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China, Hong Kong & Taiwan Challenge (Official, June 2020)

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Onderhond
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Re: China, Hong Kong & Taiwan Challenge (Official, June 2020)

#41

Post by Onderhond » June 3rd, 2020, 4:01 pm

Sandra Kwan is one of those women who doesn't nearly get enough credit for her work. Maybe not the best all-round actress, but one hell of a comedian.

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#42

Post by blueboybob » June 3rd, 2020, 6:14 pm

8. [China] Xiu xiu de tie quan (2017)
9. [China] Xi you ji zhi: Sun Wukong san da Baigu Jing (2016)
10. [Hong Kong] Kap ba ba dik sung (1995)
11. [China] Fang hua (2017)

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#43

Post by hurluberlu » June 3rd, 2020, 6:38 pm

blueboybob wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 6:14 pm
11. [China] Fang hua (2017)
How was it ? I enjoyed Xiaogang Feng's previous one, I Am Not Madame Bovary, and this one has been on my radar.
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#44

Post by Onderhond » June 3rd, 2020, 6:42 pm

Hmmm, didn't know there were subtitles for that one. Not a big fan of Feng's latest films, but I still want to see it.

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#45

Post by hurluberlu » June 3rd, 2020, 6:58 pm

Onderhond wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 6:42 pm
Hmmm, didn't know there were subtitles for that one. Not a big fan of Feng's latest films, but I still want to see it.
Chinese directors can be quite versatile ; I pretty much disliked The Banquet, Assembly and Aftershock but I Am Not… was quite something else, even if not a masterpiece yet.
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#46

Post by Onderhond » June 3rd, 2020, 7:15 pm

hurluberlu wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 6:58 pm
Chinese directors can be quite versatile ; I pretty much disliked The Banquet, Assembly and Aftershock but I Am Not… was quite something else, even if not a masterpiece yet.
He was one of the pivotal directors that helped Chinese cinema transition for rural drama to contemporary urban/genre, well before he started directing blockbuster epics. In that respect Bovary was quite the disappointment, as it felt like a film that belonged to an era he helped destroy.

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#47

Post by blueboybob » June 3rd, 2020, 7:18 pm

hurluberlu wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 6:38 pm
blueboybob wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 6:14 pm
11. [China] Fang hua (2017)
How was it ? I enjoyed Xiaogang Feng's previous one, I Am Not Madame Bovary, and this one has been on my radar.
It was pretty, thats about all I can say. It didn't really get me engaged. Wasn't a huge fan.

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#48

Post by hurluberlu » June 3rd, 2020, 8:12 pm

Onderhond wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 7:15 pm
Chinese cinema transition for rural drama to contemporary urban/genre
I havent seen anything really notable in that space with a few exceptions (yet). I guess Taiwan and HK are too far ahead for mainland to catchup. Rather, the most exciting productions from China in the recent years (Zhangke, Bi, Bing,...) never broke the link between rural and contemporary imo.
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#49

Post by Onderhond » June 3rd, 2020, 8:20 pm

hurluberlu wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 8:12 pm
Rather, the most exciting productions from China in the recent years (Zhangke, Bi, Bing,...) never broke the link between rural and contemporary imo.
Myeah, these are not my kind of films, not in the least because they remind me so much of 90s Chinese cinema. I'm a bit tired of the whole rural vs urban theme, Yimou (and crew) started that in the 90s and Zhangke Jia is still making variations on it. To each his own though!

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#50

Post by flavo5000 » June 3rd, 2020, 11:33 pm

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3. Gu a.k.a. Bewitched (Chih-Hung Kuei, 1981) [Hong Kong]
:banana: Lots of fun. Recommended for fans of Boxer's Omen.

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4. Lung men bei chi a.k.a. Bruce's Deadly Fingers (Joseph Kong, 1976) [Hong Kong]
It wouldn't be a Chinese challenge without some Brucesploitation :D

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5. Geung si a.k.a. Rigor Mortis (Juno Mak, 2013) [Hong Kong]
Visually very impressive and unique. I dug it.
SpoilerShow
1. Fang Shiyu yu Hong Xiguan a.k.a. Heroes Two (Cheh Chang, 1974) [Hong Kong]
2. Dung che sai duk a.k.a. Ashes of Time (Kar-Wai Wong, 1994)[Hong Hong/Taiwan]
3. Gu a.k.a. Bewitched (Chih-Hung Kuei, 1981) [Hong Kong]
4. Lung men bei chi a.k.a. Bruce's Deadly Fingers (Joseph Kong, 1976) [Hong Kong]
5. Geung si a.k.a. Rigor Mortis (Juno Mak, 2013) [Hong Kong]

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#51

Post by blueboybob » June 4th, 2020, 12:15 am

12. [China] Du cheng feng yun (2014)
13. [China] Du cheng feng yun II (2015)
14. [China] Du cheng feng yun III (2016)

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#52

Post by VincentPrice » June 4th, 2020, 8:54 am

1. Come Drink with Me-1966: 8/10 (Hong Kong)

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#53

Post by Onderhond » June 4th, 2020, 8:59 am

flavo5000 wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 11:33 pm
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5. Geung si a.k.a. Rigor Mortis (Juno Mak, 2013) [Hong Kong]
Visually very impressive and unique. I dug it.
Juno Mak really left his calling card as a director with this one, shame he hasn't been able to direct a second film. Pretty awesome actor too, did you see Ching-Po Wong's Revenge: A Love Story?

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#54

Post by flavo5000 » June 4th, 2020, 1:02 pm

Onderhond wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 8:59 am
flavo5000 wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 11:33 pm
Image
5. Geung si a.k.a. Rigor Mortis (Juno Mak, 2013) [Hong Kong]
Visually very impressive and unique. I dug it.
Juno Mak really left his calling card as a director with this one, shame he hasn't been able to direct a second film. Pretty awesome actor too, did you see Ching-Po Wong's Revenge: A Love Story?
Nope. Sounds like I should probably look into it though. Apparently he was in Dream Home which I did see but it must've been a small role because he doesn't look familiar to me.

Also it looks like Juno Mak is in post-production on his follow-up Sons of the Neon Night. So hopefully that'll come out sooner than later.

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#55

Post by Onderhond » June 4th, 2020, 1:21 pm

flavo5000 wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 1:02 pm
Nope. Sounds like I should probably look into it though. Apparently he was in Dream Home which I did see but it must've been a small role because he doesn't look familiar to me.

Also it looks like Juno Mak is in post-production on his follow-up Sons of the Neon Night. So hopefully that'll come out sooner than later.
Oh, that's some very good news!

Revenge: A Love Story was one of the early films to come out on 852 Films, Josie Ho's production house that aimed to give CAT III films some renewed attention. She was also behind Dream Home, so I guess that explains the connection. Mak himself is one of those HK renaissance men, who are involved in seemingly everything. He got famous as a singer/producer before he rolled into the film business. Never heard is music, but he has a knack for cinema alright :)

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#56

Post by Lonewolf2003 » June 4th, 2020, 2:41 pm

flavo5000 wrote:
June 2nd, 2020, 6:09 pm
Lonewolf2003 wrote:
June 2nd, 2020, 3:33 pm
Preparing for this challenge I was again unpleasantly surprised by how few Chinese, Hong Kong or Taiwanese classics have a proper (restored) Blu-ray release. Masters of Cinema has a few King Hu movies and some action and martial arts movies and 88 films has collection of those also, but that’s about it. So my viewings will be mostly restricted to those.
If you are region free, there have been quite a few Shaw Bros. films released on blu-ray in Germany as well.
Thanks.

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#57

Post by Lonewolf2003 » June 4th, 2020, 3:07 pm

1. Liu lang di qiu [The Wandering Earth] (2019, Frant Gwo) China: 4.5 - The sfx and massive worldbuilding scale of this are impressive, but everything else is plainly terrible. The characters are shallow stereotypes without any arcs or clear motivations. What's worst of all the action scene aren't suspenseful, cause I have no idea what's going on beside characters running away or toward CGI shit, cause Gwo doesn't know how to establish a scene and how to keep his camera still for one shot for even a minute.
2. Zhong guo chao ren [Super Inframan] (1975, Shan Hua) Hong Kong: 7.8 - Highly entertaining pulp, which like all the best pulp embraces it's insane nonsense. Cause a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words:
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3. Shen da [Spiritual Boxer] (1975, Chia-Liang Liu) Hong Kong: 7.8 -Spiritual boxers were fighters who through summoning the spirit of Gods were invincible, the young Hsiao Chien (Yue Wong) isn't a real spiritual boxer but a con-man tricking people into believing he is. This is the second movie directed by Chia-Liang Liu, one of the masters of the martial arts genre who would make name later with movies as 36th Chamber of Shaolin and The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter. Notable about this movie is it being an early example of a fusion between action and comedy. This clearly paved the way for Jackie Chan movies. The comedy doesn't always work alas, Yue Wong doesn't have the great comic timing as Jackie, but at least it wasn't annoying. But as can be expected from Chia-Liang Liu the action choreography is topnotch. And although not being a great comedian, Yue Wong does have the looks, charisma and fighting skills to carry this movie. Recommended for all fans of the genre.

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#58

Post by maxwelldeux » June 4th, 2020, 5:59 pm

1. Come Drink with Me (1966, HK)

This was certainly fun. Loved having a female protagonist be a badass.

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#59

Post by jdidaco » June 4th, 2020, 7:11 pm

Thank you for hosting, hurluberlu!

(Screenshots from 'Wutai jiemei' & 'Tian xia di yi jian'),

(Side Challenge 2: "A woman or women in action")

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1. Wutai jiemei (Two Stage Sisters, Xie Jin, 1964) 8.5/10 (China)
2. Tian xia di yi jian (The Fastest Sword, Pan Lei, 1968) 8/10 (Taiwan/Hong Kong)
3. Yi dai jian wang (The Swordsman of All Swordsmen, Joseph Kuo, 1968) 7.5/10 (Taiwan)
4. Du zhan (Drug War, Johnnie To, 2012) 8/10 (Hong Kong/China)

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Last edited by jdidaco on June 4th, 2020, 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#60

Post by hurluberlu » June 4th, 2020, 7:48 pm

4. A Yangtze Landscape (Xu Xin, 2017) [China] 6
Striking B&W visuals, contemplating the flow of industrial vessels sailing from Shanghai up the river. Where this documentary doesn't fully succeed is in connecting the onshore sequences that pause on impoverished inhabitants nearby. They are clearly stuck where everything moves around them - who they are, how they landed on there and how they survive would have been worth exploring deeper.
5. Dumplings / Gau ji (Fruit Chan, 2004)[HK] 7-
Enjoyable horror drama which focuses on the social and moral horror of the protagonists rather than its fantasy. A fine performance by the two lead actresses, with a very believable appetite for youth. Plot could have been less linear and characterization deeper.

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My women in action #2

6. Cities of Last Things (Wi Ding Ho, 2018) [Taiwan] 5
Messy story telling as if director wanted a Chinese Cloud Atlas and changed his mind for Rebels of the Neon God after 20 mins, without caring much for losing the viewers on the way. Saved somehow by a few decent drama segments and acting.

the time to watch and the time to watch againShow
1. Tears of the Yang-Tse / Yi jiang chun shui xiang dong liu [China] 6-
The historical context and moral dilemma were promising but dramatization is really over the top, and tiring at +180mins.
2. Running Out of Time / Am zin (Johnnie To, 1999) [HK] 7
Efficient direction for this cat-and-mouse game between a police negotiator and a singular thief. Has on top the typical, somehow formuleic, HK blend of drama, romance and comedy.
3. Cute Girl / Jiu shi liu liu de ta (Hsiao-hsien Hou, 1980) [Taiwan] 7-
I will start exploring my BR boxset of HHH early films (Carlotta). Cute Girl, his first fim, has not much of the social realism and uncompromising formalism of his future works but it is quite amusing to see premices of his style including distant composition of countryside landscapes, off-camera scenes and long takes. Besides, if you can tolerate the genre, it is a nice, little rom-com.
Quality of the restaured pictures is really great so I am looking forward to the next.

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My women in action #1
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#61

Post by Onderhond » June 4th, 2020, 7:59 pm

hurluberlu wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 8:12 pm
I havent seen anything really notable in that space with a few exceptions (yet). I guess Taiwan and HK are too far ahead for mainland to catchup. Rather, the most exciting productions from China in the recent years (Zhangke, Bi, Bing,...) never broke the link between rural and contemporary imo.
Maybe two random recs for you (not the flashy/mainstream kind) :
1. Here, Then
2. Crosscurrent
And a third one with has stronger genre influences, but still fits the bill:
3. The Continent

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#62

Post by morrison-dylan-fan » June 4th, 2020, 10:11 pm

Thanks for hosting hurluberlu.

FTV:1:Drug War (2012) 8. Mainland China.

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Revealed later that the original written ending was for the baddie to get away with it all, a ending that was never filmed due to suspicious the Chinese ratings board would not approve, the screenplay by Ka-Fai Wai/Nai-Hoi Yau/Ryker Chan and Xi Yu find a fittingly sly compromise, where justice gets served, but is a hollow one after the level of destruction inflicted on the cops. Untangling a major drug operation, the writers load up the frantic action with psychological thrills, as the team of detectives attempt to decode the criminals messages,whilst also heightening tension in the game of trust between Captain Zhang and informant/ drug dealer Choi.

The first of his works to be shot on the Mainland, directing auteur Johnnie To reunites with cinematographer Siu-Keung Cheng, and stylishly continues to build on the recurring comedic quirks To injects his Thrillers with,via discussions on planning a drug bust being done in sign language,anxiety being cast across the faces of the cops in excellent sequences involving secret mics being under risk of getting found, and To altering the speed of the film for the final battle,in order to give the final boss a wonderfully pulpy, video game gloss.

Shining a light on the Mainland underworld with blue lens flair, To & Cheng bring their eye for break-neck Action set-pieces over to the Mainland that incredibly include cops in the body count, (usually a huge no-no from China's ratings board) thanks to crispy long track shots rumbling down the roads in chases between the cops and the gangs,which turn into slick whip-pans on the hand to hand combat. Working with To for the 10th time,Louis Koo gives a gloriously all guns blazing turn as Choi, whose violent mood swings Koo uses to keep Choi on the edge, between both sides in the drug war.

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#63

Post by mjf314 » June 4th, 2020, 11:30 pm

SpoilerShow
1. Burning Ice (2017) episode 2
2. Burning Ice (2017) episode 3

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#64

Post by morrison-dylan-fan » June 5th, 2020, 4:34 am

FTV:2:Kung Fu Jungle (2014) Hong Kong. 6.

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High- kicking the killer karate chopping up a body count, the screenplay by co-writer/(with Tin Shu Mak and Ho-Leung Lau) director Teddy Chan takes the enticingly odd outline of a serial killer who murders with his Kung-Fu skills,and sadly sands it down with a miss-judged,too serious tone, hacking back to the ghosts that haunt criminal turned investigator Hahou Mo, rather than going for the more off-beat offering of the killer targeting people who are each experts in different forms of martial arts.

Twisting out of the straight line style of the script, director Chan & John Woo’s HK-era cinematographer Wing-Hang Wong unleash a barrage of ultra-stylised,peculiar action set-pieces,crunching bones onto and inside a human skeleton the size of a T-Rex dinosaur fossil (!) and the final,full-on fight between Hahou Mo, (played by a great, no nonsense Donnie Yen) and the killer sliding between slick wide-shots catching the duo use the environment around them for weapons, and burning red close-ups on Hahou unleashing killer Kung-Fu.

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#65

Post by flavo5000 » June 5th, 2020, 12:49 pm

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6. Sai yau gei: Yut gwong bou haap a.k.a. A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box (Jeffrey Lau, 1995) [Hong Kong/China]
7. Sai yau gei: Sin leui kei yun a.k.a. A Chinese Odyssey: Part Two - Cinderella (Jeffrey Lau, 1995) [Hong Kong]
This Stephen Chow-starring Monkey King epic has some fun action and shenanigans but also is a little too scattered and messy to be great.

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8. Wong Fei Hung III: Si wong jaang ba a.k.a. Once Upon A Time In China III (Hark Tsui, 1992) [Hong Kong]
Honestly not as good as the first two but still pretty decent.
SpoilerShow
1. Fang Shiyu yu Hong Xiguan a.k.a. Heroes Two (Cheh Chang, 1974) [Hong Kong]
2. Dung che sai duk a.k.a. Ashes of Time (Kar-Wai Wong, 1994)[Hong Hong/Taiwan]
3. Gu a.k.a. Bewitched (Chih-Hung Kuei, 1981) [Hong Kong]
4. Lung men bei chi a.k.a. Bruce's Deadly Fingers (Joseph Kong, 1976) [Hong Kong]
5. Geung si a.k.a. Rigor Mortis (Juno Mak, 2013) [Hong Kong]
6. Sai yau gei: Yut gwong bou haap a.k.a. A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box (Jeffrey Lau, 1995) [Hong Kong/China]
7. Sai yau gei: Sin leui kei yun a.k.a. A Chinese Odyssey: Part Two - Cinderella (Jeffrey Lau, 1995) [Hong Kong]
8. Wong Fei Hung III: Si wong jaang ba a.k.a. Once Upon A Time In China III (Hark Tsui, 1992) [Hong Kong]
Last edited by flavo5000 on June 5th, 2020, 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#66

Post by Onderhond » June 5th, 2020, 1:02 pm

flavo5000 wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 12:49 pm
This Stephen Chow-starring Monkey Kong epic has some fun action and shenanigans but also is a little too scattered and messy to be great.
That spider though! I liked the films a lot, but they're clearly part of the "Hong Kong machine", which was producing films back 2 back at that time.

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#67

Post by allisoncm » June 5th, 2020, 1:32 pm

allisoncm wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 6:12 am
1. Hou lai de wo men/Us & Them (2018, China) 6/10 Reminded me a lot of La La Land storywise. The end credits were pretty cute until the last card that left us on a sorrowful note.
2. Dear Ex (2018, Taiwan) 6/10 NETFLIX
I think my post got buried.

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#68

Post by hurluberlu » June 5th, 2020, 7:56 pm

Onderhond wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 7:59 pm
hurluberlu wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 8:12 pm
I havent seen anything really notable in that space with a few exceptions (yet). I guess Taiwan and HK are too far ahead for mainland to catchup. Rather, the most exciting productions from China in the recent years (Zhangke, Bi, Bing,...) never broke the link between rural and contemporary imo.
Maybe two random recs for you (not the flashy/mainstream kind) :
1. Here, Then
2. Crosscurrent
And a third one with has stronger genre influences, but still fits the bill:
3. The Continent
Thanks ! I will try one of them if I can find it !
allisoncm wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:32 pm
allisoncm wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 6:12 am
1. Hou lai de wo men/Us & Them (2018, China) 6/10 Reminded me a lot of La La Land storywise. The end credits were pretty cute until the last card that left us on a sorrowful note.
2. Dear Ex (2018, Taiwan) 6/10 NETFLIX
I think my post got buried.
You are up now !
#JeSuisCharlie Liberté, Liberté chérie !

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#69

Post by allisoncm » June 6th, 2020, 5:33 am

allisoncm wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:32 pm
allisoncm wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 6:12 am
1. Hou lai de wo men/Us & Them (2018, China) 6/10 Reminded me a lot of La La Land storywise. The end credits were pretty cute until the last card that left us on a sorrowful note.
2. Dear Ex (2018, Taiwan) 6/10 NETFLIX
I think my post got buried.
You are up now !
[/quote]

Thanks!

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#70

Post by morrison-dylan-fan » June 6th, 2020, 5:56 am

Hi all,tonight I gathered up the films for this challenge I've got waiting to be watched on disc. I started with a CAT III I imported ages ago.

FTV:3:Dr. Lamb (1992). Hong Kong. 8.

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Operating in front of and behind the camera,co-director/ (with Billy Tang Hin-Shing) actor Danny Lee gives a meaty performance as Inspector Lee, whose blunt approach to policing is rolled up by Danny in beatings Lee gives to the suspect,in the hope of kicking the truth out of him. Making a killing driving his taxi in the rain, Simon Yam gives a slithering,slimy performance as Lam Gor-Yu, whose thin smile Yam holds as Gor-Yu describes the precision he placed in dissecting his latest victim.

Partly based on real life murderer Lam Kor-wan, the screenplay by Kam-Fai Law dices clinical Crime tension from the interrogation by Lee unravelling the identities of Gor-Yu's victims, with wacky CAT III odd Comedy, which brings out a sleazy atmosphere, as the investigators joke around with evidence slipping out of their hands,in the middle of visiting the scene of the crime! Episodically tracking Gor-Yu with his next victim, Law smartly keeps things measured in building up Gor-Yu's level of depravity, reaching a peak with the last victim. Investigating a category infamous for being down & dirty, directors Danny Lee and Billy Tang Hin-Shing are joined by cinematographer Kin-Fai Mau in snapping Gor-Yu's crimes with a crystallised stylisation,recording Gor-Yu noting down his crimes with inferred blues and reds photographing Gor-Yu's murders, whilst pelts of rain tap on the windscreen in wide-shots,as screams come from within the car. Smashing the windscreen, the directors unload Gor-yu's crimes with a sleazy Grindhouse CAT III atmosphere tossing body parts and grisly photos,taken by Dr. Lamb.

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#71

Post by sol » June 6th, 2020, 8:39 am

All for the ChallengeShow
1. The One-Armed Swordsman (1967) Hong Kong
2. God of Gamblers (1989) Hong Kong
3. All for the Winner (1990) Hong Kong

4. Magnificent Butcher (1979) Hong Kong

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Sammo Hung as usual is a lot of fun to follow around here with his rubbery facial expressions and there is a particularly amusing part in which he mistakes instructions for cooking pig trotters as martial arts training commands. The narrative here though is incredibly hard to keep track of; subplots crop up and disappear left, right and centre. Then again, the choreography here is quite spirited throughout, with a calligraphy battle a real standout.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
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#72

Post by flavo5000 » June 6th, 2020, 12:32 pm

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9. Dong fu ren a.k.a. The Arch (Shu Shuen Tong, 1968) [Hong Kong]
Beautiful tone poem of a film. Much more experimental and refreshing in its approach than I was expecting.

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10. Miao jie gu shi a.k.a. Mean Street Story (Andrew Lau, 1995) [Hong Kong]
Early crime drama from Andrew Lau, director of the Infernal Affairs films. Not bad but lacks the polish and tight script that many of his later films showcased better.
SpoilerShow
1. Fang Shiyu yu Hong Xiguan a.k.a. Heroes Two (Cheh Chang, 1974) [Hong Kong]
2. Dung che sai duk a.k.a. Ashes of Time (Kar-Wai Wong, 1994)[Hong Hong/Taiwan]
3. Gu a.k.a. Bewitched (Chih-Hung Kuei, 1981) [Hong Kong]
4. Lung men bei chi a.k.a. Bruce's Deadly Fingers (Joseph Kong, 1976) [Hong Kong]
5. Geung si a.k.a. Rigor Mortis (Juno Mak, 2013) [Hong Kong]
6. Sai yau gei: Yut gwong bou haap a.k.a. A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box (Jeffrey Lau, 1995) [Hong Kong/China]
7. Sai yau gei: Sin leui kei yun a.k.a. A Chinese Odyssey: Part Two - Cinderella (Jeffrey Lau, 1995) [Hong Kong]
8. Wong Fei Hung III: Si wong jaang ba a.k.a. Once Upon A Time In China III (Hark Tsui, 1992) [Hong Kong]
9. Dong fu ren a.k.a. The Arch (Shu Shuen Tong, 1968) [Hong Kong]
10. Miao jie gu shi a.k.a. Mean Street Story (Andrew Lau, 1995) [Hong Kong]

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blueboybob
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#73

Post by blueboybob » June 6th, 2020, 5:22 pm

15. [Hong Kong] Lu ke yu dao ke (1970)
16. [China] Su Zhou he (2000)
17. [Hong Kong] Jiao tou fa wei (1985)

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#74

Post by mjf314 » June 6th, 2020, 7:00 pm

Onderhond wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:02 pm
flavo5000 wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 12:49 pm
This Stephen Chow-starring Monkey Kong epic has some fun action and shenanigans but also is a little too scattered and messy to be great.
That spider though! I liked the films a lot, but they're clearly part of the "Hong Kong machine", which was producing films back 2 back at that time.
When you say "Hong Kong machine", do you mean there are a lot of similar films? Or do you just mean that they made it quickly?

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Onderhond
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#75

Post by Onderhond » June 6th, 2020, 8:14 pm

mjf314 wrote:
June 6th, 2020, 7:00 pm
When you say "Hong Kong machine", do you mean there are a lot of similar films? Or do you just mean that they made it quickly?
Made quickly, efficiently, but also with a lot of skill. They cranked out films at an amazing speed, but they also took their learnings from one film and applied them in the next.
And sure, when a genre got popular everybody jumped on the bandwagon, but these films never feel like lazy cash-ins or pure STV filler.

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#76

Post by maxwelldeux » June 7th, 2020, 12:16 am

A Region Escaping the NewsShow
1. Come Drink with Me (1966, HK)
2. Operation Red Sea (2018, China)

This was fun. Action/War film with high-intensity battles. Definitely a little propagandistic, but if you take it with a grain of salt, it's a fun battle film. Nice shot construction and cinematography, my favorites were the slow-motion bullet sequences. Plus, a tank battle, which is less common.

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#77

Post by AB537 » June 7th, 2020, 12:22 am

2. Rèn xiāo yáo - Unknown Pleasures (Jia Zhangke, 2002, China) 6.5/10

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#78

Post by mjf314 » June 7th, 2020, 2:28 am

SpoilerShow
1. Burning Ice (2017, China) episode 2
2. Burning Ice (2017, China) episode 3
3. Burning Ice (2017, China) episode 4
4. Burning Ice (2017, China) episode 5

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Mario Gaborović
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#79

Post by Mario Gaborović » June 7th, 2020, 6:45 am

3. Ying hung boon sik (1986) - Hong Kong
4. Guizi lai le (2000) - China

SpoilerShow
1. Shen wei san meng long (1980) - Hong Kong
2. Proposition (2012) + Tricycle Thief (2014) + Death of a Parrot (2015) + The Identity of the Portuguese Egg Tart (2015) + The Great Debt (2016) + CaCa: I Want Cat to Say Yes (2017) + O Cravo (2017) + Desireland, Multiverse (2020) - Macao

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#80

Post by hurluberlu » June 7th, 2020, 9:14 am

7. The Missing Gun / Xun qiang (Chuan Lu, 2002) [China] 7+
Fun thriller. This is the debut feature of Chuan Lu and there is a lot he wants to show as a director, sometimes abusing from camera effects and editing but overall it gives a lot of pace to the action. Wen Jiang is excellent as always; from stupidness to cold determination, he really has a broad acting range.

8. The Green, Green Grass of Home / Zai na he pan qing cao qing (Hsiao-hsien Hou, 1982) [Taiwan] 6+
Continuing with HHH earlies, this one revolves around an elementary school in the countryside where a teacher from Taipei comes as a substitute and try to blend in - a connection between rural and urban that HHH will explore in many films. Whereas there are still some comedy elements you can sense HHH is now slowing down the action for more contemplative sequences and focusing on developing intertwining stories that only resolve at the end with a converging subtext. It got me only mildly engaged though.

9. Armour of God / Lung hing foo dai (Jackie Chan, 1986) [HK] 4
Boring and mediocre - Jackie Chan trying to be half-Indiana Jones half-James Bond through Europe and failing in both. I am not a huge fan of his films anyway but there was one single exciting stunt - in cars, which for a JC movie is kind of lackluster to say the least.

10. The Ditch / Jiabiangou (Bing Wang, 2010) [China] 8-
Essential companion of Dead Souls (2018), as a fiction made from the same harrowing testimonies Bing kept collecting about Rightists re-education camps under Mao's era.

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Women in action #3

the time to watch and the time to watch againShow
1. Tears of the Yang-Tse / Yi jiang chun shui xiang dong liu [China] 6-
The historical context and moral dilemma were promising but dramatization is really over the top, and tiring at +180mins.
2. Running Out of Time / Am zin (Johnnie To, 1999) [HK] 7
Efficient direction for this cat-and-mouse game between a police negotiator and a singular thief. Has on top the typical, somehow formuleic, HK blend of drama, romance and comedy.
3. Cute Girl / Jiu shi liu liu de ta (Hsiao-hsien Hou, 1980) [Taiwan] 7-
I will start exploring my BR boxset of HHH early films (Carlotta). Cute Girl, his first fim, has not much of the social realism and uncompromising formalism of his future works but it is quite amusing to see premices of his style including distant composition of countryside landscapes, off-camera scenes and long takes. Besides, if you can tolerate the genre, it is a nice, little rom-com.
Quality of the restaured pictures is really great so I am looking forward to the next.

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My women in action #1

4. A Yangtze Landscape (Xu Xin, 2017) [China] 6
Striking B&W visuals, contemplating the flow of industrial vessels sailing from Shanghai up the river. Where this documentary doesn't fully succeed is in connecting the onshore sequences that pause on impoverished inhabitants nearby. They are clearly stuck where everything moves around them - who they are, how they landed on there and how they survive would have been worth exploring deeper.
5. Dumplings / Gau ji (Fruit Chan, 2004)[HK] 7-
Enjoyable horror drama which focuses on the social and moral horror of the protagonists rather than its fantasy. A fine performance by the two lead actresses, with a very believable appetite for youth. Plot could have been less linear and characterization deeper.

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My women in action #2

6. Cities of Last Things (Wi Ding Ho, 2018) [Taiwan] 5
Messy story telling as if director wanted a Chinese Cloud Atlas and changed his mind for Rebels of the Neon God after 20 mins, without caring much for losing the viewers on the way. Saved somehow by a few decent drama segments and acting.
#JeSuisCharlie Liberté, Liberté chérie !

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