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Thread: What Asian Films Have You Been Watching Recently?

  1. #591
    You realize this is the one with the killer whale, right?

  2. #592
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2016
    Calgary, Alberta
    Quote Originally Posted by mjeon View Post
    You realize this is the one with the killer whale, right?
    That’s an interesting nickname for Sammo Hung.

  3. #593
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Mothra x 2

    Mothra (モスラ) (Japan, 1961) [35mm] - 3/5
    Entertaining kaiju with a bit of exotic island adventure touch. Editing could be tighter for the 100 min running time, but mostly compensated for by lavish colour cinematography and better than usual cast: Frankie Chan makes a sympathetic lead, Peanuts are Peanuts and Osman Yusuf gets another gaijin henchman role. Only Akira Ikufube's score is sorely missed.

    Mothra vs. Godzilla (モスラ対ゴジラ) (Japan, 1964) [35mm] - 2.5/5
    A bit duller and less colorful picture than Mothra, with less exotics and rather bland characters. The environmental message remains timely, sadly, and the battles between Mothra and Godzilla are quite intense.

    Director’s Company x 3

    Wolf (狼) (Japan, 1982) [DVD] - 2.5/5
    "Running is sex!" A wolf guy runs around Tokyo raping women and punching Renji Ishibashi until he finds a wolf girl (the lovely Megumi Saki from Red Violation and Rape Ceremony) to eat bloody steaks and have sex with. A Banmei Takahashi pink film with a strong Sogo Ishii punk vibe, especially in the punk rock score. Original, but ultimately there isn't that much content other than running, raping and disco partying with an animalistic aroma. Originally released in pink triple bill with Saraba aibo and The Harem Valentine Day, the first productions by Director's Company.

    So Long My Partner (さらば相棒) (Japan, 1982) [DVD] - 2/5
    "Rock is sex". Part 2 in the Director's Company pink triple bill, about a wanna-be rocker and his two friends. Rock, sex and friendship struggles. Ryo Ishibashi stars, Rikiya Yasuoka is a yakuza, and Yuya Fuckin' Uchida (that's how he's credited) a junkie in a 20 second cameo. Also contains tons of other rockers from ARB, ANARCHY and others, playing roles like Rape Guy A, B, C and D, and Drunker A, B and C. And it was written by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, produced by Banmei Takahashi and directed by actor Ryudo Uzaki. And yet the film is rather dull, executed without the kind of energy that would grab you by the balls. It's watchable with some cultural-historical interest stemming from the cast and crew and the era, but the drama doesn’t work and you won't be left with much... except Yuya Fuckin' Uchida.

    Harlem Valentine Day (ハーレムバレンタインデイ) (Japan, 1982) [DVD] - 3.5/5
    “Blood is sex”. Death Power director Shigeru Izumiya's cosmic cyber punk pink film set in post Sino-Soviet war future (the film opens with low budget battle footage). A crazed, back-from-the-war soldier wanders in the night searching for his lost girlfriend, who has become a prostitute in some kind of Sogo Ishii / Yoshihiro Nishimura / Shinya Tsukamoto style Blade Runner world. He ends up killing most people he encounters. Like Death Powder, I am not sure if this is a good film, but it is odd, visually stunning and fascinating (especially the soundtrack). Guaranteed to leave even the jaded cult film aficionado wondering "what the hell did I just saw", I can't even imagine how the unsuspecting pink film audiences responded when this opened as the final part of the Director's Company triple bill.

    Others x 3

    Women Who Do Not Divorce (離婚しない女) (Japan, 1986) [DVD] - 1.5/5
    80s human relationship anguish with middle aged people crying and acting stupid. A Tatsumi Kumashiro drama about ordinary, dull people being ordinary and dull. A product of the 80s, an era when Japanese films attempted to capture life at its most unexceptional. Snowy Hokkaido settings add a bit to the film, thankfully.

    The Most Suitable Profession for Women (女がいちばん似合う職業) (Japan, 1990) [DVD] - 3/5
    Interesting, off-kilter neo noir with mentally off-the-rails detective Kaori Momoi entering relationship with murder suspect. It's neither lust nor a grand plan; she just ain't got all the Moomins in the valley and figures in her lonely misery that that might get the investigation moving. Charmingly odd film with director Naosuke Kurosawa's trademark city existentialism, more than a bit of Takashi Ishii influence (they collaborated on the Dream Crimes failure five years prior) and a great Momoi performance. And all the songs on the soundtrack are in French and… Arabian? Persian? I’m not sure. It still falls short of greatness by lacking consistency and a dynamic overall touch - the storyline especially is something of an excuse for mood and character segments - but the film's got several good scenes and it's pleasingly an unorthodox.

    the trailer is one of the best I've seen recently:

    Pink Salon Hospital: No Pants Nurses (ピンサロ病院 ノーパン白衣) (Japan, 1997) [35mm] - 1/5
    I guess having seen a movie called No Pants Nurses in 35mm is something. Too bad this Shintoho pink is 50 minutes of sex scenes bordering on hard-core, and a minimal, Deep Throat rip off plot. It was directed by Sachi Hamano (real name Sachiko, she dropped the feminine ko to hide her gender), one of the few female pink directors. It doesn't really show; I and a friend tried to come up with anything in the film that would distinguish it from the male helmed pinks till he finally said “the women are active in taking their own pants off”. Hmm, maybe. Released in the US by Pink Eiga as “Whore Hospital”.

  4. #594
    Went to check out Won Tae-lee's crime thriller, THE GANGSTER, THE COP, THE DEVIL starring Ma Dong-seok. He's the main reason that I wanted to check this flick out. He's one of my fave actors and "must see" for me but unfortunately, this movie was mediocre and while it did showcase Ma Dong-seok's enormous screen persona & swagger, the rest of the flick was paint by the numbers. The cocky cop played by Kim Moo-yul came across as too try hard annoying and the 'fender bender' serial killer was just laughable & came off as a caricature. I was expecting a genre mashup that Koreans do so well but this flick played it straight and took its self too seriously. There is a decent set up but the latter half just never lived up to my expectations & the finale which turned into a melodramatic court room drama was another letdown. It did feature the usual bevy of action film tropes (the ubiquitous car chase through crowded streets smashing up street vendor stalls, gangland fights with baseball bats and steel pipes & plenty of onscreen violence especially of the bladed variety) but nothing to elevate this film above being just another also ran in the saturated Korean revenge/action thriller genre. Interestingly, Sylvester Stallone's production company has acquired the rights for the English remake and they have retained Ma Dong-seok to reprise his same role. Excellent casting decision since he speaks fluent English & has the heavy physicality & look Western audiences can relate to So I'll probably end up checking out the remake too and I don't think it'll take much to tweak the screenplay to make it more enjoyable than the Korean original.

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  5. #595
    shit, I couldn't find the thread where we discussed ADC shutting down and I didn't to start a new thread about it, so I'll just post it here. AvistaZ is now open for registrations. Definitely not as resource friendly as ADC and much more mainstream in their selection but you can find some nice HD remasters.
    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  6. #596
    I caught Choi Sung-hoon's 2018 Korean dramedy, KEYS TO THE HEART. It's a fairly predictable melodrama with comedic elements and a tearjerker ending but the acting is uniformly excellent especially Lee Byung-hun. Shame that most Western audiences only know him as Storm Shadow or Terminator Genisys or the vigilante in I Saw the Devil because he can definitely act his ass off in all types of roles. Also shout out to Park Jung-min for playing Byung-hun's autistic savant brother as he was also superb. I remember him from BLEAK NIGHT and TINKER TICKER and he caught my eye as a promising young actor back in the day. Recommended!

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  7. #597
    Went over the weekend to check out Wong Jing's CHASING THE DRAGON 2: WILD WILD BUNCH & it's a completely separate story from the first one with Donnie Yen as Cripple Ho. This one starts off circa right before the handover of HK back to China and stars Louis Koo & Tony Leung Kai-fai with supporting roles by Simon Yam & Gordon Lam. It is also based on a real life criminal by the name of Cheung Tze-keung aka "Big Spender" who became notorious for kidnapping rich casino & real estate tycoons in the 90s. I don't really know anything about the 'real' Big Spender but if he was anything like Tony Leung's portrayal, then he was a real charismatic SOB and little wonder he had a loyal group of soldiers doing his bidding. Tony Leung really channeled his inner Tony Montana for this one. Louis Koo played the bomb squad expert going deep cover with his usual cool and nothing to criticize in terms of his role here but Leung Kar-fai just one upped everyone. As far as overall, this flick is nothing really special but it had its genuine moments of tension (couple scenes reminded me of Yau's SHOCKWAVE) & it's paced nicely with no real lulls or fillers & the action set pieces were decent too.

    Last edited by 47lab; 06-18-2019 at 04:54 PM.
    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  8. #598
    Watched the FOX 5 episode mini-series STAINED with Kara Hui in the lead role as a chief inspector for the HK police force who possesses some low level psychic profiler abilities. All the stories are based on real life crimes and it gets pretty gruesome with tales revolving around fratricide, child sexual abuse and rape. It spares nothing in terms of the graphic details as viewers are bombarded with imagery of dismemberment, decapitation, maggots feeding on rotting corpses, cannibalism and gory knife killings are shown in all their gruesome glory. The story is further complicated with Kara Hui's ex-cop husband, played by Anthony Wong going MIA after being suspected of being a rogue cop responsible for a bloody armed robbery. So very interesting plot line mixed with gory death scenes equals entertaining premise and apparently there is going to be a season 2 in the works. Recommended!

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  9. #599
    There's been a spate of films about the "comfort women" issue that have come out of Korea in recent years & I've made a point of trying to catch all of them. I think the only one I missed was Im Sun's THE LAST COMFORT WOMAN since it didn't have English subs. So I recently set out to watch Min Kyu-dong's HERSTORY about the Shimonoseki Comfort Women trials that were held in the Japanese city between 1992-1998 in a case brought forth by 10 South Korean victims who alleged war crimes involving rape and sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese army during WWII. As expected there are quite a few courtroom drama scenes but I rather enjoyed its straight forward tackling of the subject matter without veering into outright melodramatic sentimentality like some other flicks that have tackled this topic. The star here was actress Kim Hee-ae who portrays an obstinate business minded woman who runs a tour agency & who initially agrees to help the comfort women for the good publicity it will bring her business but eventually becomes a staunch advocate for the comfort women upon discovering her long time housekeeper was a comfort women herself. Recommended.

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  10. #600
    Watched a really bizarre Korean indie shot on digital called ANTI-GAS SKIN. Apparently it was shown at festivals in 2010 but wasn't released until a few years later. Equal parts social satire, horror thriller and experimental film set against the backdrop of a mayoral election all the while a gas mask wearing killer is on the loose in the city. Film focuses on 4 individuals whose paths cross on election night while all on their individual quest to find the mysterious masked individual. The most interesting character was a teen-aged "wolf girl" - yes, a high school student who literally has "werewolf syndrome" aka hypertrichosis who is in charge of a suicide cult. The director must've watched a lot of Sion Sono before making this project. This character would've made an interesting story in itself and was really the only entertaining plot line in the whole movie. The only familiar face that I recognized was prolific character actor, Park Ji-hwan as a traffic enforcement cop with an ailing mother who imagines himself a superhero & martial artist and embarks on capturing the masked killer. There is also a weigook in the movie, some mentally unstable redneck US Army soldier whose Korean lover has been killed. He literally starts humping at her gravesite. I'm sure the director is ruminating about the US military presence in Korea with this character but who knows? In the beginning when first introduced to his character, there is a scene of traditional Korean dance and one of the tourists is a dead ringer for film critic, Tony Rayns! Wonder if it was really him? Anyway, I couldn't sit through two hours of this crap and pulled the plug about halfway in and fast forwarded to the ending. Not helping matters was the fact the embedded English subs were terrible - I mean worse than google translate as if the person who made subs just starting making shit up.

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

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