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

Film Reviews and Release Comparisons
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chazgower01
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 09 Jul 2018, 14:50

High Risk aka Meltdown (1995, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 3/5
I have every reason to not like this movie - Wong Jing directed it, the vastly overrated Chingmy Yau is in it, Jet Li does very little martial arts, there are all of kinds of implausible things that happen and the action movie cliches are endless.
And yet, it's almost as if this movie is an unintentional parody of action movies (in particular Die Hard and Die Hard 2), or maybe even an ACTUAL parody of action movies - either way, it works for me. I've always enjoyed Jacky Cheung's over the top satirical portrayal of the 'Jackie Chan-like' character he plays in this and despite the lack of martial arts - there's a LOT of shit blowing up, bullets flying everywhere, and crazy-ass violence to make up for it (to some degree).
And you have Billy Chow (with long hair, almost unrecognizable) and Valerie Chow as additional villains, so that helps.
It's not great, it probably...no, it FOR SURE doesn't deserve a 3 out of 5, and yet, I've watched this movie maybe 7 or 8 times over the years. :dontknow:
After throwing Frankie's (Jackie Chan character) director/manager (Charlie Cho - also in heavy makeup, basically playing Willie Chan) out the window, the bad guy says, "His films were insipid and lacked cinematic merit." Wong Jing could've actually been making fun of his OWN image, but this is one of his films I actually enjoy.
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Markgway
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 10 Jul 2018, 11:30

I didn't care for High Risk.

One of Jet's poorest movies from this era.

Disagree about Chingmy Yau though.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 10 Jul 2018, 14:28

Vampire Clay (血を吸う粘土) (Japan, 2016) [VoD] - 1.5/5
There's been anticipation that special effects maestro Soichi Umezawa could be the next Yoshihiro Nishimura. Alas, that was not to be, not yet at least. This low budget idol horror fails to follow up his wild SFX showcase Y is for Youth and psychological body horror short Thorn. On the positive front side there's an almost fanatic avoidance of CGI in favour of practical effects on display here. Unfortunately the tale of desperate art students attacked by blood thirsty clay (yes!) is as boring as it gets. The film is also strangely dull in technical terms: the music is terrible, the video and sound editing lacks any punch and the ending is extended beyond any sense. It's also restrained enough in terms of splatter to have landed a G rating in Japan, though it would still equal to a soft R in the United States.

New Female Prisoner Scorpion: Special Cellblock X (新女囚さそり 特殊房X) (Japan, 1977) [DVD] - 3/5
Director Kohira seems to have learned something from his mistakes. Here he doesn't even attempt a feminine revenge tale but goes for a masculine action picture instead. This time Nami (Yoko Natsu, a model turned actress with the charisma of a mannequin) causes a power struggle between the new warden (karate villain Masashi Ishibashi) who can't get a hold of the women, a more experienced young guard (Nikkatsu's excellent youth/action star Takeo Chii) and the warden's trusted, rifle wielding hothead (rock star gone unexpectedly good youth/rebel actor Hiroshi Tachi). It's an excellent male cast that gives the film a very masculine identity. There are some dull prison clichés in first reel and Kohira still doesn't have a clue how to do surrealism (Nami getting raped by a bunch of cat men is a tragicomic example) but once the focus shifts to prison control dynamics and escape action the film delivers alright. At odds with the series identity it may be, but better this than screwing up another entry.

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chazgower01
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 11 Jul 2018, 13:35

Markgway wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 11:30
I didn't care for High Risk.

One of Jet's poorest movies from this era.

Disagree about Chingmy Yau though.
Believe me, I can't figure out why I like it either. Compared to Fist of Legend or Fong Sai Yuk it doesn't even rate. And yet... :dontknow:

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 12 Jul 2018, 11:42

Gigolo & Whore 2 (1992, Hong Kong) internet 2/5
Veronica Yip plays a gigolo pimp with Simon Yam as her main money maker. Rosamund Kwan is a rich lesbian woman (!) who takes over a company. Simon is eventually tasked with having to convince her to give up the company. Finally his kiss unlesbians her!
Veronica Yip has an unflattering hairstyle throughout but turns in her requisite two nude scenes. Rosamund Kwan and Ng Suet-Man (Raped By an Angel) do some light kissing and touching, which really surprised me, but they get interrupted before it turns into an actual love scene.
Pretty unremarkable movie considering the talent involved, but mostly watchable.
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Cash On Delivery (1992, Hong Kong) internet 2.5/5
Sandra Ng plays a frigid lawyer who falls for gigolo Simon Yam. Veronica Yip hires Simon Yam for a 3 day vacation to get her pregnant. She falls in love with Simon. But Simon falls in love with Sandra Ng. Uh, yeah. Two movies in a row where Simon Yam is a gigolo who rejects Veronica Yip.
Light fluff comedy that turns into a creepy violent stalker revenge movie in the last 20 minutes. Category III only for some light nudity, sex talk, and the little bit of violence at the end.
Veronica Yip has a nude scene. Sandra Ng thankfully doesn't.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 16 Jul 2018, 10:22

The Greatest Post-War Gambler (戦後最大の賭場) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 3/5
With all the criticism on remakes and reboots these days, it's good to remember that back in the 60s and 70s it was ok to remake a movie a mere 12 months after its release. This is a modern day re-imagining of director Kosaku Yamashita's own Big Time Gambling Boss (1968), which was a Shakespearian ninkyo yakuza tale about conflicting duties and honour. Koji Tsuruta stars again as the noble hero, Tomisaburo Wakayama is out and Ken Takakura plays the role that roughly corresponds to Wakayama's hot headed character whose friendship with Tsuruta is tested when conflicts arise. Chris D. named this as one of his favourite ninkyo films; I found the first half a bit too slow and preferred Big Time Gambling Boss, though this is decidedly more low key and quite good towards the end.

Saburai: Way of the Bohachi (忘八武士道 さ無頼) (Japan, 1974) [TV] - 2.5/5
Disappointing follow-up to Teruo Ishii's chanbara masterpiece Bohachi Bushido: Code of the Forgotten Eight (1973). Ishii mentioned in an interview that he didn't even know Toei had made a sequel. This is a blatant re-telling of the original, with Goro Ibuki playing Tetsuro Tamba's role, although it's not clear whether this supposed to be a remake or a sequel. The storyline is almost the same with many scenes playing out exactly the same way! And this came out less than a year after Ishii's film! Someone ought to ask writer Sadao Nakajima what on earth was going on in the pre-production? It still has its own trashy appeal with just as much sex and violence as Ishii's film, but it is also incoherent in characterization and lacks the style, pace, originality and superb action of Ishii's film. Aside from a couple of fun new additions (Reiko Ike as a woman dealer and Takuzo Kawatani as her abused servant in a gloriously misandric role, for once!) the film feels like a copy by a lesser filmmaker, that man being the mediocre Takashi Harada. Ibuki and Harada, however, teamed up for a better ninja sexploitation the following year, Shitakari Hanjirô: (Maruhi) kannon wo sagase, which, like this film, was based on a Kazuo Koike comic book.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 16 Jul 2018, 21:07

HungFist wrote:
16 Jul 2018, 10:22

Saburai: Way of the Bohachi (忘八武士道 さ無頼) (Japan, 1974) [TV] - 2.5/5
Was this on regular Japanese TV??? Uncut?
Man, I swear, one of these days I'm going to Japan for a few months and just to record unavailable movies off of their television!

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

Unread post by HungFist » Yesterday, 13:24

chazgower01 wrote:
16 Jul 2018, 21:07
HungFist wrote:
16 Jul 2018, 10:22

Saburai: Way of the Bohachi (忘八武士道 さ無頼) (Japan, 1974) [TV] - 2.5/5
Was this on regular Japanese TV??? Uncut?
Man, I swear, one of these days I'm going to Japan for a few months and just to record unavailable movies off of their television!
Toei Channel. Uncut of course.

Normal TV hardly even broadcasts movies these days. And just family friendly stuff. Not like in the 80s when every other TV show was full of boobs...

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » Yesterday, 13:46

Three Summers (1992, Taiwan) - Wasn't able to find this, but the trailers appear to show a straight drama, and I'm curious to see an early acting opportunity for Veronica Yip.

Summer Lovers (1992, Hong Kong) internet 2.5/5
Alfred Cheung plays a lonely guy who is obsessed with Liza (Vivian Chow). But after a pretty girl from a laserdisc magically appears from out of the TV (it's Veronica Yip) to help him, things get kind of strange. Of course, he could bang Veronica anytime, as she tries and tries, but he is committed to making Vivian his girl. Based on a Japanese manga, Yip shows some cleavage and wears some green wig, but keeps herself fully clothed, while Vivian Chow does her usual act. Loletta Lee also shows up later and provides the only real sexual energy in the whole movie.
And Alfred Cheung isn't a very likable lead though I guess he was popular with the Chinese as he had quite a long career. Moderately entertaining fluff.
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Rose (1992, Hong Kong) youtube 3/5
Maggie Cheung very much stars in this triad melodrama centered more on relationships than machismo. She's an insurance agent who gets involved with a young triad boss (Roy Cheung), after a falling out with her businessman boyfriend.
Maggie, of course, carries the film and it knows this, placing her at the center of nearly every scene so that even when it meanders, it's watchable. When it has moments of violence, it's really violent, but mostly it's about feelings or whatever, and the primarily straightforward direction makes it easy to watch.
Veronica Yip has a secondary role about her own messed up love life, and she even drunkenly sings in a local bar, looking as sexy as she ever has, without taking off any clothing.
It's a doomed romance movie, so the ending is inevitable, but in this instance, actually a bit more interesting. Maggie's character realizes THAT world is different from hers and makes the conscious decision to NOT intervene when the time comes, driven to that realization by the cowardice of onlookers who refuse to even call the police... it's as if she is suddenly accepting that the inevitable is unchangeable and that getting involved will pull her INTO that world. And she decides that the romanticized memory of what was, is more important than risking her life! Thinking like an insurance agent!
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » Yesterday, 15:55

Call Girl '92 (1992, Hong Kong) youtube 2/5
Veronica Yip in one year had successfully gone from being butt ass naked in a Category III movie (Pretty Woman) to being in a Cat II movie and not removing a stitch of clothing (Rose). Here she plays a prostitute, but being it's also a Category II movie, there's no nudity required. No 'Yiptease' necessary - she had done what Amy Yip couldn't - she had transcended her boobs. And despite having to play what few role types are available to hot women in Hong Kong movies, at least she didn't seem to have to show her naked ass everytime she wanted to work.
Still, seeing her, Carrie Ng, Cheung Man, and Cecilia Yip dressed in their classy spaghetti strapped, high cut, sexy outfits is somewhat entertaining in itself. And even though there's no new ground tread here in the 'behind the scenes lives of hookers' type movie, the eye candy is nice, and there's just enough story and acting to sit through a whole movie. Once.
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