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 5

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Guro Taku wrote: 11 Mar 2023, 09:51
HungFist wrote: 07 Mar 2023, 16:26Reviewed here is the R-15 version Kagi no aru fukei: E-kappu hojuku, which doesn’t seem to have an English title and which may, but is unlikely to, differ substantially from the original theatrical R-18 version.
What's the running time of the TV broadcast version? The one on FANZA runs 59:44.
So I re-recorded this just to check, and it seems to be shorter after all. The TV version runs 58:12, with one 10s Shintoho logo at the beginning (included in the count), till the end of the 終 screen. There a 10s Eirin logo and production info after that which I did not include in the count.

That would make approx. 90 seconds difference unless the Fanza version includes additional logo screens.

(for further detail: without the black screen opening and closing titles, the actual "live action" part in between runs approx 57:37)
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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grim_tales wrote: 13 Mar 2023, 22:55 Everything Everywhere All at Once (USA, 2021): 4.25/5

In a different universe ( ;) ) what could have been a straight worthy drama movie about a dysfuctional, broken family is given a wacky entertaining sci-fi twist. I enjoyed it :D
saltysam wrote: 14 Mar 2023, 21:34 I'm glad Michelle got her oscar but wow that film was shite. Barely finished it.
HungFist wrote: 17 Mar 2023, 15:42 I caught the first 25 minutes of it during a flight, but it was so annoying I turned it off and watched something else instead.
Disappeared up its own arse for me. I'm not a big fan of "weird" and this was "WEIRD". I think it was something to do with an angry lesbian trying to destroy the world because she hated her mother... but by the end I didn't really care. Nice to see Michelle and Short Round win Oscars though.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Her Mum didn't understand and accept her imo.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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HungFist wrote: 28 Mar 2023, 18:47So I re-recorded this just to check, and it seems to be shorter after all. The TV version runs 58:12, with one 10s Shintoho logo at the beginning (included in the count), till the end of the 終 screen. There a 10s Eirin logo and production info after that which I did not include in the count.

That would make approx. 90 seconds difference unless the Fanza version includes additional logo screens.

(for further detail: without the black screen opening and closing titles, the actual "live action" part in between runs approx 57:37)
What I watched on FANZA under the title Eカップ本番 II 豊熟 藤沙月 doesn't even come with the Shintoho logo. It runs 59:44 from the first frame of the film (see below) until the 終 fades out. If you want to do a direct comparison let me know.

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

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Guro Taku wrote: 30 Mar 2023, 20:16
HungFist wrote: 28 Mar 2023, 18:47So I re-recorded this just to check, and it seems to be shorter after all. The TV version runs 58:12, with one 10s Shintoho logo at the beginning (included in the count), till the end of the 終 screen. There a 10s Eirin logo and production info after that which I did not include in the count.

That would make approx. 90 seconds difference unless the Fanza version includes additional logo screens.

(for further detail: without the black screen opening and closing titles, the actual "live action" part in between runs approx 57:37)
What I watched on FANZA under the title Eカップ本番 II 豊熟 藤沙月 doesn't even come with the Shintoho logo. It runs 59:44 from the first frame of the film (see below) until the 終 fades out. If you want to do a direct comparison let me know.
Thanks! So, the TV version runs 57:58 from the same frame till 終 is out.

The TV version has the Shintoho logo (10s) + Production company's name on black screen (2s) before the above mentioned frame.

This makes me curious if the other pink films on TV are also cut. Not that I'm bothered by it, though. I can only imagine these films getting slightly better if the sex scenes are shortened :lol:
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Could the new TV broadcast being in HD and the FANZA/DMM version being very decidedly SD (29.97 fps) have something to do with the difference in running time?
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by Guro Taku »

I can't yet answer the running time question, but check out the difference in picture information between the ancient DMM VOD SD transfer and the new HD TV remaster:

Image

I had to pick this frame because in the DMM transfer you can't even see the guy before he jumps into the pool. In the TV version you can see him walk up to the rim and warm up a bit before he jumps. That's some excessive image cropping and in general the HD TV broadcast has an incredible amount of additional picture information.

Image

The only time that isn't the case are the sex scenes. I didn't spot any additional/missing shots but there definitely are some very odd censorship differences. The first two screenshots (taken from the film's first sex scene) show more horrendous cropping from the DMM version, but also some minor pixelation being replaced with less noticeable fogging. And then we have the bottom two screenshots, where it's actually the HD TV broadcast that is cropped/zoomed in while the DMM version of the same shot has more picture info but is pixelated instead!

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And this continues for the rest of the film. As soon as the DMM transfer resorts to pixelation, the HD TV broadcast will instead opt for zooming in the image:

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

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Very interesting. I kinda suspected there might have been re-framing. And IMO, it makes it better since we get rid of the ugly pixel censorship found in the "uncensored" version.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Sex Friend - Hatsujo (セックス・フレンド ~発情~) (Japan, 1999) [TV] – 2.5/5
Rei Sakamoto was awarded as best new pink director of the year for this breezy and relatively light-on-sex road movie scripted by Shinji Imaoka and Takahisa Zeze. A young couple is visited by an old friend who then prompts them to come to visit him in the countryside... in what must be the only pink script ever written that climaxes with a long baseball match between friends. There's a rather nice 90s indie drama touch to the film, as well as a bit of Nobuhiko Obayashi thrown in, but the film ultimately fails to be much more than that. It’s is more than most pink films have to offer, however. Reviewed here is the R-15 version Sex friend: Hatsujo, which doesn’t seem to have an English title and which may, but is unlikely to, differ substantially from the original theatrical R-18 version Sex Friend Nurezakari. There is one scene with mosaic but no noticeable cuts.

Women’s Police: Swirling Butterflies (女の警察 乱れ蝶) (Japan, 1970) [TV] – 3/5
Gangster film veteran Keiichi Ozawa takes over directorial duties in the 4th and best film in the series. The premise is largely the same as before, with lone wolf Akira Kobayashi both a hostess / night life operator and a sort of guardian angel for the women, but with more emphasis on yakuza and other shady figures leaving dead women floating in the port waters. Kobayashi once again has to catch guilty party. Kobayashi's performance here is his best in the series, aided by solid direction and a decent scrip script, finally radiating those "lone wolf in the night" vibes that didn't come through so well in the previous films. He's a man who fights gangsters and looks after hostesses without taking advantage of them, a superior man operating above basic sexual desires despite being a questionable figure of the night himself. Perhaps that's what audiences resonated enough with to come see these films one after another, even though they are almost void of sex, nudity and action (*). Here in addition we also get Ozawa's noirish direction paired with absolutely breathtaking production design, which certainly makes for an easy viewing. This was the last film in the series consisting of four movies, unless one counts Market of Women (1969), which is sometimes considered to be part of the series.

* This series was of course far from being the only one of its kind. There were so many similar films, not only by Nikkatsu but also Toei who did the Song of the Night series for example, that they could be considered a genre of their own. They were typically set in night life / fuzoku districts full of bars, hostess clubs and shady figures, telling bittersweet tales of young adults longing for a better future, and characterized by neon-lit visuals and pop ballads that often inspired the storylines.

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

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Delinquent Boss: Operation Rat (不良番長 どぶ鼠作戦) (Japan, 1969) [Streaming] – 2.5/5
Part 5. Yukio Noda returns to the director's chair after being absent for one film. He and Makoto Naito would take turns helming the rest of the films from here on. It is not really necessary to specify who was behind the camera each time as there was very little to set them apart. Anyway, this fifth entry is a very light affair that still manages to be somewhat entertaining. This time Umemiya and the gang end up helping a struggling strip theatre, which produces some fun bits (“what kind of father asks his daughter to substitute for a missing stripper?!”) and amusingly outdated drama (the fore-mentioned missing stripper issue is solved when a good-hearted husband lends his wife to the stage, but all the teary-eyed melodrama that accompanies this great “sacrifice” is between the men! Never mind the wife who actually has to go on the stage…). Also kudos to Shingo Yamashiro who delivers some comedy that is actually funny. Bunta Sugawara, who appeared in a lot of the early films, is missing from this film.

Sea of Youth (aka The Black Sheep) (青春の海) (Japan, 1967) [Streaming] – 3.5/5
Young female teacher Sayuri Yoshinaga relocates to a small seaside town with her runaway little sister, but their new life is complicated by hoodlum-like Tetsuya Watari (the black sheep of the title) who is related to the family hosting them and whom they keep running into, but can't help but to feel sympathy for. Of course, rumours start fast in a small town, but delightfully she doesn't really care at all. This is another very solid Shogoro Nishimura film, although it doesn't reach the heights of his best youth films like Return of the Wolf and Goodbye Mr. Tears. What this one does really well is capturing the idyllic small town scenery and atmosphere, as well as the usual good girl Yoshinaga x misunderstood tough guy Watari (who really excelled in these type of roles) romance formula. There's also some pretty fun interaction with the locals, particularly a middle school kid who comes to school with a noisy bike and even offers to give shocked/annoyed Yoshinaga a ride home... and she accepts, as she can't think of any other way to try and tame him. It's cute and unexpected little bits like that that give the film a welcome breath of fresh air and youthfulness.

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

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Posting my Takashi Ishii reviews here.

Love Hotel (1985) 3/5
He only wrote the screenplay, but the movie still has typical Ishii trademarks. The main character wants to kill himself after the yakuza raped his wife in front of him after failing to pay off his debts. He checks into Love Hotel with a prostitute and wants to bang her before killing her and himself. It's about scarred individuals trying to find redemption, a theme you'll see over and over again in Ishii's films. Starts off really strong, but the middle part is somewhat pedestrian. Taps more into drama/melodrama when it should focus more on intensity and atmosphere, lacked that noir feel that Ishii himself did so well later in his career. The blurred/cencored parts look ridiculous and the cinematography suffers from low budget, but I'll take into account that this was made in 1985. There's genius in here somewhere and I think it would have been a better movie if Ishii had held on to the screenplay and directed it himself during the 90's. Deserved a better execution, but overall a fine effort. Could see a modern remake in Italy or France by a director with balls.

Red Vertigo (1988) 2/5
Ishii's directorial debut is a shadow of what was to come at the height of his career, but the movie has it's moments. The ending is unusal, clever and shot well. Clearly suffers from a low budget look and feel, but the story isn't bad at all. A short running time means the characters aren't developed enough in my opinion. 5th in a series and a directors first movie, it's not a must see movie at all, but I appreciate the effort.

Orchids Under the Moon (1991) 3/5
A deranged yakuza boss kidnaps a teen TV star he's obsessed with. Meanwhile, a former enemy who had his family slaugthered in front of him by the same syndicate 10 years ago has crossed paths with the teen girl. His paternal instincts kicks in and he goes on a mission to save her. This is like Scorsese making Who's That Knocking On My Door, a new director experimenting with finding his voice and technique. Potential genius in here, but again it suffers from a low budget. The screenplay is strong and deserved more. A scene where the protagonist runs over a gang member with his motorcycle is an example of the budget issues. It doesn't look very good. That said, there are typical Ishii moments in here with some fine camerawork. The lead actor pulls of the brooding vibe, reminicent of Clint in the 70's, and the night shots look good on screen. I suspect the movie was heavily cut, the running time is 86 mins. Overall a decent B-flick with a solid screenplay, but it seems rushed. Could have been great with a bigger budget and longer running time.

More to follow...
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Original Sin (1992) 4/5
The movie that kicked off Ishii's strong run in the 90's, this isn't his most original work. It's basically Double Indemnity set in 90's Japan, but the movie succeeds at everything it tries to accomplish. It looks great, pacing is on point, direction is sharp and the acting is generally top notch. I especially liked the performance from the actor who played the successful, alcoholic husband. Several great long takes and a wonderfully shot climax. This is the work of a director who knew what kind of movie he wanted to make and how to make it.

A Night In Nude (1993) 4/5
The protagonist is pretty much a professional stand-in who is willing to do almost whatever to make ends meet. He's hired by a woman with a dark past and of course he falls for her while trying to correct her sins. Deeply involving, the movie starts off great. The plot meanders a bit, but picks up the pace again eventually. The cinematography is fantastic throughout the whole movie and there's a brilliantly shot dream sequence. This is a lost gem, a very good crime noir that deserves a proper release on blu ray.

Alone In the Night (1994) 4.5/5
Nami's undercover cop husband is killed by the yakuza and they claim he was corrupt and stole their drugs. She sets out to infiltrate the syndicate to clear his name and get revenge, but she's in way over her head. Truly original story, it's dark, powerful, sleazy and at times tough to watch. It's also one of the better noirs I've seen. It's beyond stylish (even Michael Mann would marvel at this), has some of the best cinematography I've seen in any movie and the most important thing; I really cared about what was going on. I love this movie for the same reason I love Shot Caller, I'm rooting for the protagonist 100% of the way. The haunting score is also fantastic, similar to Gonin. The lead actress does a great job and Jinpachi Nezu delivers as usual. Highly recommended. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Gonin (1995) 4.5/5
It's a crime caper, neo noir with elements of horror. A great movie that deserves more attention. A lot of movies claim to be avant-garde, but they usually come up short in that regard. Gonin is avant-garde. It's rare to see a mainstream movie this ruthless. The only Hollywood studio examples that reaches this level of atmospheric darkness would be movies like Sorcerer, Se7en and 8mm. Kitano is always watchable no matter what he does and his role in this flick is no exception. The acting from the rest of the ensamble cast is solid. I'm reviewing the Japanese version here or call it director's cut. The UK DVD runs 10 mins shorter.

Gonin 2 (1996) 3/5
Another caper story, but with 5 women this time. It doesn't measure up to the original, but it's not a bad movie by any strech. The best thing about it is Ken Ogata's character. The movie is sometimes unfocused and it gets too crowded with many characters and it doesn't really pay off. It would have been better to have 2-3 of the females and given them more background story. An entertaining movie, but it lacks the punch of the original.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Black Angel vol. 1 (1998) 2.5/5
Typical of Ishii's movies it looks great. The action sequences are well made, but there are too many unfortunate scences that don't really belong in this type of picture. The plot isn't the most interesting either and in the hitman/hitwoman genre there are far better offerings. Pretty much a mediocre movie, but at least it has some style.

Black Angel vol. 2 (1999) 4/5
Much better than the first one, this movie has an engaging and intricate plot. It also has that stylish look with great locations and interior. Should be seen as a standalone rather than a sequel. Unlike the first, this one doesn't have any unecessary scenes and play out like an intelligent, multi-layered thriller. Susumu Terajima who has been a regular in Kitano films has a great supporting role here.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Heroes Shed No Tears (1986): 3/5

Rewatched but with the English/international version. You can see the beginnings of Woo's bloodshed classics here but the film is not as slick and there are silly 'comedy' moments. People have said the nude scenes are unlike Woo but Hand of Death (1976) has a nude scene.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Woo didn't direct any of those comedy or sexy scenes.

I hope one day a proper version of his director's cut will be released.

Rumours are a German company is working on it.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Thanks Mark :) I watched the comparison feature on the 88 Films BD and it would be interesting to see that version in full :)
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Dating Site for Married Women (人妻出会い系サイト 着信音に感じて…) (Japan, 2002) [TV] – 2/5
A man falls in love with a woman he only met after suffering an injury to his eyes. But what will happen when his eyesight returns? A decent enough premise and solid performances by Yota Kawase and Mayu Asada are unfortunately drowned by the excessive and aggressively pixelated sex scenes. One feels this could‘ve been a good film had it been less pink. Industry figures disagreed: the film was named as the 4th best of the year at the annual Pink Film Awards in 2003. Oh and the dating site? It’s so irrelevant to the storyline that it didn’t even fit in the plot summary.
Reviewed here is the R15+ version Hitozuma deai saito: Chakushin’on ni kanjite, which doesn’t seem to have an English title and which may, but is unlikely to, differ substantially from the original theatrical R-18 version Hitozuma deai saito: otto no shiranai tsuma no seiheki. There are no cuts that I could spot, but there is heavy pixel censorship that may very well have been already present in the original version.

Whirlwind of Love (恋のつむじ風) (Japan, 1969) [Streaming] – 3.5/5
A very entertaining Nikkatsu youth / romance / comedy with Chieko Matsubara as a young woman getting cold feet in her own wedding in Hokkaido. She flees to Tokyo with best friend Meiko Kaji, leaving dumbfounded groom Ryotaro Sugi alone on the altar trying figure out what the hell just happened, and who was that woman brought in by Kaji who claimed to be expecting his child? The film gets even more fun in Tokyo where Kaji (nicknamed “the hip”) and second friend Teruko Hasegawa (“the bust”) introduce good girl Matsubara (“the waist”) to psychedelic clubbing, handsome boys and foul-mouthed high school girls who are constantly talking about sex. I’m not terribly familiar with director Noboru Kaji, who was a long time assistant director at Nikkatsu prior to a brief directorial run in 1966-1969, after which he moved on to television. But this film has fantastic pacing, tons of catchy music, and solid performances everyone, including the always lovely Matsubara but especially the super energetic and mischievous Kaji. She’s only the 4th billed actress in the opening credits, but her role is probably the 2nd biggest in the film, and she’s an absolute delight on screen. Also kudos to whoever was responsible for her fashion in the film, which ranges from crazy wigs to street clothing similar to what she’d be wearing in the Stray Cat Rock films a year or two later.

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

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Lou Bloom wrote: 09 Apr 2023, 10:39 Posting my Takashi Ishii reviews here.

Love Hotel (1985) 3/5
He only wrote the screenplay, but the movie still has typical Ishii trademarks. The main character wants to kill himself after the yakuza raped his wife in front of him after failing to pay off his debts. He checks into Love Hotel with a prostitute and wants to bang her before killing her and himself. It's about scarred individuals trying to find redemption, a theme you'll see over and over again in Ishii's films. Starts off really strong, but the middle part is somewhat pedestrian. Taps more into drama/melodrama when it should focus more on intensity and atmosphere, lacked that noir feel that Ishii himself did so well later in his career. The blurred/cencored parts look ridiculous and the cinematography suffers from low budget, but I'll take into account that this was made in 1985. There's genius in here somewhere and I think it would have been a better movie if Ishii had held on to the screenplay and directed it himself during the 90's. Deserved a better execution, but overall a fine effort. Could see a modern remake in Italy or France by a director with balls.

Red Vertigo (1988) 2/5
Ishii's directorial debut is a shadow of what was to come at the height of his career, but the movie has it's moments. The ending is unusal, clever and shot well. Clearly suffers from a low budget look and feel, but the story isn't bad at all. A short running time means the characters aren't developed enough in my opinion. 5th in a series and a directors first movie, it's not a must see movie at all, but I appreciate the effort.

Orchids Under the Moon (1991) 3/5
A deranged yakuza boss kidnaps a teen TV star he's obsessed with. Meanwhile, a former enemy who had his family slaugthered in front of him by the same syndicate 10 years ago has crossed paths with the teen girl. His paternal instincts kicks in and he goes on a mission to save her. This is like Scorsese making Who's That Knocking On My Door, a new director experimenting with finding his voice and technique. Potential genius in here, but again it suffers from a low budget. The screenplay is strong and deserved more. A scene where the protagonist runs over a gang member with his motorcycle is an example of the budget issues. It doesn't look very good. That said, there are typical Ishii moments in here with some fine camerawork. The lead actor pulls of the brooding vibe, reminicent of Clint in the 70's, and the night shots look good on screen. I suspect the movie was heavily cut, the running time is 86 mins. Overall a decent B-flick with a solid screenplay, but it seems rushed. Could have been great with a bigger budget and longer running time.
Lou Bloom wrote: 10 Apr 2023, 10:55 Original Sin (1992) 4/5
The movie that kicked off Ishii's strong run in the 90's, this isn't his most original work. It's basically Double Indemnity set in 90's Japan, but the movie succeeds at everything it tries to accomplish. It looks great, pacing is on point, direction is sharp and the acting is generally top notch. I especially liked the performance from the actor who played the successful, alcoholic husband. Several great long takes and a wonderfully shot climax. This is the work of a director who knew what kind of movie he wanted to make and how to make it.

A Night In Nude (1993) 4/5
The protagonist is pretty much a professional stand-in who is willing to do almost whatever to make ends meet. He's hired by a woman with a dark past and of course he falls for her while trying to correct her sins. Deeply involving, the movie starts off great. The plot meanders a bit, but picks up the pace again eventually. The cinematography is fantastic throughout the whole movie and there's a brilliantly shot dream sequence. This is a lost gem, a very good crime noir that deserves a proper release on blu ray.

Alone In the Night (1994) 4.5/5
Nami's undercover cop husband is killed by the yakuza and they claim he was corrupt and stole their drugs. She sets out to infiltrate the syndicate to clear his name and get revenge, but she's in way over her head. Truly original story, it's dark, powerful, sleazy and at times tough to watch. It's also one of the better noirs I've seen. It's beyond stylish (even Michael Mann would marvel at this), has some of the best cinematography I've seen in any movie and the most important thing; I really cared about what was going on. I love this movie for the same reason I love Shot Caller, I'm rooting for the protagonist 100% of the way. The haunting score is also fantastic, similar to Gonin. The lead actress does a great job and Jinpachi Nezu delivers as usual. Highly recommended. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.
Lou Bloom wrote: 11 Apr 2023, 09:33 Gonin (1995) 4.5/5
It's a crime caper, neo noir with elements of horror. A great movie that deserves more attention. A lot of movies claim to be avant-garde, but they usually come up short in that regard. Gonin is avant-garde. It's rare to see a mainstream movie this ruthless. The only Hollywood studio examples that reaches this level of atmospheric darkness would be movies like Sorcerer, Se7en and 8mm. Kitano is always watchable no matter what he does and his role in this flick is no exception. The acting from the rest of the ensamble cast is solid. I'm reviewing the Japanese version here or call it director's cut. The UK DVD runs 10 mins shorter.

Gonin 2 (1996) 3/5
Another caper story, but with 5 women this time. It doesn't measure up to the original, but it's not a bad movie by any strech. The best thing about it is Ken Ogata's character. The movie is sometimes unfocused and it gets too crowded with many characters and it doesn't really pay off. It would have been better to have 2-3 of the females and given them more background story. An entertaining movie, but it lacks the punch of the original.
Lou Bloom wrote: 12 Apr 2023, 13:44 Black Angel vol. 1 (1998) 2.5/5
Typical of Ishii's movies it looks great. The action sequences are well made, but there are too many unfortunate scences that don't really belong in this type of picture. The plot isn't the most interesting either and in the hitman/hitwoman genre there are far better offerings. Pretty much a mediocre movie, but at least it has some style.

Black Angel vol. 2 (1999) 4/5
Much better than the first one, this movie has an engaging and intricate plot. It also has that stylish look with great locations and interior. Should be seen as a standalone rather than a sequel. Unlike the first, this one doesn't have any unecessary scenes and play out like an intelligent, multi-layered thriller. Susumu Terajima who has been a regular in Kitano films has a great supporting role here.
Funny agreed about Black Angel Vol. 2 being much better than Vol. 1. The first film had the feel of a rushed DTV film, whereas the 2nd film had a rather excellent screenplay.

Speaking of screenplays, I think Love Hotel is the best screenplay Ishii ever wrote. I really love that storyline, especially the ending which I think is one of the finest ever seen in any film. The ending scene also features some brilliant framing by cinematographer Noboru Shinoda, whose work I think is fantastic throughout the film (he would later also film Shunji Iwai's films). From what I recall, he filmed each individual scene with one long take, which suits Somai as he was already known for his long tracking shots.

Original Sin is a forgotten gem for sure, one of Ishii's best films. Alone In the Night in need to give another watch since I recall that being one of my least favourites... not counting Ishii's more recent films of course. Speaking of which, are you planning to review those? I'd be curious of what you thought of them?
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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I also think Love Hotel had a strong screenplay. The first hotel scene was excellent, the 2nd was great too. Strong ending, but I thought the plot meandered a bit in the middle. The taxi ride scene was great though with well written dialog. I also think the movie could have benefitted from more close-up shots, some of the shots from a far created more disassociation than in other Ishii films. I'll definitely watch it again. I think there's genius there, a fascinating story indeed.

Original Sin looks like it was adapted from a novel. I'm pretty sure the novelist had seen Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice, or both. I actually prefer Original Sin over both of those. It was just better made in my opinion. One scene that stood out is where the husband confronts his wife in the car. Fantastic acting and I'm pleased Ishii took his time to milk the tension. They should learn that shit in film school. Generally speaking, I'm no fan of fast cutting. That scene just proves it.

I gave Alone In the Night an extra half star because of the cinematography. It's shot exclusively at night and it looks gorgeous. And I loved the story, it took me off guard because it's so raw, brutal and out of the norm. I'd love to hear your thoughts when you see it again.

I'm definitely gonna watch Freeze Me and Night In Nude: Salvation. I'll post my reviews. I'm not sure about the other movies from that era. I'm not really into that S&M thing. Maybe I'll see Gonin Saga. From what I can understand, he made his best stuff in the 90's by a mile. It seems like some directors fade away, maybe they can't keep up with the times. It happened to Kazan. I saw the trailer for the next Schrader movie, it's coming out soon. Looks like he's still got it if you ask me. I'm patiently waiting for that one.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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The Chaser (rewatch): 4.25/5
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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The Chaser is a really good movie, has one of the best foot chases ever. Still waiting for that blu ray, sometimes it takes ages like it did with Memories of Murder.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Lou Bloom wrote: 19 Apr 2023, 21:39 I'm definitely gonna watch Freeze Me and Night In Nude: Salvation. I'll post my reviews. I'm not sure about the other movies from that era.
Those two are worth watching, Freeze Me especially. The rest, not really. Gonin Saga has good last 10 minutes but that's it. Hello, My Dolly Girlfriend is merely embarrassing. Sweet Whip is abysmal. Flower and Snake I've never managed to finish (and I've tried twice, about 10 years apart). The Brutal Hopelessness of Love I actually thought was kinda ok, well the 2nd half at least, but it's been long since I saw it.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Flashpoint (2007) - rewatch: 4/5
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Temptation: Eating Me (吉沢明歩 微風) (Japan, 2007) [TV] – 2.5/5
Director Osamu Sato deserves credit for being something of an artist among pink directors. His movies are heavily character driven and immensely filmic in terms of visual look. But his films also tend to come a bit short, with the exception of the charming debut work Hitozuma Boutique (2002). This film is a case in point. It’s a relatively low key drama about a girl (popular AV actress Akiho Yoshizawa) working in a tiny Italian restaurant while searching for her identity, not entirely unlike something Isshin Inudo or Shunji Iwai might have filmed for the mainstream audiences. But it all comes out a tad artificial, as if Sato and his staff just didn’t have the talent to pull it off. That being said, somewhere around halfway into the film the solid 35mm lensing and location work, as well as Yoshizawa’s spirited though not very skilful performance begun to win me over. It’s not a particularly good film, but it has a heart and some genuine attempt was put into trying to rise above the typical pink fare. Reviewed here is the R15+ version Yoshizawa Akiho: Kasukaze, which doesn’t seem to have an English title and which may, but is unlikely to, differ substantially from the original theatrical R-18 version Yoshizawa Akiho: Yuwaku – Atashi wo tabete. There are no visible cuts or mosaic that I could spot, though re-framing of sex scenes seems likely.

Histories of the Chivalrous (侠客列伝) (Japan, 1968) [35mm] – 3.5/5
Masahiro Makino's yakuza films tend to feel a bit different from the rest. While most directors followed the standard formula, Makino had his eye on period detail and sentimental human drama. Quite often one even gets the impression he wasn’t too interested in the yakuza genre at all and was merely trying to film period dramas within the studio mandated genre frame. Sometimes his approach worked well however, such as in this film. The year is 1907 and the Japanese government has outlawed gambling. The Kanto and Kansai yakuza are looking to collaborate, with Takakura’s boss Kenji Sugawara hosting a meeting between them. Jealous rival Seizaburô Kawazu pulls a Chūshingura on him and leaves Takakura’s gang turfless after Sugawara is provoked to lose his temper in public. What follows is a melancholic, genuinely touching study of outsiders. The film greatly benefits from a solid script that is more complex in terms of giri & ninjo than most of Makino's films, and essentially void of dumb comedy. There are several great scenes, such as one with Takakura asking geisha Junko Fuji to go out with his mate, only for her to confess she’s patiently awaiting long lost lover Tsuruta to return. Takakura and Tsuruta later meet, unaware they both share a connection to Fuji, and find themselves on opposite sides due to arbitrary obligations. And then there’s expelled clansman Tomisaburo Wakayama who is the film’s biggest standout as a hard-fisted monk desperate regain the clan’s acceptance! A beautiful film; one to win over even the harshest Makino critic such as myself, though it admittedly takes a good while to get moving.

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