Author Topic: Asian Drama  (Read 41749 times)

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Offline Hooligan69

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #125 on: September 14, 2009, 09:35:49 AM »
A Colt Is My Passport (1967 Japan)

The fifth and final movie included in Criterion's brand new "Nikkatsu Noir" DVD box set. Directed by Takashi Nomura and starring the one and only Joe Shishido, "A Colt Is My Passport" is a great gangster film and an emulation of American Noir with a particularly terrific and violent final 15 minutes, as well as a spaghett-western style soundtrack. Shishido plays the role of a hired assassin caught between two Yakuza gangs after carrying out a hit on a rival boss. Recommended viewing. A definite favourite.

Take Aim at the Police Van (1960 Japan)

The third film in Criterion's new Nikkatsu Noir DVD boxset and the third on my list of viewing thus far. "Police Van" is full of twists and turns as a prison bus is ambushed on the highway as snipers open fire and murder one of the prisoners inside. As a result, the guard on board was accused of negligence and suspended for several months. Instead of relaxing or taking a vacation, the guard conducts a private investigation of his own to solve the case only to discover a smuggling ring working in the business of trafficking women. This movie also has one difference from "Cruel Gun Story" and "A Colt Is My Passport" as this time it's a woman who may or may not be behind the murders etc. There are some rather strange moments that come across as a little far-fetched, but "Police Van" is a whole lot of fun to watch and the final showdown at the end is well done. So far I've really enjoyed this DVD collection and look forward to viewing "I Am Waiting" and "Rusty Knife" this week.

Offline Hooligan69

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #126 on: September 19, 2009, 07:21:56 PM »
The Housemaid (1960 Korea)

Long considered one of the great films in Korean cinema history, "The Housemaid" is an excellent domestic thriller about a middle-class family terrorized by their hired maid, who wastes no time proving that she might be a few cards short of a full deck. A husband, wife, son and daughter move into a two-story house and hire a maid to help out, but things soon take a turn for the worse (and worse) once the maid (Lee Eun-shim) moves in. Lee Eun-shim is brilliant in her role and it's been reported that audience reaction to her character was so strong that shouts of "Kill the Bitch!" could be heard at screenings - and Eun-shim was never cast in another movie again as a result despite her acting skills. Think of "Fatal Attraction" meets "Psycho" circa 1960 South Korea. A dark, creepy and twisted tale that is certainly a reflection of reality. Think such a situation couldn't happen to you? It could happen to anyone.

Black Rain (1989 Japan)

Filmed entirely in black and white, Black Rain deals with the subject of the bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The story follows an aunt, uncle and their neice as they survive the horrifiying attack yet deal with the consequences of radiation while trying to move on with their lives. The survivors are faced with prejudice from those unaffected by the attacks. An excellent movie with a very powerful and important message. I've never seen another movie with such graphic depictions of the nightmareish aftermath of death and destruction in Hiroshima. Highly recommended if you don't mind subtitles. This is certainly not to be confused with the Michael Douglas movie of the same name, which was also released in 1989.

Drunken Angel (1948 Akira Kurosawa)

My first time viewing a film directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa. "Drunken Angel" marked the first time Toshiro Mifune was cast in a Korusawa movie and certainly not the last. Mifune played the role of a Yakuza gangster dying from tuberculosis, who develops an unlikely and uneasy relationship with the alcoholic doctor (Takashi Shimura) wishing to treat him. A mere three years removed from the war, this movie is set around the rundown muddy swamps and alleyways of post-war Tokyo. The fight between Matsunaga (Mifune) and Okada, a rival Yakuza fresh out of prison, is a little on the ridiculous side, which might have been done on purpose to ridicule their choice of lifestyle. "Drunken Angel" was filmed during the US occupation and it was subjected to censorship prior to release although a few scenes made it into the final cut undetected. A good introduction to Kurosawa's early style of filmmaking and I'm looking forward to seeing more. Since I'm watching his stuff in order, the classic "Rashomon" (1950) is next on the list to be viewed.

Rashomon (1950 Akira Kurosawa)

Excellent movie from the camera work to the story-telling to the acting even though the ending with the baby was a bit confusing and out of nowhere. This was a fascinating tale of rape/murder explained and reflected upon through the viewpoints of four different people, including the murdered Samurai. Rashomon requires viewers to pay close attention to the subtitles of each story in attempt to figure out what really happened. But what really did happen in the woods on the fateful day? Which story is accurate? Which story is fabricated? Who is honest and who is stretching the truth? Kurosawa's Rashomon questions our humanity and reminds us all that nobody is honest and that people only believe what they want to believe - see what they want to see or remember what they want to remember. Humans are dishonest. We are liars, cheats, schemers and all of the rest. We are even willing to sellout those we claim to love when push comes to shove. The ending with the priest giving the woodcutter the abandoned baby seemed to come out of nowhere to provide a somewhat happy ending to a rather bleak and depressing story. However, maybe it's just my imagination, but there seemed to be a slightly sinister look on the woodcutter's face as he walked away with the little baby at the end. All in all, I thought Rashomon was excellent and thought-provoking at the same time.

Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (2005 Korea)

Finally got around to watch this and I thought it was fantastic. Lady Vengeance is the conclusion to director Park Chan-wook's acclaimed Vengeance trilogy. A beautifully shot tale of an attractive 19 year wrongfully imprisoned for 13.5 years for a murder she didn't commit. She became a model prisoner and she was well liked by everyone all the while plotting revenge on the man who ruined her life. Her plan begins to take shape once she is released from the prison. One could certainly view Lady Vengeance as a character study right up until the credits start rolling. Lee Yong-ae gives a brilliant performance as a woman hellbent on revenge while seeking redemption at the same time. This movie also has its own fair share of dark humor in some scenes. It's rather difficult to properly comment on this film without giving away major plot spoilers. The ending/climax is very well done and a fitting close to the trio of Vengeance-related movies. Dark, surreal, subtle, humorous, violent. Take your pick. Loved this from start to finish. Recommended.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 01:08:41 PM by Hooligan69 »

Offline Coffee

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #127 on: October 17, 2009, 02:18:22 AM »


who would have thought that a Filipino horror film would be a subject of interest of Hollywood? i haven't watched the film myself but i plan to. either the film is really scary or Yam Laranas is good at PR (he just got a directorial job at National Geographic, not sure for how long)

the original title is "Sigaw" (Scream). the distributors just altered the title of the film once released internationally in order not to cause confusion with Wes Craven's "Scream".

just recently, the Hollywood version of the film (the producers hired Yam Laranas in order to make sure it doesn't shy away much from what he wanted to portray)

http://www.fangoria.com/reviews/3-dvd-a-blu-ray/3955-the-echo-dvd-review.html

Offline Hooligan69

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #128 on: October 18, 2009, 04:59:33 PM »
Mother (2009 Korea)

Director Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder, The Host) is back with an excellent murder mystery that will no doubt keep you guessing until the very end. Won Bin is superb as the mentally-handicapped young man charged in the death of a schoolgirl. Kim Hye-ja is terrific as his mother, who is bound and determined to prove her son's innocence and will go to great lengths to do it. Just when you think you have it all figured out, there's another twist in the story that may surprise/shock you to some extent. Top notch acting, cinematography and direction has resulted in "Mother" being named as Korea's entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Oscars, ahead of Park Chan-wook's vampire flick "Thirst." Brilliant climax as well. I think this movie takes top spot over "Thirst" as my favourite Korean flick so far this year though I still want to see Yang Ik-joon's "Breathless." If you are a fan of Joon-ho's "Memories of Murder," you should definitely check out "Mother." You won't be disappointed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rDeNM-M8p8
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 09:14:12 PM by Hooligan69 »

Offline Supreme Rebel Leader MutaKushi1301

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #129 on: October 26, 2009, 06:34:07 AM »
Psst:T2

This movie is more of a suspense horror than an actual horror movie.

This movie is about case worker named "Claire". She's dealing with a troubled marriage with her soon to be ex husband Jeremy! She works with her co worker and friend Elias. In the movie they meet with a little girl named Ageli who has a mysterious past and a mysterious connection to the strange happenings surrounding her. The nuns who took care of Angeli wanted Claire to take  her to Manila to her aunt. But on the way there strange things began to happen. Likes a herd of pigs blocking the road,a rock hits a guy from out of no where,and mysterious people in white show up out of the blue.Finally they made it to an apartment complex to see Angeli's aunt. A woman named Tess welcomes Claire,Elias,and Angeli. Claire seems to think that they are nice but Angeli doesn't think so. But later on in the film........the strange accurances started to happen again. First Elias gets killed......by I don't know who,second the mysterious people in white appear again and are chasing Claire and Angeli all over the apartment complex,also Angeli told Claire that the people in white are "Enchanted being" who want to take her away from the human world. They ended up being seperated from each other after a pack of rats swormed the deserted area of the complex. Angeli ends up being captured by the enchanted ones and Claire who is stuck with the rats ends up being saved by an old lady who knows about the enchanted one because her child and her husband was one of them. So they went to the sacred place where all enchanted beings dwell. The old lady says on the childs birthday he/she has to decide on his/her own if that child wants to stay in the human world or go with the enchanted beings. The leader of the group(aka Angeli's mom) told Claire and the old lady about her birth and everything else............I forgot to mention she was the cause of Angeli's dad's blindness!
So.........Angeli shows up and Claire tries to convines her to come home with her, at first she refused,but she took the letter that she wrote for her earier on in the film that says if she gets taked to come rescue her. That she did. But she also read the birthday card that was given to her by her dad before he passed on. All that remined her that someone "does" care for her,someone "does" love her. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that Jeremy throughout the entire film tried to get in touch with Claire about the whole seperation thing. You see..........the more he called........the more he worries. In the beginning I thought he was a total jerk to her. But in the end........he turned out to be ok(for now). Anyway.........Jeremy comes to the apartment complex because Claire asked him to pick her up. Once there he bagan to search for her. That's when Angeli's mom made Claire choose between him and Angeli which seems to be an unfair trade in my opinion! Angeli.........for some reason I love this character. She told her "mom" and the rest of the enchanted beings that she will return to them on her eighteenth birthday, and if they try to harm Claire or Jeremy.........then she will not return at all! Now that's guts for ya! Anyway the decision has been made. They were about to escape but the old lady wanted to try and save her daughter(who was taken by the way),but she refused go because any child taken by the enchanted ones will lose their memory of their parents and of the human world. So as an end result the old lady used some magic powder to destroy the enchanted place! And Claire and Angeli made it safe to where they were reunited with Jeremy. Now Claire,Jeremy, and Angeli are now a family. She started her first day of school a little shakey because of her fear of the enchanted ones coming back for her. But I doubt that. Anyway Angeli bumps into the principle and told her she wanted to go home. But the principle assured her that everything is fine and that she must meet her new teacher................who happens to be her mom in human disguse!!

Also throughout the film there was always this "PSST" noise! That can scare the living crap out of you...........even in real life. But anyway this was a good film. I loved it.
Thanks for sharing it ,kapeng!   *approve

That woman's got some nice thick thighs(I recon)!!
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Offline Hooligan69

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #130 on: October 26, 2009, 02:15:56 PM »
Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance (2002 Korea)

The first installment of director Park Chan-wook's acclaimed Vengeance trilogy. Unable to afford proper care for his older sister dying from kidney failure, Ryu, a deaf-mute, turns to the black market only to be swindled out of his life savings. His anarchist girlfriend, Cha Yeong-mi, devises a plot to kidnap the daughter of Ryu's former boss, who had just fired him, in order to get enough money to save his sister's life. Ryu reluctantly agrees to the plan but things change at the last minute. Now with a kidnapped child and the ransom money in their possession things unexpectedly take a tragic and irreversible turn for the worst. Song Kang-ho plays "Park," the electrical engineer father of the abducted child, and Shin Ha-kyun stars as the deaf-mute "Ryu" while Bae Du-na is Ryu's girlfriend "Cha Yeong-mi." This is a very tragic, violent, disturbing and saddening look at the human race's infatuation with revenge and vengeance at all costs regardless of the outcome and no matter what the consequences. There is a fine line between being distraught and grieving over the loss of a dear loved one and being blinded by your lust for violent retribution. Even the most innocent have the potential to cross that line and become a true monster with no compassion or remorse. The Western title for this movie is Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, but by the time all is said and done, it's next to impossible to have "sympathy" for anyone involved because they've snapped somewhere along the line while exacting their revenge. Another theme touched upon would be that every action has a reaction. This is reinforced in the film's chilling climax with the voice over reminder of Cha Yeong-mi 's dire warning to Park from earlier on. A truly brilliant first contribution to the revenge/vengeance genre and one I just might rate higher than the highly praised follow-up, Oldboy. Sympathy features some rather graphic violence in certain scenes but it's not overly gory or bloody. If there is anyone worth feeling "sympathy" over, it would be Park's abducted daughter. A truly innocent little victim who never harmed anyone. Furthermore, those who could be considered truly evil and despicable in this whole mess would be the illegal organ harvesters cheating people out of their money and kidneys. Illegal organ harvesting is a serious real life issue as it happens all over the world even though we may not hear about it on the news every night. A black market underworld that is truly disturbing. It's horrifying to realize we live in such a beautiful and wonderful world rife with illegal organ harvesting, human trafficking and other such disgusting and sickening things. Are we humans really just evil bloodthirsty animals? Where do we draw the line when it comes to revenge and retribution? And how far should we allow ourselves to go in hopes of saving the life our loved ones? That is one thing I loved about Park Chan-wook's movies - and not just his Vengeance trilogy - they force you to ask some tough questions and to think about important issues instead of just feeding us an unnecessary diet of typical blood and gore to satisfy our soul. There is one more very important and very thought-provoking question that has crept into my mind upon viewing this movie: Who are we to decide who lives and who dies? And what gives us the right to make such judgment calls?

Offline Sakebito_ONI

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #131 on: November 01, 2009, 06:55:06 PM »
Untouchable (currently airing in Japan)

The best actress EVAR~! according to ONI-ism, Yukie Nakama stars in this series about a reporter who used to be a writer for a 1st rate magazine who butted heads with her editor and got fired and now has to work for a tabloid rag.  Upon recieveing a tip from an unknown source, she begins to investigate a TV reporter only to uncover a secret society...it looks like this series might dive into the shadow war between two secret societies with our beloved Yukie getting caught in the middle and trying to report it, only to have nobody believe it because it's all in a tabloid.

So far, only one episode has aired, but sars-fansubs and Heiwa fansubs are working on it jointly, so the turnaround should be quick between airing in Japan and getting subbed and up on the IRC.
Shupercousin KAKKOI!

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Offline Hooligan69

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #132 on: November 04, 2009, 12:28:32 AM »
Memories of Murder (2003 Korea)

Between 1986 and 1991, 10 women were murdered in a small town in Korea. A large amount of people were questioned and investigated as potential suspects, but the serial killer has never been found nor identified. "Memories of Murder" from director Bong Joon-ho is based on these events and focuses on the struggles of the police to capture the killer despite a lack of DNA testing and forensics or even knowledge on how to adequately go about their investigation. This also happened to be Korea's first, and now most notorious, serial killer. A brilliant crime drama with some rather funny moments amongst the dark and depressing deaths of several women. Potential suspects are coerced and beaten into confessions yet everything always leads to one dead-end after another due to a lack of any concrete evidence to prove any of the suspects are guilty. One of the detectives' assigned to the case has a habit of taking down suspects with a flying dropkick out of nowhere, which makes for some rather amusing moments. All fine and dandy one minute and then *bam* he takes you out. One can't help but feel bad for the police desperately searching for the killer despite their rule-breaking interrogation methods. One particular scene that kinda shocked me was when the police sent a woman out into the night without any police nearby, which led to her being attacked and murdered. A woman was sent to her death for what reason?! Too much time was wasted trying to pin the blame on an outsider, someone who might have something wrong with them or those who don't seem to fit into society. This was reinforced during the brilliant final scene years later with the little girl. A 2005 article in the Korea Times about the real life case indicated that the statute of limitations for murder in Korea is only 15 years while the last killing occurred in 1991, which meant the case would disappear within a year and a killer would never be caught. Koreans who went to see "Memories of Murder" in the theatre also seemed to want the case re-opened once again. Plus, there is the issue of re-development destroying and eliminating sights where the old murders took place thus erasing any potential evidence from existence. Joon-ho's "Memories of Murder" is a fascinating, disturbing and sometimes funny look at police procedural at a time in history when the small town police force was completely unprepared and ill-equipped to conduct such an intricate investigation. There is no Hollywood-style happy ending here because the case was never solved. Some might say this movie didn't really have an ending, well, neither did the case. I felt the final scene between the detective and the little girl at one of the murder scenes in 2003 was among the most powerful scenes in the movie. Never judge a book by its cover. Bong Joon-ho's 2009 return to the murder mystery genre, "Mother," is reminiscent of "Memories of Murder" in some ways yet it's also darker and more serious - a very worthy successor. Highly recommended viewing. Joon-ho has a real talent for crime dramas and I'm happy to see him exploring other genres instead of allowing himself to be pigeonholed into one type of movie.

Offline Coffee

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #133 on: April 13, 2010, 12:01:18 AM »


"Sukdulan" (Utmost, 2003)

one of those movies that i am disappointed with. it's a Filipino film with a not-so-new plot = a woman gets bored with her married life worsened by her husband's poor performance in bed; meets a young hot stud who's sexually adventurous and suffers the consequences of being horny. the sex scenes were a letdown. katya can't act her way out of a paper bag. the only salvation in this movie is the sympathetic portrayal of raymond bagatsing who plays the husband suffering from erectile dysfunction. (there is a remedy though. he had to stare at a porn vid while having sex in order for him to "stand up to the occasion")

how can the sex be adventurous? the scenes are in the public utility toilet, the back of a pickup truck and even in the woman's house in the presence of a blind mother-in-law who's pretending to be asleep. food is also part of the scenes like strawberry, whipped cream and ice. (no cosplay, sorry)

Offline Makabe Sword Justice

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #134 on: April 13, 2010, 04:49:10 AM »

Red Cliff (Chi Bi) Parts 1 & 2 (China, 2008 & 2009)
In Autumn of 208 AD, 100,000 peasants fled with their beloved leader Liu Bei from Cao Cao's million man army. With the aid of heroes like Zhao Yun (the subject of the new "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon" film) and Zhang Fei, they escape across the Great River (Chinese 'Yangtze') to take refuge with Sun Quan, the leader of the south. As Cao Cao prepares his huge navy to invade southern China and destroy them both, geniuses like Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu devise a grand strategy. They hope to destroy Cao Cao's 10,000 ships with fire upon the river, but must first trick Cao Cao into chaining his ships together, and then change the direction of China's famous and freezing North Wind. While these two struggle to put aside the rivalry between Liu Bei and Sun Quan's forces, they must hatch their legendary schemes before Cao Cao is ready. This synopsis is based on the events of the 600 year old story - "Romance of Three Kingdoms" - the favorite novel of over 1 billion Chinese people and the most famous novel in Asia.

Chances are if you've ever played games like "Romance Of The 3 Kingdoms" or the "Dynasty Warriors" series, yu'ove relived some of what's happened here. Considering the hype on the package, all I can say is it definitely lives up to it. The film starts out running with some amazing battle sequences and intriguing storylines, then slows down and strikes a nice balance between all-out battles and wartime strategy and some clever military stuff that is really something. If youíre played Dynasty Warriors you may recognize several characters here, at least in name-in addition to the main characters I recognized roughly 10-12 from the game and they even incorporate some of the more prominent female characters as well, including the beautiful & loyal Xiao Qiao and the young but confident Sun Shang Xiang-although those who played the game will note she doesnít sport the bladed disc-like weapons from the game here. The over-the-top special effects are kept to a minimum in favor of amazing photography and choreographed movement and battle sequences that are really a treat for the eyes. The first part is only half of the story but thereís almost nothing to not like here. And it seems to save plenty for the second half of the story. Part 2 focuses more on the strategy of war, with both sides employing interesting strategies to try and outwit the other. The pace seems slow but it all builds up to an amazing and ultimately satisfying conclusion.

In the end, despite some very minor complaints I canít say enough about this. Itís a filmmaking masterpiece on so many levels-brilliantly written, produced, directed and acted with a wonderful soundtrack as well. Iíve never really been into John Wooís works, but this one is a definite exception. One of the greatest film works I have ever seen. If youíre a fan of the videogames, ancient history, or war movies, you owe it to yourself to find this title. 5+ hours extremely well spent. Actually, see it either way just because itís that good.

PS-there are edited theatrical versions and original international versions. I have the original theatrical version, which is unrated and has content different from the theatrical version (Probably more violence).

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Offline Coffee

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #135 on: April 17, 2010, 03:40:44 AM »


One More Chance (2007)

one of the realistic love stories made. Basha (Bea Alonzo) and Popoy (John Lloyd Cruz) are inseparable couple who eventually plan to get married until she realized something ... the relationship has reached suffocating levels that she has somewhat lost her identity. she initiated the breakup claiming that one of the reasons why she is not able to flourish in her career is that she found herself subjected to a domineering boyfriend.

i won't spoil much of the fun but it took awhile for the guy to realize what kind of a boyfriend is he especially once he asks the advice of some of their mutual friends about rekindling the relationship. "do you think she would succeed in her career if she kept the relationship with you?" "if she stayed in the relationship, do you think she would improve in her craft with the kind of attitude you handled in the relationship?"

she became successful in her career knowing the price she had to pay.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #136 on: June 01, 2010, 05:59:10 PM »
Ang Tatay Kong Nanay (My Father is My Mother)1978



the title alone is intriguing and it gives a hint about 1 topic i rarely encounter in Hollywood = gay fathers. it's also proof that Lino Brocka as a director is not exclusive to movies about poverty and the dog-eat-dog mentality. it's about being gay and having the difficulty to admit to your child that you are one.

it is about a gay beautician (played by Dolphy) adopting the son of his ward/lover(?) (Philip Salvador, who is YEARS younger even in real life) after the latter's wife dumped them and he had to go to work in the US Navy. the child grew up knowing the beautician is his father but one time went out of the house and saw his "father" dressed in drag. the boy asked him "Are you not ashamed of how you look? What are you? A man or a woman?" of course the beautician didn't slap him but he had difficulty answering those questions.

later on, the boy's biological mother returned to claim him afraid that her son will grow up gay. frankly, the beautician is afraid too even if he claimed in 1 beauty pageant that he is not ashamed to be gay.

it's obviously my favorite Dolphy film (Dolphy is the Philippine King of Comedy) because it blurred the line between comedy and drama due to how the gay topic was handled. there is also one memorable scene is which the beautician punched a fellow fag after he painfully joked that the kid is actually his lover, insinuating that he is a pedophile. he also nagged the same fag that "The reason we ... I mean YOU don't get the respect you deserve is because of the perverted things that you do."

on whether the kid will turn up gay is not shown anymore on the film. he simply accepted his "father" when the latter eventually came clean

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #137 on: June 20, 2010, 03:04:36 AM »


City of Fire (1987)
Starring: Chow Yun Fat

one of the oldest Hong Kong films i've watched that doesn't star either Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee not that it's a bad thing. my dad watched it and complained to me that this is too violent for him. he's referring to the random gunshots of course to which he described "parang pumapatay lang ng manok" (as if they're just shooting chickens). he likes action films but he has a tendency to complain if he finds some violence a little too gratuitous.

anyway, i watched it for myself expecting to enjoy it since i enjoy some graphic violence in action films. Chinese and Japanese filmmakers really go out of their way to make their action flicks go good. sure, there are gunshots fired. but that's how some modern thieves are. they really kill for the goods and couldn't care less if they have to tote around the guns and shoot at random. but then again, you sympathize for Chow's character - "I'm doing my job but I'm betraying my friends." makes me wonder why did he become a cop in the first place if he's a little too emotional. perhaps he got into too many infiltration jobs already. i was about to giggle when i see Chow tape a voice recorder on his abdomen for surveillance purposes then i have to remind myself that this film was made in 1987, the time when wires alone can't do said jobs yet.

overall, a bittersweet film that is enjoyable for me especially upon discovering a comic side of Chow.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #138 on: July 12, 2010, 06:42:16 PM »
Jay (2009)
Directed by Francis Xavier Pasion
Starring: Baron Geisler, Coco Martin
Winner: Cinemalaya Digital Film Festival, Best Picture

when i first read about the not-so-real circumstances about Mark Burnett's "Survivor", i was flabbergasted. i said, "You can't reshoot some scenes simply because of bad angles. If the angle was bad, blame it on the cameraman." little did i know that this was an almost-common practice by some "documentarists".

"Jay" is the name of the murdered gay school teacher and the segment producer/field reporter who covered his case on primetime news. the similarities end there.

it's hard not to be emotional while watching this film. you end up hating the news crew for "reshooting" some of the footage simply because some clips got blurry or the previous clips are not dramatic enough or ... ugh! and some of the subjects are even willing to be extra-dramatic knowing they get to be on TV (only to be edited out to meet time limits). the worst was where the cops already caught the thief who murdered the teacher but the segment producer had the handcuffs removed and put him back in his house so that the crew could "recapture" the "action". frankly that was a dumb idea because the felon might get away for real and screw the encounter altogether.

great film, it deserved the Best Picture award. and this may be film's best comeuppance against TV since TV almost killed the film industry (but that's another topic altogether).

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #139 on: July 17, 2010, 04:17:19 AM »

Ang Babaing Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang(1981)
(The Woman Plucked Out of my Rib,)

Bashed in the past for being "clearly one of the worst films of 1981", it aroused my curiosity as to how this film was remade into a primetime soap opera if it wasn't even good in the first place. Clearly, the art of marketing is where the strength lay in Carlo J. Caparas (he wrote and directed the film, note same link for how the movie was even shot). If not for package deals he secured for his other graphic novels that were remade, the relatively pathetic ones would be left to oblivion.

And so I watched it despite some critics bashing it. I've read some of my fave critics bash some of the movies I've enjoyed in the past. Yes it's bad but I've seen worse. Maybe I'm not that harsh on the guy except when the Arroyo administration awarded him National Artist (there are far better choices out there).

To those who thought the title sounded scary, don't worry. It's a Biblical meme that refers to how God created woman by taking out half the man's rib to serve as framework for the woman's structure. It eventually became an idiom referring to how a man finally found his perfect match. That's what Homer Alcaraz (played by Eddie Rodriguez) felt when he first laid eyes on the woman he found sleeping on his bed upon waking up. I don't know about you but if you see another person sleeping beside you, don't you think that person is out to burglarize you?

But he is so smitten with her beauty that he simply politely woke her up. He didn't even report for work just to wait for her to wake up, served her breakfast once she's awake and even let her use the shower. Then they have sex after helps herself at the minibar while naked. (Wow! She must have smelled good using his musk body wash. That should have given me the signal that this movie is about to go bad.)

Then she leaves ... only to go to Alcaraz's friend/business associate (the audience by now must have thought the friend met her in the same way Alcaraz did). That was the beginning of a string of murders that she's responsible for.

Sex, violence and a bad presentation. Why did I find the movie bad myself? It's like a movie with no coherent plot, no continuity and sense whatsoever. Vivian Velez, the woman who played the vagabond, is beautiful but she was a bad actress in this flick to think that her role is that of a psychopath. (Oops! I hope not to reveal much) Since I haven't seen much of her work, I can't tell if she's really a bad actress or it's just this film where she was bad. If you have a director who'd report to work without a teleplay but a handwritten script in yellow pad paper and a pen, in other words, nothing is written in stone. NOTHING!!!! Even the acting was bad.

Do I plan to watch it again? To poke fun at it, yes I would. That's what bad movies are for most of the time.

By the way, the primetime soap remake is far better overall.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #140 on: July 25, 2010, 02:21:28 AM »
Salome (1981)
Starring: Gina Alajar, Johnny Delgado, Dennis Roldan
Directed by: Laurice Guillen



The film is said to be one of the earliest Filipino films that got influenced by "the Rashomon effect" - the process of telling a story with different versions without showing which is the truth since whatever the truth is, if a village hated one person, the village would stick to their perception of truth just to spite the person.

The film opens with a view of the rustic town by the seashore. It is not a resort type but more of a fishing village. Then Salome (played by Gina Alajar) is shown wearing a blood-stained white dress torn in front showing her bra, crying for help. She murdered the engineer from Manila (played by Dennis Roldan). Due to her reputation in the village as a whore, this incident only made the townsfolk hate her more. She asked the help of her husband (played by Johnny Delgado, RIP) in order not for her to get jailed.

Note: the object is for her not to get jailed. It doesn't technically mean the murder didn't happen. Some murderers get released or acquitted if the evidence wasn't enough to prove she DID it. Even the witnesses claimed that they didn't see it. The thing I hate in rural village mores is that, as one of the old folks said, "I never saw them but I know they did it. She's a whore!" Self-incriminating statement, if you would ask me.

Let's simplify - Did she kill him? Yes. Did you see her do it? No. Is she sleeping around? Yes. Did you see her in the act of having sex with a man? No.
That fact alone explains why there are several versions to the murder that occurred. Worse, nobody saw her do either things accused of her.

It's the kind of film I don't get to watch anymore because some producers are more concerned about 3D than coherent story-telling.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #141 on: July 31, 2010, 11:55:31 PM »

a movie i plan to watch later on, ...
movie review to follow eventually

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #142 on: August 06, 2010, 01:23:57 AM »
is there someone out there willing to cure me of fear of Takashi Miike?
i saw read  this and i feel interested in watching that banned "Masters of Horror" episode that he directed (and all along i thought "Showtime" is liberal)

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #143 on: September 13, 2010, 01:13:17 AM »

The Emperor's Shadow

It is a loose adaptation of the story of the first emperor of China from captivity to uniting all of the kingdoms in order to become the Qin empire. It is about how the king is using his adoptive brother in order to write the Qin anthem, knowing real well how good is the latter in composing music that mesmerizes anyone who hears it. The brother (the latter's mother was the king's wet nurse hence the adoptive label) wants no part of it and wanted to die. In a desperate attempt to die, he raped (?) the king's daughter who is betrothed to the son of the king's best general. Beneath the surface, we see the desperate attempts of the king to keep the musician alive and cover up for his mistakes.

I had no idea prior to watching this film how it was banned/vilified in mainland China (where it was from). I just discovered in our local cable package a new 24-hour movie channel focusing on Asian cinema named Screen RED. And this got aired this morning. I enjoyed historical dramas despite what some folks call "historical inaccuracies". It's one of the common sources of negative reviews anyway. But then again, as said by the king in the movie "History is written by me." To victors are the spoils, as they say. Whoever wins the war gets to write history IN THEIR POINT OF VIEW. Anything in contrary would simply be shelved as RUMOR.

Great movie, don't let the negative hype stop you.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #144 on: September 13, 2010, 07:13:07 PM »
Interesting. Mainland China has grown more and more protective of their own revisionist history, especially where the state of Qin is concerned. Even if that movie is fanciful (it sounds great) it's not like a soap opera adaptation has never been done about the first emperor (and others). Especially where concubines, stolen sons, adopted sons and servants are concerned.

That's why this rash of Qin-positive movies usually starring a mix of coast and mainland and sometimes Korean stars have been rolled out. Most notably, Hero and anything Jackie Chan has done in China the last decade has boiled down to forgetting any wrongs of the mainland (while complying to their culture laws) and rewriting history.

It's interesting how movies in Asia, are often made to directly address political dissension and usually re-mythologize the time period in question, historical revision taken to the modern equivalent of sacred texts.


The Emperor's Shadow

It is a loose adaptation of the story of the first emperor of China from captivity to uniting all of the kingdoms in order to become the Qin empire. It is about how the king is using his adoptive brother in order to write the Qin anthem, knowing real well how good is the latter in composing music that mesmerizes anyone who hears it. The brother (the latter's mother was the king's wet nurse hence the adoptive label) wants no part of it and wanted to die. In a desperate attempt to die, he raped (?) the king's daughter who is betrothed to the son of the king's best general. Beneath the surface, we see the desperate attempts of the king to keep the musician alive and cover up for his mistakes.

I had no idea prior to watching this film how it was banned/vilified in mainland China (where it was from). I just discovered in our local cable package a new 24-hour movie channel focusing on Asian cinema named Screen RED. And this got aired this morning. I enjoyed historical dramas despite what some folks call "historical inaccuracies". It's one of the common sources of negative reviews anyway. But then again, as said by the king in the movie "History is written by me." To victors are the spoils, as they say. Whoever wins the war gets to write history IN THEIR POINT OF VIEW. Anything in contrary would simply be shelved as RUMOR.

Great movie, don't let the negative hype stop you.

SWIFT made this.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #145 on: September 14, 2010, 03:13:16 PM »
Interesting. Mainland China has grown more and more protective of their own revisionist history, especially where the state of Qin is concerned. Even if that movie is fanciful (it sounds great) it's not like a soap opera adaptation has never been done about the first emperor (and others). Especially where concubines, stolen sons, adopted sons and servants are concerned.

That's why this rash of Qin-positive movies usually starring a mix of coast and mainland and sometimes Korean stars have been rolled out. Most notably, Hero and anything Jackie Chan has done in China the last decade has boiled down to forgetting any wrongs of the mainland (while complying to their culture laws) and rewriting history.

It's interesting how movies in Asia, are often made to directly address political dissension and usually re-mythologize the time period in question, historical revision taken to the modern equivalent of sacred texts.



It reminds me of the reason why "Farewell My Concubine" is banned. It exposed the evils of the Cultural Revolution. It's harsh. It's ugly. Of course, the government of China as a whole didn't want to allow the brutality of the Cultural Revolution be shown in theaters. Some thought the gay angle is the reason behind the ban but if you're aware of the Cultural Revolution spearheaded by Madame Mao, it makes sense.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #146 on: September 18, 2010, 01:38:45 AM »

Beyond our Ken
2004

It's a storyline that has "WTF?!?!" written all over it. It's about a girl (played by Gillian Cheung) who asked the help of the current girlfriend (Tao Hong) of her ex-boyfriend Ken (Daniel Wu) after the latter has posted a nude photo of them when they were still an item. It's understandable for the current girlfriend though to agree fearing that the boyfriend would do the same to her. That explains the title.

It's a surprisingly great film for a random flick I saw on Screen RED. And a pretty wicked plot too. And just when you thought you knew how it would end all along then director Edward Pang pulls the rug beneath your feet making you feel so dumb. It's one of the few films that made me feel dumb for some reason. I find it hard to write a decent review out of fear of spoiling you readers. But rest assured, if you're currently not in a relationship, this flick would discourage you even further even if that's not what the film is trying to insinuate. It's just being honest.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #147 on: November 23, 2010, 06:18:20 AM »
"ROSARIO" OFFICIAL THEATRICAL TRAILER
Rosario

if this flick reminds you of the roaring 20's, it's because it's based on the life story of the grandmother of telecommunications mogul Manny V. Pangilinan (i can't imagine having my grandmother's bio flick to be erotic though)

this is a decent take about life during the American occupation. most Filipino period movies would tackle either the Spanish occupation or the Japanese occupation. finally a production outfit decided to make a movie during the American occupation.


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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #148 on: November 23, 2010, 06:23:21 PM »
^^Nice. I might check that out. I can always afford to brush up on South East Asia's history.

Has anyone seen Perhaps Love? Looks interesting and I do love Jacky Cheung. ..but it looks like sappy mandarin romance which makes me not want to see it. . ..

如果 愛 - 命運曲 ~ 張學友 & 池珍熙

SWIFT made this.

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Re: Asian Drama
« Reply #149 on: November 24, 2010, 04:11:53 AM »
^^Nice. I might check that out. I can always afford to brush up on South East Asia's history.

i forgot to mention that the actress (Jennylyn Mercado) playing the titular role of "Rosario" was once an object of admiration for Batista. he mentioned before that if ever he finds a reason to return to the Philippines other than the completion of his retirement home, it would be her. yes, they have never met.

(i can't blame him if he fell for her though)