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Raoul

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PostSubject: Recently watched movie thread   Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:24 am

Thought I'd give this another try and given that I watch a lot of movies I probably have a lot to add. I'll do this one post at a time.

Ong Bak 2
Unless you've been living on another planet with no form of telecommunication other than a combination of smoke signals and shrieks, then you would have heard about Ong Bak 2.

Not a direct sequel to the first, moreso a prequel telling the story about the origins of the Buddha statue from the first movie...Well at least that's what I believe.

I watched the movie last night in it's Thai format and without any subs. As a result, I can only guess what was being said in the movie, but thankfully it doesn't appear to be "where's my elephant?" like in Tony Jaa's last outing The Protector.

Thai cinema has boomed because of the likes of Tony and his choreographer Panna Rittikrai and I believe this movie broke a stack of records not only in Thailand but across Asia.

Ong Bak 2 is essentially a beat 'em up, and there is a stack of fighting in the movie. Tony has experimented with several styles in this movie, bringing in a lot of swordplay, drunken boxing and even three-section-staff work. If you love watching people getting belted and belted hard, then this is probably the movie of the year for you.

Myself on the other hand was disappointed. The trailer showed a lot of interesting stuff and I saw all of this in the movie, but having the whole scene pan out before me wasn't as ball-tearing as I was expecting. I found the swordplay awful most of the time as the onscreen fighters shuffled stiffly and seemingly only able to move one part of their body at a time. I think it was this and weapons-play in general that really hurt the movie for me as Tony (or Panna depending on who the choreographer of the scene was at the time) didn't seem to have that much going on. Essentially the movie came out as a bastardisation of an 80s Jackie Chan movie, mixed with a late 70s Shaw Brothers wuxia movie, mixed with an every other genre cliché -- but with a painful looking finisher.

Ong Bak pushed new boundaries, The Protector edged them further, Ong Bak 2 tries too hard.

Anyway the long and the short of it, 6.5 out of 10. The action isn't bad, but it's not hot.

*Next movie...hopefully Ip Man. I've had a copy for a while now. Just need to watch it.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:33 am

You won't be disappointed with "Ip Man". It is a very good film.

"The Clones Of Bruce Lee" 3/5

I was hoping to enjoy this more than I did. Not that it doesn't have a certain charm as being one of those films that is so bad it's actually quite good, AKA "Plan 9 From Outer Space". It's just that at times it is plain bad. You'll laugh a little, but mostly you'll cringe.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:03 pm

Sweet and Sour Cops 1.

Finally i found this great comedy.
Liu Wai Hung and Kent Cheng as stupid cops who desire for promotion.They do a lot of funny things,funny chases and etc.If you like Hong Kong cop-comedies of 80s,then you'll love it!Ok,this will is the best movies i saw on March.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:06 am

Man, Clones of Bruce Lee only gets a 3/5. Oh well, it was a bruceploitation movie. I'm yet to see it and your words have stirred me only further!

By no means a kung fu movie (well not really) I recently watched the movie You Don't Mess With the Zohan.

I know this movie copped a lot of heat as a pale Adam Sandler comedy with predictable jokes in a Borat-esque accent. But I have to admit, this is easily my favourite Sandler movie.

Well, I haven't seen that many of his films, but his over-acting always irritated me as it would usually have some dramatic background in the story. With YDMWtZ, the story, the acting, everything was so far over-the-top, it was hard not to unbuckle the seatbelt and go flying in crazy Sandler-land.

Sandler puts the 'tit' into the titular Zohan, playing him with zest and pure idiocy which is a perfect blend. Zohan is the Israeli army's number 1 counter terrorist but secretly craves the American dream of being a hair stylist as he cries himself to sleep whining "I just want to make people silky smooth".

The short of it is he falls in love with a Palestinian hairdresser and yeah...well you can guess the rest. That said there is a lot of sight gags and one-liners that had me cackling like a loon.

I've heard that diehard Sandler fans feel indifferent towards this movie, but if you want to chill out watching something with minimal depth and stacks of low-brow gags, you'll love it!

7.5 out of 10.

Still planning to watch Ip Man.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:28 am

"City Of Violence" 2/5

This is a second viewing for me of this Korean action film and it doesn't improve. The last twenty five minutes is one action set piece followed by the next, and even though the action is well done with plenty of excitement the rest of the film drags by comparison and doesn't hold my interest. There is simply not enough originality in this revenge story that takes its ideas from various sources.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:54 am

Drunken Master wrote:
[color=blue]"City Of Violence" 2/5[color]

I watched that some time ago and I can totally understand the score. Personally, the action wasn't that great for me and like you said, the movie does drag to the point where you don't even care about the characters.

Umm...Yes Man

Quite funny, with Jim Carrey nowhere near as annoying as in his earlier movies, ala Ace Ventura, Liar, Liar, etc.

An actual plot about Jim's character who pledges to say 'yes' to everything. I heard the interview with the guy who wrote the book and kind of felt the movie didn't quite meet his expectations. Anyway, that said, silly and funny with a little bit of heart.

8 out of 10.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:34 am

A double bill of Johnnie To triad movies......

"The Mission" 4.5/5

Offbeat, quirky and very stylish with first rate performances all round, especially Anthony Wong, Lam Suet and Francis Ng, but it loses half a point for the awful music on the soundtrack. Five men are brought together to be bodyguard to a local triad boss (Played by Eddie Ko.) who is under an assassination threat. A mix of action set pieces and some charater humour all help to flesh out characters that deliberately stay a mystery for most of the film. This award winning film is completely engrossing...... and I really didn't expect the ending so that made it even better.

So impressed was I with this that I had to dive straight into


"Exiled" 4/5

This film really feels like a sequel to "The Mission" as it features a lot of the same cast (Francis Ng, Lam Suet, Anthony Wong and Roy Cheung.) in similar roles. This time our "heroes" are hired killers who refuse to carry out a hit on an old friend ordered by Boss Fay (Simon Yam) and so become outsiders and targets for his men. The only way to end this is to take in the triad boss. Bonds of friendship and loyalty go one step further in this film that plays with the concept of fate and sacrifice.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:06 am

Drunken Master wrote:
[color=blue]"The Mission" 4.5/5

I have to admit I've never seen this movie but I really love the movies of Mr To. He certainly knows how to make a film and his plots are always fresh and unpredictable.

The Rebel
A very classy period movie from Vietnam, The Rebel broke box-office records everywhere and is the highest grossing Vietnamese movie ever made. Funnily enough though, the main star, director and most of the behind-the-scenes people are American-Vietnamese (check out the main actor, Johnny Nyugen's awesome US accent in the protector).

The Rebel follows in the almost assured plot of nationalism against an unwanted invader, in this case the French.

Johnny Nyugen plays a bodyguard hired to protect French officials but soon becomes aware of the situation of his countrymen. Teaming up with Veronica Ngo, they then embark on a crusade against French occupiers, and artistically kicking the snot out of them in the process.

Nyugen shows off his impressive kicking skills and in the movie's fight scenes you'll see a stack of painful looking takedowns/finishers much in the vein to Ong Bak. It's clear that a lot of work went into making the movie and it does feel a lot like the movies of Panna Rittikrai, particularly Born to Fight.

Veronica Ngo is a former pop star but does get quite a few chances to shine by kicking ass. I'm not sure if she's been formally trained, but she certainly performed well on film.

There is a lot to love about The Rebel with it's incredible bone-crunching fights, a reasonably simple but engaging story and a likeable couple to lead. That said, there are drawback in each of these areas: While Nyugen is arguably one of the best modern onscreen kickers I've seen, his handwork is fall-over pathetic at times; the theme is pretty straightforward but still nothing new; and Nyugen and Ngo ultimately do what we think they'll do from the beginning...get down and dirty -- not explicit, but not relevant in a MA movie (at least IMO).

Overall, I'd recommend anyone that loves the current blend of Thai movies to check this one out.

7 out of 10.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:34 am

"Monsters Vs Aliens" 4/5

This latest 3D animation from Dreamworks is another massive hit in the making. Taking sci-fi films of the 50's, most of which any avid film buff will get (and even just genre occasionals will get some too), this is a delightful comic romp with some impressive action sequences. My daughter loved this for slightly different reasons. This film gives a strong lead role to a female character, so it was an instant winner there. Like most Dreamworks films before it, there are jokes that will go over the heads of the children watching but adults will get them. Great characters throughout, a story with a message that you have to accept yourself for what you are and a stream of funny sight and verbal gags make this 93 minutes of magic. The 3D effects put you in the middle of the action but unlike some films in this style the effects are not overpowering. The most obvious 3D shots are all for comic effect and obviously done to poke fun at films that use 3D just as a gimmick. Highly recommended for the child in all of us. crazy
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:22 am

Katalin and I watched "The Usual Suspects" last night. I couldn't wait for her to see it, and to see her reaction at the ending! Surprised


I think sometimes it's an added bonus to watch a film you have seen already with someone who has not. You get to "re-live" your first-time reactions vicariously through another. wink


Anyone else ever do that?
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:31 pm

Rewatched City Cop 5/5.

Starring:Michael Chow,Parkman Wong and the guy on my avatar.Probably it's Danny Lee's last best effort,lots of gunfighting,great stunts and everything you saw before in Lee's movies.Great movie!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:53 am

"Blind Fist Of Bruce" (AKA "Blind Fists Of Bruce Lee") 2.5/5

Simon Yuen is the blind kung fu master who teaches Bruce Li how to fight to get revenge on a gang of criminals in this old skool film that's only link to Bruceploitation is in the title. No mimicing Bruce Lee at all in fact, so the title makes no sense at all. Most of the action is purely perfunctory with simple moves with very little flair. The plot is a complete rehash of a dozen or more films, in fact Simon Yuen's presence makes it feel almost Drunken Master/Snake in Eagle's Shadow-ish but without Jackie Chan's star quality. Admittedly some genuine bonding between Simon Yuen and Bruce Li help carry the story along but on the whole this is typical of the independantly produced kung fu films from the latter part of the seventies. It's only mildly entertaining but hardly memorable at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:22 am

Dashiell wrote:
Katalin and I watched "The Usual Suspects" last night. I couldn't wait for her to see it, and to see her reaction at the ending! Surprised


I think sometimes it's an added bonus to watch a film you have seen already with someone who has not. You get to "re-live" your first-time reactions vicariously through another. wink


Anyone else ever do that?

All the time mate. I did this with the Mr Vampire series at a mate's place and at school -- that certainly got some reactions!

Watched Mismatched Couples starring a very young Donnie Yen, Yuen Wo-Ping and I don't know her name, but she's married to Jackie Cheung.

Seeing that I watched this in Cantonese I didn't really get much out of the script, but mind you it was pretty easy to see what was going on. Donnie is a young kid who like fooling around and breakdancing. You get to see him have a breakdance fight with some foreign guy (help me out here if you've seen it) and essentially that's the whole movie. Well that and Mr Yuen hits on Donnie's mum.

Dick Wei turns up as an obsessed gym freak and challenges Donnie and they fight a little, but that's it in terms of action.

If you want to see Yuen Wo Ping or Donnie Yen at their best, look elsewhere, but if you want to see Donnie doing some laughable expressions and gyrations, you'll be very pleased.

6 out of 10.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:44 pm


The is a commentary track recorded by the guys at www.podcastonfire.com for "Mismatched Couples". Just scroll down to find it on this page.


http://podcastonfire.com/?paged=2
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:38 pm

Raoul wrote:

Dick Wei turns up as an obsessed gym freak and challenges Donnie and they fight a little, but that's it in terms of action.

I like Dick Wei, but his movies are not easy to get.

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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:17 am

Katalin wrote:
I like Dick Wei, but his movies are not easy to get.

Word on that. Excellent performer, but very rarely have I seen him play a good guy...

...come to think of it, I think that Pedicab Driver is the only time I've seen him be a goodie.

Also, cheers on the heads up for the commentary for Mismatched Couples. I'll try watching again sometime soon and see if that broadens my experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:30 am

Dick Wei got a rare chance to play the good guy in Benny Chan's "Code Of Honour" where he played a police officer trying to bring down a triad boss. The old VHS I have has "starring Chow Yun Fat" on the front cover....... he's only in the film for about two minutes.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:58 pm

Oh, yes yes! I do have and watched that movie. He was quite good in it and I was so upset about selling the movie under the name of Chow Yun Fat who appeared exactly for two minutes as you said.

If there was an underrated actor topic he would be one of the first ones to appear!

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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:12 am

"Aces Go Places" 4/5

The first film in the long running series is a great start. Crazy stunts and some nice comedy combine quite well. Sam Hui comes across really well while Karl Maka on the other hand comes across as misogynistic as ever (And getting away with it?). Sylvia Chang is just brilliant! Can't wait for number two now.


"Fist Of Fury 2" 2/5

Very poor and totally unnecessary follow up to the Bruce Lee classic with Bruce Li in full Bruceploitation mode, right down to the multiple cuts on his body and face by the end. Lo Lieh adds a bit of class, but apart from the final fight this is pretty forgettable stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:22 pm

Okay, I've done the unthinkable...

I watched Dragonball Evolution yesterday, surrounded by a group of pre-pubescent teens, slightly older action fans, and a bit older diehard Dragonball fans -- which I guess I sort of where I fit in.

I think that all but the last group weren't overly disappointed as the movie did seem to be constantly moving; just that I'm not sure.

Dragonball Evolution as one of the new promos goes is "everything you know, and something more" or something to that effect... And in reality there is very little to do with the original Dragonball cartoon series and manga except for the titular Dragonballs of course, and the characters.

Goku (I'm not going to even bother trying to figure out who the actors were) is a high school student (wtf!) that's been training secretly with his grand dad and in clichéd fashion he's not popular, nerdy and bullied. He falls for Chichi, another high school student who's dating the big man on campus. Goku shows off some of his inner power (Ki) secretly at school but is caught out by Chichi who (omfg) understands the principles of inner power and strength. She invites him to a party and...this is only the first 15 minutes of the movie and I'm putting in way too much effort into this.

Anyway, long story short, Piccolo is the bad guy, who wants all of the Dragonballs to wish to become the leader of the world. Goku who receives a Dragonball from his grand dad (before he is smashed by Piccolo) teams up with Bulma, Master Rochi (played by Chow Yun Fat) and Yumcha to find the Dragonballs first.

If it seems convoluted, that's because it is. They tried to cram far too many clichés from the series into a pretty short movie. But the positive thing is that you never get too bored with the movie as there's always something happening.

There is a lot of fun in terms of the characters doing powerblasts such as the kamehameha (pronounced quite terribly as 'comey- hummy-ha') but the reality is the moves look nowhere near as smooth as in the manga or anime. The fight choreo is comparable to the Charlie's Angels movies so it's passable by Hollywood standards, but is pretty erratic with its fast cuts and the jerky moves of the characters. As a fan of the action from the Dragonball Z anime I remember it for being insanely fast which this didn't really live up to. Just a little undercranking here and there would have made it just that bit more fun.

Anyway, if you love your Dragonball anime and manga, then there's probably nothing here to like. But as an action movie, it's not that bad, just very B-grade. Heck, the guy who played Goku was actually very likeable in the role. But otherwise, if you're difficult to please like me, you probably will hate this. At least the 10 year olds in front of me liked the thing ("how awesome was that! Can't wait for the next one!")

4 out of 10.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:47 am

I resisted the temptation to go see "Dragonball Evolution" yesterday. I'm chuffed with that.

OK. I've seen a few films over the last few days, along with "The Secret Rivals" and "The Hot, The Cold & The Vicious" (For research reasons... and both of which I really enjoyed again.) so here goes......


"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" 2.5/5

I can't help but feel that after all the waiting and all the publicity that this film fails to even come close to reaching expectations. There are a few touches of the old Indy magic in there, but they are few and far between. In the end this is just another CGI extravaganza with no heart. Please. No more.


"Hancock" 3.5/5

Will Smith is perfect in this super hero film that sends up the genre without ever being silly. When the film does go looking to give a message towards the end it loses its way a touch and becomes a bit too syrupy for my taste, but this was far more fun than I was expecting it to be considering the bad press this has had.


"Aces Go Places 2" 3.5/5

I'm a sucker for this kind of nonsense. The robots were terrible and you can see the wires more than once but this is just so funny at times that all the errors are forgiveable. I even noticed a few more subtitle errors than would normally register with me but so what? More crazy stunts and even better comedy than the first film, it's only the lack of any real plot for most of the film that lets it down. Still tremendous fun though.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:47 am

I've watched quite a bit since last time I posted, though nothing too memorable. Let's see...

Lost in translation - Watched this for the second time and this time round just couldn't get through it. I found Sophia Coppola's direction tedious and pretentious for about 70% of the movie and was surprised that I liked it so much the first time I watched it. Mind you, I was watching it with my then Japanese girlfriend so that may have influenced my thoughts.

A disappointed 4.5 out of 10.

Also watched, or again, tried to watch The Messenger as I didn't make it all the way through this movie neither. I think my tolerance for watching non-foreign movies is slipping as I found the movie again, too slowly paced and the character Joan so irritating I was wishing she'd get showered with arrows ala Zhang Yimou's Hero.

3 out of 10.

Given my annoyance, I deliberately went looking for something I knew I would have better luck with and dug out Martial Club for what was probably my 5th viewing. Yet another take on the Wong Fei-Hung story and loaded with fantastic fight choreography. The finale in this ranks as one of the best from Lau Kar Leung and would easily make my top 20.

That said, the story despite being simple and relaxed became a little cluttered by characters constantly looking for a fight. Certain scenes didn't bear that much relevance like the one Chinese Opera, or even the Lion dancing (which start and end the movie and seemingly are supposed to be what the story stems from??).

Anyway, 7 out of 10.
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:57 pm

Martial Club

Since I have a high tolerance for bad movies with great fight scenes, I'm going to rent this movie now. Thanks for the lead!
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:27 am

I like Martial Club,the story fits for kung fu movies,great fights+Johnny Wang=Great Picture!
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PostSubject: Re: Recently watched movie thread   Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:29 am

achillesgirl wrote:
Martial Club

Since I have a high tolerance for bad movies with great fight scenes, I'm going to rent this movie now. Thanks for the lead!

You'll love it, I guarantee. I think Bey Logan once said the finale from Martial Club is his all-time favourite one-on-one duel. Most of the fights are good, but the last 15 minutes are pure brilliance.

Dragon Tiger Gate was the last movie I watched, or re-watched as it so happens. As I started watching the movie, after about 10-15 minutes I started thinking, "hey, this movie isn't that bad...why does it always get such a bad rap?" After the movie finished though I could understand why.

The story is pretty awful and downright purile at times. It's hard to believe that Wilson Yip directed this, especially after just finishing work with Donnie Yen on SPL. Anyway, the story -- Donnie Yen and Nic Tse play brothers that were separated at an early age. Nic is good, and Donnie is bad - well, a hired goon anyway. Donnie tries to get back to the good side - blah blah blah - fighting.

I don't really remember the characters names in this movie other than of course, Dragon and Tiger (with Shawn Yue showing up as the character 'Turbo'), and essentially that's what this movie is like. The story and characters are forgetable, but the action is first rate. The biggest shame is that the story and plot suffered despite a strong cast and competent director, as they tried a little too hard for the comic book style pitched at teens.

Anyway, I still really love the action in this movie, and the bird's eye camera showing fighting in a Japanese restaurant was mind-blowing in how well it was done and cut together.

5 out of 10 overall, but 9 out of 10 for action.

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