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

Old 01-05-23, 06:50 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya
Kind of an oddly timed re-release. I remember back in Summer 2000, I was on a trip to Thailand and saw trailers and posters for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon around Bangkok. I wanted to see it badly, but it was released in Asia later that summer after my trip. Thankfully it later came to the states in December. I did see this in the theater back in December 2000 to a packed house. I was surprised it was full for a Mandarin language movie. It was a pretty awesome experience seeing a Wuxia movie in an American theater.

I have the BD, so I'm not sure I really need to see this again in a theater.
I saw CROUCHING TIGER in Manhattan and then again at a Bronx multiplex, probably the first subtitled foreign film I ever saw in the Bronx. At the Bronx theater, there was a print-out message taped to the cashier's window telling us that "Crouching Tiger is in Chinese with English subtitles." Which I imagine meant a new moviegoing experience to many in the audience and probably prompted complaints from more than a few.
Old 01-06-23, 09:46 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I think my local cinema had signs posted as well, which I thought was cool as I'd been watching subtitled movies for ages by then. Sadly, I recall my screening in what was then my relatively whitetbread home city being disrupted continually by some young moron who thought it was funny -- presumably to impress his buddies or girlfriend or whomever he was with -- to mock the Mandarin language just loudly enough to annoy several people around him, myself included, to the point that at least three of us went out to complain at different times before they finally threw him and his companion(s) out. Even as someone who vastly prefers listening to Cantonese over Mandarin, I found this to be particularly ignorant. Times have changed there, though, thanks to more foreign films occasionally playing on local screens, a couple of annual film festivals, etc.
Old 01-08-23, 11:36 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Is there a decent physical media release of Michelle Yeoh's Project S aka Supercop 2? I think I have the old Dimension Films DVD laying around somewhere, but it's kind of shitty and I know it's edited down.

Or has that become just a forgotten movie in Michelle Yeoh's career? I know it's not one of her better movies and Jackie Chan has a really dumb cameo in it.
Old 01-09-23, 01:24 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya
Trailer for Donnie Yen's new movie "Sakra" coming in 2023 He's also the director and producer.

https://youtu.be/ecpoT3OE3y8
The problem is, this type of movie almost always bombs. They are taking one of Luis Cha's longest novel and concentrating on only one of the main characters.

This is the equivalent of picking up A Song of Ice and Fire, and then just making a two-hour movie based on say, Jon Snow.
Old 01-09-23, 04:49 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya
Is there a decent physical media release of Michelle Yeoh's Project S aka Supercop 2? I think I have the old Dimension Films DVD laying around somewhere, but it's kind of shitty and I know it's edited down.

Or has that become just a forgotten movie in Michelle Yeoh's career? I know it's not one of her better movies and Jackie Chan has a really dumb cameo in it.
Not currently. But if you’re trying to just watch it…


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Old 01-12-23, 04:46 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Watched Shin Ultraman last night at a Fathom event and was really perplexed. I've seen a few episodes of both the original show and newer seasons, but this lacked any character development or humanistic aspects to grab onto. There was a little satire of government, but generally the plot moved from beat to beat very quickly and often without any kind of cause-and-effect. It was like a 7-year old wrote it, or as if it was a feature-length version of the season recap that would air before a finale.
Old 01-12-23, 06:55 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Looks like that Supercop 2 YouTube link got taken down by a copyright notice.
Old 01-12-23, 06:59 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya
Looks like that Supercop 2 YouTube link got taken down by a copyright notice.
That's unfortunate. It had been up for months. I sent you a PM.
Old 01-12-23, 10:48 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
I saw CROUCHING TIGER in Manhattan and then again at a Bronx multiplex, probably the first subtitled foreign film I ever saw in the Bronx. At the Bronx theater, there was a print-out message taped to the cashier's window telling us that "Crouching Tiger is in Chinese with English subtitles." Which I imagine meant a new moviegoing experience to many in the audience and probably prompted complaints from more than a few.
Dude, you think that's bad? This was an actual poster from the studios that they had to hang in theaters in 1977:



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Old 01-12-23, 11:40 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I love Sorcerer but that is one misleading movie title. This is sort of ot, but why do people have issues reading subtitles? Or watching a film in a foreign language.
Old 01-13-23, 01:02 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by sleepyhead55
I love Sorcerer but that is one misleading movie title. This is sort of ot, but why do people have issues reading subtitles? Or watching a film in a foreign language.
I don't think it's anything exceptionally complicated; some people just don't read as fast. Remember in school when you had to take turns reading a paragraph or page or something, and there were always a few kids who were super slow? While they may improve over the years as they stay in school, they're still not able to glance at a sentence at the bottom of the screen and take it in quickly. They have to focus on the words more and process it a bit slower too I imagine.
Old 01-21-23, 03:48 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

A Guilty Conscience (HK, 2023) stars Dayo Wong Chi-wah as Adrian Lam, a barrister who has become increasingly disgusted by how he is constantly passed over for promotions despite his hard work. He resigns and takes a job as a lawyer at a law firm that has connections with wealthy clients. His first case is to represent a woman named Jolene Tsang (Louise Wong) who is on trial for seriously injuring her young daughter who is now in a coma. The case is complicated by the fact that Jolene has been in a lengthy affair with the son-in-law of a rich and powerful family who has something to hide. Convinced of Jolene's innocence and confident that the case is a slam dunk, Lam's cockiness leads him to botch the trial and watch in horror as a distraught Jolene is handed a lengthy prison sentence. Still wracked with guilt two years later, Lam is given an opportunity to redeem himself when the case is reopened as a murder trial, but can his resourcefulness and dogged determination prove a sufficient match for a justice system that has been corrupted by the power of the wealthy?

I'm not really a fan of courtroom dramas, but decided to check this one out due to a rave review from the South China Morning Post (which is rare). Unfortunately, A Guilty Conscience did little to make me a convert. The storyline is relentlessly formulaic and the set-up and follow through are much too predictable every step of the way. By the time the movie reaches its contrived and drawn-out conclusion, there's nary a question of how things are going to end, just disbelief at how long it's taken to get there. Dayo Wong, a fixture of 1990's HK comedies, makes for an appealing and sympathetic lead, but not even he can convincingly pull off a heavy-handed rant near the end of the movie in which his character rages against a court system that eats up the poor and caters to the rich (it's basically his Al Pacino-esque "You're out of order!" scene). On the other hand, it was kind of cool to see veteran HK actor Bowie Lam (Hard-Boiled) pop up in supporting role, and the interestingly named Fish Liew show up as a sultry villainess. 1990's HK heartthrob Michael Wong Man-tak even lends his English-speaking presence as a sleazy nemesis, but he demonstrates that even after 30 years, he's still not a particularly adept actor.

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Old 01-21-23, 02:28 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Bedevilled (2010)

Hae-won (JI Sung-won) is a typical but fairly jaded young urban professional who lives in Seoul. When she runs afoul of some dangerous street punks, Hae-won decides to lie low for a week and returns to Moo-do Island where she grew up. She’s greeted enthusiastically by KIM Bok-nam (SEO Young-hee), a childhood friend who has a daughter and married local fisherman Man-jong (PARK Jeong-hak).

Hae-won at first thinks she’s on a regular vacation but then slowly starts to see something is amiss when Bok-nam keeps asking that she and her daughter leave with Hae-won and move to Seoul. Eventually, the islanders’ rigid adherence to tradition shows itself to be more than just quaintly outdated views, leading to an eruption of violence that no one sees coming.

This is one of those movies that asks for a bit of patience. The story seems to be straightforward until you realize that the plot hasn’t actually revealed itself until well into the second act. Then there’s the shift in the narrative that happens gradually and naturally so you might not even notice it initially.

As the film progresses, things get darker and darker until you wind up with a full-blown horror movie. This isn’t to say that Bedevilled is an ultra-serious affair. Even in the darkest moments, the film ventures into absurd territory and goes for some pitch black comedy.

This is a very solid debut for first-time director JANG Cheol-soo. He gets great performances from his cast, particularly SEO Young-hee as Bok-nam, who you’ll probably want to see more of after watching her in this movie.

It’s a shame Bedevilled hasn’t found a larger audience here than it has because it’s a film that you’ll want to talk about with other people. The extreme views of the islanders will invite discussion, and the ending will leave you wondering whose side you’re supposed to take as well as what the point the film is trying to make.
Those of you with access to TubiTV and aren’t bothered by dark subject matter should definitely give this one a look.
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Old 01-21-23, 04:59 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

BEDEVILLED is excellent, and extreme in the best time-honoured K-film tradition. There's a number of similarly intense Korean films set in backward rural or island communities that just go for broke in depicting unspeakable levels of ignorance and abuse (and hey, I suppose we have our DELIVERANCE-type flicks over here). I picked up the Blu-ray pretty cheap years ago at Big Lots (where Wellgo USA's Asian releases seem to go to die) without much awareness of it, and because it looked interesting on the case. Quite a surprise when I finally got around to watching it.

For those who see this and dig it, I'd recommend a couple of others that would convince you never to venture outside of Seoul if you're ever vacationing in Korea :

BRING ME HOME (2019), in which LADY VENGEANCE herself, Lee Young-ae, made her big-screen comeback after 13 years to play a grieving mother who gets a tip that her son, abducted years earlier and for whom she's never stopped searching, may be alive but living with a new "family" in a grungy, corrupt fishing village where virtually everyone is morally bankrupt and prone to savage violence against those who come snooping around. Lee's character is definitely not some silent super-killer in this, but she learns the hard way to fight for what's hers. It falls a wee bit short of BEDEVILLED, but it's still a very compelling watch.

THE WAILING (2016), is a balls-out nuts religious-horror show, in which Japan's Jun Kunimura shows up in a small, backwards Korean village and promptly causes a lot of people to go righteously bonkers and murder their loved ones, with the schlubby hero cop trying to save his daughter from the insanity. In short order: demons, shamans, christians, zombies and at least one insect swarm clash with abandon. It's a lot more straight-faced than that description, of course, and it's exceptionally well-written and plotted, mixing in small drops of humour the same way BEDEVILLED does. And at 2.5 hours, it never feels fat. For my money, it's probably one of the crown jewels of Korean 'rural horror' or whatever one might call the genre.

There are plenty of Korean movies that make no bones about rural communities being hives of ignorance, murder and other craziness. And since most Korean movies crank emotional and physical intensity to eleven, they often tend to leave the competition from other countries in the dust.

Trailers:
Spoiler:




Last edited by Brian T; 01-21-23 at 05:08 PM.
Old 02-02-23, 12:50 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Trailer for Jackie Chan’s new mainland China movie “Ride On”. Comes out in China this April.

Old 02-02-23, 10:49 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Hidden Blade. New WW2 spy thriller. Tony Leung is one of the principal stars. Opens February 17

Old 02-03-23, 10:59 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Saw Shin Ultraman at the Fathom Event and saw The Wandering Earth (first one) the other night.
I simply don't understand all the love Shin Ultraman is getting. It never commits to what exactly it wants to be. Political satire? A parody of the genre? Genuine Toku? The worst part is that it has the pacing of a 90-second season recap that plays before the finale. There's never any breathing room for anything and barely anything seems to matter. I've seen the original Ultraman show, as well as modern stuff, yet I'm still completely flummoxed.

The Wandering Earth could lose 20-30min, but was fun. It really made me wonder, "is this how the rest of the world sees American blockbusters?" I was shocked there was SOME level of scound (or hypothetically sound) science in the movie, despite having perhaps the most unbelievable premise ever. Also made me think it's funny how people complain (fairly) about how Amero-centric our blockbusters are, but we'll usually throw other countries a bone and say "they're losing, but still fighting" or they're ready to go as soon as America comes up with a plan. Meanwhile here, the Japanese team is about to kill themselves, Indian team is completely arrogant, and some Anglosphere team is getting drunk (I understand all the politics behind those, but still yikes).
Old 02-03-23, 02:41 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by IBJoel
The Wandering Earth could lose 20-30min, but was fun. It really made me wonder, "is this how the rest of the world sees American blockbusters?" I was shocked there was SOME level of scound (or hypothetically sound) science in the movie, despite having perhaps the most unbelievable premise ever. Also made me think it's funny how people complain (fairly) about how Amero-centric our blockbusters are, but we'll usually throw other countries a bone and say "they're losing, but still fighting" or they're ready to go as soon as America comes up with a plan. Meanwhile here, the Japanese team is about to kill themselves, Indian team is completely arrogant, and some Anglosphere team is getting drunk (I understand all the politics behind those, but still yikes).
It probably goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I find the government-mandated (that's key) nationalism on display in Chinese movies like this one (and really, most China movies) to be far more egregious and myopic than what American movies are often (inaccurately) blanket accused of, likely in part because the US government doesn't dictate content or punish unflattering depictions of itself (i.e. you can portray institutions and authorities however you like, and generally without fear of friggin' disappearance or imprisonment). And as you say, it's certainly true about Hollywood productions (especially at higher budget levels) throwing other countries and cultures a bone within their stories, which makes sense when so many Hollywood productions are created by multi-cultural teams of people from one of the most multi-cultural countries on earth. China cinema lags by decades in that regard, in part because of this kind of surreptitious score-settling, but also by default because of its more-or-less homogeneous, socially controlled population (aka audience) and also the hegemonic single Party making all the rules. Incidentally, I likewise enjoyed WANDERING EARTH, but agree it could've been way shorter considering it's content and characters. Naturally, the sequel is nearly three hours.
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Old 02-03-23, 02:52 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

It's too bad that Jackie Chan isn't getting anymore U.S. projects. His last U.S. movie The Foreigner from 2017 was really good. Instead he's doing mostly crap Mainland China movies. Ride On looks like one of them.
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Old 02-03-23, 02:59 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Brian T
It probably goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I find the government-mandated (that's key) nationalism on display in Chinese movies like this one (and really, most China movies) to be far more egregious and myopic than what American movies are often (inaccurately) blanket accused of, likely in part because the US government doesn't dictate content or punish unflattering depictions of itself (i.e. you can portray institutions and authorities however you like, and generally without fear of friggin' disappearance or imprisonment). And as you say, it's certainly true about Hollywood productions (especially at higher budget levels) throwing other countries and cultures a bone within their stories, which makes sense when so many Hollywood productions are created by multi-cultural teams of people from one of the most multi-cultural countries on earth. China cinema lags by decades in that regard, in part because of this kind of surreptitious score-settling, but also by default because of its more-or-less homogeneous, socially controlled population (aka audience) and also the hegemonic single Party making all the rules. Incidentally, I likewise enjoyed WANDERING EARTH, but agree it could've been way shorter considering it's content and characters. Naturally, the sequel is nearly three hours.
Oh 100%. I try to avoid mainland films, but don't mind some of the broader ones that are just really dumb fun, like Bath Buddy.

My fiancee and I do want to see Wandering Earth 2, but yes the 3hr runtime is a major turnoff for a theater experience and ruined our plans to take her mom, who can't sit that long. We will have to find another Andy Lau film for her haha
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Old 02-03-23, 03:08 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by IBJoel
We will have to find another Andy Lau film for her haha
I recommend everything made before he started selling out to the mainland circa 2006 or so. He has made some decent "Hong Kong" movies since those days, but the 59 production company logos stacked in tiny fonts at the beginning of lot of them tells me where the money generally comes from. Lau is the primary reason I'd watch WEII (at home, even though it's currently playing in the theatre right across the street from me). He can act circles around that one-note walking flag pole Wu Jing.

Originally Posted by DJariya
It's too bad that Jackie Chan isn't getting anymore U.S. projects. His last U.S. movie The Foreigner from 2017 was really good. Instead he's doing mostly crap Mainland China movies. Ride On looks like one of them.
I had similar thoughts after seeing the trailer when you posted it earlier. He knows where his bread is buttered, I suppose, and can do the laziest, stupidest, most infantile and pandering rehashes and, more or less, be guaranteed a windfall. Although I read recently -- somewhere? -- that a couple of his recent pictures fared rather poorly even in China. But look, his fellow Uber-patriot and card-waving CCP member Wu Jing is in it! More reasons why I'm so grateful the makers of EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE didn't use Chan, or couldn't get him, or whatever. I doubt we'll see any decent American/UK pictures from him (including PROJECT XTRACTION), and certainly nothing as surprisingly compelling as THE FOREIGNER.

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Old 02-03-23, 09:37 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Can we leave politics out of this thread please?
Old 02-07-23, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ftsoh
Can we leave politics out of this thread please?
Mainland Chinese cinema can't entirely be discussed without occasionally delving into the politics of it, as we do here. All mainland China cinema is political right now, whether implicit or explicit. And censorship and nationalism is political anywhere, really. China's a different beast compared to the more influential and politically unrestrained Asian film industries that surround it (Korea, Japan). Self-censorship is China's thing, not ours, and I've yet to see political discussion of China cinema here devolve into anything unseemly or inappropriate.

To that end (and because this is also a 'comments and news' thread, as per the title), here's an interesting read from the South China Morning Post, a paper now beholden to China's press restrictions, but which is nonetheless allowed to (constructively, I suppose) spotlight the obvious baked-in flaws that are hobbling the industry:

China’s film industry shows signs of recovery, but ‘excessive optimism is unrealistic’
China’s box office sales topped 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) in January and sales over the Lunar New Year holiday were the second best in histor.y But insiders warn that the film industry faces challenges, including shrinking investment, rigid censorship and scars from the Covid-19 pandemic
Published: 8:00pm, 4 Feb, 2023
https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-e...sm-unrealistic

Text in case of paywall (with boldfacing mine):

For China’s film industry, the surge in ticket sales is a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy outlook.

China’s box office sales topped 10 billion yuan in January and sales during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday were the second best in history.

But insiders warn of a rocky road to recovery after three years of on-again, off-again closures. China’s film industry is beset by shrinking investment, rigid censorship and the pandemic has had a lasting impact on production and cinemas.

“Excessive optimism is unrealistic,” said Liao Xuhua, a senior consumer industry consultant at Analysys, a Chinese consultancy.

“The box office sales will see great performances during the summer and the national day holiday, but it will be very difficult to break records. An explosive box office will be hard to come by, largely due to the brain drain and the lack of creativity.”

Even if consumers adopt a “revenge spending” mentality, years of disruptions mean there is unlikely to be enough films in theatres, according to Xu Chen, an independent film producer based in Beijing and Hangzhou.

“A lot of [film] companies, especially the smaller ones went down, because the companies backing them were broke, and the projects they launched into the market couldn’t attract investment and weren’t profitable either,” he said.

“The direct impact of the bankruptcies is less content creators, and very few films actually get made.”

Box office sales last year were 30 billion yuan, less than half of 2019’s 64 billion yuan, according to the China Film Administration.

The blockbusters screening over the Lunar New Year holiday were mostly made by giant Chinese production companies. The Wandering Earth 2 took 18 months to produce, while Deep Sea, an animated fantasy film, was in production for five years. There were not any independent films in the mix.

China’s increasingly rigid state censorship is among the complaints of industry insiders and it means fewer appealing films are making it to cinemas.

Since 2018-19, all films have had nationalist themes and are loaded with political connotations, which has left less room for creative content, Xu said.

“Only when censorship is loosened can we diversify genres and create more content, and only then can there be investment in films that will later go to theatres and online,” he said, adding censorship is expected to be eased slightly this year.

Investors are reluctant to enter China across the board, and are watching which direction the market will go in the coming months.

“The censorship affects what content can be made, but then you still need money to produce,” Xu said.


“Investors will have seen the box office sales during the Lunar New Year and know that consumers are still willing to spend on films, so they will be more confident.”

Zhou Sida, an analyst in Beijing, said he would often go to the cinema to watch fresh blockbuster films before the pandemic, but the risk of catching Covid-19 or being caught up in strict quarantine mandates put an end to that.

“The quality of the films is also getting worse,” he said, adding more people were watching films via streaming services across the world.

Expectations of a slowing economy mean people are less carefree with their spending too, Zhou said.

The film industry is banking on more government support this year to ease strain.

The city government in Xiamen, Fujian province, announced new incentives on Wednesday to boost local production. Companies that set up bases there, build studios and buy equipment are eligible for cash subsidies of as much as 10 million yuan.

Local companies who produce films in and introduce talent to the city will also receive subsidies worth millions of yuan.

Hangzhou in Zhejiang province also launched a similar scheme last year to incentivise local film production.

William Zhou, a movie buff who has also worked in the film industry, said he had not gone to a cinema once in the past year due to virus fears and lack of good films.

He said the box office boom over Lunar New Year was “revenge spending” – and it would not last.

“Reopening doesn’t equal economic recovery, the pandemic has deeply reshaped the film industry in the past few years – the relationships between players and the industrial chain has changed, [and] the number of cinemas has fallen. A lot of talent has left the industry,” said Zhou, who has recently had conversations with industry workers.

Nonetheless, this year will be a year of transition for China’s film industry.

“People are certain that this year will be better than the last, but whether we will see a return to the prosperity we saw around 2015-18, and whether we will see improved variety are still issues that need to be watched this year,” Zhou said.

“In short, 2023 is a vital year, it will be a barometer to predict the direction of the next five years.”

Last edited by Brian T; 02-07-23 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 02-16-23, 03:35 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Korean movie "Unlocked" airs on Netflix tomorrow (02/17/23).
https://www.netflix.com/title/81640988

Unlocked | Official Trailer | Netflix
Old 02-21-23, 10:58 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I bought a ticket to see PROJECT WOLF HUNTING at TIFF last September but the winding down of some family issues out of town meant missing a few screenings, and this was one of the sacrifices (though I was able to fit in two other Korean action films, HUNT and A MAN OF REASON). I got the Blu-ray at a decent price recently and can confidently say that in a film industry known for its epic bloodletting in horror and crime films, this film is by far the bloodiest one ever, presumably by design. A couple of the writer/director's previous movies were pretty bloody as well (and his METAMORPHOSIS can be had reasonably cheaply at Hamilton Books). The set-up of this one – tough-guy (and girl) cops fighting nasty criminals who've commandeered a cargo ship during an extradition voyage, then the survivors on both sides fighting a century-old experimental super-soldier that awakens in the hold -- is a little complicated, but it does add up, and the writer/director goes to great lengths to confound expectations in terms of the usual cliched character arcs you find in horror shows like this. There are flaws, though: flashbacks explaining the 'wolf hunter' are oddly inserted, and the information they impart would have been far better teased in small doses via the dialogue, with the bigger picture saved for the prequel and sequel that have allegedly been written. Also, the cops seem to suddenly follow procedure at the most inopportune times: they've seen the carnage left behind when the criminals free themselves and gruesomely murder their minders, yet repeatedly point their guns and yell "freeze!" during clean opportunities to wound or take out the most vicious ringleaders. I get that the story requires enough characters remain standing to be fodder for the real villain when it enters the big Mexican stand-off at the one-hour mark, but even after that the cops still seem bound by this 'aim first, don't shoot' rule when doing so would actually not harm the storyline and would add even more juice to an already amped-to-11 movie. These are minor gripes, though, and really, the blood's the thing that seems to get most people talking, or retching, or rolling their eyes: it literally geysers out of every single character that takes a blow or seven, either from each other or the main beast. It reminds me of the long-distance arterial spray from the old LONE WOLF & CUB MOVIES (from 50 years ago, no less!), only richer, darker, and more puddly, and doubled-up by faucets pouring from everyone's noses and mouths (presumably a lot of that was CGI). Heads punched flat, fists and feet through chests, limbs ripped off, all done as realistically as possible but obviously pushing the envelope beyond the limit. I'm curious to see where the followups go, politically-speaking, if they get made, considering the story has roots planted firmly in the both Japan's occupation of Korea as well as it's known history of despicable human experimentation.

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