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Trailer for Jackie Chan's final "big action" movie, Chinese Zodiacs.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 9 months later...
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Shout Factory is set to release Jackie Chan's Police Story and Police Story 2 as a blu-ray double feature, and I got a copy to review. Though I've seen (and liked) Supercop, I've always considered the first two Police Story films a gaping hole in my HK cinema viewing.

Boy, these movies are a blast. Visually, they haven't aged well (the transfer is from the HK masters, and I guess time hasn't been kind to them), but there's a sense of playfulness and joyful creativity that stuns me. And those action set-pieces are just amazing.

Edited by Jason Panella
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Boy, these movies are a blast. Visually, they haven't aged well (the transfer is from the HK masters, and I guess time hasn't been kind to them), but there's a sense of playfulness and joyful creativity that stuns me. And those action set-pieces are just amazing.

I couldn't agree more. No matter how many times I see it, the final mall fight in Police Story still blows my mind.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Any A&F people going to be in L.A. around March 10? If so, you have a chance to see two Wong Kar Wai movies at the New Beverly Cinema.

 

I've never regretted being an East Coastish person quite so much as I do today.

Edited by NBooth
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I'm sure most people who would care already know this, but Netflix US has several Shaw Brothers movies streaming now. I've been binging on them a bit. There are three Chang Cheh movies (two of them searchable under Chang Cheh and the third--Five Shaolin Masters--confusingly listed under under Cheh Chang but not searchable under that name). This is the most concentrated exposure I've had to the studio; over the past year I've watched The Water Margin and Killer Clans, etc, but having a steady diet of these movies for the past couple of weeks has really given me an appreciation for them. I like the color-scheme, for one thing--particularly in Chang's movies--and the ways in which these quickly-made cash-cow type movies aren't afraid to get abstract or surreal--fights against empty red backgrounds in some movies (particularly the introductions), the huge gouts of tomato-red blood, etc.

Hulu also has several--mostly the same as are available on Netflix, though fewer of them. Invincible Shaolin is there, too; it's not on Netflix. It's also the English-language version, which might make a bit less difference considering the Shaw movies were designed to be dubbed, but it's worth noting. 

Oh, we have a thread on the Shaw Brothers.

Edited by NBooth
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As part of the run-up to the premier of their show Into the Badlands (link to our thread) AMC is having "Kung Fu Fridays" through the months of October and November--which, confusingly, seems to include Let the Bullets Fly. Here's Eclipse Magazine. The movies listed--Fly excepted--don't seem like must-catch (and, anyway, are probably the sort of thing that people who care about Kung Fu Fridays will have already seen).

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Not sure why The Man From Nowhere is part of "Kung Fu Fridays" but it's a solid, gritty action/thriller. It's like Taken, only much better.

As for Into the Badlands, I was initially underwhelmed by what I saw. But the more I think about it, the more the bonkers premise has grown on me. The blend of old and new, and putting wuxia-style swordplay in a semi-modern context, reminds me of films like What Price Survival, Heroic Trio, The Executioners, and Savior of the Soul. Those weren't necessarily good films (though I believe What Price Survival is a truly hidden gem), but they can be entertaining in their bonkers-ness to watch. I think/hope Into the Badlands will be along the same lines.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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David Bordwell reviews Tony Rayns's new[ish] monograph on In the Mood for Love:

Tony has more to tell than the BFI format can squeeze in. I’d  like more on the way quite disjunctive techniques fit into the film’s stylistic sheen. Wong deploys off-center framings, judicious use of depth in apparently real apartments, and variations in lighting among Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lampur. Tony’s hunch about continuity covering discontinuity might be extended to these aspects, and of course insider information on these matters would be welcome. I also wonder: Could there have been a hotel at the period boasting twenty stories? My Hong Kong friends say not. Tony argues that Wong’s films aren’t deeply political, but he was willing to violate plausibility to invoke the fateful year when HK becomes integrated into China.

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2 hours ago, NBooth said:

I'll have to pick that up. Makes me yearn for an accessible blu-ray of 2046 as well. A bit of digging says there was a Korean blu-ray release a couple of years ago. Anyone have that? Comment on the quality?

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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