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

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

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True. Try putting on a Cagney gangster flick or a Marx Brothers film for a bunch of millenials.... they probably wouldn't understand half the dialogue.

If I watch Stephen Chow Moy Lei Tau stuff, I know there are a lot of jokes that im missing, but that's not really what puts me off. For some reason I seem to detect a cold personality behind the goofiness. Whether that is his real life persona shining through, or his attempt at dead pan, I can't say. And that's not true for all his films. I like him in stuff like Final Justice, Curry and Pepper and to an extent the Gambler flicks, Fight Back to School series and stuff like My Hero. So he's a mixed bag of tricks for me.

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

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RetroRobot wrote:True. Try putting on a Cagney gangster flick or a Marx Brothers film for a bunch of millenials.... they probably wouldn't understand half the dialogue.

If I watch Stephen Chow Moy Lei Tau stuff, I know there are a lot of jokes that im missing, but that's not really what puts me off. For some reason I seem to detect a cold personality behind the goofiness. Whether that is his real life persona shining through, or his attempt at dead pan, I can't say. And that's not true for all his films. I like him in stuff like Final Justice, Curry and Pepper and to an extent the Gambler flicks, Fight Back to School series and stuff like My Hero. So he's a mixed bag of tricks for me.
Try getting a millenial to actually finish a film ... I had one millenial tell me she could not finish a movie at home because access to the cell phone was always distracting her.

Chow loves the deadpan joke, craziness abounds while keeping a straight face, nothing really new in cinema though (from that aspect.) But as we know humor is so subjective that it is hard to qualify what is funny. For the most part I tend to like his films, but there are always gags and situations that do not work (like the giant exaggeration gags I mentioned earlier.) I tend to prefer subtle (though I do love insane gags) as well and Chow is usually not subtle.

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

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Ugghh... I loathe millenials.....*shaking my cane*

In regards to Chows comedy, I also think it's often too uneven dealt out in some films. Like there's a serious love story, some drama and then BAM! total out of left field spoof gag, then back to semi serious stretch. It's not like Naked Gun or Hot Shots who just hammered you with gags from A to Z. And I also prefer the more subtle stuff, like in Love on Delivery where he sees Christy Chung, they wave at each other, he scales the railing, a car passes, and he's faceplanting the pavement.... simple but effective. I laughed so hard at that the first time I saw it... and still do.

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

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That's kinda typical for HK movies in general, I think. Iron Fisted Monk's alternating between disturbing rape scenes and wacky brothel antics right out of a Carry On film being an example.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Im perfectly comfortable with the Schizoid nature of HK cinema. But I don't think Chow's comedies always strikes the all important balance act of components.

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

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Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Ishiro Honda and Eiji Tsubruya return to space opera with a large scale showcase of superb aerial combat between earth rocket ships and an armada of charming flying saucers - but, unlike The Mysterians, no gratuitous yet cool giant monsters, though we do see the aliens briefly and they remind me of ducks!

The human characters are as bland as anything, all very straight-laced and noble, but not very intimate, the exception being Yoshio Tsuchiya, who gets to do his alien possession schtick, which is always fun.

Akira Ifukube's superb score makes up for the blandness of Shinichi Sekizawa's script (he would find his groove with Mothra) and is endlessly hummable!

7/10
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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I am writing a capsule because with this set I am going to put them all together and submit an essay/review for the new Shout! Factory’s The Angela Mao Ying Collection. This leads me to not talk about several items as I need to keep the length under control. I will try to rectify that soon.

When Taekwondo Strikes (1973: Wong Fung: Hong Kong)

Apart from the impressive looking introduction Angela Mao Ying does not show up until almost 25 minutes into the film though she is certainly the star of the film along with Jhoon Rhee. This is the only major acting appearance of the venerable “Father of Taekwondo” and I certainly was surprised to see him. This movie ranks in between the similar anti-Japanese films of Angela Mao and Wong Fung in Hapkido and Lady Whirlwind (both of these are also available from Shout! in a release I recommend). The anti-Japanese sentiment is the worst aspect of the film with the basic revenge plot being rather banal. Set in Korea (filmed in South Korea) this takes place during the time of Japanese occupation which coincidentally is the era in which Jhoon Rhee was born. The fight choreography from Sammo Hung and Chan Chuen is solid and is the highlights of the film though it helps when you have fighters like Whang In-shik, Carter Wong and Angela Mao. If you are looking for storyline or Japanese who are portrayed as humans then you will need to look elsewhere.

Shout! Factory’s The Angela Mao Ying Collection: The print from the R1 is worn has a certain amount of flicker throughout, but I doubt you are going to find a better copy. It comes with both the Mandarin and English dub (sounds original.) The back of the case lists these both as 5.1. The English subtitles are not dubtitles. It also comes with a trailer (3:52).

Some notes (which will find themselves in a review if I write one)
Add this to the pantheon of bad hairdos in the cinematic life of Sammo Hung.
It looks like lots of hand-held camerawork was used. This allows some interesting angles. I’ve come to hate most handheld these days because of the overemphasis of shakiness.
Another appearance of the Japanese Hitler/Jordan/Chaplin mustache.
The use of Manchuria definitely dates this film (that and the use of electric lights :D.)
Angela Mao’s acting has definitely improved since I have seen her in Lady Whirlwind.
Ann Winton’s only acting role. Her kicks are good though her punches and combinations need work (not faulting her as she is not an actor.)
Seriously everyone but the Japanese are good, even the French.
There is more Christian symbolism here than in a John Woo film. There is a pretty fun scene where Chin Yuet-sang backs down from the priest because of a zen-like look he gives.
How awesome is Whang In-shik? He performs so well you start wondering how he can lose.
Last edited by Masterofoneinchpunch on 05 Jun 2014, 23:02, edited 1 time in total.

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

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Im partial to thinking that it was Sammo's actual hair. Looks close to what he was sporting in Enter the Dragon.

And yes, Whang In Sik is a beast. Can't think of a film that he was in, where he wasn't the best thing about it.....except for Way of the Dragon, of course, where he was not allowed to look good.

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

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Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:
Now this was filmed in South Korea correct?
Yes.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Markgway wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:
Now this was filmed in South Korea correct?
Yes.
Thanks. It certainly looked like it (and it is obviously not HK.) Can anyone name the area or anything in the film? The set pieces are obviously sets like much of the town (the church is not, that is real you can see the Korean writing on it in some scenes and I'm guessing hand-held was used in there.)
Im partial to thinking that it was Sammo's actual hair. Looks close to what he was sporting in Enter the Dragon.

And yes, Whang In Sik is a beast. Can't think of a film that he was in, where he wasn't the best thing about it.....except for Way of the Dragon, of course, where he was not allowed to look good.
You may be correct because watching him fight with it, it seems to move correctly and not fall off. :) Some reviewer called it "Meatloaf" like hair which is pretty funny. I will have to use a "Bat out of hell" reference.

Whang's kicks are a beauty, but also the combinations he does with ease. He's also fast. Pretty funny about his use in Way of the Dragon, but I might speculate on the why :D.

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

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No need to speculate, Lee was an egomaniac... that's it.

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

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Andre Morgan aged up as the priest was pretty funny.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Ivan Drago wrote:Andre Morgan aged up as the priest was pretty funny.
One of those obvious age jobs on a budget. But not as funny as his clothing (or ripped up attire) during the torture scenes.
No need to speculate, Lee was an egomaniac... that's it.
Hmmm, his kicks are better than mine and he looks good fighting. What shall I do with him in the fight scenes?

Now what will be the next Angela Mao Ying film for myself? Actually I better take at least a couple film break. I am not looking forward to rewatching Stoner :).

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

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Man, Stoner is a hard watch. The only thing worth watching here is Angie VS Whang In Sik.... and that ultra quick cut of Lazenby backdooring Betty Ting Pei :thumbs:

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

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Stoner and Queen's Ransom are terrible.

You may need a stiff drink or three beforehand.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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There are bits and pieces in both that I like. But given the talent involved, they are really disappointing efforts, for sure. Although Stoner at least has some thick 70's cheese going for it. Queen's Ransom has next to no redeemable qualities.

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

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RetroRobot wrote:Man, Stoner is a hard watch. The only thing worth watching here is Angie VS Whang In Sik.... and that ultra quick cut of Lazenby backdooring Betty Ting Pei :thumbs:
I'm rather fond of the title song!

And to think, it was originally to star Bruce Lee, Lazenby and Sonny Chiba!
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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In a way this film made me appreciate When Taekwondo Strikes more.

The Tournament (1974: Huang Feng: Hong Kong):

Lau Siu-fung (Angela Mao Ying) is the daughter of a disgraced martial arts instructor who had just committed suicide. He had brought two students to fight in Thai boxing matches that had lost quite badly (one dying) and was subsequently ostracized. She needs to bring honor back to her father and Chinese Kung Fu as well by beating the Thai at their own game all while accepting that there is some weakness to their currently practiced style. The “tournament” Muay Thai fighting scenes are unfortunately undercranked too much. It does not help that putting professional Thai fighters also makes their opponents really look out-of-place especially with Carter Wong – though he looks fine outside of the ring. The fight scenes outside of the ring are solid with Sammo Hung and Chan Chuen once again choreographing a Wong Fung (Hapkido) directed film. The confrontation between Mao Ying and Whang In-shik (always a plus) is a highlight along with the other non-tournament fight scenes in an otherwise lackluster and sometimes inane plot.

Shout! Factory’s The Angela Mao Ying Collection: It looks that this print might suffer from some pal-to-ntsc conversion issue (can anyone verify this) as the fight scenes have a too much blur. It comes with both the Mandarin and English dub (sounds original.) The back of the case lists these both as 2.0. The English subtitles are not dubtitles. It also comes with a trailer (3:44).

Some notes (which will find themselves in a review if I write one)
I love when the crowds are just gathering around to watch a movie being made.
Hmmm, there is no tournament in this film.
There is some on location footage in Thailand most notably the Ayutthaya temple.
Is that Yuen Biao in drag? Of course it is. Check how many times you can spot him (he seems to get around to different countries as well.)
Just like with When Taekwondo Strikes there is an almost out-of-place nude scene. It almost feels like the director had to have one (not uncommon, I believe Martin Scorsese had to have nudity in Mean Streets.) This leads to a funny continuity error when the ripped shirt miraculously appears in its pristine condition later on.
While seeing women versus men in martial art films does not strike me as abnormal, it feels a bit weird to me seeing it in a “ring setting.” It reminded me of a similar scene in Muay Thai Giant (aka Somtum) though that girl was quite young.
Hilarious to hear the sound cue from Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra (most famous for its use in 2001: A Space Odyssey; the sound cue is from that film.)
Mao Ying has some great kicks especially when she combines crescent kicks with a spinning heel kick (though seriously when Whang In-shik incorporates it in his repertoire it is a thing of beauty.)
George Yirikian: You get to see a rare case of a karate expert actually performing karate.
No idea who the Thai champions are (I have their names from the trailer which is the same on HKMDB, but still no idea.)
IMDB has ELO's In Old England Town as a sound cue. Currently have not been able to match up. But since I have now heard the song several times I think I might be figure if it is in there or not (unless somewhere here knows.)
Last edited by Masterofoneinchpunch on 10 Jun 2014, 16:32, edited 3 times in total.

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

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This film only really works for me in the HK scenes. Most of the Thai segment is pretty dull and feels positively disjointed from the rest. The HK stuff feels and for the most part looks like a period piece in classic GH style, and the Thai stuff is your basic campy 70's cheese..... it doesn't really gel.

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

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RetroRobot wrote:This film only really works for me in the HK scenes. Most of the Thai segment is pretty dull and feels positively disjointed from the rest. The HK stuff feels and for the most part looks like a period piece in classic GH style, and the Thai stuff is your basic campy 70's cheese..... it doesn't really gel.
The undercranking is where it really annoys me (in the ring fight scenes.) What is weird is that the longer shots are undercranked more compared to the close shots which are not (not even sure if these are undercranked.) It just seems so sloppy.

In a longer review I would complain about how long it took them to realize that fighting in a ring with a different set of rules favors the Thais and they would have to change their style. At a couple of points you want to slap a few of the people in the head (not Mao Ying or Whang.) It is interesting that she took her own camera along and that the Thai's did not mind. Her solution to one fighting issue was cool: the spinning heel kick (you notice there is not much of a difference between a spinning heel kick which you keep the leg straight versus the spinning hook kick which you sling a little later -- this is easier for someone with long legs to do like say Bill Wallace :D).

I'm thinking for the on location shooting they were relegated to a quick shoot.

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

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Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:I'm thinking for the on location shooting they were relegated to a quick shoot.
Most likely... and yet we're treated to the same drawn out travelogue sequence that we were subjected to in Duel of Fists and many other flicks shot in Thailand in this period. Yes, they have elephants and golden temples... we get it.

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Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:It looks that this print might suffer from some pal-to-ntsc conversion issue (can anyone verify this) as the fight scenes have a too much blur.
What's the running time? If it's 93m then it's probably the same unremastered PAL conversion that those lazy bastards Fortune Star have been supplying everyone with.
I believe Martin Scorsese had to have nudity in Mean Streets.
I'm sure that it was his first film 'Who's That Knocking at My Door?' where the distributor insisted on some spice.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Markgway wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:It looks that this print might suffer from some pal-to-ntsc conversion issue (can anyone verify this) as the fight scenes have a too much blur.
What's the running time? If it's 93m then it's probably the same unremastered PAL conversion that those lazy bastards Fortune Star have been supplying everyone with.
I believe Martin Scorsese had to have nudity in Mean Streets.
I'm sure that it was his first film 'Who's That Knocking at My Door?' where the distributor insisted on some spice.
It states 94 minutes on the back (and give or take a minute that is correct, without checking again) so with that blur I'm sure that it is a unremastered PAL conversion.

With Scorsese I believe it was case with several of his earlier films. I remember him saying that about Mean Streets (though I currently cannot remember the interview) and I believe it was the same with Boxcar Bertha (which I have not seen.) Reminds me I need to read the Ebert book on Scorsese.

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

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Either way... both black chick and epileptic chick got their tits out.

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

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Masterofoneinchpunch wrote: Just like with When Taekwondo Strikes there is an almost out-of-place nude scene. It almost feels like the director had to have one (not uncommon, I believe Martin Scorsese had to have nudity in Mean Streets.) This leads to a funny continuity error when the ripped shirt miraculously appears in its pristine condition later on.
)
The nude scene was the reason we see Maria Yi kidnapped in the opening scene and never re-appear again, even though the kidnapping was the whole point of the plot starting! She refused to do the nude scene and quit, so the film has the Thai girl kidnapped in the last reel in order to supply the nudity.
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