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

Unread post by HungFist » 25 Oct 2018, 16:55

The Viper Brothers: 18 Extortion Threats (まむしの兄弟 傷害恐喝十八犯) (Japan, 1972) [DVD] - 2/5
Part 4. Sugawara tries to overcome a traumatic experience of getting in bed blindfolded with a girl who turned out to be an old granny. Later he and Kawaji try to settle down in a neighbourhood harassed by businessman yakuza Bin Amatsu. Very little to remember here. Like many of the Abashiri Prison sequels, this series seemed to be running on the fumes of its star power - which the audience did not mind. Four plus one more films were to come.

River's Edge (リバーズ・エッジ) (Japan, 2018) [BD] - 3/5
Set in early 90s Japan, ironically soon playing at Tokyo International Film Festival's "Japan Today" series. Bullies, bulimia, secret gay relationships and a slaughtered cat... with its "shocking story", digital image and amateurish "talking to the camera" scenes it feels like a j-dorama director going big screen - something you shouldn't feel with experienced Isao Yukisada. Perhaps this is Japan(ese cinema) Today indeed. That being said, it is captivating with its dramatic story, surprisingly graphic sex, good performances and the always watchable Fumi Nikaido. Oh and did I mention she goes nude in the film? Good for us. Also, shot in 1.37:1. You don't see that often these days.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Oct 2018, 14:53

The Viper Brothers: Jail - Living for 4 1/2 Years (まむしの兄弟 刑務所暮し四年半) (Japan, 1973) [DVD] - 3/5
Part 5. Delightful start with Tatsuo Endo as a nice guy prison guard! How many times have you seen that? He does mention he's a former inmate for having killed 4 men but oh well. The rest of the film isn't half bad either. Kosaku Yamashita, well past his prime by 1973, manages some characterization that reminds of his 60s films and come with surprisingly moving results. Sugawara and Kawaji's chemistry is even more evident here than usual, the storyline is alright if melodramatic, and we got Kyosuke Machida (henchman) with cool beard and the always good Tsunehiko Watase (young hood) on board as well. One of the best films in the series.

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Call Boy (娼年) (Japan, 2018) [DVD] - 4/5
This film's got to have the longest, relatively most realistic sex scenes in any mainstream film. It's also another terrific, emotionally brutal and ultra-realistic film by the most interesting director in Japan, Daisuke Miura. The opening alone is great: a handsome university student is picked up by a seductive older lady. When they get to her place, the gist is revealed: he's not to have sex with her but her mute daughter, while she watches. She's also the owner of a call boy service to which he is soon hired. This is an adaptation from Miura's own stage play - a world where he gained notoriety for his abusive directing methods aimed at bringing the best out of the cast, and whether you approve his methods or not, the performance are once again terrific (as they were in his romantic-comedy-gone-punk Boys on the Run and modern-day-Roman-Porno with style and psychological depth to boot Love's Whirlpool). I hesitated seeing Call Boy for its lower tech looking visuals, but the otherwise stylish camera work, New York jazz score and superb character realism overcome it. The realism is partially relative, though, with perhaps a bit too much AV influence to the slick sex scenes (though you could argue that`s exactly what the young Japanese are influenced by in real life) and half of the customers being in the Ami Tomite / Yuki Sakurai / Kokone Sasaki (all Sion Sono actresses, btw) range of burning hot, and the rest including Daiei star Kyoko Enami (!), now in her mid 70s, in an unexpectedly sweet role. All that's quite ok, this IS cinema after all.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 26 Oct 2018, 23:47

Vengeance of a Snow Girl (Lo Wei, 1970) - 2/5

Lavish period adventure in which the lovely Li Ching is a young woman out to avenge her parents death (and cure her hypothermia).

Found it quite slow in parts. Mostly it's done in a serious manner too, but later in the film our heroine/hero have to retrieve a magic pearl from a volcano (!) while dressed in tin foil, which certainly reminds you when the film was made :) There are some OK fights and swordplay stuff for the time.
The ending of the film is quite a sad moment :(

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 28 Oct 2018, 16:57

The Accidental Spy (2001, Hong Kong) haiuken.com 3.5/5
Jackie uses a familiar formula - regular guy thrown into chaotic situation/two hot co-stars - but scriptwriter Ivy Ho (Comrades, Almost a Love Story, The Age of Miracles) actually helps give this some suspense and structure. I actually wanted to know what was going to happen next and was interested in the characters. It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but it's more watchable than anything he's done as a Modern setting Hong Kong movie since... Crime Story?
Even Eric Tsang played a character that didn't annoy me.
Jackie plays a regular guy who thought he was an orphan his whole life, only to discover an old man who was a spy that MAY be his father. The clues his 'father' gives him before he dies, lead him to an international crime organization in Turkey where he becomes the center of interest between them, a village of Turks, and the CIA.
For his two female co-stars, he again chooses an unknown with no experience, Kim Min-Jeong, a pretty Korean (I'm assuming based on appearance only) who plays a reporter (or so we think) and a former Category III starlet, Vivian Hsu, who is very convincing in her portrayal of the character she plays. Very attractive too - don't think I'm familiar with anything she's been in.
There are some surprises and some twists to this, that makes it more interesting than the same old formula - this isn't joking and having fun Jackie - he's very serious through most of it, lending an air of real danger to when he's attacked - people die - and his character doesn't always make the right decision, and those choices cost him.
I was entertained by this more than anything of Jackie's in the last 8 years out of Hong Kong, and scriptwriter Ivy Ho (who also did the story for Gorgeous) should be... nope. It was the last she'd work with Jackie. In fact, Jackie would be off making two movies with Owen Wilson and wouldn't put out another HK movie until late 2003.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 28 Oct 2018, 21:18

I enjoyed Accidental Spy, need to watch it again some time :) Reminded me a bit of 'Who Am I' or the Armour of God films :)

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 29 Oct 2018, 02:40

Shanghai Noon (2000, USA) Amazon Prime 2.5/5
I'd never seen this movie from beginning to end, as I always seemed to fall asleep through it. My son loves both of the films in this, but... I just didn't know. Watching it now.... well, I took a nap halfway through it.
Grossing just slightly more than the Tuxedo would, this was one of the lesser successful of Jackie's USA made movies, and I still can't figure out what he needed a $55 million budget (about $80 Million in today's dollars) for some of these movies.
I like Owen Wilson better than Chris Tucker, but Jackie's answer to Once Upon a Time in China and America just isn't all that great. It has some funny moments, but whoever filmed these fight scenes didn't do the film any favors. It lacks the punch of even one of the Rush Hour movies. Many of the action scenes are with an accompaniment of a rock song (AC/DC's Back in Black, ZZ Top's La Grange, etc.)
Jackie plays a Chinese Imperial Guard in 1881 who is sent to America to rescue Princess Pei Pei (Lucy Liu) who was kidnapped by some bad guys for ransom.
The finale is the best thing about it, as Jackie uses a variety of weapons and they actually use longer stationary shots where we can actually see his abilities at work.
Not terrible, but this is one movie that could've used Jackie's character being a little more humorous.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 29 Oct 2018, 11:21

Who Am I? >>> Rush Hour
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 29 Oct 2018, 16:02

The Night Comes for Us (Indonesia, 2018) [Netflix] - 2.5/5
Stylish but hollow martial arts gore actioner. Perhaps I'm getting old, but this reached the point where the constant ultra-graphic violence towards both heroes and villains ceased to be enjoyable or hard hitting, and just got nauseating. This feels more like "torture porn action" than the good old "ultra violent action" (anything from Sonny Chiba to Lone Wolf and Cub or Versus) which were relatively clean-cut in their bloody but cartoonish violence. Here the focus is on pain, graphic detail and pieces of flesh being cut off from human bodies. The action itself is quite well filmed, largely lacking the shakycam, CGI overdose and editing issues that you'd find in the Raid films. There are also some exciting bits that rely more on fight choreography than gore, like Julie Estelle`s final fight. You do wish, however, that they had gotten a bit more out of the characters/storyline (esp. Taslim vs. Uwais with its honor/brotherhood tension) as the potential was there. The missed opportunity somewhat reminded me of the director's earlier film Killers, which was very entertaining but largely wasted its psychological potential.

The Flying Guillotine (Hong Kong, 1975) [Netflix] - 3.5/5
Great concept, enjoyable action and one good pair of boobs. What more could you ask for (ok, maybe two pairs of boobs)? A good reminder that one good idea can take you far, and milking that one idea for 90 minutes can bring more memorable results than scratching five on the surface like too many modern (and some old) action films try to do.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 29 Oct 2018, 17:54

Markgway wrote:
29 Oct 2018, 11:21
Who Am I? >>> Rush Hour
What is it you actually liked about 'Who Am I?' Everytime someone spoke a line of dialogue in that movie I winced in pain.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 31 Oct 2018, 02:00

chazgower01 wrote:
29 Oct 2018, 17:54
What is it you actually liked about 'Who Am I?' Everytime someone spoke a line of dialogue in that movie I winced in pain.
Yeah, the acting in WHO is atrocious, but then Rush Hour has Chris Tucker....

I enjoyed the action, stunts, locations, humour, personality.

It's simple stuff, sure, but probably the last Jackie movie that feels like it belongs to the classic era (not that the film itself is a nailed-on classic).

Gorgeous was a pleasant rom com (but not a 'Jackie' film in the traditional sense) and The Accidental Spy (although technically his last Golden Harvest film) didn't have any of the magic; it's passable though, and I bought it more out of completion.

I haven't bought any of Jackie's work between 2001's SPY and 2017's The Foreigner (very good, but again far from a typical 'Jackie' film).
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 31 Oct 2018, 09:35

Markgway wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 02:00
chazgower01 wrote:
29 Oct 2018, 17:54
What is it you actually liked about 'Who Am I?' Everytime someone spoke a line of dialogue in that movie I winced in pain.
Yeah, the acting in WHO is atrocious, but then Rush Hour has Chris Tucker....
I think he is definitely the measuring stick to people's feelings on that movie. I didn't mind him, I thought he teamed with Jackie well. But I can see how some people aren't keen on him.
Markgway wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 02:00
I enjoyed the action, stunts, locations, humour, personality.

It's simple stuff, sure, but probably the last Jackie movie that feels like it belongs to the classic era (not that the film itself is a nailed-on classic).
Interesting... yeah I can see how it'd be the last of the era. I find the action, stunts, humour, etc. to be indiscernible from any of the others though.
Markgway wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 02:00
Gorgeous was a pleasant rom com (but not a 'Jackie' film in the traditional sense) and The Accidental Spy (although technically his last Golden Harvest film) didn't have any of the magic; it's passable though, and I bought it more out of completion.
Watching all of these in a row made me happy to see him change up his style of movie from the traditional sense, but it had to surprise people at the time, for sure.
Markgway wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 02:00
I haven't bought any of Jackie's work between 2001's SPY and 2017's The Foreigner (very good, but again far from a typical 'Jackie' film).
I'm a bit worried about what I have coming up... haven't really seen but parts of most of these later movies...

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

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Nov 2018, 15:34

The Decoy (脱獄囚) (Japan, 1957) [35mm] - 3/5 
Small scale, widescreen Toho thriller about a detective (Ryo Ikebe) whose wife is being targeted by an escaped prisoner (Makoto Sato). The detective decides to go with it and use his wife as a decoy. Although slightly hampered by the usual hostage clichés (the ladies in peril bungle up every escape attempt), it's a solid film and the second half is quite good with Sato invading the neighbor's house, taking them as hostage and stalking his target from distance. Ikebe makes a good old school lead, a bit too handsome for the role but the unshaven beard compensates.

New Abashiri Prison Story - Vagrant Comes to a Port Town (新網走番外地 さいはての流れ者) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 2/5
Part 3 in the “New” series. There comes a point in the Abashiri Prison series where you start wondering just how many times the audiences were be willing to pay ticket price just to hear Takakura's theme song and enjoy his charisma in otherwise mediocre pictures. It's also a reminder that these weren't cult cinema or anything like that, they were mainstream in the purest. This film is the same affair as the rest, with a fisherman theme this time. Takakura's theme song and the chilly white landscapes are the assets, the story and characters are not.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 05 Nov 2018, 22:39

The Medallion (2003, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 1.5/5
I'm honestly at a loss to explain this movie - for some reason, I thought throughout that it was an American made film and thus, understood how poorly it underused Jackie's abilities... but the truth is... Jackie officially got old, and in the course of making a movie clearly aimed at KIDS, he came up with something even less entertaining.
There's more wire work, poor fighting, bad humor - it's not even bad humor, it's just not funny or amusing - all of it is worse than anything Jackie had done up to this point. This makes me appreciate the Lucky Stars characters, or Fantasy Mission Force and even 'Who Am I?'. It's that lame. It earned a whopping $22 Million in it's U.S. release and got an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Yikes.
Christy Chung is wasted in her role, but is smoking hot for the 10 minutes or so she's on the screen, and Claire Forlani is somewhat amusing to watch doing martial arts and giving Jackie those 'fuck me' eyes throughout the entire movie. She either was completely infatuated by him, or she's an incredible actress. Uh, yeah.
Ok, then. THAT's everything good about the movie.
As per Jackie's current state of films, you either LIKE his male bonding co-star (who he never really bonds with in this, despite some of the 'gay' jokes) or you don't and personally, I'm not a big fan of Lee Evans. I don't DISLIKE him or anything, he's just not funny in this at all, or useful, or entertaining. Julian Sands as the bad guy is... well he's Julian Sands. You've seen him play this part numerous times throughout his career.
It says Sammo Hung was the Action Director on this and I pray that there isn't anyone who's only shot they gave to watching a Jackie Chan movie was THIS, and decided, "Well that Sammo guy can't direct an action scene to save his life!"
A complete waste.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 06 Nov 2018, 03:18

The Medallion was the US version of Highbinders right? Maybe that's better? I don't think I've seen it (or don't remember).

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 06 Nov 2018, 15:33

grim_tales wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 03:18
The Medallion was the US version of Highbinders right? Maybe that's better? I don't think I've seen it (or don't remember).
From what I understand there is an additional 20 minutes to the movie.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 06 Nov 2018, 16:52

The 'Highbinders' cut never got released.
Some of the deleted scenes are on the DVD, IIRC.

Not a good film, but surprisingly I didn't hate it.
It's hard to hate even Jackie's poorer films.

Only time I've liked Evans in a film was in a little seen thriller called Freeze Frame.
And I wish Claire would look at me like that... ;)
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 11 Nov 2018, 05:02

Opium and the Kung Fu Master (Hong Kong, 1984) [Netflix] - 3/5
Good kung fu, bad comedy and some truly cringe worthy acting. Always nice to see fighters under the influence, however, Drunken Master in Drugs this is not. Instead it goes for the line "Master, the opium, IT'S EVIL!"

Not Asian, but I'll out it here anyway:

Tokyo Idols (Canada/UK, 2017) [Netflix] - 3.5/5
Very enjoyable if partly entry level documentary excels with an intimate portrayal of both the girls and the fans. What is truly surprising, especially from a foreign (Canada-UK) financed doc, is its non-judgemental approach which sets it apart from the usual cultural crusaders. The doc lets the viewer draw his own verdict. Indeed, it is interesting to see how many foreign reviewers have seen it as a critical expose while I was impressed by how sympathetic it allowed its characters to come through. As a former part time otaku (who used to have real size Aya Ueto poster on his wall, among all other Aya-chan stuff) I can relate to (most) of these fans living a happy fantasy more than the people telling them to wake up and live a miserable reality instead.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 11 Nov 2018, 05:13

What does otaku mean?
Opium and the Kung Fu Master was a really good movie, interesting to see how it uses a real historical event in the story

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

Unread post by HungFist » 11 Nov 2018, 05:18

grim_tales wrote:
11 Nov 2018, 05:13
What does otaku mean?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otaku

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 11 Nov 2018, 12:24

HungFist wrote:
11 Nov 2018, 05:02
Tokyo Idols (Canada/UK, 2017) [Netflix] - 3.5/5
Very enjoyable if partly entry level documentary excels with an intimate portrayal of both the girls and the fans. What is truly surprising, especially from a foreign (Canada-UK) financed doc, is its non-judgemental approach which sets it apart from the usual cultural crusaders. The doc lets the viewer draw his own verdict. Indeed, it is interesting to see how many foreign reviewers have seen it as a critical expose while I was impressed by how sympathetic it allowed its characters to come through. As a former part time otaku (who used to have real size Aya Ueto poster on his wall, among all other Aya-chan stuff) I can relate with (most) of these fans living a happy fantasy more than the people telling them to wake up and live a miserable reality instead.
Agreed. I also like how it told some of the girls side of it too, where you can see their insecurities, struggles to meet success, the worries toward such extreme worship of them - all just as non-judgemental. A really well done documentary.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 11 Nov 2018, 12:34

Around the World in 80 Days (2004, USA) Amazon Prime (2.5/5)
As a Disney movie this is pretty enjoyable - as a Jackie Chan movie it's also pretty enjoyable, but none of it is must see repeated viewing or anything that must be added to his highlight reel. This is Jackie in modern times, and I suspect it won't get much better from here. He's earned it - now making movies based upon his name and possible draw. I was talking to a 24 year old waitress recently who told me, "I love Jackie Chan!" and when I asked what movies of his she liked, this is one of them she named...
If I sound downbeat about it, I guess I am a little - though Jackie is still Jackie - if you like him onscreen, that personality and infectious, frantic behavior is still here to see, so maybe I just need to accept it and enjoy it for what it is. The days of beating up Dick Wei dressed up as a pirate leader are long gone.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 12 Nov 2018, 14:48

The Viper Brothers: Extortion Plot for 3,000,000 Yen (まむしの兄弟 恐喝三億円) (Japan, 1973) [DVD] - 3/5
Part 6. Another really funny opening with Sugawara just out of prison (every film in the series starts this way) and having to hitch hike a ride with a group of vacationing grannies. This was Norifumi Suzuki's entry in the series, and it shows. The humour is lowbrow, women fall in love with their rapists, and the film is uneven with several early scenes directed on auto pilot. There's also great action, good laughs, more boobs than in any other film in the series, and just when you least expect it Suzuki pulls out genuinely touching characterization with gangster's subordinate Hiroki Matsukata, a discriminated man of Chinese ethnicity, always reminded that he's no better than a dog. There's great sadness behind his superficially cool sunglassed look, skilfully conveyed by Matsukata.

Yakuza vs. G-Men: Decoy (やくざ対gメン 囮) (Japan, 1973) [Netflix] - 4/5
Ruthless drug dealer (Hiroki Matsukata) is busted and forced to become a mole for an equally ruthless undercover cop (Tatsuo Umemiya) in a stylish, little known gangster film gem. Void of any comic relief, the film is bad to the bone with unmistakable jitsuroku aesthetics - even if it's entirely fictional. Writer Koji Takada and director Eiichi Kudo examine the honour/brotherhood tension between two bad men (the cop is so deep undercover that, except for his superiors who have also grown suspicious of him, everyone treats him as a gangster and he behaves accordingly) without going too over the top, and the film does exceptional job capturing the pulse of the city and streets. Bunta Sugawara has a great supporting role as Chinese (!) drug boss. The film's main flaw? It actually feels too short at 93 minutes!

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

Unread post by HungFist » 16 Nov 2018, 09:28

Two Champions of Shaolin (Hong Kong, 1980) [Netflix] - 2.5/5
Watchable but instantly forgettable Chang Cheh / Venoms film with decent fighting, great closing, worthless storyline and the Venoms being their usual uncharismatic selves. I'm not even sure who were supposed to be the two champs; the film is swarming with Shaolin men.

Impudent Vixen (Abazure) (あばずれ) (Japan, 1966) [TV] - 3/5
Entertaining Yusuke Watanabe / Mako Midori drama about a naive young girl who joins the circus and becomes a token for the male performers. For the most part, this feels old fashioned yet daring at the same time, a melodrama with bubbling-under sexuality and bizarre circus setting stylishly filmed in black and white almost like a film noir. The final reel is less impressive, with conservative and perhaps underlyingly misogynist end. Midori is good despite overacting, but it's Kyosuke Machida who shines as a lecherous trapeze artist lurking at young girls.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 21 Nov 2018, 12:06

The Lone Stalker (ひとり狼) (Japan, 1968) [DVD] - 3.5/5
Classic matatabi film with Raizo Ichikawa as a nihilist lone wanderer. The storyline is a bit too centred on exposing the main character's back story (as opposed to wandering) but the emotional climax is surprisingly powerful. As an added bonus the film teaches you the tabinin's guesthouse etiquette. Extremely useful. One of Ichikawa’s last films before his untimely death in 1969 at the age of 37.

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HungFist wrote:
12 May 2017, 16:21
Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (Japan, 1972) [35mm] - 4.5/5
HungFist wrote:
13 May 2017, 07:31
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at River Styx (Japan, 1972) [35mm] - 5/5
HungFist wrote:
17 May 2017, 07:20
Lone Wolf and Cub: Babycart in the Land of Demons (Japan, 1973) [35mm] - 4.5/5
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades (Japan, 1972) [35mm] - 5/5
- https://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums ... es#p178408

Lone Wolf and Cub: Babycart in Peril (Japan, 1972) [35mm] - 4.5/5
- https://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums ... es#p178412

Lone Wolf & Cub: White Heaven in Hell (Japan, 1974) [35mm] - 4.5/5
- https://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums ... es#p178425

35mm motherfucker! Life goal achieved.

Last year's reviews still apply, hence links.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 24 Nov 2018, 15:47

Hero (Hong Kong, 1997) [Netflix] - 3.5/5
Zany early 1900s Shanghai epic and Corey Yuen remake of Boxer From Shantung with fun action and awesome production values, maybe one of the last breaths of that 90s Hong Kong cinema insanity that was soon be lost. Takeshi Kaneshiro is the lead, Yuen Biao co-stars. Biao has never been one to associate with charisma, but he does fine job here portraying an honourable gang boss.

Theater of Life - New Hishakaku Story(人生劇場 新・飛車角) (Japan, 1964) [35mm] – 3.5/5
A loose remake and expansion of the second Theatre of Life film (1963), devoting its entire running time to Tsuruta searching for his lost love Yoshiko Sakuma after returning from war. He hooks up with a bunch of travelling strippers and their manager (Hiroyki Nagato) in an attempt to locate her. This is an epic tale steadily if not exceptionally handled by Tadashi Sawashima, with Koji Tsuruta being the perfect man to play Hishakaku. The film’s most memorable part - aside marring Tsuruta with strippers - is the unusually realistic and prolonged final fight. The film, like its predecessors, was more or less based on Koyo Ozaki's novel which in turn was a fictionalized and romanticized account of gangster Hikoichi Ishiguro (Noboru Ando mentioned the real person was nothing like the noble film hero). There was a relatively successful attempt in 1974 to de-romanticise the tale for the jitsuroku era with True Account of Hishakaku: A Wolf's Honor and Hunanity. Sawashima's films however remain the most remarkable versions, with the 1st movie often considered the primary work that modelled the ninkyo genre and launched its popularity.

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