Poll: Artisans

Cyndi Minster's artisan made yarn. By Arshia Khan

Cyndi Minster’s artisan made yarn.
By Arshia Khan

What is your favorite artisanal craft?

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Poll: Who is the best on-screen martial artist ever?

Martial arts movies have featured some great fighters, but who’s your favorite?

Taekwondo got its present name from Supakhee in 1954. Since then, there has been no looking back and today it is estimated that more than 23 million people prefer learning this martial art for varied purposes like self-defense, sport or a leisure-time activity. Basically, it consists of many types of hand and foot techniques. By Monadawson/Wikimedia

By Monadawson/Wikimedia

Who is your favorite martial artist on the silver screen?

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12 martial arts movies to watch during the ATA World Expo

He's not the real Bruce, but we can ignore that...I guess.
Taekwondo got its present name from Supakhee in 1954. Since then, there has been no looking back and today it is estimated that more than 23 million people prefer learning this martial art for varied purposes like self-defense, sport or a leisure-time activity. Basically, it consists of many types of hand and foot techniques. By Monadawson/Wikimedia

By Monadawson/Wikimedia

The American Taekwondo Association World Expo is in Little Rock this week. For everyone who isn’t capable of breaking bricks with their fists, we put together a list of the best martial arts movies for vicarious living. Martial arts movies have appealed to audienes for quite some time, and the sport’s rich, storied history is still bobbing up into mainstream consciousness. Directors like Sergio Leone display Akira Kurosawa as a great inspiration, while Star Wars and spaghetti westerns drew heavily on Kurosawa’s influence, with less name dropping. It’s only fitting that a good number of influential movies are tied to this ancient Eastern tradition.

A movie about getting drunk and fighting. Right up my alley.

A movie about getting drunk and fighting. Right up my alley.

The Legend of Drunken Master

The 1994 sequel to Drunken Master is 16 years removed from its original, but it delivers a tighter story with a better sense of Jackie Chan’s comedic skill. The movie’s production was a subject of contention for Jackie Chan and Chia-Liang Liu. Eventually, Liu would leave the production during filming, leaving Chan to pick up the direction for the final scene, which reportedly took months to film. The drunken boxing style depicted in the film is an actual martial art, although it is not normally used whilst drunk. All in all, Chan delivers the goods in the comedy department and drops jaws with amazing fight scenes.

Chan is the king of prop fighting.

Chan is the king of prop fighting.

Seven Samurai

Kurosawa might go down in history as the greatest filmmaker to ever live, and his magnum opus Seven Samurai is a perfect example of why. The film inspired The Magnificent Seven directly, shot to be identical side by side in certain scenes by director John Sturges, and inspired every filmmaker since with its mold-breaking attitude toward film. Samurai is often called the first modern action-adventure film. Read the rest

Poll: Thoughts on the U.S. in the World Cup

Tim Howard

What are your thoughts about the U.S. Men's National Team's run in the World Cup?

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Our picks from the highest-grossing box office list for July 4 weekend

Why isn't Christopher Lloyd playing every scientist? (except Walter White)

Bringing in nearly $98 million box office, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, released in 2011, was certainly popular. It’s the highest grossing July 4 weekend release, according to boxofficemojo.com. But, is this really the caliber of film we want to enjoy on the nation’s birthday? If so, then enjoy it. For those who seek more from their movie-watching experiences, I have found five Independence Day releases that offer more substance than the usual fare. And no, Independence Day is not one of them.

The whole premise for that Transformers movie is wrong. Courtesy of Earthsky.org

The whole premise for that Transformers movie is wrong.
Courtesy of Earthsky.org

Get ready for the rousing speeches.

Get ready for the rousing speeches.

The movie that sits at 11 on the highest-grossing July 4 weekend releases is Men In Black. Barry Sonnenfeld directed this film following the success of Get Shorty (which isn’t too shabby either). While he might have strayed a bit in his career, Sonnenfeld was one of the best cinematographers in the early ’90s. His skill translated well to directing, especially in his early pictures.

A great example of Sonnenfeld's camera skills.

A great example of Sonnenfeld’s camera skills.

 Men In Black redefined the way we see sci-fi comedies and aliens in general. The camera’s movement in relation to the scenes is a thing of beauty, as it adds its own element of comedy to the production. If nothing else, revisit this for a look at a young Will Smith, fresh off Fresh Prince, arguing with Tommy Lee Jones.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Before we knew Will Smith would be a scientologist with two annoying famous kids.

Before we knew Will Smith would be a scientologist with two annoying famous kids.

Next up, The Perfect Storm, which comes in at 15 on the July 4 list with just over $41 million. This movie is a raw drama with some big-budget special effects. The drama might be a little too raw, but the movie still makes good use of the actors to deliver a visual and tense story. Read the rest