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

Old 03-06-23, 09:02 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Three furious vigilantes unite to take down a sinister crime syndicate that controls the mean streets of '90s Saigon in this prequel to "Furie."
Old 03-11-23, 12:59 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Old 03-15-23, 09:24 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Sammo Hung won a Lifetime Achievement award as the Asian Film awards in Hong Kong last week.

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Old 03-16-23, 02:41 AM
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Damn. I was so engrossed in that Sammo Hung video that I was unpleasantly surprised when it suddenly ended. I now have to look up the rest of his acceptance speech.
Old 03-16-23, 03:48 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I have a free ticket to see Zhang Yimouís Full River Red later today. Any word on this one? Anyone seen?
Old 03-21-23, 12:45 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

U.S. trailer for Jackie Chan’s Ride On. Will be released in theaters here by Well Go USA April 7th. I think I’m going to skip this one. These mainland China movies that he’s mostly been doing in recent years mostly suck and this one looks pretty bad too.

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Old 03-21-23, 09:44 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
U.S. trailer for Jackie Chanís Ride On. Will be released in theaters here by Well Go USA April 7th. I think Iím going to skip this one. These mainland China movies that heís mostly been doing in recent years mostly suck and this one looks pretty bad too.
Trailer seems similar to the China version posted a while back except more English text. Still pretty cringe-worthy. Meanwhile, Michelle Yeoh's out there making history for Asian representation, freely choosing a range of interesting artistic and commercial projects, and switching between film and TV with ease, winning a real Oscar and not just an honorary one. Interesting study in contrasts between two Hong Kong legends.
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Old 03-22-23, 01:54 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Trailer seems similar to the China version posted a while back except more English text. Still pretty cringe-worthy. Meanwhile, Michelle Yeoh's out there making history for Asian representation, freely choosing a range of interesting artistic and commercial projects, and switching between film and TV with ease, winning a real Oscar and not just an honorary one. Interesting study in contrasts between two Hong Kong legends.

Yeoh got the role in EEAAO because Chan decided, in the end, to give it to her. As for her TV projects (ie. Star Trek: Discovery and The Witcher)Ö yeah.. 😬
Old 03-22-23, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by CristonCole View Post
Yeoh got the role in EEAAO because Chan decided, in the end, to give it to her. As for her TV projects (ie. Star Trek: Discovery and The Witcher)Ö yeah.. 😬
He didn't "give" her the role. He passed.
Old 03-22-23, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
He didn't "give" her the role. He passed.
Glad that was clarified. While I can certainly picture the filmmakers thinking of Chan when they started writing it – perhaps he was still a box-office draw here at that time? – but I strongly doubt it would be the phenomenon it became if he'd starred in it (in another universe, I'm prepared to be proven wrong on that point). His style of 'absurd' -- if one could even call it that -- is like kiddy stuff compared to the Daniels. I suppose it could've worked, but I found it way more surprising and enjoyable to see Yeoh stepping outside of her traditional wheelhouses, rather than Chan making a typically safe lateral move inside of his.

This whole business of the film literally having its two leads fully cast before a complete gender-swapping rewrite feels a bit . . . reverse-engineered for publicity to these eyes. But whatever, it all worked out right in the end.

Truth be told, Yeoh owes very little of her career to Chan -- a strange perception I've noticed in the west -- outside of that original watch commercial, and probably most of it to Sammo Hung, John Shum, and of course Dickson Poon (whom she eventually married, for a time).


Originally Posted by CristonCole View Post
As for her TV projects (ie. Star Trek: Discovery and The Witcher)… yeah.. 😬
I'm not a big TREK expert, but I saw her on a few episodes here and there and thought she we excellent in it. And THE WITCHER seems to be fairly well-received show. What am I missing there? And what about MARCO POLO? She wasn't bad in the bits of that that I've seen. I know she was also on several episodes of STRIKE BACK, but admittedly I never watched that. But it all bolsters my point that she took on a broader range of roles than Chan, who nearly always has to be the lead, the good guy, patriotic to the CCP, etc.. Yeoh was a bonafide movie star who wasn't afraid to take supporting roles in films and appear in episodic television even a little before it became all the rage for even bigger names than her. Much as I'm glad Chan's career exists -- especially his golden era -- he's kind of a one-trick pony compared to her. And once the next three AVATAR movies are released, her lifetime global box-office tally might actually blow his out of the water. As has been mentioned here by others a few times, only THE FOREIGNER showed a possible new direction for Chan to take as a 'serious' actor, but based on most of what he's done in China since then, it seems he knew where his bread was buttered.

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Old 03-22-23, 05:49 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
Truth be told, Yeoh owes very little of her career to Chan -- a strange perception I've noticed in the west -- outside of that original watch commercial, and probably most of it to Sammo Hung, John Shum, and of course Dickson Poon (whom she eventually married, for a time).
As I recall, it was the wide release of Chan and Yeoh's team-up, SUPERCOP, in the U.S. in the summer of 1996 that got Yeoh the role in her first Hollywood movie, TOMORROW NEVER DIES (1997), which first brought her to the attention of critics, producers, casting directors and general movie fans in the U.S. outside of the Hong Kong movie cult. (I first saw her in SUPERCOP when it aired at a Hong Kong film festival in NYC in late 1993.) Although, it's possible her casting was announced in the Bond movie which then prompted the release of SUPERCOP. But I remember her casting being announced after the SUPERCOP release. I'm not sure how to confirm it one way or the other. It's probably in one of the several books I have about Hong Kong films. When I get a chance I'll look it up. When she made SUPERCOP, (aka POLICE STORY III: SUPERCOP, 1992), she hadn't made a movie since 1987, so the Chan movie revived her Hong Kong career and brought her back to the public's and the HK film industry's attention. So it's a fair perception.

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Old 03-22-23, 08:19 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

No need to look it up as I probably have a lot of the same books. I'll concede that the perception has merit because of SUPERCOP (which was indeed released over here four years after it was released in Asia, and after Yeoh had done about 10 more HK pictures, including many equally showcase roles). But regardless of how small the Hong Kong movie cult was at the time, she was an established lead in Asia before her marriage. And that portion had way more to do with the D&B guys than it did Chan. Personally, I've long believed that if she'd never made SUPERCOP but still wanted to stage a 'comeback' in 1992, she might still have arrived at this point anyway, albeit via different movies, perhaps. Clearly her long-term game was to get into the US market just like Chan, but she took precautions to make sure she remained prominent here. Where Chan broke through big (when he finally broke through) and then kinda frittered away the goodwill in in increasingly bad movies in the US, Yeoh started smaller in key supporting roles (even Bond, really) and just played her cards right. If anything, I'll stand by my appended assertion that she owes her overall career as much to herself and her resiliency as to anyone else. Chan's little "reminder" that they came to him first just irked me. Considering the Daniels' raving about how much better the screenplay became when they gender-swapped it, they should probably consider themselves lucky they weren't stuck with Chan. While I'm sure his Mainland Chinese movies make bazillions of dollars there because the government facilitates it, I'm skeptical that we'll see him in any runaway smash American movies again (unless RUSH HOUR 4 really happens, but is anyone really screaming for that?), and certainly not anything that sweeps the Oscars and advances Asian-American representation at the same time.

Without Jackie, she'd still have been something!
Old 03-22-23, 08:45 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I'll agree that if SUPERCOP hadn't happened, her career in the west would have taken off eventually in another film on a slightly different timeline.

David Bordwell in his book Planet Hong Kong says that John Woo's producer Terence Chang managed Yeoh's career and "eased her into" the Bond film. There might be an interesting story behind that process.
Old 03-22-23, 09:19 PM
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I think the stateside release of Rumble in the Bronx turned him into star here. New Line released that and also acquired some of the overseas catalog. Dimension films (Miramax/Weinsteins) acquired some for their own label but they would edit the shit out of them, making them almost incoherent, as well. It'd be commonplace for there to be two previously (overseas) released Jackie Chan films in theaters in one year. I was in school when all the kids came in on Monday raving about Rumble in the Bronx in theaters. I had to wait until the LD was released to catch it at home. I think Criterion released their own LD of Supercop.
Old 03-22-23, 10:37 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I'll agree that if SUPERCOP hadn't happened, her career in the west would have taken off eventually in another film on a slightly different timeline.

David Bordwell in his book Planet Hong Kong says that John Woo's producer Terence Chang managed Yeoh's career and "eased her into" the Bond film. There might be an interesting story behind that process.
Interesting. I was actually thinking about Bordwell when I responded earlier that I probably had a lot of the same books! Not that I figured it had anything like that in it, but I was probably just assuming he was more likely to have something along those lines. Still one of the better books on HK cinema. And if true, then Chang is yet another name that can be added to the list of those who helped get her to where she is. But yeah, after that strong initial push by the D&B guys, her subsequent bumps toward the US and global markets would likely have happened regardless of who opened which doors. There was just something about her (many things, I suppose) that all but guaranteed she'd have a better shot at an international career than most other Hong Kong actresses. The only other one that could have -- and should have -- had as much long-term success as Yeoh was Maggie Cheung. She appeared in way more Hong Kong movies than Yeoh, including many that were more artistic and challenging productions than Yeoh's, both there and abroad (with Assayas), and her English were similarly faultless. But clearly she'd had enough at some point, bowed out gracefully and stayed put. Part of me secretly wishes Yeoh's success, and what it has meant for representation, might compel Maggie to stage a comeback. Even pushing 60, she's aged every bit as gracefully as Yeoh. The web sez this is her around 2019-2020 on some mainland TV show:
Spoiler:









Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
I think the stateside release of Rumble in the Bronx turned him into star here. New Line released that and also acquired some of the overseas catalog. Dimension films (Miramax/Weinsteins) acquired some for their own label but they would edit the shit out of them, making them almost incoherent, as well. It'd be commonplace for there to be two previously (overseas) released Jackie Chan films in theaters in one year. I was in school when all the kids came in on Monday raving about Rumble in the Bronx in theaters. I had to wait until the LD was released to catch it at home. I think Criterion released their own LD of Supercop.
I had that LD, too. I had seen PS3 prior to that on an uncut VCD, presumably from Hong Kong, and to see Criterion putting out the shorter, rescored Weinstein version was such a disappointment, even with the deleted scenes as supplements (I'm sure they had to take what they could get back then, and likewise wanted to capitalize on knowledge of Yeoh in the Bond film). Wasn't there some rumour at the time that Chan wanted those scenes cut because he didn't like showing drug use in his movies or some shit. Or maybe Dimension did it because they thought it would tarnish his image in the west? Either way, stupid, and it only took, what, 12 years or so to rectify the problem once (Dragon Dynasty's edition) and another 13 years or so for Eureka and 88 Films to really treat it right? Mind you, my 88 Films pre-order ship date has shifted many times, so . . .

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Old 03-22-23, 11:30 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

The following year in 1997 I watched First Strike and Operation Condor in theaters. First Strike played in a big auditorium Operation Condor played in a small theater. I could tell by this point that something was up. If it wasn't for original films like Rush Hour or Shanghai Noon Chan would have gone downhill fast.

On a tangent, I'm so glad Warner Archive put out the restored version of Drunken Master II on BD. I remember Miramax chopping it up and calling it something like Legend of the Drunken Master with some lame Jackie Chan cover art. When I was younger I had VHS dub from the Hong Kong pressed LD. I think it's still his best film and everyone goes wild when they watch the fights - they're still unreal to this day.
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Old 03-22-23, 11:55 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Michelle Yeoh played the villain in the 4th (U.S.) season of Strike Back. That season aired back in 2015. It was a nice departure for her as an actor. Unfortunately, the show only aired on Cinemax in the U.S. and is not easily accessible here in the States unless you have the BD set or have Cinemax on demand. So I don't think many in this country saw it sadly.
Old 03-23-23, 09:36 AM
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Fair enough , but it still stands as a respectable piece of a very diverse, highly self-actualized career (which is sort of my position here), and a more diverse one than her alleged mentor Chan ever achieved, and which I've argued would most likely have happened even if she'd never made SUPERCOP with him (thus 'owing' him little). His international profile was easily bigger, earlier, and his place in film history is assured, but as much as I love his HK work and (generally) dislike his Mainland work, I think Yeoh has made far more satisfying career choices in a wider range of genres and mediums. I'm also kind of glad she survived into this era where top "film actors" regularly bounce between episodic television, streamed limited series and movies, borderline DTV stuff (BOSS LEVEL comes to mind), and theatrical feature films, without fear of their perception as being 'one or the other' being impacted, unlike in most previous decades when "movie stars" rarely stooped to television unless their big screen days were over. Chan has always seemed to remain resolutely rooted in that era, where it's feature films or nothing, and many of his features have grown more insubstantial and forgettable as a result. He's the kind of performer who would probably be better off transitioning to long-form miniseries and whatnot on Netflix China (or whatever they have there), instead of continuing to cling to some fading 'king of the box-office' glory. Actually, regarding that, I probably should correct my earlier comment about the CCP ensuring his movies make bazillions of dollars; turns out all of his post-2017 and post-FOREIGNER Mainland China movies -- VANGUARD, GOOD NIGHT BEIJING, KNIGHT OF SHADOWS, NAMIYA, BLEEDING STEEL, and both of those mediocre VIY pictures -- have struggled to make $50 million globally, most topping out at considerably less than that. It's nothing to sneeze at, I suppose, but considering most 'premium' Chinese propaganda these days routinely top half-a-billion or more just in China alone, it's telling. Most of his movies prior to 2017 made between $100M and over $200M globally (most of that in China), so clearly he's been on the wane longer than I realized.

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Old 03-23-23, 09:54 AM
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One of the books I consulted was Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions, by Stephen Teo, which I'd always considered the go-to book for HK cinema history. Imagine my surprise when I found his two-page writeup on SUPERCOP and realized he never mentions Michelle Yeoh at all. And when I checked the index, she wasn't there. Not even under her earlier name, Michelle Khan. What an omission!



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Old 03-23-23, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
One of the books I consulted was Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions, by Stephen Teo, which I'd always considered the go-to book for HK cinema history. Imagine my surprise when I found his two-page writeup on SUPERCOP and realized he never mentions Michelle Yeoh at all. And when I checked the index, she wasn't there. Not even under her earlier name, Michelle Khan. What an omission!
Insanely dumb he wouldn't mention the co-lead of a film at all in two pages. I'm guessing he thought she was just the "girl of the week" in a Jackie Chan movie, despite her action sequences, more prominent role, et cetera. Reminds me of a clip Letterman's YouTube channel posted last night: "The Christmas special airs Sunday... Oh, this is a series?" While interviewing Matt Groening about the Simpsons. A bit more forgiveable in Letterman's case, though.
Old 03-23-23, 10:04 AM
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Wow. Interesting oversight in a book I likewise consider essential, even now. I've long wished Teo would contribute to more of these spiffy new Blu-ray editions, either via commentaries or interviews, but the most I think I've seen so far is an partly-repurposed (though excellent) essay in Eureka's TIME AND TIDE limited edition booklet.

Does Teo mention his other (semi-) co-star Maggie? I'm pretty sure she's elsewhere in the book because of her broader HK career, but it would be curious if he left both of them off the SUPERCOP entry.
Old 03-23-23, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Wow. Interesting oversight in a book I likewise consider essential, even now. I've long wished Teo would contribute to more of these spiffy new Blu-ray editions, either via commentaries or interviews, but the most I think I've seen so far is an partly-repurposed (though excellent) essay in Eureka's TIME AND TIDE limited edition booklet.

Does Teo mention his other (semi-) co-star Maggie? I'm pretty sure she's elsewhere in the book because of her broader HK career, but it would be curious if he left both of them off the SUPERCOP entry.
Maggie gets eight mentions in the book, including for POLICE STORY II, but not for SUPERCOP.
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Old 03-23-23, 11:05 AM
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Curioser and curioser. I mean, I can see Maggie getting more mentions than Michelle on sheer quantity of films alone -- and as I recall, Stephen Teo does tend to cover more of the kinds of movies that an actress like Maggie might have appeared in -- but to leave Michelle out wholesale is strange.
Old 03-23-23, 12:15 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post

On a tangent, I'm so glad Warner Archive put out the restored version of Drunken Master II on BD. I remember Miramax chopping it up and calling it something like Legend of the Drunken Master with some lame Jackie Chan cover art. When I was younger I had VHS dub from the Hong Kong pressed LD. I think it's still his best film and everyone goes wild when they watch the fights - they're still unreal to this day.
The Miramax version of Drunken Master II was completely uncut except for the removal of the bizarre and tasteless ending of the original. It also has a new score, and while it isn't great, the original isn't particularly amazing either. I actually kind of like the dub.

I still remember seeing it in the theater in 2000. It was the last of his old Hong Kong movies to get a theatrical release in the US. My enthusiasm for Jackie had waned a bit in the years since Rumble in the Bronx, but DM2 blew me away and basically (along with John Woo's catalog, which I caught up with when DVD got rolling) cemented my love of Hong Kong movies for life.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:05 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

U.S. trailer for Donnie Yen’s new movie Sakra.


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