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

Film Reviews and Release Comparisons
User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 23 Sep 2018, 14:14

Twin Dragons (1992, Hong Kong) youtube 3/5
Got a little ahead of myself with Crime Story.... In January of 1992, BEFORE Police Story III, Jackie made a benefit movie for the Hong Kong Directors Guild, co-directed by Ringo Lam and Tsui Hark. It's the ultimate Jackie Chan vanity project, as he gets to play two characters who each woo a different pretty lady!

Twins (both played by Jackie) who had been separated at birth find their contrasting career paths - Hong Kong auto repair technician mixed up with the mob vs New York City concert pianist - converging, with hilarious (depending on your point of view) results.

The two love interests - Maggie Cheung, who looks prettier than ever here and Nina Li Chi (Jet Li's wife, who is amazingly hot) help make the movie a lot more fun, as they both have a good time with the role. Also helping, if you're a fan of HK cinema, are all of the cameo appearances to try and spot.

It's pretty average (thankfully they mostly phase out Teddy Robin Kwan after the first one third of the movie), and has its moments, but it's nothing you haven't seen before. The finale in the Mitsubishi factory is entertaining.

Image Image

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10609
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

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

Unread post by HungFist » 25 Sep 2018, 15:16

Be-bop High School (ビー・バップ・ハイスクール) (Japan, 1985) [DVD] - 3.5/5
I had little interest in this series until a guy who owns a movie bar in Tokyo (with a torn up Wolfguy poster on the bathroom door!) told me it's a ton of fun. He was right. This was one of the pinnacles of Japanese 80s pop culture, merging the delinquent boy comic book action popular since the 70s with the 80s idol and high school action formulas (Sailor Suit and Machine Gun, Sukeban Deka etc.). Toru Nakamura and Kojiro Shimizu play hard-fisted high school kids who go against gang leader Hitoshi Ozawa who has turned the school into a yakuza training camp. It's a lot of fun with attitude, cool soundtrack, not-too-silly comedy, hard-punching action and cutie Miho Nakayama (Rebellion League of Girls in Sailor Uniform). Takashi Miike's Crows Zero films were the modern versions of this. Director Hiroyuki Nasu had been making music video influenced Roman Pornos (e.g. The Warriors rip-off Virgin nanka kowakunai, 1984) but this mainstream film finally let him shine. Co-writer Machiko Nasu (who also debuted at Nikkatsu with the excellent A Girl's Pleasure: Man Hunting, 1977), was his wife.

Be-bop High School: Koko yotaro elegy (ビー・バップ・ハイスクール 高校与太郎哀歌) (Japan, 1986) [DVD] - 3.5/5
Not a bad sequel. While there's initially a bit less kick to the action/pop/comic book mix, and it lacks some of the lean story of the first film, it makes up for it with an insanely fun action finale full of crazy stunts and street fighting. There's also a nice addition of ass kicking school girls (both sukeban and more casual variety) that spice up the film. Slightly inferior to the first film, but the fun is still there in plenty.

Image Image

User avatar
grim_tales
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 21689
Joined: 25 Oct 2004, 18:34
Location: St. Albans, UK

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 26 Sep 2018, 14:36

chazgower01 wrote:
23 Sep 2018, 14:14
Twin Dragons (1992, Hong Kong) youtube 3/5
Got a little ahead of myself with Crime Story.... In January of 1992, BEFORE Police Story III, Jackie made a benefit movie for the Hong Kong Directors Guild, co-directed by Ringo Lam and Tsui Hark. It's the ultimate Jackie Chan vanity project, as he gets to play two characters who each woo a different pretty lady!

Twins (both played by Jackie) who had been separated at birth find their contrasting career paths - Hong Kong auto repair technician mixed up with the mob vs New York City concert pianist - converging, with hilarious (depending on your point of view) results.

The two love interests - Maggie Cheung, who looks prettier than ever here and Nina Li Chi (Jet Li's wife, who is amazingly hot) help make the movie a lot more fun, as they both have a good time with the role. Also helping, if you're a fan of HK cinema, are all of the cameo appearances to try and spot.

It's pretty average (thankfully they mostly phase out Teddy Robin Kwan after the first one third of the movie), and has its moments, but it's nothing you haven't seen before. The finale in the Mitsubishi factory is entertaining.

Image Image
I also thought Maggie was incredibly pretty, with her peaked cap and overall look :)
When I first saw Crime Story, I didnt like it much, as I wasnt used to "serious" Jackie at all and it was dubbed. When I saw it in Cantonese I liked it more.
Police Story III... now there's a great movie. Must see that again someday. Hope it comes to BD in a good edition soon

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 26 Sep 2018, 17:45

HungFist wrote:
25 Sep 2018, 15:16
Be-bop High School (ビー・バップ・ハイスクール) (Japan, 1985) [DVD] - 3.5/5

Be-bop High School: Koko yotaro elegy (ビー・バップ・ハイスクール 高校与太郎哀歌) (Japan, 1986) [DVD] - 3.5/5
I need to add these to my list!

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 26 Sep 2018, 22:55

Project S (aka Super Cop 2) (1993, Hong Kong) youtube 3/5
A sequel of sorts to Super Cop 3 (you certainly don't need to see one to see the other), it stars Michelle Yeoh, once again as Captain 'Jessica' Yang, a tough people's army cop... but who isn't too tough to fall in love. Yeah, there's a love story here as well, but it works out in a different way. I had forgotten about Yeoh's passionate tongue kiss with her boyfriend in this - the usually reserved actress' character is quite smitten by this guy.

Many of the usual suspects are here - Stanley Tong would come back to direct, Bill Tung as the Inspector, Dick Wei naturally as a bad guy (he's especially evil here), Mars (with a Moe Howard haircut) has a cameo, and they even have Oshima Yukari in a cameo as one of the bank robbers in the opening scene. And of course, there's Jackie Chan and Eric Tsang's cameo in drag during a bank robbery, where Jackie saves the day and while talking to his boss says, "You're sending me to America? Not again!"

Essentially this movie is the opposite of SC3, in that the mainland cop (Yeoh) has to come to Hong Kong to help with a case. It's clearly made as a movie for her, but whereas she was the added ingredient to make SC3 better, here she has to carry it all on her own, and the movie just isn't good enough to support that. When she fights, it's good - her battle with the giant dude in the finale is a highlight. When she does a stunt it's good - taking a 20+ foot jump from a rooftop, and landing on her feet. There's just not enough of it to make up for the slow parts. Still worth seeing for her, just not as great as it could've been.

Image

User avatar
grim_tales
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 21689
Joined: 25 Oct 2004, 18:34
Location: St. Albans, UK

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 27 Sep 2018, 07:08

I found the ending of this movie really quite touching and sad :(

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Sep 2018, 09:37

grim_tales wrote:
27 Sep 2018, 07:08
I found the ending of this movie really quite touching and sad :(
Yeah, I guess it's kind of an interesting angle considering who he is...and Yeoh's reaction is quite well done.

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 28 Sep 2018, 04:10

City Hunter (1993, Hong Kong) haiuken 2/5
Jackie Chan plays Japanese Manga Detective Ryo Saeba in a (it had to happen sooner or later) Wong Jing (Written and) Directed 'City Hunter'. City Hunter is quite the ladies man as well, so he's surrounded by lots of lovely ladies - there's skinny Joey Wong as his secretary, 19-year-old Japanese model Gotoh Kumiko, Wong Jing regular Chingmy Yau, and surprisingly voluptuous for a Chinese actress Carol Wan.

Jackie helps to try and keep things interesting, but this is a Wong Jing movie through and through, maybe even MORESO than usual. It's one bad joke after another (though I did notice only one AIDS joke), and I wouldn't even call it sophomoric humor, but rather grade school humor. And just when you think it can't get any more stupid, it does. On top of that - a lot of people get killed in it - I'll be the last person to complain about imaginary movie violence - but here it just seems out of place.

And of course, there's the well known 'Street Fighter' scene with Gary Daniels as 'Ken' and Jackie as 'E. Honda' - which DOES make me smile each time I see it, but then Jackie becomes Chun Li and it just gets weird. As eye candy, this movie is slightly amusing - as a comedy, it's purely dumb - and as an action movie it's the lamest thing he's done yet in his 'modern period'. I've purposely not watched this in 20+ years. The finale fight with Richard Norton is one of the few highlights.

Notes: *After 1993, Joey Wong wouldn't make another movie until 2001. *Michael Wong has a short cameo at the beginning as City Hunter's deceased partner and best friend. *This is one of only 3 movies Richard Norton did with JC (I'm counting TTLS), though it seems like there was more. *Reportedly, Jackie disowned this movie and him and Wong Jing apparently butted heads on the set - Wong Jing's silly 'High Risk' was a blatant spoof of Jackie Chan as an action star.

Image
Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 28 Sep 2018, 11:27

1993 Hong Kong Box Office

The money in the Top Ten went down over HK $65 Million from the year before, as Stephen Chow seemed to cool, Jackie Chan made two of his least 'Jackie Chan-like' movies, Chow Yun Fat went on hiatus and John Woo left for America.
That helped Jet Li, who's Fong Sai Yuk became his highest charting movie with his Once Upon a Time in China III finishing at #5, though he would have a string of much less successful films in 1993 as well.
Two surprises at #2 'All’s Well End’s Well Too' and #3 'C’est La Vie Mon Cheri' in a list usually dominated by a handful of stars.
The return of Michelle Yeoh seemed to have a bigger impression on Western audiences than in Hong Kong as her 5 movies combined would gross just enough to out-gross Stephen Chow's #1 'Flirting Scholar'.

1993

1. HK $40,171,804.00 Flirting Scholar (Stephen Chow)
2. HK $35,481,480.00 All’s Well End’s Well Too
3. HK $31,149,673.00 C’est La Vie Mon Cheri
4. HK $30,762,782.00 City Hunter (Jackie Chan)
5. HK $30,666,842.00 Fong Sai Yuk (Jet Li)
6. HK $27,540,561.00 Once Upon A Time in China III (Jet Li)
7. HK $27,439,331.00 Crime Story (Jackie Chan)
8. HK $25,776,004.00 Fight Back to School III (Stephen Chow)
9. HK $23,463,120.00 Eagle Shooting Heroes
10. HK $23,013,797.00 Fong Sai Yuk II (Jet Li)

HK $21,929,420.00 Rose Rose I Love You (Veronica Yip)
HK $21,562,580.00 The Mad Monk (Stephen Chow)
HK $19,874,595.00 He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Father
HK $19,869,359.00 Bride With White Hair
HK $18,294,196.00 Future Cops (Andy Lau)
HK $18,178,129.00 Last Hero in China (Jet Li)
HK $15,763,018.00 Untold Story (Anthony Wong)

HK $12,564,442.00 Tai Chi Master (Jet Li)
HK $11,301,790.00 Once Upon A Time in China IV
HK $10,437,757.00 Kung Fu Cult Master (Jet Li)
HK $9,817,166.00 Holy Weapon (Michelle Yeoh)
HK $9,507,475.00 Heroic Trio (Michelle Yeoh)
HK $9,337,853.00 Project S (Michelle Yeoh)
HK $09,167,960.00 Butterfly and Sword (Michelle Yeoh)
HK $05,229,134.00 Heroic Trio 2: Executioners (Michelle Yeoh)
HK $2,934,838.00 3 Days of a Blind Girl (Veronica Yip)
HK $??? Raped By An Angel (Wong Jing)
HK $??? Run and Kill (Simon Yam)


* Once again, my sources of information are limited, so any info on these numbers is appreciated!
Last edited by chazgower01 on 29 Sep 2018, 04:37, edited 1 time in total.

Ivan Drago
Hail the Judge!
Posts: 2208
Joined: 16 Mar 2005, 23:05

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 28 Sep 2018, 12:07

Jet Li isn't in Once Upon A Time In China IV

Iron Monkey only made 6 million according to HKMDB!
bradavon wrote:
but I guess you're more intelligence than me.

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 29 Sep 2018, 04:43

Ivan Drago wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 12:07
Jet Li isn't in Once Upon A Time In China IV

Iron Monkey only made 6 million according to HKMDB!
Whoops! Thank you!

Yeah, I'm surprised by some of the movies and what they did at the HK box office vs the Western perspective of them. Jackie Chan's highest grossing film is Police Story 4: First Strike!

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10609
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

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

Unread post by HungFist » 30 Sep 2018, 13:59

New Abashiri Prison Story (新網走番外地) (Japan, 1968) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Part 1 in the reboot series. This initially looks like it's going to break new ground with Takakura sent not to Abashiri Prison but a US/JP joint military prison camp in snowy Abashiri, governed by American guards and packing international prisoners like Osman Yusuf! Unfortunately the segment only runs 20 minutes after which it's sunshine and standard yakuza plotting in Honshu for the rest of the pic. There is a cool ending though with Takakura raiding the villain headquarters with hand grenades and sword, earning himself a ticket to you know where.

New Abashiri Prison Story: Harbour Duel (新網走番外地 流人岬の血斗) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 2/5
Part 2. Weak summer-set entry with a handful interesting scenes, including strange opening with Toru Yuri breaking the fourth wall and introducing the film and cast. Later we get bare-assed Takakura in a bath fight - I'm not sure how many girls got their kicks out of it, but nice to see it wasn't just the ladies who had to strip. Finally, there's a beautiful, poignant closing scene. Not very much for a severely over-long (typical to director Furuhata) 109 minute film. One additional note: Takakura's character is worse behaving, a bit less chivalrous than usual here.

Image Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 30 Sep 2018, 15:55

HungFist wrote:
30 Sep 2018, 13:59
New Abashiri Prison Story (新網走番外地) (Japan, 1968) [DVD] - 2.5/5
New Abashiri Prison Story: Harbour Duel (新網走番外地 流人岬の血斗) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 2/5
It's amazing how much mileage they got out of this idea. How many total movies did they make within the 'Abashiri Prison' concept?

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10609
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

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

Unread post by HungFist » 30 Sep 2018, 16:29

chazgower01 wrote:
30 Sep 2018, 15:55
HungFist wrote:
30 Sep 2018, 13:59
New Abashiri Prison Story (新網走番外地) (Japan, 1968) [DVD] - 2.5/5
New Abashiri Prison Story: Harbour Duel (新網走番外地 流人岬の血斗) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 2/5
It's amazing how much mileage they got out of this idea. How many total movies did they make within the 'Abashiri Prison' concept?
10+8. Ishii directed the original 10 (1965-1967), then there were 8 "New" films (1968-1972) by other directors, mainly Yasuo Furuhata. In the "New" films Takakura played different character, technically speaking. In practice it could've been the same character just as well.

It's funny how some of the films don't even feature the Abashiri Prison, nor are set in Abashiri... That's what you get when the studio has you deliver up to 4 films a year (1966) and you run out of ideas...

There's also a 1959 Nikkatsu adaptation of the original novel. The Toei films reportedly had very little to do with the novel.

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 30 Sep 2018, 22:49

Drunken Master 2 (1994, Hong Kong) DVD 4.5/5
Other than a continuity hiccup, mainly due to Jackie's clash with original director Liu Chia-Liang (of Shaw Brothers fame), this is easily Jackie's best fight movie of the second half of his career.
And not just in the last 20 minutes.
His initial fight with director Liu Chia-Liang (the one onscreen!) - the fight in town where his mom (Anita Mui) throws him bottles - the tea house scene where Liu and Jackie take on 50 people coming at them from all angles - and of course the finale.
Along the way we get Mui as his mom, who's comedy steals every scene she's in, Ti Lung as his stern father, and of course, Jackie as the mischevious Wong Fei-Hung. This is all the reasons we love a Jackie Chan movie.
But it's the fights ultimately. And it had been 6 years since we saw Jackie fight like this. One of his best.

Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 01 Oct 2018, 02:31

Angel (aka Iron Angels) (1987, Hong Kong) youtube 3/5
When a crime boss (deliciously sadistic Oshima Yukari) has her drug fields burned by local authorities, she starts having cops killed in revenge. Enter (long time Shaw Brothers actor) David Chiang who puts together a team including Japanese Pop Star Saijo Hideki, cute as a button Moon Lee, and too cool to be there Elaine Lui, to try and get to the bottom of it.

Sometimes this movie is so 80's it hurts, but having lived through this time period there's sort of a weird charm to it - the music, the fashion, the cliches... It doesn't however, make up for how long it takes to actually kick into action - though there's some hyper-violence here and there to try and keep you amused, it's mostly the three of them sneaking around breaking into offices. Though the 32-year-old Hideki DOES get to make out with the 22-year-old Moon Lee to keep from blowing their cover - starting an ah-shucks romance (ugh) in the middle of an action movie.

We finally see Yukari give us a taste at about the 50-minute mark, which leads into an assault on her mansion (to save Alex Wong), which is a nice bullet-riddled shoot out rescue escape. However, Alex Wong gets captured AGAIN and this time Yukari tortures him to death, leading to the final...nope - then there's an armored car heist and a bunch of talking... until FINALLY we see Moon Lee and Oshima Yukari square off in what is easily the highlight of the film.

That final fight is BRUTAL, though it's quite a bit shorter than what it needed to be. This was really the starting point for the pairing up of these two, and even though it only did HK $8 Million at the box office, it has a cult following to rival anything out of Hong Kong from this period.

Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 01 Oct 2018, 14:30

Dreaming the Reality (1991, Hong Kong) 35mm on Facebook 3.5/5
Four years after first appearing together as adversaries in 'Angel' (aka Iron Angels), Moon Lee and Oshima Yukari are back as sisters this time - trained from childhood to be assassins. Eddy Ko plays their dad, dispatching orders and warnings with a calm, cool ticking of a time bomb. Things start off crazy with an almost botched mission featuring Yukari swinging from the tree tops with her machine gun blazing and a van full of children blowing up.

Then we switch to Sibelle Hu without make-up, with a few extra pounds, drinking and smoking. Her brother and her run a bar in Thailand where Lee and Yukari are sent to take care of their next target. We also get some Muay Thai boxing, which is nice. And we get to see Thailand from 27 years ago, which I enjoy too.

After an ill-conceived plan to get a brief case with sensitive information (they attack him in an airport in the middle of the day!), featuring his severed hand still attached to the case, some cool stunts, and the Thai police and military chasing them - Yukari manages to escape, while Lee ends up in the river with the briefcase, but no memory.

Not sure if Hu in a Muay Thai boxing match is supposed to be comedic or not (It is), but it leads to them meeting and taking in and caring for the lost and confused Lee who gradually falls in love with Hu's brother (Ben Lam). However... the dad now thinks she's betrayed him and wants her dead...

Not the most popular of the Lee/Yukari movies, I personally like this for its characters, it's raw violence (of course), it's storyline and, naturally for Lee and Yukari - though it also has it's unexpected moments that surprised me too. There's just something simple and watchable about it, in a way that exemplifies cheaply made but thrilling Hong Kong action cinema. They'd make better movies, for sure, but this one has some fun.

Image
Last edited by chazgower01 on 01 Oct 2018, 15:25, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 01 Oct 2018, 15:18

I took an old song of mine and used Naked Killer to make a video to it... thought it turned out pretty cool. Please check it out when you get a chance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNan3UI3Ncs&t=18s
Image

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10609
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

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

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Oct 2018, 13:51

Black Lizard (黒蜥蜴) (Japan, 1962) [TV] - 2/5
The best detective in Japan (Minoru Oki) battles female super villain known as Black Lizard (Machiko Kyo) in a cartoonish and episodic Edogawa Rampo story. This is the 1962 Daiei version, not the better known Shochiku/Kinji Fukasaku 1968 version. This has occasional colourful charm, a battle of wits and even musical numbers, but it's also painfully long and talkative.

Modern Yakuza: Outlaw's Code (現代やくざ 与太者の掟) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 3.5/5
Surprisingly good transitional ninkyo / jitsuroku film sparks nicely in both genres, unlike most similar 'halfway-there' efforts. Bunta Sugawara is a jailbird back on the streets, a rough and violent but also chivalrous man who makes friends with a fellow yakuza (Kyosuke Machida). Perhaps better than any other yakuza film, this movie captures the psyche of a man just out of prison with no friends, no home, nothing to go back to. It's also beautifully filmed with ninkyo romantics and jitsuroku roughness somehow co-existing without cannibalizing each other. Add a bit of noirish atmosphere, a great Tomisaburo Wakayama supporting role (he sings also!) and an ultra bloody ending, and the film successfully overcomes its unexceptional story and the comedy-resembling Shingo Yamashiro stuff inserted in the middle. Fine effort from Yasuo Furuhata, whose films often strike as dull to me.

Image Image

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10609
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

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

Unread post by HungFist » 07 Oct 2018, 06:29

Japan's Most Chivalrous (Japan) (日本大侠客) (1966) [TV] - 1.5/5
Masahiro Makino's adaptation of an often filmed story, hailed as one of the finest ninkyo films by Chris D, who also described it as "fast moving". I struggle to comprehend his view almost as much as I struggled with the film. Nothing really happens at all during the first 70 minutes except some old lady dies of boredom, I mean illness, and Tsuruta almost gets into a fight, twice! Makino was one of the most prolific and respected of ninkyo directors, yet his films often strike as slow paced and visually as well as emotionally flat to me. This is the most non-eventful of his films that I've seen. There is one particular point of interest, though, villain actor Bin Amatsu is cast against type as a good guy. This is the only time I have ever seen him play a good guy, and it's a shame his role is so small.

Modern Yakuza: Outlaw's Honor and Humanity (現代やくざ 与太者仁義) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 3/5
Noirish but not especially moving tale makes Sugawara play the second fiddle to young lovers (Masakazu Tamura, Ai Sasaki) on the run from the yakuza. Sugawara is the loyal yakuza brother trying to protect them, Ryo Ikebe an older brother obliged to bring the runaways to his boss. Violent and stylish, with some excellent character dynamics between Sugawara and Ikebe, it's a shame the central story about the young lovers is superficial and predictable, giving the viewer little reason to care.

Image Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 07 Oct 2018, 19:00

Rumble in the Bronx (1995, Hong Kong) DVD 3/5
There will always be a soft spot in my heart for this movie, as it was the first time I got to see Jackie on the big screen. And rewatching it now, it actually starts off as a decent movie with some good action and some decent fights. Jackie’s trying to make his first U.S. distributed movie under his own guidance (Stanley Tong is back as director) and even though it’s not a work of art, it has its moments.
Jackie comes to America for the wedding of his uncle (Bill Tung again) and in the process helps Anita Mui, who has bought his uncle’s Bronx based grocery store from a multi-ethnic gang of hoodlum’s. That’s where it’s ok.
Then about 35 minutes in we’re introduced to some diamond smuggler’s and even worse, some overly used cliche’s and it gets a little goofy. It still makes me laugh when the rock band drummer yells, “Hovercraft!”
Jackie injured his ankle during production and the ending ends up being fairly lame. Sexy Françoise Yip plays Jackie’s somewhat love interest and Anita Mui adds a little bit of humor.
Harmless fun and the fight in the bad guys hideout is pretty good stuff, and there are a handful of decent stunts. The ending is just disappointing (Jackie battles a… hovercraft), but with one leg, even Jackie Chan couldn’t do too much.
It’s the 6th highest grossing movie in Hong Kong history, and Jackie’s 2nd best ever. In the U.S. it did $32 Million, with it’’s reported budget being $7.5 Million. Welcome back to America!

Image
Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 07 Oct 2018, 19:05

1994

1994 had been another great year for Stephen Chow, but Jackie Chan had the biggest hit of the year with Drunken Master 2. Michelle Yeoh continued to not impress at the HK box office (though I remember kind of liking Wing Chun) and Jet Li's numbers continued to slip. The HK box office in general was starting to cool.

1. HK $40,971,484.00 Drunken Master II (Jackie Chan) (#22 ATBO)
2. HK $37,523,850.00 From Beijing With Love (Stephen Chow)
3. HK $37,367,669.00 It’s a Wonderful Life (Leslie Cheung)
4. HK $37,033,685.00 Treasure Hunt (Chow Yun Fat)
5. HK $36,906,730.00 Love On Delivery (Stephen Chow)
6. HK $30,177,208.00 Hail the Judge (Stephen Chow)
7. HK $29,131,628.00 He’s a Woman, She’s a Man (Leslie Cheung)
8. HK $21,410,490.00 I Have a Date With Spring
9. HK $19,388,051.00 The New Legend of Shaolin (Jet Li)
10.HK $17,935,329.00 Long and Winding Road (Leslie Cheung)

HK $15,735,456.00 The Great Conqueror’s Concubine
HK $14,785,382.00 Fist of Legend (Jet Li)
HK $11,193,177.00 Bodyguard From Beijing (Jet Li)
HK $10,404,725.00 A Chinese Torture Chamber Story (Yvonne Yung Hung)
HK $09,023,583.00 Ashes of Time (Wong Kar-Wai)
HK $07,678,549.00 Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai)
HK $04,492,333.00 The Romance of the Vampires (Yvonne Yung Hung)
HK $04,151,747.00 Wing Chun (Michelle Yeoh)
HK $03,756,107.00 Sex and the Emperor (Yvonne Yung Hung)
HK $02,481,978.00 Ancient Chinese Whorehouse (Yvonne Yung Hung)
HK $00,117,857.00 Wonder Seven (Michelle Yeoh)

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 08 Oct 2018, 00:12

Thunderbolt (1995, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 3/5
Six years before Fast and the Furious, the Hong Kong film industry had their own little brief cinematic fad with racing, and Jackie’s foray into it would end up being one of his highest grossing movies of all time. That’s not to say it’s one of his best movies - it’s not.
The way Jackie was making movies at the time (and he’d been on this path for a few years), was with more action than fighting - it can work with a decent story, a good director, quality actors, interesting characters (like in Police Story 3), etc. Here though it sort of starts and ends with the story, which is fairly dumb, and ends with the characters, which are REALLY dumb.
Jackie plays Foh, a race car driver and mechanic, who works with the police to set up sting operations to impound souped-upped up street cars. He crosses paths with ‘Cougar’, an over-the-top, one-dimensional villain played by tall, blonde haired Thorsten Nickel, who gets arrested and released and then decides to kidnap Jackie’s two teenage daughters in an attempt to get Jackie to RACE him. Yep, that’s all he wants. That’s AFTER he destroys Jackie’s home and car work garage in an outrageous display that the whole city of Hong Kong could probably hear, but that attracts not a single cop. It IS pretty cool to see - very creative in the way they do it - it’s just… implausibly silly.
In fact, between the dorky characters, who do implausible things, and act completely out of character at the weirdest times and the overacting stereotypes of some of the other characters…it’s not a bad movie? Is this how we grade a Jackie Chan movie?
The action is decent, though the race finale is just ok - it’s the car crashes that stand out more than anything, and the fighting…. yeah, it’s limited, but welcomed when it happens, though Sammo (brought on as Fight Choreographer) chooses a more close-up shot of the battles - I suspect to give them a more in your face feel - but it doesn’t lend to the way Jackie lays out his fights any favors. Dragons Forever - that’s how you film a Jackie Chan fight.
Also on board for this are Anita Yuen as the annoying reporter who falls in love with Jackie, Michael Wong as the frustrated Police Captain, and Chor Yuen as Jackie’s dad. Ken Lo again gets some fighting time vs Jackie along with Sawada Kenya.
Watchable in an American B-movie sort of way, where if you like the star, you’ll still watch the movie.

Notes: Thunderbolt is Jackie’s 3rd highest grossing Hong Kong box office movie of all time (behind First Strike and Rumble in the Bronx) and it currently ranks #13.

Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 08 Oct 2018, 00:19

1995

1995 was a big year for Jackie Chan, as he'd broken into the American market finally, and at the same time set a new record for the highest grossing film in Hong Kong Box Office history (which he'd break the following year - it's still #6 all time). Stephen Chow had FOUR movies in the top ten - but combined they didn't gross as much as Jackie's two (of the top three) movies of the year.

1. HK $56,911,136.00 Rumble In The Bronx (Jackie Chan) (#6 ATBO)
2. HK $52,529,768.00 God of Gamblers Return (Chow Yun Fat) (#8 ATBO)
3. HK $45,647,210.00 Thunderbolt (Jackie Chan) (#13 ATBO)
4. HK $35,234,481.00 Sixty Million Dollar Man (Stephen Chow)
5. HK $33,770,736.00 Full Throttle (Andy Lau)
6. HK $25,093,380.00 A Chinese Odyssey (Stephen Chow)
7. HK $24,829,983.00 Peace Hotel (Chow Yun Fat)
8. HK $20,872,117.00 A Chinese Odyssey II (Stephen Chow)
9. HK $16,281,325.00 Out of the Dark (Stephen Chow)
10.HK $15,530,642.00 My Father Is A Hero (Jet Li)

HK $11,403,790.00 High Risk (Jet Li)
HK $07,933,314.00 Lover Of The Last Empress (Yvonne Yung Hung)
HK $07,476,025.00 Fallen Angels (Wong Kar-Wai)
HK $05,085,770.00 Don’t Give A Damn (Sammo)
HK $03,308,775.00 The Blade (Tsui Hark)
HK $03,041,885.00 A Fake Pretty Woman (Yvonne Yung Hung)

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 359
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 08 Oct 2018, 15:25

First Strike (1996, Hong Kong) DVD 2.5/5
Another attempt to break into the American market, Jackie Chan’s First Strike is a somewhat entertaining action movie with a confusing story, some great action scenes and Jackie’s goofy brand of humor. In other words, it’s a modern Jackie Chan movie.
After the moderate success of Rumble in the Bronx the previous year, Miramax studio released Police Story 3 (Supercop) 5 months later to limited theaters, where it did about half ($16 Million), so New Line was hoping this James Bond-ish action adventure would catapult Jackie to superstardom.
It didn’t - it only did $15 Million in the U.S., though it certainly added fans and got his name and reputation out there through massive promotion. In Hong Kong, it became the biggest Hong Kong Box Office hit ever (still #5 all time).
One thing about this movie though - everytime it gets boring, or you start thinking, “What the hell is going on?” - we get an action or fight sequence that’s entertaining enough to keep watching (The Snow skiing scene, the apartment fight with the two giant guys, the ladder fight, Jackie on stilts). The underwater shark scene finale is entertaining (and silly), but it really could’ve used a good fight to end things.
Ken Lo has a very small part, Bill Tung is there to give us a connection as Police Story 4, and Stanley Tong is back as director, but a lot of Jackie’s usual crew is no longer around. Newcomer Annie Wu is attractive, but just a prop in this badly written script.

Image

Post Reply