A 19th century Western. Chon Wang is a clumsy Imperial Guard to the Emperor of China. When Princess Pei Pei is kidnapped from the Forbidden City, Wang feels personally responsible and insists on joining the guards sent to rescue the Princess, who has been whisked away to the United States. In Nevada and hot on the trail of the kidnappers, Wang is separated from the group and soon finds himself an unlikely partner with Roy O'Bannon, a small time robber with delusions of grandeur. Together, the two forge onto one misadventure after another.
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JACKIE CHANActorHong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success after his start in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry. Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on April 7, 1954, on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak, to Charles and Lee-Lee Chan, and the family immigrated to Canberra, Australia, in early 1960. The young Jackie was less than successful scholastically, so his father sent him back to Hong Kong to attend the rigorous China Drama Academy, one of the Peking Opera schools. Chan excelled at acrobatics, singing and martial arts and eventually became a member of the "Seven Little Fortunes" performing troupe and began lifelong friendships with fellow martial artists / actors Sammo Kam-Bo Hung and Biao Yuen. Chan journeyed back and forth to visit his parents and work in Canberra, but eventually he made his way back to Hong Kong as his permanent home. In the early 1970s Chan commenced his movie career and interestingly appeared in very minor roles in two films starring then rising martial arts superstar Bruce Lee: Fist of Fury (1972), aka "Fist of Fury" aka "The Chinese Connection", and the Warner Bros. production Enter the Dragon (1973). Not long after Lee's untimely death Chan was often cast in films cashing in on the success of Bruce Lee by utilizing words like "fist", "fury" or "dragon" in their US release titles. Chan's own film career was off and running and he swiftly appeared in many low-budget martial arts films that were churned out at a rapid fire pace by Hong Kong studios eager to satisfy the early 1970s boom in martial-arts cinema. He starred in Shaolin Wooden Men (1976) (aka "Shaolin Wooden Men"), To Kill with Intrigue (1977) (aka "To Kill With Intrigue"), Half a Loaf of Kung Fu (1978) (aka "Half A Loaf of Kung Fu") and Magnificent Bodyguards (1978) (aka "Magnificent Bodyguards"), which all fared reasonably well at the cinemas. However, he scored a major breakthrough with the hit Drunken Master (1978) (aka "Drunken Master"), which has become a cult favorite among martial arts film fans. Not too long after this, Chan made his directorial debut with The Young Master (1980) (aka "The Young Master") and then "Enter the Dragon" producer Robert Clouse lured Jackie to the US for a film planned to break Jackie into the lucrative US market. Battle Creek Brawl (1980) (aka "Battle Creek Brawl") featured Jackie competing in a "toughest Street fighter" contest set in 1940s Texas; however, Jackie was unhappy with the end result, and it failed to fire with US audiences. In a further attempt to get his name known in the US, Jackie was cast alongside Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Dean Martin in the Hal Needham-directed car chase flick The Cannonball Run (1981). Regrettably, Jackie was cast as a Japanese race driver and his martial arts skills are only shown in one small sequence near the film's conclusion. Stateside success was still a few years away for Jackie Chan! Undeterred, he returned to the Orient to do what he did best--make jaw-dropping action films loaded with amazing stunt work. Chan and his legendary stunt team were unparalleled in their ability to execute the most incredible fight scenes and action sequences, and the next decade would see some of their best work. Chan paired with the dynamic Sammo Hung Kam-Bo to star in Winners & Sinners (1983) (aka "Winners & Sinners"), Project A (1983) (aka "Project "A"), Wheels on Meals (1984) (aka "Wheels On Meals"), My Lucky Stars (1985) (aka "Winners & Sinners 2"), Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars (1985) (aka "My Lucky Stars 2", aka "Winners & Sinners 3"(. Chan then journeyed back to the US for another shot at that market, starring alongside Danny Aiello in The Protector (1985),) filmed in Hong Kong and New York. However, as with previous attempts, Jackie felt the US director--in this case, James Glickenhaus--failed to understand his audience appeal and the film played to lukewarm reviews and box-office receipts. Jackie did, however, decide to "harden" up his on-screen image somewhat and his next film, Police Story (1985) (aka "Police Story") was a definite departure from previously light-hearted martial arts fare, and his fans loved the final product! This was quickly followed up with the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)-influenced Armour of God (1986) (aka "The Armour of God"), during filming of which Jackie mistimed a leap from a wall to a tree on location in Yugoslavia and fell many quite a few feet onto his head, causing a skull fracture. It was another in a long line of injuries that Chan has suffered as a result of doing his own stunt work, and he was soon back in front of the cameras. Project A 2 (1987) (aka "Project A: Part 2"), Police Story 2 (1988) (aka "Police Story 2"), Miracles: The Canton Godfather (1989) (aka "Mr. Canton and Lady Rose)", Operation Condor (1991) (aka "Armour of God 2") and Supercop (1992) (aka "Police Story 3") were all sizable hits for Jackie, escalating his status to phenomenal heights in Asia, and to his loyal fan base around the globe. US success was now just around the corner for the the hard-working Jackie Chan, and it arrived in the form of the action film Rumble in the Bronx (1995) (aka "Rumble In The Bronx", though it was actually filmed in Canada) that successfully blended humor and action to make a winning formula in US theaters. Jackie did not waste any time and went to work on First Strike (1996) (aka "Police Story 4"), Mr. Nice Guy (1997) (aka "Mr. Nice Guy"), Who Am I? (1998) (aka "Who Am I"), which all met with positive results at the international box office. Jackie then went to work in the his biggest-budget US production, starring alongside fast-talking comedian Chris Tucker in the action / comedy Rush Hour (1998). The film was a bigger hit than "Rumble In the Bronx" and firmly established Jackie as a bona fide star in the US. Jackie then paired up with rising talent Owen Wilson to star in Shanghai Noon (2000) and its sequel, Shanghai Knights (2003), and re-teamed with Tucker in Rush Hour 2 (2001), as well as starring in The Tuxedo (2002), The Medallion (2003) and the delightful Around the World in 80 Days (2004). Not one to forget his loyal fan base, Jackie returned to more gritty and traditional fare with New Police Story (2004) (aka "New Police Story") and The Myth (2005) (aka "The Myth"). The multi-talented Chan (he's also a major recording star in Asia) shows no sign of slowing down and has long since moved out of the shadow of Bruce Lee, to whom he was usually compared early in his career. Chan is truly one of the international film industry's true maverick actor / director / stuntman / producer combinations - he has done it the hard way, and always his way to achieve his dreams and goals to be an international cinematic star. Off screen he has been directly involved in many philanthropic ventures providing financial assistance to schools and universities around the world. He is a UNICEF GoodWill Ambassador, and he has campaigned against animal abuse and pollution and assisted with disaster relief efforts to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami victims.More
Owen WilsonActorSelf-proclaimed troublemaker Owen Cunningham Wilson was born in Dallas, to Irish-American parents originally from Massachusetts. He grew up in Texas with his mother, Laura (Cunningham), a photographer; his father, Robert Andrew Wilson, an ad exec; and his brothers, Andrew Wilson (the eldest) and Luke Wilson (the youngest). Expelled from St. Mark's School of Texas (Dallas, TX) in the tenth grade, Wilson finished his sophomore year at Thomas Jefferson School and then headed to a military academy in New Mexico. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he met his future mentor and friend, Wes Anderson. They wrote a screenplay, Bottle Rocket (1996), and sent it to their family friend, screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson, who sent it to producer Polly Platt, who gave it to James L. Brooks, who gave the Texans $5 million to make it into a feature film. Despite critical praise, Bottle Rocket (1996) only grossed one million dollars. After making the film, Wilson moved to Hollywood, setting up house with his two brothers and Anderson. Fairly quickly, Owen found himself acting in a series of big budget films, such as The Cable Guy (1996), The Haunting (1999), Anaconda (1997) and Breakfast of Champions (1999). This led to more work, such as Shanghai Noon (2000), Meet the Parents (2000) and Behind Enemy Lines (2001). He's known not only for his nose, which has been broken several times, but also for his 'free wheeling ways' with a script. He co-wrote the film The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) with his oft partner Wes Anderson.More
Xander BerkeleyActorXander's father was a painter and his mother a school teacher who sewed, providing him with costumes (his preference over toys). School plays and Community Theater were next. An experimental theater troupe in the area (which was an offshoot from Joseph Chaikin's Open Theater in New York) took Xander under their wing when he was 16. He credits this group for shaping him as both a person and an actor, committed to taking risks and remaining open to the unknown. Xander went to Hampshire College, the progressive brainchild of Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Amherst, and the University of Massachusetts. He would continue in the theater at Hampshire, studying and doing plays at each of the other schools, all of which were there in the area. A move to New York after college brought him access to private teachers from the Royal Academy of the Arts, the Moscow Arts Theater and HB Studios. Later in Los Angeles, Xander would spend time with Lee Strasberg at The Actor's Studio during the last years of his life. Xander worked in Regional and Repertory Theaters in addition to off-Broadway while living in New York but, despite a classically trained theater background, he was increasingly drawn to the subtleties of film acting. A play, written by the great southern novelist Reynolds Price, called "Early Dark" had such a cinematic feel to it, that an agent saw the film acting potential in Xander and encouraged him to make the move out west. Soon Mommie Dearest (1981) provided Xander with his film debut in the role of "Christopher Crawford", and simultaneously gave his career a slightly cultish twist. Alex Cox with Sid and Nancy (1986), James Cameron with Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Bernard Rose with Candyman (1992), Todd Haynes with Safe (1995), Mike Figgis with Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Andrew Niccol with Gattaca (1997) all helped to further associate Xander as an actor in his own rather unusual category. Xander's choices were often determined by the opportunity to learn from directors he admired, certainly all those listed above fell into that category. Clint Eastwood with The Rookie (1990), Ron Howard with Apollo 13 (1995), Rob Reiner with A Few Good Men (1992), Michael Mann with Heat (1995), Wolfgang Petersen with Air Force One (1997), Steven Spielberg with Amistad (1997) are obvious examples of others Xander actively sought to work with and learn from. From obscure independent movies where Xander could play lead roles to the big budget studio movies where he might often play smaller character-driven parts, an education was taking place. Just as working with older directors like Michael Cacoyannis on The Cherry Orchard (1999) and Robert M. Young on Human Error (2004) (aka "Human Error") brought insights to ways of working that are being lost in pop cultures tendency to slide toward slickness. Not to mention bringing him to places like Bulgaria and China along the way. Perhaps because a life in the foreign services, or espionage was seen as a road not taken, living on location in foreign countries, working as an actor, has somewhat fulfilled the impulse. As early as 1987, a film took Xander to Nicaragua while the Contra War was taking place. It was during this three month shoot on the film Walker (1987) (starring Ed Harris) that Xander got an offer to do a film with his friend, director Jon Hess, in Chile for the following three months. Taking him straight from the revolutionary left-wing Sandanistas to Pinochet's fascist, right-wing regime. In 2001, an offer came in to play a part on a TV pilot called 24 (2001). It was another shady agent-type, and reluctant to repeat his performance from Air Force One (1997) as the turncoat secret serviceman, Xander almost passed on the job. Fortunately for him, he said yes. He met his future wife, Sarah Clarke during the first day of filming. His character, "George Mason", was just a guest star in the pilot, but the producers liked what Xander brought to it and continued to write more episodes for him. By the second season, it had become perhaps the most interesting, leveled character Xander had ever gotten to play. Sarah and Xander were married in 2002 and had their daughters, Olwyn in 2006 and Rowan in 2010. Other favorite roles of late have been "Arlen Pavich", the middle management dweeb, in Niki Caro's North Country (2005), and the Irish hooligan/railway foreman in David Von Ancken's Seraphim Falls (2006) and, more recently, "The King of Sodom" in Harold Ramis' Year One (2009), "Sonny" in David Pomes' Cook County (2008), the recovering meth head coming out of prison to discover the life he had left (and destroyed), and crazy "Uncle Doug" in David Wike's Out There (2006) (aka "Out There").More