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CompleteMartialArts.com - Jet Li: A Biography

Jet Li: A Biography
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Manufacturer: Da Capo Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 79143028092
EAN: 9781560253761
ISBN: 1560253762
Label: Da Capo Press
Manufacturer: Da Capo Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 224
Publication Date: 2002-06-25
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Studio: Da Capo Press

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Editorial Reviews:

Jet Li is part of a crew of new Asian stars taking Hollywood by storm. Along with Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Jackie Chan, and Maggie Cheung, Jet Li has kicked and punched his way out of the cult-film underground and into mainstream superstardom. With his performance in The One, Li becomes the first to prove his power as the top-billed draw. Jet Li, the first book published in English about the thirty-eight year-old "Gene Kelly of the action film," follows him from his days in Hong Kong as an extraordinarily successful actor in classics like Once Upon a Time in China and his overlooked work as a director and producer. Special attention is given to his Hollywood debut alongside Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 4; his recent star turns in the gangland fable Romeo Must Die and the sci-fi blockbuster The One. Jet Li looks at the actor's fiercely protected private life and explains the broad appeal of Hollywood's new Bruce Lee to fans of all ages—from Hong Kong chop-socky cultists to Blockbuster families, to the new Hollywood that has eagerly embraced him. A complete filmography of Jet Li's screen work in Hollywood and Asia as well as 30 never before published color and black-and-white photographs are included.



Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: why the bashing?
Comment: Well the book isnt horrible but im a fan of all martial arts stars and the bashing in subtle ways of other stars such as jackie chan(who we all know is better and highly more creative) is unacceptable.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Solid Bio of the Last Great Martial Arts Star
Comment: A solid biography of Li up to the year 2002. ("The Shaolin Temple" to "The One")
It is the best bio on Li written so far...it is probably the only one so far.
Author James Robert Parish chronicles the ups and downs of Li's personal life and film career, giving plot synopsis and a behind the scenes looks at how the film projects came about and were recieved by the public. The book is an easy read and provides an interesting look at Li's life and film career from his youth in Beijing to his big break in Hollywood. Bios written about people who are still active become dated quickly. This book will just have to do for another 15 years or so when, hopefuly, more detailed and complete bios can be written about Li's life.

Recommended for huge Jet Li fans and huge fans of the kung fu film genre.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Jet Li aka Li Lian-jie
Comment: This biography offers an indepth look at Jet Li's life. We see a humble little chinese boy from a poor family who through rigorous wushu training transforms from a martial artist into an action movie star. We also get an overview of his films and situations that lead up to him filming them. The book even manages to reveal personal things about this famous yet somewhat shy man. The only part I did not enjoy was when it implied some sort of rivalry between Jet Li and fellow martial artist turn movie star and friend Jackie Chan. Based on commnents from Mr. Li on his official website Jackie Chan is a friend of his and they socialize regularly. However overall this is a good book to buy if you want to learn more about this amazing man.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Good overview marred by sniping at other HK stars
Comment: I found this book to be basically well written and a good overview of the career of Jet Li. While not as in-depth as a reader could wish, career highlights are covered and each of his films discussed briefly, including box office success, Jet's views on each and a run down of critical reaction.

The author has a tendency to snipe in his narrative which is highly unfortunate and which is completely at odds with Jet Li's personality and philosophy as described. An example: he claims (regarding Li's turn as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4) "unlike such peers as Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat, Li had no qualms about playing a screen villain for the first time". Jackie has based his career in action/comedy playing "average joe types" to great success--if it ain't broke don't fix it! More mystifying is using Chow Yun Fat in this example as Chow HAS played "villains" frequently in his Hong Kong films--as often playing a triad gangster or hitman as he does a cop or straightforward, stereoptypical hero. That his "villains" are not stereotypical, but are complex and conflicted makes this breezy comparison odd and seems to reveal the ignorance of the author about any other HK stars than his current subject. They are also jarring and not particularly relevant.

Jet Li, a gracious, spiritual man would certainly not approve of this type of cheap shot. Likewise Parish's insistence that Chan and Chow are somehow Li's "rivals" is strange. Chan has long since carved out his unique comedy niche, Jet Li is forming his own as a martial artist ... action star--and Chow Yun-Fat (who will cheerfully tell you he is NOT a martial artist, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon notwithstanding,) holds the distinction of being the first Asian star who has broken into Hollywood on the strength of his acting alone. Different strengths, different men, none better than the other.

While this may seem a minor point and isn't belabored by the text, it creates a subliminally contentious picture that can only serve to mislead the casual reader.

Otherwise this is a slick volume which can serve to introduce the casual fan to the life of a fascinating and talented man. Hopefully it will inspire neophytes to Asian cinema to explore more of the literature devoted to HK cinema in general, and its crossover stars in particular. Once so directed, they can then form their own opinions about all the parties in question.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Good overview marred by sniping at other HK stars
Comment: I found this book to be basically well written and a good overview of the career of Jet Li. While not as in-depth as a reader could wish, career highlights are covered and each of his films discussed briefly, including box office success, Jet's views on each and a run down of critical reaction.

The author has a tendency to snipe in his narrative which is highly unfortunate and which is completely at odds with Jet Li's personality and philosophy as described. An example: he claims (regarding Li's turn as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4) "unlike such peers as Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat, Li had no qualms about playing a screen villain for the first time". Jackie has based his career in action/comedy playing "average joe types" to great success--if it ain't broke don't fix it! More mystifying is using Chow Yun Fat in this example as Chow HAS played "villains" frequently in his Hong Kong films--as often playing a triad gangster or hitman as he does a cop or straightforward, stereoptypical hero. That his "villains" are not stereotypical, but are complex and conflicted makes this breezy comparison odd and seems to reveal the ignorance of the author about any other HK stars than his current subject. They are also jarring and not particularly relevant.

Jet Li, a gracious, spiritual man would certainly not approve of this type of cheap shot. Likewise Parish's insistence that Chan and Chow are somehow Li's "rivals" is strange. Chan has long since carved out his unique comedy niche, Jet Li is forming his own as a martial artist cum action star--and Chow Yun-Fat (who will cheerfully tell you he is NOT a martial artist, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon notwithstanding,) holds the distinction of being the first Asian star who has broken into Hollywood on the strength of his acting alone. Different strengths, different men, none better than the other.

While this may seem a minor point and isn't belabored by the text, it creates a subliminally contentious picture that can only serve to mislead the casual reader.

Otherwise this is a slick volume which can serve to introduce the casual fan to the life of a fascinating and talented man. Hopefully it will inspire neophytes to Asian cinema to explore more of the literature devoted to HK cinema in general, and its crossover stars in particular. Once so directed, they can then form their own opinions about all the parties in question.



Buy it now at Amazon.com!

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