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 Post subject: Asian actionflicks
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:27 am 
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Usually a great watch.

If anyone has anything to recommend then that would be cool. I prefer the era of Hongkong 1986-1992, or at least that what I've mostly seen. Figured we can talk about action movies from any Asian countries any place in time, as long as it's not martial arts since there already is an excellent thread for that. I like the really violent ones with lots of explosions and thousands of bullets flying around but I'm also open to learn about something less fast-paced.

The John Woo classics A Better Tommorow 1 & 2, The Killer and Hardboiled are of course essential and the boxset I bought certainly was worth every penny as they can be watched again and again.

Here's some of the other stuff I would recommend from what I've seen

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Right up there with the Woo movies. This one is fairly mean as well and rather sleazy. Maybe a personal favorite. The bullet-tracking is cool as shit and you can't go wrong with Chow Yun Fat shooting baddies on his bike.

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AZN Lethal Weapon

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Early To, can't say I'm familiar with him much.

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'Nother Lam-Fat movie, fans of Reservoir Dogs will want to check out the movie that inspired parts of it.

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These are the only Kitano movies I've seen.

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Two modern favorites.

I'm forgetting something but fuck it.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:48 am 
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I've been sitting on the dvd for The Chaser for a while, need to get around to actually watching it soon. Has anyone seen Kill Zone yet? I almost blind bought it the other day.

As far as Johnnie To, the Election movies and Mad Detective are all aces as is Exiled which is the more pure action flick of his that I've seen. Drizzle can probably drop some more knowledge on him.

Takeshi Kitano's Fireworks (Hana-Bi) is another really awesome one, although more of a crime film than an actioner.

I've barely scratched the surface of Miike's catalog but Ichi The Killer is pretty great and Full Metal Yakuza is completely batshit insane, not for everyone but I loved every second of it.

Obviously stuff like Hero, Crouching Tiger, Iron Monkey & the Tony Jaa movies that everyone's seen. All good. Finally watched Versus a couple weeks ago, highly recommended.

Battle Royale. Chocolate.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:13 am 
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Tommy Bunz wrote:
I've been sitting on the dvd for The Chaser for a while, need to get around to actually watching it soon. Has anyone seen Kill Zone yet? I almost blind bought it the other day..


The Donnie Yen action flick? You should have bought it, man.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:35 am 
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Forgot about Mad Detective.

The aesthetics of the late80s/early90s shit really speaks to me. Love the soundtracks they tend to use, whiny sax and whaling guitars with cool shots of the city and lots of gunfighting and montages.

Anyone seen School on Fire, Beast Cops, City War?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:01 pm 
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one of my favorites


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Ip Man needs to be mentioned as well. Not seen the sequel yet.

Not sure if we're supposed to mention anime in here or whatever but the two Karas movies were pretty ill and pretty much all action. Just don't expect anything to make much sense until the second movie.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:57 pm 
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dude. thats so crazy. I was just thinking about what HK action flicks I need to add to the collection.

obviously...
HARD BOILED
KILLER
BULLET IN THE HEAD
INFERNAL AFFAIRS

i just updated my HB and killer tapes to Blu-Ray. Thread is on point and I hope to add more to my collection.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:03 pm 
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how deep do you want to get here

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Can't say I'm a Johnnie To fan, but some of the the pre-2000 Milkyway films he either directed or produced are every bit as good as the classic HK stuff from Woo or Lam:

The Mission
The Longest Nite
Expect the Unexpected
A Hero Never Dies


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:33 pm 
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aleph wrote:
Can't say I'm a Johnnie To fan,


curious to hear the rationale behind this

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:59 pm 
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drizzle wrote:
aleph wrote:
Can't say I'm a Johnnie To fan,


curious to hear the rationale behind this

Just a personal thing about his m.o. I think it was beginning with PTU, then continuing with Breaking News, the Election movies, Exiled. His action scenes are hyper-aestheticized in a way that is more "arty" and less kinetic than the standardbearers like Woo or Lam. To me it takes the edge off the action (the gun battles, anyway). I suppose the scenarios and the multiple storylines also seem a bit corny. But I'm a bit HK-jaded in general, so maybe it's that as well. What appeals to you about his stuff? (Others jump in too)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:43 pm 
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aleph wrote:
drizzle wrote:
aleph wrote:
Can't say I'm a Johnnie To fan,


curious to hear the rationale behind this

Just a personal thing about his m.o. I think it was beginning with PTU, then continuing with Breaking News, the Election movies, Exiled. His action scenes are hyper-aestheticized in a way that is more "arty" and less kinetic than the standardbearers like Woo or Lam. To me it takes the edge off the action (the gun battles, anyway). I suppose the scenarios and the multiple storylines also seem a bit corny. But I'm a bit HK-jaded in general, so maybe it's that as well. What appeals to you about his stuff? (Others jump in too)


not for nothing, but everything you don't like happens literally in duplicate (by design) in A Hero Never Dies, which imo is by far his worst action movie, one where he completely allows style to take over and succumbs to all of his worst impulses resulting in an incredibly cheesy mess.

I kinda somewhat agree that his stylization does sometimes take a bit of the visceral element out of his action sequences, but imo that doesn't take away much what from he's trying to do. He puts heavy emphasis on characters and their relationships to each other, that's always the real focus of the movies, he's not just making action porn (where you automatically fail if you don't fill a quota of nut shriveling stunts and shotgun blasts). Woo did this as well to a certain extent, but To is MUCH better at fleshing out his characters. To makes the same kind of OTT grand nearly-mythical action stories populated with OTT grand nearly-mythical characters, but at his best he pulls off light subtle touches that Woo never managed, which result in surprising pockets of depth and genuine pathos that theoretically aren't even supposed to happen in these kinds of movies.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:57 pm 
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drizzle wrote:
how deep do you want to get here


Deeper!

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The internet suggests that I'm looking for 'heroic bloodshed' movies, so I guess I'm mostly trying to find movies that strike those chords.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:00 pm 
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I have the option to buy Breaking News for the price of a piece of gum, saw it in a store today - yes or no?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:02 pm 
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don't stick too closely to that, heroic bloodshed is as exact a term as gangsta rap. i'd suggest doing the following - establish your faves and go down the filmographies of involved directors, producers and action choreographers.

Just looking at what you named at the top, follow up on Ringo Lam, he's by far the greatest dark horse in this discussion. Full Contact being one of the few to stand up comparably to Woo's best from the same period is not a fluke by any means

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:09 pm 
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I'll give Lam a closer look since hes 2/2 on my personal scoreboard. Finding the things you're looking for actually requires fairly demanding research, but it's worth it of course.

The Blade? Also saw this around in the store, looks more kung-fu though, Tsui Hark seems to be popular.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:38 pm 
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The blade is fucking amazing is maybe in my top 5 swordplay movies of all time. Def check that out, but it is a kung fu movie not an action movie

the Tsui Hark movies that would fit better into this topic are the following:

Dangerous Encounter/Don't Play With Fire
http://www.hkflix.com/xq/asp/filmID.541 ... etails.htm

I'm a huge fan and I think you in particular would LOOOOVE this one, its incredibly dark in tone. not really a hyper kinetic action movie along the lines of The Killer and all that, more like an amazingly vicious and violent and downbeat crime drama

Time and Tide
http://www.hkflix.com/xq/asp/filmID.869/qx/details.htm

this is much more of a blow out action fest than the first one i named, but i also remember disliking it intensely when it came out. the general impression of it seems more favorable than mine, and it is retardedly action packed, so you should probably give it a try

For Ringo Lam I'd recommend Suspect and Full Alert. Burning Paradise too, heartily, but that's a kungfu/horror hybrid

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Very good! That site looks serious as well, going to have a look around.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Definitely agree on The Blade recommendation.

Anything Chow Yun Fat + John Woo during the late 80s/early 90s was pure gold so I don't think you can go wrong with any of those.

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Bullet in the Head with Tony Leung was pretty good

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I know this one ain't really "action" per se, but fuck The Departed, Infernal Affairs is where it's at

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As for Kitano, besides the ones mentioned, I dug Brother

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This shit was pretty dope too

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A Dirty Carnival

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Chin-gu "Friend". Peep this Korean gem if u haven't yet


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:47 pm 
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drizzle wrote:
not for nothing, but everything you don't like happens literally in duplicate (by design) in A Hero Never Dies, which imo is by far his worst action movie, one where he completely allows style to take over and succumbs to all of his worst impulses resulting in an incredibly cheesy mess.

I actually agree with that, I guess I kinda like it bc I'm a fan of Lau Ching-wan and he was pretty good here and there's a fatalistic strain missing from the Woo films, that I dig. But the "action" sequences are the worst kind of HK music-video type steez.

Quote:
I kinda somewhat agree that his stylization does sometimes take a bit of the visceral element out of his action sequences, but imo that doesn't take away much what from he's trying to do. He puts heavy emphasis on characters and their relationships to each other, that's always the real focus of the movies, he's not just making action porn (where you automatically fail if you don't fill a quota of nut shriveling stunts and shotgun blasts). Woo did this as well to a certain extent, but To is MUCH better at fleshing out his characters. To makes the same kind of OTT grand nearly-mythical action stories populated with OTT grand nearly-mythical characters, but at his best he pulls off light subtle touches that Woo never managed, which result in surprising pockets of depth and genuine pathos that theoretically aren't even supposed to happen in these kinds of movies.

Believe me, I'm not looking for just action porn either. I can appreciate To's attempt to be the anti-Woo; to do something different with the relationships and even the dramaturgy, in contrast to traditional action fare. But for me his work from the last decade felt like it was increasingly more about style; I guess I don't feel the same pathos or depth.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:53 pm 
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aleph wrote:
drizzle wrote:
not for nothing, but everything you don't like happens literally in duplicate (by design) in A Hero Never Dies, which imo is by far his worst action movie, one where he completely allows style to take over and succumbs to all of his worst impulses resulting in an incredibly cheesy mess.

I actually agree with that, I guess I kinda like it bc I'm a fan of Lau Ching-wan and he was pretty good here and there's a fatalistic strain missing from the Woo films, that I dig. But the "action" sequences are the worst kind of HK music-video type steez.

Quote:
I kinda somewhat agree that his stylization does sometimes take a bit of the visceral element out of his action sequences, but imo that doesn't take away much what from he's trying to do. He puts heavy emphasis on characters and their relationships to each other, that's always the real focus of the movies, he's not just making action porn (where you automatically fail if you don't fill a quota of nut shriveling stunts and shotgun blasts). Woo did this as well to a certain extent, but To is MUCH better at fleshing out his characters. To makes the same kind of OTT grand nearly-mythical action stories populated with OTT grand nearly-mythical characters, but at his best he pulls off light subtle touches that Woo never managed, which result in surprising pockets of depth and genuine pathos that theoretically aren't even supposed to happen in these kinds of movies.

Believe me, I'm not looking for just action porn either. I can appreciate To's attempt to be the anti-Woo; to do something different with the relationships and even the dramaturgy, in contrast to traditional action fare. But for me his work from the last decade felt like it was increasingly more about style; I guess I don't feel the same pathos or depth.


i can dig teh fatalism thing but dude the wine bottle/coin tricks scene in a hero never dies, oh man.....

we're gonna have to agree to disagree on his 00's cause to me Election 1+2 (you HAVE to put them together) might be the best HK triad drama period, and exiled is one of the top 10 action movies of the decade.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:58 pm 
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drizzle wrote:
i can dig teh fatalism thing but dude the wine bottle/coin tricks scene in a hero never dies, oh man.....

What, you didn't like that? :lol: Neither did I, that was :roll: :roll: :roll:

Quote:
exiled is one of the top 10 action movies of the decade.

Ah, The Mission vs. Exiled: that's a good contrast to illustrate the To I prefer. I wish Exiled was more restrained stylistically like The Mission bc I can get with its story/concept but the flourishes kinda upstage the drama for me. Even the ending would have been grand as is, if only I felt more involved in everything that led up to it. I'm aware that the respective tones of each movie were designed differently (The Mission was cool and comedic as opposed to Exiled's tension) but I think that Exiled would have benefited from, idk, less style?, but that's me...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:05 pm 
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but see again we come back to where i think the style works for him - like in the end the tracking shot of the can does feel like overload but it also times just how fast the resolution happens, so it's kinda functional (also pays the bills like the gratutious placement of the budweiser bottle in Fulltime Killer). although i will concede that it didn't need to be quite so slick to fulfil that functionality

we can keep going back and forth on this forever, so let's just :cheers: on the mission which is def one of his best and move onto to some gritty sequences of OTT stabbings ala Hong Kong Godfather

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:01 pm 
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Haven't seen many aside from the John Woo joints.
Enjoyed this though:
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:07 pm 
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i cosign bittersweet life and teh chaser to the fullest. i like these much more than the bulk of HK action flick mentoned in this thread cause they are based more on character development.

another one that is kind of an action flick but not really is Tetsuo the iron man. but this is a really weird movie.
looking forward to watching the 3rd part of the trilogy very soon. am dling at the moment


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:35 pm 
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Dat_Triflin_Ass_Dude wrote:
Image

Chin-gu "Friend". Peep this Korean gem if u haven't yet
thanks for reminding me of this. Saw it around ten years ago in a film festival and I can never remember the name of it. Pretty good as I recall.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:26 am 
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I bought Friend a long time ago on a whim (back when I would blindly buy Asian DVDs solely for the packaging), it was just OK from what I remember


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:48 am 
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I prefer IP Man 2 to the first one.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Still haven't seen it. FML

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Random Sample wrote:
I prefer IP Man 2 to the first one.


sammo hung is always better than no sammo hung

i just wish it didn't turn into rocky 4 in the 3rd act, so retarded

the first one was fine but the circular nature of it, with every fight literally happening twice, didn't age that well. I'm all for Story Of Ricky getting more work though

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