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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Yagyu Chronicles 9: Assassin’s Sword (十兵衛暗殺剣) (Japan, 1964 [TV] – 3/5
The last in the series. This continues in the same mass battle oriented path as part 8 but takes it even further, making this essentially a war film. Jubei and his selected 10 men are lured to an island where their adversary has employed dozens or perhaps hundreds of pirates to ambush them. The film's entire last third consists of team Yagyu fighting for their lives against an army of enemies. For better or worse, the film feels grittier and gloomier than any of the earlier entries, lacking their old fashioned innocence and fairy tale quality.

Tales of Japan's Chivalrous Women: Chivalrous Geisha (日本女侠伝 侠客芸者) (Japan, 1969) [TV] - 3.5/5
Junko Fuji's second major yakuza film series alongside Red Peony Gambler (1968-1972). The series name is a derivative from Ken Takakura's Tales of Japanese Chivalry, but there is no connection other than this being another series focusing on "labourers" rather than gamblers. This opening film sees Fuji as a Kyushu geisha during a coal boom, which was bringing gangsters, businessmen and military figures into town. Takakura is a noble, modest man running a coal mine, rotten Kaneko is a merciless slave master after Takakura’s mountain, and then there are two runaway lovers whom Takakura and Fuji agree to shelter respectively. This is a good film with some solid drama and stylish costume play, even if Fuji has to leave the swordplay to Takakura. Her role is nevertheless good, and many of her quieter scenes with Ken are sublime. The same can't be said about the Kaneko's evil villain character, who is a mere plot tool void of any finesse. Note that the film is also known as Samurai Geisha, a nonsensical title considering she's obviously not a samurai.

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

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The Ghost Story of Oiwa's Spirit (怪談お岩の亡霊) (Japan, 1961) [TV] – 3.5/5
Japanese ghost stories are not my favourite genre, but if I were to watch one, it'd better be a samurai film starring Tomisaburo Wakayama and directed by Tai Kato. This one is. Wakayama is excellent as a violent brute samurai who comes up with a plot to kill his wife so that he could marry a younger girl. The classic tale (“Yotsuya kaidan”) has been filmed countless times before and after, but Kato treats it more as a gripping drama of real life horrors and less as a ghost story. The supernatural elements don't come until the last 25 minutes, which is when the film turns into a bloodbath. The film is also notably sparse on the usual spooky “is it real or imagination?” scenes that characterize a lot of other films of this type, and the one are found here usually end instantly with Wakayama's sword cutting someone’s head off. And that is a good thing!

Tales of Japan's Chivalrous Women: Brave Red Flower (日本女侠伝 真赤な度胸花) (Japan, 1970) [TV] - 4/5
Fuji is a common girl who travels to Hokkaido to inherit her father's horse market business, only to land in the middle of a “civilians vs. yakuza” conflict. The gangsters have been bribing and murdering their way towards market ownership, and the only person who could save the outvoted Fuji clan is missing man Takakura, who holds a grudge for Fuji's old man. This is an excellent, slightly atypical ninkyo film. Fuji does karate! Shoots people! Barely wears a kimono! And it’s all set in the beautiful Hokkaido wilderness, far from Toei's studio sets. But most importantly, the film fully utilizes the kind of duty vs. humanity conflict between its main characters that had come to characterize the best ninkyo films in the Brutal Tales / Red Peony era. But not so much good without some bad: a needlessly conservative ending, a strangely underwhelming Masao Yagi score, and probably the worst bit of teary-eye acting (by a certain kid) in a Toei film until Yutaka Nakajima would set a new low in The Street Fighter (1974).

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

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Tales of Japan's Chivalrous Women: Iron Geisha (日本女侠伝 鉄火芸者) (Japan, 1970) [DVD] - 3/5
Pretty geisha Junko Fuji meets chivalrous Bunta Sugawara in a town also populated by evil boss Toru Abe. She’s also caught between amorous patrons and jealous colleagues. A beautifully shot tale with some lyrical scenes that rank among the most beautiful in director Kosaku Yamashita's filmography. But the problem is, this is a yakuza film but Fuji is strictly confined to geisha gear. The blood work is all left to Sugawara. That may have been the case in part 1 as well, but somehow it feels more regressive here, particularly after the previous film, even if the drama itself works pretty well.

In Search of Mother (瞼の母) (Japan, 1962) [TV] – 3.5/5
A teary melodrama about a man searching for his long lost mother is hardly my type of film, but if I were to watch one, it'd better be a matatabi yakuza film starring Kinnosuke Nakamura and directed by Tai Kato. This one is. The classic tale had been filmed many times since the 1930s, including once by Nobuo Nakagawa for Shintoho, but this was probably the first colour version. I’ve not seen the others, but Kato’s version is very economical (stylish without excess flashiness, consisting of a relatively small number of rather lengthy scenes) yet touching. It also really embodies the matatabi / wanderer feel, perhaps because of its main character missing roots, and is a classic of the genre for a reason.

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Chivalrous Third Generation (遊侠三代) (Japan, 1966) [TV] - 2.5/5
Tatsuo Umemiya in talkative ninkyo film that loses its focus to a multitude of characters. It smells of a novel adaptation, though to the best of my knowledge isn't. The setting is immediately post war in 1945. Umemiya belongs to a trucking company / gang whose enemy has teamed up with prominent military figures. Tsuruta runs a restaurant and offers help, while Ryotaro Tatsumi is the evil gang's tool with a secret connection to Umemiya. Lots of talk ensues, with little action. The ending, which unusually shows the aftermath of the carnage and comes with heavy religious (Christian) thematics, however, is so unusual and rewarding that it alone makes the film somewhat worthwhile. Side note: Umemiya also sings the theme song.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 76

OL sennyu! Nippon fuzoku meisho (OL潜入!ニッポン風俗名所) (Japan, 1989) [TV] - 2/5
Sonny Chiba and Jun Miho are tabloid reporters uncovering a murder case in a mostly miserable, but strangely watchable TV film. The opening sees Chiba taking newcomer Miho to a love hotel for educational reasons (but of course), just in time to see a murderer flee and leave a dead prostitute behind. The key to solving the case is fellow paid woman Momoko, who had introduced the dead girl to her customer, but isn't willing to speak for she's got her own tale of love, deception and corrupt corporate politics to keep out of daylight. In true travel show fashion, the mystery takes them through Japan’s sightseeing spots (and red light districts) in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyushu. The 91 min movie aired on June 17, 1989 in TV Asahi's famed "Saturday Wide Theater" slot that ran from 1977 to 2017. Poorly acted (by Miho in particular), shot on video and composed by someone who wouldn't qualify for elevator music, there isn't much to recommend here aside the somewhat functional storyline, Chiba's amusing interactions with his wife, and the relevance to the era (made just before the bubble burst, and when love hotels were becoming a mainstream phenomena). Cinematically it suffices as evidence of the change of times: former top action star paired with the cutest girl of the just-buried Roman Porno, and all they do is talk (the brief JAC action bit at the end doesn’t involve Chiba). There's not even nudity (which once used to be commonplace on Japanese TV) despite the topic matter.

Love School (恋愛学校) (Japan, 1962) [35mm] – 3.5/5
A charming love comedy with young Sonny Chiba in a solid supporting role. Best friends Yoshiko Sakuma and Mayumi Ozora go boy hunting (looking for dates) with the former at one point finding herself harassed by an old geezer. To rescue comes young man Chiba, driving a vintage vehicle that looks like a slightly upgraded version of T-Ford. It's crush at first sight for Chiba, but Sakuma is torn between a wealthier businessman advocated by her conservative mom, and penniless Chiba who gets blessing from the liberal grandmother (Tokyo Story’s Chieko Higashiyama as a totally awesome character frequently taking a piss out of her nervous daughter). This is quite a progressive youth film for Toei, all the way from trendy English title (though spelled Renai gakko in kanji, the intended furigana reading is Love School) to a charmingly modern heroine and an underlying message 'follow your heart, not your family'. For Chiba fans these romantic films predating his tough mofo reputation by a decade are a most pleasant discovery. He’s a little inexperienced and less convincing than his co-stars, but he's such pretty boy serial-smiler Duracell bunny that he instantly wins over the audience's sympathies. It's no small part either, with lots of screentime and good scenes (as ‘cute love interest’). Best of all, it comes in a thoroughly enjoyable, fun and stylishly shot city romance film.

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

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Rogue's Self-Sacrifice (捨て身のならず者) (Japan, 1970) [TV] – 2.5/5
Takakura is a newspaper reporter who gets framed and jailed after snooping too close to the yakuza. Years later he's out for revenge. Good start, with Takakura for once not playing a yakuza despite this being a contemporary yakuza film! But the film soon runs out of steam. Unable to pursue his vengeance for a certain reason, Takakura goes alcoholic and meets Mie Hama, a woman whose father may have been to blame for Takakura's misery. Takakura then does some more snooping and has some more run-ins with gangsters, but ultimately nothing very exciting happens. It's still an alright film, but the opening promised more.

Tales of Japan's Chivalrous Women: Duel of Swirling Flowers (日本女侠伝 血斗乱れ花) (Japan, 1971) [TV] – 4/5
Yamashita continues as a director in what is probably the best film in the series, and one of Fuji's best movies. Fuji inherits a petty mountain from dead husband Hiroyuki Nagato and tries to turn it into a profitable coal mine with the husband’s loyal colleague Rinichi Yamamoto. Private shipping company head Takakura aids with the logistics when greedy businessman Minoru Oki and his yakuza henchman Tatsuo Endo force boatman boss Bin Amatsu to block Fuji's dealings with other companies. This is a sweeping epic, comparable to the likes of Flower and Dragon, with a storyline spanning over a decade and showing Fuji's struggles that come with genuine emotional payback. It's a terrific role, despite leaving the swordfights to the actual yakuza characters. Yamamoto likewise has one of the best roles of his career as a genuinely caring aid to Fuji, as does Amatsu as indebted-to-Oki but not inherently evil man, a nice departure from his usual ruthless villain characters. Takakura isgood as always, and gets to do the blood work in a slightly disappointing action climax (suffering from an overuse of freeze frame) followed by a great closing scene. Visually the film is pure poetry.

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

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Denko karate uchi (電光空手打ち) (Japan, 1956) [VoD] – 2/5
Denko ryusei karate uchi (電光流星空手打ち) (Japan, 1956) [VoD] – 2/5
Ken Takakura's screen debut, following his admission into Toei ranks via the studio's annual New Faces program, came surprisingly enough in this pair of Okinawa karate films. The two-parter was released on Jan. 29, 1956 as two thirds of a triple feature also containing Kiyoshi Saeki's Samurai of the Great Earth. Both halves run just under one hour. The fighting is actually pretty good for the time, and it's fun to see Takakura as an impatient, bearded karate rascal. But there's not much vitality to the plot or storytelling. It comes out as rather bland as a whole.

Tales of Japan's Chivalrous Women: Battle at Cape Himeyuri (日本女侠伝 激斗ひめゆり岬) (Japan, 1971) [TV] – 3/5
A slightly underwhelming last chapter that doesn't live up to its great premise. Fuji heads an Okinawa trucking company and is their most reckless driver. She's mostly seen in army green, often complete with cap and sunglasses. Quite a departure from her usual kimono form! Abe is a mainland yakuza who has debt-trapped a small village and has their men, women and children dig up valuable, volatile WWII ammunition. War vet gone short-fuse yakuza Sugawara balances between the two parties, with sympathies and professional ties on opposite sides. This film has bits of originality and political relevance here and there, from Fuji's army boots to present and past Okinawa invasion. It also has Machida as Amatsu's Okinawa-native karate goon who comes to realize he's playing in the wrong team. But none of these themes or characters are explored in much depth, and the moral conflicts tied to Sugawara and Machida's characters (who oddly both serve a similar narrative purpose) are only briefly touched. Perhaps strangest of all is the decision to introduce a comic relief character a mere 25 min before the film ends (usually these clowns make their appearances in the beginning). Now, this is still a pretty good ninkyo film with bits of originality and a fair amount of entertainment. It doesn't really have any bad scenes. But one feels there was potential for much more.

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Detective Story: A Brother's Rule (刑事物語 兄弟の掟) (Japan, 1971) [TV] – 2.5/5
Screenwriter Shun Inagaki's only directorial effort, a partly experimental character study dressed up as detective film. Kunie Tanaka is a troubled detective unwillingly working with cocky cop Yuzo Kayama in a drug case that even relates to his own family, he discovers. Some of the more experimental sequences don't really work, and while the decidedly iffy and slow character drama is acquired taste, the film does wonderful job capturing an era on film. The atmospheric footage filmed on real streets feels particular valuable in retrospect.

Women's Cruel Double Suicide (残酷おんな情死) (Japan, 1970) [VoD] - 3/5
Shogoro Nishimura’s grimy, docudrama esque film about lesbian lovers in yakuza infested Shinjuku. A suicidal call girl (Annu Mari) and a temperamental gold-digger (Sanae Ohori) meet by chance and eventually decide they are better off without men. But the former’s yakuza guardian / boyfriend (Jiro Okazaki) and his gang disagree. This was the last film Nishimura did before Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno switchover in the following year. It coincidentally became a bit of a transitional work, a much gloomier and fleshier picture void of the breeze and colourful art direction of his 60s pictures. It's also worse acted and edited with some jarring cuts, making it feel more like an independent picture than a Nikkatsu film. But it has its own charm, from authentic Tokyo locations to smutty atmosphere and even a brief cult lesbian orgy scene where Ohori is made love by white-hooded Ku Klux Clan types. It’s an interesting picture, though ultimately less bizarre and more low-key than some of the above-mentioned plot points might suggest. Also known as “Midnight Virgin”.

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Jade Warrior (Finland/China, 2006) - first time: 3.5/5

Not sure if this really belongs in General or Asian, this was an interesting one. Reminded me of something like The Myth (2005) or Bichunmoo (2000) because of the parallel lives and star crossed lovers theme. It has elements of Chinese/HK wuxia films but some Finnish mythology too, that I'm not familliar with.
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The Million Ryo Pot (Japan, 1935) - DVD (first time viewing): 3.5/5

This one starts off slowly, but there's some comedy and enjoyment to be had in this story of a one eyed samurai's search for a pot worth 1 million ryo coins. That must have been worth many millions today.
Wikipedia Article - Ryo: Modern Conversion wrote:These fluctuations in the gold content of the koban over time, as well as differences in the cost of living between various points in the Edo period and in modern times make any attempt to relate the value of one ryō in terms of modern currency very difficult. Japanese middle school textbooks often state that one ryō was approximately equivalent to 100,000 Yen at the start of the Edo period, and around 3000–4000 yen at the end of the Edo period. On the other hand, the Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan states that one ryō had a nominal value equivalent 300,000–400,000 yen, but was worth only 120,000–130,000 yen in practice, or 40,000 yen in terms of rice.
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Bondage Tattoo on Wet Skin (濡れた肌刺青を縛る) (Japan, 1982) [35mm] - 1/5
I felt obliged to watch this Mamoru Watanabe Shintoho film since it was screening in 35mm. I probably shouldn't have. A soldier (Shiro Shimomoto) comes home from war, only to find his sweetheart (Mai Hana) missing. She's actually in the attic, tied up on ropes and tattooed from ankles to neck, under intensive yakuza care. What's curious about this tale is that she's fully engaged in self-torture, tying herself up and even pulling herself up in the air on ropes by herself when there's no one to whip her. It's slightly spectacular to look at and supposedly adds a psychological layer to the sleaze. Meanwhile he proceeds to bang other women... a lot. Then there’s a bit of revenge at the end. I watched this back to back with Toei's Virgin Breaker Yuki and Nikkatsu's Red Vertigo, and it's painfully evident how much lower the production values and filmmaking quality are here. On a more subjective opinion, the same is true to the prettiness of the actresses. This may have been satisfactory to sleaze-hungry pink audiences, but the (very) occasional moments of cinematic interest and the entirely elementary yakuza aspect to the plot offer little comfort to others.

Police Department Story 18: Mysterious Red Phone (警視庁物語 謎の赤電話) (Japan, 1962) [TV] - 3/5
One of the better entries in the series, though sans Chiba who departed after the previous three entries. The detectives are after a kidnapper who is holding a child for ransom. It's their second try after failing to save the previous kid. As one might have guessed from the title, this film digs into phone call tracing, long before computers could do it. It's a good entry but what really makes it is the thrilling last 10 minutes. The climax, rich in both atmosphere and almost documentary-like street footage, sees the detectives tailing the suspect on foot on city streets and subways in the Tokyo night.

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For reference, here are slightly re-written versions of my old reviews for parts 15-17. The original versions were posted in 2015. I though I'd include them here now that I'm reviewing all the others for the first time.
Police Department Story 15: Alibi (警視庁物語 不在証明) (Japan, 1961) [VoD] – 2.5/5
This is one of the more notable entries in the series for featuring Sonny Chiba in his first movie role. The film kicks off with the murder of a security guard in a major company. What follows is a relatively well made and stylishly filmed tale bogged down by a large amount of talking heads scenes in indoor locations. Chiba makes his silver screen debut by joining the detective team. He’s not bad, but his lack of experience and confidence shows when he’s surrounded by the series’ regular cast. He sometimes looks like he's waiting for his turn to speak. Chiba had priorly starred in the television series New Seven Color Mask (1960) where he actually fared better, perhaps due being surrounded by monsters and masked villains rather than a veteran cast of 14 earlier Police Department Story films.

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Police Department Story 16: 15 Year Old Woman (警視庁物語 十五才の女) (Japan, 1961) [VoD] – 4/5
One of the best films in the series, and a notable improvement over the previous instalment even though they were almost certainly shot back-to-back by the same crew. Sonny Chiba returns to his co-starring role as one of the detectives inspecting the case of a 15 year old girl, whose dead body was discovered floating in a river. As usual, the film runs only one hour and doesn’t depart too far from the usual formula; however, it greatly benefits from frequent outdoor locations that were sometimes missing from the previous film. Throughout the film the detectives are engaged in more active investigation work on location rather than just questioning people indoors. The film also touches far more serious topics, such as child abuse and mental insanity, and even utilises Rashomon-like storytelling techniques to some extent. The last scene is especially haunting and echoes more talented film makers like Kurosawa. Oddly enough, Chiba has also greatly improved his acting with a far more confident performance, including a lot of small gestures he does even in shots were his character is only seen in the background.

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Police Department Story 17: 12 Detectives (警視庁物語 十二人の刑事) (Japan, 1961) [VoD] – 2/5
An unusually long episode in the Police Department Story series, made by a different crew than the previous two films. At 88 minutes this runs a third longer than most of the other films. Unfortunately the extended running time has not translated into increased ambition. Instead, it feels like a direct adaptation of the written story, with few cinematic tricks thrown in. The storyline is bigger and thicker than before, but also lacking the melancholy and sensitive themes that made the previous film so interesting. It’s still a passable movie with nothing totally wrong about it, but hardly a memorable one. Sonny Chiba is again solid in his supporting role, but his character is given little to do and gets less screen time than before. This was the third and last time he appeared in the series which would still run for another 7 films without him.

Note: reviews for parts 12, 15-17 are slightly re-written versions of my old reviews. I didn’t re-watch the films. I just didn’t want to skip over them now that I’m reviewing all the others.
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Have you seen that old Sadao Nakajima film Hung? It's probably the oldest Japanese film I've seen.
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grim_tales wrote: 21 Jul 2022, 22:51 Have you seen that old Sadao Nakajima film Hung? It's probably the oldest Japanese film I've seen.
I think you mean Sadao Yamanaka. No, I haven't seen it. I don't think I've watched any Japanese film older than the 1940s.
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My mistake on his name, sorry! :oops:
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Police Department Story 19: Landfill (警視庁物語 19号埋立地) [TV] - 3/5
This is structurally very similar to the previous film, which premiered 5 weeks earlier and was filmed by the exact same crew, almost certainly back to back. The premise is a dead body discovered at a construction site. What follows is a relatively standard detective affair with one original idea / theme (civilians who unintentionally or on purpose disturb the police with misleading or irrelevant information) before a very good interrogation room climax that dials the drama gear up to 11.

Knife (KNIFE-ナイフ-) (Japan, 1996) [TV] – 2.5/5
A female assassin loses her memory after a botched job in this rather passable DTV film. She escapes from captivity and is rescued by a dad & daughter combo who provide her a safe environment to ask "who am I?" (even from a ridiculously dated computer system where assassin profiles written in broken English are stored). This isn’t too bad a film. There's some action, some nudity, and a decent amount of 90s existentialism (think of poor man’s Mamoru Oshii) aided by an occasionally pretty musical score. The pacing is ok and the thematics just about keep you interested, even if nothing really stands out. Director Hidehiro Ito is probably best known for a handful of sleazy 80s Roman Porno films, such as Secretary Rope Discipline (1981) and Debauchery (1983).

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Flashpoint (HK, 2007 - BD rewatch): 4/5

Not seen this one in a long time, it was pretty good. Doesn't seem like it's 15 years old but then again, I haven't seen many HK movies in the 2010's either
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Seventh Curse 1.5/5
Good on 88 for creating lots of hype around this one and selling lots of their LE, i found the movie pretty poor,good cast,crap movie.

Fist Of Fury Part 2 4/5
Yep it stars Bruce Li and while this follow up is basically a retread of the Lee classic it's very well done.Now that a HD version has surfaced be nice if someone could get hold of the mandarin audio and get subs added.
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Kung Fu The Headcrusher 5/5
Chen Sing,Henry Yue,Sun Lan,Fang Yeh,Cheung Nik,Shan Kwai in early 70's rough n ready basher classic.

Martial Club 3/5
Not a bad later shaw effort, Gordon Liu stars.
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edit double post.
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Let the Bullets Fly (2010): 2.5/5

Period action comedy seems to spoof Reservoir Dogs in places and feels way too long unfortunately. The subtitles are very fast.
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Little Big Soldier (2010) - first time: 3.5/5

I quite enjoyed this - the idea of a mismatched buddy comedy (kind of) but in ancient times is an interesting one.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Comedy Tokudashi Himo Tengoku (喜劇 特出しヒモ天国) aka Tokudashi Himo Tengoku - Amazon Japan (1975) 2.5/5
Directed by Azuma Morisaki
Watched this without subtitles - It's apparently a true (?) story about a troupe of stripper performers who work at a club where they all live, work, and eat and sleep together. It follows their lives and drama and comedy. It has Reiko Ike in it, naked as early as the opening credits, but Meika Seri is the focus here, as the town alcoholic that they recruit and turn into a performer. In her first on stage performance she pees on stage, before falling off and passing straight out! She becomes a focal point to a lot of what happens - slowly at first - but then in a big way.

Also has famous transgender actress Maki Carrousel in an entertaining role that's years ahead of its time, and in general treats many of its characters less like stereotypes and more like real people. For not understanding most of anything said, it was still entertaining. This was not just a 'sex comedy', but rather a film that seemed to really want to tell a story about these people. Not great, but certainly not bad.

Reiko Ike actually seems like she's enjoying herself for once and Takuzo Kawatani is pretty entertaining as a drunk in love with Meika Seri who just can't control her.

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chazgower01
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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saltysam wrote: 30 Jul 2022, 19:41 Seventh Curse 1.5/5
Good on 88 for creating lots of hype around this one and selling lots of their LE, i found the movie pretty poor,good cast,crap movie.
Awww, I LOVE that movie! I bought the special edition of it... besides that all star cast, and the extremely dated special effects of course (I mean... 1986 Hong Kong), it'll always have a place in my heart for that Chui Sau-Lai scene where she jumps up out of the water!

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

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Kochiyama Soshun (Japan, 1936) - DVD first time viewing: 3.5/5

A young shopkeeper/gambler steals a samurai's knife, in a movie based on a kabuki play. Coin values besidess ryo are mentioned here, (Mon and Bu) that I haven't heard of before
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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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Police Department Story 20: Backing Investigation (警視庁物語 ウラ付け捜査) (Japan, 1963) [TV] - 3/5
A drunken man jailed for dine and dash catches a guard's attention when he babbles in his sleep and appears be talking about an unsolved murder case. He's taken to the central police station for further questioning, where he soon confesses... except that his confession doesn't seem to hold water since many of the smaller details are incorrect. An interesting if extremely talkative entry. This has probably more "talking heads" scenes than any other film in the series, until the last act which is surprisingly set in snowy Akita. At 58 minutes the film doesn't outstay its welcome, however. Hajime Sato (Goke: Body Snatcher from Hell) directs.

Escape Man (脱獄者) (Japan, 1967) [35mm] - 3.5/5
Kazuo Ikehiro tackles modern day crime thriller in an uneven, but highly rewarding Daiei noir. Tetsuro Tamba is a police detective with a little brother Jun Fujimaki in the yakuza. Tamba eventually gets framed and jailed for being too close to the gang - though despite the film's title this doesn't happen until the second half. And here lies the film's unevenness. The opening half is stylish, but not particularly convincing (two gangs gathering for a 5 vs. 5 quickdraw death duel being an example of both) or always engaging. However, once Tamba is behind bars, the film goes into highly suspenseful observative mode as he desperately tries to find a weak spot in the prison security while also keeping himself alive till the action packed climax. The entire second half is first rate filmmaking and Tamba is expectedly good. Sniper assassin Kyosuke Machida, gangster Nobuo Kaneko and former chief Yoshi Kato all excel in supporting roles. Fine score and stylish black & white cinematography complete the package.

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

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Police Story (HK, 1985): 5/5

Great movie and one of Jackie's best (the talk before the start listed a co-director which I didn't know though), the transfer looked it was 4K (or restored from that) but the sound was crap, impact hits and gunshots were too powerful. Also a couple of errors (I may be wrong) :oops: :

In the court scene, when the prosecutor asks Jackie if he could see all of the bus, Jackie says "No", but the subs say "Yes" :?
When Jackie asks Salina how long she's known Chu, she says "Four years" but at the beginning, Inspector Li says she only joined up with him recently. I'd take that to mean a few weeks or a month, not 4 years!

Maybe I'm being over sensitive here? - I know it was the 80's and Jackie is only doing it as a ruse to make Salina co-operate with him, but the part where he stages what looks like a rape attempt/attack is in poor taste :(

He comes across as a bit of a dick to May :(
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