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

Film Reviews and Release Comparisons
Ivan Drago
Hail the Judge!
Posts: 2224
Joined: 16 Mar 2005, 23:05

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 19 Nov 2017, 15:11

Jeez dude, don't post it then! Some of us work!
bradavon wrote:
but I guess you're more intelligence than me.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 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).

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by 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.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 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.

Image Image

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 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.

Image Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by 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....

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by 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.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 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.

Image Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by 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?

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 04 Dec 2017, 15:28

chazgower01 wrote: 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?
I don't think Ike ever did a movie where she kept her clothes on. She wanted to, hence she agreed to do Black Panther Bitch M for Nikkatsu in 1974 when they promised her there would be no sex scenes. She then got all paranoid during filming when they had re-written a scene to be shot in a hotel room and she was sure they're gonna have her do another sex scene. She insisted the scene to be shot in a "safer location" on a rooftop. She still ended up topless in that scene, though.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 04 Dec 2017, 15:29

Outlaw: Heartless (無頼非情) (Japan, 1968) [BD] - 3/5
Part 3 in the Outlaw / Gangster V.I.P. series. Another solid entry with the usual mixture of knife fights, loyalty conflicts and romantic tones. This time Watari, who is nursing a fallen yakuza's widow, runs into a childhood friend (Ryuhei Uchida, excellent as usual) whose wife is the sister of Watari's enemy, while also trying to keep a young woman (Chieko Matsubara again, in a different role than before) hopelessly in love with him at bay for her own sake. There's quite an enjoyable 60s Nikkatsu Action feel with slick visuals, nice soundtrack and Yokohama locations. The main problem with "Heartless", and many other Japanese 60s gangster films, be it Nikkatsu or Toei, is that after a couple of hundred entries in the genre the formulas had become so predictable the audience could see some twists and character deaths coming miles away. That is, to an extent, the case here as well, although there are some scenes that play against the expectations.

The Young Animals (皮ジャン反抗族) (Japan, 1978) [DVD] - 3/5
Yasuharu Hasebe took a break from the Roman Porno series to do this biker youth / disco film for Toei Central. And what an opening it has! Hiroshi Tachi on a bike. Cut to a disco where he tames a Nikkatsu runaway girl gang (Yuri Yamashina with razor blades, Natsuko Yashiro). And then he goes all Travolta to "Funky Disco Princess" on the dance floor. Tachi was one of those rock stars turned actors who were better screen performers than you'd expect (Yuya Uchida, who also happens to be in the film, is another). His youthful looks combined with charisma a strangely suffering look on his face made him perfect for playing melancholic punks. This was his first starring role after a couple fine supporting turns (e.g. Classroom of Terror, 1976). The film is basically Rebel Without a Cause meets Saturday Night Fever done in the Japanese youth film genre, fun and colourful, but ultimately lacking in characterization, and perhaps also missing the final punch on the tech side. Aiko Morishita has a small supporting role with no bare skin on display.

Image Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 05 Dec 2017, 01:48

HungFist wrote:
chazgower01 wrote: 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?
I don't think Ike ever did a movie where she kept her clothes on. She wanted to, hence she agreed to do Black Panther Bitch M for Nikkatsu in 1974 when they promised her there would be no sex scenes. She then got all paranoid during filming when they had re-written a scene to be shot in a hotel room and she was sure they're gonna have her do another sex scene. She insisted the scene to be shot in a "safer location" on a rooftop. She still ended up topless in that scene, though.
I so much want to see that!

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 06 Dec 2017, 03:41

Doberman Cop (ドーベルマン刑事) (1977) Amazon Prime - 3/5
I was looking to buy this and saw it was watchable for free on Amazon Prime... 10 minutes into it and I was hooked!
Shinichi 'Sonny' Chiba plays a country bumpkin cop who shuffles into town (complete with straw hat and live pig!) to investigate the death of a girl he grew up next door to that had moved to the big city and was apparently murdered. Of course, the city cops think he's a goofball, and directly laugh at his methods, convinced the murder was committed by a serial killer who is on the loose.

Chiba makes a friend early on though, when he takes his pig to a strip club and the stripper (Eiko Matsuda) isn't offended by the filthy animal, but rather lets her manager deal with it, while she pulls Chiba on stage and has sex with him! That's not what makes him famous though, he repels off the side of a building to crash through a high rise window and save a hostage (it's on TV and the newspapers the next day) - but it turns out the hostage is the girl he's looking for!

Having taken on a new name, she is under the management of a yakuza, who is trying to make her famous as a singer. She has a big televised talent show coming up, but her nervousness (as well as her drug problem) threaten to get in the way.

And who does director Kenji Fukasaku get to play the yakuza, but the always reliable Hiroki Matsukata (Cops vs Thugs) who struts and snarls his way through the role as if it's the only one he was born to play.

But there are other colorful characters in it... the police chief, the renegade cop, the pot head biker gang, the strip club manager... always something going on to keep you entertained in this movie. It's not art, but it is a lot of fun! Chiba may be a country bumpkin here, but he's not afraid to kill whoever gets in his way. And the action fighting has just enough of a dose of Chiba's angry fists to make it all worth seeing!

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 08 Dec 2017, 13:37

Quick-Draw Okatsu (Yôen dokufu-den: Hitokiri okatsu) (1969) DVD 3.5/5
Junko Miyazono returns in this NOT-a-sequel to 1968's Ohyaku: The Female Demon (a B&W semi-classic that is considered an early influence to the pinky violence genre), as a wronged female swordswoman out for revenge. I would imagine this is even more of an influence on the genre as well, with the bright colors, torture, rape, attempted abortion, over the top bad guys, and even a very young looking Reiko Oshida (20 years old) as a spunky short skirted ninja-girl. No nudity, or spraying blood, but a whole lotta people get sliced up.

Okatsu (Miyazono) is a sword-master, respected by the community and loved by her samurai training father. But her brother Rintaro (Masaomi Kondo) just wants to be a farmer, and runs away with his hidden lover, who is pregnant. This starts a chain of events leading to the local bad guy Shiozaki (Kenji Imai) having the father beaten, tortured and killed while he rapes Okatsu. Though neither is that graphic, you can see both happening at the same time, and it has a weird, shocking feel to it.

Even though she escapes, everyone she runs into turns out to be an evil, manipulative swindler; except for Reiko Oshida's adorably cute ninja girl, who kinda shows up here and there, for reasons unexplained, to help slice up people. Her short sword skills are surprisingly entertaining, especially compared to Miyazono, who, despite the role, isn't that great with a sword. Tomisaboro Wakayama (Lone Wolf and Cub) shows up late as a bounty hunter to really put on a display.

The second of three unrelated films (all starring Miyazono), and an early influence for the pinky violence genre, it's an enjoyable revenge flick to see.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 10 Dec 2017, 14:44

Outlaw: Goro the Assassin (無頼 人斬り五郎) (Japan, 1968) [BD] - 3.5/5
Part 4. Watari runs into old enemies while searching for his dead pal's (Tatsuya Fuji) sister. Add a veteran assassin suffering from guilty conscience, a likeable young hood hopelessly in love with a waitress but affiliated with the bad guys, and Chieko Matsubara (once again) as an innocent woman who falls for Watari, and complications begin to arise. Stylish and well acted entry, doesn't stray far from the standard formula but features a couple of slightly unusual turns, such as regular villain actor Asao Koike playing a relatively decent character. The use of locations is excellent, and there are a couple of magnificent sequences such as the pier scene near the end. Very enjoyable.

Outlaw: Black Dagger (無頼 黒匕首) (Japan, 1968) [BD] - 3/5
The 5th film in the series, and also the 5th entry released in 1968. Such pace was exceptional even by the Japanese genre film standards of the time. Like most yakuza films made in the 60s, the "Outlaw" films were formulaic, and what often distinguished a fine film from a mediocre one was not originality but its ability to avoid potentially frustrating drama scenarios. This is where "Black Dagger" stumbles a bit with its "evil yakuza bullying people who can't or won't to fight back" plot. On a positive note, that does make seeing justice eventually happen - in the film's extremely well staged knife fights - very satisfying. The main character, well played by Watari, also has grown so sympathetic by this point that he alone could carry the films given the plots were even half-decent. Also worth mentioning is Kunie Tanaka, an actor who often played gangsters, as a yakuza-hating doctor in this film.

Image Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 12 Dec 2017, 02:50

Story of a Prostitute (春婦伝 Shunpuden) (1965) Netflix DVD 4.5/5

Shot in Black and White and mostly under appreciated when it was released, Story of a Prostitute is the middle film in Seijun Suzuki's prostitution trilogy (1964's Gate of Flesh and 1966's Carmen from Kawachi), though none of the movies are related to each other, except that Yumiko Nogawa is in each of them.

Here she plays the hot blooded Harumi, who gets jilted by her lover and then decides to sell her body to the troops on the war front in China to get away from her past in Japan. There she meets the sadistic Lt. Narita (Isao Tamagawa), who doesn't even take a shining to her - he just sees her as the best available body - and when she talks back he lets her know her place.

To get him back she seduces his obedient and loyal lap dog of a page, Pvt. Mikami (Tamio Kawaji), but she ends up falling deeply in love with him. His loyalty to his service to Japan gets in the way, but he gives in somewhat because of the passion Harumi shows - both the beauty and at times ugliness of it.

This movie has a great deal of contrasts that Suzuki wants to show us - the strict code of the military and yet their sneakiness to cover events that might make their unit look bad - the hatred Harumi feels for the abusive Narita and yet the surprising way she is shown to have sex with him - the feelings she has for Mikami and yet the quickness with which she attacks his stubborn refusal to go against his 'superiors'....

Of course, they're doomed from the start... and where I thought it might end, and didn't... and where I thought it might get a bit too preachy, but instead gave us an even more tragic and sad, yet fitting ending. The story and the style of this make it a great film, during Seijun Suzuki's greatest directing era.

It DID however, also feature another sneak peek of BUSH - completely taboo in Japanese cinema at the time - during Harumi and Narita's first sexual get together...this is no HINT of it... this is full frontal!

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UVElWc91Pts/ ... Pro005.jpg

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 18 Dec 2017, 04:11

Massacre Gun (1967) Amazon Prime 3.5/5
Jô Shishido (Kuroda) plays a yakuza hitman who is ordered to kill his girlfriend, and coldly does so. His two brothers, a young looking, 26 year old Tatsuya Fuji (Eiji) and Jirô Okazaki (Saburo) don't like it and convince him to go against his boss, after Saburo is badly beaten for defying him.
It kicks off a turf war, and a tit for tat that at the time was probably seen as violent and bloody, but today looks a little more theatrical - though there are a lot of deaths and a lot of bullets.
Shishido here is a lot more brooding and dark - he kills his girlfriend when ordered without batting an eye, and his youngest brother Saburo is the hot headed innocent idealist in contrast, unafraid to stand up to the harsh reality of the yakuza world.
Tatsuya Fuji, as the equally hot headed middle brother, sleeps with the yakuza bosses' hot girlfriend, and has a lot of the coolest scenes here - looking suave as hell - in a couple of years he'd have a different look in the first three Stray Cat Rock movies, and of course later, In the Realm of the Senses.
It's a fun movie just to pick out some of the people in it - regular 60's crime noir actor Hideaki Nitani plays Shishido's yakuza buddy who knows he'll at some point have to face him.
Some hot babes, lots of bullets, smokey jazz music...and a pretty straight forward story...worth a look.

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 20 Dec 2017, 03:58

Ohyaku: The Female Demon (1968) Youtube 4/5
A mother jumps off a bridge and commits suicide, with her young daughter in her arms, but the child survives with a large scar on her back. Now grown up, Ohyaku (Junko Miyazono), still with that scar (as well as emotional ones), is leading a similar life, when she decides to strike out on her own after meeting a mysterious stranger she falls for (Kunio Murai). He’s a thief, and shares a hatred for the rich and powerful - they make love and become a couple, and he includes her in a robbery, that is successful, but unfortunately they’re betrayed by the local crime boss. Things go downhill fast for Ohyaku from there - losing her man, getting raped, thrown in prison, beaten up, tattooed… but she slowly starts to turn things to her advantage, and even has lesbian sex to slowly manipulate her enemies against each other.
This is a revenge movie - a female revenge movie - and one that apparently was influential upon the pinky violence genre, and if I called it a semi-classic in a previous writing, then I’ll correct it now and say, it IS a classic. Ohyaku’s revenge is sweet - maybe not as bloody or as over the top stylish - but very, very sweet, and certainly stylish enough to be included in some of my favorite’s from that genre.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 20 Dec 2017, 04:44

I should re-watch the series some day. I recall liking the 2nd movie the best, but I was a huge Oshida fan back then so that may have had something to do with it...

Erotic Liaisons (エロチックな関係) (Japan, 1992) [DVD] - 2/5
More of a curiosity than a good film, this is Koji Wakamatsu's adaptation of a French detective novel, shot on location in Paris. Yuya Uchida stars as private detective falling in love with the femme fatale (Jennifer Galin) he's been hired to tail by a rich businessman (Takeshi Kitano). Rie Miyazawa, fresh off from her "hair nude" photo book fame of 1991, is Uchida's fully clothed side-kick. It is too bad the film is largely void of the angry political angst and exploitation Wakamatsu is known for, feeling like a lame TV production with a bit of nudity thrown in. Even Uchida, whose Japanese / French / English speaking role is the highlight of the film, often looks bored. The storyline itself is not bad despite stretching the credibility, but there is a far superior version of it found in the Nikkatsu Roman Porno catalogue. The 1978 film, also called Erotic Liaisons, stars Uchida in the same role under Yasuharu Hasebe's ultra-stylish direction. It's a better film in every sense: more erotic, with stronger characters, 10 times better score, and cinematography that oozes noir. It was filmed in Japan with a Japanese cast, but somehow felt more French than the Wakamatsu version.

Outlaw: Kill (無頼 殺せ) (Japan, 1969) [BD] - 3.5/5
Part 6, the last in the series. This is the grittier and more violent than the rest of the bunch, indeed somewhat bridging the gap from the romantic pathos of the 60s Japanese crime cinema to the grittier style embraced in the 70s. While still rooted in the ideals of honour and duty, it's also very critical of what the yakuza have become, and the only film in the series without a love story between Watari and Matsubara. The scrip is not terribly original, but does good gob avoiding bigger pitfalls. As parting words, the hero played by Watari really grew into a character worthy of six films as the series progressed, and it's almost a shame there weren't a few more.

Image Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 21 Dec 2017, 04:47

HungFist wrote:I should re-watch the series some day. I recall liking the 2nd movie the best, but I was a huge Oshida fan back then so that may have had something to do with it...
She IS adorable in it. And a heck of a lot more natural looking with a sword than Junko....

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 22 Dec 2017, 05:08

Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Police Tactics (1974) Amazon Prime 3/5
The cops start to take more notice to the yakuza activity, and even though everyone higher up in the families want to remain cool, Shozo (Bunta Sugawara) is itching to go after Yamamori (Nobuo Kaneko) and finish him off for good, even if it means sacrificing himself. Meanwhile Takeda (Akira Kobayashi) is trying to keep Yamamori and everyone on their side cool, in hopes of driving Shozo’s alliances apart. But the hot headed actions of the lower level goons accidentally get a civilian killed and the public outcry intensifies the police action.
Japanese actress/singer Mayumi Nagisa has a small part as Mieko, the girlfriend of a dying boss Matsui, but ex-girlfriend of low level lieutenant Fukuda, who she sleeps with again, and unwittingly gets him killed, causing the real violence to erupt between the two sides.
When Shozo puts together a plan to kill Yamamori, his own men abandon him in the wilderness to keep him from doing it. Meanwhile the cowardly Uchimoto (Takeshi Katō) has already betrayed the plan. The police arrest Shozo for breaking parole from an assault the previous year (that only Yamamori could’ve tipped them off to). No longer a part of the fight, the families begin to politizise and even start thinking of going legit - while the lower level fighting continues, and the police make more arrests.
Tatsuo Umemiya as Shinichi Iwai of the Akashi family, who has played it cooler than anyone, visits Shozo in prison and offers him a place in Kobe when he gets out.
The always menacing looking Hiroki Matsukata as Shoichi Fujita is really dark skinned in this movie. Very noticeably strange looking at times, though I guess it’s because of his characters illness. His somewhat sad ending, brings on a final outpouring of violence, and most of the bosses are rounded up and imprisoned, including Yamamori, though he only gets a year and a half.
In the end, as both Shozo and Takeda await to be booked into prison (Shozo is getting 7 years), they make peace and lament that their time may be past.
Even though I'd rate it about the same as the first movie, I enjoyed this much more - knowing the characters and empathizing with what happens to some of them. Also, I think director Kinji Fukasaku does his best job with the smaller parts (and characters) that he incorporates into the big picture here, and it certainly doesn't hurt that it's the bloodiest and most violent of the stories either.
Last edited by chazgower01 on 24 Dec 2017, 16:05, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10745
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 » 24 Dec 2017, 09:06

(Maruhi) Jorô zankoku iro-jigoku ((秘)女郎残酷色地獄) (Japan, 1973) [35mm] - 2/5
This Roman Porno film has, for some reason, been neglected in English language writing to the extent that it doesn't seem to have an English title. The loss is not big. Decently acted and produced, but unimaginatively directed by the artistically non-gifted Shinichi Shiratori, it's yet another sad story of girls forced to work as courtesans in Edo. Leading girl Rie Nakagawa was one of the early Roman Porno starlets, and had a slight edge over some of her fellow actresses in terms of acting talent.

Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (座頭市と用心棒) (Japan, 1970) [BD] - 3.5/5
Part 20. There's a scene in many of the Zatoichi films where Zatoichi is walking down a countryside road and enjoying life's little pleasures, such as the sun gently embracing his face. This film starts with the rain beating his face. He is sick and tired of it all, the rain, the coldness, the killing. This was the second film in the series produced by Katsu's own company. From visuals to characterization it's a much darker take on the franchise, devoid of the kind of beauty and romanticism that were present in the more conservative crowd pleasers produced by Daiei. Of course, it's still an extremely commercial film with some humorous moments and two legendary characters, but they are both given a grittier portrayal than one might expect. At 115 minutes it's the longest film in the series, and while it may not rank among the very best, the final 20 minutes is quite spectacular with director Okamoto, composer Ikufube, cinematographer Miyagawa and the cast all doing amazing job. In addition to Mifune and Katsu, there are excellent supporting turns by Shin Kishida (assassin) and Kanjuro Arashi (sculptor).

Image Image

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 25 Dec 2017, 01:23

Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Final Episode (Japan, 1974) Amazon - 3/5
Takeda (Akira Kobayashi) has turned his family into a political coalition, to try to change public perception, but the underlings of all parties are still restless and fighting. Opposing this way of doing things is the just out of jail old school boss Terukichi Ichioka (Hiroki Matsukata). Note: Matasukata is on his third character in the series! He died as Shoichi Fujita in the previous movie and was assassinated as Tetsuya Sakai in the first movie!). Making things difficult within his own camp is Takeda’s Hot Headed Vice Chairman Otomo (played with fire by an older Joe Shishido) who is ready to fight back after Ichioka has one of their accountants killed (Sugita).
But Takeda is thrown in jail on a weapons charge and he names Matsumura (Kinya Kitaoji - also on a second character in the series - he was Shoji in Deadly Fight in Hiroshima) as his replacement. Otomo is furious and tries to have Matsumura killed, but fails. Ichioka senses this infighting and offers to be sworn brothers with Otomo.
Yes, it’s the same type of thing weve seen in each of these movies, but I’ve followed it so closely now, I want to know where it goes! If I had to rate them on how I personally enjoyed them all, from best to worst in order, it’d be 2, 3, 4, 5, 1.
Two things: This movie is about Matsumura’s transition to power (and the new generation replacing the old) - how the whole area prepares for Shozo’s release from prison - and where things are at right up to the present times…or 1970 anyway.
Also of note: Yumiko Nogawa (Story of a Prostitute, Gate of Flesh) has a small part as Kaoru, the daughter of Sugita, and girlfriend and then wife of Matsumura… and Maki Tachibana (The Story of a Nymphomaniac) has a small part in one quick scene as Yamamori’s mistress.
Last edited by chazgower01 on 25 Dec 2017, 01:59, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 25 Dec 2017, 01:25

Okatsu the Fugitive (Japan, 1969) Youtube 2/5
The third in a trio of similar yet unrelated movies, it once again tells the revenge story of Okatsu (in the first film she was Ohyaku), played by Junko Miyazono.
It attempts to be more stylish than the first two films, and in some cases succeeds, but is overall very inferior. Even Reiko Oshida, looking as cute as ever, is wasted as the spunky young helper (this time in hot pants!), who does even less, and never even wields a sword. Still, it’s considered an influence upon the pinky violence genre, even if it does sort of miss the point by once again having a male come to the aid of the female hero (this time Tatsuo Umemiya).
In case you’re unfamilar: Junko plays a character in old Japan, who is great with a sword (in this movie she actually looks her least comfortable with it), who’s family is tortured and killed, leading to her rape, and being betrayed by everyone she tries to trust, until she’s pretty much thought to be finished off - only to come back and kill all of those who’ve wronged her. The first one was dark and cool, the second was done right, and this one feels like a cheap knockoff.

User avatar
chazgower01
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 20:19

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 26 Dec 2017, 01:54

Wild Sex Gang (Kyohashi Sex Group) (Japan, 1973) DVD - 2/5
I'm not one to buy a bootleg, unless it's something that is really, really impossible to find... and has subtittles... and looks decent... and is cheap. Well this was all of those....

Starting off with a 4 on 4 nude countryside motor cycle ride that turns into an orgy (wish I could figure out who THIS girl is...)
WARNING, PICTURE IS NSFW: https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hhBRE9fo8z8/ ... der-12.jpg
You figure this is maybe just getting started with the exploitation......and everyone is having fun!
WARNING, PICTURE IS NSFW:https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-O6DBKfDs0AE/ ... nder-6.jpg

But then it turns into a misogynistic bore.

Some punk kid named Junya (Longtime Japanese actor Takashi Shirai) tricks his dad (who's in the course of getting blackmailed by the aforementioned local biker gang for banging one their girls) into buying him a '750cc' motor bike, so he can race cops and flag down a local hottie played by Miki Sugimoto.
Image
But she doesn't put out, so the gang kidnaps and rapes a random girl in the woods (she ends up liking it - oh for pete's sake), before kicking Junya out of the group because he brings too much heat (the cops)!
Image

Undaunted Junya then rapes the girlfriend of the cop who is after him (at least it's rape until she gets turned on by it - sigh).
Of course, he sets it up so the cop walks in on them, but the cop ends up punching HER instead of HIM, who he just lets walk out. (The cop is played by longtime Japanese actor Tsunehiko Watase and the girlfriend is played by another long time Japanese actress Isayama Hiroko - the only likable character in the whole movie)Image

After Junya brags about it to him on the street though, the cop kicks the crap out of him and... ah, say it isn't so... Miki Sugimoto comes to his rescue and - you guessed it, feels sorry for him and sleeps with him! And then becomes his motorcycle teacher. Grrr....
Image
The excitement, the thrills, and the rape... don't forget about the rape!

The old gang catches Miki riding in the woods and drag HER off to rape (what the hell is with these guys), but suddenly that's not cool to old Junya, and he beats them all up. Except one of the goons gets a solid kick to Miki's stomach, knocking her out. If this were a GOOD movie, it'd be all about MIKI and the girls banding together and getting some revenge.

It's NOT though... Junya ends up killing a different cop in a bike race...
Image

Miki gets arrested, a lame chase scene happens and then...the longest motorcycle chase scene in the history of movies... plus the stupidest ending too. And Coca-Cola wanted product placement of Sprite in this movie?
Image

There are a lot of reasons to not like this movie, besides it's ugly attitude toward women (though that's certainly enough) - it's a rather tame performance from our lovely Miki Sugimoto, and she has to rely upon her 'acting' skills through almost all of her scenes....
Image


It still gets two points for a handful of reasons - the opening scene, Miki Sugimoto (in any form), a Japanese Rock Band, and... it's 70's Japan.

Some bonus NSFW pics:
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RM2jZzN6OVI/ ... der-13.jpg
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n-rOZLmjLBQ/ ... der-11.jpg
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NfrLF0rCk1I/ ... nder-7.jpg

Miki:
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9YXevfnhmpM/ ... nder-2.jpg
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ifPOhxu5-to/ ... nder-3.jpg
Image

Post Reply