Though Wednesday’s “Iron Monkey” preem at the Hollywood Galaxy multiplex was as bargain basement as they get, the frugality was counterbalanced by the wealth of enthusiasm presenter Quentin Tarantino has for the 1993 chopsocky pic.
In his pre-screening intro, Tarantino gestured expansively while he spoke about the history of director Yuen Woo Ping (“a true hero of mine”), the helmer’s family, his own favorite Hong Kong films, and ended by saying he was glad the souped-up re-issue was “not playing at some pan- Pacific-Asian film festival, Hong Kong week at the NuArt, Jackie Chan Night at the New Beverly — it’s playing at a thousand theaters!”
At the Formosa Cafe after-party, Tarantino’s enthusiasm was, if anything, amplified after seeing the film again. While his own roots in martial- arts movies are deep (“In the ’70s, the Carson Twin Cinema was my own little Shaolin temple of kung fu movies”), he was certain “Iron Monkey” would also catch on with the public.
“Because of ‘Crouching Tiger,’ the audience is out there. Now, not only do they understand the visual action language of martial arts movies, they want more of it.”
Among those getting a kick out of “Monkey” were Miramax’s Mark Gill and Bahman Naraghi; plus guests Ang Lee, Adrien Brody and Brett Ratner.