose is excellent. I can assure you, you need to train that. That one dodge where Achilles lifts his leg over an upward strike and turns at the same time is really cool, pragmatic, and I have never seen that before. The only thing I don’t like about this fight is the winning blow and too many reaction shots from the crowd, but to me this is near perfection.

      Enjoy:


      [\media]


      Setting/atmosphere: 10 – Pretty much perfect. Level ground. Only sand (and one stone) and the fighters. You can also cut the tension with a knife.


      Music: 9 – Pretty great, especially in the beginning. Builds tension nicely.


      Emotional Impact: 10 – I have the feels. Starts with an epic line: “There are no pacts between lions and men.” Holy shit! This dude is intense. Ends with a realization that one of the biggest heroes of his time was finally defeated.


      Choreography: 10 – Great. Sweet moves without going overboard. Could almost be a real fight.


      Technical Merits: 10 – Couldn’t ask for more. You can follow everything perfectly.


      Skill of Combatants: 10 – Although mere actors, they pull it off really well. Especially Pitt throughout the entire movie.


      Finish: 9 – There is something off about the weird flailing windmill attack that finally defeats Hector, but it’s a minor gripe.


      FINAL VERDICT: 10/10

      One of the best fights in cinema history.


      Bonus: Achilles vs. Boagrius. Achilles’ signature jumping insta-kill move at work.


      [\media]

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Ertzi ().

    • FIGHT: Kham fights through a horde of henchmen while going up the stairs.


      MOVIE: Tom Yum Goong (2005), director Prachya Pinkaew


      This fight scene is here for one reason only. It is insanely ambitious in that it was all done in one take, that is without any cuts. Watch it and you will realize why it’s pretty damn impressive. Poor stunt guys. You can clearly see they take it a bit easier than normally (Tony Jaa’s films are famous for having lots of injuries because of the realistic hits), because of the demanding scene, but it is still astonishing what they managed to pull off. I don’t remember the exact number anymore, but I think they had to do this like 4 to 7 times.

      Here it is:


      [\media]


      Setting/atmosphere: 9 – Atmosphere is non-existent, but you gotta respect the staircase.


      Music: 5 – Quite horrible in my opinion. I would have chosen something completely different. No matter, still a great scene.


      Emotional Impact: 7 – Close to none at this time, because it’s not the final fight. Kham is still pretty angry, because he loves himself some elephants.


      Choreography: 9 – They have to pull back a bit and it shows. There is still plenty of muay thai goodness. A bit lame that some of the baddies “die” from a simple wrist lock, but hey, it’s all in service of the scene.


      Technical Merits: 10 – Unprecedented ambition. The steady-cam guy gets his exercise for running after Jaa. Keeps everything in good focus too. He’s the unsung hero in this.


      Skill of Combatants: 10 – We are dealing with an actual martial arts master now. It’s almost disgusting how easily Jaa gets his foot off the ground. On top of fighting, he can do all sorts of flips and somersaults. I’m sure he will be back on this list, as he is one of my favorite actors.


      Finish: ??? – There is no finish, so let’s disregard this one for now.


      FINAL VERDICT: 8/10

      Tony Jaa can do a lot better with more impactful technique and flashier choreography, but I will give this one a high score simply because of the balls to attempt something like this in a movie.
    • FIGHT: John Hatcher fights against evil Jamaican voodoo gang members in a mall.


      MOVIE: Marked for Death (1990), director Dwight H. Little


      No matter what you think of Steven Seagal nowadays (and I think he is a complete joke and maybe a wife beater), he was a stone cold badass in the beginning of his movie career. He also brought the art of Aikido to the forefront, which I have not seen prominently in a movie since. Seagal is a genuine 7th degree black belt, so that should tell you something. Even now, he might look like a fat slob in every other scenario, but something magical happens when he is teaching. He looks like a different man, and people are shocked how easily he can hurt you with simple joint locks.



      I have trainer Aikido. It is a very cool martial art, but not very practical for a beginner. However, I do think it can be effective, IF you are a master in it. It is perfect for not hurting your opponent, which makes it pretty useful in a real-life altercation (lawsuits!). A guy I trained with at the time (black belt) said he used it in a bar fight once by simply throwing a guy under a table with his own momentum. The other guy left him alone after that. Aikido is awesome at this. I have a video of myself flying around repeatedly like the guys in this video, because when I was young I thought it would be a good idea to ask the leader of the dojo if I could attack him and film it for fun. I can assure you, you will do all kinds of rolls and somersaults if you don’t want your wrist to snap, and you do not know where you are going. The bastard is laughing while this is happening too. By the way, the last joint lock Seagal does in this clip (the one from the shoulder) is one of the most painful moves that I have ever experienced, because the entire body weight comes down on the wrist when you lower your body’s center of gravity (Seagal just slightly bends his knees). I wouldn’t be surprised if the grunt of pain is real in that scene.


      Bla, bla, bla… here’s the clip:

      [\media]


      Setting/atmosphere: 8 – There’s not much tension, but it’s pretty cool to be fighting in a well-lit mall with all those nice glass cases. Hatcher is pretty angry though, and the last line is sweet.


      Music: 8 – Nothing special, but fitting.


      Emotional Impact: 7 – Again, these are just random henchmen, but the last warning warrants a fist bump.


      Choreography: 9 – Believe it or not, this is pretty realistic. Seagal actually blocks most of the attacks first before disabling the opponent, and he moves quickly and effectively, with real contact. The stuntmen seem to be hitting with real speed and accuracy as well. Fun fact: The part where Hatcher bumps two attackers into each other is a real technique that is taught in Aikido called randori. It is used against multiple attackers and is really annoying to fight against if you are good. I like early Steven Seagal movies, because he really utilizes many different skills taught in Aikido. Even kneeling against a standing attacker is trained, which you can see in many Seagal movies. Seagal is a bit too aggressive for realistic Aikido though. The philosophy is usually not to snap limbs left and right.


      Technical Merits: 10 – Good lighting, great camera work. You can see everything.


      Skill of Combatants: 10 – Even today, I would not want to mess with Seagal in Aikido, and he is in his prime here. Dude taught Aikido in Japan as one of the first westerners. He kinda knows his stuff.


      Finish: 10 – Not gonna lie, I am partial to a good one-liner before dispatching a baddie.


      FINAL VERDICT: 9/10

      I like this a lot, because it’s so gritty, realistic and violent. You don’t need lots of bells and whistles to make a great fight scene. Steven Seagal will be back. This is not even his best fight scene.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Ertzi ().

    • Haha! Welcome to the party, Oss. :)

      I love Donnie Yen, but if you think this is a great movie fight, we simply have different tastes. Nothing wrong with that of course, as these things are highly and completely subjective. I can't stand this sped-up crap myself, and the editing is horrible. Flash cuts and a constantly moving, shaky camera. Cartoonish sound effects and needless nigh-comical slow-motion in the beginning. Everything is too hurried, and I can't savor the techniques at all.

      I have seen plenty worse fights, but I would give this a 6/10 at most.

      I'm still definitely gonna give you a like, because I hadn't watched this one for a while. :D

      EDIT -> Might be that my Youtube is acting up and speeding everything up. I need to watch that fight again later.

      EDIT2 -> Okay, I watched the clip again with lower speed just to be sure and I'm sticking to my rating. Just too hectic for me. The alley is a cool setting and the lighting is good. I also appreciate the symbolism of black vs. white. Additionally, I dig the fact that for once a blunt weapon does some visual damage. Not my cup of tea though.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Ertzi ().

    • Hey! Nice to find another martial arts lover. :thumbsup: I practice Jeet Kune Do for more than a decade and recently started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I watched recently a movie called "the raid". One of the few movies I felt that had a lot of raw and close to realistic violence.
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    • Ertzi wrote:

      Haha! Welcome to the party, Oss. :)

      I love Donnie Yen, but if you think this is a great movie fight, we simply have different tastes. Nothing wrong with that of course, as these things are highly and completely subjective. I can't stand this sped-up crap myself, and the editing is horrible. Flash cuts and a constantly moving, shaky camera. Cartoonish sound effects and needless nigh-comical slow-motion in the beginning. Everything is too hurried, and I can't savor the techniques at all.

      I have seen plenty worse fights, but I would give this a 6/10 at most.

      I'm still definitely gonna give you a like, because I hadn't watched this one for a while. :D

      EDIT -> Might be that my Youtube is acting up and speeding everything up. I need to watch that fight again later.
      I hear you, it's definitely a style (and very much a product of its time in China). That said, for kind of similar reasons, I can't STAND the fights in Troy despite their impressive appearance - because they are wildly historically inaccurate. Seeing Pitt stabbing through the little notches in the shield just makes me angry - it's utterly ridiculous. :D
      --ossuary

      "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
      - Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well
    • BTW, while I generally tend to enjoy realistic fights more than CGI / jumpcut fests, those types of fights have their merit as well. The restaurant fight in Rise of the Legend, for example, is an absolutely amazing and highly entertaining fight, specifically because of the way it's cut together. The slow mo, the CGI swooshes of air from the weapon swings, the POV shot at the end - it's silly and stupid, but in the best possible way.



      Obviously you don't watch stuff like this if you're in the mood for realistic, well choreographed artistry, but if you just want a cool action scene that's cleverly enhanced by modern movie-making techniques, films like Rise of the Legend or Kung Fu Hustle can give you a lot of fun / stupid enjoyment. :)
      --ossuary

      "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
      - Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well
    • Holy hell! This thread is blowing up. I expected maybe one reply and complete apathy. I like this! :D

      I will reply to everything, but apparently this will take way more time than I thought, because I also want to watch all the videos when I have plenty of time. I'm on my lunch break from work now, so can't dive into this now. Oh boy, is it hard not to though. :D

      AxelDWater wrote:

      Hey! Nice to find another martial arts lover. I practice Jeet Kune Do for more than a decade and recently started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I watched recently a movie called "the raid". One of the few movies I felt that had a lot of raw and close to realistic violence.
      Sweet. Jeet Kune Do has always fascinated me, for obvious Bruce-related reasons. He was ahead of his time by several decades. One of his movies basically has MMA in it too. At least some kind of raw form. I want to try this art at some point, but I am zoned in on few other styles right now. I did BJJ for about a year, but I hurt my back repeatedly while training (pretty common apparently, because the back is subjected to certain pressures it is not used to handling). I am now strengthening my body at the gym, with an aim to go back to BJJ as soon as possible. The "downside" is that now I'm hooked on lifting weights (sort of a new one for me) and now I want both. Goddamn, can I have more hours in the day! I want to combine Muay Thai and BJJ, so that I can defend myself no matter where the fight goes. I will start with BJJ because I'm so much ahead in stand up fighting. Also, BJJ is so darn fun! It's like fighting, but more friendly. It also builds a good community faster than anything else I've trained. People are always smiling. Very cerebral too. By the way, as there are fellow BJJ practicioners in this thread, at least one person is guaranteed to get the joke in my avatar picture. :)

      I swear, I was thinking The Raid the whole time I was working. I was like "no one mention it, no one mention it..." because it is an obvious entry in this thread and I wanted to be the first to post something on it. Not even close. :D Watched both in the theater. Great films.

      CoSVII wrote:

      I have an “expectation” for greatest fight of the week ... Saturday October 6th 2:30 PM in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m sure there will be uTube Highlight videos shortley thereafter.
      I hope Khabib will maul McNuggets so bad... That dude needs some humility. However, that is one of those fights where everything is possible. Could be a 17 second KO from a straight left, or a 25 minute mauling, with a Dagestani bludgeoning his opponent for five rounds, while talking to him constantly. "I told you I will change your face." *THUD* Fingers crossed for the latter! In any case, I am super excited. Great card all around. The co-main is amazing as well.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Ertzi ().

    • @Oss

      I actually watch and enjoy all kinds of fights. Even when people are floating or using fireballs. It's all good. A fight is a fight. I just have my preferences. And I love Kung Fu Hustle. The entire movie is incredible. I have rarely laughed as hard in a theater.

      It was also on my list for this thread. Now I need to change that. Don't worry, I could do this the rest of my life and not run out of fights. :)
    • Eraia wrote:

      I think I'm more of a fan of comic fights because I love prettymuch the entire Jackie Chan movie roster of fights.
      I hear ya. I love comical fights too, and it was always my intention to showcase those as well. I have some stuff right up your alley coming up. :)

      My problem is choosing what to post, as I have limited time. I would love to throw a dozen of these in here at a time, but the research, analyzing and finding a good clip takes too much time. I will definitely vary the styles though. A fight can be good especially because it's funny.

      Now I can't look in here before the weekend. This is destroying my productivity. It's awesome to be excited about something in these forums though. Not even gonna lie.
    • A most likely controversial additon to this thread:



      It's spoiler territory and the fight starts at 1:13.
      But why? While I enjoy martial arts and love movie fights, more often than not they feel staged and artificial, which is cool, don't get me wrong, but they don't get a response out of me that goes beyond "uh, nice." - least most of the time.

      This one is different for me, because it's two people on the brink of collapse because of exhaustion that try to kill each other with everything they got left at their disposal. It's not flashy and it doesn't seem to be very choreographed most of the time (even tho it obviously is), it's just extremly gritty and down to earth violence, which I enjoy very much. Is that weird? Maybe.
      And also the framing and camera work is absolutely insane, but it's a Lubezki-Inarritu-movie so that's a given.

      Also this one:
    • Long takes are a special kind of awesome. The original Oldboy corridor scene is definitely amazing.

      I know it's not a "real" long take, because they hide some cuts in there when people get knocked off camera, but the "corridor" fight from season 1 of Netflix's Daredevil is pretty spectacular, too. You can really FEEL his weariness as the fight drags on. I have a special affection for fights like that, where the exhaustion is an actual factor.



      Gotta be honest... I haven't enjoyed the forums this much in about a year and a half. ;)
      --ossuary

      "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
      - Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well