OtherGround Forums Art of Self-Defense Movie

Edited: 23 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 34666

Anyone see this...?

Indy film about life at a karate dojo. Pretty much EXACTLY the kind of thing I am psyched to see.

It's a dark "comedy", but the comedy didn't really work. It was too subtle to the point people didn't recognize that something was a joke. Most of it fell flat. The audience was silent the whole film. It's kinda like Napolean Dynamite meets The Fist Foot Way but without  any laughs.

There were two light chuckles, but overall just terrible.

Then I get home and read all these glowing reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Also, the final "massage" of the film was beyond misguided.

IF you are a martial artist, there 's nothing in the film for you because they get everything "wrong". I didn't recognize any of the funny/interesting things that commonly happen in dojos, in this film. Seemed like it was made by a hipster who just didn't know anything about that world. An outsider looking at it and getting it wrong. You can satirize MAs of course, but you have to understand something about them first. 

I don't get it. Maybe I am just old and don't have a sense of humor anymore.

Anyone see or like it...?

 

 

 

23 days ago
12/22/10
Posts: 8554

I didn't see it but The Fist Foot Way was hilarious.  I imagine 99% of all martial arts instructors are like him.

23 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 34669
quality - 

I didn't see it but The Fist Foot Way was hilarious.  I imagine 99% of all martial arts instructors are like him.


Eh... it's probably more than that.

23 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 18531

I love Napoleon Dynamite and Foot fist way!  A fusion should be automatically epic, wtf?!

23 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 65734
deepu - 

I love Napoleon Dynamite and Foot fist way!  A fusion should be automatically epic, wtf?!


Jessie Eisenberg's in it. So yeah, it probably blows.

Seems like he kind of didn't go ever so great as a big mainstream actor (unlikable), now he'll be the guy in quirky movies like this that are critically acclaimed for being odd.
23 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 52422

Not gonna lie had some hopes for this. Eisenberg seems like a perfect bullied dork. 

23 days ago
12/22/10
Posts: 8562
shen -
quality - 

I didn't see it but The Fist Foot Way was hilarious.  I imagine 99% of all martial arts instructors are like him.


Eh... it's probably more than that.

Shen might have a 1986 Porsche like a badass, a 1992 Mustang, when he makes it a 2000 Corvette.  Either way martial art instructors have aggressive or luxury cars a good percentage of the time.

23 days ago
5/13/05
Posts: 1823

In one of the sparring scenes...the girl executed a Berimbolo and took the guy’s back.  Not sure who they had for fight choreography but it must be someone who’s a bjjer.

Edited: 23 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 520

I didn’t watch but I know The writer\director is a purple belt under Shawn Williams

Edited: 22 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 34680
SpeedKing9 - 

I didn’t watch but I know The writer\director is a purple belt under Shawn Williams

 

I don't know if that makes it better or worse.

It's reminds me of the David Mamet movie "Redbelt". I love David Mamet, I love BJJ. I could not have been more excited to see Redbelt. I actually a got ticket to a Writer's Guild preview showing of the film... and It was terrible. AMAZINGLY it managed to get BJJ philosophy 100% wrong!!! And I know Mamet studied some BJJ and all that, but man... the film was just FALSE.

Same with this film. maybe the writer/director should have attempted a film about a BJJ studio instead. He kept, I guess "making fun" of karate and traditional martial arts, but in a way that didn't make sense to me. It didn't ring true. Then he would cram some "BJJ techniques" into a scene. Then show sparring with cartoonish brutality that doesn't even exist in any martial arts school. I just don't know WTF he was going for. It was false note after false note with long stretches of boredom in-between.

I should LOVE that move. I love MAs, I love dark comedy, but I just hated it. Clearly.

I don't know why no one can seem to make a good movie about martial arts.

 

22 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 14718
PeteyWheatstraw -
deepu - 

I love Napoleon Dynamite and Foot fist way!  A fusion should be automatically epic, wtf?!


Jessie Eisenberg's in it. So yeah, it probably blows.

Seems like he kind of didn't go ever so great as a big mainstream actor (unlikable), now he'll be the guy in quirky movies like this that are critically acclaimed for being odd.

Agree,  hes got a really unlikable know-it-all vibe.  This movie seems really misguided based on the trailer alone. Who do they think is going to see this movie? What is the target demo? 

22 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 65753
buddie - 
PeteyWheatstraw -
deepu - 

I love Napoleon Dynamite and Foot fist way!  A fusion should be automatically epic, wtf?!


Jessie Eisenberg's in it. So yeah, it probably blows.

Seems like he kind of didn't go ever so great as a big mainstream actor (unlikable), now he'll be the guy in quirky movies like this that are critically acclaimed for being odd.

Agree,  hes got a really unlikable know-it-all vibe.  This movie seems really misguided based on the trailer alone. Who do they think is going to see this movie? What is the target demo? 


He plays a twerp in this movie so maybe it suits him better. I'd probably go see it just cause it looks like something different, but it's one of those weird movies that's only playing at select locations and times. Nothing about the trailer makes it seem that interesting.
6 days ago
4/6/19
Posts: 1652

good film. nice twist. sensei played well... hog scene pushed it over the top

6 days ago
11/23/05
Posts: 22007

I thought the movie was great, one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. I could see how people didn’t like it, It isn’t for everybody. 

 

This is isn’t a dark comedy aimed at people who enjoy martial arts, the martial arts in the movie was satirized.

 

This is a true dark comedy, the jokes were either mocking in nature or just really dark. If you are an indie movie type of guy and enjoy darker humor please give the movie a try, you might really enjoy it.

5 days ago
3/15/15
Posts: 12028
Shen,
I am going to see it in a couple weeks when it plays here and will give my report. I grew up in late 80s Karate culture so I am interested in seeing it.
5 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 2432

The issue in the movie is male masculinity.

The main character starts as timid. He goes from fake tough to bully and finds a way to balanced and positive. The movie makes sure that it shows that the arts they are training are effective.

 

As mentioned before the director is a bjj guy.