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theoddone33

Asian films

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Hmm, of the ones I've seen all three Kim Ki-Duk films are worth seeing if you can stomach his work. (3-Iron and Samaritan Girl are both pretty tame, but Bad Guy is a lot edgier.) Arahan is kind of a throwaway but I had a lot of fun viewing it. Silmido is a pretty good emotional ride and an intriguing look into a historical incident. Oldboy is also excellent... but what hasn't been said about Oldboy.

I'm very sad that they're not playing Memories of Murder, which I still regard as the best Korean film I've seen and which gives similar movies such as Se7en and Silence of the Lambs a run for their money. Also missing is My Sassy Girl which I regard to be the best romantic comedy ever filmed (granted the competition is not very... competitive), but I suppose that most people have seen this by now.

It's nice to see places doing things like this, though.

Edit: Oops I misread the page... I guess they're not actually showing all those I recommended. blushing.gif

Edited by theoddone33

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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.
Edited by opus

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I just bought Memories of Murder from Korea. They have a double DVD R1 & R3 product, and from the many reviews I've seen, I just couldn't turn it down.

-s.

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I like Memories of Murder a lot. Look forward to talking about it witchoo.

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Random news:

Zhang Ziyi and Jia Zhangke (A celebrated indie/underground director in China) are high on a recent list of Mainland 'Youth Pioneers.' Qualities judged on were influence in their fields and presenting a positive image of China to the West.

Shooting recently began on a Kung Fu Hustle television spinoff, starring some of the original cast. This... probably won't make it to the U.S.

There's a nice article about actor Lau Ching-Wan's place in HK cinema, specifically his role in Lost in Time, which should definitely be in your Netflix queue if you haven't seen it. Lau is considered one of the most underrated actors working in Hong Kong today.

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Zhang Ziyi and Jia Zhangke (A celebrated indie/underground director in China) are high on a recent list of Mainland 'Youth Pioneers.'  Qualities judged on were influence in their fields and presenting a positive image of China to the West.

Heh, that's funny... I saw Jia Zhangke's The World in Toronto last year (my review). At the screening, we were told that it was his fourth feature, and the first that hadn't been banned in China. And even then, it wasn't exactly a glorifying tribute to the mainland. IIRC, one of the film's themes is the alienation in modern Chinese culture, especially as it seeks to become more modern and open to the West.

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I Netflix'd Jia Zhangke's Unknown Pleasures a few weeks ago. I was a little underwhelmed, as it was a very slow film and the Netflix description seemed criminally misleading. I've heard him quoted as saying that he's turned over a new page starting with The World. I'd like to see it for comparison's sake.

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Saw this on Twitch...

The Criterion Collection will be releasing Masaki Kobayashi's Harakiri later this year. I saw this a few years ago and was just blown away by it (here'smy review). It's a criminally overlooked samurai film starring Tatsuya Nakadai (aside from Toshiro Mifune, Japan's most famous samurai actor) that takes a dark look at bushido and samurai code of honor. A very dark and grim film, though not as dark and grim as, say, Sword Of Doom, but very powerful and gripping, due in large part to Nakadai's performance.

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I finally caught Memories of Murder last night on a Region 1 & 3 disc I bought from Korea. It is a very well made film which I would recommend if anyone ever has the chance to see it. What the two cops go through in trying to catch the serial killer would be chilling, in a real life sort of way, and if it is indeed true that this is based on a real event, it is the kind of event that would leave psychological scars on one for life. It is little wonder that neither of them are cops today, if I read the ending right.

I believe I read somewhere that this is the highest grossing movie in Korea last year. With all the buzz around Korean film right now, one would think this would have found distribution here in the states.

-s.

Edited by stef

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One of the best parts of Memories of Murder is the night scenes... both the scene where the

killer shows himself in the rice patties while stalking a girl

and the scene where

the man is masturbating at the site of the murder

are both some of the most tense and chilling scenes in recent memory, while being beautiful visually at the same time.

If I remember right, this was either the director's debut or his second film. Either way, I'm floored every time I watch it. And yeah, it's based on the first serial kilings in Korea... and follows truth, as I've read, fairly closely. Perhaps the parts about the

song on the radio

were made up, but other parts such as

roadside dummies with "turn yourself in" messages, consulting mediums, a witness that died, and apprehending a man due to his soft hands

were all based in truth, if I remember correctly.

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I heard about this a little late, but the New York Asian Film Festival is currently going on. Looking through the listing I find many films that I'm not familiar with, but some "must see" films would be One Nite in Mongkok and Kekexili: Mountain Patrol. Samaritan Girl and Arahan are also highly recommended.

Does anyone here even live in the New York area?

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Does anyone here even live in the New York area?

Twitch has a few people covering the fest, and has posted a couple of reviews so far (Godzilla: Final Wars and Princess Raccoon, which just sounds incredible).

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There's a new English language website up for A Bittersweet Life, the latest from Kim Ji-Woon (A Tale Of Two Sisters). The buzz around this film has been huge, claiming it's the new OldBoy, and Darcy over at KoreanFilm.org really digs it.

Here's the website: http://www.d-o-e-s.com/collection/bittersweet/. You'll find a trailer in the "Multimedia" section.

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A copy of Derrick Yee's 2 Young is on its way to my mailbox... I'll be able to comment on it in a few days. I am much disturbed by intentional misspellings in the titles of recent Yee films, though.

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Promo copies of JSA and Memories Of Murder just arrived in my mailbox today, both from Palm Pictures. I saw JSA a couple of years ago and really liked it, but haven't seen Memories Of Murder yet (though I've heard nothing but good things).

According to the promos, Memories... ships 8/9/2005. No release date on the JSA disc however.

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According to the promos, Memories... ships 8/9/2005.

This is great news... hopefully now Netflix will get a copy and this movie will finally get the recognition it deserves.

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Sigh... I stuck in the promo copy they sent me and it's dubbed with nary a subtitle track to be found. I tried watching a little bit of it, but it was just painful. Seriously, is there a core group of voice actors that is used everytime someone dubs an Asian movie? I could've sworn I've heard those same voices in all of those crappy Miramax releases.

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I'm sorry to hear that Opus. I am still heartbroken from a similar incident with A Tale of Two Sisters, which I believe we talked about, but I rented it from Blockbuster with no dubs and no subtitles. sad.gif

What the heck?!

-s.

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Couple other things...

MonkeyPeaches is linking to the first teaser/trailer from Tsui Hark's Seven Swords. QuickTime is here and Windows Media is here. I like it lot, looks like Hark is eschewing the slick, modern look and is going for something more akin to classic HK film. Harry over at AICN compared it to Hark's The Blade, and I tend to agree.

Also, Zhang Yimou wants Chow Yun-Fat to star in his third martial arts epic opposite Gong Li...

According to a Chinese newspaper called East Asia Economy and Trade News, Chow Yun-Fat is in talk to star in director Zhang Yimou's untitled third martial-art film, which is rumored to be set in Tang Dynasty, same as House of Flying Daggers. Gong Li, who took the lead in Zhang's first seven films, was mentioned for the role of Empress Wu Zetian, China's only female monarch. According to a separate report, the new film will focus more on the story and will have more characters than Zhang's previous two martial-art films. Several locations in China has been pre-selected and much of the film will be shot indoor in Beijing. Production is scheduled to start sometime next year.

Sweeeeeeeeeeeet...

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A couple of trailers have surfaced for Tsui Hark's Seven Swords epic. Click here...

It's been awhile since Hark has done anything really worthwhile, so the fact that these hearken back to some his best stuff is doubly fantastic. Watching these, I got a serious "classic HK film" vibe a la The Blade, The Bride With White Hair, The Swordsman, etc.

Edited by opus

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I'm not sure if you saw it or not, opus, but I posted the new trailer for Jia's The World in the trailer forum, which I believe you wrote a nice review of at TIFF last year? I'm very much looking forward to seeing the film...

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opus:

No release date on the JSA disc however.

That would be today.

cool.gif

Have you watched your copy? Is it worthwhile? I only had enough time to watch one movie last weekend and A Very Long Engagement beat out this and Million Dollar Baby...

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong

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I'm not sure if you saw it or not, opus, but I posted the new trailer for Jia's The World in the trailer forum, which I believe you wrote a nice review of at TIFF last year?  I'm very much looking forward to seeing the film...

Yeah, I did review it. My review is here. Looking forward to what you think... there are still certain scenes that just replay in my memory even after all of these months.

Have you watched your copy? Is it worthwhile? I only had enough time to watch one movie last weekend and A Very Long Engagement beat out this and Million Dollar Baby...

I haven't had a chance to watch my copy yet. However, I have seen the film before - I rented it through NetFlix, which had the HK release IIRC - and it's a very good movie. It's nowhere near as stylish (or graphic) as Park Chan-Wook's more "popular" films, i.e. OldBoy or Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, but still a very solid piece of work, technically and dramatically. I love how Park takes what, in any other movie, would be this huge thriller, and makes what is ultimately a very intimate, interpersonal drama (though there is certainly plenty of intrigue and a number of plot twists). And the film's final shot is just perfect.

Edited by opus

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DVDTalk has a review of the new region 1 JSA here

I have the earlier 2-disc Korean edition which is coded for regions 1 and 3. Only have watched it once, so I'm not going to be in a big hurry to upgrade. (Even though the Palm release would actually give me extras that I can understand tongue.gif )

EDIT ADD: One of their main quibbles with this new release is that Palm included a 5.1 English dub, but the original Korean only gets a 2.0 surround track.

Edited by MrZoom

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As a heads up, YesAsia.com is selling a Region 3 DVD of Kekexili: Mountain Patrol starting in early August. I've got a copy preordered, since my current DVD is one by the notorious mainland company that floats a FACE logo around the screen at regulare intervals.

The movie is excellent, as I'm sure I've mentioned. Anyone that's region free and orders from YesAsia occasionally should consider picking it up. Or if anyone wants my old PAL DVD I could send that out when the new one arrives.

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