Baldwin: Roundhouse kick of fun films

Yo, my senpai competitive cinephiles of Winchester!

Another week is winding down and we have reached the middle of March with lightning speed.

Since the bringing of the New Year, a lot has happened locally. We have had severe winter storms, the outbreak of the flu which is reminiscent of a horror movie, the Olympics and now you may be at a loss on how to entertain yourself this weekend.

The man, the myth and the legend, Chuck Norris was recently at the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention. If you opted not to venture to the big city for the convention due to his black belt intimidating you, then why not settle for hosting a Chuck Norris movie marathon in your own living room dojo?

Trust me, as I will be your cinematic sensei suggesting some of the action star’s more memorable titles.

During his stint serving as a Security Forces member in the Air Force while stationed in Korea, Norris became a student of the martial arts before returning stateside to finish out his enlistment.

Upon separating from the military, Norris began to compete in martial arts tournaments and became a dominant force for close to a decade before opening a chain of karate schools.

One thing led to another, and his friend and training partner, legend Bruce “Fist of Fury” Lee cast him as his opponent in the “The Way of the Dragon” (1972).

Norris would go on to take the leading role in the martial arts meets trucker film, “Breaker! Breaker!” in 1977 before starring in the karate thriller, “Good Guys Wear Black” in 1978.

The 1980s brought much success to Norris with him starring in “The Octagon” (1980), where he singlehandedly dismantles a terrorist ninja organization.

It wasn’t long before Norris was deemed a bona fide, Grade A action star when starring in the martial arts meets western flick, “Lone Wolf McQuade” (1983).

Because of the success of Sylvester Stallone’s Vietnam vet film “Rambo” (1982), production studios were quick to cash in on the Vietnam POW escape mission subgenre by casting Norris in the popular title, “Missing in Action” (1984) which would turn out sequels for the franchise.

Norris would move on to star in other action-packed flair alongside Lee “Dirty Dozen” Marvin in “Delta Force” (1986) and Louis “Iron Eagle” Gossett, Jr. in adventure comedy, “Firewalker” (1986)

After the release of some lukewarm titles at the end of the 1980s, the 1990s brought on a resurgence for Norris finding TV gold starring in “Walker, Texas Ranger” from 1993 to 2000. “Walker” is still a hit after all these years and is still aired heavily daily on several cable channels.

A renaissance man of sorts, besides being a respected actor and martial arts instructor, Norris is also a prolific author, fitness guru, Internet sensation and all around nice guy. You never hear of him being involved in celebrity scandals or behaving in a manner which would bring shame upon him or his family.

This weekend explore some of the mentioned Norris titles.

Have an action-packed film-tastic day.

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society (facebook.com/WCCfilmsociety). Find more from Rick on Facebook at facebook.com/ricksrhetoric/ and online at theintestinalfortitude.com/category/reviews-editorials/ricks-rhetoric. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at rickbaldwiniii@hotmail.com.