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

Film Reviews and Release Comparisons
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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grim_tales wrote: 05 Jul 2021, 14:59 You're right, my mistake. Gordon Liu is in this but he doesn't play Pai Mei, I got confused :)
Admit it...you're Ric Meyers aren't you?
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Tales of Japanese Chivalry: Loyalty Offering Suicide (日本侠客伝 白刃の盃) (Japan, 1967) [TV] - 2/5
Part 6. A routine entry with Takakura an ex-yakuza who tries to lead honest life. Fuji is a sick sister who spends the entire film in hospital. Nagato is back the “doomed chap hopelessly in love” role, only to allow Takakura break his oath and grab the sword at the end. This film should've been better considering it was co-written by Norifumi Suzuki and Sadao Nakajima, both of whom were also making (admittedly not particularly memorable) ninkyo films of their own at the time.

Song of the Night - Street Woman (夜の歌謡シリーズ 女のみち) (Japan, 1973) [TV] - 2/5
A little misleadingly titled 9th film. It could be a mistranslation of the Japanese title "A Woman's Path". Umemiya is a former racer seducing women with the help of desperate girlfriend Yutaka Nakajima, who poses as his sister. The first victim is Yukie Kagawa, who is seduced, slept with, and then dumped naked on the corridor next morning, to be "saved" by Ichiro Araki who then dumps her in a hostess bar he and Umemiya work for. Nakajima hangs with Umemiya until she's so hopeless she tries to kill them both. Ah, perhaps "Street Woman" was a less offensive title than "A Woman's Path" after all. The film's surplus of naked Kagawa (incl. topless catfight) plus the usual pretty production design help overcome what is otherwise an unremarkable effort with plentiful terrible comedy (by the musical group Pinkara Trio, whose song formed the film's basis, and who handpicked Nakajima for her debut role). Disappointing considering this was helmed by the king of breakneck entertainment Kazuhiko Yamaguchi during his sexploitation stint (1973-1974) between the Pinky Violence and karate eras.

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

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Mad Monkey Kung Fu (1979): 4/5

Think this could have done with being a bit shorter but it's still very good and the plot is a little more complex than I was expecting - to exploit his drinking, the main character is framed for molesting the villain's wife and his hands are crippled for his 'crime'. Lau Kar Leung teaches a youngster monkey-style kung-fu in Drunken Master style training sequences). The Wong Fei Hung song even plays a few times.
The fights are great though especially at the end :D
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Police Department Story 9 (警視庁物語 顔のない女) (Japan, 1959) [TV] – 2.5/5
Another big scale production with an 83 min running time, inspired by the Black Dahlia case. This has an oddly playful opening, interrupted by school kids finding a woman's torso floating in a river. The head and all limbs have been cut off. It's disturbing even for modern viewers, let alone 1959 audiences. The film then stagnates as the detectives engage in talking heads investigation, until around halfway it picks up the pace again with a car chase and strippers. There's some solid camerawork as well, though nothing comparable to part 7. Note: the film is only available on streaming and TV; the new DVD box set omits this film and part 18 for unspecified reasons. It could be due to print damage; the presentation here is full of scratches, though seemingly complete and entirely watchable.

Tales of Japanese Chivalry: Attack (日本侠客伝 斬り込み) (Japan, 1967) [TV] -3.5/5
Part 7, a charmingly naïve and old fashioned tale of honour and good deeds. Takakura is a single parent who goes nagurikomi on an evil gang, then flees with his kid. He seeks monetary assistance from noble boss Kenjiro Ishiyama, who helps generously. The boss' daughter, excessively lovely Fuji, becomes a foster mom to the kid. Nobuo Kaneko, the slimiest of the cowardly yakuza film bastards, is a nice guy gang mate who helps Takakura become a tekiya. Toei's regular bit player / dead corpse Takuzo Kawatani pops up as well, with his reportedly first spoken lines in a film (after having acted for 7 years). The best scene: Takakura has a street fight with Amatsu's hired hand Nagato, and they end up sharing a cell for one night. Of course, the men soon find something in common. At the end it’s time walk to Amatsu’s headquarters and tell him “shinde moraimasu!” One more thing: this film does better job than most at capturing its locale, the still developing streets of Shinjuku, lensed though a thick layer of nostalgia.

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

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Erotic Ghost Story (Hong Kong, 1990) [BD] – 3/5
Early CAT III classic, rather low key compared to some of the later, more outrageous genre offerings like Run and Kill, Robotrix and Ebola Syndrome. This is sexually more graphic, however, with Japanese AV import Hitomi Kudo showing more than is usually seen in mainstream exploitation (whereas Amy Yip has her dress glued to her boobs as usual). Otherwise the film lands somewhere near the same region as Sex and Zen, with enough sex to make you forget this was supposed to be a ghost story. I was afraid I'd have hard time getting through it, but approached with modest expectations there's a fun to be drawn from the pretty-enough production design, some lovely studio sets, b-grade action/horror finale, and other assets. And what better time to enjoy CAT III classics; films like this may not exist much longer under Hong Kong's new National Security Law.

Tales of Japanese Chivalry: State of Severed Relations (日本侠客伝 絶縁状) (Japan, 1968) [TV] - 3/5
Part 8. This has one of the weakest openings in the series, full of talking heads, comic relief, and with little action of any sort. One would feel confident writing this off as a boring talk fest. Then something happens. Takakura, acting as a young substitute oyabun while the old man is in prison, says he's had it. Leading a yakuza clan isn't something he's made for. He'd rather go straight and do honest money in the construction business. The film then takes a turn to psychological character drama, with some great scenes with the anguished Takakura in the neon lit night. Yakuza collaborators Watanabe and Endo don't take it well, paving way to the inevitable conflict. Notable for being the only film in the series set in the contemporary 1960s.

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

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The Missing Gun (China, 2002): 4/5
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu (1981/South Korea)

...
      • IFD used the Star Wars music for their damn logo!
        Gordon Liu is very miscast as a very milquetoast villian, who seems way too fond of his hot sister. I find it very hard to believe the boyish Liu is supposed to be a powerful warlord here.
        An unexplained Bob Baker/Wallish gwailo.
        A rather repulsive hunchback traitor, disfigured with a large bright red port-wine stain AND a large cold-sore...
        Speaking of cold, even for a Korean film this looks freezing! Several of the interior scenes show the smokey breath flying out of people's mouths like a fog machine!
        The old master is very trendy, what with his covid mask!
        The masked monkey fighter on the other hand...
        Pointless child nudity
        Ooh, the V-Ger music from Star Trek: The Motion Picture!
        Gordon looks very funny riding into battle with what looks like a dead squirrel on his head.
        The hero fights Gordon on the ice, bare-chested! Brrrrr....
        Eagles ex machina
        I take back some of the mean things I said about Fury in Shaolin Temple...
3/10
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Heroes of the Underground (HK,1974): 2.5/5

Shaw Bros. movie set (I assume) during either World War II or the 1930's with China/HK fighting against occupying Japanese forces. There's a bit of shooting/gunplay but no martial arts really, less action than I thought there was going to be
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Kitchen (HK, 1997): 3.5/5

Well acted romance/drama movie that already seems like it's from an era that's disappeared.
Quite sad in places :(
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Her Fatal Ways III (HK,1992): 2/5

I found this difficult to follow because of bad subtitles and a really blocky picture. Maybe the humour/jokes work better if you understand Cantonese, idk :? At least, I assume it's a comedy.
Sometimes it's really silly, there's a part where the Auntie character and another guy get hypnotised to act sexy (?) and a scene where the auntie and her partner do a forfiet by singing a karaoke song in English (badly).
There's a rotund childlike character who uses a catapault as a weapon, is he supposed to be Sammo in Heart of Dragon?
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Vengeance is Mine (Japan, 1979): 4/5

Occasionally felt a bit long but still an interesting film, and we find out why the killer is the way he is. Who's he taking vengeance against though :dontknow:
His dad seems to want to sleep with his lover/girlfriend :o
Loved the jazzy theme music.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Romance Doll (ロマンスドール) (Japan, 2020) [TV] – 2/5
Yuki Tanada's breezy Round Trip to Heart (2015) was a pleasant surprise. She doesn't reach the same level with her latest film. Shy sex doll designer Issei Takahashi models his latest product’s bosom after Yu Aoi, who mistakenly thinks she's contributing breast cancer patients. An offbeat love story follows. Unfortunately the film can't avoid the usual pitfalls of modern Japanese cinema: too many “ordinary dull life” scenes (a misguided idea of realism or character depth) only interrupted by sudden sappy melodrama (I can't even remember the last time I saw a Japanese love story where somebody wasn't terminally ill). Aoi, whose quirky on-screen persona and acting talent made her a star 20 years ago, is the best thing about the film. She shows some of that old magic (not her breasts) here.

Tales of Japanese Chivalry: Flower and Dragon (日本侠客伝 花と龍) (Japan, 1969) [TV] - 3.5/5
An often filmed gangster tale based on a 1953 novel, surfacing here as the 9th film in this series. Takakura is a young man who becomes affiliated with a number of hard working labourer gangs and eventually forms his own small family. He marries a member of the first gang, while developing a destiny kind of semi-platonic relationship with a dice dealer / tattoo artist Junko Fuji who works at evil Amatsu's gambling den. This is a fine film only suffering from the extent of its source material: even at 112 min the film sometimes feels like it's just scratching the surface. This is particularly regrettable regarding Takakura and Fuji's shared scenes, which are fabulous, but too few in number. Other highlights include Wakayama as the boss of the bosses, only appearing in one scene, and a terrific, unusual action finale where Takakura uses katana and spear while Fuji sings (and blasts bad guys off with a pistol). Toei had adapted the same novel twice before, in 1954 and 1965-1966, both times as two-part films, but I've not seen them to compare. This was Makino’s last and best film in the series.

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Hardcore (ハード・コア) (Japan, 2018) [VoD] – 2/5
Nobuhiro Yamashita went from a master of minimalist slacker comedies to a brilliant mainstream filmmaker in the early 2000s. And now it's time to forget about him. This is a manga based drama about two men head-butted by life, who find a robot who becomes the third member of the group. The robot, of course, is mute, huge, and rarely does anything but stand still, producing some dry Yamashitan humour. But these laughs are few and far between in a drama that feels like it could have been directed by anyone, with little cinematic touch in evidence, and worse yet, following a protagonist who isn't as much a lovable slacker but a violent, unpredictable man drawn to extreme right wing politics. Skip this, and watch Ramblers (2003) for the 11th time instead.

Tales of Japanese Chivalry: Rising Dragon (日本侠客伝 昇り龍) (Japan, 1970) [TV] - 3/5
Part 10, a direct continuation to Flower and Dragon. Takakura has gone on to become a successful leader of his own family in Kyushu while leaving card dealer / tattoo artist Fuji behind with her feelings of unfulfilled love and comradeship. She's obsessed to have one last go at Takakura's skin. The film is certainly interesting, but despite focusing on the most interesting aspect of the tale, and being helmed by 60s ninkyo master Kosaku Yamashita, it comes out strangely unmoving. It's perhaps a combination of many things - the overly stoic Takakura set against Fuji's theatrics, captured on film in a non-sentimental fashion reminiscent of Tai Kato - that prevents the film from truly coming alive. It's hard to fault filmmakers for keeping melodrama at bay, especially after some of the earlier sobbing fests in the series, but one feels a bit more emotion would have been in place here. Perhaps a rewatch would reveal deeper levels.

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

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Kidnap of Wong Zhao Fai (1993)

Not sure if I should really rate this at all as I found it unplayable (tried it watching it on my PC), unreadable subtitles (dual Chinese/English) that got cut off, and a weird effect that sounded like two soundtracks were playing at the same time. Very odd.
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Memories of Murder (S. Korea, 2003): 4.5/5

Very good thriller from Bong Joon-ho. Like Parasite, this blends mystery, crime etc with a bit of dark comedy.
Sometimes it did confuse me though
Was it one of the cops who was the killer in the end who tried to pin it on the learning-disabled witness?
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Tales of Japanese Chivalry - Sword (日本侠客伝 刃) (Japan, 1971) [TV] - 2/5
Part 11, the last film in the series. Takakura is a good-for-nothing loner who high jacks a postal van, then ends up working for the delivery company after having a manly fistfight with the other employees and impressing the boss. A good-hearted geisha takes care of him before the salary comes, sparking Takakura cry like a baby when confronted by such kindness. Of course he gets to pay back when her brother is found to be working for postal nemesis Amatsu but wishing to escape the gang. Yes, it's all as silly as it sounds, not helped by Takakura's hairdo, which looks like something a 60s student boy half-hippie might wear, or alternatively a fluffy bird's nest. It wouldn't be wrong to consider that a merit, however. The other positive is the many spaghetti western esque wide shots in empty wastelands, giving this film a distinct look in the series.

Song of the Night: Tearful Love (夜の歌謡シリーズ なみだ恋) (Japan, 1973) [TV] - 3/5
Part 10, with Nakajima again as the heroine. Umemiya does not appear in this one. The base is an Aki Yashiro song written into a screenplay by Masashige Narusawa. Nakajima is a naïve good girl who helps young yakuza punk (Tani) who bumps into her with a gun in his hand and a bullet in his arm. She's working in her mom's hostess bar (one of the girls is played by Yumiko Katayama) populated by horny customers and the mom's boyfriend who also has his eye on Nakajima. Before the tale is over, poor Nakajima's been bullied, harassed and raped (more than once). The more subtle tones of Narusawa's better work are nowhere to be found here, but Nikkatsu Action refugee Buichi Saito helms the film with swift pace (it's only 73 min), plentiful nudity by everyone except Nakajima, and the series' trademark top notch cinematography and production design. An entertaining B-film, nothing more, nothing less (the A-film, btw, was Takakura's Third Generation Yamaguchi Gang, Toei's no.1 film of 1973).

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Path of the King (日本やくざ伝 総長への道) (Japan, 1971) [TV] - 2.5/5
A mostly meager ninkyo film that is, however, an interesting reflection of the times. There’s little to spark curiosity about the standard storyline and delivery (though it manages without excess comedy and sobbing). The cast however is top notch. This film finally dares to pit Toei's top two stars, Takakura and Tsuruta, openly against each other. Their climatic duel alone warrants a viewing, may it have been a desperate commercial move on Toei’s part to combat the dwindling box office. But more could have been done with the confrontation that only becomes meaninful towards the end, and with supporting players Wakayama (only present in a handful of scenes) and Matsukata (might as well not be in the film). Note full Japanese title "Tales of Japanese Yakuza: Path of the King". This was indeed intended as the first film in a new series to follow “Tales of Japanese Chivalry” (with the same Makino - Takakura combo). But the genre was already past its prime, and no sequels followed.

Circuit Nurse (サーキット・ナース) (Japan, 1988) [TV] - 2/5
An extremely dated sci-fi / computer thriller scripted by young Yuji Sakamoto (he would later become a successful TV drama writer). The setting is post apocalyptic future where a “computer nurse” (idol Keiko Hirata) stationed in an industrial complex is trying to keep a computer system free of viruses. She will have to engage in battle against viruses like Amiga 6000, a vicious online attacker hacking into her soul, and faceless cyborgs! She also strips down to black bra and panties for no apparent reason. Shot on video, made for TV, running less than an hour, and full of extremely primitive CGI graphics used throughout the film, it’s a film that sounds more fun than it is. It may offer a few nostalgic laughs for computer nerds, but little else. The musical score sounds like it was composed by 80s AI, too. For better similar films, see Noboru Tanaka’s computer thriller Monster Woman '88 (1988), Masato Harada’s industrial mecha sci-fi Gunhed (1989) and of course Ghost in the Shell (1994), which cover most of what’s on display here.

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

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Pitfall (Japan, 1962): 4/5 - first time viewing

Very strange film.
In a poor mining town, a miner looking for work is stalked by a guy in a white suit and hat. The miner is killed by the man, and becomes a ghost, so no one can see or hear him.
The jazz-like score is minimalist, eerie and sounds like a horror movie at times, like somebody playing random notes :dontknow: :)
I wasn't sure of the ending, we didn't find out who the killer or man in white was :?
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Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (Japan, 1979) - 4/5
This was my first taste of the Lupin franchise and my first time viewing of this film. Lupin III is a likeable rogue with a bunch of James Bond gadgets. His supporting cast all stood out and were all charming; my favourite ATM is the marksman Jigen.

The story itself is a fun action-adventure plot IMO. I'm certainly open to seeing more Lupin content, the 2019 CG film will probably be my next one.

This was apparently Hayao Miyazaki's first film, it's certainly well made but he was clearly restrained from having to work with existing characters and in a particular genre. For people who decide to watch it don't go in expecting anything Ghibli-esque.

The 4k remaster looks good, but it's oddly very clean. There's no grain at all. The Japanese studio TMS clearly did some DNR filtering when they remastered it around 2019. I asked DiscoTek Media's (the distributor of the 4K BD I watched) video masterer Justin Sevakis if there was any missing detail and to his knowledge there wasn't. He posted a thread about how we should come to expect DNR application in future 4k masters of anime, because HDR can make film grain in anime look like colourful "pile of sands". https://archive.ph/fLiwO
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Statute in Fire (炎の肖像) (Japan, 1974) [TV] - 2/5
Toshiya Fujita and Akira Kato co-directed this odd tale of a rock star wandering aimlessly in life, played by rock star Kenji Sawada. The approach is interesting, with fictional segments intercut with real interview and concert footage, blurring the line between the real and fictional Sawada. But the film comes out largely meaningless, with little cinematic punch. It might be Fujita's dullest film in the 70s. Kumiko Akiyoshi appears in a supporting role, strangely keeps her clothes on.

Winter's Flower (冬の華) (Japan, 1978) [TV] – 3.5/5
Takakura returned to Toei for this film after breaking off with them three years earlier. It's easy to see why he came back. Takakura is a middle aged yakuza released from prison after serving 15 years for murder. He has spent the time financially supporting a little girl he orphaned, pretending to be an uncle living abroad. He intends to go straight and face the girl, but that turns out easier said than done. This is a fine film with an excellent performance by Takakura. There's quite a bit more character depth than most yakuza films, a beautiful (if overused) theme tune by Claude Ciari, and no excess sex or violence. It strikes a pretty satisfactory balance between the already disappearing 70s yakuza grit and the soon to come 80s human relationship drama (that would eventually kill yakuza films) with an eccentric artistic touch. But it falls just short of being great. The script does a lot right, and Yasuo Furuhara (replacing Kosaku Yamashita who left after being denied script changes) directs reasonably well, but the little nuance, the final touch to push it to excellence and shake the audience, is a little lacking. There are bits of great mixed with bits of standard. Still, this is essential genre viewing for the terrific Takakura performance, and for capturing an in-between era in yakuza cinema.

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Police Department Story 10 (警視庁物語 一〇八号車) (Japan, 1959) [TV] –3/5
A police officer of 'patrol car no. 108' (the film's Japanese title) is gunned down during a routine check of a seemingly abandoned vehicle. The case is transferred to the detectives who attempt to track down the vehicle and the killer inside. Although not a particularly eventful entry, this is still a captivating film that doesn't overstay its welcome at just 54 minutes. What this entry brings to the table is the endless long hours put in in the office as part of the detective work, as they try to identify a potential suspect by going through thousands of pages of traffic violations records. The film was co-directed by Shinji Murayama and newcomer Eijiro Wakabayashi, who had debuted in 1958 with the two Planet Prince tokusatsu pictures, later re-edited into one film as Prince of Space. Wakabayashi would go on to helm a total of 20 theatrical movies in a career that lasted less than 5 years until 1963 (it is possible that TV work followed, but finding confirmation is difficult).

Demon (夜叉) (Japan, 1985) [TV] – 3.5/5
Takakura and Furuhata are back together in another mature yakuza drama, this time at Toho. Takakura is a former gangster living in a small, snow-covered fishing village with wife and son, trying hard to leave his past behind. None of the villagers, including close friend Kunie Tanaka, know about his past. Then young beauty Yuko Tanaka from Osaka’s red light districts arrives the town to run a bar, soon followed by her dope-pushing boyfriend Takeshi Kitano. As a yakuza film of the 80s, this has its fair share of small town human drama and clumsy flashbacks, having been made in an era when yakuza films were stripped of their sex and violence and transformed into something that housewives and television audiences could enjoy. But this is also much better than the many lesser films of the era. It is really quite effective at depicting the main character’s anguish as he has to face what he really is deep inside, feeling more relaxed around an ex-hostess from Osaka’s yakuza circles than at home with people who come from a different world than him. Takakura is at his element here.

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Yakuza Mounted Bandits (馬賊やくざ) (Japan, 1968) [TV] – 2.5/5
Travelling yakuza Koji Tsurura runs afoul with corrupt Japanese army imperialists in Manchuria, joins local resistance after he becomes a fugitive. Not a bad action film with a more original premise than most. But one feels more could have been done with the theme, keeping Tsuruta a mere companion rather than making him a member of the rebel bandits being a major missed opportunity. Also, do not expect to see Tsuruta to hop on a horse in full-on bandit mode, despite that being depicted in one of the promotion stills.

A Fugitive from the Past (飢餓海峡) (Japan, 1965) [TV] - 4.5/5
A criminally neglected, Criterion-worthy crime epic set against genuine backdrops. Three criminals lead by Inugai (Rentaro Mikuni) commit a robbery-arson-murder in a small Hokkaido town and escape with the cover of a typhoon that spreads the fire (based on 1954 Iwanai fire that destroyed 3000+ buildings) and leaves the shores with floating dead bodies (based on the 1958 Toyamaru ferry disaster with 1100+ casualties). A senior detective (Junzaburo Ban) however discovers bodies whose injuries suggest a crime rather than a natural disaster, and begins tracing down the criminals. His best lead is a prostitute that sheltered Inugai, but won't talk to the cops. The film then does something nothing short of revolutionary as it turns its focus to her struggle out of the post-war slums and completely ignores the crime plot! It takes more than 45 minutes before any of the prior main characters surface again. The film is ambitious to a fault, with a brilliant novel-based screenplay, terrific performances by Mikuni, Ban and Ken Takakura (who doesn't appear until 2 hours into the 183 min film) and striking B&W cinematography with extreme close-ups and plentiful use of negative image, not to mention the Rashomon-esque storytelling where truth always depends on the teller's perspective. This was voted as the 3rd best Japanese film ever made in 1999 by Japan biggest film journal Kinema Junpo.

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

Post by grim_tales »

One Armed Swordsman (HK, 1967) - rewatch: 4/5

Some good action here for the mid-late 60's :)
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HungFist
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by HungFist »

Brutal Tales of Chivalry: Lion’s Honor and Humanity (昭和残侠伝 唐獅子仁義) (Japan, 1969) [TV] – 3/5
Part 5 in the Brutal Tales of Chivalry aka Tales of the Last Showa Yakuza series. This has a great start with Takakura and Ikebe having a swordfight in the moonlight. Takakura has just avenged his dead boss, and Ikebe is under an obligation to avenge the man Takakura just killed. The two men agree to hold no grudge over the result of the fight; after all, it's nothing personal. Five years later Takakura is out of prison. He's sheltered by kind geisha Fuji, who is also connected to a certain yakuza-turned-alcoholic-gambler who lost an arm in a fight 5 years ago! This is a solid ninkyo film. The main plot (noble boss Shimura harassed by villains without honor or humanity) and side plot (a young guy in love with Fuji's sister, who is being sold to the evil oyabun) are standard stuff, but the execution is slick, the brief comedy relief (Kyosuke Machida as a 3rd rate assassin for hire) more clever than usual, sobbing often found in director Makino’s films non-existent, and the Takakura vs. Ikebe honour/humanity dilemma more satisfyingly handled than in some other films. Perhaps the rating should be even higher.

Maniac Driver (マニアック・ドライバー) (Japan, 2021) [Yubari Fanta 2021] – 3/5
Kurando Mitsutake's madcap giallo pastiche, jam-packed with sleaze. It opens with a leather-gloved, motorbike helmet wearing killer stalking a naked woman who is touching herself in the shower. He proceeds to ram a knife through her breast, after slicing her nipple in two. Mitsutake isn't challenging Deep Red here, but rather Strip Nude for Your Killer. The film originated as a pink film production, from which Mitsutake walked out, but shot the script as it was with all sex intact. The storyline follows a taxi driver looking for people to kill. Maniac and its remake, New York Ripper and other gialli, Evil Dead Trap and even Naomi Tani films are present here, though it's debatable how pure a giallo tribute is a film that reveals the killer's identity immediately and lacks mystery. The film feats in low-budget aesthetics (the colour use is pure 70s Argento, but comes out more like Hobo with a Shotgun due to low production values) and ridiculously overdone exploitation (the samurai fight is rather dumb), but also features hugely atmospheric quiet moments and a kick-ass score. It’s such sincere exploitation you can't help but to enjoy it. Only if Mitsutake had refrained from having the killer appear butt naked behind a victim's door and and then chase her while rock music plays and his balls are hanging out, the suspense might have been on a whole different level.

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