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What ELSE (other than KUNG FU) has everyone been watching?


Guest kenichiku

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Guest Ivy Ling Po

Chin Han stars in whodunit with Fanny Fan, Tina Ti and Margaret Tu Chuan, all sexy stars. However only Fanny Fan bares all in her swan song. Margaret Tu Chuan committed suicide the same year this movie was shot with her lesbian lover. Sad to watch her in her final movie and to see how far she has fallen from being a major star.

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Guest gorlank

Just finished watching Mad Monk. It certainly wasn't vintage Stephen Chow, kinda disappointing as a whole but certainly not as bad as Flirting Scholar. Ng Man Tat has a couple of funny scenes.

I hate Maggie Cheung so wasn't too impressed with her. She's supposed to be a "beauty" but I find her utterly plain and leaning towards ugly. Yeesh.

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Guest kenichiku

Shaws? Not much this time just reruns:

‘Five Venoms’ (Region 3) – Second time in a year; it's structurally brilliant!…a thinking man’s Kung Fu film that proved Chang Cheh wasn’t ready for pasture just yet. The release was just what the doctor ordered except for the clueless Celestial English subtitling that neutered it of its cult mystique that you can rewitness dubbed. I’m a huge proponent of films released in original language but it was crack original wordsmithing by somebody in HK from the previous generation who’s just plain ‘Def’ with their command of pop English AND big USA/European based fan affection that made this film to what it is today! Okay, so ‘Venoms House’ has a cool Gen X ring to it comparable to ‘Venoms Clan’ but ‘a thousand hands’ is the Chinese colloquial for ‘centipede’ but why bother with telling us in English literally other than to self-declare the subtitler clever when all of the other Venom animal symbols are what they are? Why didn’t they follow suit to translate ‘Toad’ as ‘crop-field chicken’ then?…and where’s the patented ‘Venoms rock the world’ line? ‘Venoms stone the world' just doesn’t cut it huh? I didn't think so. That milquetoast Celestial employee is just plain four-corners square, Man! Frustrating, needs Region 1 intervention with a hip Sino-saavy crew (drug-use & goatees optional) to restore the subtitling, and fast!

The Deadly Duo (German VHS) – underrated for sure; I avoided the tampered DVD from the kind tips here but restate that this is a great DC Ti Lung era flick! They threw in the kitchen sink as far as HK martial arts staff at the time with Chen Sing, Bolo Yang, Wang Chung, Ku Feng, LKW, Bruce Tong, Yu Lung, Philip Ko and toss in some Korean testosterone in Kim Chi Ju & Jin Bong Jin to round out an all-male cast. Wall to wall action. Appealing, especially for those foraging around for homoerotic subtext as they can look no further and view their Chang Cheh ultra-male archetype like they would the exaagerated art with arrow piercing (I said arrow, not narrow) Caravaggio imagery by way of Derek Jarman. Where else you going get a bunch of guys ‘imbedded’ with cold steel?

Usurpers of the Emperor’s Power (VHS) – My word! A Shaw film depicting political cynicism? Appropriately more cynical than ever now. Some great imagery. A despot's violation of a damsel in the air with a standby artist rendering it all in real-time and the rise to power ending is unforgettable. An okay film that I think I’ll like it better remastered but I warn you Celestial telecine operators: Undercrank the fights to simulate speed from your last viewing of Star Wars but do yourselves a favor and leave the raft on the lake fight with the zoom of waves & ripples in their natural state please! Your predecessors paid no attention and it just plain stinks; It plays out in rather poor form!

Six Assassins (VHS) – A hidden Cheng Chang Ho masterpiece with those tough Robert Aldrich-type touches; it’s cruel and mean streaked that admittedly only a Korean eye and sensibility can articulate IMO. A fantastic film whose title gives a playful one-ups-man-ship jab against the competition whose wordplay and self-righteous nobility of ‘The Assassin’ in both Chinese and English is multiplied by six and with impact of equal proof potency. The six are Ling Yun, Lily Li, James Nankung, Yu Lung, Tsai No and 3 unnamed others of Chinese or Korean lineage whose stares could pierce the screen. I mean, that’s half a Dirty Dozen and they're just as deadly. I can’t stress this enough as I know many of you would agree after seeing this. Interestingly, after 25 years, I must conclude that this video version has added soundtrack injected as witnessed by Fang Mien’s death scene where I vividly recall a dewy rain drizzle with a breezy Korean forest locations in the background. It used to play quite poetically but not here! The loud and dramatic score just wasn’t part of the mix before! Love him to death but the original theatrical cut was scored by someone on Cheng’s payroll and much more appropriately quiet and brooding without the canned Wang Fu Ling’s Chinese-y opera score. This isn’t the genteel ‘Temple of the Red Lotus’ Man, it’s meant to be mean!

Openly admit that non-Shaws material have dominated my viewing lately:

‘Motorcycle Diaries’ (DVD) – Recalls my best moments with people trekking south of the border

‘36 ‘Quai des Orfèvres’ (on a tiny 5†reclined in-flight screen) – Auteil, Depardieau & Italian beauty Golina, surprisingly tough little French policier in the 70s vein.

Phil Kaufman’s ‘White Dawn’ (DVD) – A Caribe Louie Gossett Jr, touchy feely Tim Bottoms & salty Warren Oates as the fish out of frozen water. Just plain brilliant.

‘Layer Cake’ (Spring Fest. screening, theatrical) – Better show 2nd time around (not a Guy Ritchie-type of fan ya see). Wasn’t paying attention 1st time with Craig & Vaughn present at screening but misplaced my futile anticipation for a Mrs. Vaughn appearance (supermodels tend to do that for me). Oh sorry, Craig’s not Bond material IMO in person anyway.

‘Central Station’ (DVD) – Salles deserved an encore! Wong Kar Wai came close once but Salles taps into the essence of South America like none else can.

‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ (DVD), haven’t had an Ursula fix for about a decade; Boy was she a work of art! But hey, I thought it was about humans eating humans…beware there's some real graphic animal cruelty.

‘Protégé de la rose noire’ (DVD) – Hard Boiled’s lovely Teresa Mo is fantastically kooky as Mortica Adams, cabbie Ekin not doing much as Robin, a bitchy Faith Woo getting spanked w/Donnie Yen choreo-ing. Okay, what else do you watch when you’re doin’ laundry? Besides, canuck cutie Charlene always seem to get my time.

‘La Notte’ (DVD) – with heavyweights Mastroianni & Moreau in somber mode but it was Italo-babe Monica Vitti who stole the show for me with the mental menage-a-trois interplay for her Freudian remark ‘you two wore me out’. An alienating bourgeoise experience everytime I see it…love it.

Todd William’s ‘The Door in the Floor’ (DVD) – Bridges, Basinger; surprisingly frank & sexual but with John Irving’s prosaically cruel flourishes. This film came & went. Was this suppressed like a Carl Rove campaign or are audiences just too plain prudish now? Perhaps can be seen as too provincial for anyone outside of the Hamptons but not for me; it ranks up there with ‘Cider House’ & ‘Garp’. It’s a Clinton-era film wrongly ignored and tossed in the Bushes.

...that's right brother, just sit back and enjoy.

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Guest Firecrane

Here is what I've been watching the last week

Shaws:

Friends

Proud Youth

Non-Shaws:

Million Dollar Baby

Finding Neverland

Be Cool

Anime:

Samurai Champloo

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Guest Ivy Ling Po

Pink Force Commando - rare Brigitte Lin & Sally Yeh.

This English-dubbed film has to be seen to be believed. I guess everyone makes mistakes in their career. I don't believe the lovely Brigitte will look back on this turkey as one of her achievements. Unbelievably bad!

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Guest GwaiLoMoFo

Have seen in the past 2 weeks:

Lady Assassin (9/10) action is excellent, story OK (too short)

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (8.5/10) Just as good 2nd time

Shogun's Shadow (8/10) Good all around samurai actioneer

Bakko Yokaiden Kibakichi (7.5/10) Good Yokai/Samurai action

Zatoichi And The Chess Expert (9/10) One of the best Ichi's!

Monkey Kung Fu (8/10) Classic Shaw KF goodness!

All very enjoyable and recommended.

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Guest Isfahani

last night I indulged in a bit of frivolity, and watched PROTEGE DE LA ROSE NOIRE...

other than that, it's been a steady diet of HK and Jp:

CENTIPEDE HORROR (lol) mitglied.lycos.de/uzumaki...tipede.htm

MONKEY KUNG FU (I'll give this one 5 out of 10, nothing wrong really, just didn't seen to have the right 'flow' going)

THE TRAIL (HK 'spooky', not bad for a b-grade)

BANANA SPIRIT (obscure 'spooky' with Lam Ching Ying cameo)

KAGEMUSHA

CHUJI THE GAMBLER (Samurai Gambler)

FESTIVAL OF SWORDSMEN

WATARI THE NINJA BOY (kaiju from '66, lotsa fun!)

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Guest kenichiku

More reruns this past week or so:

Secret Service of the Imperial Court (***1/2 outta 4)

Ho Meng Hua, Black Enforcer (VHS) w/Tang Ching, Wang Ping & Korean cast **1/2

Pao Hsieh Li, Oath of Death (VHS) Lo Lieh, Wang Ping ****

Li Han Hsiang, Forbidden Tales of Two Cities (DVD) Tanny, Chen Ping***

Lo Chen's Huang Mei, Sheperd Girl (VCD)****

also:

Sammo's Warrior Two (DVD)****

Miyasaki's Princess Mononoke aka Mononoke Hime (DVD) anime****

Kill! aka Kiru! (IFC copy) w/Tatsuya Nakadai***

Metzger, The Dirty Girls (DVD)***

Early Antonioni, Le Amiche (DVD)**1/2

Schlesinger, Cold Comfort Farm (DVD) **** McKellan, Fry, Beckinsale, Lumley

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Guest ShaofuSage

Watched Avenging Eagle yesterday - absolutely brilliant, and so beautiful in all of its remastered glory! Wonderful storytelling, spectacular sets, just plain great (yeah, running out of adjectives :b )

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Guest Ivy Ling Po

The Sugar Daddies - Tsung Hua overacts but Betty Pei Tih captivates.

Being Julia - a showcase for Annette Benning. Marvellous stuff.

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Guest Centorpedo

I just tore through the Father of the Pride television series, which was like all the best bits of Shrek put together into a TV show.

It was so much funnier than I would have ever imagined it to be.

It was a rental, but I'm definitely putting this on my "to own" list. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Also about to sit down and watch the Tartan Asia domestic dvd release of Tetsuo: the Iron Man. I've never watched it, as the old image disc went OOP a while back, and didn't seem worth the price of purchase on ebay...

And speaking of kinetic b/w sci fi... that reminds me... wasn't Unearthed supposed to have released Electric Dragon 80K Volts by now?

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Guest kenichiku

More Shaw reruns:

Cat vs Rat (DVD) ***.5 - improves with age.

Soul of the Sword (DVD) **** anytime!

Crazy Sex (DVD) ** - cut to shreads, even upon 2nd viewing, tsk, tsk!

Generation Gap (DVD) *** - Chiang Tao steals some scenes from DC

Sally Potter, Yes (theatrical) *** - Joan Allen

Wendigo (DVD) **.5 Patricia Clarkson

Crazy First Love (DVD) *** - Ye Jin Son, Tae Hoon Cha (Sassy Girl)

Late Hideo Gosha, Kagero (DVD) **.5 Kanako Higuchi, Tatsuya Nakadai

Late Woody Allen, Hollywood Ending **.5, Tea Leoni & Debra Messing

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Guest Iron Boat

I havent been watching anything, I am giving my DVD's and VHS's a break. I'm going outside and running....truth is, when I watch these films now, they make me want to work out and get in shape. I dont want to become a fat cow, laying on the couch watching kung fu movies....

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Guest TheManInWhite

Just saw:

The Rescue - relatively short film (79 min.) that gets right to the point of the film which is trying to break out a Sung Court leader. Shih Szu proves herself as a worthy successor to the great Cheng Pei Pei. I found Lo Lieh to be pretty dashing in his role. Plenty of action and bloodletting on par with Duel for Gold. Enjoyed it.

10 Brothers from Shaolin - Ok film but not great. I couldn't keep up with who the 10 disciples actually were. Was expecting more from a star-studded cast. Wong Tao was very good. Chia Ling was OK. Seen better from Leung Kar Yan and Kao Fei...

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Guest Ivy Ling Po

The Wayward Cloud - director Tsai Ming Liang's latest art movie is more erotic and explicit than normal but it still gives me the yawns.

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Guest ShaofuSage

Watched the Monkey Goes West - was a bit dissapointed by the Monkey character, was expecting more of his cockiness and mischevious side to come out, he was a bit toned down. Oh well, it was still nice to see one of my favorite books on screen.

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Guest kenichiku
director Tsai Ming Liang's latest art movie ...but it still gives me the yawns
Ivy, these days I'd rather watch paint dry than watch his stuff. He's one certifiable sick puppy. Tsai's work has away of crawling under my skin (Vive L'Amour & ugh, The River) and infect my brain; although I enjoyed his early 'Rebels of the Neon God' & 'What Time Is It Over There' for appearances by Jean-Pierre Léaud & his late regular Miao Tien (Touch of Zen). As for now, I only watch his films on those gloomy moods & days where I want to kill myself.
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Guest kenichiku

Oh, back to the topic, more Shaw reruns:

The Scandalous Warlord (DVD) ***/5

King Cat (DVD) ***

Let's Make Laugh (DVD) **.5

Pink Tears (VHS) ***

Swan Song (VHS) **.5

Chris Nolan's breakout, Memento (DVD) **** Guy Pearce, Carrie Ann Moss, Joey Pants, best mainstream noir in years (since 'Bound' also w/Joey)

Yoshitaru Nomura, Village of the 8 Tombstones (DVD)**** fantastic (though Panarama presentation seriously flawed)

War of the Worlds (Theatrical) *** Cruise was decent

Veronica Guerin (DVD) **** w/Cate Blanchett (Omigod, Schumacher scores one!)

...been on a serious redneck kick lately (don't ask me why)

The Dukes of Hazzards (Theatrical) *.5 What's the use?

The Devil's Rejects (Theatrical) **.5 a virtual reunion of the Who's Who of 70s American Grindhouse

Motel Hell (VHS) **.5 w/Rory Calhoun & the garden

White Lightning (VHS) *** w/Burt Reynolds, Bo Hopkins

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Guest ShaofuSage

Watched Shaolin Mantis last night, nice movie but the ending puzzled me a bit. Chiang's character must have been like "what the f**k" during the last scenes of this one.

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Guest Golden Arms

FarenHype 9/11 - Exposes Michael Moore for the opportunistic, disingenuous liar that he is. Great documentary! 9.8/10

The Phantom of the Opera (2004 release) - Schumacher hits this adaptation out of the park. I'm not a musical, theater, or opera fan at all, but I really enjoyed this one. The music alone is worth the viewing. 9.5/10

Flatliners (1990) - Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, and Oliver Platt, all trying to kill themselves and be brought back with the answers to life and death. What more do you need? Another good Schumacher effort. 9.0/10

Bells of Death - Far more dismemberment than I'm used to seeing in a Shaw film (the severed head was a nice touch) highlights this short but sweet picture. Way too many vertical forehead slashes for my tastes, though. And what the f#$k was up with that guys ear? It looked like a small hornet's nest on the side of his head. Add to that the equally bizzarre "big flat nose" character, who does this little annoying side-to-side head movement, and you've got some villains who you are begging to be be brutalized as soon as you see them. All in all, a more than decent flick. 8.0/10

Golden Arms

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Guest gorlank

Picked up a bunch of 3 for $10 dvds.

Tomie - creepy little Jp horror flick about a girl who can't/won't die but regenerates to cause havoc/madness everywhere she goes. She is quite cute but underneath her pretty exterior lies the soul of a demon. Good film.

The Imp - not the Diana Pang jiggle fest but a eerie HK horror movie from the early 80's with Charlie Chin as a man cursed by a malicious spirit. Good movie with some nice shocks and many familiar faces like a relatively slim Kent Cheng and Yueh Hua as a occult master who helps Chin.

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Guest SunChien2004

I finally got the chance to see Brave Archer 4, thought it was a great movie. Wang Li played the "Western Poison" quite well, and it wouldn't have looked right if it was Wang Lung Wei, so it's all good. As for "Eastern Evil", Kuan Feng should have played him all along instead of that other guy, I've seen him in movies like Avenging Warriors of Shaolin, Iron Chain Assassin, and Slice of Death. Good Celestial movie, I enjoyed it quite a lot. Also, I saw the Celestial of Mortal Combat, I didn't know they said the word "bastard" a lot, which I didn't have on my old copy of it. Enjoyed every moment of it.

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