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Thread: What Asian Films Have You Been Watching Recently?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Yokai Monsters (Japan, 1968) [35mm] – 3/5
    An entertaining family monster film. The Japanese title Yokai daisenso (The Great Yokai War) is the same as the 2005 Takashi Miike film which, however, isn’t much of a remake. Considering the title, there is very little in terms of yokai war except for the last 10 minutes.

    Young Beast: Secret Pleasures (Japan, 1980) [35mm] – 1/5
    A lousy attempt at arthouse Roman Porno by Kazunori Takeda. The true story follows a student who is bothered by his parents who keep fucking while he’s trying to study for entrance exams. He eventually goes crazy. Misery drama with unattractive people done without much skill. The erotic value is below zero as well.

    Tokyo Tribe (Japan, 2014) [DCP] – 4/5
    Against all expectations, Sion Sono’s battle rap musical is a pretty damn badass film for most of the time. The film is set in the dystopian Tokyo which is ruled by violent rapper gangs. The production design is breathtaking, the film is packed with stunning tracking shots and there’s pretty good HK and Thai influenced martial. Sono also doesn’t forget about ridiculously masculine mayhem and frequent female nudity. Unfortunately the film also comes with too many characters and too little story, which burden the film towards the end, and miserable CGI one must wonder why on earth does Sono keep putting it in his movies? Even then, the film is a blast!

    Shady (Japan, 2012) [DCP] – 3/5
    Highly praised debut feature by Ryohei Watanabe doesn't quite live up to the hype. The film begins as a tale of two high school girls' friendship, and then proceeds to become a psychological study that isn't quite that original, however. There are good moments throughout, and the post-credits sequence is brilliant, but the film is also slightly artificial and clumsy at times. However, for a 25 year old director's first feature film it's certainly a promising start.

    I’m amazed I finally managed to catch this in theatre. It was playing in Tokyo 1.5 years ago, but it finished a few days before I arrived the city during my travel. The next time I was in Tokyo it was set to play a few days after I left. There was even one screening this summer when I was in Tokyo again, but The Street Fighter (1974) was playing at the same time, so, no. Now it finally had two screenings in Sapporo, and during the first I was in Tokyo of all places. Managed to catch it in the second screening.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Silk Hat Boss (Japan, 1970) [DVD] – 2.5/5
    A very mediocre Tomisaburo Wakayama vehicle following Toei’s milk-to-death production policy. Wakayama stars as Silk Hat Boss, the comic relief from the Red Peony Gambler (1968-1972) series. This spin off is a yakuza comedy with strong nationalistic flavor and occasional action scenes thrown in. Its merits rely mostly on familiar cast – including Junko Fuji in a supporting role – and strong action finale. Wakayama also sings the theme song. That alone should be something.

    Silk Hat Boss 2 (Japan, 1970) [DVD] – 3/5
    A superior sequel that resembles the naughty entertainment director Norifumi Suzuki is best known for. While still following the old school ninkyo yakuza film formula, the sequel adds a hatful of mad slapstick comedy and random girls getting their breasts out every 20 minutes. The film is hardly a great example of old school yakuza cinema, but it does come with enough silly entertainment for 90 minutes. Action has been cranked up as well, Ms. Fuji does another quest appearance, and even the comedy scenes are occasionally funny.

    Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (Japan, 2014) [DCP] – 2/5
    The first Rurouni Kenshin movie was ok: it had surprisingly good action, pretty visuals and a nice pop-cinema feel to it despite being a shabby idol product. This sequel is an instantly forgettable teen opera. It’s pretty idols everywhere, bloated uninspired action, bland Hollywood-style score, and a constant feeling that you’ve seen these scenes done so much better with real actors 40-50 years ago. The darker tone of the story makes many of these flaws only more distracting. 75-80% of the audience in the screening were women, probably came to see Takeru Sato. Makes sense.

  3. #13
    Finally caught Teruo Ishii's SHAMELESS: ABNORMAL AND ABUSIVE LOVE on a German bootleg.
    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  4. #14
    Caught a couple Miki Sugimoto flicks earlier. The first was the Toei 70s biker flick, HELL RIDERS IN KYOTO aka WILD SEX GANG with the screenplay penned by Norifumi Suzuki. It was ok and had its moments but I enjoyed the made for TV series, THE DARK MAGISTRATE much more. Miki plays a shamisen player who sidelines as an assassin bringing corrupt Nagasaki merchants to justice and it stars Kinnosuke Yorozuya in the lead but Kunie Tanaka steals the show IMHO. He is absolutely splendid as the hard drinking "doc" who dispatches his victims with surgical scalpels. It runs 26 eps and it's fairly predictable as the storyline for each ep doesn't vary much but for those that enjoyed BAIAN THE ASSASSIN, this will be right up your alley.

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  5. #15
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    47lab, I was hoping you'd come back! The forum has been missing you.

    Shameless is an odd, but entertaining film. I was doing DVD collection clean up last year, but I couldn't let go of this one. Very 60's...

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    47lab, I was hoping you'd come back! The forum has been missing you.

    Shameless is an odd, but entertaining film. I was doing DVD collection clean up last year, but I couldn't let go of this one. Very 60's...
    Thanks Takuma! Unfortunately, a rather hectic job schedule and never ending family obligations has prevented me from being a more active poster but I definitely still lurk here to specifically check your posts as well as sukebanboy. You guys are my life line to what's happening in the Asian cinema scene & Japan in particular.

    yeah, Shameless is totally bizarre but mesmerizing. I dig that type of exploitation + art house mashup. Btw, I know it's kind of late but finally got around to checking out Kurando's GUN WOMAN -- totally agree with what you said about it on another forum...yeah, that movie was one of the best I've seen all year in terms of trash, entertainment value and overall DIY aesthetic sleaziness. Alas, I missed out on the German blu ray but I'll definitely be picking up the North American release from Shout Factory next year!
    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  7. #17
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that. I hope you can find more time to post!

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    Glad to hear that. I hope you can find more time to post!
    Hey Takuma were you able to get in on that kickstarter project with Third Windows for their "New Directors from Japan" series? I know you spoke highly of Isogai's The Lust of Angels but how are the other films in that set?
    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

  9. #19
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47lab View Post
    Hey Takuma were you able to get in on that kickstarter project with Third Windows for their "New Directors from Japan" series? I know you spoke highly of Isogai's The Lust of Angels but how are the other films in that set?
    I haven't seen the other movies, and I'm afraid I haven't ordered that dvd either. These days I'm investing my movie budget on Tokyo trips and theaters - I haven't bought a dvd in at least 6 months (I had Red x Pink on pre-order, but cancelled when they announced Norifumi Suzuki retrospective )

    edit: well, I did buy Jailhouse 41 as a birthday present to a friend

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    I haven't seen the other movies, and I'm afraid I haven't ordered that dvd either. These days I'm investing my movie budget on Tokyo trips and theaters - I haven't bought a dvd in at least 6 months (I had Red x Pink on pre-order, but cancelled when they announced Norifumi Suzuki retrospective )

    edit: well, I did buy Jailhouse 41 as a birthday present to a friend
    haha, yeah I remember now! You had a pyramid of Cup o' noodles next to your Zatoichi criterion collection box set & you were planning on subsisting on that to save funds to buy the blu ray. Shit even the bog standard dvd was around $80 US?!

    Back on topic, the last two flicks I caught were Yuji Makiguchi's Virgin Breaker Yuki 1 & 2. Jun Masami is great with her cold steely persona.

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

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