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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

CZ-12 : One movie I'm looking forward to watching the most !

I'm  blogging after ages....i.e. more than a month actually, which is a huge, huge gap by my standards...Anyway, not much has changed....life is going on as usual ...just that I haven't found anything blog-worthy in recent times ...

What stunned me, however, is the trailer of Jackie Chan's "CZ-12", which I saw at Vijay theater, during the interval, while watching Neethaane En Ponvasantham ....Now, I remember reading somewhere that Jackie Chan was gonna bid goodbye to action, as his age and body no longer really allows him to do the death-defying stunts which really define who he is ...But I didn't know that this was gonna be it !! I got goosebumps as I saw the trailer ...and I went dizzy when I saw that it was gonna be released on 20th December ..However, it's not released yet in India :(

This blog post is not about Jackie Chan ...it is about my life, having grown up watching him ...it is about the kinda impact his movies had on me....

Thanks for showing us the world inside your head, Jackie ! :) Legend !
Anyway, at this point, I'm just reminded of a status message which one of my friends shared on FB after Sachin announced his retirement - "With Sachin retiring, it's not just the end of a legend's career ...but the death of my childhood" ...Simple, yet powerfully true!! This is EXACTLY how I feel at this point too...when I realize that what I'm dying to watch soon, will be another nail on the coffin of my childhood. ....There have already been so many nails - Uncle Pai's passing away ( for those who don't know - Anant Pai was the founder, editor of Tinkle / Amar Chitra Katha series of comics - educational, exhilarating, thrilling, delightful - all in one :) ...he was fondly called Uncle Pai...Here's a short tribute from me ) .....Another one, as my friend suggested, was Sachin's retirement....Third, my dog's younger brother, Dhruva, passed away a few days ago ..he was 13 ...we weren't really too attached or anything, but it kinda stuns the daylights out of you, when you realize how many years have sped right under your nose ...Many more nails actually - the passing away of Yash Chopra, who gave Bollywood the definition it has today....the fact that people like Anu Malik don't compose anymore...the fact that people like Alka Yagnik don't sing anymore...the fact that TV shows like Crystal Maze, Small Wonder etc don't come anymore....The fact that cartoons like Scooby Doo, Swat Kats, Johnny Quest, Ninja Robots etc don't come anymore....I can go on and on and on .......I'm glad there's one huge part of my childhood still remaining and in sublime form right now - AR Rahman :) ..Kadal is easily his best album in a long, long time ...He's struck gold again !! It took Mani Ratnam to rediscover the lost magic ...Anyway, more on Kadal's music in another blog post, perhaps....

So yes, let's come to this nail which I feel, right now, is being brutally hammered into the coffin called my childhood :( - Jackie Chan ...

I've always been a movie freak...mainly Indian movies though.......the craze for watching Jackie Chan movies, however...began when I was in the 6th grade I think...I was 10 years old...I was in Chennai during the end-of-term holidays I think....and there was this movie Mr.Nice Guy which was running in Woodlands-Symphony theater ...My uncle and I went and watched this one ( with this movie began a severely long list of countless movies we've watched together ) ...and I remember how much I screamed, mouth-wide open in awe ..at all his death-defying stunts ...

Those days, I used to HATE English movies ...I used to find the American accent / British accent very irritating ( Come on, I was a kid :P ) ....But the main reason I used to hate them, is the fact that I just couldn't understand them at all !! The only thing attractive in those movies was probably the bold scenes :P...like the scene in Dhool, where a school-going Vikram tells Vivek - "Vasanamaa da mukhyam? Padatha paarraa!" :D..

So, quite naturally, barring a few exceptions like Speed, Terminator etc.... the only English movies I used to like were Jackie Chan movies :) - mainly because they were JUST like Indian movies - not much emphasis on story. The action would be the focal point of the movie ...only, that stunts in Indian movies were, if not are, done by body doubles and graphics ...whereas in Jackie's movies, he would do them himself !!! Every single one of them, risking his life ...

So, there began a huge list of Jackie Chan movies which I've watched religiously and judiciously with my uncle ...in theater - Mr.Nice Guy, First Strike, Who am I? ..the list went on and on...The Rush Hour series...Shanghai Noon...Shanghai Knights......Around the world in 80 days.....the list goes on and on.........I guess his only movie in recent times I've not seen is The Myth....I've seen even The Karate Kid....Oh yeah, wait..I've not seen The Medallion ...and The Tuxedo, I've seen only in bits and pieces....Oh shit, I've not seen The Forbidden Kingdom too...Okay, looks like in the late 2000s, I've not been a religious Jackie fan after all ....I can afford to blame it on the fact that his movies usually release really late in India ...and by the time they release, I would've forgotten about the movie itself !!! It's true...I'm not making this up :) ...this is one of the reasons ...

Anyway, I have seen a huge majority of his movies....I might've missed a few here and there :)....I dunno, call it me growing up and opening myself up to all kinds of cinema ..or ...I dunno....But I think this can be attributed to the fact 2000s saw me become a super-huge Tamil cinema fanatic ...and Tamil music fanatic ...everyone who has read my blog in the past knows what a Harris Jayaraj devotee I am....Yes, you might find it strange, but despite all his reuse, copies etc...whatever...I'm still one of his greatest devotees on earth :) ....simply because the kinda music he makes is something I somehow relate to, something like what I myself make ...something I can grasp / decipher easily...Okay, I'm straying away from the point ....

Anyways, coming to another crucial part / critical component of my childhood - NO INTERNET !! ...Such a drastic difference compared to now, where, without the internet, it's like I'm on the ICU and gasping for breath .....Anyway, in the 90s, entertainment meant Television ....Star Movies ALWAYS used to play Jackie Chan movies - that's when I watched all his 70s and 80s classics too - Right from "Half a loaf of Kung Fu", "Fearless Hyena" to the cult classic "Project A" ..."Armour of God" ...the "Police Story" series ...etc etc......In my childhood, the words "Jackie Chan movie" would be like an instant mantra to bring a smile on my face ...Heck, why childhood ...even now :D coming to think of it ...I'm ALWAYS all ready, to watch a Jackie Chan movie, anytime ....Watching the world's fastest hands in action, without graphics can never ever cease to be a feast, can they ??

Anyways, point remains ...he is an UNPARALLELED action star ...no one can direct action scenes the way he does ...He's become such an icon, he's had cartoons running in his name...comics...animated series ..what not....Jackie Chan is a superhero by himself !! Superman, Batman, Iron Man ...are all superhero characters but don't really exist ...here's one superhero who really does :) ...Rajinikanth is probably the only other one....In a way, Jackie's the pride of Asia, with such an insane fan following, being given close competition by India's Rajinikanth....

To break so many bones, yet, come back and do the same stuff again ..break more bones...just for the sheer sake of perfection, the sheer passion ..and the sheer will to entertain people worldwide ...HATS OFF, Jackie ...I bow to thee!! Tamil TV channels have already paid tributes to him by dubbing his movies in Tamil ..and making them the world's best comedies ..ever :D ....

Anyway, here's to CZ-12 ....here's to death-defying stuff ...here's to magical, mind-blowing, breath-taking stunts and fights ...here's to REAL ACTION ....here's to 5 decades of dedication, hard-work, extraordinary passion, talent, brilliance, superhuman effort, fantastic entertainment ....Jackie Chan - an unparalleled legend !!! Never before, never again !!

I can't pay Jackie a better tribute than by probably stating that I just can't wait to watch CZ-12 First Day First Show ..with my uncle.....it does count and it will always count as one of my greatest desires in life......A Jackie Chan action movie - ONE LAST TIME !! :)

As for my favorite Jackie Chan movie ...call it a weird choice if you want, but Rush Hour is my all-time favorite Jackie Chan movie :) ....I've lost count of the number of times I've seen it...But it is surely more than the number of times I've had breakfast in my life :D ...At least, I'd like to believe so !! More than a decade has passed, but I still find myself sometimes randomly laughing at ..and singing "Oooh...Aaah...What is she good for ?! Absolutely nothing!" :D

Cheers,
Ashwin.

PS - Another thing on my wishlist of things to do before I die - watching a Rajini movie First Day First show in Chennai ...may be at Devi Cineplex :) ...Hope I'm able to fulfill this wish, with Kochadaiyyaan !! :)




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