We are one-third of the way through our action-packed season all about unlikely duos. During our off-season, Melissa and I watched Tiger Claws and were instantly hooked. As John mentioned in our podcast episode, it has everything to do with Bolo and Cynthia, nothing else matters in the rest of the film.
Similar to Showdown in Little Tokyo, Tiger Claws keeps you interested because of the choices for the sub-plots, casting, and downright silly lines written for the characters.
One of the biggest disappointments in modern action is that they are all too by the numbers. The storylines are weak with little to no dialogue for the characters. The emphasis is on the fighting, the actors and the characters they play mean very little. As long as the movie hits certain beats and has the right vibe, the producers will make their money back.
What makes movies like Tiger Claws fun are the subtle tweaks to the story to make it unique. That doesn't always mean they are the right decisions, but they are at least trying to do something different. In many cases this is the movie attempting to mimic another style with their own spin, a la Tarek being a twist on Sonny Crockett who knows karate and is the ultimate super SUPER cop.
Behind the scenes update
We have been working hard on providing full captions and a transcript for every episode this season. If you've been following along, you'll know that I am very hard-of-hearing which has put an emphasis on making sure our show is accessible as possible.
You may have noticed that Tiger Claws doesn't have captions or a transcript. This is because I am not happy with the quality of each and we are actively pursuing a different route. How we tested doing captions for the first two episodes are to run the audio through Otter.Ai (a service that uses voice recognition to automatically generate captions and transcripts) plus a human review using a freelancer we hired on Fiverr.
This has not gone well.
The reason why we've done it this way is due to the poor quality of auto-generated captions. Otter.Ai has been the best, which I would rate as an F in overall quality. Many words are wrong and it associates sections with the wrong speaker. This is why we need a human to review it after. However, the human review barely makes a difference. I wouldn't call it a review, more like a light skim.
I know we can do better, which is why I didn't have captions done for Tiger Claws... Yet. I will be manually auditing our transcript this week and then will update the website and YouTube video as soon as I'm done. This will work in the interim until we find a better solution.
What to do after watching Tiger Claws?
Look at the absolute insanity of the Film One YouTube channel. Their channel includes many of their movies, plus other productions from Jalal.
Watch this clip of Bolo Yeung fighting in Enter the Dragon
Watch this absolutely 100% real video that is the actual Bill Pickels interviewing Jalal Merhi.
What to watch next?
For as much as we loved Cynthia Rothrock in Tiger Claws, there was no way I wasn’t going to recommend watching China O'Brien. China is Cynthia at her best and an absolute must-watch for any action movie fan.
Miami Vice - Season 4, Episode 10 - Love at First Sight
There were also several great episodes of Miami Vice that included martial arts and serial killers. It is tempting to pick a Vice episode of Castillo kicking ass with his karate skills. However, after watching Tiger Claws, I recommend watching Love at First Sight.
My reasoning? We have a serial killer with a huge twist at the end of the episode. Plus, it includes a super sexy Sonny Crockett being everything Jalal wanted Tarek to be.
Of course I gotta give a little plug for our podcast rundown on this amazing episode of Miami Vice which includes one of the funniest moments in our podcast history when a sex toy makes an appearance in Vice.
If you are willing to step out on a limb, definitely check out this Hindi movie that has great action, lots of abs, and a huge twist with the main character at the end.