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

Old 01-25-20, 01:33 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by IBJoel View Post
Yikes, with the de-aging in that thumbnail. This actually looks fun. Can't be worse than Kung Fu Yoga.
Haven't seen Kung Fu Yoga (still working up the nerve) but caught Knight of Shadows late last year. I found it mildly amusing but couldn't wrap my head around why the movie kept going after it reached what looked to be a natural and logical conclusion. Worth checking out if you're a fan of CGI-heavy Chinese fantasy.


Caught Boon Jong-ho's Barking Dogs Never Bite earlier this evening...



This was my fourth go-around with Bong, and I'd have to rank it third behind Memories of Murder and Parasite, but it's ahead of Snowpiercer by a country mile.This is a dark comedy in which a man finds himself annoyed enough by yapping dogs in his building to do something drastic. Meanwhile, an office clerk starts to notice a trend of people coming to her to get copies made of missing dog posters.

Barking Dogs is Bong's directorial debut, so it's rough around the edges, especially when compared to his later films. Still, you can see that it's the work of an auteur as the film has verve and a personality that's immediately obvious. The story is unpredictable, but interestingly, it contains a bit which fans of Parasite will immediately recognize.

Viewers who had to walk out of/switch off John Wick, The Witch, Eight Below, etc. might want to skip this film.

Old 01-25-20, 02:59 AM
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BARKING DOGS was probably one of the first 15-20 DVDs (and sometimes VCDs) of Korean movies I bought between late 1999 and 2000 when the ‘renaissance’ in Korean cinema had just started. I think it’s an important film for the obvious reasons, and such an assured debut. To me it would be an decent Criterion selection since they’re known for sometimes releasing the first or early films of filmmakers who went on to fairly stellar careers, but in Bong’s case I suspect they’d just grab one of his later, higher-profile works, or just take the even easier road and grab OKJA from Netflix even though it’s not one of his best.

Last edited by Brian T; 01-25-20 at 04:24 AM.
Old 01-25-20, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
To me it would be an decent Criterion selection since they’re known for sometimes releasing the first or early films of filmmakers who went on to fairly stellar careers
I haven’t been keeping up with Criterion. Have they released *any* Korean films to date?
Old 01-25-20, 05:32 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
BARKING DOGS was probably one of the first 15-20 DVDs (and sometimes VCDs) of Korean movies I bought between late 1999 and 2000 when the ‘renaissance’ in Korean cinema had just started. I think it’s an important film for the obvious reasons, and such an assured debut. To me it would be an decent Criterion selection since they’re known for sometimes releasing the first or early films of filmmakers who went on to fairly stellar careers, but in Bong’s case I suspect they’d just grab one of his later, higher-profile works, or just take the even easier road and grab OKJA from Netflix even though it’s not one of his best.
Bong hates that film (Barking Dogs) and has asked folks to disregard it and take Memories of Murder as his real first film. I doubt Criterion will release it since Bog would probably not even participate.
Old 01-25-20, 06:19 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by L Everett Scott View Post
I haven’t been keeping up with Criterion. Have they released *any* Korean films to date?
They released Yi Yi. No wait, that’s Taiwan. I don’t think they have released a Korean movie.
Old 01-26-20, 06:41 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by L Everett Scott View Post
I haven’t been keeping up with Criterion. Have they released *any* Korean films to date?
Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
They released Yi Yi. No wait, that’s Taiwan. I don’t think they have released a Korean movie.
I believe that the only Korean movie Criterion has released is Secret Sunshine.
Old 01-26-20, 07:50 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by LorenzoL View Post
I believe that the only Korean movie Criterion has released is Secret Sunshine.
There’s one more The Housemaid (1960) is part of Martin Scorsese World Cinema Project.
Old 01-27-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
Bong hates that film (Barking Dogs) and has asked folks to disregard it and take Memories of Murder as his real first film. I doubt Criterion will release it since Bog would probably not even participate.
More power to him, I guess -- was he hurt that some people were actually (needlessly) offended by the fictional treatment of the dog or something? Still, it's out there in the world, and it's an excellent first film that predicts all of his later work, and is 'important' for that alone, even if not Criterion-worthy.


Originally Posted by LorenzoL View Post
There’s one more The Housemaid (1960) is part of Martin Scorsese World Cinema Project.
Phenomenal film for its era. I got that one on a Korean import disc years before the Criterion set and it was such an eye-opener that I had to scrounge for more info on films from that era, having been mostly limited to post-1999 stuff and small helpings of (I thought) comparatively bland 80's and 90's pictures when Korean filmmakers were still trying to strike that balance between the overheated puritanical melodrama expected by audiences at home and the Hollywood-grade production values they'd need to survive into the new millennium. At that point, I wrongly assumed everything prior to that (70's and earlier) was probably just more of the same, i.e. conservative love stories, toothless thrillers, etc. But I was surprised at the sexuality and frankness on display in THE HOUSEMAID for a non-Japanese Asian film of 1960, and it turns out other movies from the era also pushed the envelope, but then the Park Chung-hee dictatorship from 1963 onward forced media folks in general into a compromise.

The Korean Film Archive was behind a handful of nice DVDs of these vintage films back in the early to mid-00's, but I don't think they were big sellers; I bought five or six but didn't keep track after that. They also had success digging up Korean films from the colonial era, but disc releases never really became much of a thing. Thankfully, they've uploaded a ton of complete features from across Korean film history to their 'Korean Classic Film' YouTube channel, most subbed as far as I know. There's just not enough time in the day . . .

Last edited by Brian T; 01-27-20 at 11:08 AM.
Old 01-28-20, 07:18 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Outside of the Ip man movies , there doesn't seem to be as much martial arts action coming out of Hong Kong

Old 01-28-20, 03:31 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I just watched The Inland Sea release from Criterion. Are we counting that here?
Old 01-28-20, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by IBJoel View Post
I just watched The Inland Sea release from Criterion. Are we counting that here?
Why not? Considering Donald Richie is so indelibly tied to Japanese film and culture, and also considering it's one of the most barely-noted Criterion releases ever, it's worth hearing some thoughts.


Originally Posted by Original Desmond View Post
Outside of the Ip man movies , there doesn't seem to be as much martial arts action coming out of Hong Kong
There isn't, for the most part. It's mostly coming out of China and it's less impressive than what they produced in Hong Kong for several decades (while China was failing at 'pure' communism for 30-40 years) because the risk factor -- even inasmuch as it was often manufactured for effect by Hong Kong film publicists -- has been reduced to zero by the overabundance and over-obviousness of CGI in everything.

It's hard for me to consider to the IP MAN pictures as Hong Kong movies, because they're all co-productions shot on the mainland, mostly funded from there as I understand it. As nice as the recreations of period Hong Kong are thanks to the not-bad CG, they're not always convincing, and I don't think they shot a single frame of film in the real city (happy to be corrected on that). As soon as mainland money comes into play, censorship and nationalism must follow, and filmmakers inevitably have to dumb down their content for broadest audience possible: mainland China's, which deserves better. Still, they deliver on the flashy action design in spades, so there's that.

As someone who's been watching, collecting and deep-diving into true Hong Kong cinema (and Taiwanese cinema as often as I can get it) since the early-80's, it saddens me to see "China" and "Hong Kong" used interchangeably in regards to movies by a whole new generation (or two?) that has little knowledge or understanding of pre- and post-1997, sees both cultures as a unified 'Chinese" whole, assumes that everyone speaks Mandarin (or both Cantonese and Mandarin, which is only partly true), and literally can't see the staggering differences that still separate and define the two cultures (as if the ongoing Hong Kong democracy protests and China's typically authoritarian response aren't enough).

Thankfully there are still reasonably authentic Hong Kong movies being made, wherein most or preferably all of the funding comes from within the city and/or other non-mainland sources, thus resulting in new, young filmmakers having freer voices and being less beholden to the lowest-common-denominator demands of the CCP. Of course, because they tell local stories that won't necessarily cater to the average mainlander experience, they tend to be lower-budgeted dramas, romances, comedies or suspense pictures.

You have to do extra research these days just to figure out what's a true Hong Kong movie, what's a Hong Kong movie with partial mainland funding, and what's a mainland production shot in Hong Kong. Not as easy as it used to be . . .

Last edited by Brian T; 01-28-20 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 01-28-20, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Why not? Considering Donald Richie is so indelibly tied to Japanese film and culture, and also considering it's one of the most barely-noted Criterion releases ever, it's worth hearing some thoughts.
I thought it was... weird. In 2019 and 2020, and old white guy commenting on Japanese culture, especially who is "true Japanese" and who is not was off-putting. But at the same time, there felt to be genuine love of the culture, landscape, appreciation of Shintoism, and his closing thoughts felt ambiguous if he was speaking about himself the whole time. I loved the cinematography and music, though, and I think his insights into the contrast between European-descended culture and Japanese were quite interesting. I certainly don't think he is ignorant, simply that some of his statements reflect differently in a 2020 light.

I also have The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice from Criterion to watch, but it's down my list a little.
Old 01-29-20, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by IBJoel View Post
I thought it was... weird. In 2019 and 2020, and old white guy commenting on Japanese culture, especially who is "true Japanese" and who is not was off-putting. But at the same time, there felt to be genuine love of the culture, landscape, appreciation of Shintoism, and his closing thoughts felt ambiguous if he was speaking about himself the whole time. I loved the cinematography and music, though, and I think his insights into the contrast between European-descended culture and Japanese were quite interesting. I certainly don't think he is ignorant, simply that some of his statements reflect differently in a 2020 light.

I also have The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice from Criterion to watch, but it's down my list a little.
THE INLAND SEA was made in 1991. Donald Richie lived in Japan off and on since arriving there right after the war to work for the American Occupation forces right up to his death in Tokyo in 2013. (I attended his memorial service in New York in 2013.) He wrote dozens of books about Japanese cinema and other aspects of Japan. THE INLAND SEA was based on his book on the subject and he did the narration. I have my differences with Richie, particularly when it comes to his disdain for popular Japanese cinema like the Godzilla films, but to dismiss him as "an old white guy commenting on Japanese culture" is quite a slap in the face to one of the foremost American scholars of Japan and someone very respected in Japan. He was the very first recipient of the Kawakita Award, "created in 1983 to honor individuals or organizations who have contributed to the promotion of Japanese cinema overseas."

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Old 01-29-20, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
THE INLAND SEA was made in 1991. Donald Richie lived in Japan off and on since arriving there right after the war to work for the American Occupation forces right up to his death in Tokyo in 2013. (I attended his memorial service in New York in 2013.) He wrote dozens of books about Japanese cinema and other aspects of Japan. THE INLAND SEA was based on his book on the subject and he did the narration. I have my differences with Richie, particularly when it comes to his disdain for popular Japanese cinema like the Godzilla films, but to dismiss him as "an old white guy commenting on Japanese culture" is quite a slap in the face to one of the foremost American scholars of Japan and someone very respected in Japan. He was the very first recipient of the Kawakita Award, "created in 1983 to honor individuals or organizations who have contributed to the promotion of Japanese cinema overseas."
Yes, I understand all that, and the fact that his travelogues were from 1971 and earlier. But culture changes (as Richie himself notes) and some of his comments are out of place in the modern year. A good example is Half of a Yellow Sun, a fantastic book on the Nigerian Civil/Biafran War, that discusses the idea of white creators telling the stories of people of color in their own country, which is a trend that continues to this day and has expanded to include hetero-cis creators exploring LGBT stories. Now, I understand the context of him and his history with Japan, but to not acknowledge that him saying (paraphrasing and among other things) "these are true Japanese, not the people in the city" doesn't have the possibility of rubbing people the wrong way or being taken as carrying imperialistic undertones is simply ignorance of present-day society. Yes, every work has a context, but every viewer also has a context, as does the world they live in, and the latter two change over time, and sometimes, so does the first, with new information and discoveries. As I said, I enjoyed the film, but parts of the narration have, not surprisingly, not aged well.
Old 01-29-20, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
As someone who's been watching, collecting and deep-diving into true Hong Kong cinema (and Taiwanese cinema as often as I can get it) since the early-80's, it saddens me to see "China" and "Hong Kong" used interchangeably in regards to movies by a whole new generation (or two?) that has little knowledge or understanding of pre- and post-1997, sees both cultures as a unified 'Chinese" whole, assumes that everyone speaks Mandarin (or both Cantonese and Mandarin, which is only partly true), and literally can't see the staggering differences that still separate and define the two cultures (as if the ongoing Hong Kong democracy protests and China's typically authoritarian response aren't enough).
I have three favorite eras of film. Three eras where if the film is made in that time period, in that location, and with that style, I will like it no matter what. Those eras are:
70s "gritty" NYC (usually police or crime related)
Early 70s Italian, horror/thriller
late 80s early 90s HK action. Can be martial arts, gangster, or even the Cat IIIs
Old 01-29-20, 11:38 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I’ve found that if a movie was made in 1962 or 1963 it will be good and most likely great. It’s true in every country.
Old 01-29-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
THE INLAND SEA was made in 1991. Donald Richie lived in Japan off and on since arriving there right after the war to work for the American Occupation forces right up to his death in Tokyo in 2013. (I attended his memorial service in New York in 2013.) He wrote dozens of books about Japanese cinema and other aspects of Japan. THE INLAND SEA was based on his book on the subject and he did the narration. I have my differences with Richie, particularly when it comes to his disdain for popular Japanese cinema like the Godzilla films, but to dismiss him as "an old white guy commenting on Japanese culture" is quite a slap in the face to one of the foremost American scholars of Japan and someone very respected in Japan. He was the very first recipient of the Kawakita Award, "created in 1983 to honor individuals or organizations who have contributed to the promotion of Japanese cinema overseas."
Originally Posted by IBJoel View Post
Yes, I understand all that, and the fact that his travelogues were from 1971 and earlier. But culture changes (as Richie himself notes) and some of his comments are out of place in the modern year. A good example is Half of a Yellow Sun, a fantastic book on the Nigerian Civil/Biafran War, that discusses the idea of white creators telling the stories of people of color in their own country, which is a trend that continues to this day and has expanded to include hetero-cis creators exploring LGBT stories. Now, I understand the context of him and his history with Japan, but to not acknowledge that him saying (paraphrasing and among other things) "these are true Japanese, not the people in the city" doesn't have the possibility of rubbing people the wrong way or being taken as carrying imperialistic undertones is simply ignorance of present-day society. Yes, every work has a context, but every viewer also has a context, as does the world they live in, and the latter two change over time, and sometimes, so does the first, with new information and discoveries. As I said, I enjoyed the film, but parts of the narration have, not surprisingly, not aged well.
I'm more intrigued about INLAND SEA after this exchange. I'm on the wait list for it (and FLAVOR OF GREEN TEA) at the library here, but it's a long list. I'm curious, though, if by "present day society" you're referring to the present-day society of 1991, when the film was made (and by extension 1971 when the book was written). Theoretically it sounds like some of Richie's commentary might likewise have given offence even in 1991, but I'm less concerned with how something like that plays out in 2019, since while times have indeed changed and I don't think every thing a person says in the past should be held against them (unless it's outright blatant racism, or misogyny or what have you). At the same time, could Richie just be making the same kind of observation that many social observers have made about many coultures over the years: that the "country folk" are the real (Insert Nationality Here). I've heard it written about many cultures (even my own, both by outsiders and insiders) that rural people somehow feel like a more 'authentic' part of the culture, compared to the ultra-modernized, cubicle-dwelling city folk who -- in the authors' opinions, at least -- have lost touch with the land. I'm probably missing some context here, don't know. Guess I'll have to wait and see it first.
Old 01-29-20, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
I'm more intrigued about INLAND SEA after this exchange. I'm on the wait list for it (and FLAVOR OF GREEN TEA) at the library here, but it's a long list. I'm curious, though, if by "present day society" you're referring to the present-day society of 1991, when the film was made (and by extension 1971 when the book was written). Theoretically it sounds like some of Richie's commentary might likewise have given offence even in 1991, but I'm less concerned with how something like that plays out in 2019, since while times have indeed changed and I don't think every thing a person says in the past should be held against them (unless it's outright blatant racism, or misogyny or what have you). At the same time, could Richie just be making the same kind of observation that many social observers have made about many coultures over the years: that the "country folk" are the real (Insert Nationality Here). I've heard it written about many cultures (even my own, both by outsiders and insiders) that rural people somehow feel like a more 'authentic' part of the culture, compared to the ultra-modernized, cubicle-dwelling city folk who -- in the authors' opinions, at least -- have lost touch with the land. I'm probably missing some context here, don't know. Guess I'll have to wait and see it first.
I am referring to 2020. It's actually interesting to wonder how many people in 1991 would have viewed it, given the rise of the Japanese economy and international influence in the 1980s. I do remember fears of "the Japanese are taking over" from my grandfather who was at one point out of work from his US auto-manufacturing job as brands like Toyota were really taking off in the US. And then the contrast of this film covering salt-of-the-Earth people with whom my grandfather could greatly identify. Again, I want to be clear that I don't think Richie is racist or intentionally derogatory, simply that some of his words or wording fall flat in 2020. It's something I contemplated, not judged him for.
Old 01-29-20, 01:55 PM
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I see where you're coming from, and knew you weren't judging him. But since he made his observations in 1991 (via 1971, I assume?) it probably goes without saying that certain aspects of them won't hold up to 2020 scrutiny. That was then, as they say. I suppose we all apply these kinds of filters at one point or another, though, even sub-consciously, when viewing old shows. Still anxious to see this one. While I assume Criterion released this film as a gesture to Richie, his legacy and his contributions to their label over the decades, I'd imagine at least some people saw the film in the 90's, but I'm assuming it was decidedly an arthouse picture. Frankly, I've been aware of the book since spotting (but not buying) it in a bookstore in the very late 80's, but had no idea the film even existed until the Criterion announcement, so clearly I'm just casual follower . . . for now.


Originally Posted by Paff View Post
I have three favorite eras of film. Three eras where if the film is made in that time period, in that location, and with that style, I will like it no matter what. Those eras are:
70s "gritty" NYC (usually police or crime related)
Early 70s Italian, horror/thriller
late 80s early 90s HK action. Can be martial arts, gangster, or even the Cat IIIs
I think those categories should be in everyone's top ten, at the very least.

My personal #1 has long been the HK stuff, and that category for me includes everything else, too: comedies, dramas, old Shaw musicals, short films. If it was shot in Hong Kong -- which to this day visually blows flavorless wannabe "world cities" like Beijing and Shanghai out of the water -- I'd like to see it, even if the hunt for vintage discs and tapes gets more difficult and expensive every year. I've even amassed a growing collection of European and American films shot in the city, even the goofier stuff: it was a popular spot for many of the Bond knock-offs of the 60's (UP TO HIS EARS, FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS), the American martial-arts bandwagon jumpers (THAT MAN BOLT, CLEO JONES AND THE CASINO OF GOLD) and Aussie and French (and others) "exotica" T&A films of the 70's (FELICITY, EMMANUELE II), even some of those crappy Van Damme & Co. cheapies of the 80's and 90's. The city is just wall-to-wall production value. Once you get on street level on the mainland, forget it. No comparison.
Old 01-29-20, 03:48 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Finally caught Herman Yau's A Home With a View from last year:


Not being a Cat III fan, I've actually had very little exposure to Yau's filmography despite my love for Hong Kong films. Prior to Home, I've only seen two Yau films, both rather conventional: Turning Point and Ip Man: The Final Fight. It wasn't until I watched Home that I got a sense of how subversive Yau can be.

I've watched a few Chinese New Year comedies over the years and found they weren't for me. I don't have anything against comedy in general, but as a rule, I tend to dislike broad comedy, which is a hallmark of CNY films.

But with a dearth of good Hong Kong movies these days, I decided to give A Home With a View a try...and man, was I glad I did. Home starts off as a family comedy with Francis Ng holding a meeting with wife Anita Yuen and kids played by Ng Siu-hin and Jocelyn Choi to go over the ways they had saved money. Things quickly get out of hand and tempers flare, so we get loads of raised voices.

Francis calms down his clan by getting them to look through their apartment window, which has a view of Hong Kong Harbour. This is their respite from the enormous pressures of daily life and a reminder of why they're pinching their pennies.

So it comes as a rather unpleasant surprise when they look out one day and discover their 'ocean view' completely obstructed by a billboard that a man has erected on his penthouse across the street. The couple confront the owner of the penthouse (Louis Koo) to tell him that he cannot put up advertising in a residential space. Koo coolly responds that the billboard is a piece of art and is therefore not subject to the zoning regulations they're quoting.

Thus begins a battle of wits and wills that covers a remarkable amount of ground. Not only do we get commentary on the urban housing crisis in modern Hong Kong, but the film tackles topical issues like bureaucratic gridlock, the nature of art, and clashes arising from conflicting personal interests.

Despite the numerous celebrity cameos, A Home With a View is hardly a typical CNY movie. Yau in fact goes steadily darker with the comedy to the point where things go pitch black. I absolutely loved the fact that he didn't pull his punches and just dove headlong into the heart of darkness for the finale of this film.

This is far and away the most surprising Hong Kong film I've seen in years. Big thumbs up.
Old 01-29-20, 04:03 PM
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It was a 90s HK Cat III that made me really re-think the Tom Hanks movie Big.

I forget the name of it, but it was a total rip-off of Big. An 8 year old girl wishes she was older, make a wish, bam she's a hot 18 year old. HOWEVER, there's no sex scenes, and you don't want there to be any, because she's still acting like a child, and the character is still only 8, even though the actress clearly was not. You really start to question the Tom Hanks/Elizabeth McGovern scenes in Big.

Luckily, the producers found a great loophole to show what we all wanted to see but without feeling icky about it; the character eventually becomes a little kid again. Then there's a "10 years later" epilogue, where now the actress AND character are of age, she visits her long lost lover, and they freakin' go AT IT.
Old 01-30-20, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by L Everett Scott View Post
Despite the numerous celebrity cameos, A Home With a View is hardly a typical CNY movie. Yau in fact goes steadily darker with the comedy to the point where things go pitch black. I absolutely loved the fact that he didn't pull his punches and just dove headlong into the heart of darkness for the finale of this film. This is far and away the most surprising Hong Kong film I've seen in years. Big thumbs up.
Sounds like a quintessential example of a contemporary Hong Kong picture (for those who know that the city's industry's stock and trade is no longer zippy martial arts movies), and the kind of movie that simply doesn't get made in mainland china because it implicates government in subtle ways. But does WellGo USA pick it up for a release over here? Heavens no, there might twelve new CCP-approved, CGI-bloated fantasy swordplay movies possibly starring Jackie Chan that simply have to take priority!

Interesting to read that this is based on a play by co-star (and HK veteran) Cheung Tat-ming, who's a lot younger than the old man he plays in it.

I've been thankful for decades for the very existence of Herman Yau. For my money, he's continually associated far too closely with his Cat. III films by Hong Kong cinema fandom, while the majority of his filmography crosses all genres, styles and budgets. He's highly adept at infusing social commentary entirely relevant to Hong Kong into a number of his shows, and for the most part he's stayed true to the city while far too many of his contemporaries have sold out to the mainland entirely. If you can even find it now, Yau's FROM THE QUEEN TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE (2001) is one of the better 'social justice' movies to come out of HK.


Originally Posted by Paff View Post
It was a 90s HK Cat III that made me really re-think the Tom Hanks movie Big.

I forget the name of it, but it was a total rip-off of Big. An 8 year old girl wishes she was older, make a wish, bam she's a hot 18 year old. HOWEVER, there's no sex scenes, and you don't want there to be any, because she's still acting like a child, and the character is still only 8, even though the actress clearly was not. You really start to question the Tom Hanks/Elizabeth McGovern scenes in Big.

Luckily, the producers found a great loophole to show what we all wanted to see but without feeling icky about it; the character eventually becomes a little kid again. Then there's a "10 years later" epilogue, where now the actress AND character are of age, she visits her long lost lover, and they freakin' go AT IT.
Pretty sure that's THE FRUIT IS SWELLING (1997), one of the best Cat. III movies of all time:


It's also the second (officially) of three pictures with the same Chinese name 蜜桃成熟時, starting with CRAZY LOVE (1993) and finishing with THE FRUIT IS RIPE 3 (1999). Also bearing the Chinese title are THE FRUIT IS SWELLING 2005 which is virtually impossible to find now, and THE 33D INVADER (2011) which is a silly and affectionate (and 3D!) throwback to the cheekiest Cat. III movies of old.

Last edited by Brian T; 01-30-20 at 02:35 PM.
Old 01-30-20, 03:17 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Pretty sure that's THE FRUIT IS SWELLING (1997), one of the best Cat. III movies of all time:
You are correct, sir.

Although if I had to pick one all-time favorite Cat III, I'd go with the obvious choice: A Chinese Torture Chamber Story. It's the movie that people on message boards will post a clip of and say "What the hell movie is this?"
I remember watching it, expecting a nasty horror film set in a torture dungeon. This is me about 5 minutes into the movie. (Angry)"Hey, this isn't a horror movie! It's a Hong Kong softcore porn movie." (Happy). "Hey, it's a Hong Kong softcore porn movie!"
Also thought it was an example of bad translation on the subtitles, in that the lead character is named "Little Cabbage" in the subs. But then as I tuned my ear to the dialogue, I could tell that her name was indeed "Bok Choi"
Old 01-30-20, 04:11 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Teaser for Shock Wave 2



Comes out this summer

If you know anything about the 1st movie:

Spoiler:

Andy Lau's character died



So this is a completely new story
Old 01-30-20, 05:48 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

And that's not Yau's only sequel this year


He's also got another serial killer thriller called DEATH NOTICE on the way, starring the ubiquitous Louis Koo in four roles, no less. That dude's scheduled to be in around 13 movies in 2020, which theoretically could beat his 2015 record of ten. Show me any lead in contemporary Mainland China -- or Hollywood for that matter -- who can appear in that many mostly big-budget, high-profile projects.

Last edited by Brian T; 01-30-20 at 06:03 PM.

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