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

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The Blood of the Wolves (孤狼の血) (Japan, 2018) [VoD] – 2/5
Toei is back at the gangster game… with a film that opens with a close up of shit coming out of a pig's ass. The turd finds its way to a man's mouth, who is soon to be found dead, initiating a police investigation lead by take-no-shit detective Koji Yakusho. An ugly portrait of ugly business, as witnessed by idealistic rookie cop Tori Matsuzaka. Over-rated director Kazuya Shiraishi borrows heavily from Fukasaku, which only highlights this film’s relative shortcomings. Gone is the filmic look, gone are Toshiaki Tsushima's badass riffs, replaced by a nauseatingly dull modern soundtrack, and while Yakusho is good in his role, the cast just doesn't have the grit of the 70s Toei guys in films like Okinawa Yakuza War or Osaka Shock Tactics. These modern stars come out as great pretenders, which is what the whole film ultimately is.

Bullet Wound (弾痕) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Interesting, bloody counter-espionage thriller set in 1969 Tokyo during violent, anti US student protests. Yuzo Kayama is an American-Japanese operative working for the US to uncover an arms deal between an American seller and Chinese communists, and to take out both parties. After almost getting assassinated himself, he takes a wounded civilian (Kiwako Taichi) with him despite living in a world where no one can be trusted. This is a loosely linked companion to Kayama’s other sniper / professional killer films Sun Above, Death Below (1968), The Creature Called Man (1970) and Target of Roses (1972), but with a more political approach. And there is no lack of nihilism, as proven by the unnecessarily long torture / interrogation scene. The film’s first half runs at leisure pace and ought to have been cut down, but the second half is tight, suspenseful and action packed. The era is captured well, and Kayama is great at channelling lonely tough guy vibes as a man with no true homeland, looked down upon by Americans and Japanese alike.

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

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Lethal Panther (1991, Hong Kong) Subs - 3/5
It may look silly and cliched now, but back in the day this was one of those movies they held up as an example of what the ‘Girls With Guns’ genre was all about. I mean… it IS and it isn’t.
The story is dumb, and the acting is lame, but Godfrey Ho decided to emulate John Woo’s slow mo, 10,000 bullet gun fights, and the actual fighting is entertaining as well. It just has a non-stop pace that makes it watchable. There are better examples of the genre, but this one is still good, dumb fun.
It’s about 2 rival female assassins (Miyamoto Yoko and Maria Yuen) who are being chased by a jaded law enforcement officer (Sibelle Hu, natch) and two greedy siblings who are fighting for control of the cartel of their deceased boss. Or whatever.
It’s non-stop fight/gun battle/gratuitous nudity, and repeat. There’s a rape scene in it that was cut from the UK version, that I previously hadn’t seen, but heard many lament. Early 90's Hong Kong Cinema.
Also with Alex Fong and Ken Lo.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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The Virgin Psychics (2015, Japan) 4/5
Director Sion Sono tells the story of a virgin who gains the power of ESP while masterbating, and joins with a group of misfit ESPers to take on the Evil ESPers. Yep.
Mano Erina (Bleach: The Movie) plays the cute new girl at the school that the ‘Hero’ (Shota Sometani) lusts after, while his true love (that he overlooks) is played by Elaiza Ikeda. Both are cute, but nowhere near the only attractive females in the movie. You have the ‘Hot’ Teacher (Gravure Idol Airi Shimizu), the ‘Hot’ psychic investigator (Megumi Kagurazaka, the directors wife), the Evil Lesbian (Ami Tomite from Sono’s 'Antiporno') plus appearances from Gravure Idols, Ai Shinozaki and Anna Konno. Plus a whole lot more. Yep.
There’s no nudity in it, other than a censored horny boy who can teleport without clothing, but a whole lotta bra and panties, upskirts, Tenga product placement (!)…yep. As well as nerdy heroes, boners, evil lesbians, horny old men, etc. The Japanese do these kind of movies unapologetically and because of that, better than anyone else and this is pretty entertaining in a base level way. If you like pretty Japanese females in various states of undress with huge helpings of sophomoric humor, without resorting to nudity… this is about as entertaining as it gets.

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

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And it gave us this scene...

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

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I actually saw this in theatre back in 2015... in the biggest multiplex in town :lol:
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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HungFist wrote: 18 Feb 2021, 07:00 I actually saw this in theatre back in 2015... in the biggest multiplex in town :lol:
As it should be! :lol:

I'm curious... here in the U.S., the type of teen sex comedy most closely associated with this (though still much, much less bold) would be an 'American Pie' or 'Not Another Teen Movie' - those are now a thing of the past here with the #metoo movement and such - has Japan seen any kind of backlash or movement to not do these type of films?
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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chazgower01 wrote: 18 Feb 2021, 12:43
HungFist wrote: 18 Feb 2021, 07:00 I actually saw this in theatre back in 2015... in the biggest multiplex in town :lol:
As it should be! :lol:

I'm curious... here in the U.S., the type of teen sex comedy most closely associated with this (though still much, much less bold) would be an 'American Pie' or 'Not Another Teen Movie' - those are now a thing of the past here with the #metoo movement and such - has Japan seen any kind of backlash or movement to not do these type of films?
Not really. Not that I've noticed at least. #metoo never really landed in Japan. But there has been some related discussion as brought up by Guro Taku, and there was the recent "women talk too much" ( :lol: )Olympics thing (though that was strictly due to foreign pressure) etc. So some "development" is taking place, but I think we can say Japan will remain a safe haven for this kind of stuff (more or less) for the time being...
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Thankfully.

All for equal rights and respect in the real world. They need to leave the movies alone.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Coed Report - Yuko’s White Breasts (1971, Japan) 4/5
Spoiler Alert, as I'm going to spell out the whole movie here...
Yuko (Yuko Katagiri) has the hots for her gym teacher, fantasizing about being naked with him as they train for volleyball, but when she finally gets him alone and about to do the deed he quickly backs off and decides it’s not right. He’s having a moral dilema. She wants to lose her virginity, but only to him.
This doesn’t stop him from having sex with her nymphomaniac friend who won’t take no for an answer though, while Yuko settles for being taught the ropes by a nerdy lesbian classmate.
Afterwards there’s a party where all the girls are naked and the (older) guys have to put their dicks in beer mugs full of eels! As it turns into an orgy, Yuko joins in, but she doesn’t’t like it - so the lesbian takes her place with the guy, preserving her virginity.
When the lesbian actually likes it, Yuko runs and calls her teacher to finally agree, BUT… on her way there she’s attacked by three guys in the elevator, who rape her - leaving her there for the teacher to find.
Does this deter her?
Nope, a soapy shower assist from her teacher and she’s ready to go! But just as he’s about to enter her… the thoughts of seeing her lying on the floor of the elevator start popping into his mind.
He takes off for Switzerland (or at least he’s dressed that way) to climb a mountain (?) and she wanders the streets in a depressed daze…
The nympho friend and an older guy pick her up and take her drinking - getting her passed out drunk, taking her home and having their way with her! Talk about a bad night! What kind of high school is this?
The ending - We see the teacher frustratingly pounding stakes into the side of a mountain he’s climbing, intercut with Yuko getting black out boinked by the nympho’s older dude while dreaming of the teacher relentlessly hitting volleyballs at her while they’re naked.
Her toes curl from an orgasm - the teacher falls off the side of the mountain - and she finally passes out peacefully on the bed as the nympho and her guy go at it on the floor.
The End.
Note: Released in December of 1971, this was Yuko Katagiri’s first starring role, and a part of Nikkatsu’s 2nd ever Roman Porno double feature. According to jmdb, she had small parts in ‘Wet Sand in August’ and ‘Bad Girl Mako’ earlier in the year where she’s credited as ‘Yumi Katagiri’.

Now I'm no expert on Roman Porno - but this has to be considered a classic of the genre. Great performances, angst, drama, pure sexual lust... it's like watching a real movie that isn't afraid to show us anything (except pubic hair) - almost like being a fly on the wall for real life - a fucked up, sick kind of real life, but... that's pretty much the real world. And that ending...

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

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Police Department Story 3 (警視庁物語 追跡七十三時間) (Japan, 1956) [TV] – 2.5/5
Another good, if unspectacular police procedural with a neat 53 min running time. The detectives are after a robbery-murderer, whom they establish to be left handed and having used a weapon stolen from a US military officer’s home. The investigation leads them to Ueno black market where more stolen items from the same source are for sale, and force the seller to collaborate to find the original buyer. Side note: Yamamoto wears a moustache!

Farewell, Movie Friend: Indian Summer (さらば映画の友よ インディアンサマー) (Japan, 1979) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Film aficionado Takuzo Kawatani, whose life aim is to watch a movie in theatre every day for 20 years, makes friends with student boy Naohiko Shigeta and his girlfriend Atsuko Asano whose delinquent girl antics and yakuza affiliations proves troubling, in 1969 Tokyo. This was Masato Harada’s (Kamikaze Taxi, Bounce ko gals) first film, a love letter to cinema. Toei’s live action Donald Duck Kawatani gives a heartfelt performance in the lead. He’s best know as a Piranha Gang member (a group of Toei bit-player hell raisers who spent their nights drunk and days competing who gets the most outrageous on-screen deaths; fellow piranha Hideo Murota is in this film too). But those who saw him in Fukasaku’s Gambling Den Heist already knew the underlying talent he had for tragicomedy. Here, from the opening where he runs himself breathless to catch a movie, to reciting movie dialogue at every chance, doing a Dancing in the Rain number, and studying Ken Takakura movies to learn how to deal with the yakuza, Kawatani just oozes sympathy. The film’s weakness is giving too much of (the excessive 110 min) runtime to the good but less interesting Shigeta.

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

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chazgower01 wrote: 18 Feb 2021, 14:41 Coed Report - Yuko’s White Breasts (1971, Japan) 4/5
There are cinematic masterpieces in Roman Porno. This is not one of them if you ask me.

However, as a product of its era, I think this has some old fashioned charm. It's dated in a good way, much tamer than the later RP's, and has quality aspects such as the relatively decent characters and a beautiful score. And Katagiri is cute for sure. She wasn't much of an acting talent, but she was great in this type of naive school girl roles.

I was planning to see this in 35mm 7 years ago but couldn't get a ticket because the bloody screening was sold out. So I went to another theatre to see Wolfguy again (for the 3rd time that day).
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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HungFist wrote: 26 Feb 2021, 16:15
chazgower01 wrote: 18 Feb 2021, 14:41 Coed Report - Yuko’s White Breasts (1971, Japan) 4/5
There are cinematic masterpieces in Roman Porno. This is not one of them if you ask me.
Lol. Yeah, maybe 'masterpiece' is too strong a word. I think maybe 'classic' would be a better term, like in the sense that 'Porky's' here in the States is a 'classic', at least to a certain audience.
HungFist wrote: However, as a product of its era, I think this has some old fashioned charm. It's dated in a good way, much tamer than the later RP's, and has quality aspects such as the relatively decent characters and a beautiful score. And Katagiri is cute for sure. She wasn't much of an acting talent, but she was great in this type of naive school girl roles.
Yeah I'm not a big fan of when they got rougher and more S&M. But I certainly like when they take the whole thing as a seriously produced movie and even try and get a bit artsy with it - the characters kept me interested throughout and the ending was a hoot. Yuko Katagiri was perfect - and looking at some of her later photos, actually got much hotter as she got older. The nympho friend was great too - what a completely uninhibited performance!
HungFist wrote: I was planning to see this in 35mm 7 years ago but couldn't get a ticket because the bloody screening was sold out.
See!
HungFist wrote:So I went to another theatre to see Wolfguy again (for the 3rd time that day).
Well I think we can both agree, if you have to sit through a movie 3 times in a day, at least it was a fun one!
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Crippled Avengers (HK, 1978): 4.25/5

This story has an interesting twist because the villain (Chen Kwan Tai) is driven crazy when his wife and son are maimed - his wife has her legs cut off and his son loses his arms]/spoiler]. Grown up, his son vows revenge. It's interesting to see how each star, one of the 'Venoms' makes up for their disabilty and can still fight. Especially one who, though still a kung fu master - behaves like a child and thinks everyone is playing
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Evil Instinct (1996, Hong Kong) Internet 2/5
Evil Instinct is mostly spoken of as a ripoff of The U.S.’s ‘Basic Instinct, but really it’s just another in a long line of Hong Kong Cat III sex thrillers that fails to deliver.
About the only thing good about it, is the always entertaining Carrie Ng, who plays the ’Sharon Stone’ part. She was 33 when she made this, and as beautiful and classy as ever - even for this turd.
Unlike Stone though, she doesn’t flash her ‘hoo ha’ in the interrogation scene, and leaves the nudity to a cute actress I don’t recognize.
Bowie Lam (Hard Boiled, Bleeding Steel) plays the Michael Douglas cop part, but is as energetic as a plastic bowl. No matter what happens, his expression never registers past a bland ‘duh’.
Which is maybe fitting - as there’s all kinds of weird stuff going on that doesn’t have much explanation. Carrie Ng injects a snake serum to keep from getting sick, and thus is irritated by sulfur - lol - she dreams of turning INTO a snake (that’s a body double, Ng doesn’t do nude) - and Diana Pang plays her rival who offers sex to steal away her clients.
There’s also an ‘ice cube’ sex scene, an ’S&M’ sex scene, a bondage sex scene, a shower sex scene and even a Ng look-a-like they use for a sex scene at the end. Most of it is more puzzling than erotic.
They couldn’t even get those parts right.
Technically it looks nice, and has much of what you’d figure an audience would want but… it’s pretty lame.

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Ha, those subtitles are pretty funny :D
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Police Department Story 4 (警視庁物語 白昼魔) (Japan, 1957) [TV] – 2.5/5
A rich gaijin gets shot dead by a car thief. The investigation leads the detectives after a bigger, organized theft gang. At 51 minutes this is the shortest entry in the series. The pace is expectedly good. It also expands outside the central Tokyo a little bit with the murder suspect soon established as someone with an Osaka accent (in addition to a love for 8mm films, which serves as another clue). Cool title too: “Daytime Devil!” Side note: Yamamoto wears a moustache AND a hat!

Drug Connection (極東黒社会 DRUG CONNECTION) (Japan, 1993) [TV] – 3/5
Toei V-Cinema antics disguised as a theatrical film. Opens with a close-up of bare breasts, in a New York drug lab full of topless men and women processing narcotics, moments before the police raid the place and shoot half of the people dead. The mafia then decides to seek new markets in Japan. Cut to Shinjuku where small time smuggler (Koji Yakusho) is caught between Japanese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong crime syndicates (the latter lead by ruthless Jimmy Wang Yu!) fighting for drug dominance. Enter N.Y. undercover cop (Sho Kosugi!) who has followed the trail to Japan, and a gaijin woman who shows her boobs. Good film! There's a bit of Fukasaku, a hint of mid 90s Miike, and perhaps even a passing resemblance to John Woo here. The action is never quite as catchy as you'd wish, and there is excess length at 110 min, but the great cast and the sheer amount of sex and violence in theatrical wrapping makes this worth a watch. The film's box office failure, they say, sank Toei ever deeper into V-Cinema where the audiences for stuff like this were.

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Police Department Story 5 (警視庁物語 上野発五時三五分) (Japan, 1957) [TV] – 2/5
Director Shinji Murayama passed away earlier this year at the age of 98. He was a workman director who delivered detective, yakuza and drama films without much a personal touch, some of them pretty good (e.g. The Navy, 1963; Bitches of the Night, 1966; True Account of Hishakaku - A Wolf's Honor and Humanity, 1974), however. This movie, his first in the series, unravels at leisure pace until an intense chase scene 30 min into it electrifies it. Another highlight is the detectives discovering a pachinko ball, rather than a bullet, as a clue to solving the case (a bike race spectator murdered in the crowd). Unfortunately the intensity does not last. It isl not a bad film, almost on par with the earlier instalments, but for being a slightly lesser entry and rather outdated by today’s standards (stuff like this would become the standard on TV in the 60s) it shall settle for a lower rating.

Gushing Prayer: A 15-Year-Old Prostitute (噴出祈願 15歳の売春婦) (Japan, 1971) [VoD] – 4/5
Mesmerizing philosophical-political exploration with four 15 year olds, one of them pregnant, set on beating the sex-driven adult world that is trying to swallow their souls. Koji Wakamatsu’s main screenwriter, to-be Red Army fighter and convicted terrorist Masao Adachi’s poetic youth film and pink flick is constantly balancing between true art and ridiculous-pretentious. But it has so much to say, and it unfolds on screen via such striking images, accompanied by a hypnotic score, that it comes out as nothing short of Pure Cinema. Many indie filmmakers have attempted the same, few have succeeded this well. This instantly became one of my favourite youth films of all time. Trivia: Japan’s all time best screenwriter, Haruhiko Arai, served as “director’s assistant” in this film.

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Altered Carbon: Resleeved (Japan, 2020) - 4/5
A solidly plotted sci-fi action-thriller from veteran anime writer Dai Sato. You absolutely don't need to be familiar with the rest of the Altered Carbon franchise to see this.

Good, nice looking CG animation IMO. This film clearly had a decent budget. Animation seemed fairly fluid, they weren't trying to replicate the static nature of 2D anime (which a lot of CG anime seems to do. Eg Ultraman series on Netflix.).

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Heart of Dragon (Eureka): 4.5/5

Great movie, some excellent fight scenes and action but can also be touching and sad :( Hadn't seen it for years.
The version I watched had extra songs at the beginning and end but curiously, the song where Jackie's character is shown in jail and intercut with Sammo isn't subtitled. Does Jackie get released in the end?
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The Way of the Househusband (2021, Netflix original) - 3/5
The writing is terrific and quite funny, probably owed to the original manga that's being adapting. The animation is absolute garbage tier, it looks like a Powerpoint presentation at times. Cuckflix must've given the animation studio an absolute shoestring budget to produce this, probably on an incredibly tight schedule as well.
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Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版𝄇) [DCP] – 3/5
Anno completes his remake quadrilogy after battling COVID restrictions, Godzilla, and depression. He seems to have emerged victorious since this is the most positive, life-embracing of the franchise known for mirroring Anno's unstable mental health. Now if I could just remember what the heck happened in the previous film, which I saw in theatre eight (!) years ago, I could probably appreciate it even more. As usual, the mecha action is as boring as ever (I've no clue what makes it so popular, the choreography is a mess) but what happens between those fights is more interesting. Following the opening action bore, Anno finds time to settle down in the countryside with his emotionally healing characters, with no mecha is sight for the next 60 minutes. He's got all the time in the world, with a massive 155 min run time. And there's finally a conclusion to Shinji's story, surely a relief to those who were sending Anno murder threats in the 90s after the earlier psycho-acid-mindfuck endings. But for its added coherence and positivity, the film is never quite as gripping, nor fascinating, as what he had achieved before in anime or live action (his masterpieces, Love & Pop, Ritual).

Funeral Parade of Roses (薔薇の葬列) (Japan, 1969) [VoD] - 4/5
A hugely important, semi-documentary exploration of the late 60s Tokyo underground gay scene, helmed by experimental director Toshio Matsumoto and starring the to-be gay star Peter in his first role at the age of 16 or 17. Matsumoto blends purely fictional storytelling (that borrows from an ancient Greek play) with genuine interviews about gay life, drugs and anti-government protest that were going on in the streets of Tokyo at the time. Most of the characters are what modern audiences might see as drags, but what wasn’t so clear cut back then, e.g. Peter who dresses up as woman, but has not gone through a sex change operation (something that would also have been nearly impossible in 60s Japan, though fellow star Maki Carrousel did go through that and nearly died), and identifies himself as gay. Groundbreaking upon its release when gay and trans characters were usually reduced to comic relieves in hit films such the Abashiri Prison series, or heinous villains such as in Teruo Ishii's Shameless: Abnormal and Abusive Love (1969), the film still remains a fascinating zeitgeist, a visual tour de force, and a showcase for the brilliantly captivating (and it must be said, gorgeous) Peter.

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Chocolate (Thailand, 2008): 3.5/5

Story wise there's nothing amazing here, except for one interesting point - the main character is a girl with autism. Zen's aunt, Zin has cancer and Zen has to use her martial arts skills (which she learnt through close study and mimicry) to get the money needed for her treatment.
Some of the fights are great, especially one with a boy in a black tracksuit (a wink to Game of Death?) and another in a cage like space.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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HungFist wrote: 11 Apr 2021, 11:24 Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版𝄇) [DCP] – 3/5
Anno completes his remake quadrilogy after battling COVID restriction, Godzilla, and depression.
Wait, Anno actually had COVID himself or are you talking about the delays the theatrical release faced due to the pandemic? Personally, I dropped the revival/remake series hard after absolutely hating the second film. I know Anno was just having a giggle by delivering a version of Evangelion that had every single aspect that makes anime insufferable most of the time but knowing that made it no less insufferable. I will probably watch the whole thing once all 4 films are on home video, though.
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Guro Taku wrote: 14 Apr 2021, 19:58
HungFist wrote: 11 Apr 2021, 11:24 Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版𝄇) [DCP] – 3/5
Anno completes his remake quadrilogy after battling COVID restriction, Godzilla, and depression.
Wait, Anno actually had COVID himself or are you talking about the delays the theatrical release faced due to the pandemic? Personally, I dropped the revival/remake series hard after absolutely hating the second film. I know Anno was just having a giggle by delivering a version of Evangelion that had every single aspect that makes anime insufferable most of the time but knowing that made it no less insufferable. I will probably watch the whole thing once all 4 films are on home video, though.
Release delays. I'm not aware of him having had COVID. The film was supposed to come out last summer (cinemas closed), then again earlier this year just when state of emergency was re-declared in Tokyo and a few other prefectures (cinemas open but some may have been cancelling their late screenings and setting voluntary limits on how many people will be admitted).

(right, that was supposed to say "restrictions", the "s" went missing).

I felt the films had a downwards quality trend. I liked the 1st one best, but I had not seen the series yet and didn't realize what a direct copy it was most of the time. The sequels departed from the series, thankfully, but never felt quite as good otherwise. I did like them all, though. Particularly when there's no action :lol:
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by HungFist »

Women Hell Song (おんな地獄唄 尺八弁天) (Japan, 1970) [VoD] - 2/5
There's something fascinating on a scholastic level about a near-lost film scripted by underground hero Atsushi Yamatoya, starring the first ever pink queen Katori Tamaki (of Flesh Market, 1962) and helmed by one-man soft porn factory Mamoru Watanabe as of his 200+ films. But this is just another dose of Yamatoya's half-baked pink terrorism coming out as little more than a pretentious sex roughie. A female outlaw who does a tiny bit of gambling (the popular comparisons to Red Peony Gambler are largely unwarranted) is violated by two villains and one lawman, and then goes for revenge. Another girl gets violated some more. Little happens aside a multitude of rapes, but some of the B&W compositions look good, and you can read it all as commentary about male cruelty if you so wish.

Ninja Chushingura (忍法忠臣蔵) (Japan, 1965) [TV] – 3.5/5
The last film in Toei’s mid 60s female ninja trilogy, all based on Futaro Yamada novels. The first two (by Sadao Nakajima: Kunoichi ninpo and Kunoichi kesho) are somewhat better known. This one is a female ninja side-story to the classic 47 Ronin tale. Ako Clan leader Lord Asano is dead after being ordered to commit hara-kiri (for having attacked Lord Kira). Kira’s enraged son has sent his ninja troops after the Ako men and their new leader Oishi (Minoru Oki). Unknown to both parties, Iga ninja Mumyo (Tetsuro Tamba) has been hired by Hyobu Chisaka (Ko Nishimura) to lead six female ninjas to soil the Ako men’s reputation and corrupt their morale in an attempt to stop their revenge plan and avoid a clan war. This is a bit of an odd duck in the trilogy, featuring a male lead. The eroticism has been toned down accordingly. The 47 Ronin frame is pretty cool, but also a limiting factor, ensuring the ninjas remain in the shadows and won’t conflict too much with the classic tale. And yet there’s enough plotting crammed into 83 minutes to fill a 3 hour movie, making it a bit difficult to follow in parts. But despite all this, it remains a cool, unique little genre film with a fascinating premise and plenty of entertainment.

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