Among the general film-going public, the response to Jet Li is either luke-warm or “Jet who?”. But among martial art fans, he’s universally worshiped – almost to Bruce Lee standards. Even though I haven’t always agreed with his movie choices, I count myself among the fans who think Li is among the top action stars of all time. Like Bruce, Jet is the real deal. He’s a bona fide martial arts champion. Even his stoic acting lends itself to the on-screen mystic that permeates his film work. Li’s next project is ‘War’ for Lions Gate scheduled for release this September. The film stars Li and Jason Statham of ‘Transporter’ fame as an FBI Agent (Statham) on the hunt for his partner’s killer (Li). The action takes place while a crime war between rival Asian gangs rages in the streets. The plot seems pretty standard fare but the teaming of Li and Statham could be a good match. To get a better feel for the film check out the ‘War’ official site.
On a barely related note, Lions Gate is also behind Eli Roth’s ‘Hostel: Part II’ which is scheduled for a June 8th release. Eli Roth is apparently pushing the gore-o-meter to the limit in this film and some aren’t taking it lightly. Nikki Finke, who writes the brilliant ‘Deadline Hollywood’ blog, posted a highly critical article about Roth and the ‘torture porn’ genre of horror films coming out of Hollywood. These films aren’t my thing and I don’t give them much thought, however reading Finke’s post and Roths own words didn’t leave me with a good taste in my mouth. Is the success of these films a reflection of some post-modern apathy that’s rampant in our culture – or are critics just taking these films too seriously? Read Finke’s post about Eli Roth.