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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King of the Ring (リングの王者 栄光の世界) (Japan, 1957) [35mm] – 2.5/5
Teruo Ishii's directorial debut, a Shintoho sports drama about an aspiring boxer. One can already spot a number of Ishii trademarks here: a night club scene with a scarcely clothed go-go dancer, a femme fatale who seduces the hero (a side plot that hasn't aged very well gender politically) and frantic boxing scenes. A pretty watchable film even if the kid's transformation into a champ isn't very convincing.

History of the Shogun's Harem (徳川女系図) (Japan, 1968) [35mm] – 3/5
The first film in Toei's Abnormal Love series, an unapologetic harem fantasy with an endless array of cute girls devoting their lives to the shogun (Teruo Yoshida), dance, and topless wrestling. An almost plot free affair, what makes it work are the exceptional production values selling an image of an almost otherworldly place via beautiful sets, seductive camera work and atmospheric score. Director Ishii always excelled at world-building, and would create something similar with the far spicier Inferno of Torture. This one is extremely tame compared to the torture infernos that followed, but film-historically significant for starting a new route for Toei, the first major studio to launch a big budget sexploitation line. The audiences flocked to see the picture, women's organizations were enraged, and the series head, producer Kanji Amano, immediately ordered follow-ups (the first one would be Hot Springs Geisha). The only liability is that the film runs somewhat out of steam during the last 30 min. And that it really needs to be viewed theatrically: home viewing simply does not do justice for this kind of slow but lavish film full of atmosphere and film historical fascination.

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The 35mm print at Laputa Asagaya's Ishii retro was absolutely fucking gorgeous.

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

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The bottom picture looks like sumo wrestling to me

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

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grim_tales wrote:
28 Dec 2019, 19:50
The bottom picture looks like sumo wrestling to me
Topless female sumo, yes.

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

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Ah.
Apparently that used to be a thing, maybe hundreds of years ago (?) I'm sure I read something like that

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

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Wing Chun (1994)

You'd think Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen and Yuen Woo-ping would be a recipie for awesomeness, but what we get instead is little more than a pleasant kung fu soap opera. To my surprise, we don't get to see Wing Chun's famous origin.

6/10
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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The Vengeful Beauty (Hong Kong, 1978) [VoD] - 3/5
A less focused semi-sequel to the Flying Guillotine films, with a storyline that doesn’t know if it wants to be a revenge film, an escape film, a straight kung fu film or a flying guillotine film. It ends up being a bit of everything – but remains entertaining. Plus, it has a female lead, a pretty strong finale, and one topless kung fu fight. That’s got to count for something!

The Target of Roses (薔薇の標的) (Japan, 1972) [35mm] - 4/5
Superb Kiyoshi Nishimura action thriller with professional killer Yuzo Kayama hired to assassinate a foreign photographer (Rolf Jesser) and a Chinese woman (Zhen Zhen). Before soon, he falls in love with the woman and realizes his own employer is the Japanese branch of a neo-nazi organization planning to initiate the fourth reich! This features some of the most beautiful, naturalistic cinematography I've seen in any Japanese film, and very little music, which elevates the intensity near the level of Too Young to Die (1969), Nishimura's masterful debut film. The almost documentaristic attention to detail and observation, together with a rather outrageous (but cleverly down-played) plot ensure there is not a single boring scene in the film. The movie was shot in Japan and Hong Kong, the 1st half mainly in Japanese with some English, German and Chinese whereas the 2nd half is mainly in English, which isn't a problem because Kayama almost never butchers a line beyond understanding (something that was/is not a given with Japanese actors). His delivery does tend to go stiff when delivering English dialogue (as if he was looking at cue cards?) and the dialogue isn't exactly award winning stuff, but small flaws shall be forgiven when the rest of the film is so damn good. Only if the otherwise badass ending had had a bit more inspired action design the film would be even better.

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

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Rising Dragon's Iron Flesh (昇り竜鉄火肌) (Japan, 1969) [35mm] - 3/5
Teruo Ishii somehow found time initiate this ninkyo series at Nikkatsu in 1969, the year he helmed no less than 6 movies at Toei. A bit of a routine production, Ishii nevertheless elevates several scenes above the film's level with his personal injection of the perverse: there's an unexpected 30 min prison segment complete with a gratuitous bathing scene, a super violent fight where Hideki Takahashi's sword causes someone's face to explode, and a cool final massacre with the heroes repeatedly aligning their tattoos into one big dragon as they proceed in the midst of the action. Not a great movie, but features enough stand-out scenes to warrant a viewing. The series was a vehicle for singer gone actress Hiroko Ogi (best known in the West as the older prisoner who helped Meiko Kaji in the 1st Female Prisoner Scorpion film) who does alright in the lead. Ishii skipped the 1st sequel (he was busy, no shit) but was back on board for the 3rd and best known instalment, Blind Woman's Curse, which traded Ogi for Kaji.

Rampaging Dragon on the North (北海の暴れ竜) (Japan, 1966) [VoD] – 3/5
A fishermen vs. yakuza pot-boiler similar to many others (e.g. North Sea Chivalry, 1967) made around the same time. An evident pay-check job for Fukasaku, yet more energetic and entertaining than most of its kind. There are some overly clichéd plot developments, but also a delighting little twist at the end that I've never seen in any other yakuza film. Good performances as well: back in hometown punk Tatsuo Umemiya full of energy, villagers Yoko Mihara & Toru Yuri (in a less comedic role than usual!), opponent gambler Joji Takagi (a typical ninkyo role that always tends to be good), Hideo Murota looking literally dirty, etc.

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

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Scoundrel vs. The Delinquent Boss (極道VS不良番長) (Japan, 1974) [TV] – 2/5
This is a bit of a Toei fraud! Delinquent Boss Tatsuo Umemiya dumbfucks himself into hospital in his first scene, and remains there for the rest of the film. So much for Scoundrel vs. Delinquent Boss. What we're left with is new delinquent Tsunehiko Watase (not a bad trade) leading a bunch of bikers who clash with Scoundrel Wakayama’s rather harmless army of street vendors armed with food stalls (wait for the Lone Wolf and Cub joke) and guest star Judy Ongg whose uninspired extended cameo as a singer is just about the best thing about the film. Watchable, but pretty low thrills to be honest. This was the last in both series. Kosaku Yamashita directed.

Ceremony of Disbanding (解散式) (Japan, 1967) [DVD] - 3/5
"What are we, the yakuza, without honour and humanity?" A rare ninkyo effort from Fukasaku, one that embraces the genre's old fashioned form to the point of becoming unrecognizable in the director's filmography. There are several lyrically melancholic scenes with Tsuruta witnessing his old yakuza pals consumed by greed and abandon the traditional way of the yakuza, a beautifully depicted honour/duty play with rival clan ex-bodyguard Tamba, and mature performance by Junko Miyazono as a woman from the past. It’s a shame the scrip as a whole isn’t quite as accomplished, failing to give some wonderful scenes the context they deserve. Note: not to be confused with Gambler: Ceremony of Disbanding (1968), also directed by Fukasaku.

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

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Shanghai 13 (1984)

Upon leaving Shaws, Chang Cheh directed this indie all-star, featuring nearly of his leading men protoges from Jimmy Wang Yu all the way up to Ricky Cheng - plus upcoming major star Andy Lau, whose only film with Chang this was.

Sadly, this is more of a series of vingnettes then a real movie - nobody gets a real chance to be in the limelight and it becomes monotonus seeing a bunch of people fight when our only investment we have in them is that we might like them as actors - and to comment on everyone looking older, fatter or balder. Fights are impressive as ever, but then what else is new?

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

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Scoundrel Boss (極道社長) (Japan, 1975) [VoD] - 2/5
A modestly amusing salaryman/yakuza merger, advertised as a Tatsuo Umemiya film but in fact a Piranha Gang vehicle for Takuzo Kawatani and Hideo Murota. Kawatani and Murota are two opportunistic punks trying anything to come up with a (somewhat legal) successful business, but always getting outwitted by everyone, including suave company boss / crook Umemiya who has just opened a bar/strip joint. Kawatani and Murota make a great combo, but the storyline is strictly no-thrills and there isn't that much yakuza film content. Sadao Nakajima directs. Unrelated to the “Scoundrel” series starring Tomisaburo Wakayama.

Attack on the Sun (白昼の襲撃) (Japan, 1970) [35mm] – 3.5/5
Two punks and a girlfriend come in possession of a handgun in Kiyoshi Nishimura’s politically and socially conscious Toho action film. This has similar vibe to early 70s Nikkatsu new action, only with Nishimura’s trademark aggressive jazz score and international flair with G.I.s and their offspring flocking the bars in the era of ANPO controversy. An interesting film, though one of the lesser works by fascinating director Nishimura, mainly because of some slower patches and poor acting by the foreign enforcements. The Japanese cast does better, especially lead Toshio Kurosawa and girlfriend Noriko Takahashi (who had an exceptionally captivating presence and facial features. Unfortunately Takahashi would go on to retire soon after co-starring in Jun Fukuda’s City of Beasts later the same year following marriage at the age of 24).

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

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Do you watch most/a lot of these films without subs, Hung?

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grim_tales wrote:
01 Feb 2020, 04:08
Do you watch most/a lot of these films without subs, Hung?
Most Japanese films, yes. I'd love to have subs attached, but for 80% of the Japanese films I watch they don't exist and probably never will.

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

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Hope you can understand enough :)

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

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Sailor Suit Lily Lovers (セーラー服 百合族) (Japan, 1983) [BD] 2/5
Hiroyuki Nasu flick that's ostensibly about lesbian love but is actually chock-full of straight sex and even a dude jerking his buddy off. Go figure. There's hardly any plot to speak of. Miwako (Natsuko Yamamoto, who was also in Norifumi Suzuki's DOLLS OF THE SHOGUN'S HAREM) is in love with Naomi (Kaoru Oda), but Naomi is actually a bisexual slut and way more interested in her boyfriend Ippei's (Koji Mizukami) cock. Miwako tries to make her jealous, plays mindgames with the school pervert and eventually gets fucked with a garden gnome. Nobutaka Masutomi is this as well, as he tends to be, as a bartender who likes to wear a cowboy hat and is in a number of sex scenes that are completely unrelated to the the actual "plot". 68 minutes that feel twize as long.

It Comes (来る) (Japan, 2018) [BD] 3/5
Tetsuya Nakashima (CONFESSIONS, WORLD OF KANAKO) tries his hand at a horror film in this adaptation of a novel by Ichi Sawamura. It's as stylish as was to be expectd and turned out to be less of a rip-off of David Robert Mitchell's IT FOLLOWS (2014) than the trailer led me to believe. Invisible, malevolent force aside, Nakashima's film has much more similarities with any number of Japanese ghost stories of the past 20 years. There's spooky kids and exorcisms and the message here is very unsubtly about how people who project a perfect image via social media are actually pieces of shit who deserve to die. I rather liked that in the end, it was the two loser characters who survived and became the kid's surrogate parents, while everyone else, from scumbag social media whiz to haughty exorcism goddess, were left as blood puddles. Some neat practical gore and make-up effects but also quite a bit of CGI, which at least is a step above what you usually see in Japanese productions. No reason why this should have run for 2h 15min but that's to be expected these days, unfortunately.

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

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Guro Taku wrote:
02 Feb 2020, 17:55
Sailor Suit Lily Lovers (セーラー服 百合族) (Japan, 1983) [BD] 2/5
Hiroyuki Nasu flick that's ostensibly about lesbian love but is actually chock-full of straight sex and even a dude jerking his buddy off. Go figure. There's hardly any plot to speak of. Miwako (Natsuko Yamamoto, who was also in Norifumi Suzuki's DOLLS OF THE SHOGUN'S HAREM) is in love with Naomi (Kaoru Oda), but Naomi is actually a bisexual slut and way more interested in her boyfriend Ippei's (Koji Mizukami) cock. Miwako tries to make her jealous, plays mindgames with the school pervert and eventually gets fucked with a garden gnome. Nobutaka Masutomi is this as well, as he tends to be, as a bartender who likes to wear a cowboy hat and is in a number of sex scenes that are completely unrelated to the the actual "plot". 68 minutes that feel twize as long.
Typical Nasu. He was the Michael Bay of 80s Japan. Has some cool cool images and montage-like bits set to pop music, but yeah, I tried rewatching this a few months ago, took a break 30 min into it and forgot to ever finish it.

Have you seen his mainstream films? I think he did better with those. The first 2 or 3 Bebop High School films are pretty fun, Shinjuku Love Story has some charm as well.

From his Roman Pornos Virgin nanka kowakunai is kinda cool, a Roman Porno variation of Walter Hill's The Warriors.

His wife, Machiko Nasu, wrote Girl's Pleasure: Man Hunting, btw.
Guro Taku wrote:
02 Feb 2020, 17:55
It Comes (来る) (Japan, 2018) [BD] 3/5
Ah, I forgot this exists. To the rental list.

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Slum-Polis (Japan, 2014) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Ambitious but unconvincing early feature Ken Ninomiya (The Limit of Sleeping Beauty), set in 2041 when parts of Japan have become outlaw areas ruled by gangs and killers. Ninomiya's energized editing rhythms and eye for striking visual compositions are partially evident, but the young (evidently student) cast lacks any credibility in tough guy roles, and the ending is the epitome of an emotional J-film climax gone embarrassing. The characters may be crying their heart out, but the audience doesn't buy any of it. Ninomiya soon after established himself as one of the few new Japanese filmmakers worth keeping an eye on.

Tekken (鉄拳) (Japan, 1990) [VoD] – 2/5
Old grump Bunta Sugawara takes young hothead Takeshi Yamato under his wings and tries to make a boxing champ out of him. Fate intervenes and cripples the young hope, THEN some kind of super-right pure-Japan group of karate hooligans beat him half dead because he's a cripple. This is an odd, drawn-out meditation on ultra-masculinity, ultimately more admiring than critical of its heroes and their huge balls. They get their share of almost homo-erotic love from director Junji Sakamoto via endless slow-motion images and scenes trying to accomplish “something” by constantly running 30 seconds longer than they need. And then, just when you're bored out of your head, Bunta builds a training course and boxing ring in the middle of a fucking forest (!) for his protégé who has now been enhanced with an iron fist (literally), resulting in a freaking amazing, 5 minute cyber-punkish training sequence. And then some more big balls at the end when it’s payback time! Bunta goes full-on killer boxing, too! Not a good film, but has its moments.

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Maybe thats where the game got it's name from.

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Hunting Night Women (夜の女狩り) (Japan, 1972) [VoD] – 2/5
Suave gangster Tatsuo Umemiya is pimping women in “Bancoa” (fictionalized Bangkok?) until he gets sent back to Japan for the lion's share of the film. The curious thing about the “Night” series was that they were exploitation films without exploitation. This one wastes its exotic potential by moving back to Japan immediately after the opening, only to set up a standard "Umemiya meets a nice pro-human rights lady, joins boxer brother Rinichi Yamamoto to fight evil yakuza Kenji Imai to save her" storyline that ignores everything the opening set up. Yumiko Katayama pops up very briefly as one of Umemiya's girls, with more clothes than lines. In fact, there's neither sex nor nudity in the film despite the topic matter. Tech credits are nevertheless decent enough to make this somewhat watchable, and better than the utterly boring Master Night Manipulator: 1000 Women Killer (1971) and Rogue of the Night (1972).

Ankokugai no kunsho: Manila gokudo senso (暗黒街の勲章 マニラ極道戦争) (Japan, 1992) [VoD] – 2/5
Philippine set early 90s Toei V-Cinema with an amazing VHS artwork, seems not to have made its way overseas since not a word about it can be found in English, let alone an English title. “Underworld Order: Yakuza War in Manila” is what the title reads as. A Japanese yakuza in Manila gets caught in a web of double crossings with corrupt army generals, Chinese gangsters and Japanese yakuza after refusing to participate in narcotics smuggling. 70 minutes and a topless femme fatale later it’s all out war with rocket launchers, assault rifles and tanks. The problem is the video-like output that lacks cinematic punch. The camerawork is uninspired, the score sounds like a supermarket tune, and the action feels stilted. There are big explosions, and there are people running from the explosions, but rarely does one get the feeling that those two are in the same frame, which is so essential for an action film. For much better Manila action, see the Shochiku distributed, genuinely outrageous “Score” (1995).

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Bad Girl Mako (不良少女 魔子) (Japan, 1971) [DVD] - 3/5
Koretsugu Kurahara's first and last Nikkatsu New Action - the studio went Roman Porno three months later. Though a hip gangster film, this also has the kind of low key character realism that young Nikkatsu audiences identified with. The morals are ambiguous, the characters unconfident and the gang story relatively down to earth compared to Toei's more outlandish pictures. Junko Natsu is the delinquent girl who doesn't know on whose side to be: yakuza big brother Tatsuya Fuji or small time gang leader Jiro Okazaki. Entertaining, but not particularly memorable. The scrip was penned by Yasuharu Hasebe under his screenwriter pseudonym Tahashi Fujii.

Delinquent Boss: Money Hunters (不良番長 一獲千金) (Japan, 1970) [VoD] - 1/5
Part 7 in the Furyo bancho series, and it's a complete piece of shit. Director Yukio Noda put three banchos - Tatsuo Umemiya, Reiko Oshida and Akiko Wada * - in one film and somehow the result still came out less than zero. The first 50 minutes is non-stop retard comedy with almost no action or gang stuff. Even super-girl Oshida is annoying in the film (Wada too, but that goes without saying). She doesn't get to ride a bike either. The last third is a bit better with action and bikes, but nothing can make up for the miserable first two. A rare highlight moment in the film: Bunta Sugawara stabs a man by dropping a knife from a helicopter!

* To be accurate, both the Stray Cat Rock and the Delinquent Girl Boss series started briefly after this film, so soon-to-be banchos, actually.

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(bloody cool poster it has, though)

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Night Guy (夜の手配師) (Japan, 1968) [VoD] - 2.5/5
Hustler of the night Tatsuo Umemiya seduces beauties, deals girls to hostess clubs and does a bit of gigolo work himself. But he's still a small timer, the 60s Japanese pimp version of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Not a particularly good film, but it does radiate the vibes of the night in a way the later, lazier "Night" films did not. The melodramatic, never-ending web of deceptions, seductions and dreams by everyone in the film (the women alike) almost requires a pen and paper from to keep track of. Works, despite being extremely tame as exploitation. Oh and the film has a great opening scene with Umemiya taking a beating from gangsters after slipping into the boss' woman's bed. Such an Umemiya-like mistake to make!

Delinquent Boss: Moving Against the Stray Dog (不良番長 のら犬機動隊) (Japan, 1972) [VoD] – 3.5/5
Part 14, the one with Reiko Ike. And it fucking rules! In the first few scenes alone the gang has already terrorized the streets, bike-duelled with nemesis gang, caused a man to explode, pulled out biker girl Ike's boob, and abducted a bunch of girls who get raped, arrested, sent to reform school, escape, and then sold to a brothel. And it's not even 10 min into the film yet. The whole movie bears notable similarity to the Girl Boss series made around the same time (ironic, isn't it?) except that this is Toxic Masculinity - The Movie! Having missed a few entries, I don't know if this happened before aside part 1, but Umemiya's gang has done away with the goofier members and are now a bunch of anarchistic assholes. Tatsuya Fujii and Rikiya Yasuoka have joined the ranks, and even Shingo Yamashiro is a machine gun wielding lone wolf killer. There's barely any comedy at all, and the ending is a total bloodbath. There’s a bit of Nikkatsu New Action influence too, and not just in form of Tatsuya Fuji. What a delightful surprise.

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

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HungFist wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 14:21
Typical Nasu. He was the Michael Bay of 80s Japan. Has some cool cool images and montage-like bits set to pop music, but yeah, I tried rewatching this a few months ago, took a break 30 min into it and forgot to ever finish it. Have you seen his mainstream films? I think he did better with those. The first 2 or 3 Bebop High School films are pretty fun, Shinjuku Love Story has some charm as well.
I haven't seen any of his mainstream films. In fact, the only other film of his I've seen is ROUGE (1984), which is no masterpiece but has the benefit of an actual script (by Takashi Ishii, no less) and a pleasant lack of overlong sex scenes.
HungFist wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 14:21
From his Roman Pornos Virgin nanka kowakunai is kinda cool, a Roman Porno variation of Walter Hill's The Warriors.
That does look kind of interesting. Hopefully it'll eventually get a release without a giant watermark taking up a quarter of the screen.

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

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Guro Taku wrote:
16 Feb 2020, 14:57
HungFist wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 14:21
From his Roman Pornos Virgin nanka kowakunai is kinda cool, a Roman Porno variation of Walter Hill's The Warriors.
That does look kind of interesting. Hopefully it'll eventually get a release without a giant watermark taking up a quarter of the screen.
https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B06XZWY2FQ

Still full screen, though.

Same on U-Next where I rewatched the film last year.

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Delinquent Boss: Wholesale Roundup (不良番長 一網打尽) (Japan, 1972) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Part 15. This one starts out well and gritty, only to soon descend into Z-grade idiocy full of pee, poo and gay jokes. It's Looney Tunes meets the Farrelly Brothers, minus the quality. Admittedly there are moments when the humour gets so surreally bad that you can't help but to laugh in disbelief, such as priest Toru Yuri's moustache which looks like a bucketful of pubic hair glued to his face, but most of the film is just painful to sit through. Notable for being Yuriko Hishimi's Toei debut - her main function is to run around naked. At least she gets to hop on a bike. Typical to the series, the last third is more watchable than what preceded, with one particularly mad, out-of-the-blue Shingo Yamashiro martial arts moment.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 75

Life goal achieved! Last week Judo for Life became the 150th Sonny Chiba movie I’ve had the pleasure of viewing! (coincidentally, the review count here is also at 75 x 2 = 150). Of course, I have no intention of stopping here.


Hey, Clouds! (Ooi kumo!) (おゝい、雲!) (Japan, 1965) [VoD] – 3/5
Charmingly cute and old fashioned Toei youth film with a slight musical swing and myriad of family / romance relationships. There’s the “Saijo family” with kids Jiro Okazaki, Ichiro Araki and Yoshiko Mita taking an initiative to pimp their single dad Isao Yamagata to the “Mishima family” mother Haruko Kato, who is a single parent to the super-cute daughters Chiyoko Honma and Fuemi Kashiyama. Okazaki is also friends with “Kuwabara family” rich kid Koji Ishizawa, who has begun suspecting his old man may have a bit more offspring than has been publicly announced. Perhaps the “Matsumiya orphans” Hiroyuki Ota and his sister Junko Fuji? And then, people start getting interested in patrilineage, falling in love, making friends etc. Thankfully there’s human relationship MacGyver senpai Sonny Chiba popping up every 20 minutes, always saying the right words (or grabbing a man and lifting him in the air). An entertaining, if highly conservative youth film, oddly enough based on a 1965 novel by Shintaro Ishihara who was better known for his rebellious work e.g. Crazed Fruit. My guess is the material may have gone through a bit of a transformation in director Masaharu Segawa’s (Four Sisters) hands.

Judo for Life (柔道一代) (Japan, 1963) [VoD] – 3/5
Sonny Chiba's first martial arts film, a partially fictionalized judo biopic based on prominent judoka Shiro Saigo (Chiba), the second student of judo founder Jigoro Kano (Naoki Sugiura). Akira Kurosawa’s Sanshiro Sugata is based on the same character and shares some scenes, but Judo for Life focuses more on the martial arts philosophy and training, including scenes depicting how the protagonist learned his famous cat-like landing, coined the term judo, and trained with Tsunejiro Tomita (Hideo Mutota). There’s also a slight yakuza film influence (Theatre of Life had came out just 1.5 months prior). The port street ambush scene is found in both films, but in Judo for Life it’s not Kano but a travelling yakuza (Hideo Murata in a small supporting role) that jumps out of the rickshaw. Entertaining and beautifully old fashioned, one does however with there were more shades of gray between good and evil, and a stronger ninkyo-like moral / honour conflict. Also, the ending melee has Chiba play the second fiddle to his master and box office draw Murata, who is misleadingly given first billing in the film and advertising materials.

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

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Delinquent Boss: Pierced to the Bone and Sucked Dry (不良番長 骨までしゃぶれ) (Japan, 1972) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Part 16, the last in the series. Umemiya's goofballs steal a suitcase full of diamonds from the yakuza and try to hide in holiday resorts in Kyushu. In one scene they almost manage to slip out by posing as little kids on a school trip, but get caught when they stop to grope the female teacher. Also after the diamonds is a small, merely silly girl gang who keep yelling “viva bancho” at every turn. One of their members is a dark skinned chick (Vera Sims, or something like that, she was also in Delinquent Convulsion Group) whose sole function is to distract enemies by showing her boobs, which happens about half dozen times in the film. Good, because priest’s (yeah, Toru Yuri, who else?) daughter Yuriko Hishimi holds on to her clothes this time. This one is comedy from start to finish, with some irritating breaking-the-third-wall jokes adding to the insult. And there’s barely any biker stuff in it. But it’s somehow slightly more watchable than some other entries in the series, maybe because of the boobs and the swift pace.

Queen Bee (女王蜂) (Japan, 1957) [DVD] - 2/5
Talkative, dated opening film in Shintoho's otherwise noteworthy Queen Bee series. The problem here is that an occasional gambling and action bit aside, the film hesitates letting its heroine into the action. The restraint also extends to the "sleaze" factor, busty star Naoko Kubo holding on to her clothing aside a flash of a shoulder in a gambling den scene, though one incredibly agile night club dancer makes a lasting impression. Yoko Mihara pops up (only) briefly. All this would change after Teruo Ishii took the helm of the series (parts 2 & 3).

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

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Delinquent Boss: First to Fight (不良番長 突撃一番) (Japan, 1971) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Part 13. Umemiya's gang try to shoot a porno while evading the police. Daiei refugee Junko Natsu appears (not in a porno). Another pretty miserable comedy entry in the series, though it does at least have boobs and a great Shingo Yamashiro moment where he does spear fighting, ninjutsu and karate, even pulling one guy's guts of. Sonny Chiba's role model, eh? IMDb has the direction mistakenly credited to Makoto Naito, who did a few entries but not this one. Yukio Noda is the correct answer.

Queen Bee's Anger (女王蜂の怒り) (Japan, 1958) [DVD] – 3/5
Fast paced, superior sequel with Teruo Ishii taking the helm. The first thing one notices is the lavish widescreen colour cinematography that looks really good. One could even say this anticipates Seijun Suzuki's 60s colour films. Kubo is back, in a more active role than last time, getting her share of good scenes including a great yakuza ceremony scene. This is one of the several bits that pre-date almost identical images in the Red Peony Gambler series a decade later. There's also a young lone wolf yakuza entering the scene and falling for a wild girl Terumi Hoshi (resulting in some energetic dance floor scenes), a pretty functional sub-plot that adds the compulsory male co-lead Ken Utsui but doesn't feel like it's stealing the film from Kubo. Yoko Mihara and Bunta Sugawara are in the film, too. A bit more depth and the film would be even better.

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