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

Old 07-18-21, 01:15 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya
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.

https://youtu.be/d1BxGhWy3Tc

https://youtu.be/0VcPpH06bOw

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.
Wasn't she kind of/sort of Hong Kong's version of Madonna? I may look to watch this whenever it's out.
Old 07-18-21, 09:08 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Action star Sammo Hung will take the helm of the production of “Seven Little Fortunes,” a feature film re-telling Hung’s childhood story where he and a generation of Hong Kong action movie icons such as Jackie Chan were coached by their mentor, Peking opera master Yu Jim-yuen.

Co-produced by Yuen Biao Films Production, Beijing Renxing Film Media Culture and Quanton Times Pictures, Hung will be the chief director of the film penned by Raymond To (“I Have A Date With Spring”). Yuen Biao, who also trained under master Yu, will executive produce the project.

Starring Tony Leung Ka-fai (“The Taking of Tiger Mountain,” “Cold War”) the film is expected to have a production budget of RMB50-100 million ($7.7 -$15.5 million). Shooting is expected to start in March 2022. International sales have not yet been determined.

Known as a strict teacher, Yu was the master of the China Drama Academy, a Peking opera school in Hong Kong in the 1960s that was famous for producing some of Hong Kong’s top performers including Chan, Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah (“Kung Fu Hustle,” “Australia”) and action choreographer Corey Yuen (“X-Men,” “The Expendables”).

“Seven Little Fortunes” was initially a name for one of the Peking opera performances featuring seven of Yu’s students, but which was later expanded to include all of Yu’s students. During its peak Yu had a total of more than 70 students, who were taught acrobatic and acting skills. Director and action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping (“Matrix,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) and actress Yuen Qiu (“Kung Fu Hustle”) were also among Yu’s students.

The story of Yu and “Seven Little Fortunes” has been featured on the big screen previously, in 1998 drama “Painted Faces,” and in one of the short films directed Hung that featured in 2021 anthology film “Septet: The Story of Hong Kong.”

But the latest reincarnation is a different story, according to Yuen. “It’s not a remake of [“Painted Faces”]. It is a story about us, Seven Little Fortunes, our master and his relationship with us, told from our perspective,” Yuen told Variety.

Xiang Jie, a key investor of the film, said the project has taken years to prepare and the film will feature a young mainland Chinese cast to play the young version of the iconic action stars.
https://trib.al/r9MRXgS?fbclid=IwAR0...11xplzOp24g8s0
Old 07-20-21, 01:01 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

It's a safe bet that mainland revisionism (or nationalism) will be rife in that one, but if it prompts some company to re-issue the excellent PAINTED FACES in a shiny new collector's edition, then some good might come of it after all. I'm not sure it's ever been officially released in the west, but it's a phenomenal film, to the degree that the tale hardly needs to be retold.
Old 07-20-21, 01:12 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Brian T
It's a safe bet that mainland revisionism (or nationalism) will be rife in that one, but if it prompts some company to re-issue the excellent PAINTED FACES in a shiny new collector's edition, then some good might come of it after all. I'm not sure it's ever been officially released in the west, but it's a phenomenal film, to the degree that the tale hardly needs to be retold.
Tai Seng released PAINTED FACES on VHS, which is the edition I have.
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Old 07-29-21, 10:16 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya

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.
I bought this recently. Hope to watch it sometime today.
Old 08-02-21, 10:36 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Finished watching Deliver Us From Evil (2020) late last night.

While it doesn't bring anything particularly new to the Action genre it was fun seeing Hwang Jung-min & Lee Jung-jae together again, chasing (and stabbing) each other through two different countries.

As mentioned, the Action scenes are fun, the pacing good and Lee Jung-jae brings a lot of much needed heart to the film.

As funny as it sounds, there were a few times I thought the film should have been more violent than it was, especially with all of the
Spoiler:
torture scenes
Old 08-06-21, 09:44 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread


A shame. That fight with him and Jackie in Gorgeous was pretty good. He’s done a lot of great stunt work.
Old 08-07-21, 10:18 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

A great loss. The man definitely had talent. RIP

Old 08-07-21, 11:12 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Never heard of Brad Allan, although I'm sure I've seen him in Jackie Chan's later movies. In looking him up on IMDB, I learn he also has extensive credits as fight choreographer or stunt coordinator on films like WONDER WOMAN, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, PACIFIC RIM and KICK-ASS.
Old 08-07-21, 11:37 AM
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There were actually two JC stunt members to die recently. Jackie posted a blog entry:
Diary
Old 08-08-21, 06:49 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Paper Tigers is now on Netflix



and go figure I used my free $5 fandango movie credit to rent it on Fandango Now and it just transferred over to Vudu.
Old 08-08-21, 07:50 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Just looked on Fandango and Raging Fire is opening this upcoming week. It’s playing at an AMC near me that normally shows Well Go USA movies. I went ahead and reserved a ticket. Anytime I have an opportunity to support HK movies, I’ll do it.

Here’s the newest trailer

Old 08-10-21, 09:41 PM
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Just got back from seeing Escape from Mogadishu at a local theater. This is playing in extremely limited release here in the States. Well Go USA is distributing it.

I thought it was a very well made and directed political thriller. Some very intense sequences. Most of the characters are not really likeable, but you do end of rooting for them to make it.

To make a long story short, this takes place in Somalia in the early 1990s and is about the South Korean and North Korean embassies being caught up in a civil war in Somalia. And the two factions must overcome their political differences to survive and get out of the war torn nation. I know most here probably won't see this until it hits home video in a few months, but I would recommend it.


Here is the trailer

Old 08-11-21, 11:39 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya
Just looked on Fandango and Raging Fire is opening this upcoming week. It’s playing at an AMC near me that normally shows Well Go USA movies. I went ahead and reserved a ticket. Anytime I have an opportunity to support HK movies, I’ll do it.
The closest theater to where I live that is screening it is about 45-minutes away.

Going to try to see it this weekend or (hopefully) next weekend.
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Old 08-14-21, 05:38 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I saw Raging Fire today. Top-notch action for sure. Mostly gunplay... and you're basically waiting the whole movie to see Yen in hand-to-hand combat... and the final fight delivered. Plot wise... eh. But this was definitely a good final film for Benny Chan to go out with.
Old 08-14-21, 09:17 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I also saw Raging Fire today. I thought it was solid. It reminded me of old school Hong Kong crime thrillers of the 90s and 2000s. Top notch action direction by Yen and a really exciting climatic shootout that reminded me of Heat. And yes the final fight scene was pretty badass.

I give it a solid B. One of the better recent movies by Yen. And it was a solid final film for Benny Chan. Hard to believe he made this movie terminally ill.

This is movie number three of my weekend theater quadruple feature. One more tomorrow.
Old 08-25-21, 03:39 PM
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Old 08-25-21, 03:42 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Nice. I do have Hi-Yah. BTW, it's a dirt cheap subscription at only $3 per month. I'll watch it again when it hits the service.
Old 08-25-21, 05:46 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I recently came across mention of an early Tsui Hark directorial credit, SHANGHAI BLUES (1984), which stars Sally Yeh, Kenny Bee and Sylvia Chang, a romantic comedy-drama set in Shanghai before the war and then after the war. For some reason, the film never crossed my radar before, even though I’m sure if I’d come across it in a Chinatown video store back in the day I would have snatched it up immediately, based on the director and cast alone. Has it simply never become available on DVD? (John Charles lists a Tai Seng VHS release and Import LD in his book, “Hong Kong Filmography: 1977-1997.”) I looked for the film on Amazon and found four sellers offering either a French or German edition without subs, priced from $14.24 to $368.99!!! Nothing at all on YesAsia. Anyone ever seen this or have any idea what happened to it or know a way of getting a copy with English subs? Thanks.





Old 08-25-21, 06:09 PM
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I sent you a PM, Ash.
Old 08-25-21, 09:13 PM
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First production from Tsui’s Film Workshop, and the only film they distributed independently (under a different name, I think, but it was them). Not sure why it’s been off the radar for so long, but it does have those distinctions. I have the subbed version, but as I suspect you’ve learned by now, it’s not ‘official’ and none of the extant versions are top quality. I’m doubtful it would get a shiny new release on disc as it’s hardly an undisputed classic, but it is fun and we’ll worth seeing in the greater context of Tsui’s filmography.

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Old 09-08-21, 05:01 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

The thumb of the benevolent CCP strikes again:

‘Raging Fire’ Star Nicholas Tse to Renounce Canadian Citizenship, Embrace China Instead
https://variety.com/2021/global/asia...re-1235057612/

And again:

China Wants ‘Sissy Idols’ and ‘Effeminate Men’ Scrubbed From Entertainment Industry
https://variety.com/2021/film/news/c...ry-1235055304/'

Longer analysis of the same purge here:
The super-rich, ‘sissy boys’, celebs – all targets in Xi’s bid to end cultural difference
https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ral-difference

Remind me again why Mainland Chinese movies should be considered worthwhile viewing in the west? From this point on, surely they can only get worse.

I'll admit I'm not much of a fan of the 'little fresh meat' phenomenon that has taken hold in China – which seems copied and expanded upon from Korea – but I had no problem whatsoever with it existing within the overall entertainment culture. Don't like 'em, don't watch 'em, etc. But this kind of enforced homogeneity is jaw-dropping.

Interesting to note in the Guardian article that Vicky Zhao was (of SHAOLIN SOCCER and 2009's MULAN) has been virtually wiped from existence in the industry and on the internet there. I knew she came under fire a while back – deservedly so in some cases, less so in others – however I didn't realize how all-encompassing the penalties were. More on that here:

China Removes Actress Zhao Wei From Streaming Sites and Social Media:
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...ei-1235004160/
Old 09-08-21, 05:41 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

The CCP should be embarrassed about the hardline and utterly ridiculous stance they've taken, but of course they don't see it that way and don't give a rat's ass what people outside their country think. I'm not a fan of the Super Metro look that's so popular in K-pop and K-dramas, either, but seriously, live and let live. I've never been sure how accepting Chinese censors are towards homosexuality and gender fluidity, but I can't see them becoming more open-minded with this recent turn of events.

Nic Tse having to surrender Canadian citizenship to keep his career from getting killed is a shame. He's built his own brand rather nicely over the years, but with his core audience being in Hong Kong and the Mainland, it would be suicide for him not to kowtow to the People's Republic.

I think scrubbing Vicky Zhao and others is just the CCP, at least in part, making public examples to get the entertainment community to toe the line. Tse is just one of many to see that his options are limited if he wants to continue working.

It used to be that when filmmakers faced oppression, such as in Eastern Europe, they would find ways of disguising views and messages that the state found undesirable. I honestly don't know if Chinese filmmakers can get away with it these days given how much the government watchdogs are scrutinizing everything. I suspect that in the foreseeable future, we're going to get a lot of vacuous puffballs doubling as Chinese cinema or jingoistic up-with-China propaganda.

Wolf Warrior 3, anyone?
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Old 09-08-21, 05:52 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Nicholas Tse was actually really good in Raging Fire.
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Old 09-16-21, 11:07 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Came across an interesting new book by Grady Hendrix and Chris Poggiali called These Fists Break Bricks: How Kung Fu Movies Swept America and Changed the World. That topic has been touched on in many Hong Kong Cinema and Martial Arts movie books over the years, but I don't recall any specifically devoted to it, and Hendrix in particular is a solid writer.

When a major Hollywood studio released Five Fingers of Death to thrill-seeking Times Square moviegoers on March 21, 1973, only a handful of Black and Asian American audience members knew the difference between an Iron Fist and an Eagle's Claw. That changed overnight as kung fu movies kicked off a craze that would earn millions at the box office, send TV ratings soaring, sell hundreds of thousands of video tapes, influence the birth of hip hop, reshape the style of action we see in movies today, and introduce America to some of the biggest non-white stars to ever hit motion picture screens.

This lavishly illustrated book tells the bone-blasting, spine-shattering story of how these films of fury - spawned in anti-colonial protests on the streets of Hong Kong - came to America and raised hell for 15 years before greed, infomercials, and racist fearmongering shut them down.

You'll meet Japanese judo coaches battling American wrestlers in backwoods MMA bouts at county fairs, black teenagers with razor sharp kung fu skills heading to Hong Kong to star in movies shot super fast so they can make it back to the States in time to start 10th grade, and Puerto Rican karate coaches making their way in this world with nothing but their own two fists.

It's about an 11-year-old boy who not only created the first fan edit but somehow turned it into a worldwide moneymaker, CIA agents secretly funding a karate movie, the New York Times fabricating a fear campaign about black "karate gangs" out to kill white people, the history of black martial arts in America ("Why does judo or karate suddenly get so ominous because black men study it?," wondered Malcolm X), the death of Bruce Lee and the onslaught of imitators that followed, and how a fight that started in Japanese internment camps during World War II ended in a ninja movie some 40 years later.

It's a battle for recognition and respect that started a long, long time ago and continues today in movies like The Matrix, Kill Bill, and Black Panther and here, for the first time, is the full uncensored story.
Amazon Amazon


Someone also set up a Letterboxd page listing all of the films covered in the book. Tons of fun movies there, many of which have not been given the best home video treatments over the years:
https://letterboxd.com/kilink/list/t...-break-bricks/



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Originally Posted by L Everett Scott
The CCP should be embarrassed about the hardline and utterly ridiculous stance they've taken, but of course they don't see it that way and don't give a rat's ass what people outside their country think. I'm not a fan of the Super Metro look that's so popular in K-pop and K-dramas, either, but seriously, live and let live. I've never been sure how accepting Chinese censors are towards homosexuality and gender fluidity, but I can't see them becoming more open-minded with this recent turn of events.

Nic Tse having to surrender Canadian citizenship to keep his career from getting killed is a shame. He's built his own brand rather nicely over the years, but with his core audience being in Hong Kong and the Mainland, it would be suicide for him not to kowtow to the People's Republic.

I think scrubbing Vicky Zhao and others is just the CCP, at least in part, making public examples to get the entertainment community to toe the line. Tse is just one of many to see that his options are limited if he wants to continue working.

It used to be that when filmmakers faced oppression, such as in Eastern Europe, they would find ways of disguising views and messages that the state found undesirable. I honestly don't know if Chinese filmmakers can get away with it these days given how much the government watchdogs are scrutinizing everything. I suspect that in the foreseeable future, we're going to get a lot of vacuous puffballs doubling as Chinese cinema or jingoistic up-with-China propaganda.

Wolf Warrior 3, anyone?
Late reply here but valid points all, particularly about how Eastern European filmmakers would regularly disguise messages in their works. In some cases you had to wonder if their governments were actually aware of it, but thought lowly enough of their citizenry that they figured most probably wouldn't 'get it'. More likely, they just banned them at home but let them earn accolades abroad to score undeserved points with the international community. China, sadly, has been far more savvy about that kind of subterfuge for decades now. Look at all the films by the Fifth Generation filmmakers (Chen Kaige, Zhang Yi-Mou, et al) that are considered classics around the world but were rarely shown or outright banned in China to this day because they dared to depict the country as actually having endured miserable times brought on by failed governance. It continues to this day. I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but Zhang Yimou's latest picture ONE SECOND was scheduled to play at TIFF (and other tests) in 2019 before being unceremoniously yanked due to "technical reasons" – always a euphemism for censorship in Chinese cinema. It's back doing the rounds this year (including at TIFF), but with a galling CCP-approved ending that provides an upbeat, highly-implausible fate for the main character's daughter (and the subject of his quest in the film).

Sadly, I think you're right about Chinese cinema being little more than vacuous puffballs (like nearly all of their pretty-people romcoms and dramas) or up-with-China propaganda. There's also been a recent but small trend toward contemporary-set monster movies and disaster movies (like that volcano resort thingy with Jason Isaacs) but even those are kept on a tight ideological leash, and are few in number as a result. Sad all around, but at least Taiwanese cinema still brings its A game . . . for now. Saw two Taiwanese movies at TIFF this year, Ho Wi-Ding's TERRORIZERS (a powerful nod to – though not a remake of, Edward Yang's classic THE TERRORIZERS from 1986) and Chung Mong-hong's THE FALLS. Neither are overly political (although the "villain" in TERRORIZERS sports a backpack with a '1997' logo on it – I would love to know if that was intentional), but contemporary mainland filmmakers would probably be 'discouraged' from telling these kinds of stories because they depict Chinese people with mental health issues – like anywhere else on the planet – and the CCP just couldn't have that.

Last edited by Brian T; 10-05-21 at 10:25 AM.
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