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

Unread post by HungFist » 17 Jan 2016, 03:28

The animal cruelty was unfortunate. Can't defend that. Otherwise the film was lovely.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 18 Jan 2016, 00:19

HungFist wrote:Otherwise the film was lovely.
I'm going to put that down to poor choice of Finnish to English internal translation. :icon_suspect:
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Jan 2016, 10:06

Markgway wrote:
HungFist wrote:Otherwise the film was lovely.
I'm going to put that down to poor choice of Finnish to English internal translation. :icon_suspect:
:lol:

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

Unread post by Masterofoneinchpunch » 18 Jan 2016, 17:10

HungFist wrote:The Killer Snakes (Hong Kong, 1974) [DVD] – 4/5
... The film also features some nice Hong Kong city / street footage - it was always a pleasure when 70s Hong Kong filmmakers took the cameras to the real streets.
...
Check out Kuei Chih-hung's another film from him in 1974 The Rat Catcher. It is all handheld and very little sets. It has some great shots of Hong Kong throughout the film.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 18 Jan 2016, 18:49

Kuei Chih-Hung's best film is Killer Constable.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 19 Jan 2016, 03:25

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:
HungFist wrote:The Killer Snakes (Hong Kong, 1974) [DVD] – 4/5
... The film also features some nice Hong Kong city / street footage - it was always a pleasure when 70s Hong Kong filmmakers took the cameras to the real streets.
...
Check out Kuei Chih-hung's another film from him in 1974 The Rat Catcher. It is all handheld and very little sets. It has some great shots of Hong Kong throughout the film.
Sounds interesting, but the comedy looks intimidating.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 19 Jan 2016, 12:25

From memory, The Rat Catcher is a social comedy.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by Masterofoneinchpunch » 19 Jan 2016, 17:16

HungFist wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:
HungFist wrote:The Killer Snakes (Hong Kong, 1974) [DVD] – 4/5
... The film also features some nice Hong Kong city / street footage - it was always a pleasure when 70s Hong Kong filmmakers took the cameras to the real streets.
...
Check out Kuei Chih-hung's another film from him in 1974 The Rat Catcher. It is all handheld and very little sets. It has some great shots of Hong Kong throughout the film.
Sounds interesting, but the comedy looks intimidating.
The comedy is soft, think early 1960s Hollywood (though there is a French influence to the film): For an overlong review I did post on this site.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 20 Jan 2016, 16:41

Bewitched (Hong Kong, 1981) [DVD] – 4/5
Superb Shaw Brothers horror “based on” "stories" by Chinese and Thai men who became victims of black magic. As usual, a woman (a dumped Thai girlfriend who hired an evil magician to take revenge for her) is behind it all. There’s an amazing duel between a Buddhist monk and an evil magician, both using mental powers trying to defeat each other from 100 kilometres apart, halfway into the film. Although the rest of the film can’t quite retain that level of quality, it’s still a very solid film packed with gore, great special effects, scares, and a bit of boobs and bush. The film was followed by a goofier, slightly less effective but equally entertaining sequel The Boxer’s Omen (1983).

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 12

Code of Ruffians (Japan, 1965) [VoD] – 2/5
Strictly by-the-numbers yakuza drama about a clan gone straight, now working on a construction project in the mountains, and of course bullied by an evil gang. Koji Tsuruta stars; Sonny Chiba has a smallish and unremarkable role as a young, rich construction project boss, who learns something about the realities of life outside urban centres. There were quite a few of these kind of movies back in the mid 60s, including some others featuring Chiba (e.g. Dragon's Life, 1964; and North Sea Chivalry, 1967). They made an interesting point of how much of the modern Japan was supposedly built by yakuza clans. They usually emphasized how the former clans had given up on criminal life, and consequently contained only limited amounts of hard boiled "gangster cinema". In this one, too, one has to wait until the final 15 minutes before Tsuruta goes into the yakuza mode. Unfortunately the film isn't all that involving.

Sing to Those Clouds (Japan, 1965) [DVD] - 3/5
The success of Here Because of You (1964) produced a whole bunch of loosely related follow-ups, all musically oriented youth films starring the lovely Chiyoko Honma. This one is not quite on par with the better written and catchier Here Because of You, but director Koji Ota helms the film with just enough style and inserts many musical scenes, including a out-of-nowhere appearance by pop idol group Johnny's. Honma is a singing high school girl again, in the middle of a truly complicated love/hate/friendship mess that involves rebellious youngster Jiro Okazaki, co-star / pop singer Teruhiko Saigo, and quite a few other characters. Sonny Chiba is a teacher again, although he's a literature teacher this time. That doesn't stop him from catching underage smokers and making them jump the rope as punishment until they drop from exhaustion, though. The role is smaller than last time, but nevertheless very enjoyable. Once again, the film is charmingly old fashioned and very 60s. Filmed in the beautiful seaside landscapes of Bōsō Peninsula.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 20 Jan 2016, 19:40

HungFist wrote:As usual, a woman (a dumped Thai girlfriend who hired an evil magician to take revenge for her) is behind it all.
I've lost count how many times that particular scare story has been filmed in Hong Kong. I think I once saw it about three times within a year in three separate movies! I guess those Thai (or Malay for variation) ladies really freak out HK men.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 21 Jan 2016, 18:36

And the Thai ladymen even more so, to judge from Sammo's films.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 22 Jan 2016, 12:39

The Boxer’s Omen (Hong Kong, 1983) [DVD] – 4/5
Bonkers sequel to Bewitched replaces much of the horror with almost non-stop special effects extravaganza. One can imagine director on the set Kuei Chih-Hung saying "oh fuck it, let's just throw it all in”. Like porn, but with black magic instead of sex. Though some of the effects are a bit too goofy, it’s an enormously entertaining and pretty unique piece of cinema. Some of the black magic vs. Buddhism fights are again terrific, though they can’t quite top Bewitched. Exotic locations, gross bits and pieces, and nudity add to the entertainment.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 13

Abashiri Prison 4: Northern Seacoast Story (Japan, 1965) [35mm] – 2.5/5
The 4th film in the series that cemented Ken Takakura's status as the biggest yakuza film star of the 60s. Northern Seacoast Story takes the story back to the snowy Hokkaido where the original film took place (after a couple of warmer entries, of which the 3rd movie was admittedly one of the best in the series). Unfortunately it's not among the series highlights. The film opens with silly comedy routines with two gay prisoners before turning into a yakuza film variation of Stagecoach (1939) when Takakura is set free and he takes a job to drive a certain truck through Hokkaido. The cargo is cargo a runaway teenager (Reiko Ohara), a mother accompanied by sick child, and two ruthless criminals (Tooru Abe and Takashi Fujiki). It’s hardly an original movie, but the solid genre cast, jazz soundtrack and winter landscapes provide enough entertainment to warrant a viewing for fans. Sonny Chiba plays a small supporting role as an inmate with health problems. His character initiates the plot, but is only featured in the early scenes.

Golden Bat (Japan, 1966) [DVD] – 2/5
1930’s comic book hero Gold Bat returns in a live action film starting Sonny Chiba. Unfortunately Chiba is not playing the skull-faced (rubber masked) hero, but a bearded scientist who discovers Atlantis, where Golden Bat is resting. His help is needed against manically laughing evil aliens (including one who looks like a werewolf) who intend to destroy the earth. It’s nice to see Chiba given a charismatic authority role at this relatively early stage of his career, but frankly he doesn’t have that much to do in the film even though he's the leading actor. The film has its entertaining campy moments, but it could be more fun. At 73 minutes it feels a bit longer than it really is.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 23 Jan 2016, 01:19

King Boxer: 4.25/5 :thumbs:

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

Unread post by HungFist » 28 Jan 2016, 08:12

Robotrix (Hong Kong, 1991) [DVD] - 4/5
Dear God, what can you say about this? In equal parts a Robocop and Terminator rip-off, with kung fu, blood, tons of big boobs and full frontal nudity. Do Robots have sex? Yes, they do! Do Robots drink beer? Of course they do. There are even some fun jokes. And some awesome gwai lo's. It does run a bit too long, but that can be forgiven. Thank heavens for movies like this.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 14

Abashiri Prison 6: Duel in the South (Japan, 1966) [DVD] – 2/5
Sonny Chiba's second appearance in the series comes in one of the weakest Abashiri Prison films. This instalment takes place as far away from Abashiri as possible in Okinawa. The actual Abashiri prison is only featured in stock footage. The storyline mostly focuses on Ken Takakura and goofy pal Kunie Tanaka coming across a pick pocketing kid (whose hooker mom is played by Ishii regular, pinky violence supporting star Yoko Mihara). Veteran star Kanjuro Arashi is the best thing about the film. Chiba has a slightly bigger role than in the 4th Abashiri film, but he doesn’t have much to do. He plays a distinctly different character than last time, unlike some other actors. One characteristic of the series was actually that the same actors would return in sequels, playing essentially the same roles even if their characters had been killed before, which could be a bit confusing at times.

Kamikaze Man: Duel at Noon (Japan/Taiwan, 1966) [35mm] – 3/5
Sonny Chiba and Kinji Fukasaku head to Taiwan in this international action thriller influenced by spy films. Chiba is a playboy pilot who is mistaken for someone who he isn't when he travels to Taiwan with a beautiful lady. It's first and foremost an action showcase for Chiba, who designed action sequences from car chases, to boat chases, fist fights to gunplay, and hanging on to a plane that is about to take off. One of the stunts - Chiba trying to hold on to a speeding car - sent him flying through the air and landed him in a Taiwanese hospital. There's a good amount of fun to be had, although it was clearly just a "fun project" for director Fukasaku, and the screenplay is quite a mess with an overly complex plot that ultimately isn't all that cleaver or rewarding.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 30 Jan 2016, 02:40

Robotrix sounds fun. A shame its OOP :(

Come Drink With Me: 4.5/5

I really enjoyed it. The print used by Channel 4 looked very good and from what I gathered the subtitles were noticeably improved from the Dragon Dynasty R1 release (or maybe they just used the Celestial subtitles, idk and can't remember :? )

Anyway, it's clear there are pioneering elements here that would become tropes for martial arts movies that were to come - the drunken hero, the inn, the swordswoman etc.. damn, Cheng Pei-pei was gorgeous then :thumbs:

NB: Jackie Chan claimed he was in the film, but I couldnt spot him, tbh.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 31 Jan 2016, 14:56

grim_tales wrote:Robotrix sounds fun. A shame its OOP :(
Well, frankly it's not a very good release to begin with. Looks rough and sound pretty weak. I'm surprised we still haven't seen a proper remaster.

There's a French DVD, but considering it's a double feature DVD with two films on one disc, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same print. And from what I've understood, the horribly cut UK dvd has the same transfer as well.

4K remaster BD is what this film deserves :lol:

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

Unread post by HungFist » 01 Feb 2016, 16:26

Raped by an Angel (Hong Kong, 1993) [DVD] – 3/5
A bit mediocre mix of romance, courtroom drama and sleazy raping, saved by a fantastic climax. Probably the only exploitation film where the rapist uses a condom! And then there’s a woman who got HIV for having sex without condom! Who says CAT III films can’t be educational?

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 15

The Terror Beneath the Sea (Japan/USA, 1966) [DVD] – 3/5
The young & handsome Sonny Chiba stars as the lone Japanese lead in this Japan-US co-produced sci-fi cheese-fest. Chiba and his attractive blonde companion encounter mad scientists and horrifying underwater men who usually jump (yes, jump) from behind the corner with their hands in a “boo” pose. Hardly great filmmaking, but it comes with plenty of amusing SFX work and unintentional laughs. Chiba is the only cast member who evidences any kind of acting talent. It's solid campy fun, and a more enjoyable movie than Golden Bat, which was also directed by Hajime Sato and released the same year. This was probably the first time for many foreign audiences to see Chiba, as it was released in a number of countries, such as Germany, Austria, Italy, and USA (as a TV film).

Game of Chance (aka Samurai’s Lullaby) (Japan, 1966) [35mm] – 3.5/5
Sonny Chiba stars in this unusual ninkyo yakuza film as a single father and swindler who has to escape with his 6 year son (Hiroyuki Sanada in his first role) after being caught cheating in the gambling table. They settle down in Tokyo where Chiba joins villain Toru Abe's gang. What makes Game of Chance stand out is that the protagonist commits dishonest acts that a typical ninkyo hero would never do. It makes the film a bit on an odd bird, but it also adds to its interest. The same can be said about the strong emphasis on feminine drama as Chiba's son encounter new mother candidates. It all works surprisingly well, with solid performances from everyone involved, though mediocre director Ryuchi Takamori keeps the film from reaching greatness

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

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Feb 2016, 12:47

Run and Kill (Hong Kong, 1993) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Well made, effective Cat III thriller that is more disturbing than A Serbian Film or all Human Centipedes combined. Kent Cheung is terrific as a bullied, shy man who accidentally hires gangsters to kill his cheating wife and then finds himself in deep trouble. The film’s first 15 minutes is beautifully done, while the last 15 is utterly insane. Guaranteed to upset most viewers, especially those who don’t think small children should be involved in Cat III mayhem. Speaking of which, Cheung has the cutest daughter ever in the film; I’d adopt her anytime!

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 16

Tale of Kawachi Chivalry (Japan, 1967) [VoD] – 2/5
Sonny Chiba stars in this misleadingly marketed semi-ninkyo piece set in the early Showa era. Chiba plays a young chef, who is more interested in fooling around and picking fights than working. Enter yakuza film regular Bin Amatsu, and we have a conflict between honest townspeople and corrupt criminals. The film basically takes the typical ninkyo-yakuza film story, but strips it from the gloss and glorification and replaces yakuza heroes with ordinary people. Unfortunately, in the hands of the utterly mediocre director Ryuchi Takamori it doesn't translate into anything very interesting. To make matters worse, all the action promised by the film's poster is nowhere to be found. It's still a watchable film, and Chiba is always fun to watch, but it is among his least memorable starring roles.

North Sea Chivalry (Japan, 1967) [VoD] – 2/5
Sonny Chiba gives a solid dramatic performance in an otherwise uninspired semi-ninkyo drama. The storyline follows a struggling fisherman clan (lead by old man Kanjuro Arashi) that tries not to get in trouble with the local yakuza (with Tomisaburo Wakayama as the leader). The film struggles to find any kind of focus to the extent that there is no obvious main character. Chiba, however, is by far the best thing about the film as the clan leader’s son, who rebels against his father. He doesn’t participate in any action scenes, but his performance is solid and his character is easily the best written in the film.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 03 Feb 2016, 18:19

Which DVD of Run and Kill do you have, Hung? Apparently there are/were several German DVD releases which are uncut (the film was cut by the HK censors and THEN heavily cut by the likes of the BBFC I believe) :o

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

Unread post by Markgway » 04 Feb 2016, 00:25

HungFist wrote:Run and Kill (Hong Kong, 1993) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Cheung has the cutest daughter ever in the film; I’d adopt her anytime!
Not after she's been burnt to a crisp, surely?

But yes, it's one of the better films of its ilk.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of

Unread post by HungFist » 04 Feb 2016, 02:49

grim_tales wrote:Which DVD of Run and Kill do you have, Hung? Apparently there are/were several German DVD releases which are uncut (the film was cut by the HK censors and THEN heavily cut by the likes of the BBFC I believe) :o
I have the uncut Austrian DVD. The subs feature quite a few typos, but it's otherwise a good release.

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Markgway wrote:
HungFist wrote:Run and Kill (Hong Kong, 1993) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Cheung has the cutest daughter ever in the film; I’d adopt her anytime!
Not after she's been burnt to a crisp, surely?
Before, obviously :lol:

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 04 Feb 2016, 11:14

Thanks Hung. Though I couldnt see it on D&T Mailorder shop, it looks like it could be for sale here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Run-Kill-Full-U ... B004E73944

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

Unread post by HungFist » 04 Feb 2016, 11:28

grim_tales wrote:Thanks Hung. Though I couldnt see it on D&T Mailorder shop, it looks like it could be for sale here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Run-Kill-Full-U ... B004E73944
Yeah, that should be it. That's the amaray case in the picture if I'm not mistaken. It should come with a red slipcase, too, or at least mine did.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 06 Feb 2016, 18:54

One Armed Swordsman (1967): 4/5

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

Unread post by HungFist » 08 Feb 2016, 05:50

Red to Kill (Hong Kong, 1994) [DVD] – 3.5/5
It’s hard to think of a more politically incorrect film than a violent Cat III thriller about a serial rapist targeting mentally retarded women. Easily offended viewers stay far away! Director Billy Tang had talent not only for making visually stylish thrillers, but also for creating likable characters who would be brutally victimized later. In this film it's the cute Lily Chung that you really feel for. The rapist’s identity should not be spoiled, but the actor’s performance belongs in the hall of fame of super-crazed rapist psychopaths. The ending is quite something as well, and there are moments where Tang shows almost Argento-like skill in putting together an intense scene. Unfortunately the film drags a bit during the middle third.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 17

Diaries of the Kamikaze (Japan, 1967) [DVD] - 3/5
This is one of the better kamikaze dramas Toei put out in late 60s. These films are not well know abroad, as the subject matter made sure only the most pacifist masterpieces of Japanese war cinema found international distribution. Strictly commercial melodramas such as this remained domestic money makers. Hiroki Matsukata and Sonny Chiba star as two best friends who are drafted to the army and eventually become kamikaze pilots. While Matsukata is the number 1 star, Chiba has a pretty good supporting role. The all star cast is filled with big names, including Ken Takakura, Koji Tsuruta, Isao Natsuyagi, Bin Amatsu, and Junko Fuji. It's a solid film with decent characters, good pace and a touching subject, though there are even better films in the genre, such as The Last Kamikaze (1970).

Organized Crime (Japan, 1967) [VoD] - 2/5
This is basically a predecessor to the 70s jitsuroku yakuza films. The film draws a pessimistic image of gang violence that breaks out on the streets between rivalry yakuza clans. There's ambition to it, and the slightly documentary-like approach resembles the later jitsuroku films, but the film isn't especially captivating or memorable. Rather than following any specific character, the film focuses on the entire crime society and jumps back and forth between characters who come and go. Unfortunately none of them are that interesting. A detective played by Tetsuro Tamba is probably the closest to a central character. The second billed Sonny Chiba, who plays one of the lower ranking yakuza, only becomes a major character during the second half.

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