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

Old 07-05-23, 08:54 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Yeah that was surprising news about Coco Lee. I know she tried a career in the U.S. market but it didn’t quite work out. Just shows you don’t know what someone who may look happy and full of life is going through.
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Old 07-05-23, 09:00 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum

P.S. The article says she did the voice of Mulan in the Mandarin-language dub of the Disney movie of that name, but it doesn't say which version it was, the 1998 animated film or the 2020 live-action one.

It was the animated movie.
Old 07-05-23, 09:11 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Yeah, they could have been more clear about the Mulan connection. I recall her being involved in the 1998 version, but I keep thinking it was more song-related than voice dubbing, but according to IMDb she was involved with both versions.

I remember picking up a couple of her albums in Chinatown back around the time of CROUCHING TIGER, and was quite pleased that one of them was in Cantonese. I didn’t mind HK performers doing Mandarin albums back then – after all, the Taiwanese market was probably as lucrative as the Mainland market at the turn of the century – but then as now I much preferred the sound of “Chinese” movies to match the language in most of the “Chinese” movies I watched, especially when it often came from the mouths of the same performers who starred in so many of those films. As you note, for a lot of singers, Coco Lee included, catering/caving to the mainland market full time, while lucrative no doubt (well, before the benevolent CCP declared that a no-no like everything else), had a tendency to take people off the radar of the world at large. I hoped at the time that her doing the CROUCHING song in English (as well as Mandarin) might prove groundbreaking for Asian representation in the west, but it was barely a baby step.

She also performed a song on the CROUCHING TIGER 2 soundtrack, but the less said about that movie the better.
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Old 07-06-23, 07:34 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Has anyone seen Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985) ?



I see Criterion is releasing a BD next month. I'm a fan of Wayne Wang's work. Just wondering so maybe I might get it down the road.
Old 07-07-23, 06:26 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

New York Times obit for Coco Lee:
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/05/a...-lee-dead.html
It makes clear which version of MULAN she was involved with:
She voiced the lead character in the Mandarin version of the 1998 animated Disney film “Mulan,” set in imperial China, and sang its theme song, “Reflection.”
Old 07-07-23, 05:15 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

And she re-performed ‘Reflection’ for the 2020 version (as did Christina Aguilera, although I don’t think her ‘98 version was in that film, and was released separately). At least the Times’ obit writer was a little better with the details, but still.
Old 07-11-23, 06:42 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

GODZILLA MINUS ONE in North American theaters on December 1 (Japan: November 3)

Written and directed by: Takashi Yamazaki



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Old 07-11-23, 08:29 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Hell yes, looks amazing.
Old 07-11-23, 11:03 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Yeah, that looks great.
Old 07-13-23, 06:18 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

This has made a bunch of money in China and now is starting to play in the US.

Is he crazy? 🔪
Or is she crazy? 🩸
The first half is thrilling to the point of breathlessness🔥
The second half strikes right at the heart💔
Do you want to know the truth?
Come to the cinema and unravel the mystery with us🔍

🇦🇺Australia: July 6th
🇺🇸🇨🇦United States & Canada: July 7th
🇳🇿New Zealand: July 13th
Old 07-14-23, 04:39 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by WTK
GODZILLA MINUS ONE in North American theaters on December 1 (Japan: November 3)

Written and directed by: Takashi Yamazaki
Yamazaki is a fantastic choice for this. So much so that I’m surprised it took this many years for him to be handed the reigns. He made a number of the better love-action Japanese genre pictures of this century: JUVENILE (2000), RETURNER (2002), SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO (2010), and PARASITE (2014), few of which made it to North America even in the DVD heyday, sadly. He made some so-so stuff in that time as well, but his nostalgia-drenched, big-budget ALWAYS: SUNSET ON THIRD STREET trilogy (2005, 2007, 2012) is essential viewing. The second film opens with a fantasy sequence that left many critics and viewers wondering when he’d be given a shot at Godzilla :


The ALWAYS films also proved his strength with compelling human drama and family dynamics. I hope he’s able to bring some of that to this new GODZILLA picture, instead of the laborious talking (and talking, and talking) bureaucrats of SHIN GODZILLA. And no more googly eyes.

Last edited by Brian T; 07-14-23 at 04:47 PM.
Old 07-19-23, 03:46 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by dex14
This has made a bunch of money in China and now is starting to play in the US.

https://youtu.be/smm6mo-VgjA

I caught a showing of this. As the trailer suggested, "Lost in the Stars" uses a familiar mystery plot that some may remember from the classic 1976 TV movie "One of My Wives is Missing," starring James Franciscus and Jack Klugman (which was itself a variation on the 1958 British movie "Cast a Crooked Shadow" and the 1960 French stage play "Trap For a Lonely Man"). Basically, the story revolves around He Fei, who goes to the police in desperation to report that his wife has been missing for days. One morning he wakes up to find himself in bed next to a woman who claims to be his "missing" wife. He Fei is adamant that the woman is an impostor whom he has never met before, but all evidence on hand (photos, videos, eyewitnesses) suggests that she is telling the truth. Is He Fei losing his mind or the victim of an intricate conspiracy?

Despite knowing exactly where the plot was headed, I had some fun with this movie. It's stylishly directed with a solid cast (lead actor Zhu Yilong slightly resembles a young Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and some offbeat moments. Unfortunately, the running time has too much padding, with the obligatory car chase sequence thrown in to little effect, and a load of lengthy flashbacks to fill us in on missing story details. Overall it's a mildly engaging suspense thriller with a clever twist for those unfamiliar with earlier incarnations of the same story.



.

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Old 07-21-23, 11:45 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Bad City trailer. Released at Comic Con this weekend.. Looks pretty badass. Will be on digital August 1st. Shame no theatrical release.



BAD CITY: Watch on Digital August 1, 2023 | Long plagued by poverty and crime, Kaiko City has been torn apart by rampant corruption and growing violence between the local Yakuza faction and a notorious Korean crime boss. But when a mafia-connected businessman runs for mayor and begins systematically eliminating his opponents, a former police captain imprisoned for a brutal murder is released in a final desperate effort to reclaim the city.

Old 07-22-23, 12:53 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Looks intriguing, but I can kinda see why they wouldn’t take a chance with a theatrical run for it. Despite several faces that might be very familiar to fans of Japan’s prolific DTV genre films in the 90’s — particularly leading man Hitoshi Ozawa who was in, like, a million of them, I think the somewhat mixed reaction to director Kensuke Sonomura‘s previous film HYDRA, despite a few early raves from typically over-zealous ‘action’ website reviewers, probably suggested to the folks at Wellgo that this might be better debuted on streaming. HYDRA had, if I recall correctly, two knockout fight sequences, especially the climactic one, but a lot of the stuff in between was really dull and far more predictable than the filmmakers evidently realized. I noticed “Ozawa” is also listed in the credit block as producer and writer for BAD CITY, so hopefully his lengthy experience on so many of its predecessors will give this a bit more pep.

Last edited by Brian T; 07-22-23 at 12:59 AM.
Old 08-04-23, 11:15 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by L Everett Scott
I had been meaning to catch up with this for a while, and I finally managed to work it into the schedule...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Onmgwe5xi8

Chocolate really reminded me of a video game where your character has to defeat a whole bunch of NPCs, take out the boss at the end to clear the level, and then collect your reward. Then you get to do it all over again on the next level...and the next, etc.

This film doesn't short change fans who show up wanting fights. The dramatic scenes in this movie feel like they were shot just so the actors and stunt team could take breaks. I don't have anything against movies with wall-to-wall action (I love The Raid, quite enjoyed Ong Bak, and have no issues watching The Martial Arts of Shaolin over and over), but I would like them to be varied.

With this movie, Zen (Jeeja Vismitananda) goes to a business owned by a bad guy who owes money to her mother, thrashes a dozen henchmen, 'persuades' the boss to pay his debt, and then repeats this cycle. The environments--ice factory, warehouse, and meat market--don't feel terribly different. They all have (or are) open areas with things you can climb on to and have items like chains, hooks, and cleavers lying around that can be used as weapons.

The faceless goons who fight Zen score hits about a third of the time (which is very respectable if they're playing in the Major Leagues) and have a tendency to lean in to her or stand still without blocking. That's very gentlemanly of those thugs, allowing the heroine to knock them down like that, but it's distracting and makes the fights seem unpolished. The fact that the henchmen constantly give Zen free shots adds to the lather-rinse-repeat pattern of the fights which really reduced my enjoyment of them.

Thankfully, the big finale changes things up somewhat by throwing in fighters who can keep going after taking a few punches and kicks (apparently, they brought in actual Muay Thai champions). Also, the environment felt different with the fight starting inside a Japanese restaurant, making its way to the roof, and then winding up on those giant protruding signs that are still popular in parts of the Far East.

It's in the climactic battle that Zen has to face Thomas (Kittitat Kowahagul), an odd character who has some sort of medical condition that makes him move jerkily and unpredictably. Her one on one against this fighter is the most engaging in the whole movie because Thomas doesn't fight like anyone else (it's what b-boying looks like when used in combat) and actually poses a challenge for Zen. It's a shame that their fight is so short.

Chocolate was Jeeja Vismitananda's first movie, so my guess is the action choreography had to take into account her lack of experience with stunts and movie fights. AFAIK Vismitananda was very accomplished in taekwondo going into this film but didn't have the extensive experience of someone like Tony Jaa who was a stuntman for almost 15 years before making Ong Bak.

Chocolate will likely satisfy most cravings for martial arts action, but I'd be surprised if anybody were to put it in their top ten of all-time.
Always loved this movie and was glad to see Accented Cinema discussing it, as well as star Jeeja Yanin.

Old 08-08-23, 12:11 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Interesting video. I never bought into the whole ‘next Tony Jaa’ thing with Jeeja. That always felt like a western invention of some studio marketing sluggo or website reviewer. I mean, I got the connection of the filmmakers to Jaa’s work, but frankly, at the time, a lot of Thai stuff — some of it older — was suddenly “hot” over here and Tony Jaa’s name was invoked as much as possible on nearly all of it, even when he had no association. Nothing new there, I guess. Gotta move units, even if a lot of them can be found in thrift shops now. Still, CHOCOLATE was, and still is, one of the best Thai action films, and it had a hook in the lead character’s autism — plus the fact that virtually all of her fights are rooted in the endless movies she watched and little actual training — that separated it from an increasingly cookie-cutter pack. One big reason Yanin didn’t really become the next anything — despite still being active to this day — was that very nature of the industry. After CHOCOLATE, she was stuck in a run of ok-but-kinda-middling cookie-cutter films, often heavy with very localized humour: RAGING PHOENIX, THIS GIRL IS BADASS, THE KICK, even PROTECTOR 2 with Jaa, and the misbegotten Chinese picture EUROPE RAIDERS. All of these except the last one were directed or produced by Pracha Pinkaew, too, which led to the impression that he might have had more power in the industry than he was worth just because a couple of truly great films gained traction in the west. Otherwise, there’s memorable in the bunch I listed, and she’s been out of circulation since 2019. CHOCOLATE remains her highest rated film on IMDb. Jaa was savvy enough to get outside representation to capitalize on his early Thai successes and appear in American films and China/HK films, but even his projects are pretty hit ‘n miss (JIUJITSU, anyone?). Curious to see how big his role is in EXPENDABLES 4, but won’t hold my breath.

Last edited by Brian T; 08-08-23 at 12:16 AM.
Old 08-08-23, 12:34 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Is anyone planning to see the 50th anniversary showings of Enter the Dragon via Fathom Events?

https://www.fathomevents.com/events/...th-Anniversary

There are showings on the 13th and 16th. I read it’s the new 4K restoration.

I know it’s on Max and I also own the BD. But I’m strongly considering seeing it in the theatre since it came out the year I was born and never had the chance to do so growing up.
Old 08-08-23, 05:05 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

If it were WB actually re-releasing it... sure. But Fathom Events "broadcasts" generally suck in presentation and you'd be better off putting your money towards the 4K disc.
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Old 08-10-23, 06:43 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

The Enter the Dragon 50th showing is completely sold out at a pretty big Regal Long Beach 20 near where I live.

AMC near me has it, but it's $18. Yikes, that's a pass.

There is a bargain $5 showing at a Starlight theater near me. I saw Oppenheimer there again last week. Screen isn't great, but for $5, I might go for it.

Last edited by DJariya; 08-11-23 at 01:30 PM.
Old 08-12-23, 11:00 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Got my $5 ticket for Enter the Dragon tomorrow. Even though I already own it on multiple physical media BD discs, I am a little excited to actually see it on the big screen. And for $5 why not?

It's supposed to be the newly remastered 4K print. So we'll see how it looks tomorrow.
Old 08-12-23, 11:06 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by DJariya
It's supposed to be the newly remastered 4K print. So we'll see how it looks tomorrow.
Should look good.

Old 08-13-23, 12:48 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Apologies if this has been mentioned but NEON is re-releasing Oldboy (2003) in theaters next week with a 4K restoration/remaster.

You can find out if your local theater is screening it at this link:

https://oldboy.film/buy-tickets
Old 08-13-23, 09:02 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I just got back from the Enter the Dragon 50th anniversary showing. 1st time I've ever seen it on the big screen and it looked and sounded good. These Fathom events showing are normally pretty pricey at $15 or more. Luckily I caught a $5 discount matinee before 6pm as I mentioned before. So it was so worth it.

There was a 5 minute new introduction from Leonard Maltin, specifically recorded for this, that talks about the anniversary and a little background on the movie. If you're interested in catching it, it's playing one more time on Wednesday.

I'm going to pass on the new WB 4K disc. I bought the $4.99 4K copy from iTunes and I already have it on BD with the 40th anniversary edition and Criterion, so I'm good with this movie.
Old 08-16-23, 04:20 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread



Mad Fate (Hong Kong) (2023)

Finally caught a showing of this recent Milkway Films release and gotta say that, overall, it packs quite a wallop. Directed by Soi Cheang, who is at his best when creating dark, gritty, offbeat thrillers like The Monster (aka Home Sweet Home) (2005), Accident ( 2009), and the grisly modern noir flick, Limbo (2021). Like Limbo, Mad Fate deals with a serial killer preying on young women (in this case, prostitutes). But this aspect of the movie takes a backseat to the main story involving a fortune teller known as "The Master" (Gordon Lam Ka-Tung) who has the ability to foretell a person's fate and the belief that he can alter their destiny through various magic charms and unorthodox methods. In the beginning of the movie he attempts to temporarily bury a woman alive in order to help her avert what he foresees as a tragic ending to her life, only to have the ceremony interrupted by a rainstorm.

The woman angrily returns to her apartment, only to be met by the serial killer, who proceeds to make her his next victim. As "fate" would have it, Master shows up at the woman's door at the same time as a food delivery guy named Siu Tung (Lokman Yung) who has arrived at the wrong flat. The panicked killer hurriedly finishes off his prey and then blows by the two men before escaping from police pursuit. While Master is shocked by the horrific murder scene, Siu Tung seems fascinated by the woman's mutilated body and even giddily rubs his shoes in her pool of blood.

As it turns out, Siu Tung is a severely disturbed young man who was once arrested for extreme animal cruelty and is responsible for callously disfiguring his sister's face. Master convinces Siu Tung to let him do a reading of his future, wherein he foresees a dire path in which Siu Tung commits a murder and spends 20 years in prison. Desperate to escape from his destiny, Siu Tung enlists the aid of Master. But Master has his own skeletons in his closet. His parents both succumbed to insanity and Master is deathly afraid that the same fate will befall him. His fear once led to him abruptly leave a woman whom he loved. She later committed suicide, a tragedy that continues to haunt him. Now teetering on the edge of madness, Master is determined to help Siu Tung contain his murderous impulses, but does this oddball duo have any real chance at defeating "fate"?

Co-scripted by longtime Milkway writer Yau Nai-hoi (The Mission, PTU, Election), Mad Fate has similarities storywise to previous Milkway productions like Mad Detective and Running on Karma. But even by Milkway's lofty standards, this is an uncomfortably dark and brutal movie, although less overwhelmingly gloomy than Limbo. The relationship between Master and Siu Tung forges the bulk of the storyline and makes this as much of a character study as it is a straight-ahead thriller. But the plot offers up its share of twist and turns and the clever script continually keeps you guessing as to where things are headed. And though there are silly and ridiculous moments, the movie manages to right itself just when you think it's about to run off the rails, culminating in a finale that wraps things up in an emotionally satisfying manner.

Playing a character far removed from his sullen, vengeful cop in Limbo, Gordon Lam is outstanding as the seer who is torn between protecting his sanity and risking it all to help others. His broad but intense performance is actually more impressive than Lau Ching-wan's award winning turn as the demented ex-officer in last year's Detective vs Sleuths. Lokman Yeung, a member of the boy band Mirror, is almost equally good as the budding psychopath Siu Tung. The rapport between these two actors and their commitment to portray such unhinged characters carries you through the film's slower passages and provides for an unlikely rooting interest.

Mad Fate is definitely not for everyone as it delves into extremely dark places without flinching while maintaining a weirdly off-kilter tone that straddles the fine line between serious drama and goofy dark comedy. Soi Cheang gives the movie style and energy to burn in what is hopefully a foretelling of future things to come from this rather inconsistent but clearly very talented filmmaker.
Old 08-21-23, 11:26 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I finally got a chance to see Neon Rated's 4K restoration of Oldboy (2003) in theaters on Sunday.

Absolutely wonderful experience.

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