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

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

Post by Ivan Drago »

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:IMDB has ELO's In Old England Town as a sound queue. 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.)
The English dub was done later in the late 70s or early 80s, and some of the music in that version is different.

On the German DVD, the English dub was incomplete.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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RetroRobot wrote:
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.
The worst is The King Boxer, starring Meng Fei, which has a opening sequence of 7min of elephants and dancing. I mean, why the US distributor didn't hack it out is beyond me.

The Big Boss is probably the only Thai set HK film where the Thai setting is really incidental, making me wonder if it was just meant to be set in the New Territories or something, and they sneaked off to Thailand to hide Bruce from a better offer. On the other hand, we get to see the Thai sex trade...
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Getting Raped (Japan, 1976) [VoD] – 3/5
Unexpectedly good grindhouse thriller by Masaru Konuma. A businessman gets involved with gangsters who smuggle diamonds from Hong Kong to Japan. After one of the gangsters goes missing the businessman finds himself in serious trouble with the rest of the gang. Though a roman porno production, and blessed with another outrageous title, the film has only a few rapes and no normal sex scenes at all. Instead, there’s plenty of sunglasses (all bad guys wear them) and even an explosion. Solid smut.

Girl’s Blood (Red x Pink) (Japan, 2014) [VoD] – 3.5/5
Had 1990’s Michael Bay directed all girls' lesbian cage fighting movie with Japanese drama in it, it might have been something like Girl’s Blood. The gloriously ridiculous movie is a combination of trendy girl melodrama, 6 minute lesbian love scenes, and absolutely ferocious fighting. Despite some needlessly fast editing, the action scenes are terrific, very physical, and accompanied with ballsy sound effects. And best of all, it’s all done with poker face, without filmmakers desperately trying to prove they acknowledge the underlying silliness of it.

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

Post by Masterofoneinchpunch »

Ivan Drago wrote:... 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.
Out of curiousity where did you hear/read this?

Also this reminds me of the thread on KFC (with youtube link) which talks about Bruce Lee's house being used for the "association" scenes in The Tournament. What's funny is that the interior scenes look like a set. How truthful do you think this is (the outside would be the easier to compare if one knows what the outside looks like?)

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

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I heard it on KFC but from some of the more sensible posters.
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Masterofoneinchpunch
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Re: What Asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Post by Masterofoneinchpunch »

While I have been doing some research on Stoner, I have read a lot of places a few possible canards. One is tackled right below:

George Lazenby Interview with Bey Logan (KFC link of Impact Magazine issue 97 January 2000): An interesting part is where he tackles one canard (which wikipedia repeats) “George Lazenby: There never was any three picture deal! After Bruce died. I thought that was that, then I got a call form Raymond Chow saying “Look, you’ve got $10,000 of my money (paid as a deposit for Lazenby participation in Game Of Death). He wanted me to make three films for Golden Harvest.”

Now it is often written that Stoner was going to be Bruce Lee's next film (after Game of Death): how true is this? I currently cannot find any primary source material. All the primary sources have Game of Death being worked by both Lee and Lazenby but no comments on Stoner (or any of the original names that film was to use.)

You might wonder why I'm always curious on sources, but while I have been studying cinema I have been amazed about the misinformation out there and not just with Hong Kong movies (and not just movies.) It's amazing how history can quote bad sources and forever taint a figure: for example Al Stump's biography on Ty Cobb is full of fraudulent errors (done on purpose), but it is still quoted to this day and has even influenced several films. This has happened with many biographies especially when the author has an axe to grind.

Of course it is kind of hilarious when you are doing research and trying to accept bad versus good information. I'm listening to a George Lazenby interview and he spouts out several things that I know are false (location of Bruce Lee's birth place, wrong ideas about actor/stunts etc...) Information sifting is time consuming.

A quick note: City on Fire has that film as 8/10 which I cannot believe, especially while watching it a second time (well I have a half hour to go which luckily I remember containing some of the best scenes.)

Mark, what is the proper time for Stoner? I'm thinking there is some problems with the conversion (not as bad as The Tournament.) It does indeed look like there is some touch up (remastering) of scenes. I'm going to compare more tonight. The subtitles are definitely better than the Joy Sales release. Though at one point he is called an American, though the English dub calls him Austrailian which he is supposed to be (might just be a mixup in the script or the rolls of toilet paper they used.)

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

Post by RetroRobot »

Well, he's definitely suppose to be an Aussie cop, since the whole intro sequence is quite clearly in Australia.

I've also tried to dig up more info on the whole Bruce Lee/Shrine of the Ultimate Bliss/Lazenby/Three picture deal mythos, but came up short. There are a lot of fun stories going around, many of which are most likely bull. The one where Lazenby reportedly lost all his hair due to a bad reaction to his hotel shampoo in HK is a bit ridiculous..... but who's to say. Connery was already wearing a wig in Dr. No and onwards, and I couldn't tell till about You Only Live Twice.

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

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RetroRobot wrote:Well, he's definitely suppose to be an Aussie cop, since the whole intro sequence is quite clearly in Australia.

I've also tried to dig up more info on the whole Bruce Lee/Shrine of the Ultimate Bliss/Lazenby/Three picture deal mythos, but came up short. There are a lot of fun stories going around, many of which are most likely bull. The one where Lazenby reportedly lost all his hair due to a bad reaction to his hotel shampoo in HK is a bit ridiculous..... but who's to say. Connery was already wearing a wig in Dr. No and onwards, and I couldn't tell till about You Only Live Twice.
Yeah you can see some important sights in Australia (and the fact that it is driving the opposite site of the road as we do here -- that was the first thing I noticed) where you can clearly see the Syndey Opera House. I'll listen to the Mandarin again and try to piece if he states that (or maybe not, this film isn't really that good :D). I just found it weird the translation at one point in the film (with the new subtitles not that Joy Sales R0.)

Quick edit: they are on the Syndey harbour bridge early on (which I know I've seen in some other HK films.)

One would think that Lazenby would have stated that about his hair in any of the interviews I have heard him on this film. He always talks about the pain he went through in the fighting though. I found mention of that issue as well at HK Cinemagic. Now of course if that shampoo was accidently a bottle of nair...

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

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The original subtitles on the trailer called him an American too...
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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The uncut version should run roughly 114 mins.

AFAIK, all the current editions are PAL conversions.

The VCD is 20m shorter!
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Post by Markgway »

I checked the trailer for Stoner and the Mandarin dub/Chinese subtitles do say 'American'.

Looks like they screw up English as badly as we screw up Chinese.
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Masterofoneinchpunch
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Stoner (1974: Huang Feng)

This is a rather incompetent movie that gets worse the more you watch it with plot holes, bad acting, some really cheesy scenes and messy action. This stars a former one-time Bond George Lazenby as an Australian cop named Stoner looking for the source of a new highly addictive drug called “The Happy Pill.”. Meanwhile a Taiwanese cop (Angela Mao) is assigned to figure out why a retired ship that should only be useful for scrap metal is overpaid for (everyone knows it is used for smuggling) by Mr. Chin played by Takagi Jogi as another evil Japanese has to be one of the more stupid bad bosses as he appears to be using corporate money in Taiwan. He also fronts a Taoist healing facility that is actually getting everyone hooked on its medicine. Lazenby is a basher not an experienced fighter using flailing arms, giant windups and novice kicks. He was learning on the job and he takes a lot of falls and punishment though he still looks a bit awkward. I still like his backfist though. Angela Mao is underused here, but luckily the finale fight scene between her and Whang In-shik is pretty good. If this movie did not have that I would probably think it is best to avoid this altogether. There are many rumors about this film at one point starring both Bruce Lee and Sonny Chiba but I have found no primary sources stating that this is true.

Shout! Factory’s The Angela Mao Ying Collection: It looks that this print might suffer from some pal-to-ntsc conversion issue as the fight scenes have a bit 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 (NOTE I need to double check this as I forgot to bring the set in.) The English subtitles are not dubtitles. It does not come with a trailer (the Joy Sales R0/NTSC release does have a trailer.)

Some notes (which will find themselves in a review if I write one):
[I’m thinking with all the information below it might be easier to get off a full review on this]
That’s a big mole on Sammo’s nose. I think Sammo and Jackie traded it for a few films in the early 70s.
Angela Mao has long and short hair here just like in The Tournament.
The script here is weird as it really does not explain certain issues it should: what is the relationship of Melanie to Stoner? Is Mao Ying’s character at one point supposed to be thought of as a boy? Would anyone in a cage be thinking of Betty Ting Pei when Mao Ying is right there? OK, that one was more of a joke, but still seriously?
The English dub has him as Australian but the subtitles state he is American. Does the Mandarin dub actually state that?
Joy Sales Legendary Collection (1:49:24): does not have English dub does have Photo Gallery and Trailer (3:57m) The subtitles are improved on this new release.
Youtube has movie as 1:45:18 (it does not look good, thank goodness; can Shout! go after youtube to shut that down since it is a different print?)
City on Fire Review: Seriously 8 out of 10?
HK Cinemagic: no idea if the hair issue is true or much else in this article.
George Lazenby Interview with Bey Logan (KFC link of Impact Magazine issue 97 January 2000): An interesting part is where he tackles one canard (which wikipedia repeats) “George Lazenby: There never was any three picture deal! After Bruce died. I thought that was that, then I got a call form Raymond Chow saying “Look, you’ve got $10,000 of my money (paid as a deposit for Lazenby participation in Game Of Death). He wanted me to make three films for Golden Harvest.”
The Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts Movies of the 1970s (Dr. Craig D. Reid): this has a capsule review in this book (a lot of Angela Mao films from this era are not described with capsule reviews though they are listed in the back) but there are several problems with errors in this section including repeating the canard I mentioned above though he states it was a four-picture contract. He also bizarrely states that Lazenby was dropped only to be brought back because of the success of several co-productions that just happened to be filmed and released after Stoner (since this is impossible he is obviously wrong.) He also writes that Lazenby got the role of Bond because of his fighting ability which is weird because Lazenby has stated he had no fighting ability and was expecting Bruce Lee to train him for Game of Death. After a little research on that point it seems it is even weirder: Lazenby during a screen audition accidently punched a stunt coordinator (Wikipedia has this, its source is from Inside On Her Majesty's Secret Service DVD extra.) Clearly Reid is wrong. He also repeats the oft told tale that Bruce Lee was going to star in this which I have read many places but have not found a primary source on this.
Japanorama interview with Sonny Chiba (youtube): Now what is interesting about this is that Chiba talks about going to Hong Kong for two days to meet with Bruce Lee but Bruce Lee had died (so this is true), but says nothing about a potential movie but about interesting conversations. I’m getting the feeling that the rumor about Chiba initially being in Stoner is false.

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

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Im fairly certain that on the extra material for OHMSS it is stated (whether it's by GL himself or not I can't recall) that he had extensive Judo experience, and therefor handled the action scenes quite well. Strange if he has claimed to have no MA experience in another interview. Oh well.

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

Post by Masterofoneinchpunch »

RetroRobot wrote:Im fairly certain that on the extra material for OHMSS it is stated (whether it's by GL himself or not I can't recall) that he had extensive Judo experience, and therefor handled the action scenes quite well. Strange if he has claimed to have no MA experience in another interview. Oh well.
He has stated was he had some Judo experience (not extensive so I'm thinking this was actually very little). I think he was inferring (not directly stating) that he had no punching/kicking experience about fighting ability.

Here is the direct quote from the Bey Logan interview: " Id been a rugby player, Id done some judo, and that was it."

Judging by what I saw on the screen it does not look like he had that much experience. I believe he attempted a Tomoe Nage (circle throw) that did not come off that well on the screen.

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

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He seems pretty inconsistent with his stories from various interviews throughout the years. I certainly remember catching several contradictory statements here and there, but that's true of most actors I guess.

A little surprised that Craig Reid is that off on the info there. Always considered him one of the more reliable sources. Never picked up on it when I read the book.

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

Post by Masterofoneinchpunch »

RetroRobot wrote:He seems pretty inconsistent with his stories from various interviews throughout the years. I certainly remember catching several contradictory statements here and there, but that's true of most actors I guess.

A little surprised that Craig Reid is that off on the info there. Always considered him one of the more reliable sources. Never picked up on it when I read the book.
And directors and authors etc... Common trait which is why for us film historians :D it is a matter of playing Sherlock Holmes with the data you are given. I sent off a list of errata to professor David Bordwell and he put my name in the latest edition of Planet Hong Kong :D.

Now I think Craig's book is a must have for martial art movie fans. I do though there are a few movies that should have made the cut (Warriors Two, Knockabout), but overall he has some good information he gleaned from personal interviews (always important) plus I like his opinions from a martial artist standpoint.

FYI (I'm not faulting him, just giving info): The Tournament, When Taekwondo Strikes, Hapkido have no capsules in the book. Lady Whirlwind does.

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

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Markgway wrote:I checked the trailer for Stoner and the Mandarin dub/Chinese subtitles do say 'American'.

Looks like they screw up English as badly as we screw up Chinese.
Thanks again Mark for the info as well as the past info on Stoner.

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

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You're going to love this retro about inconsistencies and the annoyance of trying to find the truth:

Hong Kong Action Cinema by Bey Logan:
George Lazenby [on The Man from Hong Kong]: "I'd seen The Big Boss and flew to Hong Kong because I realized that that was where the action was. I was meant to do Game of Death and two other films with Bruce Lee. When he died, Raymond sent his hatchet men in. The original contract had specified co-leads in these films, but I ended up laying a bad guy."
This goes against what he says later in the interview I posted also from Logan. Now I'm not sure where Logan gets this info in the book.

I do wish Logan would do an update to his book.

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

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I've totally given up on finding truth in info on HK movies. It's near impossible. The actual people involved don't even know what the truth is, how can you?


Regarding Bey's book, I asked him that very question a few years ago, and he said that if he could get a publisher on board, he would do it. I don't know, he's a flighty guy, tons of irons in the fire at once, plugging away projects that never really materialize etc. I seem to recall him stating that he would have a new book coming with his 36 fave kung fu/HK movies, but haven't heard anything since. Im not faulting him. Im sure getting anything off the ground in HK is a real bitch. Though sometimes it's probably best to keep your cards close to the chest.

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

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Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:You're going to love this retro about inconsistencies and the annoyance of trying to find the truth:

Hong Kong Action Cinema by Bey Logan:
George Lazenby [on The Man from Hong Kong]: "I'd seen The Big Boss and flew to Hong Kong because I realized that that was where the action was. I was meant to do Game of Death and two other films with Bruce Lee. When he died, Raymond sent his hatchet men in. The original contract had specified co-leads in these films, but I ended up laying a bad guy."
This goes against what he says later in the interview I posted also from Logan. Now I'm not sure where Logan gets this info in the book.

I do wish Logan would do an update to his book.
Its a long time since I read it but I thought it was good, I wish he'd revise it for the 2000's-2010's too :)

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

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grim_tales wrote: ...I do wish Logan would do an update to his book.
Its a long time since I read it but I thought it was good, I wish he'd revise it for the 2000's-2010's too :)[/quote]

It's a good book on its topic and the most important thing is that he has learned quite a bit since then. He could fix the errata as well as add new chapters and insight he has learned since then. It's been years since I've done a back to back read, but I do look through it whenever I see a particular film that I think might be in there.

I also think Stephen Teo should also update his Hong Kong: The Extra Dimensions which is probably my second favorite HK book next to David Bordwell's Planet Hong Kong (2nd Edition.)

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

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I also read City on Fire by Lisa Stokes (1999) when I was in college (I studied Film Studies) which was an OK book, but it did annoy me as it kept on quoting Karl Marx for some reason, and referring to the handover of HK all the time.

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

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grim_tales wrote:I also read City on Fire by Lisa Stokes (1999) when I was in college (I studied Film Studies) which was an OK book, but it did annoy me as it kept on quoting Karl Marx for some reason, and referring to the handover of HK all the time.
I have the book (and another HK book by her), but I have only skimmed it. I should read it (and review) all the way through, but I've always been wary of that reputation. I believe the thesis is based on the handover and uses that as a methodology for its discourse. Marx is so influential to some academicians that it overly influences much of their work (reminds me of how postmodernism can really ruin a critical essay as well -- now referencing either is fine but when it comes with a religious like fervor than watch out -- this breeds acolytes that can be quite annoying.)

Was studying Film Studies fun?

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grim_tales wrote:I also read City on Fire by Lisa Stokes (1999) when I was in college (I studied Film Studies) which was an OK book, but it did annoy me as it kept on quoting Karl Marx for some reason, and referring to the handover of HK all the time.
I have that book, but never read it.

Karl Marx, eh? Damn Commies!

I prefer his brother as philosopher, Groucho.

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

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Markgway wrote:
grim_tales wrote:I also read City on Fire by Lisa Stokes (1999) when I was in college (I studied Film Studies) which was an OK book, but it did annoy me as it kept on quoting Karl Marx for some reason, and referring to the handover of HK all the time.
I have that book, but never read it.

Karl Marx, eh? Damn Commies!

I prefer his brother as philosopher, Groucho.

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