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 postby grim_tales » 13 Nov 2017, 22:30

Score (Japan, 1995): 3/5

Entertaining actioner, felt like a hyped version of 90's B action from the US, if that makes sense.The DVD is pretty bad though.

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

Unread postby Shingster » 14 Nov 2017, 05:31

HungFist wrote:Which ones would you consider the best films in the series? How about the worst?
Some of the best i would say: The Tale of Zatoichi, The Tale of Zatoichi Continues, Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold, Zatoichi and the Chess Expert, Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo. It's kinda hard to decide between many of the others because they all start to bleed into each other after a while! :D

As for worst, tbh I don't think there is a "crap" Zatoichi film per say but I do feel that the last couple of films in the 70s were below par. The 1989 Zatoichi revival is a little better than those two.

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

Unread postby HungFist » 14 Nov 2017, 08:49

I feel pretty much the same.

So far my favourites are The Tale of Zatoichi, The Tale of Zatoichi Continues, Zatoichi the Fugitive, Zatoichi on the Road, Zatoichi's Revenge, Zatoichi and the Chess Expert, and Zatoichi's Vengeance.

Least favourites: Zatoichi at Large, Zatoichi in Desperation, and Fight, Zatoichi, Fight.

Zatoichi's Cane Sword and Fight, Zatoichi, Fight are two films that seem to be very popular with fans, but I didn't really warm up to them like some others seem to. Not bad films, though.

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

Unread postby Shingster » 15 Nov 2017, 06:27

Yeah I think as Katsu started to get more control over the franchise he made it more exploitative and imo that tone just didn't suit Zatoichi. I dunno if he was trying to compete with his aniki's Lone Wolf and Cub films but some of the stuff in one of those last 70s Zato films is just crass (a gang wanking off the village retard being one scene that struck me as puerile, low-brow comedy). You can get away with that sort of shit in Lone Wolf & Cub because it's so OTT tonally to begin with. Zato was more grounded and mainstream and was about connections/men apart or out of time (and was very Peckinpah-esque in that regard, especially the early Zatos), and I think when they started to betray that it just became generic.

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

Unread postby HungFist » 15 Nov 2017, 07:36

Very much agreed. I think there was an era in Japanese cinema in the early 70s when much of the cinema had a bit of an identity crisis. They were coming from the romantic and heroic 60s (if you allow a huge generalization) and heading towards the gritty and exploitative 70s. That transition took a few years, and during that time there were many films that fell between the two styles, especially around 1970-1971. They were simultaneously too crass and not crass enough, depending on the point of view. Many of Toei's yakuza films from that era, and some Daiei films with exploitative elements, are good examples.

Of course, that didn't really concern most of the master class filmmakers, like Gosha, Fukasaku, Okamoto, Masumura etc. who were pushing the boundaries and could make dark or light films regardless of the era. But I think you can see the problem in a lot of programmer pictures made by slightly lesser directors.

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

Unread postby HungFist » 15 Nov 2017, 08:16

grim_tales wrote:Score (Japan, 1995): 3/5

Entertaining actioner, felt like a hyped version of 90's B action from the US, if that makes sense.The DVD is pretty bad though.


I think it's a rather wonderful film. It's of course low budget Tarantino/Woo/Lam rip-off action trash, but executed with such insane energy that it reminded me of the craziest Hong Kong action films. And you gotta love it when the film is set in the US but the police cars have something like Manila Police Force (?) written on them (they shot the film in the Philippines).

I think it was intended as a DTV release, but got a theatrical release after they realized what a cool film they had in their hands.

German trailer
https://youtu.be/P9nsdM8ONNw

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

Unread postby Ivan Drago » 15 Nov 2017, 18:24

Instant Kung Fu Man (1977)

Early kung fu comedy with John Liu and Hwang Jang-Lee kept on the sidelines for the most part whilst two Yip Fei-yangs (one a crook, one a lazy Shaolin student) mess around - whatever happened to him anyway? It's actually fairly funny but lacks the universal appeal that makes the subsequent Jackie Chan Seasonal films so impressive.

Awesome use of the title theme from How Was The West Was Won!

6/10



The Return of Bruce (1977)

Bruce Le in Manila for assorted kung fu hi-jinks. Nothing special, some good fights, and this film's version of Wei Ping-ao makes him seem like Stallone - is it possible to be limp waisted as well as limp wristed?

4/10



Stranger from Canton (1973)

Very violent basher, released theatrically in the US as The Karate Killer, with Jason Pai Paio figghting some especially loathsome Ching villians (kind of a rarity prior to the Shaolin cycle started the following year). Terrific action and atmoshphere, but minus some points for the icky child torture scene

7/10
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby chazgower01 » 16 Nov 2017, 00:29

HungFist wrote:I think it's a rather wonderful film. It's of course low budget Tarantino/Woo/Lam rip-off action trash, but executed with such insane energy that it reminded me of the craziest Hong Kong action films....


Yeah... as a fan of all three of those guys, I will have to certainly check this out....

Ivan Drago wrote:Stranger from Canton (1973)
Very violent basher, released theatrically in the US as The Karate Killer, with Jason Pai Paio figghting some especially loathsome Ching villians (kind of a rarity prior to the Shaolin cycle started the following year). Terrific action and atmoshphere, but minus some points for the icky child torture scene
7/10


I've heard the fights in this are pretty brutal, and it's been on my short list to see for years....

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

Unread postby chazgower01 » 16 Nov 2017, 00:30

Battles Without Honor and Humanity (Japan, 1973) Amazon - 3.5/5
This movie is chaotic and overwhelming through most of the first half hour, as characters appear and die in such a hurry, its hard to know exactly what’s going on. I started to enjoy it once I realized that the primary focus should be on Bunta Sugawara’s character Shozo, and the Yamamori family.
Late in the movie, Shozo's friend and sometime partner in crime Sakai (Hiroki Matsukata) says “If he (Yamamori) was a man of his word…neither (spoiler) nor (spoiler) nor (spoiler) would have had to die.” And that sums up why this is called Battles WITHOUT Honor and Humanity, as these Modern Yakuza gangsters fight and kill and lie and manipulate for position and power at any cost. Saying it’s the Japanese ‘Godfather’, would be like saying Mike Tyson is the Sugar Ray Leonard of the 80’s. Both successful fighters, two WAY different boxer’s.
This movie is a whirlwind, that took me some rewinds and some research to keep track of what was going on, and even though I’m maybe not as impressed with it as some reviews I’ve seen...After the smoke clears at the end, I do have to say I’m curious to see where the characters that are left go from here….

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

Unread postby HungFist » 16 Nov 2017, 12:47

I like all of the films in the Battles Without Honor and Humanity series, especially the 2nd one, but in all honestly I feel most of Fukasaku's other films from the same era are better (e.g. Graveyard of Honor, Yakuza Graveyard, Cops vs. Thugs, Hokuriku Proxy War).

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

Unread postby chazgower01 » 16 Nov 2017, 20:37

HungFist wrote:I like all of the films in the Battles Without Honor and Humanity series, especially the 2nd one, but in all honestly I feel most of Fukasaku's other films from the same era are better (e.g. Graveyard of Honor, Yakuza Graveyard, Cops vs. Thugs, Hokuriku Proxy War).


Cops vs Thugs is on U.S. Amazon Prime for free right now, so I hope to check it out this week.

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

Unread postby chazgower01 » 16 Nov 2017, 20:53

The Machine Girl (Japan, 2008) contv.com - 3/5
Hadn’t seen this in 7-8 years, but it popped up on a free movie site and I decided to re-watch it this morning. Over the top in a way that would make Sam Raimi proud, it’s the story of a school girl who’s brother is killed by the son of a yakuza. When she goes after them for revenge, she gets her arm chopped off, but comes back with a mini-gatling gun in place of that arm. There’s a little more to it than that, but let’s just say, it’s best not to get attached to any of the characters you experience during this movie.
“I’m the devil! I’ve turned into the Devil! And I’ll remain the Devil until I’ve found his enemies and killed every last one of them!”
If you like blood, and gore, and over the top violence, this is a wonderful film for you. Don’t expect it to be technically proficient in it’s delivery though. This is NOT a big screen Hollywood movie, but rather a low-mid budget shockfest from a director (Noboru Iguchi) who's ideas sometimes make better trailers than full length movies.
Gratuitous splatter movies are not necessarily my preference (though I’m not opposed to it), but this has so much more going for it, and the blood and gore is done with enough of a sense of humor (hence the Sam Raimi reference), that it makes it a fun little romp.
Minase Yashiro is cute as hell, but just as fierce as she can be - she carries this movie - her first feature movie. Former AV actress and Iguchi regular (Yuma) Asami plays a big part though and she is pretty fun to watch as well.
Still a fun movie.

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

Unread postby Shingster » 17 Nov 2017, 02:21

HungFist wrote:Very much agreed. I think there was an era in Japanese cinema in the early 70s when much of the cinema had a bit of an identity crisis. They were coming from the romantic and heroic 60s (if you allow a huge generalization) and heading towards the gritty and exploitative 70s. That transition took a few years, and during that time there were many films that fell between the two styles, especially around 1970-1971. They were simultaneously too crass and not crass enough, depending on the point of view. Many of Toei's yakuza films from that era, and some Daiei films with exploitative elements, are good examples.

Of course, that didn't really concern most of the master class filmmakers, like Gosha, Fukasaku, Okamoto, Masumura etc. who were pushing the boundaries and could make dark or light films regardless of the era. But I think you can see the problem in a lot of programmer pictures made by slightly lesser directors.
Again, completely in agreement here, I think some filmmakers working within that rigid studio system definitely wavered a little in evolving all those classical genres and treading a path into this edgier era, and the filmmakers you list were the anchors that steadied the ship and they made it such a great time for Japanese cinema imo, especially for crime films.

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

Unread postby HungFist » 17 Nov 2017, 12:09

chazgower01 wrote:The Machine Girl (Japan, 2008) contv.com - 3/5


This is one film that I always wanted to like more than I could. I've always had two major problems with Iguchi's films. The 1st one is the humour, which is just too dumb for my liking, and the 2nd one is the underwhelming technical execution (e.g. I really think the action in The Machine Girl lacks punch in terms of editing, sound effects etc.). I always liked Yoshihiro Nishimura's work better in these regards, although he's been going downhill in the recent years.

I hate to speak ill of Iguchi's work, though. He's a wonderful man. I've met with him more than once, although just briefly, and he always treated me like an old friend even though I was a complete stranger. His humour also works really well in live situations.

As for Asami, I don't really like her hyper-active usual screen persona, but I think she can be surprisingly good in quiet and restrained roles, like Gun Woman.

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

Unread postby HungFist » 17 Nov 2017, 12:11

Zatoichi and the Doomed Man (座頭市逆手斬り) (Japan, 1965) [BD] - 3/5
Part 11. This is one of the lesser Zatoichi films for lacking interesting supporting characters, and for featuring a rather lame comic relief who steals Zatoichi's identity and goes around pretending to be him. Even then, this is an enjoyable, harmless film with some beautiful locations, excellent fight design and a delightfully compact 78 minute running time.

Secret Story: Plundering the Jewel (戦後秘話 宝石略奪) (Japan, 1970) [TV] - 1.5/5
Everybody's chasing a diamond in Sadao Nakajima's tiresome crime/action/drama. It was a based on a novel by Tsusai Sugawara, who was a Japanese writer and political figure campaigning against drugs, prostitution and sexually transmitted diseases. Sugawara also gave the incentive for a trio of superior Sonny Chiba crime films (A Narcotic's Agent's Ballad, Terrifying Flesh Hell, Tokyo-Seoul-Bangkok Drug Triangle, in 1972-1973). The problem with "Secret Story" is that the story is short on action and memorable characters, something that is not offset by the big name cast (Bunta Sugawara, Chiezo Kataoka, Tomisaburo Wakayama, and in what seems like a referential joke, Tetsuro Tamba as a gangster who shares his name and looks with his Key Hunter character) playing gangsters and other shady political/corporate figures. Nakajima's direction is uninspired as well, even though he was fresh off from one of his best pictures, Memoir of Japanese Assassins (1969). That kind of unevenness was typical of him, and in some ways he remains both over-rated and underappreciated with his remarkably vast but uneven filmography. "Secret Story" does have a stylish, hallucinatory ending that rewards the viewer, as well as some interesting bits set in Singapore, but in all honesty, much of the film is a chore to get through.

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

Unread postby chazgower01 » 18 Nov 2017, 15:25

Cops vs Thugs (Japan, 1975) Amazon Prime - 4/5
Continuing his cold, hard un-glorified look at the world of the yakuza, director Kinji Fukasaku, surprises us half way through the movie when a new no nonsense Chief (Tatsuo Umemiya) decides to try and clean up the police department. It really makes it tough for Detective Kuno (Bunta Sugawara), who’s deep ties to the Yakuza threaten his career, marriage, and friendship with under boss Kenji Hirotani (Hiroki Matsukata).
All three are superb, and it’s this dynamic that really kicks it into high gear and makes the movie work.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Reiko Ike play Sugawara’s mistress, and I don’t know when they started to show pubic hair in Japanese cinema, but we get a bit of a peek at hers in a rough bedroom scene.
Leading to a final showdown, Matsukata's character tells us, “If necessary I’ll go to jail. But what about the mayor, assemblymen and the cops? They’re all foxes in the den. Why should only the yakuza be sent to jail?"

The spoiler tags don't seem to work, so if you're reading this in a public place, I apologize....
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wv4PMvqoxQo/WhBOsITW8BI/AAAAAAAAGs8/_MFhkPbTqrcczROAWkRkZVlLZ6ElRRW2wCLcBGAs/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2017-11-16%2Bat%2B7.00.14%2BPM.png

- I changed the pic into a link instead, just in case. - HungFist

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

Unread postby Ivan Drago » 19 Nov 2017, 15:11

Jeez dude, don't post it then! Some of us work!
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby HungFist » 19 Nov 2017, 15:24

chazgower01 wrote:I don’t know when they started to show pubic hair in Japanese cinema


Japanese cinema: mid 90s. I think A New Love in Tokyo (1994) was the first, but I'm not 100% sure.
Foreign cinema in Japan: 1985 Tokyo International Film Festival was probably the first time (e.g. the film '1984', but the films were still censored when they opened theatrically).

As for Cops vs. Thugs, that is very curious indeed. Showing pubic hair was considered to be strictly against the law back then, and filmmakers had been brought to court for much less (e.g. the famous Roman Porno case the 70s where not only the filmmakers, but also the Eirin ratings board employees who had passed the film, faced charges on distribution of obscene material).

My guess (based on no evidence whatsoever) is that the original theatrical prints were censored or cut, but at some point later in time Toei produced new prints that were accidentally left untouched. I find it almost impossible to believe the film could have played in theaters in 1975 with hair visible with no consequences.

I've seen the film in 35mm in Tokyo twice (in 2014 and 2017) and the hair caught my attention too. However, I have no idea how recent that print was (it was pretty much pristine so chances are it was relatively recent).

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

Unread postby chazgower01 » 21 Nov 2017, 04:29

Battles without Honour and Humanity: Hiroshima Death Match (Japan, 1973) (DVD) - 4/5
As close to a love story as these movies will probably get, it still takes a major back seat to the same double crossing, killing, and quest for power as the first movie. Bunta Sugawara as Shozo Hirono is still here, but this isn't his story - it's Shoji Yamanaka's (Kinya Kitaoji), a nobody who falls in love with a yakuza boss' niece (wonderfully played by Meiko Kaji), only to have the ugly world he's a part of pull them apart, as he tries to navigate through the chaos. I can see why director Kinji Fukasaku told this story - it says a lot about the people who survive and the people who don't... honor and humanity aren't the only things missing from these people.

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

Unread postby HungFist » 22 Nov 2017, 06:48

Re: Born (リボーン) (Japan, 2016) [DCP] - 2.5/5
There's a great sense of disappointment when a film is so keen on its original concept that it forgets some of the basics of action filmmaking. The film sees Tak Sakaguchi as a former special forces man, now running a convenience store in a small town, caught up by his past when former colleagues comes after his life. The film's selling point is the so called Zero Range Combat System, developed by combat strategist Yoshitaka Inagawa, who seems to have impressed the filmmakers to the extent that they couldn't see the forest for the trees. Too often character motivations are left vague, and we don't know how exactly their combat strategies are supposed to work. With too much shaky camerawork, close-ups and edits that fails to convey micro-level continuity in the fights, the film turns into a mechanical showcase of fast moves. Ironically enough, the film inserts a good 45 minutes of mostly unnecessary back-story when all they needed to do was to make it very clear what's going in each scene. There's still, thankfully, a decent amount of fun to be had with some cool details in terms of the main character's characterization, and of course the action (I may be too critical considering films like The Raid and John Wick 2 suffer from similar technical irritations, yet people seem to enjoy them very much). But as far as recent Japanese action cinema goes, there have been more dynamic efforts at filming action by the likes of Kensuke Sonomura & Takanori Tsujimoto (Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle, Bushido Man).

Zatoichi's Cane Sword (座頭市鉄火旅) (1967) [BD] - 3/5
Part 15. Zatoichi gives up his sword after learning there's a fracture that will break it rather sooner than later, and tries an honest living (as masseur of course). Unfortunately for him, the town is populated by the usual rotten gangsters. Despite the unusual twist that leaves Zatoichi armless, the film is a relatively standard affair, neither great nor bad in the least. That being said, it seems to enjoy reputation as one of the best among many viewers.

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

Unread postby HungFist » 24 Nov 2017, 10:41

The Hoodlum Soldier (兵隊やくざ) (Japan, 1965) [DVD] - 3/5
While Japan's militaristic past may remain a touchy subject in politics, there are few nations that have made mainstream war movies as self-critical as Japan. Here we have an ultra violent war satire set in Manchuria, where the Japanese troops never encounter a single enemy during the films course. Instead, the spend all their time getting slapped, battered, tortured, spat at and abused in every imaginable way by their superiors, who in turn are abused by their own superiors, all in the name of ranks and absurd military discipline. The story follows two men, a bad attitude yakuza (Shintaro Katsu) drafted to army and his intellectual superior who hates war (Takahiro Tamura), whose tragicomic tale would be hilarious if it wasn't so disturbingly violent. Indeed, the endless beatings get a little repetitive and hard to take, as not terribly much else happens in the story. For Katsu, the biggest star in Japan at the time, this film initiated his 3rd simultaneous hit series. 1965 saw the release of 3 Zatoichi pictures, 2 Bad Reputation films, and 3 Hoodlum Soldiers, all starring him and released to the public by the (generally) conservative Daiei. None of this could happen in modern day Japan, sadly.

Zatoichi's Revenge (座頭市二段斬り) (1965) [BD] - 4/5
Part 10. Zatoichi, while trying to free a young lady from a brothel, runs into a cheating yakuza dice thrower who is also a loving single father to a young daughter. A rather gloomy, yet slick entry echoing the fall/winter season during which it was filmed (the Criterion transfer comes with a sunset tint that I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but it suits the film perfectly). There's a very nice ninkyo film like honour aspect with conflicting duties concerning the fore mentioned dice master, and some other wonderful moments. The villains are rather one-dimensional, save for a few interesting moments with a hired-by-the-bad-guys ronin (Takeshi Kato), but there's also a pleasing absence of contrived plottings. The massive end fight comes with a very interesting climax as well. Although not exceptional in terms of characterization or action, this still manages to be one of the most enjoyable films in the series.

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

Unread postby chazgower01 » 25 Nov 2017, 03:35

HungFist wrote:The Hoodlum Soldier (兵隊やくざ) (Japan, 1965) [DVD] - 3/5
While Japan's militaristic past may remain a touchy subject in politics, there are few nations that have made mainstream war movies as self-critical as Japan. Here we have an ultra violent war satire set in Manchuria, where the Japanese troops never encounter a single enemy during the films course. Instead, the spend all their time getting slapped, battered, tortured, spat at and abused in every imaginable way by their superiors, who in turn are abused by their own superiors, all in the name of ranks and absurd military discipline. The story follows two men, a bad attitude yakuza (Shintaro Katsu) drafted to army and his intellectual superior who hates war (Takahiro Tamura), whose tragicomic tale would be hilarious if it wasn't so disturbingly violent. Indeed, the endless beatings get a little repetitive and hard to take, as not terribly much else happens in the story. For Katsu, the biggest star in Japan at the time, this film initiated his 3rd simultaneous hit series. 1965 saw the release of 3 Zatoichi pictures, 2 Bad Reputation films, and 3 Hoodlum Soldiers, all starring him and released to the public by the (generally) conservative Daiei. None of this could happen in modern day Japan, sadly.


This sounds intriguing....

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

Unread postby chazgower01 » 25 Nov 2017, 04:21

Youth of the Beast (野獣の青春) (1963) Netflix DVD - 4/5
I was all set to watch my Region 2 copy of Norfumi Suzuki's 'The Insatiable' (1971) or 現代ポルノ伝 先天性淫婦 (which translates to: Modern porn help congenital harlot) or whatever you want to call it, when I couldn't get my Samsung BD-J5700 (supposedly) All-Region Blu-ray and DVD player to play a Region 2 disc - and despite all of my efforts to find out how to make it do this from online, simply gave up in what seemed like a wild goose chase. Guess I'll just have to get an All-Region DVD player...
So instead, I went with a different Suzuki (Seijun) and his seemingly favorite actor Jô Shishido in 1963's 'Youth of the Beast'.
Now I had heard this owed it's story to Akira Kurosawa's 'Yojimbo', or was even remade from that film, but that's a bit of an overstatement - Shishido's character most definitely DOES pit two yakuza gangs against each other, in some very clever ways, but this movie is much more of a whodoneit, than a whatsbeendone, and I found it to be pretty entertaining.
Besides Shishido, who's always cool, there's the interesting Suzuki touches that make the film stand out - some of his unique characters and visual flair. Then, in an early role you have Akiji Kobayashi as the main boss, aka Capt. Mura from Ultraman, aka The 1st Kamen Rider's buddy in season one of that series... what a cool career that guy had!
Part of the fun of this movie is figuring out what is going on and for what reason, so really the less said the better - if what I've said so far doesn't interest you, you probably don't want to see it anyway.

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

Unread postby HungFist » 29 Nov 2017, 04:58

Blue Rain Osaka (ブルーレイン大阪) (Japan, 1983) [DVD] - 1/5
80s human drama meets Roman Porno in Masaru Konuma's dull Osaka film. Suits, bars and boring relationship drama with occasional, pretentious art scene thrown in the mix. And lots of sex that is supposed mean Something in this context. Konuma did some of his best films in the drama genre, but this is not one of them.

On the Road (オン・ザ・ロード) (Japan, 1982) [TV] - 3/5
Pink film director Seiji Izumi had 49 skin flicks under his belt when he helmed this motorcycle cop flick, his first mainstream release. Largely forgotten since its theatrical run in 1982 (a double feature with Nobuhiko Obayashi's Transfer Student), the film might be heading towards small cult reputation since its re-discovery a few years ago by a small arthouse theatre in Yokohama that played it in 35mm for more than a year. Hiroyuki Watanabe, in his debut role, stars as young, eccentric loner of a Tokyo biker cop. The film's opening chase leaves a bystander, a model called Reiko (Kumi Fujishima), injured when his bike hits her. Feeling quilt, he tracks her down months later, but she's determined to start a new life in Okinawa and wishes not to see him. She hops in a car with her sister to drive through half of Japan to a port in Kyushu, while he, still in his uniform and riding his bike, is determined to follow her to the end of worlds. His superior (Hideo Murota) and half of the nation's police force are trying to capture the renegade cop and avoid a public scandal while the lone rider grows reputation as a rebel hero of sorts. It's a fantastic concept, even though some of the drama is mediocre and the two female characters are poorly written and cast. Not really an action film, but there's a fair bit of stylish bike and chase footage as well.

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chazgower01
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby chazgower01 » 30 Nov 2017, 13:29

Battle Without Honor and Humanity: Proxy War (仁義なき戦い 代理戦争) (1973) DVD - 3.5/5
Better than the first, but not quite as good as the second, it's still an enjoyable movie for what it is... the inner workings of a specific group of yakuza gangs as they all battle for position and power. And that is somewhat the good and the bad with these movies... all we see is the inner workings. What they actually DO, I couldn't even tell you, because they never show the drugs, or gambling, or prostitution or how it is they make their money. It's ALL about the inner workings. That's what these movies are about and that's exactly what they give us.

Which isn't to say it's not entertaining... quite the opposite. The turmoil and the always under the surface tension is intoxicating to follow - and Bunta Sugawara as Shozo Hirono, in a role that solidified his career, is once again the focus they keeps you watching. Akira Kobayashi returns as Akira Takeda, to give Shozo some added conflict, but the real center (for me anyway), was how long Yamamori (memorably played with manipulative cunning by Nobuo Kaneko) would stay in power before Shozo would finally make a move.... and it doesn't go quite like I thought it might....

What's amazing is how quickly they put these movies together, one right after another... geez it took us 3 years for two Godfather movies and 16 years to get a third... this is third movie in THIS series in the SAME year!

Reiko Ike has a small role as a henchman's wife, who gets offered up to a wrestler as a prize. Luckily for her, he doesn't last to take advantage of it, and it seems she finally has a role (albeit an incredibly small one) where she keeps her clothes on. But no, she's later offered up to another henchmen, doing an unasked favor for Shono, and he roughs her up during sex. How bad is it that I've seen so much nudity and torture from an actress that I actually would welcome seeing her in a non-exploitative role?


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