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 » 08 Oct 2018, 15:30

1996

The Hong Kong Box Office's regression is in full swing by this point....

1. HK $57,518,794.00 Police Story 4: First Strike (Jackie Chan) (#5 ATBO)
2. HK $36,051,899.00 Forbidden City Cop (Stephen Chow)
3. HK $25,218,130.00 Tri-Star (Tsui Hark)
4. HK $22,493,617.00 Young and Dangerous II
5. HK $21,115,357.00 Young and Dangerous
6. HK $20,837,056.00 Shanghai Grand
7. HK $19,495,558.00 Young and Dangerous 3
8. HK $17,330,091.00 First Option
9. HK $16,243,515.00 The Age of Miracles (Alan Tam)
10.HK $13,847,368.00 The Scripture With No Words (Jet Li)


HK $13,286,788.00 Black Mask (Jet Li)
HK $11,615,085.00 Viva Erotica (Leslie Cheung)
HK $11,013,726.00 Those Were the Days
HK $09,771,575.00 Big Bullet

HK $02,621,660.00 Beyond Hypothermia
HK $01,578,700.00 Ebola Syndrome
HK $01,163,320.00 Ah Kam (Michelle Yeoh)

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 09 Oct 2018, 23:51

Shaolin Wooden Men (1976): 3.5/5

This was pretty good, considering it was made before Jackie became a really big star (Drunken Master etc). The story is above average and the action is good. Apparently this is meant to be in Mandarin, but the HKL DVD is in Cantonese.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 10 Oct 2018, 14:20

grim_tales wrote:
09 Oct 2018, 23:51
Apparently this is meant to be in Mandarin, but the HKL DVD is in Cantonese.
Yeah, should be Mandarin since it's 1976. HK cinema didn't switch to Cantonese until 1978. I don't know the details though. Did it happen overnight or how? Mark or Ivan could probably shed some light on this?

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

Unread post by Markgway » 11 Oct 2018, 05:34

Golden Harvest made the switch in 1977 with The Iron-Fisted Monk.

Went from there, really.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 11 Oct 2018, 14:25

Zatoichi and the Fugitives (座頭市果し状) (Japan, 1968) [BD] - 3.5/5
Good, darker than usual entry with a powerful ending. This was made soon after Zatoichi the Outlaw (there was one film in between) and in its depiction of Zatoichi's vulnerability it feels like a follow up of sorts. Takashi Shimura (likeable noble doctor) and Kyosuke Machida (one of the titular fugitives) provide good support. I haven't paid much attention to Machida in his Toei films, but he's pretty good here.

Modern Yakuza: Loyalty Offering Breakdown (現代やくざ 盃返します) (Japan, 1971) [DVD] - 1.5/5
Slow moving and quite frankly boring part 3. Dodgy boss Koike orders loyal and clueless Sugawara to stab another boss, who is actually a pretty decent man with a rational son (Hiroki Matsukata). Sugawara eventually comes to realize this. Oddly enough, this is a ninkyo film rather than anything even remotely resembling the modern, soon-to-come jitsuroku films. Should've been called "The Conservative Yakuza" instead.

Note: this is part 3, not part 4 like Chris D claims (he mistakenly included Outlaw of Shinjuku in the series). The series then continued with Sadao Nakajima's Three Cherry Blossom Blood Brothers (1971) and what is the best known film in the series, Fukasaku's Street Mobster (1972).

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 11 Oct 2018, 15:26

Angel 2 (aka Iron Angels 2) (1988) Amazon Prime 2.5/5
An early movie of Director Stanley Tong (Here he's the Action Director), this sort of a sequel (minus Oshima Yukari unfortunately) has Moon Lee, Elaine Lui and Alex Fong returning as the Iron Angels, on a vacation in Malaysia that turns into a mission.
The opening sequence, showing them completing a mission shows some promise, but very quickly they're on the way to Kuala Lumpur and we get mostly an hours worth of character study - Fong meets two of his long time guy buddies (one of whom is investigating the other) and they drink and end up in a ladyboy bar in a lame fight. We find out the friend who IS being investigated, is very rich and has some weapons smuggling going on as he plots to take over the world. Elaine Lui falls in love with him, he kidnaps the investigating friend, the others find out what's going on...
Wait, did I forget that Moon Lee is in the movie? The producers apparently did! She has one decent fight, during the last 15 minutes of the finale and other than that she plays second place to Elaine Lui, who this time actually does some stunts and machine guns some bad guys. Still... the lack of action for a good part of this movie slows it down.
Despite all of this, and one of the most melodramatic endings ever, I can't help but enjoy these characters and these movies. It wouldn't be hard to spice up... a little more sex appeal, a little more fighting, and... a little more Moon Lee!

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 11 Oct 2018, 22:17

Angel III (aka Iron Angels 3) (1989, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 3/5
This might be the best AND the worst of the Angel films. At times I thought some stuff was so goofy… I just couldn’t help but keep watching.
We get exactly what the series needed - more Moon Lee than in Angel 2 - and her fights are really good. Her battle after getting discovered sneaking around the castle with 50 guards is amongst the best I’ve seen her in.
And we’re not going to see Moon naked or anything like that - but she has a scene where she’s forced to completely strip and put on new clothing (as a security precaution by the female guard) that adds some welcome sex appeal to the series. We don’t necessarily need any Category III nakedness here, but a little bit of sexuality doesn’t hurt.
She has a good four fights in the first hour of the movie, and it's good to see her really let loose. Her skills here are in fie display and we even get some nunchucks action from her.
Problem is, she pretty much disappears from the film for the last 30 minutes of it.
The bad guys are colorful and over the top - from the Thai ruler to his female hench lady with a mini alligator (or whatever it is) for a pet - sometimes they’re laughable, but most definitely watchable.
Gone is Elaine Hui from the first two movies and in her place is… Ralph Chan??? Kharina, who made her debut in the previous movie is back as ‘Angel 21’, but she doesn’t do much. So that leaves our Angel team fighters as Moon, Alex Fong (who's always pretty impressive fighting), and… Ralph. Two of the main three Angels fighting in this movie are DUDES.
Still… in the finale as Alex and… Ralph come flying into battle with Jet Packs (!)… and then proceed to beat the crap out of everyone, I couldn’t help but enjoy it.
It’s fun, but a little goofy at times, but Moon’s scenes make it the best of the series yet.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 12 Oct 2018, 19:39

Markgway wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 05:34
Golden Harvest made the switch in 1977 with The Iron-Fisted Monk.

Went from there, really.
Shaws held out mostly until 1979, depending on the genre. They topped the 1973 box office charts with the Cantonese House of 72 Tenants.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 12 Oct 2018, 22:39

Yeah, the Hui Brothers comedies were also popular throughout the decade, but until '77 there was precious little in the way of Cantonese martial arts.

Shaws were a little behind the curve compared to Golden Harvest, as they were in most things.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 13 Oct 2018, 19:11

Be-Bop High School: Koko yotaro koshinkyoku (ビー・バップ・ハイスクール 高校与太郎行進曲) (Japan, 1987) [DVD] - 3/5
Part 3. Miho Nakayama is gone (replaced by Izumi Igarashi from Shojo Commando Izumi, playing similar character in similar manners), and so is the plot. The film works even without them, however. The soundtrack and the action, particularly towards the end, are once again highly enjoyable. By this film Toru Nakamura and Kojiro Shimizu had reached pretty respectable levels as action performers (as mainstream actors), and there are several bits of inventive choreography that puts many real martial arts movies to shame. There's some great humour as well (including a particularly funny scene with jealousy struck Shimizu trying to deal with a girl choosing another guy over him), and the 1st, 2nd and n'th panty shot in the series (just mentioning) which may or may not been a factor in making this the 8th most popular domestic film at the 1987 box office.

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Be-Bop High School: Koko yotaro kyoso-kyoku (ビー・バップ・ハイスクール 高校与太郎狂騒曲) (Japan, 1987) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Part 4, the first one that is sort of bad... yet sort of good. You can clearly sense the "anything goes" approach where no joke is too bad as long as it helps fill in the running time and not too much care has been put into ensuring every scene is as good as the previous one. The film is also surprisingly, and regrettably, sadistic in places. Yet, the characters are still awesome and there are many good/funny bits so you can't help but to be entertained most of the time.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » Yesterday, 03:37

Knockabout (1979, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 4/5
Half way through what appears to be a goofy comedy along the lines of Jackie Chan's Drunken Master or Fearless Hyena (the latter of which had come out two months earlier), it suddenly does an about-face and becomes a deadly serious drama (though it continues some goofiness throughout).
Hong Kong movies, of course, are no stranger to these type of multi-genre mash-ups, but here it works surprisingly well, even if behind the scenes we know it's two of Jackie's friends specifically trying to emulate his success.
BUT, Yuen Biao's training scenes might actually be BETTER than anything Jackie's done - and even though the final showdown starts out looking almost EXACTLY as Jackie would've done it, once Sammo joins in, it becomes its own unique fight that's maybe as good or better than what Jackie was doing during this same time period.
This is most definitely Biao's movie, and he delivers.
He stars with Leung Kar-Yan as his brother, who scam people and try to lazily make their way through life. But in trying to scam an old man who proves to be their superior, they decide to have him teach his kung fu to them so they can use it to their advantage. Sammo plays a blinking beggar who ends up helping (and training) Biao when things go horribly wrong.

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

Unread post by HungFist » Yesterday, 10:10

chazgower01 wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 15:26
Angel 2 (aka Iron Angels 2) (1988) Amazon Prime 2.5/5
chazgower01 wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 22:17
Angel III (aka Iron Angels 3) (1989, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 3/5
I wouldn't mind seeing these some day. Is that US Amazon Prime? Do they have proper transfers and original language?

I have the 1st film on HK DVD... Mei Ah if my memory serves me correct.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » Yesterday, 15:40

HungFist wrote:
Yesterday, 10:10
chazgower01 wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 15:26
Angel 2 (aka Iron Angels 2) (1988) Amazon Prime 2.5/5
chazgower01 wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 22:17
Angel III (aka Iron Angels 3) (1989, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 3/5
I wouldn't mind seeing these some day. Is that US Amazon Prime? Do they have proper transfers and original language?

I have the 1st film on HK DVD... Mei Ah if my memory serves me correct.
Yes, it's the US Amazon Prime - not sure the status elsewhere. Angel 2 is an original language with English subs, but 'Iron Angel 3' is a horrible English dub that is at times hilarious. Both appear to be complete, though I'm not 100% sure of that.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » Today, 01:27

Magnificent Bodyguards (1978) rewatch: 3.5/5

Decided to watch this again (deciding to thin my collection), this is entertaining, surprisingly good fights and a couple of plot twists - there's even a song. It looks like it had some old-school 3D (?) shots here and there which look odd now.

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