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

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

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Dec 2017, 15:25

chazgower01 wrote: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....
You chose a bad time to buy it as Toei will be screening a HD remaster next month. Then again, the film is indeed pretty poor so it doesn't make much of a difference I guess.

I saw it years ago and recall being very underwhelmed. The theatrical poster is much cooler than the the film.

Speaking of rare pinky violence, I hope Toei will broadcast Female Yakuza Convict (Masahide Shinozuka, 1974) some day. It's not supposed to be that great (according to Chris D.) but it's one of the few that I haven't seen.

Rape in Public Sea (Hong Kong, 1993) - 1.5/5
A pretty lame CAT III revenge actioner lacking any coherence. There's a bunch of bad guys doing a whole lot of killing and raping all over the place (ironically, no one gets raped in sea, though). It takes a good while before it becomes even half clear who the heroes / avengers are supposed to be - there's a dozen of them. A 1993 movie shot on film, it's better than some of the junk that would come later, but it's really quite a bore, relatively non-graphic in the violence front as well, and the endless sex scenes are so unintentionally comical that one can't help but to wonder who ever thought they'd serve as erotica.

Skiptrace (China / Hong Kong / USA, 2016) [Flight] - 2/5
"Renny Harlin is making a Jackie Chan movie, unfortunately not in 1994". This A.V. Club pre-release headline summed it up perfectly. It's basically a Rush Hour lite meets 48 Hours, with Johnny Knoxville instead of Chris Tucker / Eddie Murphy. Mostly watchable with a fast pace and a couple of good jokes, but ultimately nothing we haven't seen done better dozens of times. The action is forgettable and the soundtrack especially bad. There is one wonderful cameo, though.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Dec 2017, 01:55

Not sure where to mention this, as it looks like no one's been in the Bargains / Suppliers / Classifieds section in over a year...but....
Arrow UK is having a huge sale, and since the Blu-Ray are multi-region, I picked up a few things:
Pam Grier's Coffy for $10 US
Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood 2 for $13.37 US
Branded to Kill for $10 US

Some DVD's for as little as $5.35 US (£4)

Thought some of you might want to check it out: https://arrowfilms.com

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Dec 2017, 05:39

Delinquent Boss: Wolves of the City aka Furyo Bancho (Japan, 1968) DVD - 3/5

In 1968, inspired by the American motorcycle films and wanting to tap into the Juvenile Delinquent market, Toei put together this movie about a gang of motorcycle riding hoods, who rape, kidnap, steal and fight... but who aren't as bad as the yakuza!
I'd always heard that these 'Furyo Bancho' movies were 'softer' than some of the movies that came out in the 70's - and it is as far as nudity in this one - but it still starts off with a gang rape in broad daylight on the beach... by the 'heroes' of the movie!
Only after the girl 'faints', just as it's the last guy's turn, do they decide to 'call it a day'. Wait, these are the good guys of the movie?

Tatsuo Umemiya as the leader of the gang is neither young, or 'skinny poor' like the rest of his gang, but he IS one cool dude, and again plays that part well here. Despite playing a scumbag, he just has a certain charm to him that makes you understand how he'd be able to lead a group of goons like this. And carry the movie.

We also have Tamami Fujii (or Tamami Natsu - from the Japanese Wikipedia my translation function says ’Summer beads US') as Ryuko, a yakuza’s daughter (I don’t think she’s done a whole lot, but apparently she was in the first four of the Moonlight Mask movies in the late 50’s as a young girl - she was 21 when she appeared in THIS movie) who has somewhat of a thing with Tatsuo, though it gets him into more trouble than it looks like it’s worth.
She gives, somewhat, as good as she gets it...when the gang tries to drug her and her friends so they can have their way 'doing what they couldn't before' (i.e. date rape), she has the foresight to drug THEIR drinks as well, so she's the only one left standing.

Reiko Ohara is mostly wasted in this movie as one of the gang members who isn’t involved in much of their shenanigans, dressed in army fatigues to hide her looks - though she does get into a cat fight with one of the girls the gang picks up to sell to a hostess bar. In the later half of the movie Reiko cleans up and looks cute for us, but once again doesn’t do much until her elaborate exit from the movie.

There's very minor nudity in the film (at one point they go to some cool ass club where two girls are dancing and making out under psychedelic lights), though lots of implied sexuality - it's pretty violent, though mostly in that 50 year old theatrical movie sort of way...

The jist of this movie is to show how greedy today's youth and the yakuzas are - and how everyone involved in the free wheeling world of underground Japan will end up on the wrong end of life chasing that greed.
The opening song lyrics are 'Who needs god when you've got money?'
Indeed.

Cool promotional pic from the movie. I had a hard time finding some good pictures and information on this movie - mostly it's all concentrated on the later films...
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 28 Dec 2017, 01:00

Drunken Master, Slippery Snake (1979)

The first 10 minutes of this film, with Yuen Siu Tien pretending to a blushing bride (no, really!) suggest that he will be the main star, but then the focus shifts more to Cliff Lok, who isn't nearly as good an actor. But it's just as well, as Yuen is so extensively doubled in the finale by Brandy Yuen that he might as well have stayed home. Good villiany from Lee Hoi-sang and Chiang Tao, not much else to really hold the attention. Cliff Lok is less alluring in drag than Jackie Chan was in Fearless Hyena!

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 28 Dec 2017, 01:45

The Brave Archer (1977)

First part of a 3-film adaptation of Jin Yong's Legend of the Eagle Shooting Hero, starring Alexander Fu Sheng, and nearly everyone on Shaws' payroll. The early more macabre sections (with skull piercings, skin ripping and blindings galore) are much more engrossing then the latter faffing around with poetry readings against the fakest "exteriors" imaginable, but the cute love story does bring a smile to my face. Fu Sheng looks bored, the little seen Helen Yu is a sexy witch, Ti Lung is only in the opening credits, and Phillip Kwok steals the entire movie as "The Pope".

Besides the title card, there is no archery in the movie, by the way. You have been warned

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

Unread post by Markgway » 28 Dec 2017, 01:49

HungFist wrote: Rape in Public Sea (Hong Kong, 1993) - 1.5/5
A pretty lame CAT III revenge actioner lacking any coherence. There's a bunch of bad guys doing a whole lot of killing and raping all over the place (ironically, no one gets raped in sea, though). It takes a good while before it becomes even half clear who the heroes / avengers are supposed to be - there's a dozen of them. A 1993 movie shot on film, it's better than some of the junk that would come later, but it's really quite a bore, relatively non-graphic in the violence front as well, and the endless sex scenes are so unintentionally comical that one can't help but to wonder who ever thought they'd serve as erotica.
The original version was titled SAD STORY OF SAIGON.
More action, no sex/sexual violence (which was added for the HK theatrical release after the film flopped in Taiwan).
Harder to find, but available somewhere on VHS.
I've only seen the RAPE... version myself.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 28 Dec 2017, 11:12

Markgway wrote: The original version was titled SAD STORY OF SAIGON.
More action, no sex/sexual violence (which was added for the HK theatrical release after the film flopped in Taiwan).
Harder to find, but available somewhere on VHS.
I've only seen the RAPE... version myself.
Thanks. Very interesting.

That explains a thing or two.

I'm not sure "Saigon" would be a better film but probably more coherent at least.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 28 Dec 2017, 21:09

Ivan Drago wrote:The Brave Archer (1977)

Ti Lung is only in the opening credits
I don't think his character shows up proper until Part 3!
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 28 Dec 2017, 21:10

HungFist wrote: I'm not sure "Saigon" would be a better film but probably more coherent at least.
A good film? Maybe not. But likely a better one as RAPE is pretty crap.

SAIGON reportedly has more action for its western actors (how often do we get to see Jeff Falcon and Sophia Crawford play heroes?).
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 30 Dec 2017, 12:06

Bohachi Bushido: Code of the Forgotten Eight (Japan, 1973) DVD 4.5/5
Despite all I’d heard about this movie, I was still surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. It’s everything exploitation is supposed to be.
Its the story of Shiro, a 17th century ronin, who comes into contact with the Clan of the Forgotten Eight. They're essentially pimps with a lot of time on their hands who come up with eight guidelines to their way of life (no god, loyalty, servitude, trust, property, justice, conscience, or shame), and they figure Shiro is just their kind of guy.
But he’s such a badass that he can’t even follow THOSE rules, so the big boss decides instead to employ him to go and destroy the clans enemies (i.e. Anyone ELSE who are selling women for money) and he does so with the calm, efficient manner of a steamroller set on automatic pilot.
Of course, they screw him over in the end and he has to make them pay, but all along the way it’s sex and violence galore - when they tell you a movie has a lot of nudity in it… well, no - THIS movie has a lot of nudity in it. You could create a drinking game call 'spot the maebari’ and you and your friends would never get bored.
Legendary Japanese actor Tetsuro Tanba is perfect as the nihilistic, depressed, stone faced assassin Shiro, and Ultra 7’s Anne, Yuriko Hishimi, prances around naked throughout; but really the whole cast is excellent, including Gorou Ibuki as second in command, Endo Tatsuo as the despicable and evil boss.
By accident or not, director Teruo Ishii has created art here - I’m not even completely sure why I deducted a .5 from the score - maybe the story could’ve been a bit deeper? And it never lags, but rather moves along at a nice steady gallop throughout.
“To Die is Hell. But to Live is also Hell.” - Shiro tells us a few times, surrounded in a world of scum, he has to slice his way through, only to be pursued by more people - is this his life or is he really in hell?
There’s a great interview with Yuriko Hishimi that you can watch on youtube, where she talks about being in this movie - it’s really entertaining. It has nudity in it, so NSFW.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZQcleMYWNM
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 30 Dec 2017, 13:16

One of my favourite films as well. Great action, amazing visuals, and most importantly, the pacing is absolute perfection. Traditionally minded people might not agree, but I think the film is wonderfully written with a script that is to-the-point, constantly pulling the protagonist towards the next bizarre yet perfectly logical conflict, and completely free of the usual filler material and boring side plots.

Oh, and the scenes with the naked bohachi bodyguards are just amazing, especially the ninja battle and the scene where they put out a fire.

The sequel (1974) is unfortunately not even half as good, even though storywise it's so similar I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be a sequel or a remake.

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 01 Jan 2018, 11:16

Fury in Shaolin Temple (1982)

Poor Gordon Liu really needed a better agent judging from this Korean/HK trash, which sees him and one-time Bruce Lee clone Chang Il-Do as two long-lost brothers (or something) learning kung fu from different masters. Contrary to the credits, Phillip Ko is not worthy of second billing since his only scene is a fight with Chang which appears to have been inserted from a totally different film. Instead of the usual Shaolin bronzemen, we get the Shaolin men-in-multicolored-bodystockings, not to mention the worst single use of wirework you will ever see.

The things I do for England...

3/10
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 02 Jan 2018, 02:00

Pure Korean film.

Asso Asia imported it and performed their magic.

Haven't seen it, and don't intend to, but judging by the credits, only the scene(s) with Philip Ko and Lee Fat-Yuen was added.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 02 Jan 2018, 02:28

Decided to have a Bruce Lee film fest for New Year's Day. I need to buy these on Blu-Ray at some point, but for now, the Amazon versions will have to do.

The Big Boss (Hong Kong, 1971) Amazon Prime 3.5/5
Bruce Lee’s first movie is slow at times, and he doesn’t really fight until almost half way through it (he promised his sick mother back in China - yawn), but as a first effort you can see why it quickly became such a hit. His charisma is noticeable immediately, even next to one of the current big stars in Chinese Cinema, James Tien. The slease factor (heroin, prostitutes) is ramped up enough to keep an otherwise predictable story at least titillating. (An original print would be even better!)
Also, Maria Yi is adorable as Bruce’s innocent cousin/love interest and the movie takes place/was shot in my beloved Thailand (Pak Chong from what I’ve read), which I guess helps/is of interest respectively.
Oh, and Nora Miao gets an ‘also starring/fourth billing’ for what amounts to a cameo - being the young star’s mistress has it's perks I guess.

Fists of Fury (Hong Kong, 1972) Amazon Prime 4/5
Man, did Bruce ramp up the game quickly. His passive stance in his second movie doesn’t last much past the first scene, as he pumps up the rampage throughout the whole movie - taking a moment here and there to reflect, plan, or dress as a goofy telephone repairman to gain intel.
Nora Miao is back, playing the love interest this time, as unsexed up as they can make her. The fights are better, the pacing is better, and Bruce’s fists, as well as his demeanor are as furious as they’d ever get. He is PISSED OFF throughout this whole movie. And that always bodes well for the viewer.

The Way of the Dragon (1972) Starz 3.5/5
Bruce’s directorial debut has a lot of good about it - a sense of humor, colorful bad guys, a Chuck Norris finale showdown - it just seems to take a while to get there. Time and again we watch all of Bruce’s restaurant workers get beat up as Bruce stands by and only then does he beat up all the guys who beat up all of his guys. Still - Bruce being Bruce and the finale make it all worth it, as Chuck Norris and his freshly shaved back make a worthy opponent.
A Nora Miao nude scene might’ve helped - here she is back, this time as a modern day love interest, and looking mighty fine. Paul Wei is back as well, again as the Big Boss’ right hand man - this time playing him as flamboyantly gay, with a crew of multi-ethnic henchmen, that includes one that looks like Wolfman Jack.
But it all seems to run a bit too long - Bruce’s shortest movie yet feels the longest - though for a Chinese directorial debut of that period, it probably seemed a masterpiece at the time.

Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story (USA, 1993) Amazon 3/5
It gets so much wrong, especially in the middle third of the movie, but the first and third parts are still enjoyable to me. In 1993, it was tough to find an American made movie that had fight scenes that were actually enjoyable to watch, especially involving martial arts. Of course it helped having Jerry Poteet (one of Bruce’s original students and a continued teacher of Jeet Kune Do) to work with an inspired Jason Scott Lee.
Sure it’s bastardized Hollywood storytelling at it’s finest, but the fight scenes, as well as seeing the Ice Factory and the Room of Mirrors recreated make it worth the viewing, and I believe it’s heart at least was in the right place.

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 02 Jan 2018, 17:30

AFAIK, Nora was never Bruce's mistress...pity, I like to think she'd kept her cool in a crisis more than Betty Ting Pei.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 02 Jan 2018, 17:54

Nora Miao must be the only woman in the world who has kissed both Bruce Lee and Sonny Chiba (*)

* at least according to a promotional still from Tokyo-Seoul-Bangkok Drug Triangle. The scene is not the the Japanese cut of the film. Could be in some other cut as multiple versions were created for different markets.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 02 Jan 2018, 19:21

Ivan Drago wrote:AFAIK, Nora was never Bruce's mistress...pity, I like to think she'd kept her cool in a crisis more than Betty Ting Pei.
Yeah, I guess maybe I shouldn't assume... she could just be playing coy...
She never admitted or denied it, and they sure took a LOT of off work pictures together though...

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 03 Jan 2018, 04:07

Really?!

I remember reading a story where Bruce was talking about the scene with the Thai hooker in The Big Boss, and Linda didnt like it, afaik he turned to her and said "Part of the fringe benefits" :D

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 03 Jan 2018, 04:09

Ivan Drago wrote:AFAIK, Nora was never Bruce's mistress...pity, I like to think she'd kept her cool in a crisis more than Betty Ting Pei.
Nora was so hot back then :(

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 04 Jan 2018, 14:06

The Insatiable aka Modern Porno Tale (Japan, 1972) DVD 2/5
Reiko Ike goes from Catholic School (Where she has a lesbian relationship with Miki Sugimoto) to moving back home with her mom (and getting raped by her mom’s creepy boyfriend -devirginizing her) to working in a hostess bar and making some big money from an older fat Japanese business man who has sex with her during an orgy. And this is all in the first 15 minutes!
Why does she do these things? Because she’s…Insatiable!
She keeps searching, sleeping with every man she meets, until Sandra Julien shows up and they sleep with each other…but somehow the air gets let out and it just sort of limps along to a very violent finish. Nothing wrong with Sandra Julien (there for just a couple of scenes), and I could probably watch a full Norifumi Suzuki movie of Reiko Ike being sexually insatiable…maybe it would’ve worked better as a comedy?
It’s got some style, and plenty of sex…just no substance to sustain it.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 06 Jan 2018, 18:06

chazgower01 wrote:The Insatiable aka Modern Porno Tale (Japan, 1972) DVD 2/5
I used to own the Toei DVD but got rid of it (I posted a screencap of Reiko & Sandra's shower scene; the dvd sold almost immediately :lol: ). As you say, the film is not very good, although it does have a bit of nostalgic early 70s sexploitation drama appeal. I could imagine enjoying it a bit more "as an experience" if I saw it in 35mm in a moody theatre in Tokyo.

Lowlife Love (下衆の愛) (Japan, 2015) [DCP] - 2.5/5
A lowlife film director dreams of making a good film and entertains his sad life by exploiting young actresses. Looking back at this film, which came out a few years ago, it's become more timely now with the Harvey Weinstein stuff and all. Japanese film industry has its own little Harveys, and this film shows it. It's also not a bad film, but considering its low key approach to very daily topics there should have been something more to make it stand out. As a general remark about modern Japanese cinema, there's a whole new generation of young filmmakers seemingly making indie films for themselves, about themselves, often clueless of what other filmmakers have done before them. Although not all of the fore-mentioned "accusations" apply to Lowlife Love, I can't help but to at least occasionally associate Uchida with the fore-mentioned filmmakers. Or perhaps I just belong to the wrong "group" since these films do have an audience in Japan, the same people who will go see every new Japanese indie that gets a theatrical release.

True Account of the 300 000 000 Yen Case - Statute of Limitations (実録三億円事件 時効成立) (Japan, 1975) [DVD] - 2/5
This true account of a 300 million yen heist epitomes the Toei mindset. It was brought to the attention of producer Shigeru Okada that the crime, which took place December 10, 1968, would expire as unsolved at the end of the year, and now would be the perfect time to cash in. So was born this "true account" where almost everything is fictional since the police, despite the largest investigation in the history of Japan (110 000 suspects / 170 000 policemen participating), never found out who did it. Teruo Ishii was brought in to helm the picture, and the son of the producer, Yusuke Okada, cast as the robber. The film suffers from vapid characterization that produces some boredom, but Ishii knows how to direct stylish and suspenseful scenes once the storyline starts rolling and we see the criminals prepare and pull off the heist. Unfortunately things get less interesting again once the film shifts its focus to the police investigation (led by Nobuo Kaneko). The film also lacks the exploitative edge of most other 70s Teruo Ishii films (there is a brief bathhouse scene thrown in for random nudity, though!).

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

Unread post by HungFist » 11 Jan 2018, 10:20

Once a Thief (Hong Kong, 1991) [DVD] - 3.5/5
John Woo's fun and stylish caper where, surprisingly enough, Chow Yun Fat is the weakest link. I used to love the film but seeing it again now I must say Chow is more irritating than charming with his comedy act. He does have his moments though, and there are times when the dumb humour works in the "only in Hong Kong" sense. Otherwise the film is quite enjoyable with cool cinematography, fun action and occasional master class scenes, such as the encounter in front of a grocery store, and the wonderful dance scene which ranks among Woo's finest moments.

Exodus (Hong Kong, 2007) [DVD] - 4/5
A police officer (Simon Yam) begins to suspect women are conspiring to kill all men from the face of earth. Brilliant mixture of satire and paranoia thriller is mostly played straight, without underestimating the viewer, much in the sense of 70s cinema that could be playfully outrageous yet take itself seriously enough not to wink its eye at the viewer every bloody 10 seconds. The latter only happens a few times in Exodus, mainly the poor opening scene and some bits near the end in an otherwise excellent film. Watching the film kept thinking if Twitch Film's Todd Brown has seen the it and taken offence. He had, and he did. Oh, and the cinematography is lovely as well.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 11 Jan 2018, 13:24

HungFist wrote:
Exodus (Hong Kong, 2007) [DVD] - 4/5
A police officer (Simon Yam) begins to suspect women are conspiring to kill all men from the face of earth. Brilliant mixture of satire and paranoia thriller is mostly played straight, without underestimating the viewer, much in the sense of 70s cinema that could be playfully outrageous yet take itself seriously enough not to wink its eye at the viewer every bloody 10 seconds. The latter only happens a few times in Exodus, mainly the poor opening scene and some bits near the end in an otherwise excellent film. Watching the film kept thinking if Twitch Film's Todd Brown has seen the it and taken offence. He had, and he did. Oh, and the cinematography is lovely as well.


During the 90's Simon Yam was one of my favorite HK actors... always interesting in his choices and ways in which he played the character...

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 11 Jan 2018, 13:27

Godzilla (Japan, 1954) Filmstruck VOD 3.5/5
dir: Ishiro Honda
It's interesting to still be intrigued by this movie - I watch it every few years - and a number of the same things still resonate with me.
One, having grown up watching these type of movies and TV shows; I'll never be able to stop my ability to suspend my disbelief at a man in a rubber suit.
Two, this was the movie that started Eiji Tsuburaya on the path to creating some of the coolest, most influential, and fun special effects and monsters of his era.
Three - as wooden as the leads are in this movie, the Japanese extras are amazing - they were really drawing on their experiences from the A-Bomb attacks - and it shows through. Of course, Godzilla has always been a metaphor for the A-Bomb, so it makes sense...
And Four - the importance of this movie can't be understated. Sure, King Kong had come along 20 years earlier, but Godzilla would become a huge part of Japanese culture and a star all over the world, and kick start a whole genre of giant monster movies.
Still a cool flick, and different from what the series would become (this is more of a somber horror story), it’s a true classic.

Godzilla Raids Again (Japan, 1955) Amazon Prime 3/5
dir: Motoyoshi Oda
I had never seen this second Godzilla movie for some reason, so it was fun to finally experience it. Not sure why they didn’t show this one as much when I was a kid, it features a few cool scenes in particular - the initial monster battle between Godzilla and Anguirus on the island and of course the snow battle finale with the fighter planes.
A quick follow up to the success of the first movie, this was more of what we’d come to expect in a Japanese monster movie, though the special effects still had a little ways to go.


Children of Hiroshima (Japan, 1952) Filmstruck VOD 4/5
dir: Kaneto Shindo
Shot in Hiroshima, this movie is an actual time capsule, allowing us to see the effects and living conditions in the town, a few years after the dropping of the Atomic Bomb.
When a young teacher (Nobuko Otowa) returns home to visit friends and past students, she is saddened to see what has happened to the town she grew up in and the people there (those who’ve survived). Besides the obvious damage we clearly see, in the buildings and in the people, even the most normal looking of situations, reveal some effect from the bomb.
Beautifully shot, and very matter of fact in it’s approach to what we see, this is an amazing film, that couldn’t have been done better than when and where it was made.
Near the end of the movie they hear a plane flying overhead and everyone sort of freezes and looks up… it’s just a plane passing over the city… but to the people of Hiroshima, it’s a fearful reminder….

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 13 Jan 2018, 11:33

Toykyo Twilight (Japan, 1957) Filmstruck VOD 4/5
dir: Yasujiro Ozu
A drama about a Japanese family, but centered on the youngest sister, the 20-ish Akiko (Ineko Arima). The movie is staged like being an invisible guest in the room - we see the trivial everyday goings on of the characters, and hear their conversations, and slowly begin to see some of the cracks in the relationships, before slowly learning all of the secrets hidden within. At 2 hours and 20 minutes, it doesn’t give us anything resembling an American movie JOLT, but rather, very steady in it’s execution, delivers a story that reveals it’s details naturally. Even it’s climax is understated - this isn’t about shock for shock’s sake, but rather about how a Japanese family in the late 1950’s, would deal with it’s issues in modern times.
I’m no expert on Japanese life, but I found the film to be extremely enjoyable - I’m fascinated by late 50’s through early 70’s Japan - and this is an amazing slice of life view from that period and a quality drama that transcends culture.


Outlaw: Gangster VIP (1968) Amazon Prime 3.5/5
dir: Toshio Masuda
Thoroughly enjoyable romanticized yakuza movie, the first in a series, featuring some of the big stars of Japanese cinema. Tetsuya Watari is Goro, a yakuza who goes to jail for three years after stabbing another yakuza, only to find out that things have changed once he gets out. His girlfriend (Yasuko Sanjo), who swore she’d wait for him, has married a regular guy and settled down. Added to that, his gang has lost it’s prominence - and the rival gang has become more ruthless and powerful than ever.
Complicating matters further and for our benefit is the appearance of the lovely Chieko Matsubara, who Goro saves from some of the rival gang thugs. She immediately falls hopelessly in love with him and he very reluctantly allows her to hang about.
He has two close friends, the cool Suzuki (Tatsuya Fuji) and a younger more excitable friend who… well we all know where this is heading. But it’s a nicely laid out, flowing storyline, that director Toshio Masuda presents in a functional, yet attractive style - the fight scenes are well staged and it’s just an easy film to watch. It may seem a bit dated now to some, but the performances should carry through even the more jaded viewers.


Outlaw: Gangster VIP 2 (1968) Amazon Prime 3.5/5
dir: Keiichi Ozawa
Another thoroughly enjoyable late 60’s romanticized yakuza flick, a continuation of the first movie, only this time directed by Keiichi Ozawa. I guess the studio figured, if the formula worked the first time, no sense in changing it. Tetsuya Watari again is Goro, getting out of town and trying to settle down with the lovely Chieko Matsubara. It seems a no brainer, but when the money is tight and the yakuza convince his bosses to lay him off, he’s right back at it.
Ryohei Uchida (he of the stinky loin cloth and bowler hat in Blind Women’s Curse) is the unscrupulous boss, and Kunie Tanaka (Battles Without Honor and Humanity) has a great part as the brother of the last slain boss, back for revenge, who ends up helping Goro. Of course, Goro steps into other people’s business, has more women fall in love with him, and it all seems to go exactly where we think it will, but… once again the stars are what makes it. Meiko Kaji has a small part of the new girlfriend of Goro’s young pal (Jirô Okazaki, Massacre Gun), and you KNOW where that’s headed, but… it’s still good.
I watched these back to back and still enjoyed them! (I’m not going to push my luck with the other 4… Hung has reviewed them well on here, but at the sake of over saturating myself with them, I’m going to leave some space inbetween viewing them!)

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