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09-Jan-2020 02:01 by 10 Comments

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Perfectly cast, his cool demeanor and reserved brooding severity made him perfect for both the Westerner raised on Eastern teachings and his ‘Bruce Wayne’ manufactured persona all at once. Masters of the martial arts, disguise and illusion, they were seemingly able to disappear like wisps of shadows.

Recall how many alleged ninja movies one’s local video store had in the VHS era that turned out to be completely ninja-less kung-fu movies given a shameless re-title.When the two eldest sons of his adoptive family were killed in the Korean War (after deftly executing a two-man commando mission of staggering bravery and skill), his sage-like father made the fateful decision to impart the family’s ancient teachings on Ken… Ken now practices his shadow arts in the name of justice, hunting down killers and criminals untamed by the law, until he is tracked down and pressured by a shady government agent to intercede in a terrorist hostage situation taking place at the top of an impenetrable high-rise.Interspersed between flashbacks to a lifetime of training under his adoptive father, Sakura uses mostly non-violent aspects of ninjutsu — disguise, infiltration, psychological warfare — to save the day and form an uneasy alliance with his untrustworthy government liaison.In contrast, there are also a couple of surprising bits of ancient Japanese mask work at play that put a foot in the fantastic enough to keep any ninja-nerd happy.I will fault the film’s last act with some pacing problems. It seems like a better plan would have been to get in on the ground floor, nail some unwary guards and commandeer an elevator, which would have allowed for more time to psychologically turn the terrorists minds to jelly in the final showdown.Party member names from saves still won’t be translated properly.

home video format, with absolutely no fanfare or pre-release buzz.

in taking the philosophical high-road with the martial arts at its core, and also been as centered on character development and life lessons as it was action.

The resemblance of Ken Sakura to Kwai Chang Caine was certainly deliberate, as it was written by , had the eyes to pull off a role that would oft be hooded, and an athletic physique to at least hang with his stunt and fight doubles.

That final set piece is great in concept but stumbles a bit in execution and feels rushed. Why premiered six months later on rival network NBC, taking a low road exploitation vector similar to what Cannon Films had perfected in theaters.

That other show also had THE name in ninja-sploitation — Sho Kosugi — and the celebrity rub of the legendary Lee Van Cleef.

That’s almost certainly him doing shadow kata ender the credit sequence.