What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by gasteropod » 04 Oct 2012, 08:58

HungFist wrote:Sadly, what is found in between is 90 minutes of tiresome idiot-comedy.
a.k.a Chinese comedy :thumbs:

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 04 Oct 2012, 17:50

I have to admit I don't get Cantonese comedy a lot of the time. Drunken Master works for me because it's visual, well timed, and quite clever. But so much of these Wong Jing/Stephen Chow things are just white noise to me.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 06 Oct 2012, 13:50

An Adolescent (Japan, 2001) – 2.5/5
An asshole cop falls in love with a junior high school girl in actor/director Eiji Okuda’s provocative but dramatically clumsy movie. The controversial romance is brave and erotic, but runs 45 minutes too long, and is coupled with silly sub-plots involving a mentally challenged brother and other town’s people. Okuda himself, playing the policeman role very much in Takeshi Kitano gear albeit without the laconic humor, and the too-old-for-the-role though still believable Mayu Ozawa, are both effective, though. Okuda’s art house touch, with well used French song on the soundtrack, works most of the time and slightly resembles of Kim Ki-duk.

Blowback 2: Love & Death (Japan, 1991) – 3/5
One of V-cinema’s better directors, Atsushi Muroga, was a clever man. With Japan in recession, he frequently took his crew to the Philippines, where dynamite was cheap and stuntmen even more affordable. Here the outcome was a low budget actioner full of pyrotechnics, loud weapons, and actors giving their best low-tone yakuza accents. Save for a decent story, only bare skin is missing. Riki Takeuchi, full of youthful energy, plays his lead role like a homemade Elvis or Chow Yun Fat. Shun Shugata gives excellent support. For the simple yet action packed b-movie it is, Muroga’s film is quite a solid effort. They don't make em like this anymore.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Oct 2012, 15:39

Samaritan Girl (South Korea, 2004) - 3/5
A fairly typical Kim Ki-duk fare following two school girl prostitutes and a father who finds out about her daughter’s “part time job”. It’s an interesting storyline, but Kim never really tries to understand his characters, nor does he give the audience the possibility to truly interpret them. Instead, a classical score is used to underline the obvious tragedy.

Caterpillar (Japan, 2010) – 3/5
Former pink radical Koji Wakamatsu pisses on Japanese war myths with this uncompromising, yet slightly too emotional WWII film. A severely handicapped “war hero” returns home after having mindlessly killed and raped Chinese civilians, to be treated by his wife as a national heroic symbol as according to government orders. The performances are thoroughly good, especially Shinobu Terajima, but one would have expected a colder execution and preferably Jim O'Rourke soundtrack from Wakamatsu. The unattractive looking digital cinematography is another shortcoming.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 15 Nov 2012, 06:02

Guilty of Romance (Japan, 2011) – 2/5
Sion Sono recycles his trademarks in this long psycho-sexual drama. Solid performances (even from the former gravure idol Megumi Kagurazaka) and some stylish visuals can’t overcome the fact that Sono has done too many movies in the similar vein before, although with less drama emphasis. At nearly 2½ hours the films comes out a drawn-out arthouse-exploitation effort with occasional violence and frequent full frontal nudity from each of the three female protagonists.

Umoregi (Buried Forest) (Japan, 2005) – 3/5
Kouhei Oguri has directed only five movies since 1981. The most recent one, Umoregi, is a slow film with essentially no storyline or peculiar characters. Yet, there are breathtaking moments of filmmaking. The attention paid to staging is incredible and results in some of the most beautiful yet most simple scenes in recent memory. The musical score is equally impressive.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 18 Nov 2012, 00:52

Tokyo Story (1953)

Extremely well made film but I am at a loss why critics often laud it as one of the top 10 greatest of all time. Its a very good story, but its hard to see what makes this stand out amongst so many others. On its own merits, certainly it is well worth watching and provides a lot of food for thought. It does have some of the most frustratating characters I've ever seen in a movie: people are either impossibly selfish or complete doormats.

8/10
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Nov 2012, 07:27

Bizarre Crimes of Post-War Japan (Japan, 1976) – 1.5/5
“True accounting” of post war crimes by the notorious exploitation director Yuji Makiguchi is clumsy genre cinema with neither shock nor entertainment value. It opens with a semi-interesting take on the same story that Shohei Imamura’s Vengeage is Mine tackled. Hideo Murota stars. The follow-up episodes, tied together by pop star Pinko Izumi’s hysteric narration, offer a silly cavalcade of murder and rape. The film is a loose sequel to Teruo Ishii’s much superior 1969 movie Love & Crime.

Tracked (Japan, 1985) – 3.5/5
Ken Ogata shines as a real life killer on the run in Hideo Gosha’s best 1980’s film. As typical for late Gosha, the director takes an observing role rather than unloading energetic visions similar to his 60’s and 70’s masterworks. For Tracked this approach is a fine fit, enhancing the realism and showing the “normal” life of a killer who avoided being caught for years. Kills and chases come very infrequent, and chronology is broken effectively in a storyline that covers several years.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by Yi-Long » 20 Nov 2012, 05:29

Hara-Kiri; Death of a Samurai 3/5

A samurai enters a compound with the request to commit hara kiri on the premise, in order to die a honorable death.... but not before he's allowed to tell his story.

The awesome looking action-packed trailer made me buy this movie, but sadly that trailer kinda mispresented the nature of the movie. It's a drama. It's a good drama, it looks tremendous at times, but it's too slow for it's own good. Acting by the lead is terrific, the rest of the cast is good. Only at the very end we are treated to some swordplay, which is well done.

The slow pace was a bit too frustrating for me, as was the melodrama at some points. Also, the main characters are a bit flawed in regards to being too perfect, which comes across as a cheap tactic to win over the audience.

That said, it's a well-made movie, a relatively interesting story, good acting especially by the lead, so I'm giving it a 6 out of 10. Worth checking out if youi can find it for a bargain, but imho not a classic.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by luckystars » 24 Nov 2012, 09:56

saltysam wrote:The Manchu Boxer 2/5 average 70's GH kung fu potboiler takes some ideas from The Big Boss (Reluctant hero doesn't want to fight after promising his dad). no great shakes but it's always nice to see Sammo in an early role.
Watched this again last night. The main problem with the film is it's totally uninspired and dumbed down story. Otherwise it has a nice cast, locations and classic 70's feel. Nice end fight but zero build up in tension makes it all seem a bit meh, and dramatic scenarios seem a bit silly.

2.5/5 for me
Last edited by luckystars on 24 Nov 2012, 09:59, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by luckystars » 24 Nov 2012, 09:57

Oops double post :oops:
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by saltysam » 01 Dec 2012, 17:53

The Big Boss 4.5/5 Bruce Lee's first GH actioner is roughly made,cheap looking at times but remains an engrossing milestone of the genre.

Fist Of Fury 5/5 In my opinion Lee's best, his intensity shines through in his finest hour.For me the one misstep is the telephone engineer sequence, not a bad scene per se but given the intense seriousness of Bruce's character it seems out of step with the rest of the movie.

Way Of The Dragon 4/5 Bruce's directorial debut is at times slightly amateurish in it's execution but the fight sequences are magnificent, the sign of an artist near the peak of his powers.

Game Of Death 3/5 Never thought this was as bad as it was made out, certainly the storyline is in bad taste,using funeral footage was unforgiveable and that unforgettable Bruce mask scene in the opening minutes made it a laughing stock. For me,it moves along quickly enough till the real Bruce appears and the locker room fight with Sammo & Bob Wall is excellent. I watched the Japanese Theatrical version of this which is included as an extra on the japan blu-ray,never noticed much difference apart from a few lines of dialogue for Ji Han Jae before he fights Bruce.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by bradavon » 03 Dec 2012, 14:34

@ Sam: Are these new blu-rays or old dvds? Thanks.

What's a GH actioner?

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Dec 2012, 14:45

bradavon wrote:@ Sam: Are these new blu-rays or old dvds? Thanks.
to save sam from repeating himself ;)
saltysam wrote:japan blu-ray
bradavon wrote:What's a GH actioner?
Golden Harvest

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by bradavon » 03 Dec 2012, 15:15

Thanks. I hadn't spotted that, it's hidden. Are you adding your own subs then?

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 06 Dec 2012, 18:08

saltysam wrote:The Big Boss 4.5/5 Bruce Lee's first GH actioner is roughly made,cheap looking at times but remains an engrossing milestone of the genre.

Fist Of Fury 5/5 In my opinion Lee's best, his intensity shines through in his finest hour.For me the one misstep is the telephone engineer sequence, not a bad scene per se but given the intense seriousness of Bruce's character it seems out of step with the rest of the movie.

Way Of The Dragon 4/5 Bruce's directorial debut is at times slightly amateurish in it's execution but the fight sequences are magnificent, the sign of an artist near the peak of his powers.

Game Of Death 3/5 Never thought this was as bad as it was made out, certainly the storyline is in bad taste,using funeral footage was unforgiveable and that unforgettable Bruce mask scene in the opening minutes made it a laughing stock. For me,it moves along quickly enough till the real Bruce appears and the locker room fight with Sammo & Bob Wall is excellent. I watched the Japanese Theatrical version of this which is included as an extra on the japan blu-ray,never noticed much difference apart from a few lines of dialogue for Ji Han Jae before he fights Bruce.

Fist of Fury has gone down a lot in my book, but I love Big Boss and Way of the Dragon.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by luckystars » 07 Dec 2012, 09:11

FOF is excellent, a 4/5 for me but no more - it's pretty dumb and slow story wise

I think Big Boss is his best, maybe tied with ETD? Need to rewatch them all
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Dec 2012, 05:28

The Protector (USA / Hong Kong, 1985) [Hulu] – 3/5
Jackie Chan is amusingly miscast in this solid James Glickenhouse (The Exterminator) film. The violent police actioner sees Chan as an NY cop travelling to Hong Kong to catch a drug lord. The outcome is an uneven but entertaining mix of strong language, bloody shoot outs, and martial arts, the latter being enhanced in Chan’s Hong Kong cut which comes with additional footage. As typical to the era, the film celebrates vigilante values, with Chan destroying half of the city and receiving a medal for it.

Which is Stronger: Karate or the Tiger (Japan, 1976) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Standard karate actioner brings little new to the genre other than the tiger, but works fine as a solid genre film. It doesn’t quite reach the level of director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi’s earlier beast flicks (Karate Bullfighter, Karate Bearfighter), but the choreography is well done, Yasuaki Kurata makes a strong Bruce Lee imitation, and the soundtrack swings like a tiger. Only the final cat fight comes out slightly clumsy but that’s forgivable as it’s no teddy bear but a real cat Kurata is wrestling with.
- more about the Toei dvd: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3840&p=166831#p166831

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 19 Dec 2012, 21:22

I've been keen to see Which is Stronger as Kurata rocks!

Nice to see a positive review of The Protector - i really enjoy it!
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by gasteropod » 24 Dec 2012, 14:54

Evil Dead Trap (1988) - 4/5

How was I not aware of this film? Great kills with Deep Red-esque soundtrack, and the film just keeps getting weirder and weirder, loved the revelation! I think this film must have been influential in Japan, as I saw bits of Ringu and Kairo in it, and some of the music was very similar to Joyu-rei.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 05 Jan 2013, 11:17

The Samurai That Night (Japan, 2012) [Cinema]- 2/5
Actor and stage director Masaaki Akahori’s directorial debut is a long revenge drama lacking in revenge. The star studded but low key arthouse drama follows a widowed, obsessed man stalking the hit-and-run crook that killed his wife after the release from prison. Opting for strong realism, rather than fantastic revenge fantasy, the film has its moments but doesn’t eventually find very much depth. Little happens within its two hour running time, and some scenes come out “made-art” rather than natural storytelling. Characters feel distant, though Masato Sakai is not bad in the lead, and heart knob Takayuki Yamada makes a surprisingly believable killer.

Lesson of the Evil (Japan, 2012) [Cinema] - 3.5/5
A film for for high school teachers: students need not be tolerated, they can be killed! The violent thriller packs a school load of teenage superstars for one man Battle Royale when the beloved English teacher decides to go postal. Satire is lacking, but the film is strikingly stylish as the bodies pile up and the song Die Moritat von Mackie Messer (1928) builds tension. Hidaki Ito, with the charisma and looks of The Bold and the Beautiful’s Ronn Moss, is a standout as the charming but murderous teacher. The film should also mark director Takashi Miike’s commercial return after a few misses, grossing in one month more than the new Batman in all year at the domestic box office! In the light of the recent real life events, though, all US screenings seems destined to be cancelled.

trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6VTQcEFx18
gasteropod wrote:Evil Dead Trap (1988) - 4/5

How was I not aware of this film? Great kills with Deep Red-esque soundtrack, and the film just keeps getting weirder and weirder, loved the revelation! I think this film must have been influential in Japan, as I saw bits of Ringu and Kairo in it, and some of the music was very similar to Joyu-rei.
I've been trying to tell people to watch it! Inventive and gory kills, great Argento style camerawork, soundtrack that could've been composed by The Goblin... It's not a perfect film, but within gory slashers, certainly is a small discovery. The biggest problem is probably the English title which makes people think it's a cheap Evil Dead rip off...

Here's the trailer. For anyone who haven't seen the film, don't watch more than the first 45 seconds. It gets spoiling after that!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL0xRMXiJck

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by gasteropod » 05 Jan 2013, 14:43

HungFist wrote:Here's the trailer. For anyone who haven't seen the film, don't watch more than the first 45 seconds. It gets spoiling after that!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL0xRMXiJck
I've noticed the IMDb synopsis is a big spoiler too, they shouldn't do that. Thankfully I hadn't read it before watching the film, so it was all a surprise to me :)

What do you think of the sequel? I hear it's pretty much unrelated, and not as good? Worth checking out?

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by gasteropod » 05 Jan 2013, 14:48

Take Aim at the Police Van (1960) - 3.5/5

Twisty film noir from Seijun Suzuki, in some places it feels like we're just moving from one location to another, but there's enough style and the petroleum tanker escape bit is cool, pretty fun film.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 05 Jan 2013, 16:47

gasteropod wrote: What do you think of the sequel? I hear it's pretty much unrelated, and not as good? Worth checking out?
It's quite poor. All I can remember is that it was trying "something" but failed at it and came out merely boring.
gasteropod wrote:Take Aim at the Police Van (1960) - 3.5/5
Got the Nikkatsu Noir set? A Colt is My Passport is the best film in the set.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by gasteropod » 05 Jan 2013, 17:10

HungFist wrote:Got the Nikkatsu Noir set? A Colt is My Passport is the best film in the set.
Yeah bought Nikkatsu Noir, The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara, and When Horror Came to Shochiku when they were in the December sale, only watched Police Van so far as I've been getting through all my recent purchases haha.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 11 Jan 2013, 16:34

Rurouni Kenshin (Japan, 2012) [airplane] – 3/5
Another manga adaptation starring pretty face idols, surprisingly not the teenage pose/romance disaster is was expected to be. A rather decent effort in its genre, the film captutes the old Japan with decent production values and a feel of a pop film, unlike most period films these days. Action scenes are the biggest surprise – sweetheart Takeru Sato exceeds expectations in the stylishy choregraphed katana fights. Other merits are few, though, with flat storyline and characters making the film nothing but a solid one time time passer. Though days of Ogami Itto are long gone, the new (teenage) cinema of Japan frequently does worse than this.

Yokohama BJ Blues (Japan, 1981) [DVD] – 2/5
Superstar Yusaku Matsuda stars in a passable Yokohama thriller. Director Eichi Kudo, better known for samurai classics such as 13 Assassins, delivers a visually stylish, but endlessly bleak film. His 1980’s Yokohama is always cold and depressing, complete with grainy, blue-toned images, and lonely bars with few customers. Matsuda’s charisma and singing charms, but the screenplay is a lazy effort. Like many early 80’s Toei Central productions, the film takes it granted the audience has patience to finish a near two hour drama that lacks intriguing plot and memorable characters.

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