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Archive for August, 2007

Yaowarat (THAI 2003)

Director : Namchoke Daengput
Cast : Shahkrit Yamnarm, Darawan Wilaingam, Suwannaparp, Suthida Harnwisej, Sattawat Dullayawijitt, Aadchara Luengsawat

Synopsis
In this explosive action thriller from Thailand set in Bangkok’s sizzling Yaowarat Chinatown district, the precarious truce between two mafia gangs. Yaowarat and Pahurad ended in violent gunfights when Kao, one of Pahurad’s hit man killed a Yaowarat member. In retaliation, Yaowarat enlists the help of Saleng, the best hit man in the business, to take Kao out.

Review
by Edward Tang

Hmm. Thailand gets another release via Tai Seng who usually bare bones it up for a decent film. On the cover is a guy holding two pistols ala God of Guns John Woo. I wonder if that interested me? Of course it did. “Yaowarat” tries to be a cool film and edgy, starting off with a gangster boss raping the shit out of one of his girls and follows with one boring film filled with nothing in between. There were some attempts at action, but they looked completely stupid. Take this out for example, one guy has one pistol, against four other guys with pistols. Now, how does this one guy kill two of them and still survive? The action-thriller promised in the synopsis is never really met, and what we are left with is something that resembles a gangster-drama-romance type story. So in the long run, the film isn’t that bad and for the most part I got enough out of it, but the editing and the annoying voice-overs left me wanting to go home.

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Wishing Stairs (KOREA 2003)

Director : Jae-yeon Yun
Cast : Ji-hyo Song, Han-byeol Park, An Jo, Ji-Yeon Park and Su-a Hong

Synopsis
A staircase leading to the dormitory of a remote boarding school usually has 28 stairs, but every so often there appears to be 29. When someone steps on the mysterious extra stair, the horror begins.

Review
by Edward Tang

This is the second Korean horror flick I’ve seen in a row (Acacia was the first) and I must say that they should concentrate on something else. This film is supposedly the third in a trilogy of “Ghost films”, after seeing this it seems that I probably won’t be visiting the other two films.

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Wheels On Meals (HK 1984)

Director : Sammo Hung
Producer : Raymond Chow
Screenplay : Edward Tang, Johnny Lee
Cast : Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Lola Forner, Benny Urquidez, Keith Vitali

Synopsis
Thomas (Jackie Chan) and David (Yuen Biao) are fast food traders working out of a van in a town square in Barcelona. They cross paths with a young girl called Sylvia, who is – unknown to them – a pickpocket and seems to be in trouble as she is chased by some dodgy looking men. Private Investigator Moby (Sammo Hung) is also looking for this young girl and uncovers a plot to kidnap her. After initially disliking each other the two brothers form a friendship with the private detective, and when the kidnappers snatch Sylvia they decide to go to her rescue.

Review
by Martin Cleary

If you’re a Jackie Chan or have been a Hong Kong film fan for any real period of time, then the chances are you’ve already seen Wheels On Meals. This is one of those classic eighties action-comedies that HK produced rather well. And in this case it has the magic of the three brothers: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao.

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Way of the Dragon (HK 1972)

Director : Bruce Lee
Written by : Bruce Lee
Cast : Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, Chuck Norris, Ping-Ao Wei, Chung-Hsin Huang, Robert Wall and Ing-Sik Whang

Synopsis
Tang Lung (Bruce Lee) arrives in Rome to help his cousins in the restaurant business. They are being pressured to sell their property to the syndicate, who will stop at nothing to get what they want. When Tang arrives he poses a new threat to the syndicate, and they are unable to defeat him. The syndicate boss hires the best Japanese and European martial artists to fight Tang, but he easily finishes them off. The American martial artist Colt (Chuck Norris) is hired and has a showdown with Tang in Rome’s famous Colosseum.

Review
by Edward Tang

“Let him know. If I ever see him here again… HE WON’T LEAVE ALIVE!”

Being a huge fan of the martial arts genre, you can’t help but know Bruce Lee’s films by heart. My first experience with his flicks was when I bought a piece of crap VHS of Fist of Fury (The Chinese Connection) with horrible picture on dubbing. But still, amongst that, you could still witness Bruce Lee and how much presence the man has on the screen. This film in general is so basic, yet is probably one of the true gems in the particular genre. Everything is pretty basic, from the over-sized ugly ass goons, to your basic plot described in a few minutes, and so so acting. But in watching this film, it showcases why Bruce was great, every fight scene was entertaining and the final confrontation between him and Mr. Walker Texas Ranger is a classic and shouldn’t be missed by anyone. I’ve actually renamed this film “Smiley” because even though shit doesn’t go everyone’s way, smiles are always consistent on their faces.

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Warriors of Heaven and Earth (CHINA 2003)

Director : Ping He
Written by : Ping He
Cast : Kiichi Nakai, Xueqi Wang, Bagen Hasi, Vicki Zhao, Tao Ho, LInian Lu, Deshun Wang & Yeerjiang Mahepushen

Synopsis

A Japanese emissary is sent to the Gobi desert to execute a renegade soldier. When a caravan transporting a Buddhist monk and a valuable treasure is threatened by thieves, however, the two warriors might unite to protect the travelers.

Review
by Edward Tang

This is an example of a great film that was probably tailor made to have something of a notice in the states. Like your “Crouching Tiger” and “Hero”, it’s an epic film with great action sequences and top notch acting/story. But covering familiar ground seems to be the constant with films of this nature, and it doesn’t change here. The film looked good and remained good until the ending. Everything up until that point was great, but the ending seemed rushed and out of place. What we were shown was good enough for me, but how the events unfolded left a sour taste in my mouth, considering we had been along with these characters for almost 2 hours and the harsh tone wasn’t needed. But as in all films of this caliber, it saves itself with a great bunch of actors whom pull the reigns of this film. Both main characters (whom wanted each other dead) pulled off their roles with great respect, you didn’t want either of them to face each other at the end. 

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