Remember the adorable 8-year old from ‘Jerry Maguire?’ Well, ‘Jerry Maguire‘ cute kid Jonathan Lipnicki is all grown up now! (Check him out in our previous blog posts about his appearance on Access Hollywood and his charitable efforts for Breast Cancer Research.) So what does the recently turned 22-year old blond haired actor have in common with great fights in the movies? Read on, film fan. Read on!
Jonathan is still acting and you can watch him in the hilarious (and a little risqué) web series, ‘MotherLover.‘ But a recent article on the sports web site ESPN online caught our eye. Jonathan recounts a meeting earlier this year with Tom Cruise:
I told him about the jiu-jitsu and Tom is one of those people who thinks you need to be a person who learns several sets of skills as an actor. If you look at his films, for instance, there’s always a certain set of skills you need. So he was really stoked on the martial-arts part of that. With the growth of [MMA], there are a huge number of films being made about it and I would love to do one because honestly I think I could bring such truthful acting to it. I know what it’s like to train.
Recap: Jonathan is involved big time with MMA. MMA? What the heck is that? It stands for ‘Mixed Martial Arts.’ And it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s somewhere between modern day wrestling and the ferocious bare knuckle boxing Tom did in ‘Far and Away.‘ Watch Tom in action from that film, below.
All this talk of fighting and film fighting got us thinking about the great bare knuckled fight scenes in movie history. There are A LOT!!!! At the end of this blog, we invite you to post your favorites in the comments sections. But right now, here is a list of five of our favorites. If you don’t like ‘em, start a fight with us! (Just kidding). Our only criteria: no weapons! Click on each movie poster to view the actual fight.
The Way of the Dragon (1972) In the 70′s, Kung-fu movies were becoming very popular outside of the Far East. It was this fight scene with Chuck Norris that ushered in a whole new level of fame and respect for the martial arts superstar Bruce Lee. Put aside the strange cat symbolism and you’ve got one the most thrilling tests of two men’s authentic skill.
The Karate Kid (1984) Okay, one more karate scene. Who can forget the iconic image of Danny LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) doing the ‘Crane’?! Like the movie poster said, sometimes a great fight isn’t just about the hands, but the mind and the heart.
Cowboy Bepop: The Movie (2001) Real live actors don’t have a monopoly on the death defying art of man vs. man battle. This Japanese anime features one of the most well-respected fight scenes ever devised for the screen!
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) We loved Renée Zellweger in ‘Jerry Maguire.‘ Well, her abilty to have men fall madly in love with her reached it’s peak in this hilarious fight (with mature language!) between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. See, we’re not only about blood and violence. We’re into the whole romantic comedy fight thing, too!
Rocky (1976) No list of greatest movie fights can exist without this one written by and starring an unknown Sylvester Stallone. We dare you to watch this clip and not cheer for the Academy Award winning best picture. The music alone (by Bill Conti) will lift you from your seat. Perhaps the best moment, though, is the classic line that Rocky yells when the fight is finally over, “Adrian!”
And because we love our movie fans, you have got to check out this YouTube mash-up clip from editor and filmmaker, Brian Jackson. It features some of the best movie fight scenes of all time from movies all around the world. It will blow your mind!
A (VERY) Brief History of Mixed Martial Arts
It began in 648 B.C. at the Greek Olympic Games when it was called Pankration (“all power”). It combined boxing and wrestling with rules that outlawed only biting and gouging an opponent’s eyes, nose, or mouth with fingernails. Oh, good. No gouging!
In the 1920′s in Brazil (mainly Rio de Janeiro), a popular sideshow event at circuses was a no-holds bar fight called Vale tudo (“anything goes”). These were full-contact unarmed combat events with a limited number of rules combining elements of Brazilian Capoeira and Jiu Jitsu.
Meanwhile, in the 1970′s in Japan professional wrestlers were creating Shoot wrestling. This was a combat sport where professional wrestlers attempted to utilize more realistic or “full contact” moves in their matches to increase the excitement. The name “shoot wrestling” comes from the professional wrestling term “shoot”, which refers to any unscripted occurrence within a scripted wrestling event.
Finally, in 1993 in the United States mixed martial arts (MMA) was introduced. The revolution in martial arts began when Brazilian fighter Royce Gracie won the first Ultimate Fighting Championship tournament. His family is world-renowned for founding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).
And this brings us back to Jonathan Lipnicki and his recent conversation with Tom. Jonathan’s family (Rhonda, his mother and Joe Pecora, his stepdad) own an amateur California based MMA training and promotion company called Fight Sports and the California Fight Alliance. Their producing entity, Fight Sports Entertainment, produces live MMA events at the Sheraton Augura Hills, CA, with in-person commentary from our beloved Jonathan! Details can be found on their Facebook page.
The professional MMA fighters and a calendar of their fearless battles (some may be near you) and be found here on the official website for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Finally, we know for a fact some of the best movie fights scenes this year will be featured in Tom’s upcoming film, ‘Jack Reacher.‘ Don’t believe us? Check out the recently released second trailer below. Get ready for some serious bloody knuckled justice, Reacher style!
1. Moviefone 2010 article on the best movie fight scenes
2. Paste Magazine 2009 article on the 50 best movie fight scenes of all time
3. Pajiba ranks the 15 best character driven fight scenes in the movies
4. The Shiznit blog features the top 50 movie fight scene
In the comments section below, tell us your favorite movie fight scene. Be sure to connect with the entire TomCruise.com community on Twitter, Facebook, WhoSay, Orkut, Gree, Sina Weibo, Google+, Tumblr, and Tencent Weibo. Plus, get all the latest news and insider information when you sign up for the TomCruise.com official newsletter today!
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