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The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Old 04-09-21, 05:01 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread



Old 04-09-21, 01:31 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Based solely on the IMDB description, how much of a political propaganda film is this one likely to be? The four main characters are described as "Communist Party Special Agents" on a mission in the 1930s "Manchukuo Puppet State" backdrop.
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Old 04-12-21, 01:25 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by ~~ PAL ~~ View Post
Based solely on the IMDB description, how much of a political propaganda film is this one likely to be? The four main characters are described as "Communist Party Special Agents" on a mission in the 1930s "Manchukuo Puppet State" backdrop.
Pretty safe bet. Mind you, they're not wrong about the puppet state back then, but this being propaganda to bolster the current authoritarian state will probably fly over the heads of many viewers who'd rather just enjoy Zhang's pretty visuals. There's a newer trailer that gives a little more detail about the plot, but it's telling that Mainlander filmmakers are largely limited to the 1930's setting (and maybe the 1940's) for these kinds of flashy (revisionist?) tales of intrigue and espionage, which is why there's an endless supply of them. Post 1949, of course . . . nothing, and even today, internal divisions and spying and whatnot are pretty much verboten. Don't really see the need for the title change on this one, except by some distribution exec who wants to dumb it down for western audiences. IMPASSE sounds classy, even leaves a bit of mystery. CLIFF WALKERS is kind of on-the-nose.


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Old 05-08-21, 09:08 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
Andy Lau's new movie Shock Wave 2 is currently on Prime Video

https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/deta...hom_c_unkc_1_2


Here's the trailer

https://youtu.be/ubZUtrCwNFo


If you watched the 1st movie, you know that
Spoiler:


Lau's character died.



This is an in name only sequel. He's playing a different character
Was this is an error being available in the US? It says "This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location".
Old 05-08-21, 09:55 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
Was this is an error being available in the US? It says "This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location".
Couldn't say for the US, but I just tried it on Prime Canada, and it plays fine.

It's good that Shock Wave is available in the original Cantonese with English subs. So many Asian films on Prime are only available as English dubs (The Masked Avengers, Hero (1997), Martial Arts of Shaolin, etc.). For whatever reason, certain films—like Born To Defense—are only available as French dubs with French subs.
Old 05-08-21, 10:22 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Cliff Walkers is actually playing sorta close to where I’m at. It’s about a 20 minute drive. I’m not sure if it’s worth driving that far with gas being so expensive.
Old 05-08-21, 10:23 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
Was this is an error being available in the US? It says "This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location".
It was there when I posted it. I’m surprised Prime pulled it so fast.
Old 05-10-21, 05:34 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread



I just watched Invincible Dragon (2020) the other day on the Hi-Yah streaming service.

It was awful!!! I mean really awful!! The ending made my jaw drop how dumb it was. It was hilariously bad. Anderson Silva can't act and this was a shitty follow up for Max Zhang after doing Master Z 2 years ago.

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Old 05-10-21, 05:53 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

You guys may want to check the front page of DVDTalk.com. Might appreciate it more than most.
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Old 05-24-21, 08:50 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Anyone into Korean director Hong Sang-soo? I've been doing a dive into his work recently. I dig the aesthetic of his films. While I haven't disliked any that I've seen, I do come away head-scratching on a few... like Yourself and Yours.
Old 05-25-21, 08:19 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I watched City on Fire for the first time in close to 20 years. What a great, great movie. I liked it when I first saw it, but was somewhat disappointed only because I was really into John Woo at the time and wanted another John Woo film. It's kind of like when I watch a new (to me) spaghetti western only to be disappointed it's not a Sergio Leone film. Watching City on Fire now without those expectations, I realize now just how special it is. Chow Yun Fat was the best. Hopefully someday we'll see a restored blu-ray, because even on my old non-anamorphic Universe dvd is obvious this is a great looking movie.
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Old 05-26-21, 11:49 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I’ve seen talk of more Ringo Lam getting some upgrades Blus. I hope City on Fire is one of them. Full Contact seems to be one coming.
Old 05-26-21, 12:45 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
I’ve seen talk of more Ringo Lam getting some upgrades Blus. I hope City on Fire is one of them. Full Contact seems to be one coming.
Sony has Full Contact I believe, so that would be likely. Unfortunately I think City on Fire is in the same rights limbo as the John Woo classics.
Old 05-29-21, 01:53 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I've been on a real Hong Kong kick lately watching a lot of my old dvds I haven't seen in years and years. This week I watched a couple of older Jackie Chan movies.

1. Twin Dragons: I know this is considered "lesser" Jackie, at least in comparison to the other films of the classic era, but I enjoy it. There's really only two major action sequences, one at the beginning and one at the end. I wouldn't put either of them in the upper echelon of Jackie's fight scenes, but even weaker 80's/90's Hong Kong action is better than most anything you'll see today. The comedy also mostly works here. It's almost all of the mistaken identity variety, and while it begins to strain credulity (to the say the least) by the end, it's pretty good fun. As this was a benefit for the Hong Kong directors guild, there's also tons of fun cameos sprinkled throughout. My favorite is the one with Ringo Lam, Tsui Hark and Ng See Yuen playing cards and trying to cheat even while the final fight scene is going on around them. And I'd be remiss not to mention Maggie Cheung, who is it just luminous here. This is one of the last of her thankless "Jackie's girlfriend" roles and thankfully she would soon go on to bigger and better things. Twin Dragons is not Project A or Police Story, but I'd still rather watch it than City Hunter or even Operation Condor, which I find VASTLY overrated. We need a better version of this though. The HK dvd I have is ghastly, and as far as I know, the uncut version has never seen a better release.

2. Rumble In The Bronx: Like many others in the west, this was my first introduction to Jackie. I saw this in theaters in 1996 and it blew me away. However, other than maybe a viewing on vhs when it was first released, I don't think I've seen it outside of a a few minutes on tv here or there since then. I was always hesitant to buy the dvd or blu because I wanted an uncut version, which I've still never seen. During that time I saw all of Jackie's other classics and downgraded it in my mind. I came to think of it as the beginning of his downward slide in quality after his final masterpiece, Drunken Master II. For the first half of this most recent viewing, I thought I was crazy. While still not as good as Drunken Master II (what is?) is was just a ridiculous amount of fun. Just like Jet Li's The Master, I LOVE the silly "USA through the eyes of Hong Kong" which includes kids wearing Bart Simpson shirts in 1995, clubs with strippers dancing in cages with tigers (maybe this is/was a real thing?) and rampant street gangs riding dirt bikes through the city. The American dubbing is still terrible, and a lot of the comedy falls flat, but the energy and the action is off the charts. I could watch Jackie beat up street punks all day long. Unfortunately things kind of grind to a halt in the second half once the mafia and the stolen diamonds enter the picture. I don't know if Jackie's broken ankle forced them to change their plans or what, but the climax just falls totally flat. This is the case for a lot of his movies from this era when he was explicitly trying to get away from the big "final fight," but here it sticks out even more. Maybe the uncut version improves this, but I don't think it's that different. In the end, my feelings on Rumble haven't changed that much. It's clearly the beginning of his decline, but the stuff that works, REALLY works. And it was sort of the perfect movie of his to unleash on American audiences.
Old 05-29-21, 04:29 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
I've been on a real Hong Kong kick lately watching a lot of my old dvds I haven't seen in years and years. This week I watched a couple of older Jackie Chan movies.

1. Twin Dragons: I know this is considered "lesser" Jackie, at least in comparison to the other films of the classic era, but I enjoy it. There's really only two major action sequences, one at the beginning and one at the end. I wouldn't put either of them in the upper echelon of Jackie's fight scenes, but even weaker 80's/90's Hong Kong action is better than most anything you'll see today. The comedy also mostly works here. It's almost all of the mistaken identity variety, and while it begins to strain credulity (to the say the least) by the end, it's pretty good fun. As this was a benefit for the Hong Kong directors guild, there's also tons of fun cameos sprinkled throughout. My favorite is the one with Ringo Lam, Tsui Hark and Ng See Yuen playing cards and trying to cheat even while the final fight scene is going on around them. And I'd be remiss not to mention Maggie Cheung, who is it just luminous here. This is one of the last of her thankless "Jackie's girlfriend" roles and thankfully she would soon go on to bigger and better things. Twin Dragons is not Project A or Police Story, but I'd still rather watch it than City Hunter or even Operation Condor, which I find VASTLY overrated. We need a better version of this though. The HK dvd I have is ghastly, and as far as I know, the uncut version has never seen a better release.

2. Rumble In The Bronx: Like many others in the west, this was my first introduction to Jackie. I saw this in theaters in 1996 and it blew me away. However, other than maybe a viewing on vhs when it was first released, I don't think I've seen it outside of a a few minutes on tv here or there since then. I was always hesitant to buy the dvd or blu because I wanted an uncut version, which I've still never seen. During that time I saw all of Jackie's other classics and downgraded it in my mind. I came to think of it as the beginning of his downward slide in quality after his final masterpiece, Drunken Master II. For the first half of this most recent viewing, I thought I was crazy. While still not as good as Drunken Master II (what is?) is was just a ridiculous amount of fun. Just like Jet Li's The Master, I LOVE the silly "USA through the eyes of Hong Kong" which includes kids wearing Bart Simpson shirts in 1995, clubs with strippers dancing in cages with tigers (maybe this is/was a real thing?) and rampant street gangs riding dirt bikes through the city. The American dubbing is still terrible, and a lot of the comedy falls flat, but the energy and the action is off the charts. I could watch Jackie beat up street punks all day long. Unfortunately things kind of grind to a halt in the second half once the mafia and the stolen diamonds enter the picture. I don't know if Jackie's broken ankle forced them to change their plans or what, but the climax just falls totally flat. This is the case for a lot of his movies from this era when he was explicitly trying to get away from the big "final fight," but here it sticks out even more. Maybe the uncut version improves this, but I don't think it's that different. In the end, my feelings on Rumble haven't changed that much. It's clearly the beginning of his decline, but the stuff that works, REALLY works. And it was sort of the perfect movie of his to unleash on American audiences.
I'll always have a soft spot for TWIN DRAGONS because it was a) the first Jackie Chan movie I ever saw and b) part of a double bill (with DRAGON INN) that marked my very first trip to a Chinatown theater in 1992. When I watched the DVD some years ago I noticed that the very first double exposure shot of Jackie and his "twin" in the same shot comes at the 50:50 mark. I don't know if that was planned or was just a lucky accident.

I was skimming through the DVD of RUMBLE IN THE BRONX today (the New Line cut) trying to find the shot of the elevated subway entrance showing the #2 and #5 train at a stop that's one stop away from me. It was shot in Vancouver but they tricked up a subway entrance to look just like the one near. me. Or at least that's how I remember from seeing it on the big screen in 1996. I couldn't find that shot by skimming, so I'm going to have to watch the whole film again and then post pix I took of the nearby train station along with shots from the film. I have the uncut version on VHS, but its handful of scenes in Cantonese are unsubbed. I was never crazy about the movie, though. I first saw the original cut in a Chinatown theater in 1995 on a double bill with GOD OF GAMBLERS' RETURN with Chow Yun-Fat.
Old 06-14-21, 05:32 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

If Hong Kong cinema was dying before, we might as well consider it dead now.

I was tempted to start a new thread about this, but then I noticed the title of this thread actually mentioned "news", and this should be troubling news for anyone who appreciates the freedoms allowed to filmmakers in most of the developed world. Except, of course, in China, which has now officially applied it's draconian hive-think mentality to the once-lively and dramatically diverse Hong Kong film industry. I realize my views on Mainland Chinese films – and the seriously troubling propagandizing embedded within them as much by inclusion as omission – tend to rile some users here who just want to admire the craft on display, but tough. This news, while not really surprising, shows exactly what to expect should the CCP's narrow-minded, immoveable thinking infest other countries and cultures wherein it's already engaging in large-scale infrastructure projects. All of that "goodwill" will inevitably come with a price, one that Hong Kong has being paying for some time now, and which will likely crush their already-shrinking industry for good now that the authoritarians in charge can arbitrarily censor or suppress any film they feel upsets their sensitive new (Chinese) world order.

I also have no doubt that this will extend to home video and streaming eventually, with the goons in charge deciding that a massive chunk of Hong Kong's cinematic legacy is no longer appropriate for local or international consumption. If you're a fan, you might want to start stocking up on import of vintage discs before they vanish and film prints magically become unavailable for overseas releases.

Sad day, and one to remember every time you see the latest, derivative, repetitive, toothless Mainland Chinese "blockbuster" unspooling at your local cineplex in the west and think there's nothing going on behind it. Soon enough, Hong Kong movies will just be more of that.

The city’s government on Friday said it would begin blocking the distribution of films that are deemed to undermine national security, marking the official arrival of mainland Chinese-style censorship in one of Asia’s most celebrated filmmaking hubs.
China’s Censorship Widens to Hong Kong’s Vaunted Film Industry, With Global Implications

Other sources in case you don't have Times access.

Hong Kong to censor films that ‘endanger national security’

Hong Kong film censors get wider ‘national security’ powers
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Old 06-15-21, 03:33 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

As many hundreds (thousands?) of Hong Kong discs as I bought in Chinatown stores in the first 15 years of the 21st century, I now wish I'd bought more. When I weeded out some of my collection last fall (and donated ten boxes of VHS kung fu tapes and discs to an organization that actually wanted them), I realized that I still have dozens of tapes of HK films I like from the '80s and '90s that I never upgraded. I've since found a few such titles at Book Off that were reasonably priced and purchased those, e.g. THE STORM RIDERS (1998), but I fear the window of opportunity for more is shrinking.
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Old 06-15-21, 05:51 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Old 06-15-21, 10:18 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I was in San Francisco a week ago for work and visited Chinatown.

I actually found a Chinese DVD store that was still open. I managed to pick up a few DVDs of Shock Wave 2 and The 800. 2 for $10. They're DVD 9s, so they are probably bootlegs. But, I wanted to support a local business there and they are movies I wanted to see that aren't currently available here.
Old 06-19-21, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
As many hundreds (thousands?) of Hong Kong discs as I bought in Chinatown stores in the first 15 years of the 21st century, I now wish I'd bought more. When I weeded out some of my collection last fall (and donated ten boxes of VHS kung fu tapes and discs to an organization that actually wanted them), I realized that I still have dozens of tapes of HK films I like from the '80s and '90s that I never upgraded. I've since found a few such titles at Book Off that were reasonably priced and purchased those, e.g. THE STORM RIDERS (1998), but I fear the window of opportunity for more is shrinking.
I've spent the past few years slowly cleaning out the last remaining legit Chinatown DVD shop in Toronto, the Wa Yi Trading Company (I've been a regular for over 25 years), to the degree that I probably ended up with doubles and triples because I just kept buying and storing whenever I had some cash and was downtown. The owner started a going-out-of-business sale in mid-2019 with a supposed intention of closing that autumn, but then he kept extending it, and extending it a little more (clever), and then COVID forced him to extend it even more (also because the new tenant in his building wasn't ready to move in). He finally wrapped it up just this past spring. Because I was spending an increasing amount of time out of town on elder care, I missed some of his steepest prices drops in the final weeks, but generally missed no discs that I didn't already have. I managed to get him to stay open on his last day while I drove back to Toronto to grab whatever he had left. He waited in an empty store for a couple of hours with four banker's boxes full of DVDs and one full of Blu-rays. Ultimately, I only made an offer on the DVDs because we both new it was a lot of stuff that had been passed over right up until the end, so I could get it all cheap. He wanted a bit too much for the box of Blu's, but I still kick myself for not scrounging up some more money and taking it (even if I probably already had copies of nearly everything in it).

Now there's only one legit Hong Kong/Asian physical media retailer in the entire GTA, as far as I know, in Pacific Mall. I haven't been there in a while, though. Their selection was so-so – more music CDs than movies – and their prices way too high (cheaper to import from HK), but there was still a lot of goodies there that I'd scoop up if they ever did decide to unload at fire sale prices.

The end of an era, really, and no amount of western releases from 88 Films, Eureka, Criterion and the like will ever come close to matching the sheer volume of amazing Hong Kong movies that were available – and often overlooked by westerners – over the decades on VHS, LD, VCD, DVD and Blu. A lot of titles fetch insane amounts on eBay (as in, they actually sell because people know they'll likely never be seen again, even on streaming, and the older discs are often impossibly rare). And as I noted above, now that China is royally fucking over Hong Kong just to stick it to the west and its values, I'm certain it's only a matter of time before they start looking through the back catalog and "disappearing" old Hong Kong movies they feel no longer represent the "morally upstanding virtues" that the oh-so-benevolent CCP is famous for. I can imagine the Cat. III titles faring the worst.

Get 'em while you can, and where you can.

Those DVD-9's, though, are boots for sure. There's still one store in nearly every Chinese mall here that sells them – but I'm not sure I'd say it's supporting a "local" business, per se, since they tend to be just one tentacle of larger criminal operations for with wide reach. Mind you, for buying Mainland Chinese films, I have fewer issues buying the $2.00 boots because propaganda's barely worth that much anyway.

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Old 06-24-21, 05:18 PM
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Shan (Donnie Yen) is a highly respected hardline cop with a long history of success on dangerous cases. However, his past unexpectedly comes back to haunt him when a sting operation is attacked by a mysterious group of criminals led by Ngo (Nicholas Tse), his former protégé, a talented former officer who had once respected and admired Shan. However, a terrible mistake three years prior landed him in prison, quickly turning the once rising star into a furious man with a grudge, and the will to destroy everyone who had wronged him—including his former mentor.
Old 06-24-21, 07:18 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Saw that trailer posted today. I hope it gets a theatrical release here.
Old 06-24-21, 07:22 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread




I just watched Deliver Us from Evil last night. Rented it for cheap on Fandango Now weeks ago.

It's a Korean action thriller that was filmed in Thailand. I really dug it. Some really crazy fights and shootouts.

It's going to be the Hi-Yah streaming service soon as Well Go USA is the distributor.


Basically it's about a hitman/Assassin who is hired to rescue a young Korean girl who is kidnapped in Thailand. The case has a connection to his past. He then also runs into an old foe who is out for revenge.
Old 06-24-21, 11:38 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Yea, that one was pretty good.
Old 07-13-21, 03:41 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Quick teasers for Anita, a biopic about Anita Mui aka Mui Yim Fong. I believe this movie was mentioned in this thread. It’s produced by Bill Kong, who runs Edko Films and produced Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.



If you don’t who she is, she was a Cantonese pop star and also starred in many movies, including some with Jackie Chan. This biopic is due later in 2021.
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