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 chazgower01 » 11 Sep 2018, 18:59

Project A II (1987, Hong Kong) youtube 3/5
About 25+ minutes into this, we've been introduced to a few plot lines - Jackie taking over a corrupt police district, Maggie Cheung as a young revolutionary, Pirates searching for revenge - and you're wondering... where's the action?

And then we get the first of a few really good action scenes, this one involving Jackie and his lieutenant's (Mars, Tai Bo) taking on the mob boss and henchmen at his hideout. It's a good fight, ending with Jackie taking on Michael Chan and Johnny Wang.

There's a long scene in the middle involving Maggie's apartment where everyone is looking for someone else while hiding from someone else. Jackie is getting better at trying to perfect this type of comedic scene (he wrote and directed this movie), and it's pretty entertaining. And it helps the time go by as...

FINALLY, at the 1 hour and 9-minute mark, we get a creative action/stunt/chase/fight where Jackie is handcuffed to Lam Wai while being attacked by the Pirates. Once again, good stuff, but the wait...

Rosamund Kwan is in here too as a revolutionary, Maggie Cheung gets smacked yet again in a Jackie Chan movie and... hey, I like story as much as anyone, but I just wasn't all that interested in the way it unfolds and so... this could've used some more action.

The last 15 minutes are fun - some great stunts, and fights while being chased and both Rosamund and Maggie are part of the physical comedy as well (in the end credits you can actually see them practicing!). Underrated as far as the fights and stunts, and maybe as an overall movie as well, but it does have its lags. Definitely worth seeing.

It finished #2 at the HK box office, giving Jackie his first one/two without the aid of Sammo. (Reportedly, Sammo and Yuen Biao weren't in this because they were shooting Eastern Condors).

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 11 Sep 2018, 22:23

Maggie Cheung is so cute :)

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

Unread post by HungFist » 12 Sep 2018, 12:42

Gambler's Code - Loyalty Offering (博徒仁義 盃) (Japan, 1970) [TV] - 2/5
Three yakuza brothers grow apart when chivalrous Bunta Sugawara goes to prison for his clan. Kyosuke Machida goes bad under Tatsuo Endo's rotten influence, Sugawara is still the same when he's released and Goro Ibuki is confused. And then thereäs Tomisaburo Wakayama who becomes a Christian priest who occasionally kicks people in the face with karate kicks. Unexciting ninkyo yakuza film sounds more fun than it is, being mainly a sappy melodrama with one-dimensional characters and too much crying after suffering and dying characters.

Taifu Club (台風クラブ) (Japan, 1985) [35mm] - 5/5
A long time personal all time favourite and frequently considered one of the finest Japanese films ever made (e.g. Kinema Junpo), I finally got to see Shinji Somai's youth film masterpiece in 35mm. This is Somai at the height of his powers, diving into the sexually confused psyche of a group of third year junior high school students trapped in a school building during a typhoon, shot in a slow-burn fashion that takes some patience but comes with incredible rewards. The ending with Yuki Kudoh walking in the midst of flourishing nature and soaked roads captures the hopefulness of childhood like no other film ever. Another incredible scene is the slow tracking shot dance scene. Aside from the wonderful performance by Kudoh, it's not so much a character film but something that caught an era, location, and adolescence on film. Admittedly it's an auteur film and there are bits where Somai is flying a bit too high, e.g. the scene where the boy kicks the door 73 times, but then again those bits only add to its fascination.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 14 Sep 2018, 10:48

Dragon’s Forever (1988, Hong Kong) DVD 4.5/5
In the first 6 1/2 minutes of this movie we get - James Tien as a crime boss KILLED by a rival boss (Yuen Wah, in one off his many memorable roles) - a GREAT short fight in a restaurant and Jackie as a sleazeball lawyer who ends up smacking (hard) a female defendant.
We then meet arms smugglers Sammo, and weirdo friend Yuen Biao, both of whom we see can fight…

But this is a different sort of JC movie and it has a double love story added to it, and… ya know… they pull it off. It’s kinda cheesy, and a little corny, but Jackie and Sammo both come off as charming and likable as romantic male leads, and rather than drag down the middle of the movie - it makes the characters more interesting. (Ok, the courtroom scene is a bit goofy, but it does make me laugh - especially the judges' ridiculous remarks).

We watch Jackie Chan movies for the action though, and this one is one of my favorites. Three great fights - the one on the boat (yet another ruined meal as he tries to woo Pauline Yeung), the one between Jackie, Sammo and Yuen Biao (the only time all three fought each other!) and of course the finale with Jackie vs Benny ‘the Jet’ Urquidez (plus Sammo’s pre-finale fight, Billy Chow vs Yuen Biao) - just brutal stuff with great falls, and acrobatics…

It bums me out thinking THIS is the way these guys could’ve made movies and carried on doing it…but it wasn’t to be. This would be the last of the three of them together. In an interview with Dick Wei, years after the peak of Hong Kong cinema, he said Jackie stopped by a Sammo movie shoot around this time (he thinks it was 'Eastern Condors') and said to Wei, "You're still shooting fight scenes like this?" (where they actually hit each other)...

You can see it in what would follow as Jackie's movies got less violent, and the fights less brutal. He'd make a few more that would feature some good fights (including one of his best, 6 years later in Drunken Master 2), but the way he made movies was about to change.

Dragons Forever was a hit at the Hong Kong box office in early 1988, competing neck and neck with Chow Yun Fat’s romantic comedy ‘The Eighth Happiness’. Dragons would finish third on the year with Jackie’s next movie overtaking it, and ‘The Eighth Happiness’ would finish first, setting another new record for HK box office at $37 Million.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 15 Sep 2018, 03:15

Holy Virgin vs The Evil Dead (1991, Hong Kong) youtube 3.5/5
Donnie Yen, while out on a midnight picnic with 5 of his female students (Mmm hmm), encounters a Cambodian (Thailand finally gets a break here) Moon Monster (played by Ken Lo). He proceeds to rip the student's clothes off, dismembering and feasting on their blood, leaving Yen behind to take the blame.

That pretty much tells you right off the bat if this movie is for you or not!

Sibelle Hu plays a pissed off cop who thinks Yen is guilty, but is phased out half way through - And in looking for clues as to who the monster is ("Are there any other religions whose goddess has a moustache?"), Yen enlists the aid of a Professor and a Shaman (both attractive females, of course - Chui Hei-Man and Kathy Chow) and off to Cambodia they go.

There they meet up with Princess White (Pauline Yeung from Dragons Forever) who aids them in going after the Moon Monster.

Did I mention there's kung fu, Donnie Yen super kung fu, machine guns, pirahnas, lots of blood, and enough nudity to make Herschell Gordon Lewis and Teruo Ishii nod in approval? This IS a Category III movie through and through.

And the finale... well, it's a sight that has to be seen...when Princess White starts battling the Moon Monster, and bullets start flying and suddenly 50 naked women and 50 savages are running every which way...

A classic of the first decade of Hong Kong Category III movies...

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

Unread post by HungFist » 15 Sep 2018, 07:12

Akira (アキラ) (Japan, 1988) [35mm] - 4.5/5
My 3rd time seeing this in 35mm, as amazing as always. It seems I'm always in Tokyo when Akira screens, and of course I had to go this time as well since I was in town. It's a good print save for a few scratches but the sound was a bit shrill this time around. I'm not sure if the theatre at fault or what, as I don't recall any audio issues the last two times I saw it (clearly the same print) in 2016 and 2014. It probably didn't help the audio was cranked up really high.

Fire Line (火線地帯) (Japan, 1960) [DVD] - 2/5
The 5th and last Line film, scripted but not directed by Teruo Ishii. At first this feels like Shintoho action gone Nikkatsu youth film. Unfortunately it then settles on a more casual gangster action gear. Technically quite slick, but uninvolving and unremarkable.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 15 Sep 2018, 15:46

grim_tales wrote:
11 Sep 2018, 22:23
Maggie Cheung is so cute :)
She really is one of those rare actresses that's just so enjoyable to watch in whatever she does.

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68 Hong Kong Films over a ten year period (85-94, 78 total), and then... moved on I guess. Still looks beautiful now...

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Been meaning to rewatch 'Irma Vep' again...

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Here's an interesting story (and picture) about her from May of this year!

https://www.8days.sg/sceneandheard/ente ... m-10217970

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 16 Sep 2018, 01:49

Maggie seemed very warm and personable in Irma Vep, playing an exaggerated version of herself (I guess?) and looks gorgeous in it.
In the article you posted, she still looks great :)

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 16 Sep 2018, 01:59

Police Story 2 (1988, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 4/5
Personally, I've grown to like this almost as much the original, but it lags a bit going into the last part of the move, as they try and fill time. It's almost like two different movies. Still, it flows great through more than half the movie, has a great finale, has more Maggie Cheung than the original, and Charlie Cho gets punched in the face not once, but three times.

Maybe because we know these characters better, it makes the scenes between them more enjoyable, or maybe just more Maggie Cheung is always a good recipe for the movies non-fighting parts. And most everyone is back from the first movie, which it makes it more familiar. Still, I could've done without Bill Tung's elevator fart. (Ok, I DID chuckle.)

But what makes this work are the fights... the restaurant scene when Jackie goes to defend May (Maggie) - GREAT fight. The park with poles - GREAT fight (Jackie's not pulling punches in his fights yet!) and of course, the finale - GREAT fight, with some great stunts. And when I say GREAT fight, I mean, any of these could and should be a part of any compilation of Jackie's best fights.

The first movie had the cop on a rampage revenge angle and whereas you think this one is going the same way, it veers into a different storyline halfway through. So, of course, they have to set that storyline up - it takes some time, and it slows things down for a little bit. Still, in the end, it deals with Jackie and Maggies' characters relationship and him having to save her, so once again he's on a rampage. And the finale is worth it!

Police Story 2 would finish #2 at the Hong Kong box office at HK $34.1 Million, losing out to Chow Yun Fat's 'The Eight Happiness' at $HK $37 Million and just beating out Jackie's other hit 'Dragons Forever' at HK $33.5 Million. Of the two movies, Jackie's Stuntman Association won for Best Action Direction with Police Story 2, beating out Sammo and Jackie's Dragon's Forever (and The Liu Clan for Tiger on Beat).

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1988 Hong Kong Box Office

1988
1. HK $37,090,776.00 The Eighth Happiness (Chow Yun Fat)
2. HK $34,151,609.00 Police Story 2 (Jackie Chan)
3. HK $33,578,920.00 Dragons Forever (Jackie Chan)
4. HK $29,378,769.00 Chicken and Duck Talk (Michael Hui)
5. HK $27,865,158.00 Tiger On Beat (Chow Yun Fat)
6. HK $23,566,173.00 The Greatest Lover (Chow Yun Fat)
7. HK $21,822,756.00 Crazy Companies (Wong Jing)
8. HK $19,419,539.00 The Diary of a Big Man (Chow Yun Fat)
9. HK $18,831,625.00 The Truth (Andy Lau)
10.HK $17,476,414.00 Rouge

Some other notable ones:
HK $17,096,271.00 Romancing Star II (Wong Jing)
HK $16,876,078.00 Crazy Companies 2 (Wong Jing)
HK $15,581,156.00 Inspector Wears Skirts
HK $13,405,571.00 Paper Marriage (Sammo)
HK $13,737,107.00 School on Fire (Ringo Lam)
HK $13,230,754.00 City War (Chow Yun Fat)
HK $11,532,283.00 As Tears Go By
HK $11,485,775.00 Spooky, Spooky (Sammo)
HK $05,259,522.00 I Love Maria

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 16 Sep 2018, 09:33

And in case you're interested, I've made the first in a (hopefully) series of Highlight Clips from Hong Kong movies I enjoy. The first is Michelle Yeoh from Royal Warriors and Yes, Madam! (with a music remix). Hope you like it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcpjtU3-O_4

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 17 Sep 2018, 06:08

Sex For Sale (1974, Hong Kong) haiuken 2.5/5
A young guy (Chin Han) comes to Hong Kong and can't find work, and ends up modeling and working with one of the top models. He's naive, but has a 'nice physique', and starts to learn quickly how perverted the world is. He even turns down his slutty landlord who wants him to sleep with her to keep from raising his rent. He says, "I'd rather sleep in the streets!"
Sure enough, he's soon 'taking care of' a handicapped rich woman, and compromising his principles left and right, being passed around 'the scene' as the latest boy toy. Even the secretly gay singer has a thing for him. All of this while falling in love with the one person who doesn't want him! (Ai Ti - The 'Sex Bomb from Taiwan' it says in the opening credits.)
This Runme Shaw produced film features some groovy 70's music and fashion, and though it may not be as cool as what was going on in film in Japan at the time, it's still fun to see.
That's not to say it's good. The main characters self-righteousness is a bore, even as he keeps getting laid by all of these hot ladies, and the nut kicking contest between him and his rival that leads to his downfall is more funny than tragic. The nudity is probably considered gratuitous for the time, but somewhat tame by today's standards - there are no knife fights, no drugs - these cats are all pretty square!

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Ai Ti - The 'Sex Bomb from Taiwan'.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 17 Sep 2018, 15:52

Island on Fire (1990, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 2.5/5
This is the second movie Jackie Chan made for Jimmy Wang Yu (looking a bit bloated here) as a favor for his 'mediation' between himself and Lo Wei and the triads.
Was it worth it? Of course, it was! This movie is so good it seems as though I've seen it many times before. Which of course I have - in 'Bad Boys' (the Sean Penn one), 'Cool Hand Luke', and almost every cliche ridden men in prison movie ever made.
But with Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Andy Lau in supporting roles how can you lose, right? Well, it's a sort of watchable mess, with bits of story here and there and an ending that looks like it was shot by a bunch of friends in the industry having a day of fun.
Jackie's fights are decent - just not his best, though during this period, even his ok fights are necessary to keep this movie afloat.
I was trying to think of something else interesting to say about this movie, but all I came up with is...anybody know the name of the girl in the flat tire scene?
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 17 Sep 2018, 20:55

The Sugar Daddies (1973, Hong Kong) Dailymotion 3/5
Chung Wa plays a quick scam artist, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend (the lovely Liu Wu-Chi) who is waiting for him to get rich so they can marry. Meanwhile though he spends all his money trying to woo a hooker (Lam Yi-Wa), who inadvertently turns him into her pimp.
Lots of groovy music with Lam Yi-Wa in sexy bra and panties throughout, but a strange technique for her scenes of rather than showing live nudity, they cut away to a poster of some topless American female! Must've been in her contract!
When Chung Wa gets the idea of expanding, his next two cuties, Helen Ko and Betty Pei (No, NOT Betty Ting Pei) aren't as shy, but that's not what surprised me about this movie - it featured toothbrush tickling, peeping, nipple pinching... still, it would've been more refreshing if one of these girls would've pulled out a switchblade.
The finale reminded me of those foreign French sex comedy farces I used to watch in the 80's on Cinemax... though these were from 10 years earlier!

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1. Liu Wu-Chi 2. Lam Yi-Wa 3. Betty Pei

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 18 Sep 2018, 15:40

1989 Hong Kong Box Office

Jackie's 'Mr. Canton and Lady Rose' (reviewed here: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=4448&p=179818#p179818 roughly tied 'Police Story 2' as his most successful box office hit, but the cost to make it was substantially higher. Golden Harvest had to be somewhat concerned with this, as even though the movie earned more than the Hong Kong box office total, Jackie's spending was getting extravagant.

Chow Yun Fat had seemingly cooled a bit, as did the box office in general, but 1990 would introduce a new star in Hong Kong that would overtake Jackie and Chow both, and explode the movie-going audience to even bigger numbers. (It's interesting how the most popular of the movies to Western audiences (The Killer) did almost half of what's considered not one of Jackie's best movies and finished 6th on the Hong Kong box office...)


1989

1. HK $34,036,029.00 Mr. Canton and Lady Rose (Jackie Chan)
2. HK $30,913,083.00 All About Ah Long (Chow Yun Fat)
3. HK $23,292,339.00 Casino Raiders (Alan Tam/Andy Lau)
4. HK $20,032,206.00 Aces Go Places V
5. HK $18,476,116.00 A Better Tomorrow III (Chow Yun Fat)
6. HK $18,355,083.00 The Killer (Chow Yun Fat - John Woo)
7. HK $18,151,313.00 Inspector Wears Skirts II (Amy Yip)
8. HK $15,944,333.00 Wild Search (Chow Yun Fat)
9 .HK $14,784,774.00 Pedicab Driver (Sammo)
10.$14,433,282.00 The Iceman Cometh (Yuen Biao)

Other notables:
HK $14,038,799.00 Triads - The Inside Story (Chow Yun Fat)
HK $13,917,612.00 The Protector (Jackie Chan)
HK $13,098,194.00 Stars and Roses (Andy Lau)
HK $12,100,193.00 In the Line of Duty 4
HK $11,111,694.00 Eight Taels of Gold (Sammo)
HK $06,781,219.00 Return of the Lucky Stars

* Once again, my sources of information are limited, so any info on these numbers is appreciated!

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 18 Sep 2018, 15:57

1990 Hong Kong Box Office

While Jackie was off making his most expensive movie yet, the Hong Kong Box Office carried on without him as Chow Yun Fat kicked off a new craze with the #2 movie of the year 'God of Gamblers'. It virtually tied the all-time box office record at the time of HK $37 Million early in the year, but then got blown out of the water by a new rising star in Stephen Chow, who's 'All for the Winner' did HK $41 Million in the summer - still #20 All Time at the Hong Kong Box Office.

And Stephen Chow was just getting started...

1990
1. HK $41,326,156.00 All For The Winner (Stephen Chow) (#20 ATBO)
2. HK $37,058,686.00 God of Gamblers (Chow Yun Fat)
3. HK $23,275,483.00 Heart into Hearts (George Lam)
4. HK $20,784,824.00 Chinese Ghost Story II
5. HK $19,078,746.00 No Risk, No Gain (Andy Lau)
6. HK $18,799,869.00 When Fortune Smiles (Stephen Chow)
7. HK $17,527,234.00 Fortune Code (Sammo Hung)
8. HK $16,052,552.00 Swordsman (Tsui Hark)
9. HK $15,777,856.00 Curry and Pepper (Stephen Chow)
10.HK $15,672,845.00 Pantyhose Hero (Sammo)

Other notables:
HK $15,149,253.00 My Hero (Stephen Chow)
HK $13,703,364.00 Love is Love (Stephen Chow)
HK $13,305,900.00 Shanghai, Shanghai (Sammo)
HK $???? Island on Fire (Jackie Chan)
HK $12,128,944.00 Look Out, Officer! (Stephen Chow)
HK $11,780,725.00 Happy Ghost IV
HK $11,288,292.00 Erotic Ghost Story (Amy Yip)
HK $10,270,954.00 Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon (Sammo)
HK $09,962,865.00 She Shoots Straight (Sammo)
HK $09,751,942.00 Days of Being Wild
HK $08,545,123.00 Bullet in the Head
HK $05,820,405.00 Jailhouse Eros (Amy Yip)

* Once again, my sources of information are limited, so any info on these numbers is appreciated!

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 18 Sep 2018, 16:52

Armour of God II - Operation Condor (1991, Hong Kong) haiuken 4/5
Never understood some of the dislike people have for this movie - from the first time I saw it I thought it was hugely entertaining. It DID reportedly cost HK $115 Million to make (it's box office was HK $39 Million), but it didn't cost ME any more to see it.

Jackie is back as the 'for hire' adventurer and this time is after Nazi Gold buried in the Sahara. Along with him are the sexy Spanish actress Eva Cobo (who for some reason I always thought was French), and the equally attractive and funny Carol Cheng (a big HK TV star who was starting to get into movies). Cute Japanese actress Ikeda Shoko also gets shoehorned in there to round out Jackie's obvious pandering to his international audience, but... I like it.

The stunts are amazing in this, the fights pretty darn good, and for once Jackie gets the comedy about 95% right - in particular, the intro scene at her home of Cobo's character and the hotel scene with both Cobo and Cheng. These scenes are funny, amazingly staged, surprisingly sexy (especially for a JC movie) with good fighting, and great interaction between the characters.

For me, the only real negative is that the fights are maybe just not as brutal, and the movie lags just a bit after the hotel scene. Still... at the pace it was going, no way it could've kept that up! The finale of course, isn't the 'beat up the bad guy' type of scenario we come to expect - though Ken Lo is again here and Ken Goodman makes a worthy adversary as well (he was the 'American' robot at the beginning of Robotrix!)... but the wind tunnel is pretty entertaining and funny.

With it's slick wide screen look, bright colors... more of an international appeal, and less of an emphasis on violence... many see this as the beginning of Jackie's less entertaining phase of movies. Certainly, it's not Police Story or Dragons Forever, but it is entertaining in its own way, and I very much appreciate it for what it is.

Though this was also the end of Jackie's free reign of budget, and directing his own movies...

Notes: I didn't recognize Ken Lo until just now looking through the credits - the guy was great about changing his appearance in movie roles! He didn't kick as much in this either....
This was the first JC movie I remember saying 'That's not him!' during one of the stunts. It's when he drives the motorcycle off the pier, and jumps onto the cargo net around a loading shipment.
Nudity in a Jackie Chan movie that doesn't involve HIM is pretty rare, but surprisingly we Cheng (or reportedly a body double) fully nude from behind, foot pumping the shower. Better than seeing HIS butt!

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Jackie, Cobo, Shoko, and Cheng

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 18 Sep 2018, 17:08

1991 Hong Kong Box Office

WoW! The HK box office REALLY exploded in 1991. Jackie may have broken his own record and made one of the top grossing movies of all time early in the year, but he couldn't beat Stephen Chow's God of Gamblers II from a month earlier.

And by late summer, the new clear king of the Hong Kong Box Office was Stephen Chow. Fight Back to School set yet a new Box Office record (and is still #16 all-time) and the THIRD God of Gamblers movie released in August did, ho hum, another HK $31 Million. Cheaply made and profitable, it was no wonder Jackie got his studio pocketbook reigned in....

Chow Yun Fat had two movies in the Top Ten still, and Amy Yip was a part of her most successful movie with 'To Be Number One' coming in at #4 (though she would also have Sex & Zen at HK $18 Million become the highest grossing Category III movie as well).

1. HK $43,829,449.00 Fight Back to School (Stephen Chow) (#16 ATBO)
2. HK $40,342,758.00 God of Gamblers II (Stephen Chow) (#27? ATBO)
3. HK $39,048,711.00 Armour of God II - Operation Condor (Jackie Chan)
4. HK $38,703,363.00 To Be Number One (Amy Yip)
5. HK $33,397,149.00 Once a Thief (Chow Yun Fat, John Woo)
6. HK $31,388,471.00 Tricky Brains (Andy Lau)
7. HK $31,363,730.00 God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai (Stephen Chow)
8. HK $30,694,333.00 Lee Rock (Andy Lau)
9. HK $29,672,278.00 Once Upon A Time in China (Jet Li)
10.HK $24,367,261.00 Prison on Fire II (Chow Yun Fat)

Other notables:
HK $24,245,510.00 Fist of Fury 1991 (Stephen Chow)
HK $23,762,012.00 Legend of the Dragon (Stephen Chow)
HK $23,292,339.00 Casino Raiders II (Andy Lau)
HK $23,135,334.00 Lee Rock II (Andy Lau)
HK $21,921,687.00 The Banquet
HK $20,784,824.00 Chinese Ghost Story II
HK $20,498,920.00 Dances with Dragon (Andy Lau)
HK $20,476,495.00 Savior of the Soul (Andy Lau)

Yet more...
HK $18,424,224.00 Sex & Zen (Amy Yip)
HK $16,548,021.00 Magnificient Scoundrels (Stephen Chow, Amy Yip)
HK $10,956,105.00 Crazy Safari (N!Xau)
HK $11,037,037.00 Erotic Ghost Story II
HK $11,008,210.00 Black Cat (Jade Leung)
HK $9,133,554.00 Gigolo and Whore (Simon Yam)
HK $5,789,984.00 Au Revoir, Mon Amour (Anita Mui)
HK $5,486,008.00 Robotrix (Amy Yip)
HK $2,534,754.00 Holy Virgin vs the Evil Dead
HK $???? Island of Fire (Jackie, Sammo, Andy Lau)

* Once again, my sources of information are limited, so any info on these numbers is appreciated!

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 18 Sep 2018, 20:19

The Savage Five (1974, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 3/5
A bunch of thug bandits arrive in a small town and start to take over - terrorizing and raping, and taking whatever they want. Eventually, a thief, a blacksmith, a lazy kung fu artist, a woodcutter, and an acrobat band together to go against them.
This Chang Cheh quickie is pretty entertaining, with reliable Ti Lung (young and with hair) and a really young Danny Lee (21 years old) as 2 of the 5 good guys. But this isn't one-guy-beats-all-the-bad-guys-up type of movie, or even 5 guys beat up all the bad guys - it's 5 normal guys in a small town, paralyzed with fear, that finally have enough and HAVE to fight back.
But it STILL isn't that easy. Lessons are learned, sacrifices made.... friends lost... there's a lot more to it than just a simple fight back brawl.
The Amazon Prime version is an English dub, but the quality of it is really great.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 19 Sep 2018, 14:50

Hot Springs Geisha 3 (温泉こんにゃく芸者) (Japan, 1970) [DVD] - 2/5
This is a step back in the wrong direction after the wild and entertaining part 2. Somehow it's a whole lot tamer as well. A small town girl (newcomer Miwako Onaya) becomes a geisha to make money to send home. There are some minor points of interest like Ichiro Araki and street demonstrators, but generally speaking not much interesting or exploitative happens until the great climax where she competes in a three set sex duel. The scene is outrageous, not least because her own (foster) father is there to coach her!

Zatoichi the Outlaw (座頭市牢破り) (Japan, 1967) [BD] - 4/5
The consequences of dealing death come haunting Zatoichi in this excellent entry. This was the first film produced Katsu's own company as opposed to the more conservative Daiei (still the distributor here). He got the politically minded Satsuo Yamamoto to helm the film with a great character touch. While the film retains all the humour, action and chivalry of the series, it also shows the corrupting effect of power and how the men Zatoichi slays are, in fact, real people. Rentaro Mikuni has an excellent supporting role as a yakuza boss sympathizing poor farmers.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 19 Sep 2018, 17:06

HungFist wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 14:50
Hot Springs Geisha 3 (温泉こんにゃく芸者) (Japan, 1970) [DVD] - 2/5
This is a step back in the wrong direction after the wild and entertaining part 2. Somehow it's a whole lot tamer as well. A small town girl (newcomer Miwako Onaya) becomes a geisha to make money to send home. There are some minor points of interest like Ichiro Araki and street demonstrators, but generally speaking not much interesting or exploitative happens until the great climax where she competes in a three set sex duel. The scene is outrageous, not least because her own (foster) father is there to coach her!
LOL... Yikes!

Have they ever collected this series as a box set?

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 19 Sep 2018, 18:25

The Generation Gap (1973, Hong Kong) dailymotion 3.5/5
A strange Chang Cheh directed film, where one of his usuals (David Chiang), in his 20's, has a little too close of a friendship with a 16-year-old Agnes Chan. (A popular singer in Hong Kong, she was actually 18 when they shot this, but she looks and plays the part much younger).

The version I watched was original language, so maybe I missed something in the translation, by Chan sings a few songs in English (in a groovy 70's club), including Harry Chapin's 'All My Life's a Circle', and Delaney & Bonnie's 'Never Ending Circle of Love', but later she sings to Chiang:

"You are 21, I am 16, this is the reason enough that we're together."

Of course, her dad is horrified at their behavior (it appears hinted at that he's abusive), and Chiang's own dad tries to talk and sensibly reason with him - but they run off together and get their own crappy little apartment. They're poor but happy.... and sleep in separate rooms.

In fact, they downplay any real hint of a physical relationship but have no problem reminding us that she is... young. At one point he buys her a guitar (she's a singer), and a baby doll! They have no problem hugging and being affectionate, but the one instance where Chan sees a couple kiss and seems to want Chiang to do the same, he simply smiles and pinches her nose.

The second half of the movie is all people trying to break their 'relationship' apart (which they do) and save them from each other. Ti Lung has a minor part as his wealthy nerdy socialite brother with glasses, who tries to help reconcile things, but eventually, they kung-fu fight as he forces Chan back to her parents, which is what leads Chiang to become a criminal.

There are a couple of scenes of fighting - one where Chiang beats up a whole gang of punks that try to mess with him and his 'girl' - one where he whips everyone's butt in the club, but gets hauled off by the police - and another where he gets his revenge against the club after he turns to a life of crime. There's also a finale fight showdown.

Not sure what the message of this film was, but it was strangely entertaining... Chiang's character is obviously confused... late in the movie he makes a move on bad girl Helen Ko, and as he cups her breasts, he suddenly sees Chan's face over hers, and becomes disgusted and withdraws, immediately ending the encounter.

One of the better early 70's Chinese 'youth' social dramas I've seen, the acting and the depth of characters is surprisingly good, and having some fights mixed in is nice.

Note: I just noticed the goofy club waiter is Dean Shek with a shaved head!

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

Unread post by HungFist » 20 Sep 2018, 14:15

chazgower01 wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 17:06
Have they ever collected this series as a box set?
Nope, and knowing Toei, if they had it'd cost more than the individual releases...

Now seen parts 1-5, of which no 2 is my favourite. Part 1 is awful but I have to watch it again because of a Teruo Ishii Abnormal Love article I'm working on...

I guess I should see part 6 as well, though I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a bore.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 20 Sep 2018, 15:22

Police Story 3: Supercop (1992, Hong Kong) haiuken 5/5
It may not be popular to say, but this might be the best overall Jackie Chan movie, and it's not until now that I've ever thought that.
Are the fights as good as some of his others? No, no way.
Are the stunts as good? There are some great ones here.
So...?

Well, the story is actually interesting - the last hour of the movie is either action or suspense almost non-stop, Michelle Yeoh is the best co-star he's ever had IN THAT she actually CO-STARS and does a few of her best stunts ever - Yuen Wah is great - and... really I can't think of anything about this movie I didn't like.

It's doesn't have that raw feel of a normal Hong Kong movie, but it does still have that HK feel of WTF is going to happen next - especially towards the latter half of the movie when it goes from Jackie hanging on a rope latter from a helicopter as it tries to shake him off, to Yeoh jumping a dirt bike on top of a moving train (she actually performs the stunt), to them fighting on top of the moving train... the stunts they do in this, is almost like the two of them are trying to one up each other - to the benefit of us!
It just has a complete story behind all the action for once.

Jackie is sent undercover in mainland China (where's he's briefed and prepped by Yeoh) to help a drug lord (Wah) escape prison so he can infiltrate their set up and get to the big boss. When his identity is nearly blown because they have to visit his 'cover story' hometown, Yeoh poses as his sister and gets pulled into it as well. Eventually, they cross paths with Jackie's girlfriend (Maggie Cheung, her character again taking some abuse here) and it threatens to expose everything...

Almost all of the juvenile comedy is gone here, and Jackie plays this pretty straight, but it's because of the force of the movie, that pulls his character into it. It's almost like a unique hybrid between a HK production and a Hollywood production (Incidentally the Hollywood edit is NOT as good as the original) and this and the previous Operation Condor were clearly preparing Jackie for one more try at the big show... He'd never do as good of a mix of Western/HK movie world's as good as this again...

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 20 Sep 2018, 15:32

1992 Hong Kong Box Office

Stephen Chow just took over the Hong Kong movie audience and it's weird to see him so easily smash every record made. The top 3 movies are all his, grossing a combined HK $118 Million PLUS and still ranking as the #10, 11 and 23rd highest grossing Hong Kong movies of all time.Police Story 3 would finish 7th(!) with Twin Dragons coming in at #6 above it (uh...).
Probably one of the most loved HK movies for Western audiences, 'Hardboiled', didn't even make the Hong Kong Top Ten!

1. HK $49,884,734.00 Justice My Foot (Stephen Chow) #10 ATBO
2. HK $48,992,188.00 All’s Well, Ends Well (Stephen Chow) #11 ATBO
3. HK $40,862,831.00 Royal Tramp (Stephen Chow) #23 ATBO
4. HK $36,475,536.00 Now You See Love… Now You Don’t (Chow Yun Fat)
5. HK $34,462,861.00 Swordsman II (Jet Li)
6. HK $33,225,134.00 Twin Dragons (Jackie Chan)
7. HK $32,609,783.00 Police Story 3 (Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh)
8. HK $30,399,676.00 Once Upon A Time in China II (Jet Li)
9. HK $22,806,044.00 ’92 Legendary La Rose Noire
10.HK $21,505,027.00 Dragon Inn (Tsui Hark)

11.HK $19,711,048.00 Hard Boiled (Chow Yun Fat, John Woo)
12.HK $18,611,389.00 Casino Tycoon (Wong Jing)
13.HK $16,793,011.00 Full Contact (Chow Yun Fat)
14.HK $15,001,734.00 Game Kids (Andy Lau)

Other notables:
HK $11,159,986.00 Moon Warriors (Sammo, Andy Lau)
HK $10,384,155.00 Kid From Tibet (Yuen Biao)
HK $10,479,148.00 Casino Tycoon II (Wong Jing)
HK $09,678,959.00 Naked Killer (Wong Jing)
HK $02,147,778.00 Story of Ricky

* Once again, my sources of information are limited, so any info on these numbers is appreciated!

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 23 Sep 2018, 04:55

Crime Story (1993, Hong Kong) haiuken 3.5/5
Somewhat of an anomaly for Jackie, especially during this phase of his career, its a serious crime drama and he's an overworked CID who goes through some realistically intense situations.

Based on a true story, where a wealthy Hong Kong businessman is kidnapped and Jackie and his partner (Kent 'Fatty' Cheng) work against each other to solve it, because Cheng is actually IN ON IT. Very somber in its tone, it didn't do as poorly as some have reported, finishing #6 at the 1993 Hong Kong Box Office at over HK $27 Million. Western audiences have an issue with it I guess because its a very serious Jackie, and involves a lot of police procedure and drama.

But it's not JUST crime drama stuff - there's action too, and some pretty creative action at that - including the rooftop/rafters battle/chase/fight scene that has its own enjoyable style - different than what we've seen from Jackie/Sammo directed scenes for the last 15 years... and his fall/escape from a ship when he finally confronts Cheng - leading to a great fight scene vs the gang and then the literally explosive finale.

Not what you'd normally expect from Jackie, but knowing what was to come from late 1995 on in his Hong Kong movies, I'd take this any day.

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