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

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Shingster
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Unread post by Shingster » 18 Apr 2008, 14:09

Yi-Long wrote:The problem with A Better Tomorrow and The Killer is that they aged really bad. The hairdo's, the outfits, etc... it just all looks like crap. It's lame.

ABT is still a great movie, but The Killer is just meh, also partly because of the horrible Danny Lee, and some of the other poor acting performances...

I think Hard Boiled is Woo's best, and A Bullet in the Head is awesome as well...
Your argument is completely nonsensical, The Killer is only 3yrs older than Hard Boiled and HK did not go through some massive cultural fashion change in those years. ABT does seem a tiny bit more dated than the other Woo classics, but there really is very little difference in look between all his 80s/early 90s films. Besides, i'm willing to bet any westerner not familiar with HK films would watch Hard Boiled and swear blind it was an 80s film based on the music and fashions.

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Yi-Long
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Unread post by Yi-Long » 18 Apr 2008, 14:18

Shingster wrote:
Yi-Long wrote:The problem with A Better Tomorrow and The Killer is that they aged really bad. The hairdo's, the outfits, etc... it just all looks like crap. It's lame.

ABT is still a great movie, but The Killer is just meh, also partly because of the horrible Danny Lee, and some of the other poor acting performances...

I think Hard Boiled is Woo's best, and A Bullet in the Head is awesome as well...
Your argument is completely nonsensical, The Killer is only 3yrs older than Hard Boiled and HK did not go through some massive cultural fashion change in those years. ABT does seem a tiny bit more dated than the other Woo classics, but there really is very little difference in look between all his 80s/early 90s films. Besides, i'm willing to bet any westerner not familiar with HK films would watch Hard Boiled and swear blind it was an 80s film based on the music and fashions.
Maybe. I just know that in ABT and The Killer the clothes etc bother me more than they do in Hard Boiled. Hard Boiled is 'cooler'.

I love A Better Tomorrow... but I just think Hard Boiled and BITH are better.
The Killer is OK. Cant say I'm a huge fan. The big OTT white suit, the sunglasses, Danny's horrible acting, etc... it all doesnt help. But obviously it does have some great scenes in it.
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Unread post by HungFist » 18 Apr 2008, 15:05

Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (Japan, 2006) – 2,5/5
Miike goes arthouse, with mixed results. If you watch this with an overly cynical attitude you’re bound to hate it; Miike seems to be more interested creating art than substance. Although praised as homo erotic love story by some, the psychological handling is somewhat tenuous. At the same time any other kind of characterization is completely missing. This is due to Miike’s unwillingness to take the traditional, easy path of storytelling. The attempt is ambitious, but the puzzle like structure actually takes two viewings to work (which was the case here). You still have to be able to forgive some overly pretentious scenes but if you have the will and concentration the film does deliver a lot of interesting brainwork. Visually Big Bang Love, Juvenile A, or 4.6 Billion Years of Love as the japanese title goes, is quite satisfying. Especially the lighting is used interestingly. The ending is also excellent. A slightly far out, but ultimately fitting comparison piece for the film would be Nagisha Oshima’s Gohatto (also starring Ryuhei Matsuda), which dealt with similar themes and symbolic imagery, but did it far more succesfully.

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bradavon
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Unread post by bradavon » 18 Apr 2008, 17:55

Yi-Long wrote:The problem with A Better Tomorrow and The Killer is that they aged really bad. The hairdo's, the outfits, etc... it just all looks like crap. It's lame.
Personally that didn't bother me at all.

Both ABT and ABT2 have large sections worth it's frankly boring (obviously IMO!). The massive section where Dean Shek in ABT2 goes mad really got on my nerves, even if it wasn't Woo who wanted this.

The Killer doesn't have this problem as such. I just don't think it overall works. I'm not really sure why, it just didn't work for me.
HungFist wrote:Aging is a highly positive thing, not a flaw at all. Old movies are supposed to reflect the ideas, fashion and technology of their own time. That's a part of their charm.
Agreed.

For example I love the 80s look and sound in Manhunter. It makes it a better film not worse one.

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Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 18 Apr 2008, 18:12

bradavon wrote:For example I love the 80s look and sound in Manhunter. It makes it a better film not worse one.
Me too. I also find the movie's "bad" synth-pop tracks very charming and endearing.

ABT2 is such an uneven film. The action scenes (especially the finale, fucking excellent filmmaking) and Chow's "rice is people" scene make it entirely worthwhile though.

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Yi-Long
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Unread post by Yi-Long » 18 Apr 2008, 18:16

Yeah, for some movies it works, but for some it somehow doesnt. At least, that's the way it is for me.

But The Killer is pretty OTT, and the villains are over the top, and the lame acting and dialogue at times doesnt help. I dont know, but in The Killer it bothers me more than in some other movies. Must be the white pimpsuit, sunglasses and toothpick... ;)
Even in that era, being dressed like that would be a bit OTT.

When it's true to the era, it doesnt bother me. When they exaggerate it, I guess it gets in the way of taking it seriously. Maybe that's it.
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Unread post by bradavon » 18 Apr 2008, 18:26

The ABT2 finale is excellent but otherwise meh.

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Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 18 Apr 2008, 18:26

Yi-Long wrote:Yeah, for some movies it works, but for some it somehow doesnt. At least, that's the way it is for me.
...
When it's true to the era, it doesnt bother me. When they exaggerate it, I guess it gets in the way of taking it seriously. Maybe that's it.
Still entirely your problem, not the film's.

You'd probably have a hard time sitting through "The Warriors", even though it's a terrific film.
Last edited by EvaUnit02 on 18 Apr 2008, 18:32, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread post by bradavon » 18 Apr 2008, 18:27

The Warriors is good. I'd imagine Eva's comment is directed at Yi.

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Unread post by Lourdes » 18 Apr 2008, 23:08

I agree with Yi, I really liked Hard Boiled but The Killer just feels so naff and dated in comparison.

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Unread post by Markgway » 19 Apr 2008, 00:56

The Killer is still a classic. End of. 8)
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Yi-Long
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Unread post by Yi-Long » 19 Apr 2008, 01:00

Star Wars is also a classic, but that doesnt mean it isnt shite... :D
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Unread post by bradavon » 19 Apr 2008, 02:02

Star Wars Shite? :|

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Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 19 Apr 2008, 04:18

Because you know, George Lucas is such a talented writer. Especially his dialogue.

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Unread post by grim_tales » 19 Apr 2008, 09:13

Markgway wrote:The Killer is still a classic. End of. 8)
Agree 100% with you Mark 8)

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Yi-Long
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Unread post by Yi-Long » 19 Apr 2008, 12:03

grim_tales wrote:
Markgway wrote:The Killer is still a classic. End of. 8)
Agree 100% with you Mark 8)
Be carefull while sitting down, Mark. Grim's face might still be attached to your ass...

:D
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Unread post by grim_tales » 19 Apr 2008, 15:50

*Grim runs for cover*

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Yi-Long
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Unread post by Yi-Long » 19 Apr 2008, 17:12

grim_tales wrote:*Grim runs for cover*
Ah... I see you're familiar with Mark's ass...
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Unread post by HungFist » 20 Apr 2008, 00:34

Zegen (Japan, 1987) – 3,5/5
A nationalistic adventurer tries to save Japan’s economy by running a brothel ring in China in Shohei Imamura’s early 20th century set satire. Although still not short (125 min) this time the director has managed to drop all unnecessary scenes from the movie. The film remains interesting and funny - although not in a laugh out loud kind of way - from start to finish. Ken Ogata’s performance as a man who never quite realizes ridiculousness of his own ideology is excellent.

Tony Takitani (Japan, 2004) - 4,5/5
Quoting my Tokyo Marigold review, films like this really make modern cinema worth watching. Ichikawa’s directing is pretty much flawless. It does have a habit of making normal movies seems a bit unexciting and amateurish, though.

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Unread post by Markgway » 20 Apr 2008, 02:16

Yi-Long wrote:Be carefull while sitting down, Mark. Grim's face might still be attached to your ass...

:D
Didn't think there'd be room what with Michelle Reis already smooching it. 8)
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Unread post by Ivan Drago » 24 Apr 2008, 14:08

King Kong Vs Godzilla (1962) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sku8_fkFQyc

Condemned for far too many years to its awful US version, this third entry in the Godzilla films (and the first in colour) is a fun monster flick, with surprising intentiional comic sequences involving the human characters. The monster suits aren't up to toho's usual high standard - Kong in particular is especially slapdash - but they are still great fun and loveable as always. Cracking music score by Akira Ifukube as usual

Toho's DVD is rather poor and not really worth it unless you're nuts about the film. Tons of edge enhancement, colour bleeding and artefacting suggest an old video master, despite the fact it is anamorphic. The 4.0 and 5.1 versions of the original Perspecta stereo are clunky and distorted. And no English subs. I must be nuts spending £20+ on this!

The Universal US and UK DVDs are much better technically (and a lot cheaper!) but the US version seriously compromises the original film by cutting down the Japanese original, replacing nearly all of the original score with stock Universal music cues, and worst of all, adding endless and awful exposistion in the form of new scenes featuring the UN news channel* in the form of reporter Eric Carter, his Japanese counterpart and some crackpot scientist! Argh the agony!

Those who complain about Weinstein have no idea how far we've come in handling Asain films!

4/5 - Japanese version
2/5 - US version

* Theres a reason why TV new isn't in Cinemascope!
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Unread post by HungFist » 26 Apr 2008, 12:48

Flash Point (Hong Kong, 2007) – 3/5
Flash Point isn’t a bad movie at all, it just suffers in comparison to its predecessor, which is superior on every area. Flash Point has worse cast (only Kent Cheng has some charisma), worse action (and also cat II this time) and a complete lack of good villains. Donnie Yen’s limited acting talent becomes very obvious when he doesn’t have better actors around him to cover his back. That being said Flash Point is still a moderately stylish and entertaining action thriller. The closing is excellent, too. But on director Wilson Yip’s career it’s yet another proof that SPL was just a lucky hit for him.

Soul of Chiba (Japan - HK - Thailand, 1977) – 4/5
Zero Woman director Yukio Noda’s legendary Thailand vacation also goes by the name Soul of Bruce Lee. Monkey fighters, electroshock karate training, slow mo fight scenes, Bolo Yeung and other things that make a good movie are all included. Nice soundtrack and a bit cheapish but fitting old school feel as well. The english dub could be a bit confusing at times, though. Took me an hour before I realized the mysterious killer "Someone" was actually ”Sam Wan”... I think. Maybe. Shinichi Chiba stars, and karate cutie Etsuko Shihomi plays flute! Great film.

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Unread post by bradavon » 26 Apr 2008, 18:08

Is SPL CATIII? I didn't know that. Are many HK MA films CATIII?

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Unread post by HungFist » 26 Apr 2008, 18:42

bradavon wrote:Is SPL CATIII? I didn't know that.
Yep, SPL is cat III. Not for rapes, not for triads, but for martial arts violence.
bradavon wrote: Are many HK MA films CATIII?
No, not many. A few exploitation / horror films that have martial arts in them, and some films that got the rating because of politics (triad content etc.) are all I can think of. But Mark and Ken should be able to tell us more.

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Unread post by bradavon » 26 Apr 2008, 18:43

Thanks Hung.

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