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

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

Post by saltysam »

Master Of The Flying Guillotine 4.5/5perhaps the most insanely crazed kung fu flick ever made..and it's brilliant.hopefully thee's a top notch print out there waiting to be found of this classic.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Rape and Death of a Housewife (Japan, 1979) [35mm] – 3.5/5
This adaptation of a true story was popular among mainstream critics despite being a Roman Porno production. In fact, it even got director Noboru Tanaka nominated for the best director at the Japanese Academy Awards. In a way, that shows how open minded critics could be at that time, and how much leeway Nikkatsu could give to their best directors. Indeed, there is a minimal amount of sex for a Roman Porno production. The film is a pretty strong drama about three no-good youngsters who end up raping and accidentally killing the wife of a middle aged man who was trying to keep them out of trouble. It’s a solid film all around with an effective use of semi-documentary style. Hideo Murota is excellent as a man who mistakenly thinks he can lead the youngsters to a better life.

Abashiri Prison (Japan, 1965) [DVD] – 3/5
The first film in what is probably the most beloved yakuza film series of all time. Ken Takakura stars as tough guy sent to the Abashiri Prison, which is populated by Toei’s regular yakuza films stars (Toru Abe, Kajuro Arashi, Kunie Tanaka etc.). The opening half isn't that special, but after that the film takes off when it transforms into an exhilarating chase set in the beautiful and cold Hokkaido locations. Solid cinematography and well used ninkyo elements (although it's not really a ninkyo series) also contribute to the success. The series ran a total of 18 instalments, the first 10 of them helmed by Teruo Ishii.

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

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Whiplash 2/5 Cheng Pei-Pei kidnaps seven robbers and forces them to help rescue her father,who's trapped on a mountain after trying to protect national treasure from being stolen.i'll give it kudos for being a little different plot wise but it's not that enthralling.an ok watch.

Kung Fu Girl 3/5Another Cheng Pei-Pei starring vehicle,this one is pretty good and clearly director Lo Wei was aiming to replicate the success of Fist Of Fury here...many situations will feel familiar.the usual GH regulars pop up Han-Ying-Chieh,James Tien,Lo Wei himself....and a young Jackie Chan has a small role as a japanese bully.at nearly 2hrs it's a little overlong though. These movies are on a Shout! Factory double feature,prints are worn and faded but watchable,both mandarin only. they've also got the movie synopis's on the rear cover the wrong way round.QC at Shout! sucks it seems.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Post by Masterofoneinchpunch »

saltysam wrote:Whiplash 2/5 Cheng Pei-Pei kidnaps seven robbers and forces them to help rescue her father,who's trapped on a mountain after trying to protect national treasure from being stolen.i'll give it kudos for being a little different plot wise but it's not that enthralling.an ok watch.

Kung Fu Girl 3/5Another Cheng Pei-Pei starring vehicle,this one is pretty good and clearly director Lo Wei was aiming to replicate the success of Fist Of Fury here...many situations will feel familiar.the usual GH regulars pop up Han-Ying-Chieh,James Tien,Lo Wei himself....and a young Jackie Chan has a small role as a japanese bully.at nearly 2hrs it's a little overlong though. These movies are on a Shout! Factory double feature,prints are worn and faded but watchable,both mandarin only. they've also got the movie synopis's on the rear cover the wrong way round.QC at Shout! sucks it seems.
I watched Whiplash a couple of weeks ago. I really did not like that movie. I thought it was so poorly done and then I noticed it was the same director as A Queen's Ransom (1976). I liked the location shooting and Cheng's dancing in it, but it wasn't shot well, the acting is pretty bad (aside from Cheng), the poop/gas jokes are grimacingly bad, the pacing was awful and was pretty inept as a film in almost every department. This movie makes you appreciate Lo Wei.

Yeah it was pretty noticeable that they got the descriptions wrong on the back. I still need to see Kung Fu Girl, though I'm glad to hear you liked it more than Whiplash.

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

Post by saltysam »

i thought Whiplash was better than Queens Ransom (not hard) and Cheng Pei-Pei always adds value to anything she's in
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Kung Fu Girl >> Whiplash >> Queen's Ransom
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972-Japan) **½
Stylish opener for ultra-violent chanbara series; clumsy storytelling is less assured than artistic direction.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972-Japan) **½
Episodic sequel, ultra gory set-pieces and memorable villains help atone for lack of proper story.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Markgway wrote:Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972-Japan) **½
Stylish opener for ultra-violent chanbara series; clumsy storytelling is less assured than artistic direction.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972-Japan) **½
Episodic sequel, ultra gory set-pieces and memorable villains help atone for lack of proper story.
I think the riverside scene in River Styx (with the female assassins) is a bloody amazing scene. Absolutely love it!

Planning to watch the whole series?

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

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Roman Porno treasure hunt: Part 1

Never in the Morning (Japan, 1980) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Talented director Kichitaro Negishi is slacking here. This is a standard sex drama/comedy with a weak satirical bite that doesn't make the film much more interesting. It's about a woman who is working for an underwear company and sleeping with his boss every now and then. None of the bursting energy and style of Negishi's earlier films From Orion's Testimony: Formula for Murder (1979 and Rape Ceremory (1980) can be found here.

Pink Hip Girls: Slinking Classmates (Japan, 1982) [VoD] - 1/5
Director Koyu Ohara tries to revive the magic of his Pink Hip Girl trilogy in this unrelated but similarly titled and themed film. Unfortunately, it's a miserable attempt. The Pink Hip Girl films were energetic road movies and cute youth flicks with strong pop-art flavour despite being produced in the Roman Porno genre; this on the other hand is a tiresome city movie following four young girls making money with sex and trying to help an impotent young man become a rock-star. There's an abundance of sex, a lack of charming actresses, no striking visuals, and only a small amount of pop music. The film is not necessarily among the worst in the genre, but it is tiresome.

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

Post by Tenchu1998 »

HungFist wrote:
Markgway wrote:Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972-Japan) **½
Stylish opener for ultra-violent chanbara series; clumsy storytelling is less assured than artistic direction.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972-Japan) **½
Episodic sequel, ultra gory set-pieces and memorable villains help atone for lack of proper story.
I think the riverside scene in River Styx (with the female assassins) is a bloody amazing scene. Absolutely love it!
Agreed with HungFist!

I Love the Lone Wolf and Cub movie series. I love the way they produced them with the minimal use of lighting and the brutal rawness in contrast to the overly stylistic manga aesthetic of the movie. And I love the way they get into the mythology of Japan and the Samurai, and the movie itself depicting this adventurous world in a mythological manner. All these characters, the stories, the adventure! All of these ideas I think make the series one of the best in the genre to come out of Japan, in my opinion. And Tomisaburô Wakayama is just so intense, swift and deadly as Ogami Itto! The battle sequences are so quick and brutal, and it all just blends so well with the excessive comic book style. I love it. Just love it!

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

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HungFist wrote:I think the riverside scene in River Styx (with the female assassins) is a bloody amazing scene. Absolutely love it!
I'm trying to remember that scene... is that when the female assassin throws her hat as a weapon and there are killer vegetables? :D
Planning to watch the whole series?
Yes.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Markgway wrote:
HungFist wrote:I think the riverside scene in River Styx (with the female assassins) is a bloody amazing scene. Absolutely love it!
I'm trying to remember that scene... is that when the female assassin throws her hat as a weapon and there are killer vegetables? :D
Yep, that's the one.
Markgway wrote:
HungFist wrote:Planning to watch the whole series?
Yes.
Excellent!

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

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Roman Porno treasure hunt: Part 2

Captured for Sex 2 (Japan, 1986) [VoD] - 1/5
A young couple's car breaks down in the middle of a forest. A nice man comes for rescue and takes them to his house, but for this being a pink production he of course turns out to be a manic kidnapper with a taste for sexual torture. This is a minor cult classic of sorts, for reasons that go beyond my understanding. It's little more than a violent porn film with non-existent cinematic merits, a sort of sexual version of the Guinea Pig series but without the humour, scares, or the special effects. It does , however, sport a somehow nostalgic 1980s smut feel to it. That doesn't help much when the film is an utter bore. Released in Nikkatsu's Roman X series, which was a short lived hardcore spin-off of the Roman Porno series.

I Can Feel It (Japan, 1976) [VoD] - 1/5
Here's an early attempt at Koyu Ohara style perky youth cinema within the pink genre. Unfortunately director Shin'ichi Shiratori wasn't up to the challenge. There's a decent attempt at spicing things up with pop music, but the poor writing and underwhelming performances undo the effect. There is no reason to care about any of the characters, including newcomer Jun Izumi, who didn't have the charm required to play a lovely virgin girl. In the end, the film is little more than a standard sex comedy.

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

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Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades (1972-Japan) **
Less stylish, slightly less bloody entry shows a Spaghetti Western influence at odds with a very Japanese mindset - lots of talk of loyalty and honour that doesn't chime with western sensibilities (in one scene he slaughters a gunman who tries to rescue his son!). There's more story than before, but it's hard to follow and the Lone Wolf character seems particularly impenetrable here, both literally and figuratively - he protects one damsel, but ignores the murders of two others.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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He protects the woman because of his sentimental connection to the mysterious scripture on the piece of wood she was carrying on her. He had no such connection to the other 2 women.

I like the story in this one. It shows Feudalism at its most irrational. You know, during Feudalism, the Samurai had to obey his lord no matter how bad decisions the lord would make, even if it would get everybody killed in the end. And a lot of stupid lords got a lot of Samurai killed unnecessarily, simply by making lots of stupid decisions, not to mention being corrupt. The story of the Ronin is a good reflection of this - he actually made a very practical decision and acted swiftly to prevent his clan and his lord to get slaughtered, and yet he was expelled for going against the code of Samurai conduct, or whatever.

This is what I meant earlier I really like with the series - how this is so well depicted and reflected upon in this mythological way.

'Hagakure' is a very good book to understand some of these things.

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Tenchu1998 wrote:He protects the woman because of his sentimental connection to the mysterious scripture on the piece of wood she was carrying on her. He had no such connection to the other 2 women.
Not very heroic though, is it? I get that Lone Wolf is a killer for hire, but his unique morality is somewhat alien to me. I find that to be a very Japanese thing...
I like the story in this one. It shows Feudalism at its most irrational. You know, during Feudalism, the Samurai had to obey his lord no matter how bad decisions the lord would make, even if it would get everybody killed in the end. And a lot of stupid lords got a lot of Samurai killed unnecessarily, simply by making lots of stupid decisions, not to mention being corrupt. The story of the Ronin is a good reflection of this - he actually made a very practical decision and acted swiftly to prevent his clan and his lord to get slaughtered, and yet he was expelled for going against the code of Samurai conduct, or whatever.
Yeah, I understood that part. :D
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Tenchu1998 wrote:...
'Hagakure' is a very good book to understand some of these things.
As I wrote in my book review in the Asian Book thread Mark "... Hagakure. But the book was an idealized account of bushido written in a peaceful time. It is not the only book on the topic (see Bushido Shoshinshu by Taira Shigesuke)" So take reading it judiciously. But it is still quite a fascinating read. I would also add The Book of Five Rings (1645/1974) by Miyamoto Musashi trans. Victor Harris and Bushido: The Soul of Japan (1905) by Inazo Nitobe.

So you get a jist of the book here are my favorite quotes from Hagakure:

Hagakure (The Book of the Samurai) by Yamamoto Tsunetomo -- Translated by William Scott Wilson

1st Chapter:
“By brining shame to a person, how could one expect to make him a better man?”
“Purity is something that cannot be attained except by piling effort upon effort.”
“This person is aware of the endlessness of entering deeply into a certain Way and never thinks of himself as having finished.”
“Matters of great concern should be treated lightly.” – Lord Naoshige
“Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.” – Master Ittei
“If we were to cast aside every man who had made a mistake once, useful men could probably not be come by.”
“A man who has never once erred is dangerous.”
“A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.”
“If one perceives a person’s good points, he will have a model teacher for anything.”
“…one should not hesitate to correct himself when he has made a mistake. If he corrects himself without the least bit of delay, his mistakes will quickly disappear.”
“The Way of the Samurai is in desperateness.” – Lord Naoshige
“Common sense will not accomplish great things.” – Lord Naoshige
“First intention, then enlightenment.” – Buddhist maxim
“In seeking correction from others, you excel them.”
“…if you are slain in battle, you should be resolved to have your corpse facing the enemy.”
“The way of the Samurai is one of immediacy, and it is best to dash in headlong.”

Chapter Two
One should constantly give the impression that he is doing something exceptional.”
“The end is important in all things.”
“…the Way of the Samurai is, morning after morning, the practice of death.”
“Even if one’s head were to be suddenly cut off, he should be able to do one more action with certainty.”
“With martial valor, if one becomes like a revengeful ghost and shows great determination, though his head is cut off, he should not die.”
“It is foolish to live within this dream of a world seeing unpleasantness and doing only things that you do not like.”
“A person of little merit is not at peace but walks about making trouble and is in conflict with all.”
“It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream.”
“Nothing you do will have effect if you do not use the truth.”
“…martial valor is a matter of becoming a fanatic.” – Lord Aki
“The Tea Ceremony will cleanse the mind when the mind is clogged up.”
“If you praise a person, people’s hearts will change and an ill reputation will go away of itself.”
“For trifling occasions it is better to accomplish things simply by yelling.”
“To put forth great effort in correcting a person’s bad habits is the way it should be done.”
4th Chapter
“…the monk pursues courage with the warrior as his model, and the warrior pursues the compassion of the monk.”
7th Chapter
“A man’s life should be as toilsome as possible.” – Kichinosuke
8th Chapter
“…a real stalwart is a man who will go out secretly, saying nothing, and die.”
“…people become imbued with the idea that the world has come to an end and no longer put forth any effort. This is a shame.”
10th Chapter
“Of people who regard water lightly, many have been drowned.”
“It is not a good idea to praise people carelessly. When praised, both wise and foolish become prideful. To praise is to do harm.”
11th Chapter
“…while ornamentation on armor is unnecessary, one should be very careful about the appearance of his helmet. It is something that accompanies his head to the enemy’s camp.”
“Among the words spoken by great generals, there are some that were said offhandedly. One should not receive these words in the same manner, however.”
“…if a person who is thought of as having a gentle disposition does even a slightly good thing, he will be praised by people.”

Vows from Late Night Idle Talk
“Never to be outdone in the Way of the Samurai.”
“To manifest great compassion and to act for the sake of Man.”

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

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Is it just me or is HKMDB becoming more intrusive with their advertising?

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

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Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Is it just me or is HKMDB becoming more intrusive with their advertising?
I don't know. I was too busy buying home insurance.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

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Markgway wrote: Not very heroic though, is it? I get that Lone Wolf is a killer for hire, but his unique morality is somewhat alien to me. I find that to be a very Japanese thing...
Yeah, it's alien to me, as well. But I like seeing stories I don't quite understand.
Markgway wrote:
Yeah, I understood that part. :D
Yeah, I know. I just mentioned it to mention one concrete example of how I think these movies bring out Japanese mythology really well.

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

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Roman Porno treasure hunt: Part 3

Women In Heat Behind Bars (Japan, 1987) [VoD] - 1/5
Not much to write about here. I usually give even bad movies a chance to impress me by paying attention at least for the first third, but this one I could barely get through the first five minutes without resorting to fast forward. It's a women in prison movie with almost nothing but sex. It was filmed on 35mm for being a Roman Porno, but it feels much more like a 1990s shot-on-video cheapo. Horrible, just horrible.

Delicate Skillful Fingers (Japan, 1972) [VoD] - 4/5
This debut feature by Tooru Murakawa apparently almost killed his career by setting the standard too high. The storyline, penned by Tatsumi Kumashiro, follows an innocent girl on the streets of Tokyo. She falls for a pickpocket who is soon arrested and never seen again. The guy's friend (cult rocker / actor Ichiro Araki) then takes his place and teaches her into the business. It's basically a bit old fashioned morality tale, but directed with a stunning level of cool. Murakawa does excellent job capturing the spirit of the era and the soundtrack is a standout. Much of the movie was filmed on the streets of Shinkuku, which also gives it a fresh feel compared to most other Roman Pornos. Indeed, upon its release it was praised as sensational leap from sex cinema to respectable youth cinema. The fame seems to have been too much for Murakawa, who quit two movies later. His career, however, was resurrected in the late 1970s when he begun to helm (mostly mediocre) Yusaku Matsuda action pics for Toei.

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

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Five Shaolin Masters 4/5 Excellent Shaw Brothers film from Chang Cheh with a fantastic cast including David Chiang,Ti Lung,Fu Sheng,Meng Fei, Beardy and many more.Even Gordon Liu has a cameo. the german blu ray is of superb quality except for a one second sequence in the credits which is clearly taken from an sd source.
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Roman Porno treasure hunt: Part 4

Love Bandit Rat Man (Japan, 1972) [DVD] - 2/5
A poor house servant becomes a sex thief in Chusei Sone's period film, which is a sexploitation version of a popular Japanese Robin Hood tale. It's not too bad a film, but it's hardly an exhilarating one. The flashback structure, in which the captured thief tells his story while being tortured, works pretty well, the production values are fine, and there are some imaginative sequences, such as one that is made to look like black & white 8mm film, but none of it stands out as being especially exciting. In the end it's more of a case of "not bad for Roman Porno" than a genuinely good movie. Sone had much more success in the period movie genre later the same year with the very funny and cute Secret Chronicle: Prostitute Market.

Pink Curtain (Japan, 1982) [DVD] - 2/5
Here's an interesting but ultimately underwhelming attempt at trendy roman porno drama. The catch is a brother falling in love with his sister who moves in with him into a small Tokyo apartment. Unfortunately the scenario doesn't really go anywhere as the film spends way too much time on sub-plots involving third party characters and packs an overload of sex scenes - a typical pink film symptom. That being said, the stars (Jun Miho and Masahiko Abe) have some chemistry despite the performances not being award-worthy by any means, and director Yasuaki Uegaki includes occasional energetic moments camera movements, pop music and manga influences. But in the end, it feels more like a pink film with some potential buried underneath it than the other way round. It's by no means a match for Koyu Ohara's Pink Hip Girl (1978), which could be a comparison point of sorts.

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Markgway wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Is it just me or is HKMDB becoming more intrusive with their advertising?
I don't know. I was too busy buying home insurance.
Seriously though are you seeing the chitika ads? It's the only site that I visit that has them.

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

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Masterofoneinchpunch wrote: Seriously though are you seeing the chitika ads?
What's that?

I see a ton of annoying popups.
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