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Archive for August, 2007

Kibakichi 2 (JAPAN 2004)

Director : Daiji Hattori
Cast : Ryuji Harada, Mike Tanaka, Masaktsu Funaki, Yoko Kamon, and Aimi Nakamura.

Synopsis
Its about a lone swordsman from Yokai, a land of monsters that once co-existed alongside man. Raised on raw meat rations and with an affinity with the full moon as well as a blistering skill with the sword his Yokai persona is that of a werewolf. In his venture to seek out the best in mankind, he finds himself in a desolate village and in the middle of an age-old battle between good and evil. Geisha turn into giant carnivorous spiders, samurai change into werewolves and ghostly monsters and skeletons prey on humans, KIBAKICHI delivers all the grit of a spaghetti western with the violent grace of a samurai flick.

Review
by Edward Tang

Ah, not to long ago for this very website I reviewed a little film called Kibakichi. The film itself was full of monsters, spray-blood effects and entertaining action. Not a classic by any means and not really even a film that deserves to be remembered but it was fun. Now low and behold, a sequel was made and I was quite eager to check out the results. Well, not really eager because it is still a film about a bunch of stupid fucking monsters and has blood effects that are really quite hilarious if anything. But the film itself is so short and enjoyable that I didn’t really care. Yep, Kibakichi 2 is solid entertainment that has an easy story to follow and above average actions sequences that seem to take up the bulk of the 85 minute run time. There were a few things in general that I liked more than the original one that includes more action as compared to the first and the WOLF FIGHT, something that made me laugh that wasn’t suppose to be funny.

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Kung Fu Hustle (HK 2004)

Director : Stephen Chow
Music : Raymond Wong
Action Choreography : Yuen Woo Ping
Visual Effects : Centro Digital Pictures LTD
Editor : Angie Lam
Production Designer : Oliver Wong
Photography : Poon Hang Sang
Co-Producers : Rita Fung, Connie Wong
Executive Producers : Bill Borden, Zhao Hai Cheng, David Hung
Writer : Stephen Chow, Tsang Kan Cheong, Lola Huo, Chan Man Keung
Produced by : Yang Bu Ting, Wang Zhong Jun, Chui Po Chu, Han San Ping, Wang Zhong Lei

Cast : Stephen Chow, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Kwok Kuen Chan, Hsiao Liang, Zhi Hua Dong, Yu Xing and Chi Chung Lam.

Synopsis
Set in Canton, China in the 1940s, the story revolves around a hapless wannabe gangster who aspires to become a member of the notorious “Axe Gang.” Other characters include an obnoxious landlady and her apparently frail husband who exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.

Review
by Edward Tang

Best picture winner and top grossing film of all time? There’s not too many films here in the USA that really can match to such. Titanic is the only film that could say it has already passed these waters (ho-hum) but we all know that Titanic is basically a fuckin’ waste of time, unless you like to watch people in anticipation of death. Kung Fu Hustle however has a bunch of overused (good) CGI, great martial arts scenes (Yuen Wo Ping? What did you expect?) and Mr. Stephen Chow whom is the reigning King of Comedy in Hong Kong. Basically I had high expectations for this film, it’s truly hard not to. Chow’s films have a desire to explore different subplots including this film that tries to go into a love story that just doesn’t do anything for my eyes. I guess we are done naming the negatives, because this film is loads of fuckin’ fun. Considering that Hong Kong cinema is on a skid right now, I’ll always look forward to Chow’s films because he delivers when he needs too. On a sidenote, my friend compared this little film to Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, please God no.

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Kibakichi (JAPAN 2003)

Director : Tomo-O Haraguchi
Cast : Ryuji Harada, Miki Tanaka, Mubu Nakayama and Masara Ibu

Synopsis
A lone samurai walks the countryside. His name is Kibakichi and his mouth hides sharp fangs. When he reaches a desolate village he fins a geisha who turn into giant carnivorous spiders and man-eating demons disguised as humans. Their hunt for human flesh was in fact a contract with the town crime boss. What is the boss’s plan? When the secret is revealed, Kibakichi goes into a rage and his body starts to mutate. Limbs will fly and head will roll in a final showdown between good and evil.

Review
by Edward Tang

“Kibakichi” is an interesting film, because on paper it looks really stupid. A werewolf defends a town of monsters against humans. Don’t you think that would be the other way around? Never mind that question, let us get into the film. After watching “Samurai Resurrection” which came out the same year as this, I didn’t really have much faith in the Samurai-horror genre. But this film is much better, because I took it for what it was. The film had some very entertaining parts, some laughs and everything in between. I’m sure people will be turned off against the film, the effects aren’t that great, and the story lags forever. The story is a little stupid as well, you get the main idea, but some of the smaller facts are just lost.

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Kill Zone (2 Disc Ultimate Edition) (Dragon Dynasty)

by Gary Cheah

DVD Information
Distributor : Dragon Dynasty
Audio : English 5.1, Cantonese 5.1 / DTS
Discs : 2 (DVD9 and DVD5)
Languages : Cantonese, English
Format : NTSC
Subtitles : English (removable), Spanish
Running Time : 93 minutes (uncut)
Contents : 2 DVD
Screen Ratio : 1.85:1 Widescreen (Enhanced 16×9)
Classification : III
Region : 1
Others : -

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Joint Security Area (KOREA 2001)

Director : Park Chan Wook
Cast : Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-hun Lee, Kang-ho Song, Tae-woo Kim and Ha-kyun Shin.

Synopsis
In the DMZ separating the Koreas, peace is as fragile as the wooden bridge linking North and South. When two North Korean soldiers are killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier, it threatens to ignite a full-scale conflict. An impartial Swiss intelligence team is sent to investigate and they quickly find flaws in the official version of events. Why were 16 bullets found at the crime scene when the assassin’s gun housed only 15 rounds? It’s a race to uncover the truth as tensions rise at the most heavily armed border on Earth.

Review
by Edward Tang

Park Chan Wook has easily produced the best string of Vengeance-plotted films in existence, starting with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance to Oldboy and he might do the same in his 2005 release of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. I found both films to be completely out of the ordinary and quite the punch that cinema needed. They not only included a great story, but had excellent performances and direction. I didn’t know of anything else he made, until I rented JSA yesterday, and I can say that Mr. Vengeance himself, can now be labeled as Mr. Genius. This film is based on the DMZ that separates North and South Korea (craftily remade in a studio, nicely done might I add), and relationships between such. The film packs a heavy punch, and gives a more simplistic reveal than other films that you might expect from ParkChan-wook , but the results are always deadly.

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