Posts tagged "Sammo Hung"

Naked Solder

Naked Soldier got released in theaters finally and they released a buttload of HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE images, one of which is important because it has the only image of Jiang Luxia I’ve seen from the film. As she’s the only thing keeping me interested at this point it’s a pretty important fact, as Naked Soldier will undoubtedly be very very awful. But maybe I’m wrong. No, I’m not wrong. Stop sewing the seeds of discord. History will be on my side. As we shall see, once this shows up on Western shores and I review and trash it. I mean give it a fair review.

So here Jiang Luxia is all dressed up in mannish clothes looking like Yukari Oshima 2.0 meets Disco Godfather. I call that a good thing, though I know there are people out there who don’t care for Yukari Oshima or Jiang Luxia. Judging by the picture she works for a 1930s private eye who also employs a Ukrainian enforcer woman and a gay manservant.
Naked Soldier

The plot for those who need a refresher:

Interpol agent CK Long busted a billion-dollar drug deal fifteen years ago. The cartel has avenged itself by hiring Madame Rose’s organization of assassins to kill CK Long’s entire family. Long himself survives and believes his young daughter is still alive. In fact, for these fifteen years, the girl has been kidnapped by Madame Rose, brainwashed and trained into beautiful, sexy killer Phoenix.

Phoenix has now become the top-ranked killer in Madame Rose’s organization. She is skilled in combat and always completes her missions. Thanks to her band of killers Madame Rose has expanded her criminal organization and now assigns missions in many parts of the world. CK Long has never imagined that he would one day become the target of his own daughter’s mission.

The rest of the images –
Naked Soldier
I dumped the rest after the fold…
Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , , , ,

Sword of Emei (Review)

Sword of Emei

aka 峨嵋霸刀 aka E Mei ba dao

1969
Written by Wan Hoi-Ching and Ling Hon
Directed by Chan Lit-Ban


A Cantonese swordplay flick featuring a masked heroine, plenty of swordplay, piles of bodies, and one of the fastest paces I’ve seen in a Cantonese language feature from this time. Sword of Emei was a great surprise and a highly recommended action film. By 1969, the rails were starting to come off of the Hong Kong film insdustry, as pressure from the far superior Shaw Studios was making the local productions look like child plays. One way the industry tried to take up the slack was to push for some more adultish wuxia flicks, thus what would have probably been a slower female sworswoman (nuxia) film with a lot of gabbing in 1966 suddenly is a fast-paced action bonanza focused on one of the hot female leads of the time. And while it isn’t one of the Jane Bond flicks of the era, it does feature some of the plot tropes transplanted back to older China, along with the standard wuxia ideas like super swords and being noble bandits.

The main reason why this is so enjoyable is the pacing, so let’s give a hooray to action directors Han Ying-Chieh and Leung Siu-Chung for coming up with modern action film pacing 40 years ago! Sure, with the vast amount of action going on vs the probably minuscule shooting schedule, the action isn’t complex, and most characters get killed in a slash or two, but there is a ton of it and it makes up for the complex swordfighting that was still in its infancy at the time.

Sword of Emei was originally filmed in color, but the only released version I could find was a black and white vcd with a beat up print and burnt in subs (subtitles are rare on a lot of these films, so I’ll take what I can get!) thus explaining these blurry, blown up screencaps I have for you. According to the cast listings, there is an attempt to give some cross-national appeal with Mitr Chaibancha! Except I couldn’t spot him and didn’t even know he was supposed to be in this film until after it was over. Oops! Sammo Hung Kam-Bo is also somewhere among the many men slaughtered, but with all the carnage, he could be Guard #3 or Guard #343! So instead, let’s focus on the cast we know:

Masked Mau (Josephine Siao Fong-Fong) – Masked Mau is also called Masked Hero in the subtitles. She’s the mysterious thief giving people fits and also dispensing justice from the end of a blade…a Chin Fang Sword blade, which is like the best sword blade ever! No one knows who she is or that’s she’s even a she! Who could she be…
Lo Fang-ying (Josephine Siao Fong-Fong) – orphan raised by relatives who own an inn. Her Uncle Ma taught her to hunt, shoot, and swordfight, which she totally doesn’t use as skills when dressed up as a masked thief who goes all Robin Hood on villains. Nope!
Au King (Kenneth Tsang Kong) – Mystery swords guy who comes into town just in time to catch Masked Mau, but he actually falls for her and Lo Fang-ying, which we knew would happen because he’s the only available guy in the film who isn’t instantly killed!
Lord Chao Pai-tien (Sek Kin) – Jerk who acts like a jerk because his brother-in-law is the evil emperor. Terrorizes the land and the people, and totally hits on all the young ladies. But don’t tell him he does that, because he hates facts as well.
Uncle Ma (Ling Mung) – Fang-ying’s uncle who has raised her since her parents were murdered by Lord Chao. Taught her the fighting skills she uses to slaughter hundreds of people.
Aunt Ma (Yung Yuk-Yi) – Fang-ying’s aunt who isn’t too keen on all this heroine business until she decides to pick up a sword and kill people as well. And she’s good at it. Which means she had combat training also and probably killed lots of dudes…
Hsiao Lan (Sum Chi-Wah) – Constantly endangered girl who made the mistake of being attractive in an area where Lord Chao wants all hot babes chained to his bed. Wears a hairstyle that looks like she’s sporting a mickey mouse hat at certain angles.


Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 7, 2012 at 12:46 am

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Naked Soldier

Naked Soldier is the latest update of the Naked Weapon/Naked Killer type films, this time Jenn Tse Ting-Ting stars (Nicholas Tse’s sister), and Sammo Hung stops by. Haunted Office and Tracing Shadow director Marco Mak Chi-Sin will be helming this time out. The plot:

Interpol agent CK Long busted a billion-dollar drug deal fifteen years ago. The cartel has avenged itself by hiring Madame Rose’s organization of assassins to kill CK Long’s entire family. Long himself survives and believes his young daughter is still alive. In fact, for these fifteen years, the girl has been kidnapped by Madame Rose, brainwashed and trained into beautiful, sexy killer Phoenix.

Phoenix has now become the top-ranked killer in Madame Rose’s organization. She is skilled in combat and always completes her missions. Thanks to her band of killers Madame Rose has expanded her criminal organization and now assigns missions in many parts of the world. CK Long has never imagined that he would one day become the target of his own daughter’s mission.

Important casting information that you need to know is Jiang Luxia will show up as a Thai assassin! The official site has all sorts of goofy cast bios in their flash-centric page (Still hate the flash pages…) making the film look more team centric, instead of lone women being awesome. Corey Yuen will do the action, so the action won’t be horrible. We can save that for the plot!

Jenn Tse is Phoenix, other assassins are code named White Snake, Black Dragon, Ivy, and Selina. Midriffs will be bared, but that’s probably the only nudity you’ll get!

SO here’s a teaser, followed by two posters. Enjoy! Because you know we’ll watch this, no matter how terrible it is.

Naked Soldier

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , , , ,

Hustle and Flow – Human Nature and Kung Fu Hustle

Hustle and Flow – Human Nature and Kung Fu Hustle

A review of Kung Fu Hustle aka Gong Fu

Fig. 1 – Title credit for Kung Fu Hustle

2004
Directed by Stephen Chow Sing-Chi
Action Directors Yuen Woo-Ping and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo

Fig. 2 – Axe Gang members dance in a downward triangle representing their subscribing to baser emotions

Abstract

Gong Fu (hereafter Kung Fu Hustle), is a perfect representation of human nature, complete with characters representing the ego, the super-ego, and the id. The setting and characters are mired in the secret world of Jiang Hu. Characters grow and evolve through the film, throwing off their layers of subterfuge and revealing their true selves.

Fig. 3 – Pig Sty Alley

Introduction

As the opening credits of Kung Fu Hustle play, a butterfly flutters through a canyon that is a winding, twisting maze. A pullback reveals the canyon forms the characters of the title of the film, Gong Fu/Kung Fu Hustle. The butterfly’s presence foreshadows the final act, subconsciously readying the viewers for the change they will see. The canyon walls becoming the title let the viewers know that everything we need to see is there, we just have to look in the proper way.

Kung Fu Hustle is a martial arts comedy. At time the action becomes deliberately cartoony and over the top, those instances serving both comedic elements and further exaggerating the underlying role of the nature of humanity. Kung Fu Hustle‘s cartoonishness comes partially from it being among the last of the mo lei tau films, Stephen Chow growing as an artist and expanding his films’ reach to use things beyond sheer ridiculousness to get points across.

Fig. 4 – Cartoonish violence stylizes Landlord’s cover of having no martial skills

Characters:

Sing (Stephen Chow Sing-Chi) – Sing is the protaganist who goes through a standard protaganist’s journey. He begins down on his luck and with major obstacles in life, only to overcome the odds and save the day as the Chosen One.
Sing’s Friend (Lam Tze-Chung) – Sing has a sidekick who follows him on his schemes. His friend is another good hearted person who can’t seem to do anything evil despite his numerous attempts.
Landlady (Yuen Qiu) – Owner of the Pig Sty Alley complex and secret martial arts master living undercover trying to escape his past. Landlady refers to herself as “The Little Dragon Maiden” in Cantonese, a character from Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy of books.
Landlord (Yuen Wah) – Owner of the Pig Sty Alley complex and secret martial arts master living undercover trying to escape his past. Landlord refers to himself as “Yang Guo” in Cantonese, a character from Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy of books.
Axe Gang (Danny Chan Kwok-Kwan, Tenky Tin Kai-Man, Lam Suet, and numerous others) – The Axe Gang controls the underworld of the city. They dress almost as sharp as the blades of their axes.
The Beast (Bruce Leung Siu-Lung) – The Beast takes his Chinese name – Dark God of the Fire Clouds – from books written by pulp novelist Liu Can Yang.
Fig. 5 – Sing traumatizes children subconsciously repeating his own tragic life-altering childhood

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Categories: Good, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (Review)

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

aka Di Renjie

2010
Directed by Tsui Hark

What they say: This is Tsui Hark’s best film in years, it’s one of the best films of 2010, Tsui Hark, Tsui Hark, Tsui Hark!

What you really need to know: Andy Lau gets into a kung fu fight with CGI deer.

Do you like yo-yos? Yo-yos go up and down, and so does Detective Dee. Some sequences in Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame are awesome, but other parts of the film are embarrassing and make you wonder why people were lavishing praise upon it.


If you’ve read any book on Hong Kong cinema that came out in the 90’s (which is when most of the books started appearing in the US), then you remember every single one had chapters on Tsui Hark. Tsui Hark was one of the Hong Kong New Wave directors that shook the industry to the core, and helped modernize Hong Kong film. Many of his earlier films are classics, though he had a few misfires. But even as the industry changed, Tsui Hark has seemed incapable of making film that is watchable since the mid-90’s. Those Jean-Claude Van Damme films were terrible, the Zu Warriors redux was boredom, and Seven Swords is a film so long that no one has ever gotten to the end of it. Despite all the technological achievements, Tsui Hark just wasn’t making good films anymore, and no amount of technology can change that. While Detective Dee isn’t a great film, it is at least the most watchable Tsui film since Black Mask, and something you should eventually get around to watching. You know, when it’s raining outside or something.


With Tsui Hark in the director’s chair, we are at least assured the film will look good, and it does. The cinematography is top notch. Elaborate CGI effects are needed to create ancient Chinese cities, palaces, giant Buddha statues, and underground meeting places – some are more believable than others, but you always know you are looking at a bunch of 1’s and 0’s in picture form. We do give props to action director Sammo Hung, as the actions sequences are the best parts of the film.


The stylized elements Tsui loves sometimes help the film, and sometimes hurt. As the opening scrawl is stylized to appear and disappear in wisps of smoke (which is nice), but a problem is the crawl is Star Warsian in length. In fact, the long text openings of Reefer Madness and Alone in the Dark are brought to mind. We are forced to read like half a sentence at a time, and have to wait for each piece one by one. It is what I like to call “annoying”.

Detective Dee (Andy Lau Tak-Wah) – Detective Dee is based on the real Di Renjie, who is a famous official during the Tang Dynasty. There have been countless books and references to Di Renjie over the years in both the East and the West. You should probably look them up if you want more information, this is only a small character box. Andy Lau is in every movie ever made! Just click on the Andy Lau tag to see all we’ve done…
Empress Wu Zetian (Carina Lau Ka-Ling) – Empress Wu Zetian is another real historical person, China’s only Empress and legendary for her ruthlessness. Though supposedly Di Renjie helped calm her down some. Carina Lau is also a real historical person, being an actress who has been in the industry for over 25 years and is married to the Tony Leung who is not in this movie.
Shangguan Jing’er (Li Bing-Bing) – Shangguan Jing’er is a made-up version of Shangguan Wan’er, famous female poet. As events transpire you can see why they went with a fictitious person for this character to keep with the stunning historical accuracy of the rest of the film. Li Bing-Bing was here before with white hair in The Forbidden Kingdom.
Pei Donglai (Deng Chao) – It’s an albino who isn’t a depraved mutant torturer! Although he does threaten people with torture… Pei Donglai is an investigator in the case who assists Detective Dee and whose own boss has burst into flames. Deng Chao is primarily a television drama actor.
Shatuo (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) – A former buddy of Detective Dee who now works in building the giant Buddha statue. This is the Tony Leung who was in 1992’s The Lover, not the one who was in Lust, Caution. Keep them straight!
Donkey Wang (Richard Ng Yiu-Hon) – A famous doctor hiding in the Phantom Bazaar, probably to escape taunting schoolkids over having the name “Donkey Wang”! Please don’t reveal the shocking secret of Donkey Wang. It’s good to see Richard Ng working again, as he is at the point in his career when he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to and can live in semi-retirement. I am a big fan of his through much of his earlier work through the 80’s and 90’s, including when he pops up in Future Cops.


Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 28, 2011 at 12:17 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Around the World in 80 Days (Review)

Around the World in 80 Days


2004
Starring
Jackie Chan as Passepartout/Lau Xing
Steve Coogan as Phileas Fogg
Cecile De France as Monique La Roche
Karen Mok as General Fang
Arnold Schwarzenegger Around the World in 80 days
Jackie Chan, Jules Verne, 80 days, and 80 cameos, how could it lose? Apparently very very badly. Even the lovely Karen Mok cannot save this film. The worst part is, this could have been so great. All the pieces and potential is there, is just fails to materialize. This film is akin to working in chemistry lab, carefully adding every component to your reaction, then sitting in disappointment as it fails to do anything at all.


Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 9, 2004 at 8:49 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , ,

« Previous Page