Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
theoddone33

Asian films

184 posts in this topic

I feel kinda bad for bumping this thread so much, but here's a couple of news items that are too great to ignore:

Jet Li is making another sequel to The Shaolin Temple. (!!) Hopefully martial arts fans will understand the enormity of this.

Chen Kaige's long-awaited epic The Promise will apparently be out this December. I for one am very excited about this film. Given that it started shooting in early to mid 2004 that seems like a long post-production, but it reportedly uses CG quite heavily.

The Promise features a very talented pan-Asian cast, including Nicholas Tse, Cecilia Cheung, Jang Dong-Kun (Taegukgi), Henry Sonada (The Twilight Samurai) and popular mainland star Liu Ye (The Floating Landscape, The Foliage).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't there a thread about Last Life in the Universe already? I guess not.

I just watched it and was underwhelmed for a few reasons... not the least of which being that English dialogue was not subtitled on the Netflix DVD. Doyle's cinematography was good, but not his best work. The story had some nice moments but the movie was so trippy it was hard to tell what was going on, especially without the English dialogue. The ending... trippy as well. I didn't understand it, but at that point I didn't really care. Afterwards I looked on IMDB and realized that the whole movie was full of inside jokes that I hadn't understood because I don't like Miike's films. (I've seen Ichi the Killer, but I didn't realize the two movies shared a lead actor, and I didn't catch the Miike cameo.)

I'll need to give it a second chance sometime, when someone puts out a DVD with good subtitles. Until then it's going in my 3 star category. I feel like I should apologize for not liking it... I guess that's what hype does to you.

Edited by theoddone33

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The short discussion between Opus and myself can be found here. The thread will probably get a little longer soon, in that Opus asked me about a brief statement I made on the film here.

I think you should watch it again, Odd One. Wait six months or so, get the R2 and think about Mulholland Drive in the process.

Oh, and by the way, if we are discussing the same Last Life in the Universe, the director is actually Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, and I will advise you to give up on anything M

Edited by stef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Isn't there a thread about Last Life in the Universe already?
Edited by opus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Firecracker, an Asian film magazine, just put all of their issues on-line. I haven't had a chance to go through everything, but at just a brief glimpse, it looks pretty impressive. Lots of reviews, interviews, and other articles about cinema from all over Asia. Thankfully, it looks like they focus on the "cult" stuff (like Shaolin Vs. Evil Dead) just as much the "serious" stuff (like Hero).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've posted some comments in the other thread. I was aware that Miike didn't direct Last Life in the Universe... and yes, I generally stay far away from his films. (With the exception of the one with Michelle Reis in it, which was pretty good.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, and by the way, if we are discussing the same Last Life in the Universe, the director is actually Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, and I will advise you to give up on anything M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just saw this on AICN and Twitch... a new trailer for Tom Yum Goong, the follow up to Ong-Bak, is up and running on the film's official website. The entire trailer is in slow-mo, which gets a bit gratuitous, but there are also some real sweet shots. I think my favorite, speaking as someone whose internal 12 year old still wants to be a ninja more than anything else in the world, is the reverse spin kick in mid-air where he uses his elbow to deflect the guy's sword. Sweet...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some general news:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-04/...ent_2857320.htm

Chinese director Chen Chong will adapt the novel "Fu Sang" by renowned writer Yan Geling for the big screen.

Rising Chinese star Zhang Ziyi will play the film's lead role, a simple girl that is forced into prostitution in the United States.

Hmm... how will it compare to Bad Guy, I wonder.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-04/...ent_2847630.htm

Two of Chinese most popular film stars, Jet Li and Zhang Ziyi, will set sail with Keanu Reeves in the updated Sinbad movie.

The film's maker Rob Cohen is hoping the three stars will play Sinbad's crew in what will be the eighth movie voyage for the mythical sailor.

(Rob Cohen... isn't that the guy that makes terrible films?)

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-04/...ent_2849835.htm

This year's high-profile hit "The Promise" will be made into a popular online game, titled "The Promise Online".

The project marks China's first attempt to turn a blockbuster film into an online game.

The Promise will appear at the Cannes Film Festival, which opens early next month.

This is likely to be the highest-profile film to come out of China all year. I'm pretty excited about it, even though I certainly won't be at Cannes to see it. Don't be surprised if it makes huge waves... bigger than CTHD or Hero? Maybe.

Edited by theoddone33

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Top HK director Derrick Yee's latest project started showing in HK theaters on April 28. The film is entitled 2 Young, and stars Jaycee Fong (son of Jackie Chan) as a young man who is forced to grow up quickly when it is discovered that his girlfriend is pregnant. I haven't seen much info or excitement about this film, but given the strength of Yee's 2003 family-issues drama, Lost and Found, it could be worth keeping an eye out for this one on Netflix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Shaolin Temple' stars reunite for wushu competition

Fans of classic wushu movies from Mainland China like Jet Li's early Shaolin Temple series and Yellow River Fighter should plan on heading to Hartford, Connecticut this weekend for the Greater Hartford International Chinese Martial Arts Tournament.

The event will be hosted by Hu Jianqiang, the former national champion of China who played one of the young monks in "Shaolin Temple" and the oldest brother in "Kids From Shaolin". Yu Chengwei (Yue Sing-wai), the "Yellow River Fighter" himself, will be there, along with Eagle Claw stylist Ji Chunhua (Gai Chun-wa), the bad guy who fought with a claw-tipped staff in "Shaolin Temple".

Chang Hsin-yen (Cheung Yam-yim), director of "Shaolin Temple", "Kids From Shaolin" and "Yellow River Fighter" will be in attendance, as will Zhao Changjun, star of "Blade of Fury" and "White Lotus Cult".

I wouldn't mind seeing these guys strut their stuff, especially considering how old some of them must be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know The Odd One is going to love this... the screenwriter of Gladiator is looking to remake Park Chan-Wook's JSA, using the U.S./Mexico border as a backdrop. Click here for the full article.

blink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How utterly ridiculous - I can't see how such a transmogrification could retain even a fraction of the power of the original 'JSA'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From HK Entertainment Review:

Paul Fonoroff reviewed Derek Yee Tung-Sing's 2 YOUNG for the South China Morning Post yesterday. Fonoroff gave the film three stars and said it "affords an engaging look at a very real social problem". He predicted that Fiona Sit Hoi-Kei would get a HKFA nomination next year and noted that Jaycee Fong Tso-Ming bounces back from his terrible debut in THE TWINS EFFECT II by showing "genuine charisma".

And more on The Promise here:

Chinese director Chen Kaige's mega-budget film "The Promise" held a meet-the-press conference at the 58th Cannes Film Festival on Thursday night.

The high profile film showed its eleven-minute film trailer attracting over 258 publishing companies across the world st a grand and luxurious premiere banquet at the famous CHATEAU-LANAPOULE castle.

I'm hoping that eleven-minute trailer makes its way onto the Internet sometime soon. This will be the [Asian] film of the year.

Also word has it that five Asian films are competing for the top prize at Cannes, including Johnnie To's latest, Election, a film by Hsiao-hsien Hou, and apparently... though it's not on IMDB... a new film by Hong Sang-soo, whose film Woman is the Future of Man competed last year and won my personal award for worst Korean film ever.

Edited by theoddone33

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... sounds like Derek Yee is becoming the Hong Kong director to watch. The IMDb page for 2 Young can be found here, but there's very little info as of yet. The cast looks pretty solid... both Eric Tsang and Anthony Wong star.

To be honest, I haven't been paying much attention to the promise. What I've seen of Kaige in the past hasn't impressed me too much. The cast appears pretty solid, though - Liu Ye (the best part about Purple Butterfly), Hiroyuki Sanada (I loved him in The Twilight Samurai), and some lady named Cecilia Cheung or something. wink.gif

Edited by opus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been impressed with Kaige's technical and storytelling skills. The man knows how to put together an epic, that is for sure. I've been bored by both of the two films of his that I've seen, but they always seem to be rewarding in the end.

And yeah, the cast is a big draw. The best Liu Ye performance I've seen was in The Floating Landscape which was a good movie but not spectacular. Dang Jong-Kun and Nicholas Tse should also make this quite an affair. I'm hoping that it manages to be a better and more commercial version of The Emporer and the Assassin, while not stooping to the lows of terrible CG usage ie The Storm Riders. (Also a Cecilia Cheung flick.)

For whatever it's worth, the bc magazine review of 2 Young was a little less flattering. (Scroll down)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LoveHKFilms just posted their review of 2 Young.

2 Young looks like a step down for Derek Yee. Last year's Best Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards, Yee eschews complex themes or clever narratives for this rather generic youth drama. This isn't a tough motion picture with difficult things to say. In fact, everything about 2 Young is simple to the point of probable annoyance. Yet despite that - or maybe even because of it - 2 Young turns out to be an enjoyable and surprisingly engrossing melodrama, and Yee's handling has plenty to do with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Misc. links, hopefully of interest:

Wong Kar Wai blames audiences for HK slump.

More 'Promise-ing' hype. Here's an interesting excerpt:

If [The Promise] had been made in Hollywood, it would have cost more than US$ 140 million. But thanks to support from the Chinese government, which even built roads for the shooting of the film, the production crew were able to save both money and time.

Jet Li almost gave up movies for Buddhism.

Edited by theoddone33

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No big surprise here, but apparently the US distribution rights for The Promise have been sold, probably meaning a U.S. theatrical release in 2006. Story here:

BEIJING, May 18 -- Chinese director Chen Kaige's mega-budget film The Promise has sold its publishing rights in America, England and Australia to Weinstein Company and IDG New Media in Cannes.

Harvey Weinstein, the president of Weinstein Company, attended a screening of a 12-minute synopsis of The Promise at Cannes, along with 120 other distributors.

He confirmed Chen Kaige's status as a master of cinema and regards this film to be a top Academy Award prospect for the Weinstein Company.

The 35 million US dollar film is the most expensive Chinese film ever made and features an international cast drawn from Japan, Korea Hong Kong, and mainland China.

The Promise is currently on track for release in China this coming December.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Weinsteins got it?!? Crap... why do Asian filmmakers continue to sell their films' rights to those guys? They don't exactly have the most impressive track record when it comes to releasing films in a timely manner, or even intact for that matter. Need I remind anyone of how Hero or Shaolin Soccer were (mis)handled?

angry.gif

Edited by opus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A short interview with Kim Ki-Duk

I don't make movies for a lot of money, so I don't see why I should have to spend much on advertising. I hope more South Koreans might appreciate my work in times to come. But, then again, I have no hard feelings toward South Korean moviegoers because I know exactly why they don't go to see my movies. There are several reasons, but one is that they generally don't like to see movies that are on the border between reality and fantasy. Most of them want to see a movie where everything is solved in reality. But my movies usually don't depict reality. The characters in my movies find ways to be happy through fantasy and overcome the pain in their lives. I want the audience to be psychologically happy through my movies, but I think what the South Korean audience wants is different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great interview. His new film frankly doesn't sound very interesting. I'm used to Ki-Duk films being about death or multilation or prostitution or all three, but I believe he can make anything interesting.

Some of the most interesting quotes in the interview were his statement about endless longing being beautiful and the final paragraph where he talks about his filming methods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IGN is reporting that The Promise will be released in the U.S. on December 16, 2005. Here is some throwaway press about Cecilia Cheung's role in the movie.

Also, Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine was chosen as Hong Kong's favorite Chinese film, according to a recent poll. The rest of the top five films were, respectively, Days of Being Wild, A Better Tomorrow, Infernal Affairs and Happy Together. If you know anything about those films it might not surprise you that Leslie Cheung was the most popular actor, according to the poll. Another unsurprising result was Maggie Cheung taking the most popular actress category. I'm surprised and pleased with Fancis Ng's 3rd place finish for the "favorite actor" question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center is at it again. In June they will be showing twelve new Korean films, from Kim Ki-duk's Samaritan Girl to Silmido, South Korea's all-time box-office champ. I hope to make it to at least a few of these great offerings.

Opus, I know that you just saw A Tale of Two Sisters, which is one I rented from Blockbuster, but the English subtitles did not work. I saw about three total minutes of the film. How did you see it? Is it worth tracking down again? I was so bummed out, because I am always on the hunt for a great ghost story... I feel like I've seen many ghost stories, but never a great one.

-s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read your review, Opus... Seems it is worth tracking down. Now I only need to find a DVD in which the subtitles in English actually work.

-s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0